- Obama Undecided on Sending Arms to Ukraine
- Assad Says Syria Receiving Info on U.S.-Led Strikes
- Boko Haram Attacks Towns in Niger, Cameroon
- NATO Drone Strike Kills 8, Including ISIS Suspect
- 29 Migrants Die of Hypothermia After Rescue by Italy
- Egypt to Retry 2 Jailed Al Jazeera Journalists
- Same-Sex Marriages Begin in Parts of Alabama
- U.S. Oil Strike Expands to 2 More Refineries
- British Court: U.S.-U.K. Spy Program was Illegal
- Argentine Experts Cast Doubt on Mexico's Claims About Missing Students
- Mexico: Activist Who Protested Students' Disappearance Found Murdered
- East Timor Gets New Prime Minister
- Boston Transit Shuts Down amid Record Snowfall
- U.S. Pledges $3.2 Million to Help Monarch Butterfly
- North Carolina: Police Kill Elderly Black Man During Welfare Check
- Guantánamo Hearing Halted After Prisoners Recognize Interpreter from CIA Black Site
- CodePink Delegation Arrives in Cuba
In a broadcast exclusive interview, we spend the hour with John Kiriakou, a retired CIA agent who has just been released from prison after blowing the whistle on the George W. Bush administration’s torture program. In 2007, Kiriakou became the first CIA official to publicly confirm and detail the agency’s use of waterboarding. In January 2013, he was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. Under a plea deal, Kiriakou admitted to a single count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act by revealing the identity of a covert officer involved in the torture program to a freelance reporter, who did not publish it. In return, prosecutors dropped charges brought under the Espionage Act. Kiriakou is the only official to be jailed for any reason relating to CIA torture. Supporters say he was unfairly targeted in the Obama administration’s crackdown on government whistleblowers. A father of five, Kiriakou spent 14 years at the CIA as an analyst and case officer, leading the team that found high-ranking al-Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah in 2002. He joins us from his home in Virginia, where he remains under house arrest for three months while completing his sentence. In a wide-ranging interview, Kiriakou says, "I would do it all over again," after seeing the outlawing of torture after he came forward. Kiriakou also responds to the details of the partially released Senate Committee Report on the CIA’s use of torture; argues NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden did a "great national service," but will not get a fair trial if he returns to the United States; and describes the conditions inside FCI Loretto, the federal prison where he served his sentence and saw prisoners die with "terrifying frequency" from lack of proper medical care.
- Islamic State Claims U.S. Aid Worker Kayla Mueller Killed in Jordanian Strike
- Report: Kayla Mueller's Parents Opposed U.S. Rescue Mission over Risk
- Ukraine, Russian Leaders to Hold Talks in "One of Last Chances" to Avoid Wider War
- Putin: U.S. Hegemony at Root of Ukraine Crisis
- German Leader to Meet Obama as U.S. Weighs Military Aid to Ukraine
- Yemen Talks Resume; U.N. Calls for Restoration of President Hadi
- Egypt Suspends Soccer Matches After Clashes Leave 40 Dead
- Nigeria Postpones Upcoming Presidential Vote, Citing Security Fears
- Report: HSBC Help Clients Hide over $100 Billion in Accounts
- 5 Killed, Including 2 Children, in Georgia Shooting
- Alabama Chief Justice Orders Judges to Reject Same-Sex Marriages
- Thousands Urge Fracking Ban in California Protest
- Brian Williams of NBC News Takes Temporary Leave as False Claims Probed
- Lawsuits Accuse St. Louis Suburbs of Targeting Blacks with Arrests & Fines
- Performers Invoke "Black Lives Matter" Movement at Annual Grammy Awards
Days after his deportation from the United States, the Palestinian activist and professor Sami Al-Arian discusses the end of his ordeal as the target of one of the most controversial prosecutions of the post-9/11 era. Sami was accused of ties to a militant group, but a Florida jury failed to return a single guilty verdict on any of the 17 charges against him. After prosecutors refiled charges, Sami chose jail time and deportation rather than face a second trial. For much of the three years following his arrest in 2003, he was imprisoned in solitary confinement and reportedly abused by prison staff under conditions Amnesty International called "gratuitously punitive." In a broadcast exclusive, Sami joins us from Turkey for his first broadcast interview since being deported. We are also joined by his daughter Laila Al-Arian, a Peabody Award-winning journalist based in Washington, D.C.
After much anticipation, the chair of the Federal Communications Commission has unveiled what he calls "the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the [agency]." Tom Wheeler backed the regulation of Internet service like a public utility in order to uphold net neutrality, the principle of a free and open Internet. The new rules would prevent Internet service providers like Comcast from blocking access to websites, slowing down content, or providing paid fast lanes for Internet service. It would also extend such protections to Internet service on cell phones and tablets. The proposal comes after the FCC received a record-setting number of public comments — nearly four million, almost all in support of strong protections. President Obama also released public statements in support of Internet protections. The FCC will vote on the plan February 26, ahead of an influx of lobbying by the telecom industry, which has also threatened to sue if the measure passes. We are joined by Tim Karr, senior director of strategy for Free Press, one of the main organizers of the Internet Countdown campaign leading up to the FCC’s net neutrality vote.
In a front-page report for the New York Daily News, Democracy Now! co-host Juan González exposes the troubles plaguing New York City’s overhaul of its 911 communications system. The NYC Department of Investigation found the administration of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg mismanaged the upgrade with multiple layers of unaccountable private consultants and vendors, putting the project nearly $1 billion over budget and 10 years behind schedule.
- German, French Leaders Visit Kiev & Moscow in Push to Revive Ceasefire
- Ukraine Demands Return to September Truce Terms; Top Officer Accused of Russia Spying
- Kerry: U.S. Nears Decision on Arming Ukraine Against Russian "Aggression"
- White House Admits Concerns Arming Ukraine Could "Expand Bloodshed"
- Kremlin: U.S. Military Aid to Ukraine Would Threaten Russian Security
- NATO Ministers OK Largest Collective Defensive Reinforcement Since End of Cold War
- Jordan Expands Anti-ISIS Strikes to Iraq After Pilot's Killing
- Scores Killed Around Damascus in Gov't, Rebel Attacks
- Greece, Germany Spar over Austerity as Syriza Gov't Ends Europe Tour
- Thousands Rally in Athens as Greek Prime Minister Vows to Reject Austerity "Orders"
- IMF Grants $100 Million in Debt Relief to Ebola-Stricken Countries
- Obama Admin: Guantánamo Recidivism Has Declined
- GOP Senator: More Prisoners Should Be Sent to "Rot in Guantánamo Bay"
- 2 Dead in Murder-Suicide at University of South Carolina
- 3 Democratic Lawmakers to Skip Netanyahu Speech
- Pope Francis to Become 1st Pontiff to Address Joint Congressional Session
Inside the Vaccine War: Measles Outbreak Rekindles Debate on Autism, Parental Choice & Public Health
The federal government has confirmed more than 100 people across 14 states have now developed measles. Public health officials suspect the outbreak, which is concentrated in California, began when an infected person visited Disneyland in Anaheim in December. In recent years, a growing number of parents have opted not to have their children vaccinated, claiming a link between vaccines and autism. The prestigious medical journal Lancet published a study in 1998 showing such a link, but the study was later retracted and has been widely discredited. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 12 children born in the United States is not receiving their first dose of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine on time. Several potential Republican presidential candidates have weighed in on the debate. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, an ophthalmologist, said he had heard of instances where vaccines caused "mental disorders." New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said vaccinating kids is a matter of "parental choice."
We spend the hour discussing the vaccine debate and public health with three guests: Dorit Rubinstein Reiss is a professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and co-author of the report, "Funding the Costs of Disease Outbreaks Caused by Non-Vaccination"; Mary Holland is the mother of a child with regressive autism who, she believes, was injured by the MMR vaccine. She is also a research scholar at New York University School of Law and co-editor of the book, "Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health, and Our Children"; and Dr. Paul Offit is chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor of pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is author of "Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure" and "Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All."
- FCC Proposes Historic Open Internet Protections
- Cameroon: Boko Haram Massacres 100
- Ebola Drug Shows Promise as Weekly Death Toll Rises in West Africa
- Kerry, European Leaders in Ukraine as U.S. Mulls Sending Arms
- Obama's Pick for Defense Secretary Backs Arming Ukraine
- U.S. Diplomat: Return of Guantánamo Off the Table in Cuba Talks
- Pentagon Given Deadline in Case over Withholding of Torture Photos
- Palestinian Scholar Sami Al-Arian Deported After Controversial Prosecution
- NBC's Brian Williams Apologizes for False Story on Helicopter Attack
- Health Insurance Firm Anthem Reports Massive Data Breach
- Indiana Woman Faces Up to 70 Years in Prison for What She Says Was a Miscarriage
- Utah GOP Lawmaker Apologizes for Questioning If Sex with Unconscious Spouse is Rape
- Report: College Completion Gap Between Rich and Poor Doubles
As President Obama seeks $27.6 billion for federal drug control programs in his new budget, we talk to British journalist Johann Hari about the century-old failed drug war and how much of what we know about addiction is wrong. Over the past four years Hari has traveled to the United States, Mexico, Canada, Uruguay and Portugal to research his new book, "Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War of Drugs." His findings may surprise you — from the U.S. government’s persecution of Billie Holiday, to Vancouver’s success in addressing its heroin epidemic, to Portugal’s experiment with full decriminalization of all drugs.
Economist Dean Baker discusses last month’s victory of the left-wing Syriza party in Greece. This marked the first election victory in Europe of an anti-bailout party bent on reversing deep cuts demanded by international lenders. Baker praises the initial moves by the new government but warns Greece needs an "exit option" to leave the European Union.
President Obama has unveiled a $4 trillion budget proposal for next year Congress that calls for raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations in order to help fund education and fix crumbling infrastructure. The plan includes tax cuts for some poor and middle-class families. It also seeks to recoup losses from corporations that stash an estimated $2 trillion overseas by taxing such earnings at 14 percent, still less than half of the 35 percent rate for profits made in the United States. Obama’s proposed budget also takes aim at the high cost of prescription drugs, proposes a new agency to regulate food safety, and seeks $1 billion to curb immigration from Central America. It also calls for a 4.5 percent increase in military spending, including a $534 billion base budget for the Pentagon, plus $51 billion to fund U.S. involvement in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Speaking at the Department of Homeland Security, Obama said across-the-board cuts known as sequestration would hurt the military. We speak to economist Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and author of "Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People."
- ISIS Burns Jordanian Fighter Pilot Alive
- Jordan Executes 2 Prisoners After Burning of Pilot by ISIS
- Imprisoned Operative Says Saudi Royals Backed al-Qaeda
- Somalia: U.S. Drone Strike Targets Al-Shabab Leader
- Ukraine: Heavy Shelling Kills at Least 5, Damages Hospital
- Draft of Arrest Request for Argentine President Found in Late Prosecutor's Home
- Pope Francis Declares Slain Archbishop Óscar Romero a Martyr in Step Toward Sainthood
- CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou Released from Prison
- Obama Admin Touts Surveillance Tweaks, Leaves Bulk Spying Intact
- EPA Warns Keystone XL Pipeline Would Fuel Climate Change
- Congress Unanimously OKs Bill to Address Veteran Suicides
- New York City Police Officer Indicted for Stomping on Restrained Man's Head
- Alabama Poised to Become 37th State to Allow Same-Sex Marriage
- Harper Lee, Author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," to Publish 2nd Novel
As the United States weighs a major escalation with potential military aid to Ukraine, we look at how American policy is sowing conflict across North Africa and the Middle East. Libya is run by two different governments, and the United Nations has warned of "total chaos" if ongoing unity talks fail. The U.S.-backed regime in Egypt continues a crackdown on political opponents, recently carrying out its worst killing of protesters since General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi became president last June. Iraq is coming off its deadliest month in years, while outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said the U.S. might need to send noncombat ground troops for the ongoing campaign against the Islamic State. In Syria, the world’s worst current humanitarian crisis, the U.S. has backed off its calls for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad. In Lebanon, Hezbollah and Israel exchanged fire last week in one of their most violent clashes since the 2006 war. The incident was followed days later by a Washington Post report that the CIA and its Israeli counterpart, the Mossad, assassinated a senior Hezbollah leader seven years ago this month. Now a dispute over Iran has brought relations between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to their lowest point so far. Following the death of King Abdullah last month, Obama led a large delegation to Saudi Arabia in a major display of U.S. support for the new repressive regime. And in Yemen, uncertainty prevails after last month’s resignation of President Abdu Hadi, with Houthi rebels now threatening to seize power. We discuss the state of the Middle East and North Africa — and the U.S. role in ongoing conflicts — with Vijay Prashad, professor of international studies at Trinity College.
The United Nations has raised the death toll from fighting in eastern Ukraine to more than 5,300 people since last April following the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych one year ago this month. Another 1.5 million people have been displaced. As fighting intensifies, the Obama administration is now considering directly arming Ukrainian forces against Russian-backed rebels. Washington already supplies nonlethal military equipment to Ukraine, but top officials are reportedly leaning toward sending arms, from rifles to anti-tank weapons. The role of the U.S. and European allies in Ukraine has prompted former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to accuse the West of dragging Russia into a new Cold War. We are joined by Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University.
- Obama Budget Boosts Military Spending, Taxes on Wealthy
- U.S. Reports 27 Airstrikes in Iraq, Syria
- Yemen: 3rd U.S. Drone Strike in a Week Kills 4
- Greek Official Seeks to Calm European Fears over Syriza Win
- Greek Minister Vows to Block U.S.-EU Free Trade Deal
- Syriza Victory Fuels Surge of Podemos Party in Spain
- Croatia Cancels Debts of 60,000 Poorest Residents
- Anti-Islam Pegida Movement Outnumbered at 1st Rally in Austria
- U.S. Oil Workers Launch Broadest Strike Since 1980
- Workers at NYC Legal Nonprofit Strike over Pay, Family Leave
- Freed Al Jazeera Journalist Peter Greste Speaks After Release; Mohamed Fahmy Release "Imminent"
- Parents of Missing Mexican Students Take Fight to U.N.
- Report: Mexican Authorities Tortured Local Police to Confess to Role in Students' Disappearance
- U.S. Expands Sanctions on Venezuelan Officials
- 51 Deaths from General Motors Defect Found Eligible for Compensation
- FCC Chair to Issue Landmark Proposal to Preserve Open Internet
- Family of Jessie Hernández, Teenage Girl Killed by Denver Police, Calls for Federal Probe
The National Football League’s tumultuous 2014-15 season ended Sunday with the New England Patriots’ dramatic Super Bowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks. The game capped a year that saw growing scrutiny of the NFL, most notably its poor handling of domestic violence cases. More than half of players accused of domestic violence during commissioner Roger Goodell’s tenure have gone without league punishment. The NFL is also under fire for its handling of player safety, predominantly concussions. While fans still turn out in record numbers, four in 10 parents now say they would think twice about letting their own child play football. We are joined by Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation magazine and host of Edge of Sports Radio on SiriusXM. In addition to talking about these NFL controversies, Zirin discusses the Super Bowl’s closing moments, when the Seahawks chose not to give the ball to against-the-grain star running back Marshawn Lynch and opted for a risky play that cost them the game.
Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste has been released from an Egyptian prison after 400 days behind bars. Greste and two of his Al Jazeera colleagues, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, were convicted on terrorism charges in a case widely denounced as a sham. Greste flew to Cyprus on Sunday following his release, but Fahmy and Mohamed remain behind bars. "We are relieved by this great news," says Delphine Halgand, U.S. director of Reporters Without Borders, of Greste’s freedom. "But we have to continue to work to assure the release of all journalists in Egypt who are detained on spurious charges." Halgand also discusses the violence directed against journalists worldwide in the first month of 2015, including attacks on journalists in France and Iraq and the beheading by ISIS of Kenji Goto, a Japanese reporter kidnapped in Syria last year. Video of Goto’s execution emerged over the weekend.
After a historic victory in Greece, the leftist Syriza party’s finance minister has begun a tour of Europe to push an anti-austerity message. The former economist Yanis Varoufakis has promised "radical" change as his government seeks to renegotiate Greece’s huge debt obligations and to roll back key parts of its international bailout. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says he is confident that Greece can reach a deal with creditors. We air an excerpt of our 2012 interview with Varoufakis and speak with Costas Panayotakis, a professor of sociology at CUNY and author of "Remaking Scarcity: From Capitalist Inefficiency to Economic Democracy." Panayotakis lays out the Syriza party’s historic rise to power and the challenges it faces in trying to restructure Greece’s economy.
- U.S. Mulls Arming Ukraine Against Russian-Backed Separatists as Truce Talks Collapse
- ISIS Kills 2nd Japanese Hostage; Jordan Seeks Release of Captured Pilot
- Iraq Suffers Deadliest Month Since 2008
- Boko Haram Hits Major City in Northern Nigeria; African Leaders Approve 7,500-Strong Force
- Al Jazeera Journalist Peter Greste Deported from Egypt After 400 Days in Prison; Colleagues Still Jailed
- Egyptian Court Confirms Mass Death Sentences of Muslim Brotherhood Supporters
- CIA, Mossad Carried Out 2008 Car Bombing of Hezbollah Figure in Damascus
- U.S.-Israeli Assassination of Hezbollah Commander Raises Concerns of Legality and Potential Reprisals
- Israel OKs New Settlement Construction as Obama-Netanyahu Tensions Peak
- Thousands Join Renewed Pro-Democracy Protest in Hong Kong
- Houthi Rebels Set 3-Day Deadline to Seize Control of Yemeni Gov't
- Guatemala Marks 35th Anniversary of Spanish Embassy Massacre Following Verdict
- Dozens Rally Outside White House Against Nuclear Weapons Upgrade
- Family of Slain Black Teen Ramarley Graham Agrees to $3.9 Million Settlement with NYC