In an outrageous and provocative tweet this morning, President Trump warned Russia that it should get ready for missiles to be fired at Syria, adding that the missiles "will be nice and new and smart." Trump also called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "a gas killing animal." Syria denied that it used chemical weapons and called the event a staged provocation designed to draw the US military into the conflict in a major way. Russia, which has troops in Syria, warned of severe repercussions. Meanwhile, the US, UK, and France have all prepositioned fighter jets in the eastern Mediterranean. Almost 15 years to the day when the US waged war against Iraq using chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction as a false pretext-we appear to be on the verge of the next US war in another Middle Eastern country.
Wednesday is the regular segment looking at nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Today is focused on myths and facts around nuclear power, and how to make a reality that is both low-carbon and nuclear-free. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, joins the show.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said today that he would retire at the end of his term. The announcement was not unexpected, and it set off a race between House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Majority Whip Steve Scalise. Political observers say that Scalise, who was shot and severely wounded last year on an Alexandria, Virginia baseball field, is the more conservative of the two and is more likely to win Ryan's job. Will anyone miss Paul Ryan? Brian and John speak with Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra! and Salon.com.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent a second day on Capitol Hill today, testifying about his company's use of-and security related to-personal data. Zuckerberg apologized to legislators yesterday for not protecting Facebook users' data, and he admitted today that some sort of federal regulation of Facebook was a near certainty. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist, joins the show.
President Trump today signed an executive order that would strengthen the requirements that all welfare recipients be required to work in order to continue receiving public assistance. The requirement makes no provisions for single mothers or the disabled. Dr. Margaret Flowers, a medical doctor and the co-coordinator of Popular Resistance at PopularResistance.org, joins Brian and John.
Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro will boycott the Summit of the Americas, which will be held later this month in Peru. The summit already has been the source of controversy, with Peruvian President Pedro Kuczynski, who has since resigned in a corruption scandal, initially revoking Maduro's invitation, and Trump skipping out as well. Jeanette Charles, a writer, editor and Solidarity Liaison with VenezuelaAnalysis.com, joins the show.
A week ago, a friend of John's visited the new Bible Museum in Washington. He was there to meet another friend, who didn't show up, so he waited in the lobby. Because he was sitting in the lobby and not entering the museum, John's friend, an Egyptian Christian, was detained and questioned by museum security. Then two days ago, two FBI agents from the Joint Counterterrorism Task Force showed up at his house. The hosts take a look at the realities of America in the age of terrorism.
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