Friday, August 10, 2012

  • Romney’s Death Squad Ties: Bain Launched with Millions from Oligarchs Behind Salvadoran Atrocities

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    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is facing new scrutiny over revelations he founded the private equity firm Bain Capital with investments from Central American elites linked to death squads in El Salvador. After initially struggling to find investors, Romney traveled to Miami in 1983 to win pledges of $9 million, 40 percent of Bain’s start-up money. Some investors had extensive ties to the death squads responsible for the vast majority of the tens of thousands of deaths in El Salvador during the 1980s. We’re joined by Huffington Post reporter Ryan Grim, who connects the dots in his latest story, "Mitt Romney Started Bain Capital with Money from Families Tied to Death Squads." "There’s no possible way that anybody in 1984 could check out these families — which is the term that [Romney’s campaign] use, these families — and come away convinced that this money was clean," Grim says. [includes rush transcript]

  • Report from Turkey-Syria Border: Syrian Refugees Claim "Horrific Carnage" in Besieged Aleppo

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    Several neighborhoods have reportedly been reduced to rubble as the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad wages a massive ground assault to retake control of Aleppo. According to activists, more than 20,000 people, mostly unarmed civilians, have died in the last 17 months of fighting, and tens of thousands have fled the country. On Thursday, almost 2,000 people reached neighboring Turkey as refugee flows continue to rise. About a quarter of a million Syrians have left the country for neighboring states over the course of the conflict. We go to the Turkey-Syria border to speak with Reese Erlich, a freelance foreign correspondent who has reported from Syria on several occasions. "Apparently, the pattern is, if a neighborhood was the scene of Free Syrian Army takeover or even previous demonstrations there, the civilian neighborhood is bombarded from the air or by artillery. And it’s forced a lot of people to leave. The one U.N. estimate was 250,000 just over the last week or so, mostly internally displaced," Erlich says. [includes rush transcript]

  • From Saudis to Soccer, Women Make Strides at Summer Olympics, But Are They Pawns of Backward IOC?

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    One of the many records broken during the 2012 Olympic Summer Games was the number of female athletes participating from the conservative Islamic nations of Qatar, Brunei and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia only allowed the women to compete after the International Olympic Committee, or IOC, threatened to bar the whole team unless women were included. The controversy over the Saudi athletes is just one of the many ways in which women athletes and gender issues have come into focus during this year’s Olympics. We’re joined by two guests: Helen Jefferson Lenskyj, University of Toronto professor emeritus and author of "Olympic Industry Resistance: Challenging Olympic Power and Propaganda" and the forthcoming book, "Gender Politics and the Olympic Industry," and Minky Worden, director of Global Initiatives at Human Rights Watch and author of "The Unfinished Revolution: Voices from the Global Fight for Women’s Rights." Worden campaigned for Saudi Women to be able to participate in the Olympics. [includes rush transcript]