04:55 GMT18 February 2020
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    Coronavirus: US Media Puts Anti-China Obsession Ahead of Public Health

    Loud & Clear
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    On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Ian Goodrum, a writer and digital editor for China Daily.

    At least 17 people have died in China and more than 570 sickened by an outbreak of coronavirus, a virus that can lead to symptoms from a common cold to acute respiratory syndrome in both humans and animals. The Chinese government has restricted travel from six cities, including the industrial hub of Wuhan, where the outbreak seems to have originated, but in the past several days people in Malaysia, Thailand, and even Washington State have tested positive for the ailment.

    Two new political polls from yesterday and today put Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders at the top of the heap in the Democratic race for president for the first time. Sanders widened his lead among likely voters in New Hampshire, where he has 29 percent, versus Pete Buttigieg at 17 percent, Joe Biden at 14, and Elizabeth Warren at 13. A CNN national poll shows Sanders leading Biden 27-24, with Warren at 14 and Buttigieg at 11 percent. Dave Lindorff, an investigative reporter, a columnist for CounterPunch, and a contributor to Businessweek, The Nation, Extra!, and Salon.com, and whose work is at ThisCantBeHappening.net, joins the show.

    The Trump Administration today finalized a rule that would strip away environmental protections for streams, wetlands, and other bodies of water, handing a victory to pesticide-using farmers, fossil fuel producers, and real estate developers. Half of the nation’s wetlands will be affected, as well as hundreds of thousands of small waterways. And landowners and developers will now be allowed to dump pollutants into those waterways and to destroy or fill in wetlands for development. Brian and John speak with Scott Edwards, co-director of the Food & Water Justice project at Food & Water Watch.

    UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that his country had “crossed the Brexit finish line” after parliament passed legislation implementing the Brexit deal. The EU’s top officials are expected to sign the deal in the coming days, and the European Parliament will vote on it in the next several weeks. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins the show.

    A regular Thursday segment deals with the ongoing militarization of space. As the US continues to withdraw from international arms treaties, will the weaponization and militarization of space bring the world closer to catastrophe? Brian and John speak with Prof. Karl Grossman, a full professor of journalism at the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury and the host of a nationally aired television program focused on environmental, energy, and space issues.

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Economic announced today that the Trump administration was considering yet another round of major tax cuts. Meanwhile, political leaders from around the world are attending the World Economic Forum, also called the Davos Summit, this week. But while President Trump lauded the US economy in his speech in Davos, he mocked climate scientists, calling them “foolish fortune tellers,” and once again called climate change “a hoax.” Professor Richard Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work whose latest book is “Understanding Socialism,” joins the show.

    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 Defense 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.

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