President Trump delivered his first state of the union address last night, setting an ambitious, but highly partisan-perhaps even divisive-agenda in his first State of the Union address. He took a hard line on immigration and North Korea, but then said he wanted to spend $1.5 trillion on infrastructure, although he didn't say how he would pay for it, especially in light of recent massive tax cuts for corporations and the rich.
The White House is saying that President Trump has not yet decided whether to release the Nunes memo, although he was overheard at the State of the Union last night saying that he would "100 percent release it." Meanwhile, the plot thickens at the FBI, as its Inspector General is now investigating the actions of former director James Comey and deputy director Andrew McCabe, their role in the Hillary Clinton emails, and the FISA warrant they requested to look at the Trump campaign. Brian and John speak with Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent who in 2002 was named Time Magazine person of the year along with two other whistleblowers.
A federal judge in the Southern District of New York this week lashed out at Immigration and Customs Enforcement actions in a written opinion ordering the temporary release of an immigrants' rights activist who ICE scooped up and scheduled for deportation. Ravi Ragbir, the leader of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York, was released so that, in the judge's words, he could say goodbye to his family. Juan Carlos Ruiz, cofounder of New Sanctuary Coalition, where Ravi Ragbir is executive director, joins the show.
An Israeli legal rights group is suing two New Zealanders who reportedly convinced the pop singer Lorde to cancel a performance in Israel. This is the first lawsuit filed under a controversial Israeli anti-boycott law. And for the first time in its history, an officer of the Israeli secret police agency, the Shin Bet, is facing a criminal investigation over allegations of torture. Miko Peled, an author whose latest book "Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five" comes out next month, joins Brian and John.
Bahrain's top court sentenced two people to death and almost 60 more to lengthy prison sentences yesterday on charges of terrorism in a case that the Bahrainis say proves Iranian meddling in their country. The Bahraini prosecutor said the defendants smuggled explosives and weapons into the country after having undergone training in Iran. Mustafa Akhwand, the executive director of Shia Rights Watch, joins the show.
Cape Town, South Africa is dangerously close to running out of water. "Day Zero", as it's being called, is expected in April, and frantic preparations are underway to prepare for this impending ecological crisis. Brian and John speak with Fred Magdoff, professor emeritus of plant and soil science at the University of Vermont and the co-author of "What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism" and "Creating an Ecological Society: Toward a Revolutionary Transformation".
Saudi Arabia has moved the remaining 56 princes it has been holding in the Ritz Carlton hotel on corruption charges to secure private palaces and, in some cases, to actual prisons. Other princes have secured their own release by turning over to the government more than $106 billion that Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman says was made through corrupt practices. Ali al-Ahmed, the director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, joins the show.
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