This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Sept. 26, 2012 for week ending Oct. 5, 2012


"We have ratcheted things up so far we're not going to be able to climb back. ... The Iranians had put forward a willingness to comply with some of the demands of the U.S. and EU; they would end their 20 percent enrichment. They wanted the sanctions removed."

– Interview with Jamal Abdi, policy director with the National Iranian American Council, on the U.S. refusal to end the sanctions and the spiraling conflict leading to all-out war.

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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As U.S. Election Nears, Rising Tensions with Iran Pose Risk of Miscalculation and War

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Interview with Jamal Abdi, policy director with the National Iranian American Council, conducted by Scott Harris


With the U.S. presidential election just six weeks away, tensions between America, Israel and Iran – reflected in increasingly bellicose rhetoric – has escalated in recent days. In his speech before the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 25, President Obama warned Iran that time was running out to find a negotiated way out of the long-running impasse over the West’s charge that Tehran is covertly working to acquire the technology to build nuclear weapons. Iran has long maintained that their uranium enrichment program is designed solely for civilian energy purposes.  Story continues

Critics Decry Secrecy, Corporate Access to Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Negotiations

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Interview with Ben Beachy, research director with Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, conducted by Scott Harris


Unlike NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement which was the subject of heated political debate in the U.S during the 1990s, a new free trade treaty, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, has escaped most public attention and controversy. The proposed free trade treaty, the largest in U.S. history, includes the nations of Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the U.S. and Vietnam. Japan, China, Mexico and Canada are expected to join the talks later. Although ongoing negotiations have been kept secret, leaked documents reveal that U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk is pushing countries involved in negotiations to give pharmaceutical companies new patent and monopoly rights that could limit the public’s access to affordable medicines, such as retroviral drugs to treat HIV and AIDS.  Story continues

Campaign Pressures FCC to Roll Back Exorbitant Expense of Prison Phone Calls

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Interview with Drew Kukorowski, research associate at the Prison Policy Initiative, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


For the 2.2 million inmates in the U.S. prison system, phone calls to and from their loved ones are an important source of support and a way to help inmates transition back to society upon release. But in most states, the cost of these phone calls can be prohibitive – up to a dollar a minute. That leaves most prisoners and their families with much less personal contact via phone calls than they would like. In some extreme cases, families have to choose between calling family members in prison and putting food on the table.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon


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