She has not been told why she is being held in custody since her arrest on Sunday by the FBI at St. Louis Lambert International Airport while boarding a flight to Denver.
She is African American, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Muslim. She was transferred to Washington, where she is being detained. What's going on with the detention of Marzieh Hashemi? On Wednesday, when she was allowed to contact her children, Hashemi told them that male authorities had forcibly removed her hijab. She said she is able to walk around a courtyard but with her feet shackled, and has only eaten pretzels while in detention because she has been offered only foods that conflict with her religious dietary restriction. As background, she was born Melanie Franklin and is a convert to Islam. She is visiting the United States to film a documentary on the Black Lives Matter movement and to visit a brother who has cancer. When she was approached by authorities, she was given vague details on why she was being handcuffed, her son Reza, who was at the airport with her, told other family members. She said in her phone call to family that she still hadn't been charged with a crime. As of this time, the FBI has not responded to our request for comment on why Hashemi is being detained.
With a Cold War mentality, President Donald Trump called today for an update of America's decades-old missile defense system that he said would protect the United States from emerging threats — while also promoting futuristic ambitions with his much-touted Space Force. What does this say about the state of American military/foreign policy? The initiative comes as the US worries about Iran and North Korea's ballistic missile capabilities, as well as technological advances made by the militaries of China and Russia. I'm a bit confused. He backed out of an effective treaty with Iran, is backing out of a treaty with Russia, the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, and can't quite figure out how to deal with North Korea and China.
Trump administration officials now say that the government shutdown is having more than twice the negative impact on the economy as they first estimated. The White House's Council of Economic Advisors failed to account for contractors not being paid (and who probably won't receive retroactive payments) or the ripple effects on the economy, such as: restaurant meals not being taken or movies not seen, or the greater personal impacts of not having money to buy food or pay rent, or having to sell a car. Sounds like they left a few variables out of their multi-variant equation. Really? How can so-called economic advisors to the White House miss these variables? The revised estimates from the Council of Economic Advisers show that the shutdown, now in its fourth week, is beginning to have real economic consequences. The analysis and other projections from outside the White House suggest that the shutdown has already weighed significantly on growth and could ultimately push the United States economy into a contraction. Mr. Kevin Hassett said yesterday that the administration now calculates that the shutdown reduces quarterly economic growth by 0.13 percentage points for every week that it lasts — the cumulative effect of lost work from contractors and furloughed federal employees who are not getting paid and who are investing and spending less as a result. That means that the economy has already lost nearly half a percentage point of growth from the four-week shutdown.
Caleb Maupin - Journalist and political analyst who focuses his coverage on US foreign policy and the global system of monopoly capitalism and imperialism.
Dr. Gerald Horne — Professor of history at the University of Houston and author of many books, including Blows Against the Empire: US Imperialism in Crisis.
Dr. Jack Rasmus — 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, who also writes at jackrasmus.com.
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