This Week on Between The Lines

Posted July 27, 2011 for week ending Aug. 5, 2011

lede

"We have seen a significant assault on voting in a range of bills and laws passing across the country that make it harder to register and to vote."

-- Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law


Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

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Looking to 2012 Election, Republicans Enact Voter Suppression Legislation Across the U.S.

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Interview with Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, conducted by Scott Harris

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As President Obama and Congress engage in a sometimes nasty public debate on negotiating a legislative resolution to raising the nation’s debt ceiling before an Aug. 2 deadline, the politics of the 2012 election are never far away. Competing policies on addressing the national debt, the solvency of Social Security and Medicare and future tax rates will all be important issues in the presidential and congressional election in November 2012.  Story continues

Activists Engage in Tree-Sit Protest in West Virginia to Stop Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

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Interview with Junior Walk, member of the Protest Support Network , conducted by Melinda Tuhus

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On July 20, two activists climbed 80 feet up into two trees adjacent to an active mountaintop removal coal mining site at Coal River Mountain in southern West Virginia. The site was owned by Massey Energy, the largest mountaintop removal coal operator in Appalachia, which also owns the underground Upper Big Branch mine where 29 miners were killed last year. The company was sold this spring to Alpha Natural Resources, which is continuing the same operations.  Story continues

Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Update: Mismanagement Leads to Radioactive Food Contamination

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Interview with Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, conducted by Scott Harris

fukushima

Although the multiple failure of nuclear power reactors at Fukushima, Japan is one of the worst nuclear accidents in world history, corporate press outlets have cut back on most of their coverage of the disaster triggered by the March 11 earthquake and Tsunami. Since the early days of the crisis, three of Fukushima’s six nuclear reactors melted down and spewed radioactivity into the atmosphere and nearby ocean. Although a 12-mile exclusion zone was imposed around the stricken plant, many radioactive hot spots outside the zone have caused the local population to be concerned about the negative health effects -- especially among children. In response, Fukushima’s prefectural government will conduct thyroid cancer testing on all residents who were 18 years old or under when the accident occurred, and repeat examinations every two years until the age of 20 and then every five years. The affected population is estimated to be 360,000.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

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