Tuesday, July 23, 2013

  • Detroit Goes Bankrupt: Will Unelected Manager Pit City’s Needs Against Rights of Pensioners?

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    Facing an estimated $18 billion in debt, Detroit has become the largest U.S. municipality to file for bankruptcy. It is a grim milestone in the decline of what was once the country’s fourth largest city. Known as the Motor City and the birthplace of the middle class, Detroit’s auto industry and manufacturing sector have collapsed. A steady decline in population has decimated its tax base, leaving the city with massive cuts to basic services and one of the nation’s highest rates of violent crime. The Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing has set off what could be a prolonged legal battle with thousands of current and former city employees entitled to pensions and medical benefits. Detroit’s unelected Emergency Manager has said that cutting pensions will be vital to restoring basic services that have shrunk with the decline of city revenues over the years. We’re joined by Mark Binelli, author of "Detroit City Is the Place to Be: The Afterlife of an American Metropolis."

  • First Leaked Pakistani Report on U.S. Drone War Undermines Claims of Low Civilian Toll

    Chriswoodspakidronedeaths

    A leaked Pakistani government report has bolstered claims that civilian casualties from U.S. drone strikes are far higher than the Obama administration has been willing to admit. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has released figures from the Pakistani government’s own research into casualties from drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The Pakistani report investigates 75 CIA drone strikes and five operations by NATO between 2006 and 2009. It finds that the attacks left at least 746 people dead, including at least 147 civilians, 94 of them children — a conservative count given the omission of key data. The high number of civilian casualties directly contradicts statements made by senior Obama administration officials and top lawmakers. We go London to speak with Chris Woods, a reporter with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s drones investigation team, which won the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism last month.

  • Media Frenzy over British Monarchy’s New Heir Sparks Hopes for World Where "All Babies Matter"

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    Amidst a global media frenzy, Prince William and Kate Middleton welcomed a baby boy into the world Monday in London, England. The lead up to the royal birth generated a carnival of nonstop media coverage for several weeks. Photographers from across the globe braved a record heat wave to camp outside St. Mary’s Hospital awaiting news. International TV crews from around the world broadcasted frequent, frenzied speculations on everything from the baby’s gender to how the expectant mother could expedite her labor. We’re joined by British journalist Laurie Penny, a critic of the royal baby hoopla whose latest article, "The Babies We Don’t Care About Today," was published in the New Statesman. "We can estimate that at least 700 babies were born into poverty on the day that the 'Royal Baby' was born," Penny says. "And at the moment, the British government is taking measures to make life harder for those children, particularly the children of single parents and teenage, single mothers. I want to live in a country where all babies matter and where all families matter."

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