Friday, March 18, 2011

  • "Underestimating the Seriousness of the Problem": Experts Urge Japan to Raise Nuclear Alert Level and Evacuate Wider Area

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    The Japanese nuclear crisis worsens as Japanese authorities race to cool the overheating reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station. Earlier today, Japan raised the nuclear alert level at the crippled plant from a four to a five, on par with Three Mile Island. This decision has shocked many nuclear experts. “Our experts think that it’s a level 6.5 already, and it’s on the way to a seven, which was Chernobyl," says Philip White of the Citizens’ Nuclear Information Center in Tokyo. We also speak with Dr. Ira Helfand of Physicians for Social Responsibility about the long-term health effects from radiation exposure from Fukushima. [includes rush transcript]

  • "Why Are We Playing Russian Roulette With the American People?": Longtime Nuclear Critic Ralph Nader Advocates Phasing Out Nuclear Power Industry

    Former presidential candidate and longtime consumer advocate and nuclear critic Ralph Nader strongly advocates phasing out nuclear power in the United States by calling for public hearings on the status of every single nuclear power plant. "What we’re seeing here is 110 or so operating nuclear plants in the United States, many of them aging, many of them infected with corrosion, faulty pipes, leaky pumps and combustible materials... Why are we playing Russian roulette with the American people for nuclear plants whose principal objective is simply to boil water and produce steam? ... This is institutional insanity, and I urge the people in this country to wake up before they experience what is now going on in northern Japan." [includes rush transcript]

  • Gaddafi Declares Ceasefire After U.N. Security Council Backs No-Fly Zone in Libya

    International forces are threatening to launch air strikes inside Libya following Thursday’s vote by the U.N. Security Council to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya, and to undertake "all necessary measures" to protect civilians against leader Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s forces. Earlier today, Libya’s Foreign Minister announced an immediate end of military operations. We get analysis from UCLA Law Professor Asli Bali, who has written and commented extensively on the question of international intervention in Libya. [includes rush transcript]

  • Defying U.S., Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide Returns Home

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    In defiance of the Obama administration, former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is headed back to Haiti today for the first time since being ousted in a 2004 U.S.-backed coup. Hours ago, Aristide, his family, and a delegation of supporters boarded a plane in South Africa bound for Port-au-Prince. Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman is with the Aristides to document their journey home. She filed this report. [includes rush transcript]

  • EXCLUSIVE: Aboard Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s Airplane as Ex-Haitian President Returns from 7 Years in Exile

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    In his first public statements on his way home, former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide speaks to Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman, who is aboard the plane covering the historic return. "I think that the Haitian people are very happy," Aristide says, "happy to know that we are on our way heading to Haiti, happy to know that finally their dream will be fulfilled by seeing us on the ground, because they fought hard for democracy. They always wanted the return to happen, and now it’s happening." [includes rush transcript]

  • Daniel Ellsberg on Bradley Manning’s Solitary Confinement: "The Conditions Clearly Violate the Constitution"

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    Earlier this week, U.S. State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley resigned after describing the confinement of accused WikiLeaks whistleblower, Army Private Bradley Manning, as "ridiculous" and "stupid." Manning is being held in "maximum security confinement" at the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia. We speak to Daniel Ellsberg, perhaps this country’s most famous whistleblower and one of Manning’s most public supporters. "[Manning] is being held essentially in isolation, solitary confinement, for something over nine months, something that is likely to drive a person mad and may be the intent of what’s going on here," Ellsberg says. [includes rush transcript]

  • Daniel Ellsberg Joins Peace Activists Risking Arrest at Protest Marking Iraq War Anniversary, Nader Calls for Impeachment of Obama

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    Ralph Nader and Daniel Ellsberg plan to participate in a major protest on Saturday in Washington, D.C., to mark the eight-year anniversary of the U.S-led invasion of Iraq. Ellsberg will risk arrest by participating in nonviolent civil disobedience actions by Veterans for Peace, among others, to protest the ongoing military occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. "Innocents are being slaughtered," Nader says. "Why don’t we say what’s on the minds of many legal experts? That the Obama administration is committing war crimes. And if Bush should have been impeached, Obama should be impeached." [includes rush transcript]

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