The oil giant Shell is on its way to the Arctic, but not before a final showdown with environmental activists in kayaks. On Tuesday, dozens of "kayaktivists" were arrested after paddling up to a Shell drilling rig and preventing it from leaving the Port of Seattle. Several dozen supporters lined up behind them. The activists set off at 4 a.m. after learning of Shell’s plans to leave later that morning. Following a brief standoff, Shell’s Polar Pioneer was able to depart after the Coast Guard pulled the activists from the water. Monday’s action marked the latest in a series of protests since Shell arrived in Seattle last month. Shell is stationing its vessels in the Puget Sound while it drills for oil in pristine and highly remote waters in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska. Environmentalists warn Arctic drilling will threaten wildlife and worsen climate change. The Obama administration has tentatively approved Shell’s plans to begin oil extraction off the Alaskan coast this summer. We are joined by John Hocevar, oceans campaign director of Greenpeace. He was one of the activists, or "kayaktivists," detained by the Coast Guard during Monday’s action against Shell oil drilling in the Arctic.
The U.S. Navy is set to begin a major war exercise in the Gulf of Alaska amid protests from local communities concerned about environmental damage. The Navy is reportedly unleashing thousands of sailors, soldiers, airmen, marines and Coast Guard members along with several Navy destroyers, hundreds of aircrafts, untold weaponry and a submarine for the naval exercises. The Gulf of Alaska is one of the most pristine places left on Earth; the region includes critical habitat for all five wild Alaskan salmon species and 377 other species of marine life. The Navy’s planned live bombing runs will entail the detonation of tens of thousands of pounds of toxic munitions, as well as the use of active sonar in fisheries. The Navy has conducted war games in the Gulf of Alaska, on and off, for the last 30 years, but these new exercises are the largest by far. They come at a time when scientists are increasingly worried about climate change causing Arctic melting. Meanwhile, the unprecedented melting has created an opportunity for the military to expand its operations into previously inaccessible terrain. We are joined by Dahr Jamail, staff reporter at Truthout, whose latest piece is "Destroying What Remains: How the US Navy Plans to War Game the Arctic."
Al-Qaeda in Yemen has announced its leader, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, has been killed in a U.S. bombing, likely a CIA drone strike. Al-Wuhayshi is a former associate of Osama bin Laden who became head of AQAP in 2009. Meanwhile, a delegation of Houthi rebels has arrived in Geneva for the second day of U.N.-backed peace talks. It has been nearly three months since Saudi Arabia launched its offensive against the Houthis in Yemen. On Monday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for a two-week humanitarian ceasefire to coincide with the start of the holy month of Ramadan. The United Nations recently said 20 million people, 78 percent of the population, need urgent humanitarian aid in Yemen. We are joined by Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, reporting from the capital Sana’a, and by Joe Lauria, U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.
- Yemen: U.S. Drone Strike Kills Al-Qaeda's Second-in-Command
- Houthis Arrive for Geneva Talks on Yemen Conflict
- Bahrain Sentences Shiite Opposition Leader to 4 Years
- Chad: Suicide Attacks Kill 27 in Capital
- "Kayaktivists" Block Departure of Arctic-Bound Shell Oil Rig
- Nicaragua: Thousands Protest Construction of Massive Canal
- Mexican Supreme Court Has Quietly Legalized Same-Sex Marriage
- Dominican-Born Haitian Descendants Face Possible Mass Deportation
- Jeb Bush Campaign Kickoff Interrupted by Immigrant Rights Activists
- Arizona: 200 Immigrants Stage Hunger Strike in Private Detention Center
- Supreme Court Rejects Bid to Revive North Carolina Anti-Choice Law
- Colorado Court Rules Workers Can Be Fired for Using Legal, Medical Marijuana
- Judge Orders U.S. Army to Let Sikh Student Join ROTC
- Former AIG Chief Wins "Stunning" Case over Taxpayer Bailout
- Rachel Dolezal Resigns as Head of Spokane NAACP, Appears on Today Show
The Magna Carta turns 800 years old today. Known as the "Great Charter," it is widely considered the foundation of parliamentary democracy, human rights and the supremacy of the law over the crown. As dignitaries including the queen of England and Prime Minister David Cameron commemorate the sealing of the historic text, we go to Lincoln Castle in England, where the finest originals of the Magna Carta and the charters of English liberty are kept in a lockstone vault, and speak with people’s historian Peter Linebaugh, author of "The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberty and Subsistence for All." He is attending the event to draw connections between the Magna Carta and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The Israeli government has released a report that concludes its military actions in the 2014 war in Gaza were "lawful" and "legitimate." The findings come ahead of what is expected to be a critical United Nations investigation into the 50-day conflict that Israel has dismissed as biased and refused to cooperate with. More than 2,200 Palestinians died in what was called "Operation Protective Edge," the vast majority civilians. On Israel’s side, 73 people were killed, all but six of them soldiers. In its report, Israel says it made "substantial efforts" to avoid civilian deaths, insisting Hamas was to blame for the high number of civilian casualties and accusing Hamas militants of disguising themselves as civilians and of converting civilian buildings into military centers. We are joined by Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and the former executive director of The Jerusalem Fund. We also go to Tel Aviv to speak with Gideon Levy, Haaretz columnist, whose latest piece is "Israel washed itself clean of Gaza’s dead beach children."
Former secretary of state, senator and first lady Hillary Clinton kicked off her White House bid to become the first woman U.S. president by highlighting her support for income equality, regulating Wall Street and vowing to fight for a fairer economy. On Sunday, she broke her silence on the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, saying President Obama "should listen to and work with his allies in Congress, starting with Nancy Pelosi, who have expressed their concerns about the impact that a weak agreement would have on our workers to make make sure we get the best, strongest deal possible. And if we don’t get it, there should be no deal." Clinton’s comments come as the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday rejected the first in a series of trade bills despite President Obama making a personal plea for his own party’s support ahead of the vote. We speak with Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch and author of "The Rise and Fall of Fast Track Trade Authority"; and Jeffrey Sachs, a leading economist, director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University and author of "The Age of Sustainable Development."
- Libya: U.S. Airstrikes Target Al-Qaeda Leader
- Yemen Talks Begin in Geneva Without Houthi Rebels
- Report: Pentagon to Put Heavy Weaponry in Eastern Europe
- House Democrats Derail Obama's Push for TPP "Fast Track"
- Clinton Urges Obama to Listen to Critics of TPP
- Ahead of U.N. Probe, Israel Declares Assault on Gaza "Lawful"
- Palestinian Killed by Israeli Army Jeep in West Bank; Israel OKs Force-Feeding Bill
- Sudan President Leaves South Africa, Evading Arrest for Genocide
- Hong Kong: Pro-Democracy Protesters Demand Free Elections
- Japan: Thousands Protest Abe's Push to Expand Military Role
- Appeals Court Blocks Release of Albert Woodfox After 43 Years in Solitary
- 6 Guantánamo Prisoners Transferred to Oman
- AAUP Censures University of Illinois for Ouster of Steven Salaita
- Leftist Women Mayors Take Control of Spain's 2 Largest Cities
- Los Angeles Becomes Largest City to Enact $15-an-Hour Minimum Wage
- Texas: Dallas Police Kill Man Who Attacked Headquarters
- Spokane NAACP Leader Rachel Dolezal: "I Do Consider Myself to Be Black"
The Wanted 18: Israel Blocks Palestinian Filmmaker from Making NYC Film Premiere About Intifada Cows
The annual Human Rights Watch International Film Festival is underway here in New York City, but one of its featured directors won’t be able to attend his film’s U.S. premiere this weekend. That’s because Israel recently deemed Palestinian filmmaker Amer Shomali a "security threat" and prevented him from traveling to Jerusalem to obtain a U.S. visa. Then he went to Amman, Jordan, where the U.S. approved a visa but said their visa machine was broken. Shomali had previously attended half a dozen European festivals without incident, and his film has drawn international acclaim. Interestingly, the film, "The Wanted 18," shows how Israel has historically tried to undermine any form of Palestinian nonviolent resistance by branding such resistance as dangerous and threatening, and recreates an astonishing true story from the First Palestinian Intifada when the Israeli army pursued 18 cows, whose independent milk production on a Palestinian collective farm was declared "a threat to the national security of the state of Israel." We speak to Amer Shomali in Ramallah.
As two fugitives who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, remain at large, human rights and prison reform activist Five Mualimm-ak discusses the need for reform at the massive prison. "This is a facility that is historically known for its abuse, has no accountability," Mualimm-ak says. "This place needs to be changed."
The Department of Justice estimates that about 80,000 prisoners are in solitary confinement. Some have been held in isolation for decades. Former Black Panther Albert Woodfox has been in solitary for over 40 years. While Woodfox could be released as early as today, we look at a new investigation by The Marshall Project and NPR that reveals prisons are sending thousands of people directly from solitary confinement back into their communities with almost no help or preparation. Many wind up homeless or back in prison. We speak to Christie Thompson of The Marshall Project and Five Mualimm-ak, founder of Incarcerated Nation Collective, a collective of previously incarcerated people. He spent 11 years in New York’s prison system, including five years in solitary.
A judge in Ohio has found probable cause to charge a police officer with murder for the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, who was shot dead at a playground while holding a toy gun. On Thursday, Judge Ronald Adrine of the Cleveland Municipal Court said there are grounds to prosecute the officers. The ruling came after community leaders in Cleveland took the unusual legal step on Tuesday of appealing directly to the judge to commence prosecution of the officer, saying they were tired of waiting over six months without any progress on the case. We speak to Rice family attorney Walter Madison and Rhonda Williams, the director of the Social Justice Institute at Case Western Reserve University. She’s one of the eight community activists who signed the affidavits in Tamir Rice’s case.
- Dempsey: U.S. May Build More Bases in Iraq
- Yemen: Saudi-Led Strikes Hit UNESCO Site Old Sana'a, Killing 6
- Ohio: Judge Backs Murder Charge for Cop Who Killed 12-Year-Old Tamir Rice
- California: Video Shows Salinas Police Beating Man on the Ground
- Iowa: Cop Kills Unarmed Man for "Walking with Purpose"
- Albert Woodfox Awaits Decision on Release After 43 Years in Solitary
- Greece at Risk of Default After IMF Recalls Negotiators
- Former IMF Head Dominique Strauss-Kahn Acquitted of "Aggravated Pimping"
- Report: U.N. Peacekeepers Trade Goods for Sex in Haiti, Liberia
- Union Says Hackers Took Data on Every Federal Worker
- Net Neutrality Rules for Open Internet Take Effect
- Oregon Passes Landmark Law Expanding Birth Control Access
- Rupert Murdoch to Hand Media Empire to Son
- Puerto Rican Leaders Protest Deep U.S. Cuts to Medicare Program
- Yes Men Protest Shell Oil Drilling by Distributing Snow Cones from "Last Icebergs of North Pole"
- Legendary Jazz Musician Ornette Coleman Dies at 85
- Ellen Ray, Co-Publisher of Covert Action Information Bulletin, Dies at 75
This week has seen a new round of restrictions on reproductive rights in the United States. In Texas, a federal appeals court Tuesday upheld anti-choice provisions which threaten to leave Texas with just 10 or fewer abortion clinics. The ruling upholds restrictions forcing abortion facilities to meet the standards of hospital-style surgery centers and forcing providers to obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. If the decision goes into effect in about 20 days, attorneys for the clinics have estimated about 900,000 reproductive-age women will live more than 150 miles from the nearest open abortion facility in the state. The clinics plan to take their appeal to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill into law forcing women to wait at least 24 hours to have an abortion. And the Wisconsin state Senate has approved a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Like similar bans in other states and a federal ban passed by the U.S. House last month, the bill is based on the medically debunked claim fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks. We are joined by Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas.
A year ago this month, fighters from the self-proclaimed Islamic State declared they had established a caliphate in the territories they controlled in Iraq and Syria. Since then, the Islamic State has continued to grow, building affiliates from Afghanistan to West Africa while recruiting new members from across the globe. In response, President Obama has sent thousands of U.S. troops back to Iraq. The deployment of another 450 troops was announced on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the rise of the Islamic State has reshaped the jihadist movement in the region, essentially bringing al-Qaeda to the brink of collapse. According to a new investigation by The Guardian, the Islamic State has successfully launched "a coup" against al-Qaeda to destroy it from within. The Islamic State began as al-Qaeda’s branch in the heart of the Middle East but was excommunicated in 2014 after disobeying commands from al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri. While the Islamic State has since flourished, The Guardian reports al-Zawahiri is now largely cut off from his commanders and keeping the group afloat through little more than appeals to loyalty. We are joined by Guardian reporter Shiv Malik.
As the Obama administration praises the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), backlash continues to grow against the deal. WikiLeaks has just published another section of the secret text — this one about public healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry. Newly revealed details of the draft show the TPP would give major pharmaceutical companies more power over public access to medicine and weaken public healthcare programs. The leaked draft also suggests the TPP would prevent Congress from passing reforms to lower drug costs. One of the practices that would be allowed is known as "evergreening." It lets drug companies extend the life of a patent by slightly modifying their product and then getting a new patent. We speak to Peter Maybarduk of Public Citizen and John Sifton of Human Rights Watch about their concerns.
- U.S. to Deploy 450 Soldiers, Speed Weapons Shipments to Iraq
- Hezbollah Vows to Rid Lebanon Border of ISIL amid Deadly Fighting
- Vatican Announces New Tribunal on Child Abuse
- FIFA Suspends World Cup Bidding amid Corruption Probe
- Controversy over Artificial Turf at Women's World Cup in Canada
- U.N. Envoy to Warring Factions: "Libya Has No More Time"
- Texas Officer Says Emotional Duress Influenced Pool Party Conduct
- Georgia Drops Murder Charges Against Woman Who Took Abortion Pill
- Florida Enacts 24-Hour Wait Time for Abortions
- New York Expands Manhunt for Escaped Pair to Vermont
- Rikers Corrections Officers Indicted for 2012 Beating Death of Prisoner
- Retrial Underway for Marine in Slaying of Iraqi Civilian
- Juan Felipe Herrera Named 1st Latino Poet Laureate of U.S.
Louisiana has delayed the release of former Black Panther Albert Woodfox, the longest-serving U.S. prisoner in solitary confinement, after appealing a judge’s order for his freedom. Earlier this year, a Louisiana grand jury re-indicted Woodfox for the 1972 murder of a prison guard, a crime for which he and his late, fellow Angola 3 member Herman Wallace maintained they were framed for their political activism. Wallace died on October 1, 2013, just three days after he was released from prison. On Monday, Federal Judge James Brady not only called for Woodfox’s release, but also barred a retrial. Woodfox’s two previous convictions in the case were both overturned. But on Tuesday, Louisiana filed an appeal to the Fifth Circuit, and that court issued a stay on Judge Brady’s order until 1 p.m. this Friday. Woodfox’s lawyers have until 5 p.m. today to file a response. We are joined by Woodfox’s attorney, George Kendall, as well as the Angola 3’s Robert King, who spent 29 years in solitary confinement.
The Obama administration is considering a plan to increase the U.S. presence in Iraq by sending 400 to 500 more military personnel as well as establishing a new military base in Anbar province. The United States already has about 3,000 troops, including trainers and advisers, in Iraq. The administration is describing the military personnel as advisers who will help train Iraqi forces in an attempt to retake the city of Ramadi, which fell to the self-described Islamic State last month. Plans to retake Mosul may be pushed off until next year. It was a year ago this week when Islamic State fighters seized Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. Today the city remains in ISIL’s hands. Advisers close to the White House say it could take decades to defeat ISIL. We discuss the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria with two guests: Malcolm Nance, a retired Arabic-speaking counterterrorism intelligence officer and combat veteran who first worked in Iraq in 1987; and Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent, just back from reporting in Iraq and Syria. Cockburn’s latest book is "The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution."
- U.S. Weighs Sending Hundreds of New Troops to Iraq
- Appeals Court Upholds Harsh Texas Anti-Choice Provisions
- Texas Police Officer Resigns over Pool Party Incident
- Los Angeles Police Oversight Board Reaches Mixed Decision in Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Ezell Ford
- Community Leaders Invoke Special Law to Seek Charges in Tamir Rice Case
- Louisiana Appeal Delays Release of Angola 3 Prisoner Albert Woodfox
- Arkansas Ordered to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages from 2014
- Guam Becomes 1st U.S. Territory with Marriage Equality
- Pentagon Bars Anti-LGBT Discrimination
- Hastert Pleads Not Guilty to Concealing Alleged Sexual Abuse Payments
- Mississippi Drops Charges Against Graduation Cheerers