07:55 GMT17 April 2021
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    Skin Deep: Epstein Sex Charges Could Open Up a Political Underworld

    The Critical Hour
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    On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Greg Palast, award-winning investigative reporter featured in The Guardian, Nation Magazine, Rolling Stone Magazine, BBC and other high-profile media outlets.

    On Monday, federal prosecutors unsealed new sex trafficking charges against Jeffrey Epstein, alleging that the politically connected multimillionaire who previously avoided serious legal exposure on similar allegations had abused dozens of young girls at his Manhattan, New York, and Palm Beach, Florida, homes and enlisted his victims to bring him others. To say that Epstein is well connected is an incredible understatement. US Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton are on his list of associates. He also has royal friends such as the UK's Prince Andrew. This is quite a turn for the jet-setting multimillionaire. After landing at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey on Saturday, Epstein was taken into custody and held for two nights in the same detention facility that houses the drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. Not quite the Waldorf Astoria. Again, quite a turn of events in the lifestyle of the rich and famous. What are we to make of this?

    The United States has tentatively approved the sale of $2 billion in military hardware to Taiwan, demonstrating support for its unofficial ally in a move likely to exacerbate deteriorating ties between Washington and Beijing. Included in this sale are 108 M1A2T Abrams tanks, Hercules armored vehicles and heavy equipment transporters along with more than $220 million in Stinger antiaircraft missiles. This comes on the heels of other recently approved arms packages. Taiwan in late February also requested 66 F-16V fighter jets from the United States. And in April, Washington approved a $500 million contract that included F-16 parts and training. Are mixed signals being sent with this sale as the US tries to come to a trade agreement with China, and will continuing to anger China have repercussions for the US' attempted detente with North Korea? 

    With scant public notice, federal immigration officials are relying on databases run by foreign police and militaries to check whether migrants crossing the United States border have gang affiliations, which would allow officials to detain and eventually deport them. The information is being provided through a new “fusion” intelligence-gathering center in El Salvador that is funded by the State Department and works in tandem with the Department of Homeland Security. How reliable is this information?


    Greg Palast — Award-winning investigative reporter featured in The Guardian, Nation Magazine, Rolling Stone Magazine, BBC and other high profile media outlets. He covered Venezuela for The Guardian and BBC Television's "Newsnight." His BBC reports are the basis of his film, "The Assassination of Hugo Chavez."  

    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."  

    Abel Nunez — Executive director of the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN).  

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    Immigration, Taiwan, Greg Palast, Jeffrey Epstein
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