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Is USAID the New CIA? Agency Secretly Built Cuban Twitter Program to Fuel Anti-Castro Protests

Democracy Now - Fri 07 46 AM

"U.S. Secretly Created 'Cuban Twitter' to Stir Unrest." That is the name of an explosive new article by the Associated Press detailing how the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) created a fake Twitter program to undermine the Cuban government. The communications network was called "ZunZuneo" — slang for a Cuban hummingbird’s tweet. It was reportedly built with secret shell companies financed through foreign banks. According to AP, the United States planned to use the platform to spread political content that might trigger a Cuban Spring, or, as one USAID document put it, "renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society." We speak to Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive. He recently wrote an article in Foreign Policy called "Our Man in Havana: Was USAID Planning to Overthrow Castro?"

Drugging America's Veterans: Painkiller Abuse Spreads as VA Becomes Vets' "Drug Dealer of Choice"

Democracy Now - Fri 07 29 AM

We look at challenges faced by U.S. soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with investigative reporter Aaron Glantz, who has spent more than a decade covering the Iraq War and the treatment veterans receive when they come home. This week, The Center for Investigative Reporting won a prestigious Peabody Award for his report that exposes how the Department of Veterans Affairs has become the drug dealer of choice for many veterans who are now addicted to prescription painkillers, which were prescribed to treat a myriad of mental health and other physical injuries. According to the investigation, VA prescriptions for four opiates — hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone and morphine — have surged by 270 percent in the past 12 years.

"The War Comes Home": Deadly Fort Hood Shooting Raises Questions About Treatment of Returning Vets

Democracy Now - Fri 07 12 AM

We begin today’s show at Fort Hood, Texas, where flags are flying at half-mast following Wednesday’s shooting that left four dead, including the gunman. Sixteen people were wounded in the attack. Authorities identified the shooter as 34-year-old Army Specialist Ivan Lopez, who was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder. Lopez served in Iraq, but officials say he never saw combat. We speak with two Iraq War veterans: Ryan Holleran and Malachi Muncy, manager of the Under the Hood Café, a GI coffee shop near Fort Hood. Both are members of Iraq Veterans Against the War. "I had trouble getting help when I came back from Iraq, as well, when I was at Fort Hood. The access to healthcare is limited — it is available, but it’s not necessarily accessible," Holleran explains. "The amount of stigma associated with seeking any kind of mental health, it makes it extremely challenging to try to take care of ourselves." We also talk to Aaron Glantz, who covers veterans and domestic military issues for The Center for Investigative Reporting. His most recent book is "The War Comes Home: Washington’s Battle Against America’s Veterans."

Ex-Auto Safety Head & Parent of Dead Victim: GM CEOs Should Face Prison for Covering Up Safety Flaws

Democracy Now - Thu 07 38 AM

In 2005, General Motors decided not to change a defective ignition switch redesign because it would have added about a dollar to the cost of each car. At least 13 people have died in accidents as a result, though the number could be much higher. Following two days of contentious congressional testimony by GM CEO Mary Barra, we are joined by two guests: Ken Rimer, whose 18-year-old stepdaughter Natasha Weigel died in a defective Chevy Cobalt in 2005, and consumer advocate Joan Claybrook, former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"The Next Citizens United": McCutcheon Opens Floodgates for 1 Percent to Spend Millions on Campaigns

Democracy Now - Thu 07 25 AM

We continue our coverage of Wednesday’s Supreme Court decision in the case of McCutcheon v. FEC, described by many as "the next Citizens United." In a 5-to-4 vote, the court’s conservative justices eliminated a long-standing limit on how much donors can give in total to federal candidates, party committees and political action committees in a two-year election cycle. We are joined by Andy Kroll, senior reporter at Mother Jones magazine, who has extensively covered campaign finance and anonymous donations, called "dark money."

Sen. Bernie Sanders: Supreme Court Undermines Democracy by Allowing Billionaires to "Buy Elections"

Democracy Now - Thu 07 10 AM

As the 2014 election season gets underway, the Supreme Court has struck down a long-standing limit on how much donors can give to federal candidates, political parties and political action committees in a two-year election cycle. Without any aggregate limit, a donor can now give millions directly to candidates and parties. The 5-to-4 decision in the McCutcheon v. FEC case is being described as the "next Citizens United," referring to the 2010 ruling that opened the floodgates for unlimited corporate spending on U.S. elections. We speak to Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont about Wednesday’s landmark decision and his fight to remove big money from the electoral process. We also discuss Sanders’ potential presidential run in 2016, which he says he is considering "not because I wake up in the morning with a burning desire to be president … but [because] I happen to believe there are such enormous issues out there that I just don’t want to see swept under the rug."

Dragnet Nation: Do Google, Facebook Know More Private Info Than NSA and Soviet-Era Secret Police?

Democracy Now - Wed 07 39 AM

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Julia Angwin joins us to discuss her new book, "Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance." Currently at ProPublica and previously with The Wall Street Journal, Angwin details her complex and fraught path toward increasing her own online privacy. According to Angwin, the private data collected by East Germany’s Soviet-era Stasi secret police could pale in comparison to the information revealed today by an individual’s Facebook profile or Google search.

U.N. Climate Panel Issues Dire Warning of Threat to Global Food Supply, Calls for Action & Adaption

Democracy Now - Wed 07 12 AM

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued its most dire warning yet about how greenhouse gases have driven up global temperatures and extreme weather, while threatening sources of food and water. "Throughout the 21st century, climate-change impacts are projected to slow down economic growth, make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security, and prolong existing and create new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hot spots of hunger," the report says. We are joined by two climate scientists who helped write the IPCC’s report: Princeton University Professor Michael Oppenheimer and Saleemul Huq, a climate scientist at the International Institute for Environment and Development in London. We are also joined by Tim Gore, head of policy for Food and Climate Justice at Oxfam. "[Fossil fuel companies] are the drug suppliers to the rest of the world, who are junkies and hooked on fossil fuels," Huq says. "But we don’t have to remain hooked on fossil fuels. Indeed, we are going to have to cut ourselves off from them."

Cinco De Mayo KNON Party! Now at Club Carnival, this is going to be huge! BE THERE!!! http://t.co/57uF5UN0uC

KNON Twitter - Wed 12 36 PM
Cinco De Mayo KNON Party! Now at Club Carnival, this is going to be huge! BE THERE!!! http://t.co/57uF5UN0uC