Bill de Blasio began his term as New York City mayor on Wednesday with a bold pledge to tackle income inequality in the nation’s largest city. De Blasio was sworn in following last year’s historic victories in the Democratic primary and general election on a progressive platform. In his inaugural address, de Blasio focused on his campaign pledge to tackle what he called "a tale of two cities," a growing gap between rich and poor. "New Yorkers [will] see our city not as the exclusive domain of the One Percent, but a place where everyday people can afford to live, work, and raise a family," de Blasio said. "We won’t wait. We’ll do it now."
- South Sudan Peace Talks Begin Amidst Continued Violence
- U.N.: Both Sides of South Sudan Conflict Committing "Terrible Violence"
- Hotel Bombing Kills 11 in Somalia
- Militants Control Provincial Capitals in Growing Iraq Violence
- Al Jazeera Seeks Release of 3 Detained Journalists in Egypt
- Israel to Announce New Settlements After Kerry Visit
- Explosion Kills Palestinian Ambassador to Czech Republic
- Millions Receive Coverage as Obamacare Plans Take Effect
- De Blasio Takes Aim at NYC's Inequality in Inaugural Address
- Civil Rights Attorney Lynne Stewart Free After Compassionate Release
- Colorado Retailers Begin Legal Marijuana Sales
- Judge Strikes Down Welfare Drug Tests in Florida
- Federal Judge Upholds Unfettered Electronics Searches at U.S. Border
- Catholic Groups Win Obamacare Exemption on Contraception Coverage
- NYT Editors Back Clemency for Edward Snowden
Today we look back at 2013. It was a historic year. Edward Snowden exposed how the National Security Agency had built a worldwide surveillance apparatus, while Chelsea Manning was sentenced to 35 years in jail for leaking U.S. secret documents to WikiLeaks. Pope Francis urged the world to address economic inequality, warning about the tyranny of unfettered capitalism. Tens of thousands were killed in Syria, with many more displaced. The Philippines was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act, while overturning the Defense of Marriage Act that barred federal recognition of same-sex marriages. George Zimmerman was acquitted in the killing of Trayvon Martin. The U.S. government was shut down for 16 days, while Congress failed to pass comprehensive immigration reform or any true gun-control measures. The U.S. war in Afghanistan entered its 13th year, while more than 8,000 civilians were killed in Iraq — in the deadliest year there since 2008. Meanwhile, Obama’s secret drone wars continued in Pakistan and Yemen. We spend the hour today looking back at the stories that shaped 2013.
On the last day of 2013, we look back on some of the many signs of hope that emerged on issues ranging from economic equality to LGBT rights to climate justice. With all the bad news that came this year, there were many encouraging displays of a shifting public consciousness and a willingness by ordinary people to mobilize for change. We are joined by Sarah van Gelder, co-founder and editor-in-chief of YES! Magazine, whose latest article is "10 Hopeful Things That Happened in 2013 to Get You Inspired for What’s to Come."
At the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany, independent journalist and security expert Jacob Appelbaum revealed the existence of a futuristic-sounding device described as a portable continuous wave generator. It’s a remote-controlled device that works in tandem with tiny electronic implants to bounce invisible waves of energy off keyboards and monitors to see what’s being typed. It works even if the target device isn’t connected to the Internet.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange addressed a major gathering of computer experts Monday at the Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg, Germany, calling on them to join forces in resisting government intrusions on Internet freedom and privacy. We play highlights from Assange’s speech, as well as the one given by Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks member who accompanied Edward Snowden to Russia. We also hear from independent journalist and security expert Jacob Appelbaum, who reveals a spying tool used by the National Security Agency known as a "portable continuous wave generator." The remote-controlled device works in tandem with tiny electronic implants to bounce invisible waves of energy off keyboards and monitors to see what is being typed. It works even if the target computer is not connected to the Internet.
Egypt is facing a major escalation of a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and other critical voices. The military government has designated the Brotherhood a "terrorist organization" after a suicide bombing last week that killed 14 people. The announcement came even though the Brotherhood condemned the attack and an unrelated jihadist group claimed responsibility. Using the "terrorism" label, the Egyptian regime has arrested hundreds of Brotherhood members and seized their assets. It is the latest in a crackdown that began with the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in July following mass protests against his rule. The crackdown has also spread to opposition activists and journalists. Two leading figures behind the 2011 uprising, Alaa Abd El-Fattah and Ahmed Maher, remain behind bars following their arrests for opposing a new anti-protest law. El-Fattah is awaiting trial while Maher and two others have been sentenced to three years in prison. Meanwhile, four journalists with the news network Al Jazeera — correspondent Peter Greste, producers Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, and cameraman Mohamed Fawzy — were arrested in Cairo on accusations of "spreading false news" and holding meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood. Only Fawzy has been released so far. Egypt’s military government has repeatedly targeted Al Jazeera, raiding offices, ordering an affiliate’s closure and deporting several staffers. The arrests come as a new report details the dangerous conditions for journalists in Egypt and other troubled areas around the world. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, conditions in Egypt "deteriorated dramatically" in 2013, with six reporters killed, more than in any previous year. Egypt trailed only Iraq, where 10 journalists were killed, and Syria, where at least 29 journalists were killed. Overall, the Middle East accounted for two-thirds of at least 70 reporters’ deaths worldwide. We are joined by two guests: Sherif Mansour, the Middle East and North Africa program coordinator at the Committee to Protect Journalists; and Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Democracy Now! correspondent and a fellow at The Nation Institute.
- Iraq Violence Caps Deadliest Year Since 2008
- Russian Police Detain Dozens After Volgograd Bombings
- South Sudan Rebels Claim Control of Bor; Leader Agrees to Peace Talks
- U.N. Says 180,000 Displaced by South Sudan Violence
- Congolese Troops Quash Series of Attacks; 100 Killed
- U.N. Says 15 Died from Hunger in Palestinian Area of Syria
- Chemical Weapons Team Misses Deadline in Syria
- Lebanon Fires on Syrian Helicopters in Its Airspace
- Israel Releases 26 Palestinian Prisoners amid Reports of New Settlement Plans
- Burma Releases Political Prisoners in Year-End Amnesty
- Federal Regulators Choose Drone Test Sites in U.S.
- Survey: Afghan War May Be Least Popular in U.S. History
- Report: At Least 70 Journalists Killed in 2013
- Mile-Long Train Carrying Crude Oil Derails in North Dakota
- Report: 7,300-Mile Area Polluted with Mercury Around Alberta Tar Sands Oil Operations
- Poll: Less Than Half of Republicans Accept Evolution
- Reproductive Justice Pioneer Dr. Kenneth Edelin Dies at 74
On Saturday, 1.3 million Americans lost their last lifeline from the federal government: an emergency unemployment insurance program. Although long-term unemployment is still at its highest level since World War II, Congress failed to renew the program in the budget deal it passed just before adjourning for winter recess. The program provided up to 47 weeks of supplemental unemployment insurance payments to jobless people looking for work. Now, just a quarter of unemployed Americans will receive jobless benefits — the smallest proportion in half a century. Allowing the program to sunset is expected to have wide-scale ramifications for the economy at large, axing job growth by around 300,000 positions next year and pushing hundreds of thousands of households to the brink of poverty. We are joined by Imara Jones, economic justice contributor for Colorlines.com.
The German publication Der Spiegel has revealed new details about a secretive hacking unit inside the National Security Agency called the Office of Tailored Access Operations, or TAO. The unit was created in 1997 to hack into global communications traffic. Hackers inside the TAO have developed a way to break into computers running Microsoft Windows by gaining passive access to machines when users report program crashes to Microsoft. In addition, with help from the CIA and FBI, the NSA has the ability to intercept computers and other electronic accessories purchased online in order to secretly insert spyware and components that can provide backdoor access for the intelligence agencies. American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer and journalist Glenn Greenwald join us to discuss the latest revelations, along with the future of Edward Snowden.
A federal judge has upheld the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of U.S. telephone data just days after a separate court reached an opposite opinion. On Friday, District Judge William Pauley dismissed a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union challenging the NSA’s mass collection of U.S. phone records. Pauley said telephone metadata could have potentially prevented the 9/11 attacks by alerting the government to hijackers who made phone calls from the United States. The issue will likely head to the Supreme Court — Pauley’s ruling comes less than two weeks after another federal judge questioned the program’s constitutionality and described the bulk collection as "almost Orwellian." We’re joined by two guests: Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director and director of its Center for Democracy; and Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who first broke the story about Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks.
- Opposition Activists: Over 500 Killed in Syrian Attacks on Aleppo
- 31 Dead in Twin Russian Suicide Attacks
- Crisis Feared as 100,000 Seek Refuge in Central African Republic Capital
- Regional Leaders Set Deadline for Talks in South Sudan
- Judge Upholds NSA's Bulk Collection of Phone Data
- Report: Secretive NSA Unit Hacks Into Computers, Intercepts Packages
- Jobless Benefits Expire for 1.3 Million Americans
- Healthcare Enrollment Jumps in December
- Egypt Faces Violence, Protests After Anti-Brotherhood Crackdown
- 4 Al Jazeera Journalists Detained in Cairo
- Saudi Arabia Grants $3 Billion in Aid to Lebanese Military
- Thousands Protest Relocation of U.S. Military Base on Okinawa
- U.S. Intel Warns of Afghan Collapse Without Security Pact
- Anti-Polio Health Worker Shot Dead in Pakistan
- Report: No Al-Qaeda Role in Benghazi Attack, Video Played Role
- Parents of NYPD Victims Protest Bratton's Appointment