00:56 GMT26 January 2021
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    Social Media Lights Up as US Congress Announces Deal on Modest COVID-19 Relief Package

    The Critical Hour
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    Leaders in the US Senate on Sunday announced that a deal had been made on a bipartisan pandemic stimulus package worth some $900 billion, which is viewed by many economists as too little, too late.

    Dr. Linwood Tauheed, associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, joins us to discuss the recently announced US COVID-19 relief package. The final numbers are surprisingly low and have prompted a furious response by activists on social media. Additionally, many economists argue that the modest amount allotted to struggling citizens is not nearly enough to address rent and food money shortages and spike a lagging US economy.

    Dr. Iyabo Obasanjo, professor, epidemiologist, veterinarian and the daughter of former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, returns to The Critical Hour to discuss the mutation of the coronavirus that was recently found in the United Kingdom. Obasanjo tells us whether this mutation is a normal and expected outcome and if this is the first of many. Also, some EU countries are closing their borders to the UK due to fear, which may disrupt supply chains. 

    Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), joins us to discuss a recent open letter from the organization to US President-elect Joe Biden regarding the allegations dominating US media that Russia was responsible for a recent hack of US government websites. VIPS argues that the media onslaught in the wake of the hack is a deep state operation designed to steer US foreign policy. The group advises Biden to avoid putting his foot in the "mousetrap" being laid for him to make it more difficult for his administration to "deal in a sensible way with Russia."

    Jim Kavanagh, writer at The Polemicist and CounterPunch, joins us as the final days of Brexit negotiations draw near. Talks have been hung up mainly over two seemingly intractable issues - "the bloc's fishing rights in British waters and creating a so-called level playing field providing fair competition rules for both sides," Reuters reported.

    James Carey, editor and co-owner of Geopolitics Alert, returns to discuss a serious health situation at the Guantanamo Bay detention center. "Muhammad Rahim has been confined to the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison for the last 12 years without charge," Al Jazeera reported. "But now his lawyer and a rights body fear the Afghan is facing a potentially serious health risk."

    KJ Noh, peace activist, writer and teacher, joins us to discuss China's olive branch to the incoming Biden administration. "China's top diplomat on Friday offered cooperation on key priorities of President-elect Joe Biden, warning that Beijing's many US critics were creating an atmosphere of 'McCarthyism' and ignoring common interests," AFP reported. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Friday, "It is important that US policy toward China return to objectivity and sensibility as early as possible." 

    Danny Shaw, author, activist and professor of Latin American studies, joins us to discuss US policy towards South America and the Caribbean. Biden's advisers are getting ready to negotiate with the government of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in an effort to end the economic and humanitarian crisis resulting from harsh US Sanctions, Bloomberg reported last week, citing "three people familiar with the matter." Is this move genuine or simply a thinly disguised maneuver aimed at controlling the outcome of future elections and installing a US puppet government?

    Randi Nord, co-founder of Geopolitics Alert, joins us to talk about recent statements by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg about China, which he argues is expanding as both a conventional and nuclear threat. Nord discusses what she considers the danger of the claim and whether Biden will adopt the same stance, resulting in a move to expand NATO and include China as a potential enemy.

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

    Tags:
    COVID-19, coronavirus, pandemic, economic stimulus, US Senate
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