As the federal government shutdown continues, Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Asia for secret talks on a sweeping new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP is often referred to by critics as "NAFTA on steroids," and would establish a free trade zone that would stretch from Vietnam to Chile, encompassing 800 million people — about a third of world trade and nearly 40 percent of the global economy. While the text of the treaty has been largely negotiated behind closed doors and, until June, kept secret from Congress, more than 600 corporate advisers reportedly have access to the measure, including employees of Halliburton and Monsanto. "This is not mainly about trade," says Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. "It is a corporate Trojan horse. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade. The other 24 chapters either handcuff our domestic governments, limiting food safety, environmental standards, financial regulation, energy and climate policy, or establishing new powers for corporations."
- President Obama Cancels Trip to APEC Summit as Shutdown Continues
- GOP Congressmember Walks Back Controversial Budget Remark
- Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul Caught on Tape Discussing Shutdown Strategy
- Woman Shot Dead After Capitol Hill Car Chase
- Gulf Coast Braces for Tropical Storm Karen
- At Least 130 African Migrants Die in Boat Tragedy
- U.N. Weapons Inspectors Report Progress in Syria
- U.S. to Fly Spy Drones from Base in Japan
- UPDATE: Angola 3 Member Herman Wallace Dies Just Days After Release from Prison
- California Governor Signs Bill Allowing Drivers' Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants
- Wendy Davis Launches Campaign for Texas Governor
- 13 Members of Anonymous Indicted for Cyber-Attacks
- Protests Planned Worldwide to Demand Release of 30 Greenpeace Prisoners in Russia
- Ecuador: Parliament Approves Plans to Drill in Yasuní National Park
- Report: U.S. Officer Wanted in Murders of U.S. Journalist, Student After 1973 Chilean Coup Dies
Ahead of next week’s 12th anniversary of what has become the longest war in U.S. history, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says the United States is seeking to sign an accord to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan for the indefinite future. The United States plans to pull out the bulk of its 57,000 troops in Afghanistan by the end of 2014, but the Pentagon wants to retain a smaller force of around 10,000 forces after 2014. We are joined by Afghan activist and former member of Parliament, Malalai Joya, author of the book, "A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice." A survivor of numerous attempts on her life, Time magazine has named her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. "We need the support of justice-loving people of the U.S. to join their hands with us," Joya says. "Unfortunately, we see that today imperialism and fundamentalism have joined hands."
The federal government shutdown began on Tuesday, the same day that a key facet of President Obama’s healthcare law went live nationwide. For the first time, Americans were able to begin purchasing health insurance from federal and state exchanges. But The New York Times reports the new healthcare law will leave out two-thirds of the nation’s poor blacks and single mothers and more than half of the nation’s low-wage workers who do not have insurance. That’s because they live in 26 states controlled by Republicans that have rejected the vast expansion of Medicaid. The U.S. Supreme Court allowed states to opt out of the expanded Medicaid provision earlier this year. Overall, up to seven million Americans are now ineligible for Medicaid — they make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to get help to buy a plan on the new healthcare market. We discuss the government shutdown and the launching of health insurance enrollment under the Affordable Care Act with two guests: Imara Jones, economic justice contributor for Colorlines.com and a former Clinton White House staffer, and Trudy Lieberman, a contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review who has reported extensively on the Affordable Care Act.
The partial shutdown of the federal government has entered its third day. More than 800,000 federal workers are furloughed, and numerous governmental programs have been forced to stop running. For example, the government shutdown has already caused as many as 19,000 children to lose access to Head Start. Many recipients of Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, more commonly known as WIC, will lose assistance. As negotiations remain stalled, Imara Jones of Colorlines.com looks at who is being hardest hit by the shutdown.
- Obama "Exasperated" with GOP Intransigence on Shutdown
- Medicaid Opt-Out Will Leave Millions Without Health Insurance
- U.N. Demands Access, Fighting Halt for Syria Aid
- Netanyahu: Iranian PM a "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing"
- Over 170 Killed in Sudanese Crackdown on Protests
- Tens of Thousands Mark Tlatelolco Anniversary in Mexico
- Russia Files Piracy Charges Against Greenpeace Activists
- NSA Has Capability to Gather Cellphone Location Data
- Lavabit Owner: FBI Wanted Access to All Customers in Snowden Probe
- Judge Orders Court Monitor over Racial Profiling in Arizona
- San Francisco Cuts Ties to Federal Deportation Program
- Hundreds Protest Anti-Choice Laws in Ohio
- Gov. Perry: Wife Misspoke in Backing Right to Abortion
- Banks to Pay $1.3 Billion Mortgage Settlement to Freddie Mac
Two Canadian citizens — acclaimed Toronto filmmaker John Greyson and medical doctor Tarek Loubani — have been jailed for more than a month and a half in Egypt without charge after witnessing a massacre by state forces on August 16 in Cairo. The two were traveling through Egypt en route to visit Gaza, where Greyson was to film Loubani as he trained emergency room doctors. In a statement smuggled out of their prison cell, Greyson and Loubani say they were arrested after rushing to the scene of a mass shooting of supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi. Greyson says he began filming the shooting’s aftermath while Loubani treated some of the injured. "We were arrested, searched, caged, questioned, interrogated, videotaped with a 'Syrian terrorist,' slapped, beaten, ridiculed, hot-boxed, refused phone calls, stripped, shaved bald, accused of being foreign mercenaries," they wrote. The two have been been held in cockroach-infested jail cells with as many as 36 other people. Over the weekend, Egyptian authorities confirmed their imprisonment has been extended another 45 days, still without charge. Greyson and Loubani have been on a hunger strike for the past two weeks against their imprisonment. We’re joined by three guests: Cecilia Greyson, the sister of John Greyson; Naomi Klein, the prominent Canadian journalist and author; and Sharif Abdel Kouddous, independent journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent based in Cairo. Klein criticizes the Canadian government for a lackluster response to Greyson and Loubani’s imprisonment. "We haven’t heard our government say these men are innocent. They were doing their jobs. They must be released right now," Klein says. "That’s what we’re waiting for. We’re also waiting to hear that if they continue to be ignored and disregarded by the Egyptian government, which has been what’s happened so far, that there will be real consequences."
A dying prisoner has been released in Louisiana after serving nearly 42 years in solitary confinement, longer than any other person in the United States. Herman Wallace and two others, known as the Angola Three, were placed in solitary in 1972 following the murder of a prison guard. The Angola Three and their supporters say they were framed for the murder over their political activism as members of one of the first prison chapters of the Black Panthers. In a surprise development on Tuesday, Wallace was released from prison after a federal judge overturned his conviction, saying he did not receive a fair trial. Wallace, who is near death from advanced liver cancer, was taken directly to a New Orleans hospital where supporters greeted his arrival. We are joined by three guests: Robert King, who until Tuesday night was the only freed member of the Angola Three and helped deliver to Wallace the news of his release; Wallace’s defense attorney, George Kendall; and Jackie Sumell, an artist and Wallace supporter who is with him at the Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans. "This is a tremendous victory and a miracle that Herman Wallace will die a free man," Sumell says. "He’s had 42 years of maintaining his innocence in solitary confinement, and if his last few breaths are as a free man, we’ve won."
- Dems Reject GOP Effort for Selective Gov't Funding During Shutdown
- U.S. Government Shutdown Threatens Services for Low-Income Children, Cancer Patients
- Shutdown Leads to Closure of Federal Landmarks
- Obamacare Health Exchanges Open to Heavy Traffic, Glitches
- Treasury Warns of Debt Ceiling Deadline; Obama Cancels Part of Asia Trip
- Dying "Angola 3" Prisoner Herman Wallace Freed After Conviction Overturned
- Ex-Guatemalan Officer Convicted of Lying About Role in '82 Massacre
The oil giant BP is back in court for the April 2010 accident that caused the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, killing 11 workers and leaking almost five million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. On Monday, the second phase of the trial began with lawyers accusing the oil company of lying about how much oil was leaking, failing to prepare for how to handle the disaster, and for not capping the leak quickly enough. We are joined in New Orleans by Monique Harden, co-director of Advocates for Environmental Human Rights and an attorney who specializes in environmental justice concerns in New Orleans. In the aftermath of the BP spill, Harden’s organization exposed how the oil giant had contracted with a claims processing company that promoted its record of reducing lost dollar payouts for injuries and damage caused by its client companies. We are also joined by John Barry, vice president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority–East, which has brought a lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies for destruction of the Gulf coastline, making the area more at risk from flooding and storm surges.
Beyond the well-known devastation caused by the BP oil spill in 2010, the oil and gas industry in Louisiana has also been blamed for destroying coastal wetlands that provide a vital barrier against flooding from storms like Hurricane Katrina. Speaking from the front lines of this issue in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, we hear from community organizer Jacques Morial, the son of the city’s first African-American mayor, Dutch Morial. We are also joined by John Barry, vice president of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority–East, the levee board responsible for protecting most of greater New Orleans. Barry led the authority’s lawsuit against 97 oil and gas companies for destruction of the coast. On Monday, following pressure from Gov. Bobby Jindal, who opposed the lawsuit, the board’s nominating committee decided not to renominate Barry to another term on the flood board. Barry is also an award-winning historian and author of several books, including "Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America."
The U.S. government has begun a partial shutdown for the first time in 17 years after Congress failed to break a partisan deadlock by a midnight deadline. Some 800,000 federal workers are to be furloughed, and more than a million others will be asked to work without pay. The shutdown was spearheaded by tea party Republicans who backed a House bill tying continued government funding to a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of a tax to pay for it. In addition to the furloughs, the shutdown will halt dozens of services provided by government agencies. We discuss the impact with Mother Jones reporter Tim Murphy, whose latest article is "48 Ways a Government Shutdown Will Screw You Over."
- Partial Shutdown Begins After Obamacare Impasse Derails Funding
- Enrollment Begins for Obamacare Insurance Exchanges
- Obama Renews Military Threat on Iran; Netanyahu Calls for Tightened Sanctions
- U.N. Team Begins Mission to Destroy Syrian Chemical Stockpile
- NSA Storing Online Metadata for Up to a Year
- 33 Detained at Texas Border Crossing in Undocumented Protest Against Deportations
- Marine Corps Generals Forced to Retire over Afghan Security Lapse
- Venezuela Expels 3 U.S. Diplomats
- Thousands Rally in Haiti on Coup Anniversary
- Jailed, Hunger-Striking Canadians Claim Abuse by Egyptian Forces
- U.K. School Withdraws Investment in Drone Firm
- CUNY Students Continue Protests Against Petraeus Course
Angola prisoner Herman Wallace is dying of liver cancer after 42 years in solitary confinement. A member of the so-called Angola Three, Wallace and two others were in jail for armed robbery, then accused in 1972 of murdering a prison guard at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola prison. The men say they were framed because of their political activism as members one of the first prison chapters of the Black Panther Party. Wallace’s supporters say he has just days to live, but his requests for compassionate release has so far gone unanswered. We speak with Jackie Sumell, a New Orleans-based artist behind "Herman’s House," a collaboration with Wallace, which is the subject of a new documentary by the same name. "I’m not sure in the state of Louisiana if compassion is part of the vocabulary of those who are in power. I always felt that compassionate release, or asking for compassionate release, was important in terms of a multipronged effort to have Herman released," Sumell says. "But there’s been 42 years of the state continuing to deny Herman’s due process. It’s incredible. He’s the longest known serving in solitary confinement in the United States." We are also joined by Malik Rahim, one of the founders of the Louisiana chapter of the Black Panther Party and a co-founder of the Common Ground Collective, which helped bring thousands of people from all over the world to help rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
We broadcast from New Orleans, Louisiana, the heart of the world’s prison capital, where more people are behind bars any other state per capita — an incarceration rate 13 times that of China. Louisiana also ranks among the highest in the country in terms of the number of people per capita who are exonerated after serving years in prison for crimes they did not commit. We are joined by Henry James, the longest-serving prisoner to be exonerated in Louisiana. James spent 30 years in the notorious Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola prison, on a life sentence without parole for rape. At trial, the prosecution never told the jury that serology testing from the rape kit excluded James as the perpetrator. In 2011, DNA evidence found by accident proved James’ innocence, winning him his release. We also speak with Emily Maw, director of Innocence Project New Orleans, which helped win his exoneration. "Henry James’ case is unfortunately atypical. Everybody in Louisiana who is convicted of murder or rape gets sentenced to life without parole. There is no other sentence for those two crimes. What is atypical about Henry’s case is that they found the evidence," Maw says. "In Louisiana, as in many places, evidence storage and preservation practices are atrocious. People lose evidence all the time in cases where DNA testing could prove their innocence."
- U.S. Faces Government Shutdown in Obamacare Standoff
- Obama, Rouhani Speak in Phone Call
- U.N. Security Council Approves Syria Chemical Weapons Deal
- U.N. to Hold New Syria Peace Conference in Geneva
- Dozens Killed in Iraq Bombings
- Peshawar Hit With 3rd Major Attack in 1 Week
- 50 Students Reportedly Killed in Nigeria
- NSA Mapping Social Networking of Americans
- Justice Dept. to Challenge North Carolina Voting Law
As Republicans try again to block the implementation of Obamacare, the major part of the Affordable Care Act is about to take effect. Individuals seeking health insurance under Obamacare will be able to enroll online through new federal marketplaces beginning October 1. The marketplaces are primarily designed to serve the 48 million Americans without health insurance and those who buy insurance on their own. To help navigate the new system, we speak to Elisabeth Benjamin, Vice President of Health Initiatives of Community Service Society of New York. “When you go to the marketplace, you will be able to put in your information and it will give you a very small selection of plans. You will have choices, but the choices will be standardized. You will be able to do a real comparison — you will know exactly how for example Aetna compares with Empire or Blue Cross Blue shield,” Benjamin says. “So for the first time, purchasing health insurance will be on a level playing field, which is remarkable for consumers.”
- Deal Reached on U.N. Resolution for Syria Disarmament
- U.S., Iran Voice Optimism After Rare Meeting
- Iranian President Calls for End to Nuclear Weapons Worldwide
- Haitian Prime Minister: U.N. Has "Moral Responsibility" to Address Cholera Epidemic
- IPCC: Scientists Now 95% Certain Climate Change Caused by Humans
- Audit: FBI Has Used Drones Inside U.S. Since 2006
- Republicans Continue Bid to Advance Agenda Through Budget Battle
- NSA Chief: All Phone Records Should Be in Searchable "Lockbox"
- Court Upholds 50-Year Prison Term for Charles Taylor
- African-American Woman Sentenced to 20 Years for Warning Shot Gets New Trial
- George Zimmerman's Wife Expresses Doubt About His Innocence in Travyon Martin Case
- Montana Teacher Convicted of Rape Released After 30-Day Prison Term
- Wendy Davis to Run for Governor of Texas
- Barilla Pasta President Criticized for Remarks on LGBT Families
- Report: Construction for Qatar World Cup Will Kill 4,000 Migrant Workers
- Activist Stages Force-Feeding in Solidarity with California Prisoners
- Free Speech Radio News Airs Final Broadcast
- Angola 3 Prisoner Given Days to Live
In his latest article for Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi reports that Wall Street firms are now making millions in profits off of public pension funds nationwide. "Essentially it is a wealth transfer from teachers, cops and firemen to billionaire hedge funders," Taibbi says. "Pension funds are one of the last great, unguarded piles of money in this country and there are going to be all sort of operators that are trying to get their hands on that money."