The pro-transparency group WikiLeaks has released the secret draft text for the Trade in Services Agreement, TISA, a trade agreement covering 50 countries and more than 68 percent of world trade in service. Until now, the draft has been classified to keep it clandestine, not only during the negotiations, but also for five years post-enactment. According to the leaked text, TISA aims to cement the extreme deregulatory model of the 1990s by forbidding countries from improving financial regulation. The draft Financial Services Annex would also establish rules favorable to the expansion of financial multinationals into other nations by preventing regulatory obstacles. The draft text comes from the April 2014 negotiation round. We discuss the leaked text with Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and author of "The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority."
Photo Credit: WikiLeaks
Pressure is mounting on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to form a less sectarian government or to resign. A representative of the influential Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called for the creation of what he described as a new "effective" government. On Thursday, The New York Times revealed the U.S. ambassador in Iraq, Robert Beecroft, and the State Department’s top official in Iraq, Brett McGurk, recently met with the controversial Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi, who has been described as a potential candidate to replace al-Maliki. Chalabi is the former head of the Iraqi National Congress, a CIA-funded Iraqi exile group that strongly pushed for the 2003 U.S. invasion. The INC helped drum up pre-war claims that Saddam Hussein was developing weapons of mass destruction and had links to al-Qaeda. The group provided bogus intelligence to the Bush administration, U.S. lawmakers and journalists. We are joined by Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor for Harper’s Magazine.
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa Proposes Ban on U.S. Military Deployment in Iraq Without Congressional Backing
On Thursday, President Obama announced the deployment of up to 300 military advisers to Iraq and left open the possibility of U.S. airstrikes against the Sunni militants that have taken over large parts of the country. We go to Capitol Hill to speak with Democratic Rep. Colleen Hanabusa of Hawaii, who successfully introduced an amendment this week to prevent the deployment of U.S. troops to Iraq without congressional approval.
The City of New York has reportedly agreed to pay $40 million to five men wrongfully convicted of raping a female jogger in Central Park 25 years ago. The five black and Latino men were convicted as teenagers. They initially confessed, but soon they recanted, insisting they had admitted to the crime under the duress of exhaustion and coercion from police officers. Media coverage at the time portrayed them as guilty and used racially coded terms to describe them. But their convictions were vacated in 2002 when the real rapist came forward and confessed, after the five had already served jail terms of up to 13 years. We get reaction to the settlement from Natalie Byfield, a reporter for the New York Daily News at the time of Central Park Five case. Now an associate professor of sociology at St. John’s University in Queens, Byfield is the author of "Savage Portrayals: Race, Media and the Central Park Jogger Story."
- Obama Deploys 300 Military Advisers to Iraq, Leaves Open Potential U.S. Strikes
- New York City to Pay $40 Million to Wrongly Jailed Central Park Five
- Tens of Thousands Displaced, Dozens Killed in Pakistani Offensive
- Ukraine Claims Killing of 300 Separatists Near Russian Border
- Israel Kills Palestinian Teen in Continued West Bank Crackdown
- U.S. Cuts Aid, Military Cooperation over Ugandan Anti-LGBT Law
- Obama Admin Extends Federal Benefits to Same-Sex Couples
- House GOP Elect New Majority Leader, Whip
- Prosecutors: Wisconsin Gov. Walker Engaged in "Criminal" Fundraising Scheme
- WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Marks 2 Years Confined in Ecuadorean Embassy
- 50th Anniversary of Mississippi Slaying of Civil Rights Workers
We look at a case that is being called the "trial of the century" in how poor countries repay sovereign debt. This week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Argentina over its $1.5 billion debt in a ruling critics say validates predatory behavior by so-called "vulture funds." The case involves hedge funds that bought up Argentina’s debt at bargain rates after its financial crisis more than a decade ago. After Argentina defaulted on its debts, the vast majority of its creditors agreed to slash the value of their holdings. But NML Capital and other firms refused to accept the deal, instead seeking full repayment. Monday’s ruling leaves in place a lower court decision ordering Argentina to pay the companies. Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has called the firms’ actions "extortion." We are joined by Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network.
As Iraq asks the United States for military strikes against Sunni militants, we look at the role of Iran in the growing crisis. On Wednesday, the Iraqi government formally asked the United States to carry out airstrikes on the militants, who have seized a large swath of the country over the past week. According to a report in The Independent of London, the Obama administration has told senior Iraqi officials that it would intervene militarily only if Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki left office. Maliki, who is Shiite, has been widely criticized for deepening Iraq’s sectarian divide. Many analysts say the crisis in Iraq and Syria is developing into a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, with Maliki’s government accusing the Saudis of backing the Sunni militants. On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia issued an apparent warning to Iran by saying outside powers should not intervene in the conflict. This came after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran "will not hesitate" to protect Shiite holy sites in Iraq threatened by Sunni militants. The Obama administration has said it remains opens to cooperation with Iran on stopping the militants’ advance, an issue briefly discussed between the two sides on the sidelines of nuclear talks in Vienna. Will and Tehran work together to shore up the Iraqi regime? We are joined by Reza Marashi, research director at the National Iranian American Council.
Thousands of people marched in Brazil on Wednesday in one of the largest protests of the 2014 World Cup. Members of the Homeless Workers Movement blocked a major freeway in São Paulo to protest massive spending on the tournament and to call for more affordable housing. In another World Cup city, Porto Alegre, police fired tear gas and stun grenades at demonstrators protesting against the international soccer body, FIFA. The peaceful protesters were vastly outnumbered by an army of riot police in military gear. Earlier this week, Vice President Joe Biden was in Brazil to watch the United States defeat Ghana 2-1 — and to try to mend ties with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff after revelations of National Security Agency’s spying on Brazil, including on Rousseff’s personal cellphone. All of this comes as Brazil looks ahead to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, with another round of mass displacement underway. We go to Rio’s Maracanã Stadium to speak with sportswriter Dave Zirin, author of "Brazil’s Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy."
Photo Credit: Reuters
The growing movement to change the name of the Washington Redskins football team has scored a surprising victory. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the team’s trademark registration after concluding its name and logo are disparaging to Native Americans. The decision does not force the team to change its name, but it could make it more difficult to legally guard the name and logo from use by third parties. The team can reportedly keep the trademark while they appeal. But Native Americans and other critics of the Redskins’ brand have hailed the ruling as the latest sign team owner Dan Snyder will inevitably be forced to drop it. We are joined by two guests: Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo activist and plaintiff in the case, and sportswriter Dave Zirin.
- Report: U.S. Conditions Iraq Military Intervention on Maliki Resignation
- Iraqi Gov't Denies Militant Capture of Oil Refinery
- Libya Condemns U.S. Raid on Benghazi Suspect; Obama Admin Invokes Self-Defense
- Florida Carries Out 3rd U.S. Execution Since Botched Killing
- Emails Show 2005 Warning of Defect Behind New GM Recall
- U.S. Military Tribunal Charges Guantánamo Prisoner with War Crimes
- Obama Unveils New Oceans Protections Covering Pollution, Over-Fishing
- Ex-Montana Gov. Schweitzer Jeopardizes Potential Run with Cantor, Feinstein Comments
- Video Shows GOP Sen. Cochran Apparently Unaware of Cantor Loss
- Federal Court Dismisses Civil Rights Case Against Military Informant Who Spied on Activists
"Colonialism is Inhuman": Diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi on the Lessons of Algeria's Independence Struggle
Weeks after his resignation as the U.N.-Arab League special envoy for Syria, the longtime diplomat and former freedom fighter Lakhdar Brahimi discusses his own country, Algeria, and its struggle for independence from the French. The Algerian rebellion was captured in the classic anti-colonial film "Battle of Algiers," which vividly depicts the Algerian struggle against the French occupation in the 1950s and early 1960s. "They dispossessed a whole nation," Brahimi says of the French occupation. "Colonialism was very inhuman."
As a Sunni militancy overtakes large parts of Iraq, former U.N.-Arab League special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi joins us to discuss the escalating Iraqi conflict, the long-term impact of the 2003 U.S. invasion, and the crisis in neighboring Syria. A former Algerian freedom fighter who went on to become Algeria’s foreign minister, Brahimi has been deeply involved in Middle Eastern diplomacy for decades. He has worked on many of the world’s major conflicts from Afghanistan and Iraq to South Africa. Brahimi resigned as the U.N.-Arab League special envoy for Syria last month after a lengthy effort that failed to bring about peace talks between the Syrian government and rebel groups. On the legacy of the U.S. invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, Brahimi says: "The biggest mistake was to invade. I am tempted to say that every time there was a [U.S.] choice between something right and something wrong, not very often the right option was taken." On Syria, Brahimi says the conflict is "an infected wound … if not treated properly, it will spread — and this is what is happening."
- Sunni Militants Seize Iraq's Main Oil Refinery
- Rouhani: Iran "Will Not Hesitate" to Protect Shiite Sites in Iraq
- Report: Obama Admin Mulls "Targeted" Drone Strikes in Iraq
- U.S. Captures Benghazi Suspect in Libya Raid
- Apparent U.S. Drone Strike Kills 5 in Pakistan
- Hunger-Striking Al Jazeera Journalist Freed After 10 Months in Prison
- Israel Re-Arrests Palestinians Freed in 2011 Prisoner Swap
- Biden Assures Rousseff on NSA Spying Days After Snowden Asylum Request
- U.S. to Release Docs on Brazilian Dictatorship
- Georgia, Missouri Carry Out 1st Executions Since Botched Oklahoma Killing
- Blackwater Operatives Tried for Nisoor Square Massacre Following Years of Delay
- Dems Unveil Measure to Ban Internet Fast Lanes
- Canadian Gov't Conditionally Approves Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline
June 17 marks the first anniversary of the death of investigative journalist Michael Hastings. Just 33 years old, Hastings died in a car crash at a time when he was considered of one of the country’s most daring young reporters. His dispatches from Iraq and Afghanistan unveiled the hidden realities of war. His 2010 Rolling Stone article on General Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, sparked a political controversy after McChrystal and his aides were quoted making disparaging remarks about top administration officials. The article exposed longstanding government discord over the Afghan War’s direction and led to McChrystal’s firing. One year after his death, Hastings’ reporting has made waves once again. In 2012, Hastings wrote a major investigation for Rolling Stone on the American prisoner of war, Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl. At the time, Hastings thought it was the most important story of his career. But it only recently earned widespread attention after Bergdahl’s release for five Taliban members sparked a political firestorm. In his report, Hastings revealed Bergdahl was profoundly disillusioned with the Afghan War and may have walked away from his base as a result. With Bergdahl still silent as he recovers from five years in Taliban captivity, Hastings’ article remains the definitive account of the young soldier’s story. Today, another major work from Hastings is upon us: "The Last Magazine," a posthumous novel and scathing satire of the corporate news media based on Hastings’ time at Newsweek. We are joined by Hastings’ widow, Elise Jordan, who brought the book to life after coming across the manuscript following her husband’s death.
This month marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer. In June 1964, more than 1,000 out-of-state volunteers traveled to Mississippi to help register African-American voters and set up "freedom schools." Activists risked their lives to help actualize the promise of America’s democracy: the right for everyone to vote. Out of Freedom Summer grew the formation of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party that challenged the legitimacy of the white-only Mississippi Democratic Party at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. Half a century after Freedom Summer, a new report suggests much work remains to be done. According to the report, people of color continue to be locked out of statewide politics, and people of color candidates rarely get elected to statewide office. The report features state-by-state graphics that demonstrate how a targeted wave of voter registration among people of color voters could shift the balance of power in key Southern states. The report, "True South: Voters of Color in the Black Belt 50 Years After Freedom Summer," was just released by the Southern Elections Foundation and the Center for American Progress. We are joined by the report’s author, Benjamin Jealous, a partner at Kapor Capital and a senior fellow the Center for American Progress.
As the United States briefly holds talks with Iran over the crisis in Iraq, President Obama has announced the deployment of 275 U.S. military personnel to protect U.S. personnel and facilities in Baghdad. The Obama administration is reportedly weighing other options in Iraq, including drone strikes and the deployment of special forces to train Iraqi troops. This comes as Sunni militants have launched a new offensive against the city of Baquba less than 40 miles from Baghdad. We speak to University of Michigan professor Juan Cole, author of several books, including the forthcoming "The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation Is Changing the Middle East."
Image Credit: Reuters
- U.S. to Deploy 275 Military Personnel to Iraq; ISIS Advances
- 200 Palestinians Arrested in Israeli Crackdown over Missing Teens
- Obama to Sign Executive Order on LGBT Job Discrimination
- 3 States Set to Execute Prisoners amid Drug Secrecy
- Supreme Court Rules in Favor of "Vulture Funds" in Argentina Debt Case
- Court Allows Anti-Choice Group to Challenge Ohio Ban on Political Lies
- In Narrow Ruling, Court Rules Against "Straw Buyer" in Gun Case
- GM Announces New Recall of 3.4 Million Vehicles
- Nebraska: 1 Dead, Town Devastated in Twin Tornadoes
- Egypt to Release Hunger-Striking Al Jazeera Journalist Abdullah Elshamy
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is entering its fifth day. The United States will play its first game of the tournament today against Ghana. Meanwhile, protests are continuing on the streets of Brazil. Many Brazilians have expressed fury over Brazil spending an estimated $11 billion to host the cup while the country’s hospitals and schools remain woefully underfunded. In a video taken by the Associated Press on Sunday, a police officer can be seen firing what appears to be a live pistol round at anti-World Cup protesters near Rio de Janeiro’s Maracanã soccer stadium. Police have reportedly also used tear gas, rubber bullets and noise bombs to disperse demonstrators. We go to Rio to speak with sportswriter Dave Zirin, who was tear-gassed on Sunday while covering the protests. He is author of the new book, "Brazil’s Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics and the Fight for Democracy."
Over the weekend, militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) seized the northern town of Tal Afar after a fierce fight. Many fear Iraq could disintegrate as ISIS takes more cities. Shiite militias are now fighting alongside the Iraqi army in an effort to retake cities from the control of Sunni militants. Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged today the United States is considering launching drone strikes inside Iraq to help shore up the Iraqi government. He also said he is open to talks with Iran on how Washington and Tehran could work together to help the Iraqi state. The United States appears to be moving closer to launching airstrikes. The USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier has recently arrived in the Persian Gulf. The carrier is accompanied by the USS Philippine Sea guided-missile cruiser and the USS Truxtun guided-missile destroyer, both of which carry Tomahawk missiles that can reach Iraq. The United States has also begun evacuating some employees from its massive embassy in Baghdad. Meanwhile in Britain, former Prime Minister Tony Blair is facing widespread criticism after he suggested the current crisis is not linked to the 2003 U.S. and British invasion of Iraq. Blair said, "We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that 'we' have caused this. We haven’t." To talk more about the crisis in Iraq, we are joined by Iraqi-American political analyst Raed Jarrar.
- U.S. Considers Talks with Iran over Widening Iraq Crisis
- Manning Criticizes Limits on Media Coverage of U.S. Wars
- Kenya: Gunmen Kill 48 in Coastal Town
- Pakistan Launches Major Assault on North Waziristan
- Libya: Renegade General Launches Fresh Assault in Benghazi
- Russia Cuts Off Gas Supply to Ukraine; Separatists Down Ukrainian Jet
- Brazilian Protester: "This is the Cup of Protests"
- Israeli Forces Round Up 150 Palestinians, Kill 1 in Search for Teens
- Afghans Brave Violence to Vote in Presidential Runoff
- Colombian President Wins Re-election, Vows to Continue FARC Peace Talks
- U.S. General to Probe Circumstances of Bergdahl's Capture
- Report: U.S. Failing to Inspect 4 of 10 Higher-Risk Oil & Gas Wells
- Study: CEOs Make Nearly 300 Times as Much as Workers
- Goldman Sachs CEO: Income Inequality "Very Destablizing"
- Massachusetts Poised to Pass $11-an-Hour Minimum Wage
- Radio Host, Arab-American Activist Casey Kasem Dies at 82