Wednesday, April 2, 2008

  • After Adverse Publicity, Wal-Mart Drops $400,000 Healthcare Claim Against Former Employee Disabled in Traffic Accident


    After tremendous adverse publicity, retail giant Wal-Mart has announced it is dropping its effort to collect over $400,000 in healthcare reimbursement from Debbie Shank, a former employee. Debbie lost much of her memory and ability to communicate or walk in a car crash in May 2000. Her family successfully sued the trucking company involved, and after attorneys’ fees and expenses, the $417,000 from the settlement was put in a trust for Debbie’s care. That’s when Wal-Mart stepped in and sued the Shanks to recover the medical costs. Wal-Mart won the case in court. The story generated a public outcry after it was recently featured on several national news networks and newspaper editorials. We speak with Debbie’s husband, Jim Shank. [includes rush transcript]

  • Tensions Grow as Zimbabweans Await Official Presidential Election Results


    Tensions are rising in Zimbabwe as official presidential election results have still not been announced. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai claims he won the poll against President Robert Mugabe but said he would not claim victory until the official count by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was known. We speak with Gerald LeMelle of Africa Action and journalist and political activist, Grace Kwinjeh. [includes rush transcript]

  • Oil Execs Asked to Justify Huge Profits at Congressional Hearing


    The executives of the five biggest oil companies — Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP, ConocoPhilips and Chevron — were called to testify at a congressional hearing on Tuesday. Lawmakers took them to task for making enormous profits but investing next to nothing in renewable sources of energy. They were also called to justify why they got $18 billion in tax breaks last year when their profits had hit $123 billion and oil prices had reached runaway highs. We speak with Steve Kretzmann of Oil Change International. [includes rush transcript]

  • Record Number of Food Stamp Recipients Projected


    Government officials are projecting the number of Americans receiving food stamps will reach a record twenty-eight million later this year. Over the past year, more than forty states saw the number of food stamp recipients rise. A ten percent jump in food stamp recipients was recorded in six states: Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Nevada, North Dakota and Rhode Island. In West Virginia, one-in-six residents now receive food stamps. We speak with Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center. [includes rush transcript]

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    Juan González on How Puerto Rico’s Economic "Death Spiral" is Tied to Legacy of Colonialism
    Could Puerto Rico become America’s Greece? That’s a question many are asking as the island faces a devastating financial crisis and a rapidly crumbling healthcare system. Puerto Rico owes $72 billion in debt. $355 million in debt payments are due December 1, but it increasingly looks like the U.S. territory may default on at least some of the debt. Congress has so far failed to act on an Obama administration proposal that includes extending bankruptcy protection to Puerto Rico and allocating more equitable Medicaid and Medicare...


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