The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that the National Security Agency, or NSA, last year continued to collect records about US calls and text messages that it was not authorized to obtain, renewing privacy concerns about a program that NSA said it had discontinued. The unauthorized collection took place last October, several months after NSA leaders said they had ordered that previously unauthorized material collected since 2015 be purged from NSA databases.
The House of Representatives yesterday passed a bill to provide funding for undocumented migrants being held in what are being described as inhumane conditions at ICE facilities along the southwestern border. The bill is unlikely to pass in the senate. In the meantime, the children being held in these facilities are dealing with an outbreak of lice and the flu, are kept apart from relatives, and are not being given soap and toothbrushes. Isabel Garcia, co-founder of Coalición de Derechos Humanos, joins the show.
The Acting Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, said yesterday that he will work to unify NATO Ministers of Defense to deter Iran and to force it to return to the negotiating table. But France’s Defense Minister said that there would be no negotiations, not just because the Iranians are refusing to participate, but because quote “even the United States doesn’t know what its Iran policy is.” Meanwhile, Houthis in Yemen are posing an ever-increasing threat to Saudi Arabia, allegedly with the help of Iran. Brian and John speak with Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran.
Ten Democratic presidential candidates will debate tonight in Miami, Florida and another 10 will debate tomorrow in the first such events of the 2020 presidential race. More than two dozen Democrats are running for president, so many that they had to be split into two groups. Former Vice President Joe Biden is generally seen as the frontrunner at this early stage, and the rest of the candidates are going to look to gain on him. Bob Schleuhuber, who is in Miami covering the debates and is a Sputnik News analyst and the producer of the Sputnik News show By Any Means Necessary, which you can hear on 105.5 FM and 1390 AM in the Washington DC area from 2:00-4:00 pm every day, joins the show.
The G20 heads of state will hold their annual summit later this week in Osaka, Japan, but observers are not expecting much in the way of progress, especially on climate change issues. Indeed, according to The Financial Times, whose reporters have seen a copy of the draft communique, it doesn’t even mention the words “global warming” or “climate change,” apparently as a sop to the Trump Administration. World Trade Organization officials also complain that US tariffs are creating major roadblocks for streamlined international trade. Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression,” whose work is at www.jackrasmus.com, joins Brian and John.
Wednesday’s weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, and Sputnik news analyst Nicole Roussell join the show.
Wednesday’s regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.
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