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- Texas Blues Radio Living Blues Radio Poll report, August 1, 2016
Judge Denies Hepatitis C Cure for Mumia Abu-Jamal, But Finds Lack of Care in Prison Unconstitutional
A federal judge has denied a request from the former Black Panther and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal for life-saving medication that could cure his hepatitis C. Last year, Mumia sued to receive an antiviral treatment for hepatitis C after he was placed in critical condition, and officials said he was was not sick enough to be eligible. The medication has about a 95 percent cure rate. But it costs the state about $55,000 for a 12-week course of the drug. Even as the judge denied Mumia’s motion, he also found that Pennsylvania’s hepatitis C protocol for inmates fails to meet constitutional standards and could prolong suffering. We hear reaction from Mumia Abu-Jamal and speak with his lawyer, Bob Boyle, and correspondent Renée Feltz, who has covered these developments.
We continue our look at what the ACLU calls an illegal debtors’ prison in Arkansas by speaking with a former resident who wrote a check for $1.07 for a loaf of bread. She describes how after her check bounced, her debt ballooned with fees and fines to nearly $400, and police officers twice came to her job to arrest her. Since then, she has been caught up in Sherwood’s Hot Checks Department. We are also joined by lawyer Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, who says the woman’s experience is common.
A woman in Sherwood, Arkansas, just spent 35 days in a county jail after she accidentally bounced a $29 check five years ago. Nikki Petree was sentenced to jail last month by a judge accused of running a debtors’ prison. She had already been arrested at least seven times over the bounced check and paid at least $600 in court fines. Her release comes as the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the ACLU and an international law firm have filed a lawsuit to challenge the modern-day debtors’ prison in Sherwood. We speak with Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, who says Sherwood jails people in violation of a long-standing law that forbids the incarceration of people for their failure to pay debts.
Historic Colombian Peace Deal Must Include Women, Address Sexual Crimes on Both Sides, Say Advocates
Could the signing of a historic peace accord in Colombia between the government and FARC rebels bring an end to Latin America’s longest armed conflict? "There’s a long way to go before we see a real development of a strong and lasting peace," says our guest Mario Murillo, author of "Colombia and the United States: War, Unrest, and Destabilization." First, the agreement must be approved in a referendum in Colombia. We also speak with Adriana Benjumea, director of Bogotá-based NGO Humanas Colombia, which promotes human rights and, in particular, women’s rights. "Armed actors who have participated in the armed conflicts in Colombia have committed sexual crimes" that must be addressed, says Benjumea.
- Florida: 70,000 Lose Power as Hurricane Hermine Makes Landfall
- Member of Trump National Hispanic Advisory Council Resigns
- Trump Hires Head of Citizens United to Join Campaign Team
- Melania Trump Sues Daily Mail and Maryland Blog for Libel
- Clinton Wins Endorsements of Two Retired Four-Star Generals
- Pakistan: 14 Killed in Two Suicide Bomb Attacks
- Gabon: 1,000 Arrested in Protests After Contested Elections
- India: More Than 100 Million Workers Strike Today
- Colombia: Coca-Cola, Chiquita Accused of Financing Terrorism
- Japan: Veterans for Peace Join Protests Against U.S. Base on Okinawa
- 2 Florida Hospitals Will Not Bill Pulse Nightclub Victims
- Virginia: "Guccifer" Hacker Sentenced to 52 Months in Prison
- Indiana: Purvi Patel Freed After Feticide Conviction Was Overturned
- Stanford Swimmer Brock Turner Released from Jail After Only 3 Months
- Georgetown to Give Admissions Benefit to Descendants of Enslaved
- 2 NFL Players Join Colin Kaepernick in Refusing to Stand for Anthem
President Obama has appointed seven members to a federal control board that will run the finances of Puerto Rico’s nearly bankrupt government for at least the next five years and restructure nearly $70 billion in debt. The board is made up of three Democrats and four Republicans who will not only approve any budgets created by the island’s politicians, but also attempt to negotiate with the island’s nearly 20 creditors. On Wednesday, hundreds of protesters in Puerto Rico blocked a street in front of a hotel where bankers and business executives were gathering for a conference hosted by the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce. Meanwhile, a new report from the ReFund America Project has revealed firms like UBS, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital have collected $1.6 billion in underwriting fees from Puerto Rico since 2000 just for refinancing bonds to pay interest and fees on older bonds.
The Brazilian Senate has voted to impeach the country’s democratically elected President Dilma Rousseff from office in what many are calling a coup. The vote was 61 to 20. Rousseff denounced the decision, saying there’s no constitutional justification for her impeachment. In an unexpected twist, the senators voted 42 to 36 to allow Rousseff to maintain her political rights, meaning she can continue to stand in elections and hold public office in the future. Irate opposition senators vowed "to appeal to the Supreme Court" to reverse the decision. Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment ends 13 years of rule by the Workers’ Party in Brazil and brings to power President Michel Temer for the remaining two years of Rousseff’s term. Temer is deeply unpopular and currently under investigation himself, accused of receiving illegal campaign contributions linked to the state oil company Petrobras. We speak to James Green, professor of Brazilian history and culture at Brown University. He is the director of Brown’s Brazil Initiative. Green is the author of several books, including "We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States."
Hours after traveling to Mexico City, Trump gave a major speech on immigration in Phoenix, Arizona, where Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump vowed to build a massive wall along the Mexican border and to begin deporting millions of immigrants as soon as he takes office, if elected in November. During the fiery speech, he vowed to deport 2 million people within his first hour in office. According to an analysis by The Washington Post, Trump’s new deportation plan would target more than 6 million individuals for immediate removal. For more, we speak with Carlos García, executive director of Puente Arizona.
Trump's Wall is Tantamount to Act of War: Outrage in Mexico as President Peña Nieto Meets with Trump
On Wednesday, Donald Trump traveled to Mexico City to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who once compared Trump to Hitler and Mussolini. The Mexican president came under fire for inviting Trump to meet with him in Mexico, a move many critics saw as legitimizing Trump’s positions. We speak to Laura Carlsen, director of the Mexico City-based Americas Program of the Center for International Policy.
- After Meeting Mexican President, Trump Vows to Deport Millions Within First Hour in Office
- Hundreds Protest Trump Visits to Arizona and Mexico
- Phoenix Approves City ID Cards for Undocumented Immigrants
- Leaked Memo Tells Democrats How to Deal with Black Lives Matter
- Brazilian Senate Votes to Impeach President Dilma Rousseff
- U.S. and Cuba Resume Direct Flights After 50 Years
- Yemen: U.S.-Backed, Saudi-Led Airstrike Kills 16 Members of Family
- U.S. Arms Manufacturer to Stop Making Cluster Bombs
- Kashmir: Indian Security Forces Kill 1 Protester; Hundreds More Blinded
- Divided Supreme Court Blocks North Carolina Voter ID Laws
- ND: 2 Stop Dakota Access Construction by Locking Bodies to Machines
- Iowa: 30 Arrested Blocking Dakota Access Pipeline Construction
- 2 Mississippi Universities Lower State Flag over Confederate Emblem
- Chicago: Police Move to Fire 5 Officers over Laquan McDonald Killing
- 22 Immigrant Mothers Resume Hunger Strike at Berks Detention Center
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald says Democrats have adopted a "Cold War McCarthyite kind of rhetoric" by accusing many its critics of having ties to Russia. "It’s sort of this constant rhetorical tactic to try and insinuate that anyone opposing the Clintons are somehow Russian agents, when it’s the Clintons who actually have a lot of ties to Russia, as well," Greenwald said. "I mean, the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton helped Russian companies take over uranium industries in various parts of the world. He received lots of Russian money for speeches."
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald looks at the foreign policies of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. "You have President Obama, who himself has been very militaristic—he has bombed seven predominantly Muslim countries in the last seven years—and yet Secretary Clinton’s critique of his foreign policy is, in every case, that he’s not aggressive enough, he’s not militaristic enough," Greenwald said. "And in Syria, in particular, they seem to really be itching to involve the U.S. a lot more directly and a lot more aggressively in that conflict."
Republican Senators John McCain of Arizona and Marco Rubio of Florida won closely watched primaries after being challenged by a pair of Republicans who had embraced Donald Trump. McCain beat Kelli Ward, a doctor and former state senator. Rubio defeated millionaire developer Carlos Beruff. Rubio will now face Democrat Patrick Murphy in November in what is expected to be one of the most expensive Senate races this year. On Tuesday, Murphy easily defeated Congressmember Alan Grayson, who lost several key endorsements after being accused by his ex-wife of domestic abuse. In other Florida election news, Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz defeated progressive challenger Tim Canova, who was endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders. Shortly before midnight, Canova told reporters: "I’ll concede that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a corporate stooge." For more on the primary results, we speak with Jim Dean, chair of Democracy for America.
In Florida, State Attorney Angela Corey has been defeated in her re-election bid. Corey had faced widespread criticism for her handling of several prominent cases, including the killing of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin by white neighborhood watch vigilante George Zimmerman and the case of Marissa Alexander, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for firing what she maintains was a warning shot at her abusive husband. For more, we speak with freelance journalist Victoria Law. Her recent piece for The Nation is "Why Is Marissa Alexander Still Being Punished for Fighting Back."
A young girl who shot dead her abusive father now may face life in prison, sparking national outcry over the treatment of domestic violence survivors. On July 28, 14-year-old Bresha Meadows allegedly killed her father, Jonathan Meadows, with a bullet to his head as he slept. Only two months earlier, Bresha had run away from home, telling relatives that she was scared for her life ”because her father was beating her mother and threatening to kill the whole family." Bresha’s father reportedly made life for his family a living hell, routinely attacking his wife—Bresha’s mother—breaking her ribs, puncturing her blood vessels, blackening her eyes and slashing her body. Jonathan Meadows’ siblings have denied allegations of domestic violence. His brother told Fox 8 News, "This has nothing to do with abuse," and his sister Lena Cooper called his death "cold and calculated." For more, we speak with freelance journalist Victoria Law, whose recent article for Rewire is "What Bresha Meadows, Arrested for Shooting Her Father After Reported Abuse, Faces Next." And we speak with Bresha Meadows’s aunt, Martina Latessa, and Bresha’s lawyer Ian Friedman.
- Trump to Meet with Mexican President Peña Nieto Today
- Report: Trump Modeling Agency Broke U.S. Immigration Laws
- Trump Campaign CEO Called Progressive Women a "Bunch of Dykes"
- McCain, Rubio, Wasserman Schultz Win Primary Elections
- Florida State Attorney Behind Trayvon Martin Case Defeated
- Veterans Voice Support for NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick
- Southern Poverty Law Center: White Lives Matter is a Hate Group
- ISIS Says Its Spokesman Was Killed in U.S. Drone Strike
- Report: U.S. Drone Strike Kills 3 in Yemen
- AP Investigation Documents 72 Mass Graves in ISIS Territory
- Somalia: 15 Die in Al-Shabab Attack in Mogadishu
- Brazil: Massive Protests Continue Amid Rousseff's Impeachment Trial
- Colombia: Three Environmental Activists Assassinated
- Obama to Meet with Philippines President Amid Rising Death Toll from "Drug War"
- EU Orders Apple Pay $14.5 Billion in Back Taxes to Ireland
- 911 Calls of Pulse Shooting Massacre Released
- Arkansas: Woman Spends 35 Days in Jail for Bouncing $29 Check
- Obama Commutes Sentences of 111 Federal Prisoners
- New York Public Library Opens Library at Rikers Island Jail
Hackers based outside the United States have reportedly infiltrated two state election databases, raising fresh concerns about cybersecurity in the lead-up to the presidential elections. According to a new investigation by Yahoo News, FBI’s Cyber Division released a "flash" alert earlier this month and warned election officials across the nation to take new measures to bolster the security of their computer systems. Sources familiar with the document told Yahoo News that Arizona and Illinois were the two states compromised by the hacks. The Illinois hack reportedly caused more damage, forcing officials to shut down the voter registration system for 10 days in July after the hackers managed to download personal data on up to 200,000 state voters. We speak to Michael Isikoff., chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News.
California lawmakers voted Monday to pass a law requiring prison time for those convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious victim. This comes after news that California Judge Aaron Persky will no longer hear criminal cases, following outrage over lenient sentences he handed down to sex offenders. Persky became the subject of a recall campaign after he sentenced Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to a six-month prison term for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Judge Persky said he was concerned a longer prison sentence would have a "severe impact" on Turner. Turner is white, and Judge Persky has since given a harsher sentence to a Latino man who committed a similar crime. Turner is set to be released from Santa Clara jail on Friday, after serving only half of his six-month sentence. More than 1 million people have signed a petition demanding Persky be removed from the bench. But supporters of Judge Persky caution that efforts to recall a jurist based on his use of judicial discretion may have unintended consequences, leading to less care in sentencing and a negative impact on people of color. For more, we host a debate. Michele Landis Dauber is a Stanford law professor who is leading the recall campaign against Aaron Persky. Sajid Khan is a public defender in San Jose, California, who leads the effort in support of Santa Clara County Judge Aaron Persky.
In 2007, the wholesale price of the EpiPen in the U.S. was $57. Less than a decade later, the life-saving drug now costs over $300. Each EpiPen reportedly contains only $1 worth of medicine. Mylan has a near monopoly in the U.S., and the company has seen its profits from the EpiPen alone skyrocket to $1 billion a year. Meanwhile, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch’s total compensation has spiked from around $2.5 million in 2007 to almost $19 million today. In response to the price hikes, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen and its allies will deliver a petition signed by approximately 600,000 people to Mylan’s headquarters in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, today demanding further price cuts. For more, we speak with Peter Maybarduk, director of Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines Program.
The pharmaceutical giant Mylan has announced it will launch a cheaper generic version of its life-saving allergy shot EpiPen amid public outcry over its alleged price gouging. However, consumer advocates say the cost of the generic drug is still prohibitively expensive and triple the price of what EpiPen cost in 2007 when Mylan acquired the product. The company increased the price of its allergy injector by some 400 percent in less than a decade, sparking a national conversation about the monopoly power of pharmaceutical companies. Across the United States, millions of children and adults rely on the pocket-sized EpiPen to counteract fatal allergic reactions from common occurrences such bee stings and peanut consumption. For more, we speak with Ashley Alteman, who runs a website called SmashleyAshley.com, where she has just posted an open letter to Mylan CEO Heather Bresch.