Thursday, June 4, 2009

  • In Cairo Speech, Obama Calls for "New Beginning" Between US and Muslims Worldwide


    President Obama delivered a highly anticipated speech in Cairo, Egypt, today, aimed at Muslims across the world. Among several points, Obama defended his decision to escalate the occupation of Afghanistan and refused to apologize for the invasion of Iraq that has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. On the Israel-Palestine conflict, Obama refused to call for a full Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories but likened the Palestinian struggle to the US civil rights movement and said Israeli settlement building should stop. And he acknowledged the US role in the 1953 overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected government. [includes rush transcript]

  • Professor Juan Cole and Cairo-Based Analyst Issandr El Amrani on Obama’s Historic Address


    We get analysis of Obama’s speech from Cairo-based independent analyst Issandr El Amrani and Professor Juan Cole, author of Engaging the Muslim World. [includes rush transcript]

  • Enduring Jailings and Attacks, Dissident Ayman Nour’s Ordeal Exemplifies US-Ignored Egyptian Repression of Political Opposition


    President Obama came to Cairo amidst a massive security crackdown and heaping praise on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, whom he called "a stalwart ally" and a "force for stability and good in the region." We hear from former presidential candidate Ayman Nour, one of Egypt’s best-known dissidents and the chairman of the Al-Ghad Party. Nour was sentenced to five years in prison in December 2005 and recently injured in an attack he says is linked to elements of Mubarak’s ruling party. Democracy Now! producer Anjali Kamat spoke to Nour in Cairo earlier this year. [includes rush transcript]

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    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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