Wednesday, April 29, 2009

29 Apr 2009: Today's Democracy Now!

The "NAFTA Flu": Critics Say Swine Flu Has Roots in Forcing Poor Countries to Accept Western Agribusiness
As the US reports its first known death from the global swine flu, the World Health Organization has raised its pandemic threat level. Several countries around the world have banned the import of US and Mexican pork products. We speak to professor and author Robert Wallace, who says the swine flu is partly the outcome of neoliberal policies that forced poorer countries to open their markets to poorly regulated Western agribusiness giants. [includes rush transcript]

Ex-Virginia Tech Student Speaks Out Against Texas GOP Bill to Legalize Firearms on Campus
Texas Republicans are using the recent anniversaries of both the Columbine High School and the Virgina Tech massacres to push a bill that would allow college students to carry firearms on campus. We speak to John Woods, a former Virginia Tech student who lost his girlfriend in the massacre. He’s now helping lead the fight against the bill. [includes rush transcript]

Prisoners at Federal Immigrant Detention Center in South Texas Stage Hunger Strike Over Alleged Abuses, Denial of Due Process
As many as 100 people held at the Port Isabel Processing Center, an immigration prison near Brownsville, Texas, have been on a hunger strike since last week to draw attention to alleged abuses in the facility and their extended detention without due process. Inmates say their complaints to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, or ICE, about lack of medical attention, denial of food and other abuses have fallen on deaf ears.

EXCLUSIVE: Jailed Houston Imam Zoubir Bouchikhi Speaks from Private Immigration Prison
We look at the case of Sheikh Zoubir Bouchikhi, who has been held without bail at a private immigration prison in Houston for the past four months. Bouchikhi, a native of Algeria, has lived in the United States for the past eleven years and has four children, three of them American-born citizens. In 2007, he received notice that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services had denied his application for permanent residency status. He was arrested by immigration authorities in December 2008. He has been held without bail ever since. He speaks from immigration jail in his first national broadcast interview.

Doctor in Sri Lanka Hospital Describes Casualties from Ongoing Conflict
The Sri Lankan military has blocked a United Nations aid mission from entering the area where the Sri Lankan military continues to attack Tamil Tiger separatists. Some 50,000 civilians are believed to be trapped in the conflict zone. Paul McMaster is a doctor working with Doctors Without Borders at Vavuniya Hospital in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. He describes the situation on the ground.

Texas Reports First US Swine Flu Death
Rejecting “State Secrets” Assertion, Appeals Court Reinstates Torture Suit
Specter Leaves GOP, Joins Dems
Lawmakers Call for Special Counsel on Torture
KBR Sued for Toxic Air Exposure
Student Pleads Not Guilty in Utah Land Case
Obama Calls for Ending Disparity in Crack Sentences
White House Apologizes for Low-Flying Plane
Study: 60% of Americans Subjected to Polluted Air

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