23:42 GMT25 January 2021
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    US Sees First Case of More Transmissible Coronavirus Variant That Has Led to UK Lockdowns

    The Critical Hour
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    Officials in Colorado on Tuesday reported the first known US case of the new strain of the COVID-19 coronavirus, which scientists have said is more infectious and which has caused lockdowns in southern England.

    Dr. Yolandra Hancock, board-certified pediatrician and obesity medicine specialist, returns to The Critical Hour to update us on the latest coronavirus news. The US patient who has contracted the new virus variant, a Colorado man in his 20s, is now in isolation in the state's Elbert County. While the variant is believed to spread more easily, experts say there's no evidence that it causes more severe sickness. Scientists familiar with the case argue that the man's lack of a recent travel history indicates that this is likely not an isolated case. 

    John Burris, civil rights attorney, joins us to discuss the recent Nashville, Tennessee, bombing. Pamela Perry, the girlfriend of deceased bombing suspect Anthony Warner, reported to authorities over a year ago that Warner was making bombs in his RV, according to a recent report from the Associated Press. However, police never managed to speak with Warner, nor did they inspect his RV. Also, the Louisville Metro Police Department has begun the process of firing two more of the officers who were involved in the infamous raid that resulted in the killing of Breonna Taylor.

    Ariel Gold, national director for antiwar organization Code Pink, joins us to discuss US arms sales. The Trump administration is apparently ending its term with massive arms sales to the Middle East. The US State Department has approved a potential sale of $4.2 billion worth of weapons to Kuwait and another potential deal for $290 million in bombs to Saudi Arabia, according to the Pentagon. The Saudi deal follows another deal for $478 million in arms for which the State Department intends to issue a license, Bloomberg reported last week. International security experts argue that the massive influx of arms into the region will contribute to instability and continued conflict.

    Medea Benjamin, co-founder Code Pink, returns to The Critical Hour to discuss her recent MintPress News article on Avril Haines, US President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for director of national intelligence. Benjamin argues, "This unassuming spy may look and sound like your favorite college professor, but that facade masks a ruthless wolf in sheep’s clothing who enabled murder by remote control and wielded a thick black pen to cover-up CIA torture." The article is written on behalf of a number of progressive activist groups who are calling on the US Senate to reject Haines' nomination. 

    Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history at the University of Houston, author, historian and researcher, returns to discuss convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. He was allowed to travel to Israel and was greeted Wednesday as a hero by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, weeks after the Trump administration lifted parole restrictions that kept Pollard from going abroad. In the 1980s, Pollard stole and sold top-secret US government documents to Israel while he was working as a US Navy intelligence analyst.

    Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector in Iraq, returns to discuss his latest article about the recent hack of US government websites, which many media outlets have blamed on Russia without concrete evidence. He gives a simplified yet highly technical overview of the cyberattack and then goes on to explain the current environment, including some history of cyber confrontations between the US and Russia. Ritter argues that, regardless of where the hack originated, it was pure intelligence-gathering and did not seem to include any offensive or destructive actions. He maintains that the claims of a Pearl Harbor level-attack are hyperbolic and designed for domestic consumption. 

    James Carey, editor and co-owner of Geopolitics Alert, joins us to discuss Iran. A spokesperson for Netanyahu's office has announced that Israel is unequivocally opposed to the US returning to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement with Iran. The official claimed that the “deal gave Iran a highway paved with gold to build the critical infrastructure for an entire arsenal of nuclear bombs" but provided no details or facts to support the claim. Also, Alan MacLeod penned a recent article in which he argues that the world ends 2020 exactly as it began: with the looming threat of war between the US and Iran.

    Niko House, political activist, independent journalist and podcaster, returns to The Critical Hour to discuss the ongoing feud in the Democratic Party. YouTube Star Jimmy Dore ignited a firestorm when he suggested that Democrats should use their votes for speaker of the House as bargaining chips to get a floor vote on Medicare for All. Meanwhile, in an ominous sign for mainstream Democrats, incoming Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) and Cori Bush (D-MO) are refusing to say whether they will support House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) bid to lead the party in 2021. 

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    Tags:
    Cori Bush, coronavirus, COVID-19, Jimmy Dore, Nancy Pelosi, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Jonathan Pollard
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