04:29 GMT17 February 2020
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    John McCain's Record; Violence in Chicago; Sanctions Silence Media in Venezuela

    The Critical Hour
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    On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Ray Baker, political analyst and host of the podcast Public Agenda, to remember the life, legacy, and politics of the late Senator John McCain.

    Arizona Senator John McCain is dead at the age of 81. The late senator will lie in state at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix and later in the US Capitol Rotunda in Washington, DC. McCain died Saturday at age 81 following a battle with aggressive brain cancer. If you've turned on your TV since his passing, it's on every news channel: John McCain the Maverick, John McCain the War Hero, John McCain international spokesmen for democracy. Well, that's not quite the Senator McCain that I followed. As I have listened to the news since Sunday, this really appears to be what I call the protectors of the narrative (corporate media) going into high gear to manage the image of John McCain, thereby validating the atrocities he backed and championed.

    At least 28 people were shot in Chicago over the weekend, two of them fatally. The most violent period was Friday night, when two were killed and eight others wounded between 5 p.m. and midnight. Shootings on Saturday wounded five people; nine were wounded Sunday; and four were wounded early Monday before 5 a.m. One shooting Friday left a woman dead in the back of the Yards neighborhood on the South Side. There are those who talk about the poor relationship between the community and the police and place the blame on the community. The Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability has outlined an ordinance that would give a civilian oversight board a lot of power over the police department. A seven-member civilian board would oversee Chicago's police department. They would have the authority to fire the police superintendent and set department policy, which would be a dramatic change for the city. What is going on in our community?

    Whitney Webb from MintPress News has a very disturbing story on the site — "US Sanctions Against Venezuela Force Abby Martin's 'Empire Files' to Shut Down." The US government is not only seeking to punish the Venezuelan government with its increasingly draconian sanctions but is seeking as well to cripple the TeleSur media network, despite the fact that it is funded by several other countries. What's actually going on here? What does this say about the power of independent journalism, and what does it say about a free press and censorship in America?


    Ray Baker — Political analyst and host of the podcast Public Agenda.

    Dr. Ameena Matthews — Senior Violence Interrupter whose job is to mediate conflict on the front end to stop the transmission of violence from one person to another. She has worked for six years with the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention's Ceasefire Program in the University of Illinois at Chicago's School of Public Health.

    Abby Martin — Journalist and host of The Empire Files, a weekly investigative news program on TeleSur.

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

    police violence, Trump administration, John McCain, Chicago, Venezuela
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