Nicaragua Burning

Nicaragua Burning
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined from Managua, Nicaragua, by Max Blumenthal and Dan Kovalik

Nicaragua is in deep crisis since protests began three months ago as opponents of the government set up barricades and clash with authorities. 280 people have been killed and more than 1,800 injured. The demonstrations began following changes in the country's social security system and have now become a full-fledged effort to overthrow the Sandinista government.

On the regular Thursday series "Criminal Injustice," the hosts discuss the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Today they talk about the high costs of prison phones and the updates from the coalition working to lower them, a Native nation running an ICE detention facility, and a top North Carolina prison officer hiding shanks in his ceiling. Brian and John speak with Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News.

US-Russian relations are on the rocks, not because of President Trump's foreign policy. It's because members of both parties on Capitol Hill are demanding that Trump walk back his public statements supporting an easing of tensions with Moscow and say publicly that the Russians interfered in the 2016 presidential election. Brian and John speak with Dr. Jeremy Kuzmarov, an author and historian.

The British Press Association reported today that Metropolitan Police detectives have identified the alleged perpetrators of a poison attack against a Russian defector and his daughter. Media reports say that Sergei and Yulia Skripal were poisoned by "several Russians." UK Security Minister Ben Wallace called the reports "ill-informed and wild speculation." Daniel Lazare, a journalist and author of three books, "The Frozen Republic," "The Velvet Coup," and "America's Undeclared War," and Alexander Mercouris, the editor-in-chief of The Duran, join the show.

Israel's parliament yesterday passed a highly controversial law that defines Israel as the national home of the Jewish people, says that only Jews have the right to self-determination, downgrades Arabic from an official language to a "protected" one, and promotes the establishment of new Jewish settlements in the occupied territories. Israel is virtually alone in the world in not guaranteeing equality for all of its citizens. Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of the book "The Battle for Justice in Palestine," joins Brian and John.

A Spanish Supreme Court judge on Thursday dropped an extradition request for six politicians on charges of rebellion for their roles in promoting independence for Catalonia, including former president Carles Puigdemont. The decision was a major setback for Spain's central government, which has sought to crack down on the region's secessionist movement. Dick Nichols, the correspondent for Spain and Catalonia for Green Left Weekly, joins the show.

Consumers should expect to pay higher prices for imported cars if President Trump's auto tariffs are enacted. Car sellers say they will pass on all new costs to consumers. The prices of top-selling cars could rise between $1,400 and $7,000. Brian and John speak with Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California whose most recent article in the World Review of Political Economy is titled "Trump's Déjà vu China Trade War."

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