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Monday, June 17, 2013

  • Iran Elects Moderate President Hassan Rouhani — Will U.S. Respond by Easing Crippling Sanctions?

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    In what is being hailed as a victory for reform and moderation inside Iran, the cleric Hassan Rouhani has won the Iranian presidential election. A former nuclear negotiator, Rouhani has called for greater engagement with Western countries, while urging respect for Iran’s right to nuclear energy. Reza Marashi of the National Iranian American Council says Rouhani’s win marks a victory for Iran’s "Green Movement" and one that puts the onus for diplomacy on the U.S. after years of crippling economic sanctions. "It firmly puts the ball back in Washington’s court," Marashi says. "You say you want a moderate voice? Here you have a former nuclear negotiator that, by all accounts, is tough but fair, somebody that the West can do business with. Now we’re going to see."

  • As World Awaits U.S. Reaction to NSA Leaks, Movement Emerges to Support Edward Snowden in Hong Kong

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    As Edward Snowden is believed to remain in Hong Kong while facing an ongoing U.S. investigation, hundreds of protesters there braved heavy rain Saturday in a show of support. We’re joined by Charles Mok, a legislative councilor representing the Information Technology Functional Constituency of Hong Kong, and Tom Grundy, an activist and blogger who organized Saturday’s rally in defense of Edward Snowden. "We want to make sure that we can protect and live up to our core values to treat [Snowden] according to all the rights that he should be getting under Hong Kong law," Mok says. Grundy says he helped organize Saturday’s rally for Snowden mindful of another U.S. whistleblower: "We don’t want Snowden to end up like Bradley Manning."

  • Long Before Helping Expose NSA Spying, Journalist Laura Poitras Faced Harassment from U.S. Agents

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    Journalist Laura Poitras is being described as the connection between the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and the reporters for The Guardian and The Washington Post who published his leaked documents about government surveillance. Poitras shared a byline on two of the key articles about the ongoing NSA revelations, and filmed the Guardian interview in Hong Kong in which Snowden went public with his identity. But well before she took on Snowden’s case, Poitras has come face to face with issues of privacy and state surveillance over her work as a documentary filmmaker. In an excerpt of an April 2012 interview on Democracy Now!, Poitras discusses her repeated detention and interrogation by federal agents whenever she enters the United States. The interrogations began after Poitras began working on her documentary, "My Country, My Country," about post-invasion Iraq, and continued with most recent film, "The Oath," about ex-Guantánamo prisoners returning to Yemen. She estimates she has been detained approximately 40 times and has had her laptop, cellphone and personal belongings repeatedly searched.

  • Turkish Unions Hold National Strike as Protesters Face Worst Crackdown to Date

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    More than 800,000 people are believed to be taking part in a national strike by Turkish unions in protest of the government’s crackdown on nearly three weeks of protests. The strike follows a weekend that saw the protests’ worst violence to date. On Sunday, around 400 people were arrested as police used tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets in the streets of Istanbul, Ankara and other cities. Medics treating wounded demonstrators were among those detained. We’re joined from Turkey by Çigdem Öztürk, an independent journalist covering the protests for Express magazine.

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