The United States and Cuba are taking the next step in restoring diplomatic relations with each other as Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Havana Friday to attend a ceremony marking the reopening of the U.S. Embassy there. This comes after former Cuban President Fidel Castro wrote in a newspaper column that the U.S. owes the island country "millions of dollars" as reparations for its decades-long embargo. "The question is what kind of change this represents,” says former Cuban diplomat Carlos Alzugaray Treto. "Is this only a change of tactics to continue trying to overthrow the Cuban government by different means? I call it the Roberta Flack strategy—’killing me softly with your song.’ On the other hand, maybe what we are seeing is an important change of strategy." We also speak with Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University and co-author of "Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana."
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Henry Siegman, Leading U.S. Jewish Voice for Peace: "Give Up on Netanyahu, Go to the United Nations"
Jewish and Palestinian women are holding a hunger strike outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem to call for a renewal of peace negotiations. Members of the group Women Wage Peace have been fasting for the past month in alternating shifts, sitting in an open-air tent and inviting passersby to discuss how best to wage peace. The group has dubbed their mission "Operation Protective Fast," a twist on "Operation Protective Edge" — Israel’s military operation that left 2,200 Palestinians, including 550 children, dead last summer. On the Israeli side, 73 people were killed, all but six of them soldiers. The attack destroyed 12,000 homes in Gaza. Another 100,000 were damaged. None of the destroyed homes have been rebuilt so far, due in part to the ongoing Israeli blockade. Our guest for the hour suggests the best chance for achieving a lasting peace in Israel-Palestine lies with the United Nations Security Council presenting both parties with clear terms for resumed peace talks. Henry Siegman is the former executive director of the American Jewish Congress, long described as one of the nation’s "big three" Jewish organizations along with the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League. Siegman was born in 1930 in Frankfurt, Germany. Three years later, the Nazis came to power. After fleeing Nazi troops in Belgium, his family eventually moved to the United States. His father was a leader of the European Zionist movement, pushing for the creation of a Jewish state. Siegman later became head of the Synagogue Council of America. Henry Siegman now serves as president of the U.S./Middle East Project. He spoke with Amy Goodman in late May, shortly after The New York Times published his op-ed, "Give Up on Netanyahu, Go to the United Nations."
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As Secretary of State John Kerry prepares to fly to Cuba for a ceremony Friday to open the U.S. Embassy in Havana, we speak with an artist here at the Venice Biennale who used art to challenge the U.S. embargo of Cuba. For his project called "Trading with the Enemy," Duke Riley spent four years planning and eight months breeding and homing a kit of 50 pigeons in Key West, Florida. His goal was to prove that pigeons could make the 90-mile flight from Havana back to Key West carrying Cuban Cohiba cigars, which are banned in the United States. Riley also installed video cameras on the pigeons. He began with 50 pigeons. Eleven returned.
We are on the road in Venice, Italy, the site of the Venice Biennale, the oldest and most prestigious international biennial art exhibition in the world. We are broadcasting from the Creative Time Summit here at the Venice Biennale, which on Tuesday featured a public discussion between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his daughter, the acclaimed artist Mariam Ghani, who is based in Brooklyn. She joins us to discuss how she has worked for the past decade on a number of art projects looking at how the United States responded to the Sept. 11 attacks. Along with the artist Chitra Ganesh, Ghani created an "Index of the Disappeared" — a physical archive documenting post-9/11 detentions, deportations and renditions. Ghani and Ganesh also created "The Guantanamo Effect" — an interactive digital archive defining, illustrating and linking key terms and events in the so-called global war on terror.
At the Venice Biennale, the oldest and most prestigious international biennial art exhibition in the world, we speak with one of the most celebrated Palestinian artists, Emily Jacir. In 2007, she won the Golden Lion here at the Venice Biennale for her work "Material for a Film," a large-scale installation based on the life of Palestinian writer Wael Zuaiter, who was assassinated near his home in Rome, Italy, by Israeli Mossad agents in 1972. For years Jacir has created groundbreaking art to capture the Palestinian experience and other issues. In 2001, she presented a piece titled "Memorial to 418 Palestinian Villages Destroyed, Depopulated, and Occupied by Israel in 1948," consisting of a large refugee tent on which the names of 418 Palestinians villages were embroidered. She later did a project called "ex libris" that commemorated the approximately 30,000 books from Palestinian homes, libraries and institutions that were looted by Israeli authorities in 1948.
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After the fourth day of protests over Michael Brown’s death, authorities have declared a state of emergency in St. Louis County, drawing worldwide attention. We look at the state of the Black Lives Matter movement and the art world with two participants in the Creative Time Summit alongside the Venice Biennale in Italy. "At the moment we are dealing with Black Lives Matter and the violence against black and brown people in the United States, Europe is experiencing incredible deaths of black people here too," says author Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, noting the "perilous state of people worldwide that have been subjugated to white supremacy and capitalism." Rhodes-Pitts is the author of "Harlem is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America,” part of a trilogy she is working on about African Americans and utopia. We are also joined by Charles Gaines, a pioneering conceptual artist who teaches at California Institute of the Arts.
As we broadcast from Venice, Italy, site of the Venice Biennale, the oldest and most prestigious international biennial art exhibition, we feature an extended interview with Okwui Enwezor of Nigeria, its first African-born chief curator. Enwezor has been widely credited for bringing political art back to the 120-year-old festival. He says he was partly inspired by the 1974 Venice Biennale when part of the exhibits were dedicated to Chile to protest the U.S.-backed coup that overthrew Chile’s democratic government. "Artists have a lot of meaning they produce that can allow us to look at the world in deeper, meaningful and more probing ways," Enwezor says. As part of this year’s seven-month exhibit, there is an epic live reading of all three volumes of Karl Marx’s "Das Kapital." Meanwhile, the artist Adam Pendleton incorporated the "Black Lives Matter" slogan into his exhibit which appears in the Belgium Pavilion. And the Brazilian artist Vik Muniz created a boat covered in the front page of a Venice newspaper published the day after nearly 400 migrants drowned off the Italian island of Lampedusa in October 2013.
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As part of the Venice Biennale, the oldest and most prestigious international art exhibition, a New York-based group, Creative Time, is hosting a three-day summit dubbed "The Curriculum." Speakers include Afghan President Ashraf Ghani with his daughter, the artist Mariam Ghani, members of Spain’s left coalition Podemos, as well as the famed Italian political philosopher and activist Antonio Negri. We speak with organizers Anne Pasternak, the new president of Brooklyn Museum, and president and artistic director of Creative Time; and Nato Thompson, chief curator of Creative Time and author of the new book, "Seeing Power: Socially Engaged Art in the Age of Cultural Production."
We are broadcasting from Venice, Italy, the site of the Venice Biennale, the oldest and most prestigious international art exhibition, where this year’s theme is "All the World’s Futures." The gathering has not been without controversy. In May, Venice shut down Iceland’s pavilion after the artist Christoph Büchel, working in collaboration with the Muslim communities of Venice and Iceland, turned a 10th century church that had been closed down for 40 years into a working mosque. Police claimed the art project was a "threat to public safety." Last week, the Gulf Labor Coalition staged an hour-long occupation of the second floor of the Israeli Pavilion. The group has also protested the use of migrant laborers to build Guggenheim’s new museum in Abu Dhabi. We discuss past and present protests at the Biennale with Marco Baravalle, a Venice-based artist, activist and author who spoke at a panel discussion organized by the Gulf Labor Coalition called "Who Needs Museums and Biennales?" Baravalle also examines the impact of climate change and austerity on life in Venice.
No More Torture: World's Largest Group of Psychologists Bans Role in National Security Interrogations
By a nearly unanimous vote, the American Psychological Association’s Council of Representatives voted Friday to adopt a new policy barring psychologists from participating in national security interrogations. The resolution also puts the APA on the side of international law by barring psychologists from working at Guantánamo, CIA black sites and other settings deemed illegal under the Geneva Conventions or the U.N. Convention Against Torture, unless they are working directly for the persons being detained or for an independent third party working to protect human rights. The vote came at the APA’s first convention since the release of a report confirming the APA leadership actively colluded with the Pentagon and the CIA torture programs. The sole dissenter was retired Col. Larry James, former top Army intelligence psychologist at Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib. We play highlights from the vote, including APA President-elect Susan McDaniel, and speak with two of the leading dissident psychologists who have been pushing the APA to reverse its stance on interrogations for nearly a decade, Steven Reisner and Stephen Soldz, founding members of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology. We also speak with the president-elect of the British Psychological Society, Peter Kinderman.
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- Donald Trump Under Fire for Comments about Fox Moderator Megyn Kelly
Ten leading Republican presidential candidates faced off in the first debate of the 2016 presidential election Thursday night. Fox News invited 10 candidates to take part: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Scott Walker. Some analysts described the debate as the Roger Ailes primary since the head of Fox News had so much say into who participated in the prime-time event. Seven other Republican presidential candidates who didn’t make the cut participated in another debate earlier in the evening. Fox News said it calculated its top 10 list by averaging five national polls, a process which came under fire from polling agencies earlier this week. We feature highlights from the debate.
Gitmo is a "Rights-Free Zone": Dissident Psychologists Speak Out on APA Role in CIA-Pentagon Torture
We broadcast from Toronto, Canada, site of the annual convention of the largest group of psychologists in the world, the American Psychological Association. Ahead of a vote on a resolution to bar psychologists from participating in national security interrogations, the Psychologists for Social Responsibility hosted a town hall meeting. We feature highlights.
We speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter James Risen, who has extensively reported on the APA’s ties to the CIA and Pentagon’s torture program and is in Toronto to cover the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting. He talks about the significance of today’s scheduled vote by the APA’s Council of Representatives on barring psychologists from participating in interrogations. "It is a very sharp break from their past practices," Risen notes. "It is in response to an investigation that found collusion between psychologists and the Bush administration on interrogations."
We broadcast from Toronto, Canada, where the largest group of psychologists in the world, the American Psychological Association, is holding its first meeting since the release of a stunning report confirming the APA leadership actively colluded with the Pentagon and the CIA, manipulating the organization’s policies, meetings and members in order to endorse the torture programs. For the past decade, a group of dissident psychologists have protested the use of psychologists to conduct interrogations at CIA black sites and Guantánamo. For years they were ignored and ridiculed. But that changed with the recent release of the "Hoffman Report," a 542-page independent review commissioned by the APA’s board of directors. The study undermined the APA’s repeated denials that some of its 130,000 members were complicit in torture. Following the release, four top APA officials resigned or announced early retirements. Today the APA’s Council of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a resolution to bar psychologists from participating in interrogations. It is unclear if the measure will pass. Ahead of the vote, Psychologists for Social Responsibility hosted a town hall meeting here in Toronto last night. Speakers included New York-based psychologist Steven Reisner, a leading critic of the APA’s policies and founder of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology. "We have to make sure the APA goes from leading us into the dark side, leading us into the torture room … to leading the way out of the interrogation room," Reisner says.
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