As negotiations over the crisis in Ukraine begin in Geneva, tension is rising in the Ukrainian east after security forces killed three pro-Russian protesters, wounded 13 and took 63 captive in the city of Mariupol. Ukrainian officials said the pro-Russian separatists had attempted to storm a military base. The killings came just after the unraveling of a Ukrainian operation to retake government buildings from pro-Russian separatists. Earlier today, Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the authorities in Kiev of plunging the country into an "abyss" and refused to rule out sending forces into Ukraine. Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has announced a series of steps to reinforce its presence in eastern Europe. "We will have more planes in the air, more ships on the water and more readiness on the land," Rasmussen said. We are joined by Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. "We are not at the beginning of a new Cold War, we are well into it," Cohen says, "which alerts us to the fact 'hot war' is imaginable now. It’s unlikely, but it’s conceivable — and if it’s conceivable, something has to be done about it."
- Ukraine, Separatists Clash as Geneva Talks Begin
- Regime, Rebels Trade Blame for Chlorine Gas Attack in Northern Syria
- Al-Qaeda in Yemen Threatens to Attack United States
- Reps for Detroit Public Workers Accept Pension Cuts
- Report: Deportation Cases on Steady Decline Since 2009
- Philadelphia Bars Transfer of Undocumented Immigrants Without Federal Warrant
- Judge Overturns North Dakota Anti-Abortion Law
- GM Seeks Court Protection from Ignition Switch Claims
- Obama Unveils $600 Million Grant for Job Training, Placement
- Bloomberg Launches New Gun-Control Group with $50 Million Donation
- Senate Intel Committee Probes Torture Probe Leak to McClatchy
- Lavabit Loses Contempt of Court Appeal over User Info
- Snowden Questions Putin on Mass Surveillance
- Salsa, Bolero Singer Cheo Feliciano Dies in Puerto Rico Car Crash
A new reports finds the killings of environmental and land rights activists worldwide has tripled over the past decade. The group Global Witness documented 147 activists who were killed in 2012, compared to 51 in 2002. The death rate is now an average of two per week. Almost none of the killers have faced charges. We air interviews with some of the late activists featured in the report, including José da Silva, a Brazilian conservationist and environmentalist who campaigned against logging and clearcutting of trees in the Amazon rainforest. In 2011, José and his wife, Maria, were murdered by masked gunmen. "This could be the tip of the iceberg in terms of the scale of the real problem," says Global Witness campaigner Oliver Courtney, who says details about the murders were nearly impossible to locate.
The New York City Police Department is disbanding a controversial spying unit that targeted Muslim communities. The so-called "Demographics Unit" secretly infiltrated Muslim student groups, sent informants into mosques, eavesdropped on conversations in restaurants, barber shops and gyms, and built a vast database of information. But after years of collecting information, it failed to yield a single terrorism investigation or even a single lead. We get reaction from Linda Sarsour of the Arab American Association of New York, who calls the unit’s closure a "welcome first step," but says it will "take years to undo the trauma that the American Muslim community has endured." We are also joined by Matt Apuzzo, who was part of the Associated Press team that first revealed the NYPD’s post-9/11 surveillance program. The AP’s series won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. Apuzzo is co-author of "Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and Bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America."
Was Kansas Shooting Avoidable? White Supremacist was Ex-Informant with Criminal Past & Hateful Views
Notorious white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller has been charged with killing three people at two Jewish community sites in Kansas. Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, has openly railed against Jews and African Americans for decades. He served three years in prison on weapons charges and an assassination plot, but avoided a longer sentence after testifying against other white supremacists. Miller claims to have been an FBI informant, and the federal government reportedly shielded him in the early 1990s as part of the witness protection program — the possible source of his multiple names. We are joined by two guests who have tracked Miller for years: Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, and broadcaster David Pakman, who interviewed Miller in 2010.
- Ukraine, Pro-Russian Separatists Clash on Eve of Talks
- 3 Afghan Civilians Reported Dead in U.S. Bombing
- Iraq Shutters Abu Ghraib Prison over Militant Threat
- U.N. Security Council Views Graphic Images from Syrian Defector
- Report: Syrian Rebels Obtain U.S.-Made Missiles
- Hundreds Missing in Sinking of Korean Ferry
- Owner of Collapsed Bangladeshi Garment Factory Faces Murder Charge
- NYPD Abandons Controversial Muslim Spying Unit
- Detroit Pensioners Reach 1st Post-Bankruptcy Deal
- Boston Marks 1st Anniversary of Marathon Bombing
- Oklahoma Bars Local Efforts to Raise Minimum Wage
- Arizona Enacts Law Authorizing Warrantless Inspection of Abortion Clinics
Millions of Americans are rushing to file their federal and state taxes today by the midnight deadline. But others are using the day to protest the use of tax dollars to fund war. The War Resisters League estimates at least 45 percent of the 2015 federal budget would be used for current and past military expenses, as well as interest on the national debt, some 80 percent of which stems from military spending. To voice their opposition, some Americans are taking a stand by personally refusing to pay their federal taxes. Lida Shao, a pre-med student at Columbia University, has been a war tax resister for three years with support from the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. Shao joins us to discuss why Tax Day for her is a day of resistance.
Award-winning journalist Matt Taibbi is out with an explosive new book that asks why the vast majority of white-collar criminals have avoided prison since the financial crisis began, while an unequal justice system imprisons the poor and people of color on a mass scale. In "The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap," Taibbi explores how the Depression-level income gap between the wealthy and the poor is mirrored by a "justice" gap in who is targeted for prosecution and imprisonment. "It is much more grotesque to consider the non-enforcement of white-collar criminals when you do consider how incredibly aggressive law enforcement is with regard to everybody else," Taibbi says.
- Ukraine Says Anti-Separatist Operation Underway; U.S. Threatens New Sanctions on Russia
- Nigeria Bus Bomb Toll Jumps to 71, 124 Wounded
- Ex-Klan Member Charged with Hate Crimes in Kansas Jewish Center Shootings
- Federal Agents Cede to Anti-Gov't Nevada Rancher After Armed Standoff
- Army General Denies Chelsea Manning Clemency Bid
- 9/11 Trial Suspended After Attorneys Claim Gov't Infiltration, Monitoring
- Justice Dept. Won't Contest Ruling Granting Force-Feeding Challenges by Guantánamo Prisoners
- Report: Killings of Environmental Activists Surge Worldwide
- Nebraska Landowners, Activists Unveil Anti-Keystone XL Crop Art
- Guardian US, Washington Post Win Pulitzer for NSA Reporting
Polk Winner on Afghanistan: Slain Journalists, Ghost Polls & Unresolved U.S. Ties to Deaths, Torture
Kabul-based journalist Matthieu Aikins was honored with the George Polk Award on Friday for his Rolling Stone article, "The A-Team Killings," that uncovered "convincing evidence" that a U.S. Army Special Forces unit killed 10 Afghan civilians in Wardak province. Aikins joins us to discuss the latest on his story — as well as recent developments in Afghanistan, from the country’s elections to continued violence that recently killed two journalists.
Ten months ago, Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald flew from New York to Hong Kong to meet National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Poitras and Greenwald did not return to the United States until this past Friday, when they flew from Berlin to New York to accept the George Polk Award for National Security Reporting. They arrived not knowing if they would be detained or subpoenaed after Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described journalists working on the NSA story as Snowden’s "accomplices." At a news conference following the George Polk Award ceremony, Poitras and Greenwald took questions from reporters about their reporting and the government intimidation it has sparked.
In their first return to the United States since exposing the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance operations, journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras were honored in New York City on Friday with the George Polk Award for National Security Reporting. Over the past 10 months, Poitras and Greenwald have played key roles in reporting the massive trove of documents leaked by Edward Snowden. They were joined by colleagues Ewen MacAskill of The Guardian and Barton Gellman of The Washington Post, with whom they shared the award. In their acceptance speeches, Poitras and Greenwald paid tribute to their source. "Each one of these awards just provides further vindication that what [Snowden] did in coming forward was absolutely the right thing to do and merits gratitude, and not indictments and decades in prison," Greenwald said. "None of us would be here … without the fact that someone decided to sacrifice their life to make this information available," Poitras said. "And so this award is really for Edward Snowden."
- Ex-KKK Member Shoots Dead 3 at Jewish Centers in Kansas
- Ukraine Threatens Military Force to Quell Unrest
- U.N. Climate Panel: World Has Just 15 Years to Avoid Climate Catastrophe
- Obama Blasts GOP Assault on Voting Rights
- Obama Nominates Budget Director to Head Health and Human Services
- Iran to Challenge U.S. Visa Denial of New U.N. Envoy
- Report: Israel Issues One of Largest West Bank Land Seizures in Years
- Dozens Killed in Nigeria Bus Bombing
- Reports: NSA Exploited "Heartbleed" Bug; Obama Issues Exemption on Computer Safety
- Retiring SEC Attorney: Regulators "Tentative and Fearful" in Pursuing Wall Street
- Residents of Canadian Town Reject Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline
We end today’s show looking at a new book titled "Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA." The book features essays by many prominent people, including Michael Moore, Angela Davis, Frances Fox Piven, Martín Espada, Rick Wolff and Democracy Now! co-host Juan González. The book comes out at a time when polls show Americans aged 18 to 29 have a more favorable reaction to the word "socialism" than "capitalism." The book is co-edited by the legendary book agent Frances Goldin, who has worked in the publishing world for more than six decades and will turn 90 years old in June. In 1951, at age 27, Goldin ran for New York State Senate on an American Labor Party slate headed by W.E.B. Du Bois. Goldin joins us now along with one of her co-editors, Michael Smith. He is a New York City attorney and a board member of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
A new Showtime television show featuring Hollywood actors and award-winning journalists brings the issue of climate change alive with the full drama and suspense of a blockbuster movie. In the series, "Years of Living Dangerously," Harrison Ford travels to Indonesia to investigate the palm oil industry, and Arnold Schwarzenegger joins an elite team of wildland firefighters. Hollywood luminaries such as Matt Damon, James Cameron and Jerry Weintraub have paired up with top reporters and leading climate scientists such as Drs. Heidi Cullen, Joe Romm and James Hansen to tell the true stories of people affected by climate change. We speak to Joe Romm, chief science adviser to "Years of Living Dangerously" and founding editor of Climate Progress.
Momentum is growing in the movement to divest from fossil fuel companies. On Thursday, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu called for an anti-apartheid-style boycott and disinvestment campaign against the industry for its role in driving climate change. Meanwhile, nearly 100 members of the faculty at Harvard University released an open letter calling on the Ivy League school to sell off its interests in oil, gas and coal companies. "If the Corporation regards divestment as 'political,' then its continued investment is a similarly political act, one that finances present corporate activities and calculates profit from them," wrote the professors. "Slavery was once an investment issue, as were apartheid and the harm caused by smoking." Harvard has the largest university endowment in the country, worth more than $32 billion. We speak to James Anderson, professor of chemistry and Earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University. He is one of the signatories to the letter urging Harvard to divest from the fossil fuel industry. He has done groundbreaking work exposing the link between climate change and ozone loss. We also speak to Jamie Henn, co-founder of the climate change-focused organization, 350.org.
- Senate Report Finds CIA Exceeded Legal Authority, Misled Media on Torture
- U.N. Approves 12,000-Member Force for Central African Republic
- Russia Warns of Ukraine Gas Cuts; Nuland Touts "Truth-Telling Campaign"
- Taiwan Protesters End 3-Week Occupation of Parliament over Trade Pact
- U.S. Denies Merkel Access to Her NSA File
- Health Secretary Sebelius Resigns After Rocky Obamacare Rollout
- House Panel Votes to Hold Ex-IRS Official Lerner in Contempt
- Obama Pays Tribute to Civil Rights Act on 50th Anniversary
- DOJ: Most Fatal Shootings by Albuquerque Police were Unconstitutional
- General Motors Suspends 2 Engineers; Announces New Fix
- SAC Capital to Pay $1.8 Billion for Insider Trading
- Greenwald, Poitras Return to United States for Polk Awards