Thursday, April 1, 2010

01 Apr 2010: Today's Democracy Now!

Environmental Groups Decry Obama Plan to Lift Moratorium on Offshore Drilling
Environmental groups are denouncing President Obama’s controversial new plan to open up large swaths of the Atlantic, Gulf, and Alaskan coasts to offshore oil and gas drilling. On Wednesday, the Obama administration said it would lift a longstanding moratorium on oil drilling along the East Coast from Delaware to the central coast of Florida. New areas of the south east Gulf Coast will also be open to drilling as will the Arctic Ocean north of Alaska. We speak to Brendan Cummings of the Center for Biological Diversity, which helped stall the original 2007-2012 offshore oil drilling plan under the Bush administration.

As Donors Pledge $9.9B for Post-Earthquake Reconstruction, Haitians Call for Inclusivity, Justice in Rebuilding Effort
International donors have committed $9.9 billion dollars for the reconstruction of earthquake-ravaged Haiti over the next several years. Over 50 nations and international organizations made the pledges at a UN donor conference after the Haitian government unveiled a long-awaited rebuilding plan. It’s unclear how much of the pledges come from previous commitments, and how much will actually be delivered. We hear from Haitians protesting outside the conference, and speak to Haitian radio host and activist Roger Leduc, as well as Kim Yves of the newspaper Haiti Liberté.

“We Made a Devil’s Bargain”: Fmr. President Clinton Apologizes for Trade Policies That Destroyed Haitian Rice Farming
President Bill Clinton, now the UN Special Envoy to Haiti, publicly apologized last month for forcing Haiti to drop tariffs on imported, subsidized U.S. rice during his time in office. The policy wiped out Haitian rice farming and seriously damaged Haiti’s ability to be self-sufficient. On Wednesday, journalist Kim Ives of Haiti Liberté questioned Clinton about his change of heart and his stance on the return of ousted Haitian President Jean Bertrand Aristide.

Dr. Paul Farmer, UN Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti, on Haiti’s Challenges Following Catastrophic Earthquake and Years of Western Domination
Last year the well-known activist medical anthropologist Dr. Paul Farmer was appointed the UN Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti. Farmer is founder of the charity Partners in Health, which provides healthcare for people with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other conditions in Haiti, as well as more than eight other countries around the world. He has vocally criticized US destabilization efforts in Haiti as well as major US corporations that have pursued profit at the expense of global health. Democracy Now! caught up with Dr. Farmer on Wednesday at the UN donors conference.

UN Special Rapporteur Phillip Alston Responds to U.S. Defense of Drone Attacks’ Legality
The Obama administration has publicly defended the legality of drone attacks for the first time. State Department legal advisor Harold Koh said last week the use of drones in the fight against Al Qaeda was both legal and necessary. Koh’s comments come six months after Philip Alston, the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions, said that the strikes “might violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law.” Alston joins us with his reaction to Koh’s response.

Headlines

Judge: NSA Wiretapping Program Illegal
Obama Authorizes New Gas Drilling Off U.S. Coasts
Donors Pledge $9.9B for Haiti Reconstruction
Haitian Earthquake Refugees Detained in U.S. Immigration Jails
Clinton: Security Council Ready to Discuss Iran Sanctions
U.S. Reportedly Tests Nuke-Capable Missiles
Chechen Rebel Admits to Moscow Subway Bombing
Report: Vatican Received 1963 Warning on Pedophile Priests
Majority of Jailed Male Youths Abused in Afghanistan
Study: Homeowner Program Favoring White Borrowers
New Orleans Police Officer Indicted in Shooting Cover-Up
Obama Appoints Pesticide Executive to Top Trade Post


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