Thursday, March 26, 2009

  • Usury Country: Payday Loans Pushing Millions of Middle Class Americans Deeper into Debt


    Lawmakers and public officials in California, Ohio, South Carolina, Missouri, Washington and other states are attempting to crack down on the controversial practice known as payday lending. Payday loans are short-term loans or cash advances secured by a post-dated check. The annual interest rate for these loans can be as high as 400 percent, ten times the highest credit card rates. Today, it’s a $40 billion industry with more than 22,000 stores. We speak with journalist Daniel Brook about his Harper’s Magazine article, “Usury Country," and with Ginna Green of the Center for Responsible Lending. [includes rush transcript]

  • Afghans Urge Obama to Send Aid, Not Troops, to Afghanistan


    President Obama is expected to unveil a revised Afghanistan strategy Friday that will focus on expanding and improving the Afghan national police force. The revised policy is also expected to send more US troops to counter the Taliban’s expanding influence in the southern part of the country. We speak with Pratap Chatterjee of CorpWatch, who recently traveled to Afghanistan. [includes rush transcript]

  • Report: Despite Obama’s Vow, Combat Brigades Will Stay in Iraq


    Nearly four weeks ago, President Obama declared that US combat operations would end in Iraq by August 2010. Despite Obama’s pledge, new evidence has emerged that the US plans to keep combat brigades in Iraq, but they will operate under a different name. Investigative reporter Gareth Porter of Inter Press Service reveals some of the brigade combat teams currently in Iraq will stay beyond August 2010 and will be renamed so-called “advisory and assistance brigades.” [includes rush transcript]

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Full News Hour


    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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