- Bangladesh Garment Building Toll Hits 500; Engineer Detained
- Obama Faces Immigration Protests in Mexico Visit
- Obama Defends Challenge to Emergency Contraception Ruling
- Assata Shakur Added to FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists List
- Pro-Assad Forces Accused of Killing up to 100 in Raid
- April Was Iraq's Deadliest Month Since 2009
- U.N.: Close to 260,000 Died in Somali Famine
- At Least 60 Killed in Sudan Mine Collapse
- Boston Bombing Suspects Allegedly Planned July 4th Attack
- Obama Unveils Trade, Commerce Cabinet Picks
- Rep. Mel Watt Tapped to Head Federal Housing Finance Agency
- Maryland Repeals Death Penalty, Legalizes Medical Marijuana
- Rhode Island Legalizes Marriage Equality
Tens of thousands of immigrants took to the streets Wednesday to join in May Day marches and call on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. People held massive demonstrations from Los Angeles to Alabama, to Chicago, to here in New York City. The rallies come as the immigration reform bill proposed by the Senate’s bipartisan "Gang of 8" now makes its way through the House. A working group there has proposed a plan that includes a requirement for immigrants to appear in federal court and plead guilty to breaking U.S. immigration law before they can begin their application for citizenship — a process expected to take at least a decade. For his part, President Obama is testing whether he can take a more public role in the immigration reform debate, an issue that will factor into his trip this week to Mexico and Costa Rica. We’re joined by Democratic Rep. José Serrano of New York.
Punishing Vieques: Puerto Rico Struggles With Contamination 10 Years After Activists Expel U.S. Navy
On the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, thousands are commemorating the 10th anniversary of when the U.S. Navy stopped using their home as a bombing range. Since the 1940s, the Navy used nearly three-quarters of the island for bombing practice, war games and dumping old munitions. The bombing stopped after campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience, but the island continues to suffer. At the current cleanup rate, the Navy says, it will take until 2025 to remove all the environmental damage left by more than 60 years of target practice. A fisherman recently discovered a giant unexploded bomb underwater. The island of about 10,000 people also lacks a hospital to treat illnesses such as asthma and cancer that may be attributed to the military’s former bombing activity. "We believe the military is really not interested in cleaning up Vieques and rather interested in continuing to punish Vieques for having thrown the U.S. Navy out in 2003," says Robert Rabin of the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques. "This is a process that we believe is happening with no real supervision, no genuine community participation." We also speak to Rep. José Serrano of New York, a native Puerto Rican.
The Obama administration is reportedly close to begin arming Syrian rebels with "lethal weaponry" in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad. The Washington Post reports President Obama will make a final decision in the coming weeks on what one official described as "assistance that has a direct military purpose." Syrian rebels have already asked Western backers for anti-tank weapons and surface-to-air missiles. This comes as Israel and U.S. sources have accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons. On Tuesday, President Obama said chemical-weapon use in Syria would be a "game changer." We speak to Tracey Shelton, a GlobalPost senior correspondent covering Syria. Her most recent article is "Syria: The Horrific Chemical Weapons Attack that Probably Wasn’t a Chemical Weapons Attack." Last month, Shelton won a George Polk Award for "communicating the human tragedy of the conflict in Syria in a way that is impossible to ignore or forget."
- May Day Rallies Nationwide Back Immigrant, Labor Rights
- 18 Arrested in Seattle May Day Protests
- 3 Accused of Obstructing Boston Marathon Probe
- Bolivia Orders Expulsion of USAID
- North Korea Sentences U.S. Citizen to 15 Years
- Obama Admin to Challenge Emergency Contraception Access for All Ages
- Obama Taps Industry Lobbyist to Head FCC
- Brother, 5, Kills Infant Sister With Children's Rifle
- Florida Teen Charged, Expelled for Science Experiment Mishap
- Disabled Turkey Plant Workers Awarded $240 Million in Damages for Abuses, Discrimination
- Muslim Taxi Driver, Iraq War Veteran Accuses Aviation Exec of Assault, Hate Crime
NBA basketball player Jason Collins swept sports headlines this week when he publicly revealed that he is gay, becoming the first professional male athlete to do so while still active in a major U.S. team sport. Collins noted that he was inspired by tennis legend Martina Navratilova, who became one of the first openly gay sports figures when she came out in 1981. Navratilova, the winner of 59 grand slam crowns and a record nine Wimbledon singles championships, joins us to discuss Collins’ announcement and her reaction to another advancement for LGBT rights: the legalization of same-sex civil unions in Colorado. Back in 1992, Navratilova helped file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a Colorado amendment that prohibited state and local regulations that extend minority civil rights protections to homosexuals and bisexuals in Colorado. "Jason has been a breath of fresh air and a pioneer," Navratilova says. "It takes a lot of guts to come out to your friends and family. For most gay people, coming out is the most traumatic experience in their life ... He’s done a lot for the gay community, and I thank him for that."
Today’s global May Day actions include a march of thousands of workers in Bangladesh demanding workplace safety following last week’s factory collapse that left more than 400 dead and 150 missing. The collapse is now being described as the deadliest accident in the history of the garment industry and marked Bangladesh’s third industrial accident in five months. The building’s owner has been arrested, and a Bangladeshi court has frozen the assets of the owners of the five garment factories that were inside. Most of the workers reportedly earned an average annual salary of $38 a month — roughly 21 cents an hour — to make apparel for a number of Western companies. We’re joined by leading labor rights activist Charlie Kernaghan, director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights. "The companies, the corporations, they’re hiding behind these phony codes of conduct that are meaningless. They’re just paper. What the workers want are legal rights," Kernaghan says. "We need to stand up and just say, 'You can bring anything you want into the United States, but you're not bringing it in if it was made by children or the workers are denied their right to organize.’ The lift that would give to the Bangladeshi labor movement would be enormous."
President Obama has vowed a renewed push to shut down the military prison at Guantánamo Bay more than four years after first pledging its closure. Speaking at a White House news conference, Obama called the indefinite imprisonment of more than 100 people unsustainable, but defended the ongoing force-feeding of those on a three-month hunger strike to win their freedom. Attorneys representing Guantánamo prisoners have welcomed Obama’s closure pledge but have urged him to take immediate action, including the immediate release of 86 people already cleared for transfer and lifting his self-imposed moratorium on repatriating Yemeni nationals. We’re joined by Pardiss Kebriaei, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights and lawyer for hunger-striking Guantánamo prisoner Ghaleb al-Bihani. "President Obama has made very important statements about Guantánamo before, as well, and what we need now is action," Kebriaei says. "It is a national security liability. It is legally unsupportable. It is morally wrong. It is unjust. The world knows it. President Obama knows it. The American people should know it. It needs to close."
- Obama Renews Guantánamo Closure Vow, Defends Force-Feeding
- Report: U.S. Close to Arming Syrian Rebels
- U.S. Deploying Troops in Mali
- May Day Protests Worldwide Oppose Austerity, Exploitation
- Ríos Montt Genocide Trial Resumes in Guatemela
- Arab League Renews Israel Peace Offer, Accepts Land Swaps
- FDA Lowers Plan B Eligibility Age to 15 Years Old
- Zimmerman Waives "Stand Your Ground" Hearing
- San Francisco Gay Pride Parade Revokes Grand Marshal Honor for Bradley Manning
- Same-Sex Civil Unions Begin in Colorado
Private First Class Kimberly Rivera — a conscientious objector and pregnant mother of four — has just been sentenced to military prison for refusing to serve in the Iraq War. Rivera was on a two-week leave in December 2006 when she decided she would not return to Iraq for a second tour of duty. She and her family fled to Canada in February 2007, living there until their deportation back to the United States last year. On Monday, a military court sentenced her to 10 months behind bars. Her fifth child is due in December. We’re joined by Mario Rivera, Kimberly’s husband and now the primary caretaker of their four young children, and by James Branum, a lawyer who represents Kimberly and dozens of other conscientious objectors.
The best-selling Chilean novelist Isabel Allende is out with a new book, "Maya’s Notebook: A Novel." It tells the story of a teenager named Maya Vidal and her struggles with drug addiction, grief and history. Although a work of fiction, the story is rooted in real-life tragedy. Three of Allende’s stepchildren have struggled with addiction: Two of them have died of drug-related causes, one in 1994 and the other just a month ago. In the novel, Maya also discovers the dark secrets of Chile’s past and learns what happened to her relatives after the military coup that ousted democratically elected President Salvador Allende on Sept. 11, 1973. Isabel Allende joins us to discuss the novel, her personal connection to the U.S.-backed coup that toppled her cousin Salvador Allende, and the exhumation of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda to determine whether he died from poison by agents of the coup regime.
- Israeli Air Strike Kills Palestinian in Gaza
- Explosion Rocks Syrian Capital Damascus
- U.N. Seeks Firmer Evidence on Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in Syria
- Iraq: 36 Killed in Blasts South of Baghdad
- Mexican Activists Call for Curbs on Flow of U.S. Guns
- Europe Bans Pesticide Believed to Seriously Harm Bees
- Woman Who Filmed Slaughterhouse from Street is 1st to Face Prosecution Under "Ag-Gag" Laws
- Study: Racial Wealth Gap Widened During Recession
- NBA Player Jason Collins Discloses He is Gay
Country music legend Willie Nelson turns 80 years old today. Last night he performed a benefit birthday concert in Austin to raise money for the fire department of West, Texas — the town devastated by a fertilizer plant explosion that killed 14 people earlier this month. Nelson was born just a few miles away in Abbott, Texas, in 1933. In addition to being one of the most celebrated country musicians, Nelson has been politically active for decades. He co-founded Farm Aid, the annual benefit and awareness-raising concert for small farmers. Nelson has partnered in a biodiesel plant that fuels trucks with vegetable oil. And he serves on the advisory board member for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. We broadcast an excerpt of our hour-long interview with Nelson when he joined us in our studio in 2008.
Forgotten Women of the War on Terror: Author Victoria Brittain on the Wives and Families Left Behind
As pressure grows for President Obama to close the Guantánamo military prison, we speak with British journalist Victoria Brittain, who has closely covered the military prison for years. Her latest book is "Shadow Lives: The Forgotten Women of the War on Terror." "Some of the women that I’ve written about are the wives of Guantánamo prisoners. One, in particular, who is like chapter one of the book, is one of my closest friends, and I kind of lived alongside her and her children through a very long period when her husband was in Guantánamo. And she had absolutely no information about why he was there, when he might come back, no contact with him whatsoever," Brittain says.
The U.S. military has acknowledged for the first time the number of prisoners on hunger strike at the military prison has topped 100. About a fifth of the hunger strikers are now being force-fed. Lawyers for the prisoners say more than 130 men are taking part in the hunger strike, which began in February. One of the hunger strikers is a Yemeni man named Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel. In a letter published in The New York Times, he wrote: "Denying ourselves food and risking death every day is the choice we have made. I just hope that because of the pain we are suffering, the eyes of the world will once again look to Guantánamo before it is too late." We speak to attorney Carlos Warner, who represents 11 prisoners at Guantánamo. He spoke to one of them on Friday. "Unfortunately, they’re held because the president has no political will to end Guantánamo," Warner says. "The president has the authority to transfer individuals if he believes that it’s in the interests of the United States. But he doesn’t have the political will to do so because 166 men in Guantánamo don’t have much pull in the United States. But the average American on the street does not understand that half of these men, 86 of the men, are cleared for release."
- Military Admits 100 Prisoners on Hunger Strike at Guantánamo
- Fire Erupts in Wreckage of Bangladesh Factory; Death Toll Rises to About 400
- Syrian Prime Minister Survives Assassination Attempt
- Pakistan Hit by Wave of Violence Ahead of Elections
- Iraq Suspends Licenses of 10 TV Channels, Including Al Jazeera
- Report: Troves of CIA Money Fueling Corruption in Afghanistan
- Afghanistan: 4 U.S. Servicemembers Die in Plane Crash
- Obama Urges Congress to Take Action on Sequester Cuts
- Authorities Arrest New Suspect in Ricin Mailings
- Iranian Scientist Released After More Than a Year in U.S. Detention
- Mexico: Hundreds March to Demand Justice for Slain Journalist
- Obama Jokes About Race, Republicans at White House Correspondents' Dinner
- Report: African-American Voter Turnout Topped White Turnout in 2012
- Obama to Tap Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx for Transportation Post
- 31 Arrested for Protest at Drone Base in Upstate New York
- Court Denies Early Release for Jailed Pussy Riot Member
- Oklahoma City Mosque Vandalized in Possible Hate Crime
- Tens of Thousands Remain Homeless 6 Months After Superstorm Sandy
- Feminist Journalist Mary Thom Dies in Motorcycle Crash at 68
- Georgia Students Attend School's 1st Racially Integrated Prom
In a broadcast exclusive, we air excerpts from a new documentary that examines the struggle Muhammad Ali faced in his conversion to Islam, his refusal to fight in Vietnam, and the years of exile that followed before his eventual return to the ring. Ali is considered the greatest boxer in the history of sports. When he refused to be drafted into the military and filed as a conscientious objector, he was sentenced to prison and stripped of his heavyweight title. He appealed his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and did not go to prison, but he was forced to wait four years before regained his boxing license. "The Trials of Muhammad Ali" has its world premiere tonight in New York City at the Tribeca Film Festival. "This isn’t a boxing film, but it is a fight film," says our guest, Director Bill Siegel. "It’s a journey film that I hope says as much about us as it does about him." We also speak with Gordon Quinn, the film’s executive producer.
A group of Georgia high school students are making history by challenging the segregation of their high school prom. Thanks to their efforts and the support of groups like the NAACP, Wilcox County High will hold its first-ever integrated prom this Saturday, nearly 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education desegregated the nation’s school system. In the past, the proms have been organized by private groups, and parents behind the "white prom" have refused to let African-American students attend. Local officials say the segregated prom has continued because it is organized privately, out of the school district’s control. News of the case spread quickly over social media, fueling support and donations for an integrated prom from as far away as Australia and South Korea. We speak with two of the students who are helping to organize the integrated prom: Mareshia Rucker and Brandon Davis. We also speak to Mareshia’s mother, Toni Rucker, who encouraged her daughter’s efforts. In addition, we air an excerpt from a recent interview with Carlotta Walls LaNier, who was 14 years old when she became one of the "Little Rock Nine" who integrated Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas in 1957.
Questions are mounting over whether U.S. security officials failed to heed warnings that could have foiled the bombing of the Boston Marathon. After news emerged that the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was on the intelligence radar in the United States. As a result, there have been growing calls for federal agencies to re-examine their priorities, particularly to focus on sting operations that critics say constitute entrapment. We speak with Trevor Aaronson, author of “The Terror Factory: Inside the FBI’s Manufactured War on Terrorism,” published in January. He is co-director of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and a contributing writer at Mother Jones. His most recent article is called, "How the FBI in Boston May Have Pursued the Wrong 'Terrorist.'" In the piece, he writes while the FBI "decided to stop tracking Tsarnaev — whose six-month trip to Russia at that time is now of prime interest to investigators — the FBI conducted a sting operation against an unrelated young Muslim man who had a fantastical plan for attacking the U.S. Capitol with a remote-controlled airplane."
- U.S. Officials Say Syrian Regime Likely Used Chemical Weapons
- Iraq: Scores Killed in Sectarian Clashes
- Obama Fails to Mention Iraq War in Speech Honoring Bush
- New York Times Condemns Guantánamo as Hunger Strike Continues
- Police Fire Tear Gas on Workers Protesting Bangladesh Building Collapse; Death Toll Nears 300
- Russia: 38 Dead in Fire at Psychiatric Institution
- Obama Attends Memorial for Blast Victims in West, Texas
- U.N. Official Condemned for Highlighting Role of U.S. Policy in Boston Attacks
- Renowned Newspaper "Egypt Independent" Releases Final Issue
- U.N. Security Council Votes to Send Troops to Mali
- Venezuela Arrests U.S. Filmmaker Accused of Fomenting Violence
- Activist Joan Baez Sr., Mother of Famous Folk Singer, Dies at 100