08:33 GMT14 May 2021
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    Ohio Church Service Leads to Nearly 100 COVID-19 Infections; Trump Pushes for School Openings

    The Critical Hour
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    On this edition of The Critical Hour, co-hosts Dr. Wilmer Leon and Garland Nixon talk to Dr. Margaret Flowers about how quickly the coronavirus spreads.

    "A man with COVID-19 went to church in mid-June, then 91 other people got sick, including 53 who were at the service, according to Ohio's governor," CNN reported Wednesday. Meanwhile, Common Dreams reported Thursday, "Medical professionals were compelled to speak out Wednesday after President Donald Trump defended and doubled down on his claim that children are 'virtually immune' to COVID-19, a dangerous falsehood the president has been spreading as part of his effort to pressure schools to reopen in the fall." What are we to make of this? 

    A Thursday Washington Post headline read: "For 20th straight week, more than 1 million Americans filed jobless claims even as enhanced benefits expired," and the subheadline added, "Nearly 1.2 million Americans sought the benefits last week, down slightly from the week before." A headline in The Hill on the same day read: “Jobless claims drop to 1.2 million." The article began, "A seasonally adjusted 1.2 million new people applied for unemployment benefits in the week ending August 1, a marked drop from the 1.4 million in the previous two weeks. While this was the 20th week in a row that the Labor Department reported more than 1 million claims — a pandemic-driven phenomenon that had never occurred before — the figures are a welcome change from the previous week." Can both perspectives be true?

    "Beirut was declared a 'disaster city' by authorities on Wednesday, in the wake of a huge explosion in the port of the Lebanese capital that left at least 135 people dead and 5,000 injured," CNN reported Thursday. "The number of deaths is expected to climb amid ongoing search and rescue efforts." The outlet also noted, "It's still unclear what exactly caused the explosion. Lebanon's prime minister said an investigation would focus on an estimated 2,750 metric tons of the explosive ammonium nitrate stored at a warehouse." What are we to make of this?

    "Many supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders are pushing back against Joe Biden’s advisers’ track records of supporting military intervention," HuffPost reported Wednesday. This is the type of dialogue that needs to take place - and take place in the public square. What is being said?

    "A disturbing new document outlines plans for a US regime-change scheme against Nicaragua’s elected leftist government, overseen by USAID, to bring about a 'market economy' and a purge of Sandinistas," The Grayzone reported Tuesday. What are the details of this plan?

    "China on Thursday threatened to take countermeasures over a trip to Taiwan by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, as the Chinese-claimed island geared up for its highest-level US official visit in four decades," Reuters reported Thursday.  What signal is the Trump administration sending, and how seriously should the warning from China be taken?

    "Relations between the US and Iran are at a modern-day low," Tanya Goudsozian wrote in Le Monde Diplomatique on Thursday. "But with both facing renewed waves of COVID-19 and severe economic downturns, and with the US’s sights trained on China, does either country have an interest in further dangerous escalation? With the upcoming US presidential election on 3 November, what are the signals from the Trump and Biden camps?"

    "Rep. Adam Schiff worked behind the scenes to ensure the White House had expanded surveillance powers in Section 215 of the Patriot Act by selling out the civil rights of immigrants, a coalition of privacy groups alleged Wednesday," Common Dreams reported that same day. What’s going on here?


    Dr. Margaret Flowers - Pediatrician, health reform activist and co-director at Popular Resistance

    Dr. Linwood Tauheed - Associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

    Dr. Dania Francis - Assistant professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

    Laith Marouf - Broadcaster and journalist in Beirut, Lebanon

    Daniel Lazare - Investigative journalist

    Nino Pagliccia - Activist and writer

    KJ Noh - Peace activist, writer and teacher

    Scott Ritter - Former UN weapons inspector in Iraq

    Ray McGovern - Former CIA analyst and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Peace

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

    US Patriot Act, Iran, China, Nicaragua, Joe Biden, pandemic, SARS coronavirus, COVID-19
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