As President Obama seeks $27.6 billion for federal drug control programs in his new budget, we talk to British journalist Johann Hari about the century-old failed drug war and how much of what we know about addiction is wrong. Over the past four years Hari has traveled to the United States, Mexico, Canada, Uruguay and Portugal to research his new book, "Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War of Drugs." His findings may surprise you — from the U.S. government’s persecution of Billie Holiday, to Vancouver’s success in addressing its heroin epidemic, to Portugal’s experiment with full decriminalization of all drugs.
Economist Dean Baker discusses last month’s victory of the left-wing Syriza party in Greece. This marked the first election victory in Europe of an anti-bailout party bent on reversing deep cuts demanded by international lenders. Baker praises the initial moves by the new government but warns Greece needs an "exit option" to leave the European Union.
President Obama has unveiled a $4 trillion budget proposal for next year Congress that calls for raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations in order to help fund education and fix crumbling infrastructure. The plan includes tax cuts for some poor and middle-class families. It also seeks to recoup losses from corporations that stash an estimated $2 trillion overseas by taxing such earnings at 14 percent, still less than half of the 35 percent rate for profits made in the United States. Obama’s proposed budget also takes aim at the high cost of prescription drugs, proposes a new agency to regulate food safety, and seeks $1 billion to curb immigration from Central America. It also calls for a 4.5 percent increase in military spending, including a $534 billion base budget for the Pentagon, plus $51 billion to fund U.S. involvement in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Speaking at the Department of Homeland Security, Obama said across-the-board cuts known as sequestration would hurt the military. We speak to economist Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and author of "Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People."
- ISIS Burns Jordanian Fighter Pilot Alive
- Jordan Executes 2 Prisoners After Burning of Pilot by ISIS
- Imprisoned Operative Says Saudi Royals Backed al-Qaeda
- Somalia: U.S. Drone Strike Targets Al-Shabab Leader
- Ukraine: Heavy Shelling Kills at Least 5, Damages Hospital
- Draft of Arrest Request for Argentine President Found in Late Prosecutor's Home
- Pope Francis Declares Slain Archbishop Óscar Romero a Martyr in Step Toward Sainthood
- CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou Released from Prison
- Obama Admin Touts Surveillance Tweaks, Leaves Bulk Spying Intact
- EPA Warns Keystone XL Pipeline Would Fuel Climate Change
- Congress Unanimously OKs Bill to Address Veteran Suicides
- New York City Police Officer Indicted for Stomping on Restrained Man's Head
- Alabama Poised to Become 37th State to Allow Same-Sex Marriage
- Harper Lee, Author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," to Publish 2nd Novel
As the United States weighs a major escalation with potential military aid to Ukraine, we look at how American policy is sowing conflict across North Africa and the Middle East. Libya is run by two different governments, and the United Nations has warned of "total chaos" if ongoing unity talks fail. The U.S.-backed regime in Egypt continues a crackdown on political opponents, recently carrying out its worst killing of protesters since General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi became president last June. Iraq is coming off its deadliest month in years, while outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has said the U.S. might need to send noncombat ground troops for the ongoing campaign against the Islamic State. In Syria, the world’s worst current humanitarian crisis, the U.S. has backed off its calls for the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad. In Lebanon, Hezbollah and Israel exchanged fire last week in one of their most violent clashes since the 2006 war. The incident was followed days later by a Washington Post report that the CIA and its Israeli counterpart, the Mossad, assassinated a senior Hezbollah leader seven years ago this month. Now a dispute over Iran has brought relations between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to their lowest point so far. Following the death of King Abdullah last month, Obama led a large delegation to Saudi Arabia in a major display of U.S. support for the new repressive regime. And in Yemen, uncertainty prevails after last month’s resignation of President Abdu Hadi, with Houthi rebels now threatening to seize power. We discuss the state of the Middle East and North Africa — and the U.S. role in ongoing conflicts — with Vijay Prashad, professor of international studies at Trinity College.
The United Nations has raised the death toll from fighting in eastern Ukraine to more than 5,300 people since last April following the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych one year ago this month. Another 1.5 million people have been displaced. As fighting intensifies, the Obama administration is now considering directly arming Ukrainian forces against Russian-backed rebels. Washington already supplies nonlethal military equipment to Ukraine, but top officials are reportedly leaning toward sending arms, from rifles to anti-tank weapons. The role of the U.S. and European allies in Ukraine has prompted former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to accuse the West of dragging Russia into a new Cold War. We are joined by Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University.
- Obama Budget Boosts Military Spending, Taxes on Wealthy
- U.S. Reports 27 Airstrikes in Iraq, Syria
- Yemen: 3rd U.S. Drone Strike in a Week Kills 4
- Greek Official Seeks to Calm European Fears over Syriza Win
- Greek Minister Vows to Block U.S.-EU Free Trade Deal
- Syriza Victory Fuels Surge of Podemos Party in Spain
- Croatia Cancels Debts of 60,000 Poorest Residents
- Anti-Islam Pegida Movement Outnumbered at 1st Rally in Austria
- U.S. Oil Workers Launch Broadest Strike Since 1980
- Workers at NYC Legal Nonprofit Strike over Pay, Family Leave
- Freed Al Jazeera Journalist Peter Greste Speaks After Release; Mohamed Fahmy Release "Imminent"
- Parents of Missing Mexican Students Take Fight to U.N.
- Report: Mexican Authorities Tortured Local Police to Confess to Role in Students' Disappearance
- U.S. Expands Sanctions on Venezuelan Officials
- 51 Deaths from General Motors Defect Found Eligible for Compensation
- FCC Chair to Issue Landmark Proposal to Preserve Open Internet
- Family of Jessie Hernández, Teenage Girl Killed by Denver Police, Calls for Federal Probe
The National Football League’s tumultuous 2014-15 season ended Sunday with the New England Patriots’ dramatic Super Bowl victory over the Seattle Seahawks. The game capped a year that saw growing scrutiny of the NFL, most notably its poor handling of domestic violence cases. More than half of players accused of domestic violence during commissioner Roger Goodell’s tenure have gone without league punishment. The NFL is also under fire for its handling of player safety, predominantly concussions. While fans still turn out in record numbers, four in 10 parents now say they would think twice about letting their own child play football. We are joined by Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation magazine and host of Edge of Sports Radio on SiriusXM. In addition to talking about these NFL controversies, Zirin discusses the Super Bowl’s closing moments, when the Seahawks chose not to give the ball to against-the-grain star running back Marshawn Lynch and opted for a risky play that cost them the game.
Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste has been released from an Egyptian prison after 400 days behind bars. Greste and two of his Al Jazeera colleagues, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, were convicted on terrorism charges in a case widely denounced as a sham. Greste flew to Cyprus on Sunday following his release, but Fahmy and Mohamed remain behind bars. "We are relieved by this great news," says Delphine Halgand, U.S. director of Reporters Without Borders, of Greste’s freedom. "But we have to continue to work to assure the release of all journalists in Egypt who are detained on spurious charges." Halgand also discusses the violence directed against journalists worldwide in the first month of 2015, including attacks on journalists in France and Iraq and the beheading by ISIS of Kenji Goto, a Japanese reporter kidnapped in Syria last year. Video of Goto’s execution emerged over the weekend.
After a historic victory in Greece, the leftist Syriza party’s finance minister has begun a tour of Europe to push an anti-austerity message. The former economist Yanis Varoufakis has promised "radical" change as his government seeks to renegotiate Greece’s huge debt obligations and to roll back key parts of its international bailout. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says he is confident that Greece can reach a deal with creditors. We air an excerpt of our 2012 interview with Varoufakis and speak with Costas Panayotakis, a professor of sociology at CUNY and author of "Remaking Scarcity: From Capitalist Inefficiency to Economic Democracy." Panayotakis lays out the Syriza party’s historic rise to power and the challenges it faces in trying to restructure Greece’s economy.
- U.S. Mulls Arming Ukraine Against Russian-Backed Separatists as Truce Talks Collapse
- ISIS Kills 2nd Japanese Hostage; Jordan Seeks Release of Captured Pilot
- Iraq Suffers Deadliest Month Since 2008
- Boko Haram Hits Major City in Northern Nigeria; African Leaders Approve 7,500-Strong Force
- Al Jazeera Journalist Peter Greste Deported from Egypt After 400 Days in Prison; Colleagues Still Jailed
- Egyptian Court Confirms Mass Death Sentences of Muslim Brotherhood Supporters
- CIA, Mossad Carried Out 2008 Car Bombing of Hezbollah Figure in Damascus
- U.S.-Israeli Assassination of Hezbollah Commander Raises Concerns of Legality and Potential Reprisals
- Israel OKs New Settlement Construction as Obama-Netanyahu Tensions Peak
- Thousands Join Renewed Pro-Democracy Protest in Hong Kong
- Houthi Rebels Set 3-Day Deadline to Seize Control of Yemeni Gov't
- Guatemala Marks 35th Anniversary of Spanish Embassy Massacre Following Verdict
- Dozens Rally Outside White House Against Nuclear Weapons Upgrade
- Family of Slain Black Teen Ramarley Graham Agrees to $3.9 Million Settlement with NYC