Thursday, November 3, 2011

  • EXCLUSIVE: Video Report from Gaza-Bound Flotilla Attempting to Break Israeli Blockade

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    A Canadian boat and Irish boat quietly left a Turkish port Wednesday, bound for Gaza. Democracy Now! first broke the news on our live broadcast yesterday. This flotilla, named Freedom Waves to Gaza, marks the latest attempt by international activists to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. The ships are hoping to reach Gaza by Friday, but Israel has threatened to stop the ships. "I anticipate that the Israeli army, probably, the navy, is probably considering boarding us at some point on our way to Gaza and the siege," said passenger Kit Kittredge of the group Code Pink. "I’m not feeling fearful. I’m feeling actually pretty peaceful. And that’s what we are: we are a peaceful boat and a peaceful flotilla going to end the siege." Democracy Now! correspondent Jihan Hafiz filed this video report from the Tahrir boat from international waters and joined us live on the telephone from the ship in international waters. [includes rush transcript]

  • Wall Street vs. Greece: G20 Opens as Greek PM Pushes for Referendum on Bailout and Austerity Measures

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    World leaders are gathering in Cannes for the opening of the Group of 20 summit today. On the top of the agenda is the Greece bailout and the European debt crisis. On Monday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou angered many European leaders by announcing his support for a popular referendum—allowing the Greek people to decide if they want to accept the conditions of the $179 billion European Union bailout. After days of increasing criticism from European leaders, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is now facing calls from within his party to resign. The Greek debt scandal has also pitted U.S. banking interests against France, Germany and other European powers. "The Americans are putting immense pressure on Europe, saying, 'We will wreck your economy, if you don't wreck Greece’s economy,’" says economic analyst Michael Hudson. President Obama is "basically telling Europe, ’Don’t go the democratic route. Support Wall Street.’" [includes rush transcript]

  • Jon Corzine’s MF Global Firm Collapses in Biggest Wall Street Failure Since Lehman Brothers

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    In a major banking scandal, the commodities and derivatives brokerage house MF Global filed one of the largest bankruptcies in American corporate history, with almost $40 billion in liabilities. It was the largest failure on Wall Street since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. The chairman and chief executive officer of MF Global is Jon Corzine, a former New Jersey governor and U.S. senator. Corzine is also the former CEO of Goldman Sachs. The firm is the biggest U.S. casualty so far of the European debt crisis. "We just continue to have one financial crisis after another. It’s because of the incentive system on Wall Street, that badly needs to change and has not changed one iota, as we just saw with this bankruptcy of MF Global," says William Cohan, author of "Money and Power: How Goldman Sachs Came to Rule the World." "There’s nothing in the Dodd-Frank law, nothing in the regulations that are being written, that is going to change the incentives." [includes rush transcript]

  • Video Report from Streets of Oakland: First General Strike in City Since 1946 Shuts Down Major Port

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    We turn now to Oakland, California, where thousands of protesters shut down the nation’s fifth-largest port on Wednesday as part of a general strike called by the Occupy Oakland movement. It was the first general strike called in the city since 1946. Much of the city was unaffected by the strike; however, many business shut down, and nearly 20 percent of the city’s teachers did not report to work. While the strike was largely peaceful, tension escalated overnight. Police arrested at least three dozen people and repeatedly fired tear gas and other projectiles to break up late night protests. "It is an honor to be with you today, as we demonstrate to the government of the city of Oakland that we do not assent to police violence, that we stand in defense of Scott Olsen and the memory of Oscar Grant. We do assent to community, to education, to free education, to healthcare, to free healthcare, to housing, to happiness, to justice, to creativity, to hope for the future," said longtime activist and academic Angela Davis. Democracy Now! correspondent John Hamilton filed this report from Oakland. [includes rush transcript]

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