16:39 GMT26 January 2021
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    Critics Denounce Biden's Choice of Longtime War Hawk Tony Blinken for Secretary of State

    The Critical Hour
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    Critics are concerned over Secretary of State nominee Tony Blinken's support for the US invasion of Iraq and the 2011 bombing of Libya, along with his work as a consultant for the arms industry.

    Kevin Gosztola, journalist, author and documentary filmmaker, joins us to weigh in on the latest potential choice for Joe Biden's Cabinet. Biden has reportedly chosen Blinken, a longtime Beltway insider of the American foreign policy consensus, for secretary of state. Blinken's repeated support for military intervention projects causes great trepidation among those hoping for a less aggressive foreign policy under the next US administration.

    Dr. Yolandra Hancock, board-certified pediatrician, joins us to discuss a report in The Hill that said, "The US on Sunday marked the 20th straight day of more than 100,000 new confirmed COVID-19 infections, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University." Also, as pharmaceutical giants Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca claim to be on the verge of releasing highly effective vaccines for the coronavirus, Hancock discusses potential safety and distribution issues should any of them be chosen for mass production. 

    Elisabeth Myers, lawyer and former editor-in-chief of Inside Arabia, talks with our hosts about a recent report in MintPress News which says that US weapons sales to Saudi Arabia since the beginning of the war in Yemen have made the kingdom "a cash cow for US weapons makers." The outlet notes that "figures released from the United Nations and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) show that since the war in Yemen began, the US government has given $2.56 billion in aid to the country but sold over $13 billion in high-tech weapons to Saudi Arabia."

    Greg Palast, investigative reporter, returns to the show to discuss the ongoing GOP legal fight to overcome the voting deficits in Michigan. Reuters reported, "The Republican National Committee and the Michigan Republican Party wrote to Michigan's state board of canvassers on Saturday asking it to adjourn for 14 days to audit ballots in the state's largest county." A Michigan Department of State spokesperson advised the GOP that "candidates could still request a recount after certification that could change the election outcome," the outlet said.  Also, the Georgia State Board of Elections is considering making some ex post facto changes to voting rules that could significantly impact the final ballot count if allowed.

    Mark Sleboda, Moscow-based international relations and security analyst, returns to discuss the Trump administration's latest move to pull the US out of the Open Skies Treaty. He will also discuss whether he thinks a Biden administration would be amenable to returning to any of the many treaties that the Trump team has abandoned. Additionally, he gives us his thoughts on recent reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin is extending an olive branch towards Washington, saying he is willing to work with the US to resolve differences after election details are settled. 

    Dan Lazare, investigative journalist and author of "The Velvet Coup," returns to The Critical Hour to discuss the Central and South American grassroots social movement that is manifesting itself among numerous Indigenous groups. This time, Guatemalans have taken to the streets in large numbers to oppose a new neoliberal austerity budget by the government. Furious protesters are also demanding that their leaders address rampant government corruption or resign. 

    Miko Peled, author and activist, brings his wealth of knowledge about the Israeli occupation of Palestine to Radio Sputnik to discuss a recent Jerusalem Post article arguing that 49% of Israelis surveyed want a potential Biden administration to relaunch talks with the Palestinians, while only 36% oppose the idea. Additionally, as the normalization of diplomatic relations with Israel spreads throughout the Middle East, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu travels to Saudi Arabia. Could this be the next Muslim nation to recognize Israel, and what would be the fallout?

    Alexander Mercouris, editor-in-chief of The Duran, checks in from London to update us on the UK government's attempt to navigate the seemingly endless task of completing the nation's contentious divorce from the European Union. In the latest plot twist, reports are surfacing that there has been progress in talks on a trade deal between Britain and the EU, and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson now plans to intervene in the negotiations. British outlet The Telegraph suggested that December 1 is now the unofficial deadline for concluding the talks.

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

    Tags:
    Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Open Skies Treaty, Guatemala, Brexit, Antony Blinken, Joe Biden
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