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Friday, June 19, 2009

  • As Part of Crackdown on Journalists, Iranian Security Forces Detain and Beat Canadian Journalist

    Mcleodfs-web

    In his first public remarks after days of demonstrations, Ayatollah Khamenei denied any possibility that last week’s vote had been rigged and defended President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad as the rightful winner of the election. At the same time, the Iranian government continues to arrest journalists, prominent reformists and associates of the opposition candidates, including twenty-six-year-old Mohammadreza Jalaeipour, the top strategist for presidential challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi. We speak to Toronto Globe and Mail reporter George McLeod. On Sunday, he was arrested, briefly detained, and beaten by Iranian security forces. [includes rush transcript]

  • As Criticism of Obama Mounts within Gay Community, Gay Rights Pioneer Cleve Jones Calls for March for Equality on Washington

    Jones-web

    On Wednesday, President Barack Obama signed a memorandum to extend some, but not all, benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. Comprehensive healthcare, for example, is not included. President Obama’s promise to work to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, Wednesday came one week after his administration filed a controversial legal brief supporting DOMA, an action which greatly disappointed activists fighting for marriage equality. We speak with Cleve Jones, one of the giants of the gay rights and AIDS awareness movements. He is the founder of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and the co-founder of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. In the 1970s, Cleve Jones was a friend of the gay rights leader Harvey Milk. [includes rush transcript]

  • Former Army Secretary Clifford Alexander Calls on President Obama & Congress to Repeal Military’s "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" Policy

    Dontask-web2

    As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama vowed to work to overturn the "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy on gays and lesbians in the military. But since taking office, Obama has made no specific move to do so. Last week, the Supreme Court decided not to hear a challenge to "don’t ask, don’t tell." In a brief, the Obama administration had said the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is "rationally related to the government’s legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion.” We speak to former Army Secretary Clifford Alexander and Nathaniel Frank, author of Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America. [includes rush transcript]