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- Texas Blues Radio Living Blues Radio Poll report, August 1, 2016
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- Texas Blues Radio, Living Blues radio poll report, July 1, 2016
The DOJ’s announcement that it will phase out federal prisons operated by private prison companies will have no direct impact on private immigrant detention facilities, which are operated by the same companies under contracts with the Department of Homeland Security. Detention Watch Network has now called for DHS "to follow suit and break their ties with private prison companies that operate more than half of ... U.S. immigrant detention facilities as a step towards ending detention completely." We get more details from Democracy Now! correspondent Renée Feltz, who notes the detention centers hold people who have committed civil offenses, and children as young as two years old.
Private Prisons May Be Phased Out, But Industry Leaves Trail of Bodies from Medical Neglect & Abuses
News that the Department of Justice will phase out 13 private prisons sent stocks plummeting on Thursday for for the companies that operate them: Corrections Corporation of America, The GEO Group and Management and Training Corporation. We look at the companies’ track record with Shane Bauer, whose 18-month investigation of a CCA prison for Mother Jones recently took up its entire issue. Titled "My Four Months as a Private Prison Guard," it chronicles his time as an undercover correctional officer at Louisiana’s Winn Correctional Center. His most recent article is titled "This Prisoner Hanged Himself at the Private Prison Where I Worked. His Family Says He Didn’t Have to Die." We are also joined by reporter Seth Freed Wessler, who investigated several CCA prisons for the federal government that are now set to close.
In what some are calling a historic change in policy, the Justice Department says it will phase out the use of privately run federal prisons. In a memo describing the policy shift, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates said research showed private prisons "simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources" and "do not save substantially on costs," either. Yates added that government education and training programs for prisoners "proved difficult to replicate and outsource” in the private sector. In the memo, she said as the contracts for 13 private federal facilities come to the end of their terms over the next five years. Some 22,000 federal prisoners out of a total of 193,000 will eventually be impacted by the move. Most are immigrants convicted of crossing the border without permission—charges that currently account for 50 percent of all federal prosecutions. This follows a series of reports by investigative journalists. In our first segment, we speak with reporter Seth Freed Wessler, whose yearlong probe for The Nation and Reveal News uncovered dozens of questionable deaths and years of dire warnings from internal monitors at the private prisons now set to lose their contracts.
- U.S. Justice Department Issues Directive to Stop Use of Private Prisons
- Jeh Johnson Visits Louisiana, Promises Aid for Flood Victims
- California: Blue Cut Fire Continues to Burn Uncontrollably
- "Believe It or Not," Trump Says He "Regrets" Some Remarks
- Clinton Foundation: No More International Donations If Hillary Wins
- State Dept. Admits Timing of Cash Transfer to Iran Linked to Prisoners
- Brazilian Police Accuse 4 U.S. Olympic Swimmers of Vandalism, False Robbery Claim
- Turkish President Says Coup Plotters Working with Kurdish Rebels
- Yemen: Doctors Without Borders Pull Staff After Saudi Hits Hospitals
- Syria: Viral Pic of Boy After Airstrike Draws Attention to Humanitarian Disaster
- Mexican Federal Police Accused of Covering Up Human Rights Violations
- Video of Man's Death in LAPD Custody Surfaces After 4 Years
- Gawker to Shut Down Next Week
- Native Activists Fighting Dakota Access Pipeline: "What We're Doing is in Peace"
We turn now to a growing protest in North Dakota, where hundreds of indigenous activists have shut down construction on a multibillion-dollar pipeline project. The $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline is slated to carry half a million barrels of Bakken crude from North Dakota to Illinois. But members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe say the pipeline threatens to contaminate the Missouri River, which provides water not only for thousands of residents on the reservation, but also for millions of people living downstream. On April 1, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe launched an ongoing protest camp called Sacred Stone. Since late July, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the pipeline, at least 28 people have been arrested as they have used their bodies and horses to block construction.
For months, Jill Stein of the Green Party attempted to push Bernie Sanders to join the Green ticket. While he ignored the call, Stein is now reaching out to Sanders supporters for their votes in November. But is Stein afraid of tipping the election toward Donald Trump? We get response from her and running mate Ajamu Baraka.
Over the last few weeks, the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has killed dozens of civilians and bombed at least one school and one hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders. A number of activists, politicians and news outlets, including The New York Times, are calling on the United States to stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the ongoing conflict. But Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein is going even further—calling on the U.S. to stop all funding for Israel and Saudi Arabia. For more, we speak with Jill Stein and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka.
The Green Party’s vice-presidential nominee Ajamu Baraka is a longtime human rights activist. He is the founding executive director of the U.S. Human Rights Network and coordinator of the U.S.-based Black Left Unity Network’s Committee on International Affairs. For years, Baraka has led efforts by the U.S. Human Rights Network to challenge police brutality and racism in the United States by bringing these issues to the United Nations.
While polls show Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are among the least popular major-party candidates to ever run for the White House, it appears no third-party candidates will be invited to take part in the first presidential debate next month. The debates are organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties. Under the commission’s rules, candidates will only be invited if they are polling at 15 percent in five national surveys. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein have both witnessed recent surges in support, but neither have crossed the 15 percent threshold. More than 12,000 people have signed a petition organized by RootsAction calling for a four-way presidential debate. We speak to Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein. Four years ago she was arrested outside a presidential debate protesting her exclusion from the event.
- Louisiana Floods Worst U.S. Disaster Since Hurricane Sandy
- Aetna to Leave Public Healthcare Exchanges After DOJ Blocks Merger
- Clinton Takes Aim at Trump for Refusing to Pay Employees
- Lawmakers Begin Reviewing Clinton Emails
- Ring-Wing Media Influencer Steve Bannon Now Heads Trump Campaign
- NYT, Guardian Editorial Boards Call for End to Support for Saudis in Yemen
- U.N. Admits Role in Causing Haiti Cholera Outbreak That Killed 9,000
- U.N. to Investigate Claim Peacekeepers Failed to Stop Attacks on Civilians
- At Least Five Police Officers Killed in Bombings in Eastern Turkey
- Australia to Close Manus Offshore Detention Facility for Asylum Seekers
- Illinois Governor Signs Domestic Workers Bill of Rights
- Hate Crime Charges Possible for Oklahoma Man Who Killed Arab Neighbor
- UC Berkeley Chancellor Leaves Amid Criticisms over Handling of Harassment Cases
- Brazil Police Question U.S. Swimmers After Doubt Cast on Robbery Claim
In New Jersey, lawmakers have recently introduced legislation that would require the state’s attorney general to review every death at the hands of law enforcement. One of the key backers of the New Jersey legislation has been Larry Hamm, chair of the People’s Organization for Progress in New Jersey. We recently spoke to Hamm and actor Danny Glover in Philadelphia at the Democratic National Convention.
Hillary Clinton has announced former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar as the head of her transition team. Salazar is a former U.S. senator from Colorado who now works at WilmerHale, one of the most influential lobbying firms in Washington. Some groups have criticized Salazar’s selection due to his vocal support of fracking, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Keystone XL pipeline. In addition to Ken Salazar, other leaders of the transition team include former Obama National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, Center for American Progress head Neera Tanden, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and Maggie Williams, the director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics. For more, we speak with David Sirota, senior editor for investigations at the International Business Times.
In the latest escalation of the war in Syria, Russia has begun launching airstrikes from an Iranian air base. The New York Times reports this marks the first time since World War II that a foreign military has operated from a base on Iranian soil. The move comes as fighting has intensified around Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. Earlier this month, rebels fighting the Syrian government began a new offensive to break an ongoing government-backed siege of the city. The rebels have been led in part by an offshoot of the Nusra Front, which up until last month had been aligned with al-Qaeda. The International Committee of the Red Cross has described the fight for Aleppo as "beyond doubt one of the most devastating urban conflicts in modern times." The United Nations is warning of a dire humanitarian crisis as millions are left without water or electricity. For more on the humanitarian and medical crisis in Syria, we speak with Dr. Zaher Sahloul, founder of the American Relief Coalition for Syria and senior adviser and former president of the Syrian American Medical Society. He has visited Aleppo five times since the war began.
- Syria: Russia Strikes from Airfield in Iran as Aleppo Fighting Intensifies
- Clinton Transition Team to Be Led by Pro-Fracking Fmr. Obama Aide
- Trump Shakes Up Campaign Staff for Second Time in as Many Months
- Ousted Fox CEO Roger Ailes Advising Trump on Presidential Debates
- Trump to Receive First Top-Secret Intelligence Briefing Today
- NJ Forgave Millions in Trump Casino Taxes After Christie's Election
- Trump Calls for More Police in Wisconsin, Following Uprising
- NYC to Pay $4 Million over Police Killing of Akai Gurley
- 11 Dead in Louisiana Amid Historic Flooding
- More Than 80,000 Evacuated as Fires Destroy Homes Near Los Angeles
- Report: Most Cities Will Be Too Hot for Summer Olympics by 2084
- Yemen: U.S.-Backed Strike Kills 9 Civilians
- Mothers Enter 2nd Week of Hunger Strike at PA Detention Center
As the Olympics continue in Rio de Janeiro, we return to our conversation with sportswriter Jesse Washington of the site The Undefeated and Anthony Ervin, who just became the oldest-ever individual Olympic swimming gold medalist. Ervin is also the author of the new book, "Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian."
On Monday, while Trump was speaking in Youngstown, Ohio, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden held a rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Scranton is Biden’s hometown. During her speech, Hillary Clinton slammed Trump’s foreign policy positions on Syria and fighting ISIS. But what about her own positions? For more, we speak with Phyllis Bennis, author of "Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror." We also speak with co-founder of the Muslim Democratic Club of New York Linda Sarsour.
Matt Taibbi on Trump's Position on NATO, Russia & his Campaign Head's $13 Million Scandal in Ukraine
During Donald Trump’s speech in Youngstown, Ohio, on Monday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reversed his earlier threats to defy NATO treaties, and instead said he would work closely with the alliance to defeat ISIS. For more, we speak with award-winning journalist Matt Taibbi and author Phyllis Bennis.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump invoked the Cold War as he pledged to wage war against what he described as the "ideology of radical Islam" during a speech in Youngstown, Ohio, on Monday. Trump also vowed to institute "extreme vetting" of visa applicants. He also said he’d create a commission on radical Islam, keep Guantánamo Bay open and stop trying people accused of terrorism in civilian courts. For more, we speak with Matt Taibbi, award-winning journalist with Rolling Stone magazine. We also speak with Phyllis Bennis, author of "Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror." And we speak with Linda Sarsour, director of the first Muslim online organizing platform, MPower Change, and co-founder of the Muslim Democratic Club of New York.
- Trump Vows "Extreme" Ideological Test for New Immigrants
- Giuliani Claims No Terrorist Attacks Occurred in Years Before Obama
- VP Joe Biden: "Trump Is Already Making Our Country Less Safe"
- After Uprising, Milwaukee Imposes Curfew for Teenagers
- Louisiana: Death Toll Rises to 7 Amid Historic Flooding
- Pentagon Releases 15 Prisoners from Guantánamo Bay
- Yemen: U.S.-Backed Airstrike Destroys Hospital, Killing 15
- Indian Security Forces Kill 5 Protesters in Kashmir
- Turkey: 7 Killed in Car Bomb Attack on Police Station
- Nigeria: Families Demand Rescue of Chibok Schoolgirls
- Health Officials: Number of 9/11-Linked Cancer Diagnoses Triples
- New York City: Hundreds Mourn Killing of Imam and His Assistant
- NC Officials Ask SCOTUS to Reinstate Discriminatory Voter ID Laws
- Gays Against Guns Protest BlackRock for Investing in Firearms
Ibtihaj Muhammad, who is an African-American Muslim woman, has became the first U.S. athlete to compete at the Olympic Games wearing a hijab. She won a bronze medal Saturday in the women’s team saber fencing. "I remember being a kid and being told that there were things I couldn’t do, you know, whether that be because I was a girl or because I was African-American or because I was Muslim," said Muhammad. "So, to be able to stand on top of that podium and represent our country, and to show, you know, girls out there, to show our youth out there, that they can accomplish anything." We speak to Jesse Washington, senior writer for The Undefeated.