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Monday, August 9, 2010

  • Fatima Bhutto: Pakistan’s Devastating Floods Are President Zardari’s Katrina

    Pakistan-flood

    Pakistan’s government is facing rising national anger as the devastating floods along the Indus River show little sign of abating. Some 1,600 people have died, and upwards of six million people are directly affected, according to the latest estimates from the United Nations, which has compared the scale of the crisis to the 2005 earthquake. As landslides and continuing rain complicated relief efforts, entire villages have been washed away and many towns submerged. Several areas of the country have been cut off, including the Swat Valley in the northwest and parts of Pakistan’s breadbasket of Punjab and Sindh some 600 miles downstream the Indus River. With 1.5 million acres of croplands ravaged, the prices of basic foods have also skyrocketed. [includes rush transcript]

  • Rwanda Holds Presidential Election Amid Crackdown on Opposition Candidates

    Kagame-rwanda

    In the central African nation of Rwanda, voting is underway in the second presidential election since the genocide of 1994. Incumbent president Paul Kagame is widely expected to win, but the election comes amid a wave of attacks on political opponents. Human rights groups have accused the Kagame government of cracking down on any dissent before the vote, while the government-appointed media council has clamped down on independent newspapers publishing critical views. [includes rush transcript]

  • Nagasaki 65 Years Later: A Look Back at the Censored Dispatches of Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist George Weller

    Nagasaki

    Today, we remember the US bombing of Nagasaki through the story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist George Weller, the first reporter to enter Nagasaki, defying General MacArthur’s ban on the press in southern Japan. Weller worked for the Chicago Daily News and hired a rowboat to get himself to Nagasaki. He wrote a 25,000-word report on the horrors that he encountered. When he submitted his story to the military censors, MacArthur personally ordered that the story be killed, and the manuscript was never returned. Weller later summarized his experience with the government censors, saying, "They won." [includes rush transcript]

  • Historian Tony Judt, 62, Dies After Battle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease

    Tony-judt

    Widely regarded as one of the most important historians of contemporary Europe, Tony Judt died on Friday, two years after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Judt is perhaps most controversial for his critique of Israel. A staunch leftist Zionist as a teenager, Tony Judt spent many summers on a kibbutz in Israel. But in 2003 he famously called Israel an anachronism and outlined the argument for a one-state solution with Palestinians and Israelis living in secular, binational state. We play excerpts of his remarks at a 2006 debate on the power of the Israeli Lobby. [includes rush transcript]