In their new book, "The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills," economist David Stuckler and physician Sanjay Basu examine the health impacts of austerity across the globe. The authors estimate there have been more than 10,000 additional suicides and up to a million extra cases of depression across Europe and the United States since governments started introducing austerity programs in the aftermath of the economic crisis. For example, in Greece, where spending on public health has been slashed by 40 percent, HIV rates have jumped 200 percent, and the country has seen its first malaria outbreak since the 1970s. An economist and public health specialist, Stuckler is a senior research leader at Oxford University. Dr. Basu is a physician and epidemiologist who teaches at Stanford University. "Had austerity been organized like a clinical trial, it would’ve been discontinued given evidence of its deadly side effects," Stuckler says. "There is an alternative choice that we found in the historical data and through the present recessions: When we place people and their health at the center of economic recovery, it can help get our economy back on track faster and yield lasting dividends to our society."
Dozens have been killed and more than 200 wounded in a devastating tornado in Oklahoma. The storm tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, leveling two elementary schools, a hospital and scores of homes destroyed. Rescue crews continue to dig through the rubble in a bid to find survivors. It was the deadliest tornado to hit the United States since 161 people were killed in Joplin, Missouri, two years ago. We’re joined by two guests: Beverly Allam, an Oklahoma resident who lives a few miles from Moore and lost everything in the state’s tornado in May 1999, and Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground.
- Dozens Dead in Oklahoma Tornado
- Guatemalan Court Overturns Genocide Verdict for Ex-Dictator Ríos Montt
- Foreclosed Homeowners Arrested at Justice Department Protest for Bank Prosecutions
- Report: Banks Lagging on Settlement Payments for Mortgage Wrongdoing
- Report: CIA to Transfer Drone Program to Pentagon
- White House Defends Tracking of Fox News Reporter
- Obama Hosts Burmese Leader at White House
- Survey: Scientists Have 97% Consensus Human Activity Causes Climate Change
- Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues Begins at U.N.
- Poverty in U.S. Suburbs Exceeds Urban Areas
- Senate Report Says Apple Avoids Billions in Taxes
- Protest Against School Closings Leads to Arrests at Chicago City Hall
- Landmark "Stop and Frisk" Trial Concludes in NYC
- Hundreds Honor Gay New Yorker Shot Dead in Apparent Hate Crime
After months of protest, teachers, students and parents in Seattle, Washington, have won their campaign to reject standardized tests in reading and math. In January, teachers at Garfield High School began a boycott of the test, saying it was wasteful and being used unfairly to assess their performance. The boycott spread to other schools, with hundreds of teachers, students and parents participating. Last week, the school district backed down, announcing that the Measures of Academic Progress, or MAP test, is now optional for high schools, but those refusing the test must find another way to gauge student performance. We speak with Jesse Hagopian, a high school history teacher and union representative at Garfield High School.
As the carbon dioxide in the air hits 400 parts per million for the first time in human history, some are arguing that the best way address climate change is to use the controversial practice of geoengineering — the deliberate altering of the Earth’s ecological and climate systems to counter the effects of global warming. Supporters of geoengineering endorse radical ways to manipulate the planet, including creating artificial volcanoes to pollute the atmosphere with sulfur particles. Many scientists and environmentalists have raised concerns about geoengineering technologies designed to intervene in the functioning of the Earth system as a whole. We’re joined now by Clive Hamilton, professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, Australia. Hamilton’s new book, "Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering," lays out the arguments for and against climate engineering, and reveals the vested interests behind it linking researchers, venture capitalists and corporations.
Hundreds of farm workers and their supporters are in New York City ahead of Wendy’s shareholder meeting to demand improved working conditions for those who pick its tomatoes. The fast-food giant — which has nearly 6,600 restaurants in the U.S. and around the world, ranking second only to McDonald’s — is the latest target in the Fair Food Campaign organized by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. So far, McDonald’s, Subway, Burger King and Taco Bell have all joined the White House-recognized social responsibility program, agreeing to pay an extra penny per pound of tomatoes to raise wages and only buy from fields where workers’ rights are respected. We speak with CIW farm worker and organizer, Gerardo Reyes-Chávez.
- U.S. Drone Strikes Reportedly Kill 6 in Yemen
- Obama Speech to Outline Drone, Guantánamo Policy
- Protests Mark 100th Day of Guantánamo Hunger Strike
- Syria: Dozens Reported Dead in Fighting Near Lebanon Border
- Russia Sends Advanced Missiles to Syria
- Sectarian Violence Kills Dozens in Iraq
- Leading Pakistani Politician Shot Dead
- Imprisoned Ex-Argentine Dictator Jorge Rafael Videla Dies at 87
- AP Head Open to Lawsuit for "Unconstitutional" DOJ Spying
- Report: DOJ Monitored Journalist's Emails, Phone Records in North Korea Leak Case
- White House Was Informed of IRS Issues Weeks Earlier
- Federal Judge Blocks Arkansas Anti-Abortion Law
- Chicago Teachers March Against School Closings
- Thousands Protest Education Cuts in Philadelphia
- Hate Crime Alleged in Shooting Death of Gay New Yorker
We turn now to climate justice activist Tim DeChristopher, who was released last month after 21 months in federal custody. DeChristopher was convicted of interfering with a public auction in 2008 when he disrupted the Bush administration’s last-minute move to auction off oil and gas exploitation rights in Utah by posing as a bidder. He is the subject of the new documentary, "Bidder 70." "We need to be building power as a social movement. One of the weaknesses for the climate movement," DeChristopher explains, is that "we still have this huge divide between the political side of the movement that focuses on Washington and the grassroots side of the movement that’s been building real power."
The Justice Department’s disclosure that it had secretly subpoenaed phone records from the Associated Press has prompted a wave of comparisons between President Obama and Richard Nixon. Four decades ago, the Nixon administration attempted to block The New York Times from publishing a secret history of the Vietnam War leaked to the newspaper by whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. Two days after the Times first published excerpts of what became known as the "Pentagon Papers," the Nixon government asked for and received a Supreme Court injunction against the newspaper, arguing that publication of the documents posed a "grave and immediate danger to the security of the United States." We speak to James Goodale, the general counsel at The New York Times during the Pentagon Papers crackdown. Goodale is a leading legal expert on the First Amendment and has just published a new book, "Fighting for the Press: The Inside Story of the Pentagon Papers and Other Battles." Goodale said he wrote the book in part because of the work of Julian Assange of the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks, and how he is likely being targeted by the U.S. government in an ongoing grand jury probe. "My book is meant to be a clarion call to the journalist community: Wake up! There’s danger out there," Goodale says. "You may not like Assange, but wake up! The First Amendment is really going to be damaged. If Obama goes forward and succeeds, he will have succeeded where Nixon failed."
A Pentagon official predicted Thursday the war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates could last up to 20 more years. The comment came during a Senate hearing revisiting the Authorization for Use of Military Force, or AUMF, enacted by Congress days after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. At the hearing, Pentagon officials claimed the AUMF gives the president power to wage endless war anywhere in the world, including in Syria, Yemen and the Congo. "This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I’ve been to since I’ve been here," said Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine. "You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution here today." We play excerpts of Thursday’s Senate hearing and our recent interview with Jeremy Scahill, author of the new bestseller, "Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield."
- Guantánamo Hunger Strike Enters 100th Day; 30 Prisoners Being Force-Fed
- Number of Syrian Refugees Tops 1.5 Million
- Obama: U.S. Won't Take Unilateral Action Against Assad
- Obama Defends Secret Subpoena of Associated Press Phone Records
- DOJ Releases Completely Blacked-Out Memo on Surveillance of Text Messages
- Obama Appoints New Acting IRS Commissioner
- Audit of Witness Protection Program Finds Gaps in Tracking of Terror Suspects
- Note by Boston Bombing Suspect Cites U.S. Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan as Motive
- 9 Afghan Civilians, 6 Americans Killed in Kabul Suicide Bombing
- Cause of Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion Still Unknown 1 Month Later
- 3rd U.S. Military Official Tasked with Sexual Assault Prevention Is Accused of Abuse
- Senate Panels Advance Obama Nominees for Labor Dept., EPA with No Republican Support
- House Lawmakers Reach Tentative Deal for Immigration Reform
- 7 Still Missing After Texas Tornadoes; At Least 6 Dead
- LulzSec Computer Hackers Get Jail Terms in Britain
- Case Dropped Against Florida Teen Arrested for Science Experiment
- Today Marks 45th Anniversary of Catonsville 9 Protest Against Vietnam War
- Woman in El Salvador Asks Supreme Court for Life-Saving Abortion
Students and administrators at New York City’s Cooper Union are clashing over the future of one of the last private universities in the United States to offer free tuition. Activists are occupying the president’s office for a ninth day after the school said fiscal problems would force an end to more than a century of free tuition for undergraduates. We host a debate with three guests: Mark Epstein, the chairman of the board of trustees for Cooper Union; Victoria Sobel, a Cooper Union student organizer who is among the activists who have occupied the president’s office for over a week; and Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon.
David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and president of Investigative Reporters and Editors, joins us to discuss the growing scandal over the Justice Department’s seizure of telephone records from Associated Press editors and reporters. The action came as part of a probe into the leaks behind an AP story about how U.S. intelligence thwarted a Yemen-based al-Qaeda bombing plot on a U.S.-bound airplane. "This is a very troubling aspect of this administration — it is hostile to the news media," Johnston says. "They’re behaving much more like a corporation than like the people’s government."
The acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Steven Miller, has been forced to resign days after the IRS apologized to tea party and other right-wing groups for putting extra scrutiny on their bids to become tax-exempt organizations. While the IRS targeting of tea party groups has made headlines for days, far less attention has been paid to the roots of the crisis. After the 2010 landmark Supreme Court decision Citizens United, there was a spike in new political organizations seeking tax-exempt status under tax code Section 501(c)(4). The court ruled these groups could raise unlimited corporate money without disclosing donor information. Several groups have claimed to be social welfare organizations while spending tens of millions of dollars on political operations. We speak to David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who writes about taxes issues. "One of the questions that needs to be examined in the real scandal here is: How did MoveOn, how did Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, how did Bill Burton’s progressive Democratic group get approved as exclusively social welfare organizations?" Johnston says. "There are a bunch of folks out there arguing that, well, 'primarily,' that phrase that pops up in IRS regulations, can mean 49.9 percent of your activity. I’m sorry, is there an adult in America who’s been in a romantic relationship who thinks that 'exclusively' is 49 percent of the time?"
- IRS Commissioner Forced to Resign over Extra Scrutiny of Right-Wing Groups
- Holder: Deputy Signed Off on AP Subpoenas
- Holder Unsure of How Many Journalist Subpoenas He's Approved
- Report: Verizon Gave Justice Dept. Records of 2 Journalists
- White House Seeks Revival of Media Shield Law
- Dem Rep. Blasts Holder for Drug War, Marijuana Crackdown
- Suicide Attack Kills 10 in Kabul; Group Tells AP of Plans to Target U.S. Soldiers
- U.N. General Assembly Condemns Syrian Gov't as Toll Passes 80,000
- Palestinians Mark 65th Anniversary of "Nakba"
- Up to 6 Dead in Cambodia Shoe Factory Collapse
- White House Releases Emails on Benghazi Talking Points
- U.S. Earns $50.6 Billion Profit on Student Interest
- Regulators Back Down on New Derivatives Rule
- Hundreds Take Part in Milwaukee Fast-Food, Retail Strike
- North Dakota Abortion Clinic Challenges New Restriction
- Charges Dropped Against NYPD Officer in Shooting Death of Ramarley Graham
- New DNA Evidence Could Clear Florida Death Row Prisoner
Following last week’s guilty verdict in Guatemala’s historic genocide trial, reporter Allan Nairn says the United States should follow Guatemala’s lead and indict the Reagan administration officials who supported the genocide under General Efraín Ríos Montt. "All of [these crimes] were crimes not just of General Ríos Montt, but also of the U.S. government," Nairn says. Former President Ronald Reagan once called Ríos Montt "a man of great personal integrity." After the verdict, Judge Yassmin Barrios ordered the attorney general to launch an immediate investigation of "all others" connected to the crimes.
Days after Guatemala’s former U.S.-backed dictator, Efraín Ríos Montt, was convicted of genocide, we’re joined by a woman largely responsible for making sure he was brought to justice. Rigoberta Menchú began the process over a decade ago with legal cases filed against Guatemalan generals for atrocities committed in the Mayan region. Her lawsuits helped culminate last week in Ríos Montt’s landmark guilty verdict and 80-year sentence for his role in the killings of more than 1,700 Ixil Mayan people. Menchú lost her father, mother and two brothers during the Guatemalan genocide, later winning the Nobel Peace Prize for her campaigning on behalf of Guatemala’s indigenous population. "The conviction of Ríos Montt may provide an opportunity to close a chapter of our lives, a chapter of profound pain, [allowing] us to begin a new relationship amongst Guatemalans," Menchú says. "Because during the genocide, we felt so alone, we felt powerless, and we felt that nobody had our back. ... The fact the genocide was committed is [now] recognized means that nobody will ever forget."
The Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges joins us to discuss what could mark the most significant government intrusion on freedom of the press in decades. The Justice Department has acknowledged seizing the work, home and cellphone records used by almost 100 reporters and editors at the Associated Press. The phones targeted included the general AP office numbers in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Hartford, Connecticut, and the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery. The action likely came as part of a probe into the leaks behind an AP story on the U.S. intelligence operation that stopped a Yemen-based al-Qaeda bombing plot on a U.S.-bound airplane. Hedges, a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and former New York Times reporter, calls the monitoring "one more assault in a long series of assault against freedom of information and freedom of the press." Highlighting the Obama administration’s targeting of government whistleblowers, Hedges adds: "Talk to any investigative journalist who must investigate the government, and they will tell you that there is a deep freeze. People are terrified of speaking, because they’re terrified of going to jail."
- Holder Defends Monitoring of AP Phone Records
- Wal-Mart Linked to Collapsed Bangladeshi Factory; The Gap Rejects Safety Pact
- Russia Expels Alleged CIA Spy Caught Recruiting
- 3 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan
- Minnesota Gov. Signs Same-Sex Marriage Law
- Fort Hood Sexual Assault Coordinator Accused of Abuses
- Warren Questions Regulators, Justice Dept. on Lack of Wall Street Prosecutors
- Fast-Food Workers Strike in Milwaukee
- Undocumented Immigrants Protest Deportations at Illinois Jail
- Former Head of Hispanic Outreach for Florida GOP Switches Parties over "Intolerance"
- Cooper Union Students Continue Tuition Protest
- Seattle Teachers Win Campaign Against Standardized MAP Test
- Angelina Jolie Reveals Double Masectomy for Breast Cancer; Firm Owns Mutation Gene
Dr. Paul Farmer, an infectious diseases expert and a medical anthropologist, is known worldwide for helping to bring quality healthcare to some of the most impoverished areas of the globe. More than 25 years ago, Farmer helped found the charity Partners in Health to provide free medical care in central Haiti. Today, Partners in Health teams up with local groups to treat people with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other conditions in Haiti and countries around the world. The South African Nobel Peace laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, calls him "One of the great advocates for the poorest and sickest of our planet." Farmer’s previous book, "Haiti After the Earthquake," describes the massive suffering and ongoing recovery effort after the devastating January 2010 earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people. His latest, "To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation," collects a series of commencement addresses that Farmer has delivered to graduating college students going back more than a decade. Throughout, Farmer urges them to confront global problems through an approach that has long guided his work: a tireless commitment to social justice and solidarity with the world’s poor. Farmer joins us to discuss why he thinks a community-based health approach can help fix the U.S. healthcare system, how Rwanda’s model has drastically improved the lives of its citizens, and how to tackle the massive health problems in post-earthquake Haiti.