00:13 GMT +324 February 2019
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    Brian Becker, John Kiriakou
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    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dan Kovalik, a human rights and labor lawyer who is the author of the book “The Plot to Attack Iran.”

    The trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort begins today in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Manafort is charged with 18 counts of felony bank fraud and tax evasion. The trial is expected to take three weeks and then he will face additional felony charges in a federal court in Washington, DC.

    President Trump said yesterday that he would meet Iranian leaders without preconditions "whenever they want." The comments marked an abrupt about-face in Trump's Iran policy and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walked the comment back. The Iranian government rejected the notion of a meeting. Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran, joins the show.

    Tuesday's weekly series, False Profits-A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey, covers a proposed tax cut for the wealthy today. Brian and John speak with Daniel Sankey, a financial policy analyst.

    In a classified leak to the Washington Post, US intelligence officials say that North Korea is constructing new missiles at a factory that produced the country's first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States. Is North Korea rearming or is the intelligence community trying to kill the warming of relations between the two countries? Author and professor Tim Beal, whose most recent book is "Crisis in Korea," joins the show.

    British journalist Robert Fisk recently concluded an investigative report on weapons deliveries to belligerents in Syria, including ISIS and al-Qaeda. He found that many of the weapons, including missiles and rockets, were made by US defense contractors and sold to NATO and friendly countries in the region. They were then sent to Syria in violation of end user agreements. Ambassador Peter Ford, the former British Ambassador to Syria, joins Brian and John.

    Puerto Rico's government last night reached a deal with a bondholder group to restructure more than a third of the $9 billion debt owed by the island's electrical utility, Prepa, as it moves toward privatization. Economists say the deal, while helping Puerto Rico in the short term, will likely lead to an overall increase in the rates of interest poor cities, states, and territories must pay on bonds. Dr. Adriana Garriga-López, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Kalamazoo College, joins the show.

    President Trump yesterday lashed out at the billionaire Koch brothers, two of the Republican Party's most prolific fundraisers, calling them "a total joke" and saying that he never sought their support because he didn't need their money or their bad ideas. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough said the outburst points to Trump's destruction of the Republican Party. Is the president really provoking a fight within his own base or is it a tactic? Brian and John speak with Eugene Puryear, the host of Sputnik Radio's By Any Means Necessary, which you can hear Monday through Friday from 2:00-4:00 pm.

    The US military's Africa Command, or AFRICOM, which is based in Germany, announced yesterday that it had begun deploying armed drones to Niger earlier this year. Niger agreed to the request as part of its joint counterterrorism work with the US. But why did it take so long to release the information? And why is AFRICOM nowhere near Africa? Vijay Prashad, the Director of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and Chief Editor of LeftWord Books, and the author of "The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution" and "Red Star Over the Third World," joins the show.

    We'd love to get your feedback at radio@sputniknews.com

    Russiagate, trial, Paul Manafort, Robert Mueller, Ukraine
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