Wednesday, October 12, 2011

  • U.S.-Iran Tensions Grow as Indictment Accuses Iranian Agents of Assassination Plot

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    In a 21-page indictment filed in New York federal court, two Iranian agents are charged with conspiring to kill Saudi Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir in the United States. U.S. Department of Justice officials say the suspects tried to hire a member of a Mexican drug cartel to carry out the assassination with a bomb attack while al-Jubeir dined at his favorite restaurant in Washington, D.C. The hit man was actually an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. We speak with Toby Jones, author of "Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia." "We know that the United States has pursued an uneven policy in the Middle East with respect to the Arab Spring, where it has championed the cause of democracy, or at least the overthrow of autocracy in places like Libya," Jones says. "It has been much less clear or certain in its position when it comes to Bahrain or Saudi Arabia. And in many ways, Iran is a central part of American uncertainty in the Persian Gulf. The United States agrees with Saudi Arabia that it doesn’t want to see Iranian power expanded there. So, revealing the indictment or sort of having the indictment go forward, unsealing the case at this particular moment provides the Americans with a great deal of political cover in continuing to pursue a political line and a policy vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in the Gulf that continues to put Iran at the center of the story." [includes rush transcript]

  • John Carlos, 1968 Olympic U.S. Medalist, on the Revolutionary Sports Moment that Changed the World

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    Almost half a century after his famous raised-fist salute at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City, John Carlos has authored a new memoir with sportswriter Dave Zirin, "The John Carlos Story: The Sports Moment that Changed the World." Olympic medal winners in the 200 meter race, John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists in the Black Power salute during the national anthem at the Olympic prize ceremony as a protest against racism in the United States. Seen around the world, the Black Power salute on the Olympic medal stand sparked controversy and an eventual career fallout. "I wasn’t there for the race. I was there to actually make a statement," Carlos says. "I was ashamed of America for America’s deeds, what they were doing in history, as well as what they were doing at that particular time." [includes rush transcript]