00:22 GMT26 January 2021
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    Trump Signs Stimulus Bill He Previously Called a "Disgrace"

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    US President Donald Trump has signed the COVID-19 relief package despite the failure of Congress to remove massive pork-barrel expenditures and increase the stimulus checks to $2,000, as he had requested.

    Dr. Linwood Tauheed, associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, joins us to discuss the recently approved coronavirus relief package. Trump reluctantly signed the bill, which he previously called a "disgrace," after identifying massive pork-barrel expenditures and railing against the surprisingly small $600 stimulus checks for American citizens. Will this last bit of economic haggling send Trump out looking like a working-class populist despite his history of neoliberal tax cuts and corporate bailouts?

    Ted Rall, political cartoonist and syndicated columnist, joins us to talk about the apparent suicide bombing at an ATT building in Nashville, Tennessee. Evidence points to an individual who has a history of railing against 5G technology as a threat to human health. Is this a lone wolf attack, or could there be a terrorist group supporting the project? Also, is this action related to the anomie created by pandemic-related economic desperation, and will it be used to increase online censorship in the name of containing conspiracy theories?

    Dan Lazare, investigative journalist and author of "The Velvet Coup," joins us to talk about his recent article in which he puts forth a number of unanswered questions about the recent "suspected" Russian hack. Lazare wrote an extensive article on the Strategic Culture website and surprisingly found that it was censored from Facebook. Also, Lazare discusses indications that Russian leaders expect an increase in cold war tactics under the Biden administration

    Laith Marouf, broadcaster and journalist based in Beirut, Lebanon, joins us to discuss the Christmas Eve Israeli missile attacks on Syria. Israel again claims that these attacks were related to Iran's allies in Syrian territory. Are these attacks part of a broader plan to apply pressure to the incoming Biden administration or deflect from internal political turmoil as Israel prepares for its third election in two years?

    Nicolas Davies, peace activist and author of "Blood on Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq"; and Elisabeth Myers, attorney and former editor-in-chief of Inside Arabia, come together to talk about recent developments in Yemen. A new government was recently sworn in after Saudi Arabia helped negotiate a power-sharing deal. Will the Houthis accept this agreement or reject it as interference by an outside power? Also, large protests are taking place in many parts of Yemen because no women have been included in the country's 24-member Cabinet, a situation that has not arisen for 20 years.

    Mark Sleboda, Moscow-based international relations and security analyst, returns to discuss the Alexei Navalny saga and new sanctions pending over the Nord Stream 2 project. The claims of poisoning have taken an odd turn, as Navalny and his handlers have dropped the poisoned water bottle story and presented a new case involving poisoned underwear. Also, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov addressed the latest round of US sanctions designed to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project connecting Russia with Germany, calling them a "cowboy-like raid" and attempted hostile takeover.

    Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, returns to discuss the incoming Biden administration's options for the Iran nuclear deal. One hundred and fifty Democrats from the US House of Representatives have signed a letter supporting US President-elect Joe Biden's push to have the country reenter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. However, the letter notes that returning to the deal will be a starting point to address other regional activities by the Persian nation. Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said that Russia is in agreement with Iranian leadership that a return to the deal must have no preconditions.

    Latin American Coordinator of Code Pink Teri Mattson joins us to discuss Venezuela's struggle for independence. "The International Observation Committee to Venezuela's National Assembly (AN) elections delivered its final report on Monday," according to Venezuelanalysis. "The CEELA's [Latin American Council of Electoral Experts] participation began two months ago, with its members partaking in the 13 audit processes prior to elections, focusing on aspects such as the electoral registry, data, software and voting notebooks." Also, despite a fractured and dysfunctional opposition coalition, self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido, who is backed by the US, has called for more sanctions and increased suffering for the citizens of his nation. 

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    Tags:
    stimulus, Syria, Yemen, Joe Biden, Nashville, Nordstream 2, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
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