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
Yemeni activist and journalist Farea al-Muslimi delivered a moving plea before a Senate hearing this week for an end to U.S. drone strikes inside his country. Speaking at the first-ever public congressional hearing on Obama’s secret drone and targeted killing program, al-Muslimi offered a rare first-hand account of the suffering that drone warfare wreaks on ordinary people’s lives. His family’s village of Wessab was hit by a U.S. drone strike last week, leaving five people dead. Educated in the United States as a teenager, al-Muslimi says the drone attacks are turning Yemenis against the country that embraced him.
This week’s Bangladeshi factory disaster comes five months after a massive fire killed at least 112 garment workers at Bangladesh’s Tazreen factory, which made clothing sold by Wal-Mart, among other companies. Earlier this month, Wal-Mart refused to compensate victims and their families, even though it was apparently the factory’s largest buyer. We’re joined by Sumi Abedin, a worker who survived the Tazreen fire by jumping from the factory’s third story, breaking both her arm and foot in the process. She is currently touring the United States to call on retailers like Wal-Mart, The Gap and Disney to take the lead on improving working conditions in Bangladesh. We also speak with Kalpona Akter of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity and Charlie Kernaghan of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights.
The death toll in Bangladesh has topped 200 after an eight-story garment factory building collapsed with thousands of workers inside. More than 1,000 people were injured, and an unknown number of workers are still trapped in the wreckage. Cracks had been found in the building, but workers say the factory owners forced them to go to work anyway. Protests broke out in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka today as angry workers blocked key highways, marched on several factories, and rallied outside the headquarters of Bangladesh’s main manufacturers group. The disaster comes exactly five months after a massive fire killed at least 112 garment workers at Bangladesh’s Tazreen factory, which made clothing sold by Wal-Mart, among other companies. We’re joined by two guests: Kalpona Akter, executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, and Charlie Kernaghan, director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights.
- Toll from Bangladesh Factory Collapse Hits 200; Workers Stage Protests
- Late Boston Marathon Suspect Was on Terrorism Watch List
- Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Was Unarmed at End of Manhunt
- Hundreds of Low-Wage Workers Strike in Chicago
- Chicago Students Protest Closings, Standardized Tests
- Hagel Rejects Israeli Claims on Syrian Chemical Weapons
- U.N. Torture Investigator Says Bahrain Blocking Entry
- EPA Challenges State Dept. Assessment of Keystone XL's Environmental Impact
- Lawmakers Skip Hearing on Long-Term Unemployment
- Federal Judge Orders Pentagon to Disclose Trainees at Controversial Military School
- 2 Children Among 5 Killed in Illinois Shooting
- Steubenville High School Coach Given 2-Year Extension
- Prison Guards Indicted for Aiding Baltimore Gang
- Explosion Wounds 3 on Alabama River Barges
- Pro-Assad Group Claims Responsibility for Hacking AP Twitter Account
- Rhode Island Poised to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage
As the Senate holds its first-ever public hearing on drones and targeted killings, we turn the second part of our interview with Jeremy Scahill, author of the new book, "Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield." Scahill charts the expanding covert wars operated by the CIA and JSOC, the Joint Special Operations Command, in countries from Somalia to Pakistan. "I called it 'Dirty Wars' because, particularly in this administration, in the Obama administration, I think a lot of people are being led to believe that there is such a thing as a clean war," Scahill says. He goes on to discuss secret operations in Africa, the targeting of U.S. citizens in Yemen and the key role WikiLeaks played in researching the book. He also reveals imprisoned whistleblower Bradley Manning once tipped him off to a story about the private security company Blackwater. Scahill is the national security correspondent for The Nation magazine and longtime Democracy Now! correspondent. For the past several years, Scahill has been working on the "Dirty Wars" film and book project, which was published on Tuesday. The film, directed by Rick Rowley, will be released in theaters in June. Click here to watch Part 1 of this interview.
Six days after the U.S. bombed his village, Yemeni activist Farea al-Muslimi testified on Capitol Hill about the terror of the U.S. drone wars. Al-Muslimi spoke during the Senate’s first-ever public hearing on the Obama administration’s targeted killing program. His family’s village was hit by a U.S. drone strike last week. The White House refused to send an official to defend the program’s legality. "When they think of America, they think of the terror they feel from the drones that hover over their heads, ready to fire missiles at any time," al-Muslimi says of his fellow Yemenis. "What the violent militants had previously failed to achieve, one drone strike accomplished in an instant." Others to testify at the hearing included law scholars and members of the U.S. military.
- Boston Marathon Suspect Cites Iraq, Afghanistan Wars as Motive
- Slain Suspect Bought Fireworks 2 Months Before Attack; Wife Vows Cooperation with Probe
- Reddit Apologizes for Wrongly Naming Suspects
- Ricin Suspect Released, Decries "Nightmare" Arrest
- At Least 70 Killed in Bangladesh Factory Collapse
- At Least 42 Killed at Sunni Protest Camp in Iraq
- Guatemala's Top Court Annuls Ríos Montt Trial
- France Becomes 14th Country to Legalize Gay Marriage
- Israel Accuses Syria of Using Chemical Weapons
- Sen. Baucus to Retire in 2014
- Inequality Widened During Post-Recession Period
- Low-Wage Workers Strike in Chicago
- Illinois Teen Indicted in FBI Terror Sting
- Ohio Teacher Fired After Mother's Obit Includes Lesbian Partner
- Cooper Union to Begin Charging Tuition
- San Francisco Supervisors Vote for Fossil Fuel Divestment
- U.S. Approves $10 Billion Nuclear Weapons Upgrade
- Common Cause CEO, Ex-Congressmember Bob Edgar Dies at 69
The Obama administration’s assassination of two U.S. citizens in 2011, Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old Denver-born son Abdulrahman, is a central part of Jeremy Scahill’s new book, "Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield." The book is based on years of reporting on U.S. secret operations in Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan. While the Obama administration has defended the killing of Anwar, it has never publicly explained why Abdulrahman was targeted in a separate drone strike two weeks later. Scahill reveals CIA Director John Brennan, Obama’s former senior adviser on counterterrorism and homeland security, suspected that the teenager had been killed "intentionally." "The idea that you can simply have one branch of government unilaterally and in secret declare that an American citizen should be executed or assassinated without having to present any evidence whatsoever, to me, is a — we should view that with great sobriety about the implications for our country," says Scahill, national security correspondent for The Nation magazine. Today the U.S. Senate is preparing to hold its first-ever hearing on the Obama administration’s drone and targeted killing program. However, the Obama administration is refusing to send a witness to answer questions about the program’s legality. "Dirty Wars" is also the name of a new award-winning documentary by Scahill and Rick Rowley, which will open in theaters in June. We air the film’s new trailer. Click here to watch Part 2 of this interview.
- Boston Bombing Suspect Charged, Reportedly Admitted to Role in Attacks Before Hearing Rights
- Iraq: 26 Killed in Clashes Between Protesters and Security Forces
- U.S. Soldier Pleads Guilty to Killing 5 Colleagues in Iraq
- Syrian Activists Report Massacre Near Damascus
- 12 Arrested at Anti-Guantánamo Protest in New York
- Canadian Authorities Arrest 2 for Alleged Plot to Derail Train
- Libya: Blast Injures 2 at French Embassy
- Folk Singer Richie Havens Dies at 72