Thursday, February 21, 2013

  • Sharif Abdel Kouddous: 2 Years into Uprising, Bahrain Feels Like a "Nation Under Occupation"

    Bahrain

    Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous joins us to discuss his recent trip to Bahrain, where the Sunni monarchy continues its crackdown on a two-year-old uprising. Since February 2011, at least 87 people have died at the hands of U.S.-backed forces. While talks are taking place this week between the Bahraini government and opposition groups, several of Bahrain’s leading human rights defenders remain imprisoned. "Bahrain had the feeling of a country under occupation," Kouddous says of his visit. "There was helmeted riot police in full armor wielding shotguns, tear gas, sound grenades, deployed around villages outside of the capital. There was helicopters buzzing overhead conducting surveillance. ... Many people lament there, from the opposition movement, that they have been forsaken by the international community and forgotten by the world’s media for this uprising that doesn’t get a lot of attention." [includes rush transcript]

  • An Interrogation Center at Yale? Proposed Pentagon Special Ops Training Facility Sparks Protests

    Yale_school_of_medicine

    Students and alumni at Yale University are organizing against a proposed campus center to train special operations forces in interview techniques. The center would be funded by a $1.8 million grant from the Pentagon and could open as early as April. Dubbed an "interrogation center" by critics, the facility would be housed at the Yale School of Medicine and led by Charles Morgan, a professor of psychiatry who previously conducted research on how to tell whether Arab and Muslim men are lying. We speak to two students at Yale who co-authored an editorial titled "DoD Plans are Shortsighted, Unethical," and with Michael Siegel, professor of community health sciences at Boston University School of Public Health and a 1990 graduate of the Yale School of Medicine. "Yale has now crossed a line," Siegel says. "Using the practice of medicine and medical research to help design advanced interrogation techniques, or even just regular civilian intelligence-gathering techniques, interviewing techniques, is not an appropriate use of medicine. The practice of medicine was designed to improve people’s health. And the school of medicine should not be taking part in either training or research that is primarily designed to enhance military objectives." [includes rush transcript]

  • Sequestration: What Do the Automatic Spending Cuts Mean for the Poor, Unemployed and Children?

    Imara_jones

    The word of the month in Washington is "sequestration," or the automatic $85 billion in spending cuts slated to take effect on March 1 unless Congress reaches a deal. What will those cuts mean in real life for the poor, unemployed, sick and children? Reporter Imara Jones of ColorLines.com joins us to discuss how the damage will stretch far beyond jobs, forcing a dramatic pullback in critical areas like health, education, housing and food security, especially in already vulnerable and marginalized communities. [includes rush transcript]

  • Bowman v. Monsanto: Indiana Farmer’s Supreme Court Challenge to Corporate Control of Food Supply

    Soybean

    A David-versus-Goliath case heard by the Supreme Court this week pits a 75-year-old farmer from Indiana against Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company. The dispute began when soybean farmer Vernon Bowman bought and planted a mix of unmarked grain typically used for animal feed. The plants that grew turned out to contain the popular herbicide-resistant genetic trait known as Roundup Ready that Monsanto guards closely with patents. Monsanto accused Bowman of using their technology without paying for it. Their contracts with farmers give them the exclusive rights to supply the Roundup Ready soybeans. They sued Bowman for patent infringement. We discuss the case with Debbie Barker, program director of Save Our Seeds and international director of the Center for Food Safety. [includes rush transcript]

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