04:09 GMT +310 December 2019
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    Trump OK’s Israeli Settlement Construction on Palestinian Lands

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    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of the book “The Battle for Justice in Palestine.”

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced yesterday that the US government would no longer recognize the illegality of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. The policy change comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting to form a government.

    Impeachment hearings continued today with the Intelligence Committee hearing testimony from two National Security Council staff members - Jennifer Williams, a Foreign Service Officer assigned to Vice President Pence’s staff; she was listening in on the now-famous phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky; and Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, the NSC’s top Ukraine specialist. Vindman has been the subject of recent attacks from Republican lawmakers, particularly Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson. Vindman was also on the call and raised concerns with the White House Counsel. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of thepolemicist.net, whose latest article on CounterPunch and The Polemicist is “Trump’s Syrian See-Saw: From Pullout to PIllage”, joins the show.

    A Swedish prosecutor this morning said that he has discontinued investigating a sexual assault case against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and has dropped the charges. The Swedish case was the impetus for Julian’s refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London for six and a half years, but he now faces multiple espionage charges in the United States. Brian and John speak with Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star.

    Bolivia’s self-proclaimed president, Jeanine Anez, was supposed to be a caretaker until new elections were called. But in the past 9 days, since the military and police overthrew President Evo Morales, Anez has replaced Bolivia’s top military leaders, sacked the cabinet, and thrown out the heads of major state-owned companies. Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, protestors at the polytechnic university have armed themselves and are heading toward a violent clash with police. Tighe Barry, longtime peace activist and member of Code Pink, joins the show.

    The US and the Taliban exchanged prisoners this morning. Two professors, one American and one Australian, were turned over to US authorities, while three senior Taliban militants were turned over to Qatari authorities. Meanwhile, a British television program, Panorama, found evidence of a cover-up of British war crimes in Afghanistan. That information has been turned over to the International Criminal Court. And Afghan President Ashraf Ghani spoke with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday about the prisoner swap and about what he is called the defeat of Daesh in Afghanistan. Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, joins Brian and John.

    The hosts talk about the biggest news so far this week, including the coup in Bolivia, democratic presidential candidates’ comments about the coups or attempted coups in Bolivia and Venezuela, and the US announcement that it no longer considers Israeli settlements illegal. Brian and John are joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers Nicole Roussell and Walter Smolarek.

    Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.

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    international law, Trump, settlements, Palestine, Israel
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