Thursday, June 16, 2011

  • Political Crisis in Greece Amidst Revolt Against Massive Budget Cuts and Tax Hikes

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    Greece was rocked Wednesday by massive street protests and a strike of millions of workers against the government’s austerity plans. In response, embattled Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announced he will reshuffle his cabinet to try to achieve consensus on how to address the country’s crippling debt crisis. The new austerity package for Greece includes $9.4 billion in tax hikes, doubling past measures agreed to with bailout lenders that have pushed unemployment to a record 16.2 percent and extended a deep recession into its third year. We speak with Hara Kouki, a doctoral student based in Athens who has been writing about the protests, and with Costas Panayotakis, associate professor of sociology at the New York City College of Technology at CUNY. [includes rush transcript]

  • Is U.S. Attack on Libya Legal? Rep. Dennis Kucinich Debates Former Reagan Attorney Robert Turner

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    On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of 10 members of Congress sued President Obama for violating the War Powers Act of 1973 by failing to obtain congressional approval for military operations in Libya longer than 60 days. We host a debate between Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, one of the Congress members suing President Obama, and Robert Turner, who worked as an attorney in the Reagan White House and is a longtime critic of the War Powers Act. "President Obama’s position is absolutely clear: we are not engaged in war in Libya, and thus, if the War Powers Resolution were constitutional, it still would not apply," Turner says. "I ask you, if another country sent 2,000 planes over the United States, and some of those missions dropped bombs on us, would that be an act of war against the United States?" says Kucinich. "That’s exactly what we’ve done in Libya." [includes rush transcript]

  • Aiming to Preserve Autocratic Mideast Rule, Saudi Arabia Helps Crush Uprisings in Bahrain, Yemen

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    While the United States remains heavily involved in the Libya conflict, it has been noticeably silent on the violent suppression of popular uprisings against autocratic regimes in Bahrain and Yemen, both of which are close allies of Saudi Arabia. In March, Bahrain called in Saudi troops to help crush massive pro-democracy protests. We discuss the role of Saudi Arabia in recent regional uprisings with Toby Jones, assistant professor of history at Rutgers University and a former Persian Gulf analyst with the International Crisis Group. [includes rush transcript]