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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

  • Civilian Casualties Mount During US Offensive in Afghanistan


    In Afghanistan, thousands of US and NATO forces have entered the fourth day of a major offensive in Marjah in southern Helmand province. At least nineteen civilians have been killed so far, including six children who died when a missile struck their house on the outskirts of the city. Meanwhile, the Italian NGO Emergency says that dozens of seriously injured civilians are being prevented from reaching hospitals in the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, due to military blockades. We speak to Wall Street Journal reporter Anand Gopal in Afghanistan. [includes rush transcript]

  • "Haiti–The Politics of Rebuilding": A Video Report from Avi Lewis of Al Jazeera


    Much of Port-au-Prince remains under mountains of rubble, and Haitian officials say it would take years to clear out the rubble and begin the process of rebuilding the destroyed city. As pledges of billions of dollars of international aid and investment are made, debates over the vision of a new Haiti are already underway. Journalist Avi Lewis was recently in Haiti exploring the politics of rebuilding the shattered country. He spoke to a number of people, including Haitian presidential adviser Patrick Elie and economist Camille Chalmers. His report aired on the program Fault Lines on Al Jazeera English last week. [includes rush transcript]

  • Thomas Geoghegan on the Case for Busting the Filibuster


    Senate Republicans are currently using the filibuster to paralyze the Senate and derail Democratic initiatives, according a McClatchy Newspapers investigation. Since President Obama took office, Republican senators have used the filibuster to stall legislation on healthcare reform, global warming, and financial regulation and the confirmation of fifteen Obama nominees. Last week, Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Tom Harkin introduced a bill aimed at curtailing the filibuster. Their proposal would gradually reduce the number of votes required to overcome a filibuster, so a simple majority of fifty-one votes could eventually end debate. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dismissed their efforts, noting that changing the rule would require sixty-seven votes. We speak with attorney and writer Thomas Geoghegan, a vocal advocate of ending the filibuster. [includes rush transcript]