Monday, August 15, 2011

  • Bachmann’s Iowa Straw Poll Win Signals Early Tea Party Role in Shaping GOP Primary

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    The race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination heated up this weekend as Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll and Texas Gov. Rick Perry formally announced his candidacy. Bachmann led the Iowa contest with more than 4,800 votes out of almost 17,000 votes cast, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul placed a close second. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty placed a distant third, and on Sunday he announced he was leaving the presidential race. We speak with Sarah Posner, senior editor of Religion Dispatches, who spent the weekend covering the poll in Iowa for The Nation magazine. "Bachmann is, much more than the rest of them, going to use the language, the sort of rhetoric and ideology that she learned at Oral Roberts [University] to meld the fiscal conservatism, small government message with her religious message," Posner says. [includes rush transcript]

  • Syria Attacks Protesters with Tanks, Naval Bombardment: "The Regime Has Made War Against the People"

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    Syria has intensified its crackdown on opposition protesters despite growing international pressure. This morning, Syrian tanks and gunboats reportedly shelled the main Mediterranean port city of Latakia, killing one person and bringing the total dead to at least 28 since government forces moved into the city on Saturday. The violence follows massive demonstrations on Friday in which tens of thousands of people turned out to protest the Assad regime. On Saturday, a large crowd of mourners gathered in Douma, a suburb of the capital Damascus, for the funerals of four protesters who activists say were killed by security forces. We speak with Haitham Maleh, a leading human rights attorney in Syria who was released from prison earlier this year. We are also joined by his son Iyas Maleh, a Syrian human rights activist. [includes rush transcript]

  • Investigation Finds U.S. Drones Strike Pakistan Every Four Days, Killing 775 Civilians Since 2004

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    A new report from a team of British and Pakistani journalists finds one U.S. drone strike occurs every four days in Pakistan. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan have killed as many as 775 civilians, including 168 children, since 2004. The report also challenges a recent claim by President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, that no civilians have been killed in the drone attacks for nearly a year. According to the Bureau’s researchers, at least 45 civilians were killed in 10 U.S. attacks during the last year. We speak with Chris Woods, an award-winning reporter who leads the drones investigation team for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London. [includes rush transcript]