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Thursday, October 20, 2011

  • Muammar Gaddafi Killed in Libya as Interim Government Seizes Last Regime Stronghold

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    As we went to broadcast, the ousted Libyan leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi was reported dead outside his hometown of Sirte, eight months after the first protests erupted against his longtime rule. Gaddafi was reportedly shot dead after his convoy was bombed in a NATO air strike. The news came as the interim Libyan government said it had captured Sirte, Gaddafi’s hometown and the last major pocket of resistance held by fighters loyal to his rule. We speak to Democracy Now! correspondent Anjali Kamat, who has been following the developments in Libya closely. [includes rush transcript]

  • Former Guantánamo Prisoner Speaks Out on Lawsuit Seeking Bush’s Arrest in Canada for Torture

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    Police in British Columbia have taken extra security measures ahead of today’s visit by former President George W. Bush, who is set to speak at an economic summit. The security is to handle hundreds of protesters, but Amnesty International has also called on the Canadian government to arrest Bush and either prosecute or extradite him for the torture of prisoners in the so-called "war on terror." Meanwhile, four men who say they were tortured in U.S. prisons under the Bush administration will lodge a private prosecution today against the former president in a Canadian provincial court. The Center for Constitutional Rights and the Canadian Center for International Justice have already submitted a 69-page draft indictment to Canada’s attorney general, along with more than 4,000 pages of supporting material, that set forth the case against Bush for torture. We are joined by one of the alleged torture victims, Murat Kurnaz, a former Guantánamo prisoner. He is a Turkish national who was born in Germany. He was detained in Pakistan at the age of 19 in 2001. "I believe George Bush is a criminal, and he has to pay for this, what he did. And even in my own case, even though I was got proven that I’m innocent and never had done anything wrong, so they kept me for like five years. After that I got proof that I’m innocent, they kept me five more years, and they never stopped the torture." We also speak with Katherine Gallagher, a senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights who is assisting the plaintiffs in the case. [includes rush transcript]

  • Harsh Immigration Laws Threaten "Humanitarian Crisis" in Alabama, Prompting Latinos to Fight Back

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    The state of Alabama became the latest hotspot in the national immigration debate when it enacted a new law, HB 56, that requires police to arrest anyone they suspect of being in the country without legal status. It also prevents courts from enforcing contracts involving undocumented immigrants and allows public schools to determine the immigration status of enrolled students. Last week, a federal appeals court blocked enforcement of parts of the law, but not before thousands of Latinos fled the state. A number of businesses in Alabama were forced to close their doors after Latinos across the state staged walk-outs in protest. We speak to Isabel Rubio, executive director of the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, a lead plaintiff in one of the lawsuits challenging the Alabama law. "We are in a state of humanitarian crisis here," Rubio said. "I can’t even begin to explain to you the level of fear and chaos that HB 56 has created in the community... We really think at the core this is aimed at the Latino community, not the entire immigrant community." [includes rush transcript]

  • "Lost in Detention": As Obama Admin Deports Record 400,000, Film Explores What Immigrants Face Behind Bars

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    The Obama administration has released new figures showing U.S. deportations of immigrants reached a record high. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it deported nearly 400,000 people in fiscal year 2011, the highest total in the agency’s eight years. The data was released the same day a coalition of Latino and immigrant rights groups held a National Day of Action to protest Obama’s immigration policies. The protesters called for an immediate end to the "Secure Communities" program, which requires local police to forward fingerprints of every person they arrest to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. More than one million immigrants have been deported during Obama’s tenure, even as efforts to reform immigration policy have languished. A new PBS Frontline documentary, "Lost in Detention," investigates the immigration program under Obama. We are joined by the award-winning broadcast journalist who led the investigation, Maria Hinojosa. [includes rush transcript]

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