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Monday, June 6, 2011

  • Yemenis Celebrate as President Saleh Flees to Saudi Arabia, Transfers Power to Vice President

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    Thousands of people in Yemen are rejoicing at the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The embattled leader is reportedly in Saudi Arabia for medical treatment after being injured in a rocket attack on his presidential compound. Saleh temporarily ceded power to his vice president on Saturday night. His nephew remains in command of the Central Security paramilitary forces, and his son, Ahmad Ali Abdullah Saleh, still heads the elite Republican Guard. To discuss the implications of Saleh’s departure, we’re joined from Sana’a by Abdul-Ghani al-Iryani, a political analyst and co-founder of the Democratic Awakening Movement. [includes rush transcript]

  • Former Black Panther Leader, Geronimo Ji-Jaga Pratt, Wrongfully Imprisoned for 27 Years, Dies in Tanzania

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    We look at the life of former Black Panther, Geronimo ji-Jaga Pratt, who died in Tanzania on Thursday. In 1972, Pratt was wrongfully convicted of the murder of Caroline Olsen for which he spent 27 years in prison, eight of those in solitary confinement. He was released in 1997 after a judge vacated his conviction. The trial to win his freedom revealed that the Los Angeles Black Panther leader was a target of the FBI’s counterintelligence program, or COINTELPRO. We play an excerpt of a Democracy Now! interview with Pratt and one of his attorneys, Johnnie Cochran, Jr., in 2000. We also speak with his friend and former attorney, Stuart Hanlon, and with Ed Boyer, the Los Angeles Times reporter who helped expose his innocence. "The FBI followed Geronimo every second, almost, of his life, and they knew he was in Oakland at the time of the homicide," says Hanlon. "When we started litigating this, rather than turning it over, for the first time anyone could remember FBI wiretaps disappeared. And of course they knew where he was. It didn’t matter what the truth was, because he was the bad guy, and the truth had to take second place, even in the courtroom." Pratt ultimately won a $4.5 million civil rights settlement against the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department. [includes rush transcript]

  • Dr. Gabor Maté: Obama Admin Should Heed Global Panel’s Call to End "Failed" U.S.-Led Drug War

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    A high-level international panel has concluded the so-called "war on drugs" has failed and that governments should consider legalizing substances, including marijuana. The Global Commission on Drug Policy is comprised of 19 members, including several former heads of state. The Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House has refuted the findings of the commission’s report. We speak to Dr. Gabor Maté, a Canadian physician and bestselling author of four books, including In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction. "On any level you care to name, the war on drugs is a failure," Dr. Maté says. [includes rush transcript]

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