Protests erupted in Greece Wednesday as the Greek Parliament approved harsh new austerity measures in exchange for a third European bailout. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras won the parliamentary vote by a vote of 229 to 64. But 32 members of his own Syriza party voted against the plan, including former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. Lawmakers approved the harsh austerity measures just days after voters rejected similar reforms in a referendum, including retirement age increases, tax hikes, public spending cuts, pension adjustments and collective bargaining restructuring in exchange for up to $94 billion. The vote came amid worker strikes, peaceful marches and violent clashes between protesters and police across Athens. We go to Greece for an update from Theodoros Karyotis, a sociologist, translator and activist who has been participating in grassroots movements and protesting austerity.
Texas says there is "no evidence" of wrongdoing after mass graves filled with bodies of immigrants were found miles inland from the U.S.-Mexico border. The bodies were gathered from the desert surrounding a checkpoint in Falfurrias, Texas, in Brooks County. An investigation was launched after the mass graves were exposed last November in a documentary by The Weather Channel in partnership with Telemundo and The Investigative Fund. The report also found many of the migrants died after crossing into the United States and waiting hours for Border Patrol to respond to their 911 calls. We speak with reporter John Carlos Frey, who found rampant violations of the law.
President Obama is defending the global agreement to curtail Iran’s nuclear program as critics of the deal are accusing the White House of appeasement. The deal reached Tuesday will see Iran reduce its stockpile of low-enriched uranium by 98 percent and cut its number of centrifuges by two-thirds. In exchange, Iran will see an easing of international sanctions that have battered the economy, causing food insecurity and medication shortages. Congress will have 60 days to review the agreement. "The deal has closed all possible pathways toward possible militarization, weaponization of Iranian nuclear program," says Iranian Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a former nuclear negotiator. "If the opponents in the region used the Iranian model for all countries in the Middle East, this would be the only way to assure a nuclear weapon-free zone in the Middle East," Mousavian is now an associate research scholar at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He is the author of "The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir" and, most recently, "Iran and the United States: An Insider’s view on the Failed Past and the Road to Peace."
- Protests Erupt as Greece Lawmakers Approve Harsh Austerity Measures
- Tens of Thousands of Migrants Stranded on Greek Island
- Obama: Iran Nuclear Deal Helped Prevent New Middle East War
- Israel Requests 50% Increase in U.S. Military Aid, Up to $4.5B
- U.S. Redoubles Strikes in Afghanistan, Despite War's "Official" End
- Japan: 100,000 Protest Push to Rewrite Pacifist Constitution
- NSA: Israel Assassinated Top Assad Aide Inside Syria in 2008
- Puerto Rico Misses Debt Payment, Gov. Says Island in "Death Spiral"
- Bank of America Profits Top $59M Per Day, Double Same Time Last Year
- Cost of Police Settlements in U.S. Soars to $1.4 Billion Since 2010
- Mexico Sells First Oil Contracts to Private Companies in 80 Years
- Natural Gas Ousts Coal as Top Electricity Producer for First Time
- Report: European Timber Industry Fuels Central African Republic's War
- House Republicans Launch Investigation into Planned Parenthood
- Violating 14th Amendment, Texas Denies Birth Certificates to Children
- SeaWorld Puts Employee Who Infiltrated PETA on Leave
- FIFA Official Extradited to U.S. Amid Senate Hearings into Corruption
- Obama on Cosby: Drugging People to Have Sex is Rape
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has accused the popular animal theme park SeaWorld of infiltrating its organization by sending an employee on an undercover mission posing as an animal rights activist. According to PETA, the SeaWorld employee took part in numerous PETA protests against SeaWorld, including one at the 2014 Rose Parade in Pasadena when he was arrested along with other activists. One photo posted on Twitter showed him inside a police van along with other arrested activists. PETA activists knew the man as Thomas Jones, but his real name was Paul McComb. Unlike the other activists arrested that day, he was released without charge. His name never appeared on an arrest sheet. According to PETA, McComb also repeatedly used social media in an effort to incite other activists, stating that it’s time to "grab pitchforks and torches" and time to "burn [SeaWorld] to the ground." We speak to Matthew Strugar, director of litigation for the PETA Foundation; PETA volunteer Hal Weiss; and Will Potter, investigative reporter and author of "Green is the New Red: An Insider’s Account of a Social Movement Under Siege."
This week President Obama has launched a major push to reform the country’s criminal justice system. On Monday, he granted clemency to 46 men and women facing extreme sentences — in some cases life in prison — for nonviolent drug offenses. Tomorrow he is set to become the first sitting president to visit a federal prison. On Tuesday, Obama described what he called a "broken system" in an address at the NAACP’s annual convention. During his speech, Obama praised the "unlikely bedfellows" campaigning together for criminal justice reform from the left and right, including the Koch Brothers and Van Jones. We speak to Jones, Obama’s former green jobs adviser, and Mark Holden, senior vice president and general counsel for Koch Industries, where he is a close adviser to its leader, Charles Koch. We also speak to Shaka Senghor. He shot and killed a man in 1991. At the age of 19, he went to prison for 19 years, seven of which he spent in solitary confinement. He has used his experience to inspire and motivate others to understand the causes of youth violence.
On Tuesday, former Maryland governor and Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley vowed to go beyond President Obama in using executive power to help the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. O’Malley’s plan would expand deferred action against deportation and sharply reduce the number of people jailed while awaiting deportation. Juan González met with O’Malley on Tuesday and discusses his plan.
- Republicans Vow to Fight Iran Nuclear Deal
- Netanyahu Slams Nuclear Deal as a "Historic Mistake"
- Ahead of Greek Parliamentary Vote on Bailout, IMF Criticizes Deal
- Obama: Criticizes "Broken System" of Criminal Justice
- California: Video of Police Shooting Released After Legal Battle
- Garner Family Renews Call to Charge Police over Chokehold Death
- Mentally Ill Man Accused of "Terror" Plot After Buying Guns from FBI
- ACLU Sues National Security Agency to End Bulk Phone Spying
- 3 Top Officials Depart APA After Damning Report on Torture
- Oskar Groening, "Bookkeeper of Auschwitz," Sentenced to 4 Years
We end today’s show with a new push by the White House to support bipartisan prison reform — this time by reducing punishments for nonviolent crimes. On Thursday, President Obama granted clemency to 46 prisoners, including 14 who faced life without parole. Many of the commutations went to crack offenders, including one African-American man who is 84 years old, and the mother of Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas. President Obama has now commuted 89 sentences, including 22 drug offenders who were granted release earlier this year and eight others in 2014. He is expected to call for more fairness in the criminal justice system when he speaks today at the annual convention of the NAACP. This Thursday he will become the first president to visit a federal prison when he tours the El Reno facility in Oklahoma. We speak to Cynthia Roseberry, director of the Clemency Project 2014, and Reynolds Wintersmith, who once faced life in prison for selling crack but was freed last year after receiving clemency.
We speak with John Nichols, political writer for The Nation, about the presidential candidacy of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Nichols introduced Sanders at a recent event in Madison, Wisconsin, where the senator drew a record crowd of more than 10,000 people. "The key thing here is this 2016 presidential race, at least on the Democratic side, and I would even suggest on the Republican side, is being profoundly influenced by movements that are demanding that income inequality, wage gaps, wage stagnation be addressed," Nichols says. "Something big is happening, and I think that’s why people are turning out in these huge numbers."
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has become the 15th Republican candidate to formally announce he’s running for president. On Monday, Walker launched his campaign by touting his successful efforts to eviscerate public employee unions in his home state and later defeat a recall effort against him. He also extolled his record reducing taxes, cutting the size of the federal government and passing voter restrictions. On the domestic front, Governor Scott Walker promised to repeal Obamacare, build the Keystone XL pipeline, subject welfare recipients to drug tests, and roll back federal regulations. On the international front, he vowed to reject the nuclear deal with Iran, re-establish an "unshakable bond" with Israel, focus more on Islamic terrorism and less on climate change, as well as engage more aggressively with Russia and China. We go to Wisconsin to speak with John Nichols of The Nation. "If there is someone who has attempted to impose an austerity agenda in an American state, in many senses, it is Scott Walker," Nichols says.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is facing protests from members of his own Syriza party after accepting harsh austerity measures in exchange for a new international bailout. In order for the deal to move forward, the Greek Parliament must accept pension cuts and other reforms by Wednesday, 10 days after voters rejected similar reforms in a referendum. On Monday, Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos accused Germany of staging a coup. We speak to Michalis Spourdalakis, professor of political science at Athens University and a founding member of Syriza.
Iran has reached a nuclear deal with the United States and five major world powers, capping more than a decade of negotiations. Under the deal, sanctions imposed on Iran would be lifted in return for Iran agreeing to long-term curbs on its nuclear program. The deal allows Iran to maintain a civilian nuclear program, but aims to prevent Tehran from ever developing nuclear weapons. Earlier this morning in a national address that was also broadcast on Iranian television, President Obama said every pathway for Iran to a nuclear weapon has been cut off. Obama vowed to veto any congressional legislation to block the deal. Under the nuclear deal, sanctions on Iran could be reinstated in 65 days if the deal is violated. A U.N. weapons embargo is to remain in place for five years, and a ban on buying missile technology will remain for eight years. We go now to Vienna, where we are joined by Flynt Leverett, author of "Going to Tehran: Why America Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran" and professor of international affairs at Penn State. He served for over a decade in the U.S. government as a senior analyst at the CIA, a Middle East specialist for the State Department and as senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council.
- Iran, World Powers Reach Historic Nuclear Deal
- Greek Protesters Denounce Bailout Deal as a "Coup"
- New York: Puerto Ricans Protest Meeting over Austerity Proposals
- Yemen: Civilian Death Toll Rises Despite Truce
- Nigeria: President Fires Military Leaders After Boko Haram Attacks
- Syria: Airstrike Kills Two Alleged ISIL Leaders
- Obama Commutes Sentences of 46 Drug Offenders
- Pentagon Moves to Lift Ban on Transgender Soldiers
- Boy Scouts Back Resolution to End Ban on Gay Troop Leaders
- Laura Poitras Sues U.S. Government over Airport Interrogations
- New York City Settles with Garner Family for $5.9 Million
- Report: Police Assaulted, Arrested Woman Who Shot Eric Garner Video
- Mississippi: Black Man Allegedly Strangled to Death by Police
- D'Army Bailey, Nat'l Civil Rights Museum Founder, Dies at 73
We go to Vienna for an update on what could be the final stages of a historic deal between Iran and six world powers that would limit Tehran’s nuclear ability for more than a decade in exchange for sanctions relief. Negotiators are still smoothing over key details, including what limits to set on Iran’s nuclear research, the pace of sanctions relief and whether to lift a United Nations arms embargo on Iran. If a deal is brokered, Congress will have 60 days to review it, keeping U.S. sanctions in place in the meantime. An extra 22 days are set aside for voting, a possible presidential veto and then another vote to see if opponents can muster 67 Senate votes to override the veto. We speak to Flynt Leverett, who is following the talks. He is author of "Going to Tehran: Why America Must Accept the Islamic Republic of Iran" and is a professor of International Affairs at Penn State. He served for over a decade in the U.S. government as a senior analyst at the CIA, Middle East specialist for the State Department, and as senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council.
Psychologists Collaborated with CIA & Pentagon on Post-9/11 Torture Program, May Face Ethics Charges
A new independent review has revealed extensive details on how members of the American Psychological Association, the world’s largest group of psychologists, were complicit in torture, lied and covered up their close collaboration with officials at the Pentagon and CIA to weaken the association’s ethical guidelines and allow psychologists to participate in the government’s "enhanced" interrogation programs after 9/11. The 542-page report was commissioned by the association’s board of directors last year based on an independent review by former Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hoffman and undermines the APA’s repeated denials that some of its 130,000 members were complicit in torture. The Guardian reports the new details could provide grounds to file ethics charges against members of the APA. We speak with Dr. Stephen Soldz, professor at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis and co-founder of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology. Earlier this month, he was invited to address the APA’s board of directors, along with Coalition for an Ethical Psychology co-founder Steven Reisner, on the APA’s response to the anticipated Hoffman report. And we’re joined by Dr. Jean Maria Arrigo, a social psychologist, oral historian, and a member of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology. She participated in the 2005 APA task force that condoned psychologists’ involvement in "enhanced" interrogations, and later blew the whistle. She has since established the APA PENS Debate Collection at University of Colorado at Boulder Archives.
- Greece and Creditors Reach Deal to Impose Harsh Austerity
- Yemen: Saudi-Led Airstrikes Kill 10 Civilians Despite Truce
- Report: Top Psychologists Aided U.S. Torture Program
- Iran Nuclear Talks Near Completion
- Iraq Receives F-16s from U.S., Launches Anbar Assault
- Afghanistan: U.S. Drone Strike Said to Kill ISIL Leader
- Notorious Drug Lord Chapo Guzmán Escapes from Mexican Prison
- Serbian PM Pelted with Stones at Srebrenica 20th Anniversary
- Personnel Director Resigns After Data Breach
- Protesters Target Gov. Cuomo's Hedge Fund Backers in the Hamptons
- London: Environmentalists Lock Down on Heathrow Runway
- Israel Releases Palestinian Hunger Strike Khader Adnan
- Video Appears to Show Top Israeli Soldier Shot Fleeing Palestinian Teen
- Alabama: Black Man Dies After Being Pepper-Sprayed by Police
- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Announces Presidential Run
- Key Voting Rights Trial Opens in North Carolina
- NAACP Ends Boycott of South Carolina After Confederate Flag Removed
- FBI: Failures in Background Check System Let Dylann Roof Buy Gun
- Obama to Become First Sitting President to Visit a Federal Prison
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has submitted a bailout proposal which includes harsh austerity measures, just days after the Greek people overwhelmingly rejected such measures in a historic referendum. The proposal submitted to Greece’s creditors reportedly includes tax increases, pension cuts, a reduction in military spending, and the privatization of public assets. It comes after Tsipras himself had urged the Greek people to reject creditors’ demands for further austerity. In exchange for the reforms, Greece would receive a three-year, $59 billion bailout package. Germany, meanwhile, appears to be yielding to demands to provide at least some measure of debt relief to Greece. European officials have expressed approval for the Greek offer ahead of a key meeting of European finance ministers on Saturday. The Greek Parliament is expected to vote on the bailout proposal today, just five days after an overwhelming 61 percent of Greek voters rejected similar terms. We speak to Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. He is the author of forthcoming book, "Failed: What the Experts Got Wrong About the Global Economy."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced plans to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate police killings of unarmed civilians, making New York the first state to do so. Cuomo’s move came a day after mothers of New Yorkers killed by police rallied outside his New York City office demanding he fulfill his promise to appoint the special prosecutor if state lawmakers did not take action. We speak to Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who died almost exactly one year ago, on July 17, after police pulled him to the ground in a chokehold and piled on top of him while he said "I can’t breathe" at least 11 times. A grand jury declined to indict the officer, Daniel Pantaleo, who put Garner in the chokehold. The prosecutor in the case, Daniel Donovan, was recently elected to Congress.
The Confederate battle flag that has flown on the South Carolina state House grounds for more than 50 years comes down today. Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill Thursday to permanently remove the flag, after the House and Senate overwhelmingly approved it earlier this week. This is final push in a decades-long struggle that began after the Confederate flag was placed on South Carolina’s Capitol dome in 1962 and was later relocated to a 30-foot flagpole at the Civil War monument after a compromise that required a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate to take it down. As Gov. Haley signed the bill in the state House rotunda Thursday, she was joined by relatives of the nine people gunned down June 17 at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston as they attended Bible study, along with three former South Carolina governors and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. The flag is set to be taken down at 10 a.m. this morning and will be moved to the state’s Military Museum in Columbia, where it will be on display in the Confederate Relic Room. For more, we speak to Wanda Williams-Bailey, the interracial granddaughter of the late South Carolina senator, former governor and longtime segregationist, Strom Thurmond, who died at the age of 100 in 2003. Months later, a woman named Essie Mae Washington-Williams came public to reveal she was the daughter of Thurmond and Carrie Butler, who was a 16-year-old African-American housekeeper in Thurmond’s home. Thurmond never publicly acknowledged Washington-Williams as his daughter or Wanda as his granddaughter.