As the attempted coup in Venezuela continues, the United States is upping the pressure by announcing that it will refuse to remove its embassy staff from the country, as ordered by President Nicolás Maduro in retaliation for the US orchestrated plot to replace him with far-right opposition figure Juan Guaido. The US diplomats were given 72 hours to leave the country, and President Maduro also has ordered closed the Venezuelan embassy in the US.
Thursday's weekly series "Criminal Injustice" is about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defence Center and editor of Prison Legal News (PLN), and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for Shadowproof.com and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, join the show.
The Senate voted on two competing measures today that would reopen the federal government. Neither bill garnered the required 60 votes, however. And President Trump announced that he will postpone the State of the Union Address; this came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she would not authorize the address so long as the government was closed. The partial government shutdown is now in its 34th day, with federal workers projected to soon miss their second paycheck. Brian and John speak with Julie Hurwitz, a civil rights attorney and partner at the law firm Goodman, Hurwitz and James.
Alex Salmond, who served as First Minister of Scotland from 2007 to 2014 and who was leader of the Scottish National Party for more than 20 years, was arrested yesterday and charged with sex crimes. The arrest took place two weeks after Salmond won a lawsuit against Scottish authorities relating to their investigative practices in this case. Mark Hirst, the Editor-In-Chief of Sputnik's Edinburgh bureau, joins the show.
Veterans for Peace is Thursday's regular segment about the contemporary issues of war and peace that affect veterans, their families, and the country as a whole. Gerry Condon, a Vietnam-era veteran and war resister who refused orders to deploy to Vietnam and lived in exile in Canada and Sweden for 6 years, organizing with other U.S. military deserters and draft resisters against the Vietnam war, and for amnesty for U.S. war resisters, joins the show. He has been a peace and solidarity activist for almost 50 years and has served on the Board of Veterans For Peace for the last 6 years, currently as national president.
A lot of Democrats are running for president. Major media outlets say that as many as two dozen Democrats are considering, or have already announced, campaigns. There are major names like Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren, newcomers like Kamala Harris and Tulsi Gabbard, and unknown like South Bend Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg and Maryland Congressman John Delaney. But are any of these politicians really any different from previous Democratic candidates? And do many of them have a chance to beat Donald Trump? Kevin Zeese, co-coordinator of PopularResistance.org, joins the show.
Our friend and contributor Ted Rall recently had a major court decision go against him in California. This was a case that had very important implications for Americans' constitutional rights to freedom of speech. In the end, the court decided essentially, that Ted's right to criticize the Los Angeles Police Department was less important than the Los Angeles Times's right to block Ted's right to freedom of speech. It's a case with very important constitutional implications. Brian and John speak with Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist whose work is at www.rall.com.
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