Yemen, The Patriot Act, Natural Gas Protests

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Saudi Airstrikes and Blockade Exacerbate Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis

MP3 Interview with Chris Toensing, executive director of the Middle East Research and Information Project and editor of Middle East report, conducted by Scott Harris


The war in Yemen between Shiite Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Yemen’s President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi began last September after rebels seized control of the capital city of Sanaa. The World Health Organization says that the death toll from the conflict has now exceeded 1,000. Saudi Arabia and Gulf allied nations launched airstrikes targeting the Houthis on March 26. But Jamal Benomar, the former United Nations envoy who mediated talks between Yemen’s warring factions says that the Saudi air campaign derailed a power-sharing agreement that was close to being finalized.  Story continues

As Patriot Act Section 215 Expires, Campaign Pushes for Reform of Dragnet Government Surveillance

MP3 Interview with Sophia Cope, staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, conducted by Scott Harris


Several of the most controversial provisions of the post-911 USA Patriot Act that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed to the world in 2013 are set to expire this year on June 1. Foremost among them is Section 215, which the Bush administration and the National Security Agency has interpreted as permitting the U.S. government to engage in the bulk collection of American’s phone call records. Section 215 has also been the target of civil liberties advocates who charge that warrantless surveillance of innocent citizen’s communications meta data is unconstitutional.  Story continues

Environmental Groups Protest New England Governors’ Plan to Invest Billions in Natural Gas

MP3 Interview with Jen Siskind, staffer with Connecticut chapter of Food & Water Watch staffer, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


Five New England governors met behind closed doors in Hartford, Connecticut on April 23 to discuss regional cooperation on energy, specifically when it comes to increasing the availability of fracked natural gas. The governors say investments in the billions of dollars are needed in natural gas pipelines and transmission wires, in order to reduce New England’s electricity prices, which, outside of Hawaii, are the highest in the U.S.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • In the aftermath of the tragic deaths in the Mediterranean Sea of 900 migrants from wartorn Middle East and Africa, the European Union was compelled to reconsider its hardline approach against immigrants. In an emergency summit, EU leaders voted to triple the budget for sea rescue and intensified efforts to break up migrant smugglers’ networks. (“Migrant deaths: EU leaders to triple funding for rescue operations,”Guardian, April 24, 2015; “EU pledges to rescue migrants, but not fix the problem,” Reuters, April 23, 2015; “Europe’s Sinking Shame,” Amnesty International, April 22, 2015)
  • In December, progressive activist shareholders won a major victory when military contractor Northrop Grumman cancelled its membership in the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC, a key force promoting voter suppression laws, gun rights, the privatization of public education and other conservative policies. Thus far, over a 100 corporations have pulled out of ALEC due to shareholder and public pressure. (“Storming the Corporate Castle,” In These Times, March 23, 2015)
  • Months before Hillary Clinton launched her 2016 presidential campaign with a listening tour in Iowa, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus sent a team of opposition researchers to Little Rock, Arkansas to dig up dirt on the former first lady and secretary of state. (“Raiders of the Lost Archives,” Mother Jones, May/June 2015)


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