Thursday, May 31, 2012

  • 3 Years After George Tiller’s Murder, Reproductive Rights Face New Legislative Attacks, Hate Crimes

    Button-tiller

    Three years ago today, abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was shot dead while attending church in Wichita, Kansas. Reproductive healthcare providers remain the target of violence amid a wave of new legislation curtailing access to safe abortions. Last week, two clinics in Georgia and a women’s organization in New Orleans were set ablaze. Today, the House of Representatives votes on the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act to ban abortions based on the sex of a fetus. Bills are also in the works to ban abortions 20 weeks after fertilization in Louisiana and Washington, D.C. We speak with Vicki Saporta of the National Abortion Federation and abortion provider Dr. Willie Parker. "It’s in [Dr. Tiller’s] spirit that I seek to maintain that level of commitment to women in their care," Parker says. Addressing the latest wave of attacks against reproductive healthcare, Saporta comments: "There’s an unprecedented number of bills being enacted in the states to limit women’s access to abortion care. And it’s part of an overall agenda that’s very well articulated by those who oppose abortion: if they can’t make abortion illegal again in this country, they intend to make it inaccessible for women." [includes rush transcript]

  • Out of Jail, Bahraini Activists Nabeel Rajab and Zainab Alkhawaja Urge End to U.S.-Backed Crackdown

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    We go to Bahrain to speak with two recently released political prisoners, Zainab Alkhawaja and Nabeel Rajab, both jailed for protesting the U.S.-backed monarchy. Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was released on bail after being held for nearly a month. "We always thought the American base here, the American-Bahraini good relation will benefit our fight for freedom and democracy in our region, but it turned out to be ... absolutely opposite," he says. "They are supporting the dictators here, the repressive regime. ... We are victims for being a rich region." Alkhawaja, who was jailed in April after protesting the detention of her father, Abdulhadi, vows: "We are going to carry on protesting. ... It doesn’t matter if we get arrested five, six, 10 times. It’s not going to stop, because in the end, we have sacrificed a lot for democracy and for freedom." [includes rush transcript]

  • Who Will Benefit from Haiti’s Gold Rush? Haitian Government Embraces U.S., Canadian Mining Firms

    Button-haiti

    After years of rumors that mining companies were exploring in Haiti, Canadian and U.S. corporations now confirm they have permits to mine gold in more than 1,000 square miles in northern Haiti. Haiti’s new prime minister says the estimated $20 billion worth of minerals in Haiti’s hills could help liberate it from dependency on foreign aid and rebuild from the devastating 2010 earthquake. But many worry the mines will be a boom for foreign investors and a bust for local communities. We speak to Jane Regan, lead author of "Gold Rush in Haiti: Who Will Get Rich?" The report by Haiti Grassroots Watch was published Wednesday in The Guardian and Haïti Liberté. "You’ve got a perfect storm brewing whereby you’re looking at giant pit mines in the north, in a country that’s already environmentally devastated, and giant pit mines being run by Canadian and American companies," Regan says. "Most of the money that’s made and most of the gold that’s dug up will go straight north." [includes rush transcript]