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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

  • As U.S. Deploys Patriot Missiles and F-16s to Jordan, Could Syrian Conflict Engulf the Middle East?

    Syria-segment

    Pro-government Syrian forces have seized control of the key border town of Qusayr, which had been controlled by rebel fighters for the past year. This comes as the United Nations accuses both sides of the Syrian conflict of reaching "new levels of brutality." Since fighting broke out over two years ago in Syria, more than 80,000 people have been killed, and another 1.6 million Syrian refugees have fled. We’re joined by longtime foreign correspondent Patrick Cockburn of The Independent, who recently returned from Syria where he reported on how the conflict is spreading across the Middle East. Cockburn warns that pending global peace talks will have no effect without a ceasefire on the ground. "The best you could really hope for at this stage is a ceasefire, get the level of violence down, and then later you might have talks of sharing power," Cockburn says. "But you are not going to have that at the moment."

  • Debate: Supreme Court OKs Unfettered DNA Collection — An Invasion of Privacy or a Blow to Crime?

    Dna-testing

    In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the police can collect DNA samples from people they arrest even before they are convicted of a crime. Supporters of the swabbing method call it "the fingerprinting of the 21st century" that will help nab criminals and break open unsolved cases. But privacy advocates say the ruling is vague because it does not define what constitutes a "serious crime," and could create an incentive for police to make more arrests. The Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 ruling will likely fuel an expansion of DNA swabbing nationwide. We host a debate between Michael Risher of the American Civil Liberties Union and Mai Fernandez of the National Center for Victims of Crime.

  • Jim Crow After Roe? How States Are Regulating Abortion Out of Existence & Widening Health Inequality

    Abortion-4

    The new book, "Crow After Roe: How 'Separate But Equal' Has Become the New Standard in Women’s Health and How We Can Change That," tackles the new landscape of restrictions on reproductive healthcare in the United States. On Tuesday, a House panel voted to advance a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy nationwide. Similar bans are already in place in states across the country, part of an unprecedented tide of state abortion restrictions enacted in the past few years with the goal of challenging Roe v. Wade at the Supreme Court and making abortion inaccessible and unaffordable on the ground. The laws have created a new reality in women’s healthcare: a two-tiered system where poor women, women of color and women in rural areas cannot access basic healthcare services. We’re joined by co-authors Robin Marty and Jessica Mason Pieklo, both writers for the reproductive news website RH Reality Check.