16:16 GMT21 January 2021
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    Ethiopian Prime Minister Announces End of Military Operations in Tigray Region

    The Critical Hour
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    Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Saturday said military operations were over in the Tigray Region after the army captured the regional capital of Mekelle, but the Tigray People's Liberation Front said it will keep fighting.

    Teodrose "Teddy" Fikre, Ethiopian journalist and founder of the Ghion Journal, joins us to discuss the announcement by Ahmed that the end of military operations in the Tigray region is at hand. Fikre has also penned an article on his website entitled "My Open Letter to PM Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian People, and Concerned Global Citizens."

    Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo, professor, epidemiologist, veterinarian and the daughter of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, returns to discuss Africa's problems with the coronavirus. Particularly, she talks about the issues that will arise in getting a vaccine administered to people in areas that pose supply and distribution challenges. 

    Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, returns to enlighten us about an Iranian nuclear scientist's recent assassination. The European Union has joined Russia and China in condemning the murder, which is thought by many to have been an Israeli operation. Iran has released a statement saying that the Islamic Republic "shouldn't fall into the trap of linking the assassination to past nuclear negotiations."

    David Schultz, author and professor of political science and law at Hamline University, joins us to review and discuss the Trump administration's plan to exclude unauthorized immigrants from the population count used in redistricting for the House of Representatives. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, and the results could have dramatic effects on the makeup of Congress going forward. Will the court rule as expected, and would a Biden administration be willing and able to take up the issue on Capitol Hill?

    Alexander Mercouris, editor-in-chief of The Duran, joins us to discuss the current and future troubles for new Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer in the UK. Starmer is facing a firestorm of revolt over the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn, Labour's former leader, from the party. Also, Mercouris weighs in on news outlet The Guardian's recent censoring of a political cartoon that defended Corbyn from accusations of anti-Semitism. 

    Ted Rall, political cartoonist and syndicated columnist, joins us to discuss recent nominees for the Cabinet of projected US President-elect Joe Biden. He reviews an article by Medea Benjamin in which she argues that Biden's use of female Cabinet members to push endless war is disguising militarism with feminism. Also, many of Biden's picks hail from hawkish national security think tanks. Will a Biden administration push to expand militarism and war-making?

    Robert Fantina, pro-Palestinian activist, peace and human rights leader, journalist and author of "Essays on Palestine," joins us to discuss a recent video from Turkey's Anadolu Agency that reportedly shows Israeli soldiers laughing while shooting at unarmed Palestinian protesters, hitting one in the leg. Additionally, a fiscal review by the UN finds that Gaza's economy has lost at least $16.5 billion due to the Israeli blockade. 

    Kathy Kelly, American Peace activist, one of the founding members of Voices in the Wilderness and co-coordinator for Voices for Creative Nonviolence, returns to The Critical Hour to review the latest information about the Afghanistan peace process. The violence in the country has continued, while the Washington Post reported Friday that the US has closed at least 10 bases in Afghanistan since signing a February peace deal with the Taliban, in what appears to be a move towards exiting the long, bloody slog. 

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    Tags:
    Abiy Ahmed, Palestine, Ethiopia, Antony Blinken, Joe Biden
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