Friday, May 23, 2008

Today's Democracy Now!

* Johns Hopkins University Responds to Allegations Toxic Sludge Tested as Lead Poisoning Fix in Poor Black Neighborhoods *

Lawmakers and the NAACP last month called for an investigation into reports that federally funded scientific experiments in 2000 spread sewage sludge on the yards in poor black neighborhoods to test if it could fight lead poisoning in children. The calls came after the Associated Press ran a story on the issue. We host a debate between Dr. Michael Klag, Dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Dr. Caroline Snyder, Professor Emeritus at the Rochester Institute of Technology.


* Juan Gonzalez on the Puerto Rico Primaries and a NYC Middle School's Student Uprising Against Standardized Testing *

Juan Gonzalez reports on Puerto Rico's contentious primary, where voters can choose a presidential candidate but can't vote for them in the general election. And he details a remarkable boycott at a South Bronx middle school, where more than 160 students recently refused to take a three-hour standardized test.


* "War, Inc.": John Cusack's New Film Satirizes the Corruption, Profiteering and Hubris Behind the Iraq War *

John Cusack joins us to talk about War, Inc., his new film taking on issues few in Hollywood today would dare to: war profiteering, mercenaries, political corruption and embedded journalism. A political satire, the film stars Cusack as Brand Hauser, a hit-man for hire who is deployed to the fictional country of Turaqistan to kill a Middle Eastern oil baron. Hauser's employer is Tamerlane, a secretive for-profit military corporation headed by a former US vice president played by Dan Aykroyd. We also speak to Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill, author of the bestselling book Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.


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