Tuesday, February 17, 2009

  • Penn. Judges Get Kickbacks for Placing Youths in Privately Owned Jails


    An unprecedented case of judicial corruption is unfolding in Pennsylvania. Several hundred families have filed a class-action lawsuit against two former judges who have pleaded guilty to taking bribes in return for placing youths in privately owned jails. Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan are said to have received $2.6 million for ensuring juvenile suspects were jailed in prisons operated by the companies PA Child Care and a sister company, Western PA Child Care. Some of the youths were jailed over the objections of their probation officers. An estimated 5,000 juveniles have been sentenced by Ciavarella since the scheme started in 2002. We speak to two youths sentenced by Ciavarella and to Bob Schwartz of the Juvenile Law Center. [includes rush transcript]

  • 9/11 Widow Beverly Eckert, 1951-2009, Advocate for Peace and 9/11 Victims


    On yesterday’s broadcast, we remembered the life of Alison Des Forges, one of the world’s foremost experts on Rwanda. She was among the fifty people who died in the crash of Continental Flight 3407 near Buffalo, New York on Thursday. Today, we look at the life of another of the victims, a woman who became an advocate for peace and 9/11 victims after losing her husband in the Twin Towers. Beverly Eckert was a co-chair of Voices of Sept. 11 and worked closely with the group September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. Her husband Sean died while at work at a firm on the 98th floor of the World Trade Center’s South Tower. [includes rush transcript]

  • Martin Khor on the Global Economic Meltdown: "We Could Have One Billion More People in the Developing World Plunging into New Poverty Because of this Crisis"


    President Obama is scheduled to sign the $787 billion economic stimulus plan into law at a ceremony in Denver today. Tomorrow in Phoenix, Obama is expected to tackle the home mortgage crisis and roll out a plan to stem the huge rise in foreclosures. While there has been much discussion in the media on the state of the US economy, what about the rest of the world? From Greece to Guadeloupe, from Italy to Indonesia, from Chile to China, from Egypt to India, countries across the globe are feeling the heat of the recession that started over a year ago in the United States. We speak to economist Martin Khor of the Third World Network based in Malaysia. [includes rush transcript]