21:05 GMT24 February 2021
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    Trump Impeachment Trial Set to Begin as Outcome is Not in Doubt

    The Critical Hour
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    The second Senate impeachment trial against former US President Donald Trump is set to begin Tuesday, as Republicans argue free speech defense and SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts refuses to participate.

    Ted Rall, a political cartoonist and syndicated columnist, joins us to talk about the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump. Democratic leadership is moving forward with impeachment procedures as Senate Republicans are standing firm in opposition. The outcome of the impeachment procedure is not in doubt as GOP leaders make a First Amendment argument, and circle the wagons for a spirited defense of Trump. Also, SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts refuses to participate in the impeachment procedures, indicating that the high court would not support the constitutionality of the actions if it were tasked with deciding on the matter.

    Immigration attorney Carlos Castañeda joins us to discuss the Biden administration's immigration policy. President Joe Biden faces early tests of his immigration policies as the number of migrants seems to be significantly increasing at the US-Mexico border. Areas near the border have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, raising fears that an increase in migrants could make it harder to control the spread of the deadly pathogen.

    Danny Shaw, author, activist and professor of Latin American studies, joins us to discuss the Ecuadorian elections. Andrés Araus, the 36-year-old Rafael Correa protégé, handily won the first round of elections in Ecuador on Sunday; however, the candidates vying for second place are fighting a battle that is too close to call. Shaw discusses his "Anticonquista" article in which he argues this election is a choice between IMF neoliberalism and self-determination.

    Dr. Ranjeet Brar, a British physician and worker with the UK’s National Health Service, returns to discuss the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine. Results published in the medical journal The Lancet this week showed the Russian Sputnik V vaccine is highly effective against the novel coronavirus with few side effects. After many Western media outlets attacked Russia's early approval of its vaccine, recent scientific studies seem to indicate their apprehension was less about the merits of the medicine and more about an ideological opposition to anything connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Dan Lazare, investigative journalist and author of "The Velvet Coup: The Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Decline of American Democracy," joins us to discuss President Joe Biden's recent statements regarding a return to the Iran nuclear agreement. Iran has made it clear they are prepared to return to the 2015 deal as originally negotiated; however, Biden and his cabinet have been signaling the opposite sentiments, as they refuse an immediate and unconditional return.

    Robert Fantina, pro-Palestinian activist, peace and human rights leader, journalist and author of “Essays on Palestine,” joins us to discuss human rights news. Human rights advocates are welcoming the International Criminal Court's (ICC) decision to enable a probe into war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the crime of apartheid in occupied Palestinian territories. The ICC's pre-trial chamber decided the court's jurisdiction "extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967." 

    Alexander Mercouris, editor-in-chief at TheDuran.com & host of "The Duran" on YouTube, returns to The Critical Hour to discuss Russia-EU relations. EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell recently visited Moscow and met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Russian diplomats have made it clear they desire better relations with the West, but that they will not allow the EU to influence internal affairs. 

    Dr. Gerald Horne, author, historian, researcher and professor of history at the University of Houston in Texas, returns to discuss Cuba. Cuba has announced a significant move to promote private business in an attempt to overcome economic hardships caused by US sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel announced that the island nation will open most of the economy to private business. Some see the move as a mirror of China's successful hybrid economy that is pacing the world in expansion.

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

    Tags:
    Josep Borrell, Sputnik V, human rights, Cuba, impeachment, jcpoa
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