FEATURING JOHN COEQUYT - The Trump Administration has signaled that it will be withdrawing the United States from the historic Paris agreement signed in December 2015. The modest accord was the closest that most of the world's heads of state came to toward making a collective pledge to limit greenhouse gas emissions and curb the worst impacts of an already changing climate. Trump's move to jeopardize the agreement should come as no surprise. For years he dismissed global warming as a "hoax," and with his appointment of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, his allegiance to fossil fuel driven profits was sealed. In fact a new report found that Tillerson was present in the room when Exxon Mobil signed a major natural gas deal with Saudi Arabia during Trump's visit to the oil-rich Arab kingdom last week. Find more at www.sierraclub.org. John Coequyt, Global Climate Policy Director with
FEATURING ISAIAH POOLE - The House Committee on Financial Services voted to pass the so-called Financial Choice Act in early May, sending the deregulation bill to the entire House of Representatives for a vote some time in early June. The Financial Choice Act is represents an undoing of the modest financial reforms enacted after the 2008 recession, including a gutting of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Elizabeth Warren's brainchild. Wall Street firms are thrilled at the Republican Party's allegiance to their bottom line. But with corporate America freed from accountability, won't ordinary Americans pay the biggest price? Find more at www.familiescantwait.org and www.peoplesaction.org. Isaiah Poole, Communications Director at People's Action.
FEATURING DARLENE HUNTRESS - Residents of Portland, Oregon reeled over the Memorial Day weekend after a stabbing incident on a train in which two people died. According to witnesses and local news reports, a white man named Joseph Christian harassed two women of color, one of whom was wearing a hijab. Three other white men intervened and were allegedly stabbed by Christian. Two out of the three died from their injuries and the third survived after being treated at the hospital. The two victims were 23-year old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, and 53-year old Ricky John Best. Twenty one-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher is the sole survivor of the attack which is being investigated by the FBI as a hate crime. While such incidents are hardly a new phenomenon, in Donald Trump's America they have become noticeably more commonplace. Find more at www.uniteoregon.org. Darlene Huntress, Associate Director of Oregon Unite.
FEATURING TOBITA CHOW - During his Presidential campaign, Donald Trump railed against the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), blaming it for hurting American workers. He said, "Our jobs have fled to Mexico and other places. I am going to renegotiate with NAFTA and if we can't make a good deal, we'll make a new deal." He also called NAFTA, "a total disaster" and "one of the worst deals ever." But just a few months into his term, Trump, upon realizing the complexity of undoing a 23-year old agreement between the US, Mexico, and Canada, backtracked and said rather than terminating, he was now going to "renegotiate" NAFTA. Dozens of top corporate CEOs in late May sent Trump a letter urging him to restrict his interference to an "update" of the trade agreement and to do it swiftly in order to minimize uncertainty in markets. Indeed most members of Congress,
FEATURING COREY BRETTSCHNEIDER - A federal appeals court has once more handed Donald Trump a defeat by striking down the second iteration of his so-called travel ban, which critics refer to as a "Muslim ban." Trump's initial executive order curtailing the entry of people from 7 Muslim-majority nations suffered several legal defeats. In March he signed a revised version of the ban hoping it would stand up in the courts. It did not. In a ruling that was more than 200 pages long, federal judges wrote that the second executive order, "speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination." Attorney General Jeff Sessions has vowed to send appeal the ruling all the way to the Supreme Court. Corey Brettschneider, professor of political science at Brown University. He is the author of When the State Speaks, What Should It Say: How Democracies Can
FEATURING SHARON BEGLEY - President Donald Trump does not seem to be able to articulate himself very well as his unscripted speeches and off-the-cuff comments illustrate. But apparently this was not always the case. STAT, the life sciences publication of the Boston Globe, just published a report questioning whether Trump is experiencing cognitive decline. The publication, "reviewed decades of Trump’s on-air interviews and compared them to Q&A sessions since his inauguration." According to the report's author, "The differences are striking and unmistakable." Read her article HERE or visit http://www.sharonlbegley.com. Sharon Begley, Senior science writer for STAT, the life sciences publication of the Boston Globe, Previously she was the senior health & science correspondent at Reuters, the science editor and the science columnist at Newsweek, and a contributing writer at The Daily Beast. From 2002 to 2007, she was the science columnist at The Wall Street Journal, and previous to that
LOS ANGELES - Veteran morning-drive time Pacifica radio host Sonali Kolhatkar, has garnered 5 nominations for the 59th Southern California Journalism Awards, hosted by the Los Angeles Press Club. Three out of Kolhatkar's five nominations are for her broadcast journalism on Rising Up With Sonali, with two in the category of Best TV Anchor, and one for Best TV Talk/Public Affairs. Rising Up With Sonali is a daily one hour, interview-format program produced at KPFK Pacifica Radio in Southern California, but airs on many stations and affiliates nationwide including Pacifica's flagship KPFA in the Bay area. The television version of the program is carried by Free Speech TV (Dish Network, DirecTV, Roku). "I'm proud of the work that we manage to accomplish everyday," said Kolhatkar. "Together with my producer Anna Buss, our small team consisting only of two immigrant women, manages to produce as much high-quality journalistic content as outlets that
FEATURING MARIA LUISA MENDONÇA - Brazil's political crisis continues to grow with President Michel Temer deploying national security forces to patrol the capital, Brasilia after a massive demonstration and a fire in the Agriculture Ministry. Temer has revoked the security order but the political damage against him continues to pile up. Having taken office after last year's impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, Temer and the opposition forces he represents have found that leading the country is not easy especially when they are accused of corruption themselves. In the latest blow, Brazilian media have claimed they have a secret recording of Temer trying to thwart an anti-corruption drive. Temer and his associates have also faced mass public opposition to their neo-liberal economic policies. Unions organized a major general strike in April against Temer's proposed austerity cuts. With Rousseff and the Workers Party weakened and with the right wing opposition also teetering
FEATURING SAMEER DOSSANI - British voters will head to the polls in a snap election on June 8th that was called by Prime Minister Theresa May in April. May's position in the polls was looking shaky in light of Labor Party progressive Jeremy Corbyn's inroads - until the brutal attack in Manchester outside a youth concert that left 22 people dead including an 8-year old girl and the parents of young concert-goers. Terrorist attacks like Manchester tend to boost incumbents and conservatives and Prime Minister May's position may be bolstered. Meanwhile US-UK relations are tense after the name of the suspected Manchester bomber and photos of evidence were leaked to the US media. British police announced that they have stopped sharing intelligence with the US and President Donald Trump has said he will ask the Justice Department to investigate the leaks. Trump is in Brussels meeting with NATO officials this
FEATURING KENDALL FELLS - Thousands of fast food workers have gathered in Chicago, Illinois this week to "March on McDonalds," joining with activist groups like the Sierra Club and Patriotic Millionaires in linking the anti-Trump resistance to the Fight for 15 campaign. On Tuesday, an estimated ten thousand people marched from Chicago's Trump Tower to a McDonald's location. On Wednesday morning workers and their advocates converged outside the McDonald's annual shareholders meeting in Chicago. Find more at www.FightFor15.org. Kendall Fells, National Organizing Director with the Fight for 15.