Tuesday, April 14, 2009

14 Apr 2009: Today's Democracy Now!

Analysis: Somalia Piracy Began in Response to Illegal Fishing and Toxic Dumping by Western Ships off Somali Coast
President Obama vowed an international crackdown to halt piracy off the coast of Somalia Monday soon after the freeing of US cargo ship captain Richard Phillips, who had been held hostage by Somali pirates since last Wednesday. While the pirates story has dominated the corporate media, there has been little to no discussion of the root causes driving piracy. We speak with consultant and analyst Mohamed Abshir Waldo. In January, he wrote a paper titled “The Two Piracies in Somalia: Why the World Ignores the Other?” [includes rush transcript]

Peace Activists Arrested After Protesting US Drones in Nevada
US drone bombings have reportedly killed 687 Pakistani civilians since 2006. During that time, US Predator drones carried out sixty strikes inside Pakistan, but hit just ten of their actual targets. Last week, a group of peace activists last week staged the first major act of civil disobedience against the drone attacks in the United States. Fourteen people were arrested outside the Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, where Air Force personnel pilot the unmanned drones used in Pakistan. We speak with longtime California peace activist Father Louis Vitale, who was among those arrested, and with Jeff Paterson of Courage to Resist. [includes rush transcript]

California Towns Fight Back Against Justice Department Suit to Overturn Youth Protection Act that Bars Military from Recruiting Minors
Last November, residents of Eureka and Arcata passed a ballot initiative known as the Youth Protection Act that bars the US government from trying to enlist youths under the age of eighteen in any branch of the US armed forces. But just days after the laws went into effect, the Justice Department filed a suit seeking to overturn them. The Justice Department’s civil action says the initiatives are invalid because they conflict with federal law. Both towns are refusing to cave. They’ve hired lawyers and filed counter-claims challenging the federal government’s action.

North Korea to Quit Six-Party Nuclear Talks
Obama Partially Lifts Cuba Travel Restrictions; Embargo Remains
Report: Spanish Prosecutors to Indict Bush Admin Officials
Mortars Fired at Plane Carrying US Congressman in Somalia
Thai Protesters End Siege of Prime Minister’s Office
NATO Air Strike Kills Six Civilians in Afghanistan
NYT: US May Drop Key Condition for Talks with Iran
Obama Appears Set to Boycott UN Racism Conference
Ex-Gitmo Prisoner: Conditions Worsened at Jail Under Obama
100 Ex-Gov’t Staffers Working as Bank Lobbyists on Bailouts
Goldman Sachs Reports $1.6 Billion 1st Quarter Profit
Minn. Judges Rule Franken Winner of Senate Race
Time Warner Criticized for Proposed New Internet Fees
VA Official Confiscates Reporter’s Equipment
Pro-Pesticide Group Criticizes First Lady’s Organic Garden

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