Thursday, September 1, 2011

  • Amnesty International Decries Assad Regime’s "Brutal" Crackdown on Syrian Protesters

    Splash_image20110901-22578-bd4zf8-0

    The top legal official in the embattled Syrian city of Hama has defected to the opposition in protest of what he called crimes against humanity committed by security forces. Many of the incidents he has referred to are documented in a report released Wednesday by Amnesty International on the killing and torture of anti-government activists in Syria since the uprising began there in mid-March. Researchers documented that at least 88 people have died in Syrian prisons since March. In at least 52 of these cases there is evidence that torture or other ill-treatment caused or contributed to the deaths. We speak with Neil Sammonds, the Syria researcher for Amnesty International and one of the authors of the new report, "Deadly Detention: Deaths in Custody Amid Popular Protest in Syria." [includes rush transcript]

  • As Economy Lags, New Study Reveals 25 Top Firms Pay More to CEOs than in Taxes

    Splash_image20110901-27879-1g9futm-0

    A new study reveals that 25 of the nation’s largest corporations paid more money to their CEOs last year than they did to the federal government in income taxes. Often using overseas tax havens, many of the corporations managed to make billions in profits but paid little to nothing in federal taxes. In many cases the companies received large tax rebates. The list includes some of the country’s best-known companies, such as Ford, Coca-Cola, Verizon, General Electric and eBay. The same study found that the ratio of CEO pay to that of the average worker in the United States jumped to 325-to-1 last year. We speak to the study’s co-author, Chuck Collins, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and director of its Program on Inequality and the Common Good. "What these companies do is they use a variety of tax loopholes, corporate loopholes, to game down their taxes. So, these are what I would call the sort of champion in the tax gymnastics department," says Collins. [includes rush transcript]

  • Alleging Captive Labor, Foreign Students Walk Out of Work-Study Program at Hershey Plant

    Splash_image20110901-6814-1u7vhej-0

    We look at the story of 300 foreign students who came to the United States as part of a work-study program and found themselves engaged in what they refer to as captive labor at a Hershey’s packing plant in Palmyra, Pennsylvania. The students — from Eastern Europe and Asia — went on strike two weeks ago, after they were reportedly required to lift heavy boxes, work eight-hour shifts beginning at 11 p.m., and stand for long periods of time while packing candy on a fast-moving production line. Federal agencies have launched four investigations into the alleged exploitation. The walkout apparently marks the first time that foreign students have engaged in a strike to protest their employment. The guest workers are demanding a return of the $3,000 to $6,000 each student paid for the cultural exchange program to work at Hershey, that Hershey end exploitation of J-1 student cultural exchange workers, and that the 400 jobs the guest workers filled instead be given to local workers paid a living wage. We speak to two of the student guest workers who took part in the strike at the Hershey plant: Decebal Bilan, an economics student from Romania, and Zhao Huijiao, a foreign languages student from China. We are also joined by Saket Soni, director of the National Guestworker Alliance. "Today the J-1 program has essentially become the United States’s largest guest worker program," says Saket. He notes that while students are recruited ostensibly for cultural exchanges, "they do learn about American culture, just the wrong part of American culture." [includes rush transcript]

Recent Shows More

Full News Hour

Stories

    Fgf-kids-protest
    Earth Day Special: "Fierce Green Fire" Documentary Explores Environmental Movement’s Global Rise
    In an Earth Day special, we look at the history of the global environmental movement as told in the sweeping new documentary, "A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet." We air extended highlights from the film — from New York housewives who take on a major chemical company that polluted their community of Love Canal to Greenpeace’s campaigns to save whales, to the fight by Chico Mendes and Brazilian rubber tappers to save the Amazon rainforest. We also speak to the film’s Oscar-nominated director, Mark...