While the United States, Mexico and Canada held a major summit in Mexico on Wednesday, U.S. border policies are back in the spotlight after a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man near San Diego, California, on Tuesday. Officials said the agent was pursuing a group of people suspected of crossing the border from Mexico. When a man threw a rock at him, the agent opened fire and killed him. The agent suffered minor injuries and declined hospital care. The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general recently found U.S. border agents have been involved in 20 fatalities since 2010, eight of which — that’s nearly half — involved rock throwing. For more, we’re joined by John Carlos Frey, an investigative reporter who has long reported on immigration, and more recently on killings of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
In Venezuela, at least six people have died in recent days during a series of anti-government protests. The latest casualty was a local beauty queen who died of a gunshot wound. The protests come less than a year after the death of Hugo Chávez and present the biggest challenge to Venezuela’s new president, Nicolás Maduro. Earlier this week, right-wing opposition leader Leopoldo López turned himself in to the National Guard after authorities issued a warrant for his arrest last week, accusing him of inciting deadly clashes. On Monday, Maduro ordered the expulsion of three U.S. consular officials while claiming the United States has sided with the opposition. Our guest, George Ciccariello-Maher, looks at the recent history of the U.S. role in Venezuela opposing both the Chávez and Maduro governments. He is author of "We Created Chávez: A People’s History of the Venezuelan Revolution" and teaches political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
A short-lived truce has broken down in Ukraine as street battles have erupted between anti-government protesters and police. Last night the country’s embattled president and the opposition leaders demanding his resignation called for a truce and negotiations to try to resolve Ukraine’s political crisis. But hours later, armed protesters attempted to retake Independence Square, sparking another day of deadly violence. At least 50 people have died since Tuesday in the bloodiest period of Ukraine’s 22-year post-Soviet history. While President Obama has vowed to "continue to engage all sides," a recently leaked audio recording between two top U.S. officials reveal the Obama administration has been secretly plotting with the opposition. We speak to Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. His most recent book, "Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War," is out in paperback. His latest Nation article is "Distorting Russia: How the American Media Misrepresent Putin, Sochi and Ukraine."
- Truce Breaks Down in Ukraine; Clashes Kill 21
- Trial Opens for 3 Detained Al Jazeera Journalists in Egypt
- Nebraska Judge Voids State's Approval of Keystone XL Oil Pipeline
- More Coal-Waste Leaks Found in North Carolina, West Virginia
- U.S. Approves Loan Deal for 1st New Nuclear Power Plant in 30 Years
- Bahraini Activist Faces Possible Return to Prison
- FCC to Rewrite Net Neutrality Rules for Equal Internet Access
- Documents Tie Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to Secret Email System
- Juror in Trial of Michael Dunn Speaks Out
- New York Terror Suspect Pleads Guilty in Case That Feds Turned Down
- New York Agrees to Reform Use of Solitary Confinement in State Prisons
- Texas Suspends Abortion Provider Under Harsh New Law
- Pennsylvania Mother Faces Criminal Charges for Buying Abortion Medication for Daughter
- Pussy Riot Members Beaten by Cossack Militia
After serving 19 months in prison, the African-American transgender activist CeCe McDonald is free. She was arrested after using deadly force to protect herself from a group of people who attacked her on the streets of Minneapolis. Her case helped turn a national spotlight on the violence and discrimination faced by transgender women of color. In 2011, McDonald and two friends were walking past a Minneapolis bar when they were reportedly accosted with homophobic, transphobic and racist slurs. McDonald was hit with a bar glass that cut open her face, requiring 11 stitches. A brawl ensued, and one of the people who had confronted McDonald and her friends, 47-year-old Dean Schmitz, was killed. Facing up to 80 years in prison for his death, McDonald took a plea deal that sentenced her to 41 months. In the eyes of her supporters, CeCe McDonald was jailed for defending herself against the bigotry and violence that transgender people so often face and that is so rarely punished. At the time of the attack, the murder rate for gay and transgender people in this country was at an all-time high. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs documented 30 hate-related murders of LGBT people in 2011; 40 percent of the victims were transgender women of color. Transgender teens have higher rates of homelessness, and nearly half of all African-American transgender people — 47 percent — have been incarcerated at some point.
McDonald joins us on her first trip to New York City. We are also joined by one of her supporters, Laverne Cox, a transgender actress, producer and activist who stars in the popular Netflix show, "Orange is the New Black." She plays Sophia Burset, a transgender woman in prison for using credit card fraud to finance her transition. She is producing a documentary about McDonald called "Free CeCe." We also speak to Alisha Williams, staff attorney with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.
"I very easily could have been CeCe," Laverne Cox says. "Many times I’ve walked down the street of New York, and I’ve experienced harassment. I was kicked once on the street, and very easily that could have escalated into a situation that CeCe faced, and it’s a situation that too many trans women of color face all over this country. The act of merely walking down the street is often a contested act, not only from the citizenry, but also from the police."
Click here to watch part 2 of this interview.
- Ukraine: 25 Killed in Deadliest Episode of Uprising
- Thailand: 5 Killed in Clashes Between Police, Protesters
- Court in Britain Rules Detention of David Miranda, Partner of Glenn Greenwald, was Lawful
- Venezuela: Right-Wing Opposition Leader Surrenders to Authorities amid Rival Protests
- U.S. Border Agent Kills Man Who Threw Rock Near San Diego
- U.S. Soldier Who Raped, Murdered Iraqi Girl Dies in Apparent Suicide
- Report: Coal Ash Blankets Bottom of Dan River After Duke Spill
- Obama Orders Better Fuel Efficiency for Trucks
- Obama in Mexico for Talks with Canadian, Mexican Leaders
- Members of Pussy Riot Detained 3 Times in 3 Days
- 84-Year-Old Nun Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Peace Protest
- Whistleblower at Nuclear Site Fired from Her Job
Employees at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have rejected membership in the United Auto Workers union. In a blow to organized labor, Volkswagen workers voted against the measure by a vote of 712 to 626, derailing attempts to make it the first unionized foreign-owned car factory in the United States. But the union faced intense opposition from Republican lawmakers, including threats suggesting the plant might miss out on future subsidies or on a new SUV line if the union succeeded. Outside groups also played a role. To find out more about the implications of the vote, we speak to Steven Greenhouse, the labor and workplace reporter for The New York Times, who has been following the events leading up to the vote at the Volkswagen plant. His most recent article is "Labor Regroups in South After VW Vote."
A new report based on leaks by Edward Snowden reveals the National Security Agency played a role in the monitoring of a U.S. law firm that represented the Indonesian government during trade disputes with the United States. According to The New York Times, the NSA’s Australian counterpart told the agency it was spying on trade talks between the United States and Indonesia, including potentially privileged communications between Indonesian officials and the U.S. law firm, Mayer Brown. The document notes the Australian agency "has been able to continue to cover the talks, providing highly useful intelligence for interested U.S. customers." The report by James Risen and Laura Poitras bolsters claims by Snowden and others that the NSA and its allies conduct spying for economic gain. We speak to Jesselyn Radack, legal adviser to Snowden. She is director of National Security & Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project. We are also joined by Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Four journalists who revealed the National Security Agency’s vast web of spying have been awarded the 2013 George Polk Awards in Journalism. Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Ewen MacAskill of The Guardian and Barton Gellman of The Washington Post were among the winners announced on Sunday. Even as the journalists who broke the stories based on Edward Snowden’s leaks were awarded one of journalism’s highest honors, a lawyer who represents Snowden was recently detained while going through customs at London’s Heathrow Airport. Jesselyn Radack joins us today to tell her story. Radack says she was subjected to "very hostile questioning" about Snowden and her trips to Russia. Radack also learned she might be on an "inhibited persons list," a designation reportedly used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to require further vetting of certain passengers. Radack is just one of a growing number of people who are being stopped, harassed and interrogated for their work around Snowden, WikiLeaks and National Security Agency documents. Radack is the director of National Security & Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project, the nation’s leading whistleblower support organization.
Top-secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden have revealed new details about how the United States and Britain targeted the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks after it published leaked documents about the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. According to a new article by The Intercept, Britain’s top spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, secretly monitored visitors to a WikiLeaks website by collecting their IP addresses in real time, as well as the search terms used to reach the site. One document from 2010 shows that the National Security Agency added WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to a "manhunting" target list, together with suspected members of al-Qaeda. We speak to Assange live from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he has sought political asylum since 2012. Also joining us is his lawyer Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
- Documents Reveal Extensive NSA Targeting of WikiLeaks
- Iraq Rocked by Deadly Explosions
- Thailand: 3 Killed as Police Seek to Oust Protesters
- Ukraine: Protesters Clash with Police as Lawmakers Seek Curbs on President's Power
- Venezuela: Maduro Expels 3 U.S. Officials amid Opposition Protests
- U.N. Panel Finds Wide-Ranging Abuses in North Korea
- South Korea: Court Sentences Opposition Leader to 12 Years
- Iran Nuclear Talks Reopen in Vienna
- 2 Pussy Riot Members Detained in Sochi, Russia
- Transgender Activist Stages Pro-LGBT Actions at Sochi Olympics
- Arkansas Man Arrested for Opening Fire on Car, Killing 15-Year-Old Girl
- Report: Oil-Boom City of Williston, North Dakota Has Highest Rent in the U.S.
Comcast has announced plans to buy Time Warner Cable at a cost of more than $45 billion in stock. The takeover would allow Comcast to provide cable service to a third of American households and give it a virtual monopoly in 19 of the 20 largest media markets. While Comcast has claimed the deal will be "pro-consumer," the group Free Press warns the deal would be a "disaster" for consumers. Analysts predict Comcast will launch a lobbying blitz similar to when it won approval to take over NBCUniversal in 2011. Comcast has already hired FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, who signed off on its NBC deal. We speak to another former FCC commissioner, Michael Copps. He now leads the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at Common Cause.
As the country marks Presidents’ Day, we turn to an aspect of U.S. history that is often missed: the complicity of American presidents with slavery. "More than one-in-four U.S. presidents were involved in human trafficking and slavery. These presidents bought, sold and bred enslaved people for profit. Of the 12 presidents who were enslavers, more than half kept people in bondage at the White House," writes historian Clarence Lusane in his most recent article, "Missing from Presidents’ Day: The People They Enslaved."
A Florida jury has convicted Michael Dunn of three counts of attempted murder for opening fire on a car of unarmed black teenagers during an argument over loud rap music at a gas station. But the jury deadlocked on the most serious charge, the first-degree murder of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, forcing the judge to declare a mistrial on that count. Dunn, who is white, shot at the vehicle carrying Davis and his friends 10 times. He then fled the scene, went to a hotel with his girlfriend and ordered pizza. He never called the police. Citing Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, Dunn’s attorneys had claimed the shooting was justified because he had felt threatened by the teenagers. But prosecutors said the teenagers were unarmed and never left their vehicle. Legal analysts say Dunn could face at least 60 years in jail for the attempted murder convictions against the three other teens. The jury in the trial was 2/3 white and did not include any black males. The verdict was reached on Saturday, one day before what would have been Davis’ 19th birthday. We speak to Michael Skolnik, editor-in-chief of GlobalGrind.com, who attended the trial.
- Jury Deadlocks on Murder Charge in Michael Dunn Trial
- Syria Talks End with Little Progress
- Bahraini Activist Zainab Alkhawaja Released; Protests Mark 3rd Anniversary of Uprising
- Ethiopian Pilot Diverts Plane to Geneva in Bid to Seek Asylum
- Trapped South African Miners Refuse to Be Rescued Due to Fear of Arrest
- Report: NSA Played Role in Spying on U.S. Law Firm amid Trade Dispute with Indonesia
- Kerry Compares Climate Change Deniers to "Flat Earth Society"
- Anti-Drone Activist Says He Was Tortured During Captivity in Pakistan
- Report: U.S. Seeking New Drone Bases in Central Asia
- Ugandan President to Sign Anti-Gay Bill; Anti-Gay Mob Attacks 14 in Nigeria
- Michael Sam Supporters Form Human Barrier to Block Anti-Gay Protest
- Actress Ellen Page Comes Out as Gay, Gets Standing Ovation at Human Rights Campaign Conference
- Volkswagen Workers Reject Union in Blow to U.S. Labor
- Greenwald, Poitras Among Winners of 2013 George Polk Award
- Lawyer for Edward Snowden Detained at Heathrow Airport
Former National Security Agency lawyer Stewart Baker and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg join us for a debate on Edward Snowden’s disclosure of the NSA’s massive spying apparatus in the United States and across the globe. Snowden’s leaks to The Guardian and other media outlets have generated a series of exposés on NSA surveillance activities — from its collection of American’s phone records, text messages and email, to its monitoring of the internal communications of individual heads of state. Partly as a consequence of the government’s response to Snowden’s leaks, the United States plunged 13 spots in an annual survey of press freedom by the independent organization, Reporters Without Borders. Snowden now lives in Russia and faces possible espionage charges if he returns to the United States. Baker, a former NSA general counsel and assistant secretary for policy at the Department of Homeland Security, is a partner at the law firm Steptoe & Johnson and author of "Skating on Stilts: Why We Aren’t Stopping Tomorrow’s Terrorism." Ellsberg is a former Pentagon and RAND Corporation analyst and perhaps the country’s most famous whistleblower. Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers in 1971, exposing the secret history of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, prompting Henry Kissinger to call him "the most dangerous man in America."
- 18 Dead as East Coast Storm Winds Down
- U.N. Envoy Meets with Russia, U.S. as Syria Talks Face Collapse
- U.N.: Syrian Combatants "Consistently and Flagrantly" Violating Humanitarian Law
- Karzai Rejects U.S. Criticism of Prisoner Releases
- Bahrain Arrests Demonstrators Ahead of Uprising Anniversary
- Over 200,000 Flee Volcanic Eruption in Indonesia
- NSA Fires Employee over Snowden Leaks
- Federal Judge Strikes Down Virginia Gay Marriage Ban
- Facebook Expands Gender Identifiers for Users
- GOP Lawmakers Claim Negative Consequences if Tennessee Workers Unionize
- Comcast Prepares Lobbying Frenzy over Time Warner Merger
In one of the worst coal ash spills in U.S. history, up to 27 million gallons of contaminated water and 82,000 tons of coal ash spilled into North Carolina’s Dan River after a pipe burst underneath a waste pond. That is enough toxic sludge to fill more than 70 Olympic swimming pools. The river has turned grey for miles, and environmentalists say they have found arsenic levels 35 times higher than the maximum set by federal regulators. Did state regulators intentionally block lawsuits against Duke Energy in order to shield the company where Republican Gov. Pat McCrory worked for 28 years? We speak to Amy Adams, who recently resigned from the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources in protest of changes at the agency last year. She now works with the organization Appalachian Voices.
Hundreds of college students are expected to risk arrest on March 2 outside the White House to pressure President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline project. Organizers of "XL Dissent" say they hope to stage one of the largest acts of civil disobedience against the pipeline to date. The Keystone XL would carry 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada to the Gulf Coast. In January, a long-awaited environmental impact statement from the State Department found the Keystone XL would do little to slow the expansion of Canada’s vast oil sands, and would not significantly exacerbate the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. The Washington Post later revealed the review was run by a dues-paying member of the American Petroleum Institute with close ties to the company behind the pipeline, TransCanada. As we enter the final steps in the Keystone XL decision, we are joined by Bill McKibben, co-founder and director of 350.org.
McKibben describes how the effort to confront global warming is growing worldwide. "The one place where we’ve really been able to go on the offense is this divestment movement. It has now spread around the world. Oxford University published a study in October saying it was the fastest-growing such corporate campaign in history. Universities, colleges, churches, city and state governments, pension funds — all now starting with an exhilarating pace to cut their ties with fossil fuel industries. It is one place where there is some real hope."
While governors have declared states of emergency from Louisiana to New Jersey due to the massive snow and ice storm, other examples of extreme weather are being seen across the globe. California is facing possibly its worst drought in 500 years. In Russia temperatures have topped 60 degrees Fahrenheit at the Winter Olympic in Sochi. Meanwhile in Britain, gusts of more than 100 miles per hour lashed western England and Wales overnight, and in London the Thames has risen to its highest level in decades. "This is the kind of crazy weather that scientists said will mark the advent of climate change in its early stages," says 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben. "And it should be the warning that we need to actually do something, but so far our leaders haven’t taken up that challenge."