Wednesday, March 16, 2011

  • Amy Goodman Reports from South Africa on Aristide’s Planned Return Trip to Haiti After Seven Years in Exile


    Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has decided to return to Haiti this week ahead of Sunday’s presidential runoff election. Aristide has lived in exile in South Africa since 2004, when he was ousted in a U.S.-backed coup. Despite U.S. pressure on the governments of Haiti and South Africa not to allow him to return, Aristide and his family are planning to leave on Thursday. Amy Goodman is in South Africa to cover Aristide’s return trip to Haiti. She joins us from Johannesburg along with K.K. Kean, an award-winning filmmaker. [includes rush transcript]

  • “No Happy Ending”: Nuclear Experts Say Japan’s Disaster is Intensifying


    Japan’s nuclear crisis is intensifying. A second reactor unit at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station may have ruptured and appears to be releasing radioactive steam. The plant has been hit by several explosions after a devastating earthquake and tsunami last Friday damaged its cooling functions. It has sent low levels of radiation wafting into Tokyo more than 130 miles away. The company operating the reactors withdrew at least 750 workers on Tuesday, leaving a crew of 50 struggling to lower the temperatures. We go to Japan to speak with Philip White of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center in Tokyo and with Peter Ford of the Christian Science Monitor in Sendai. We also speak with Peter Bradford, a former commissioner at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. “The best-case scenario at this point is not a good one, not a good one for the public, not a good one for the nuclear industry,” Bradford says. “There is not going to be a happy ending to this story.” [includes rush transcript]

  • South Africans Question the Push to “Go Down the Nuclear Road” to Meet Rising Energy Demand


    As the nuclear crisis unfolds in Japan, Democracy Now! reports from South Africa on the government’s plan to triple the country’s nuclear fleet in order to meet rising energy demand. South Africa has the only nuclear reactor on the continent — the Koeberg nuclear power station near Cape Town — but there are plans to build six more reactors. We speak with South African nuclear expert David Fig, who says, “We need to really assess as a country whether we want to go down the nuclear road for further energy purposes.” We also speak to Makoma Lekalakala of Earthlife Africa, who says that the country’s significant potential for solar and wind energy should be developed. [includes rush transcript]

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    Juan González on How Puerto Rico’s Economic "Death Spiral" is Tied to Legacy of Colonialism
    Could Puerto Rico become America’s Greece? That’s a question many are asking as the island faces a devastating financial crisis and a rapidly crumbling healthcare system. Puerto Rico owes $72 billion in debt. $355 million in debt payments are due December 1, but it increasingly looks like the U.S. territory may default on at least some of the debt. Congress has so far failed to act on an Obama administration proposal that includes extending bankruptcy protection to Puerto Rico and allocating more equitable Medicaid and Medicare...


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