This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Aug. 28, 2013 for week ending Sept. 6, 2013


"The idea that a massive U.S. military intervention with cruise missiles launched from U.S. naval ships and so on is totally outrageous in light of the uncertainty of the facts. Even if Bashar al-Assad were to have been proved to have carried this out, it's not at all clear that international law justifies this, especially without any authorization by the U.N. Security Council."

– James Paul, "Syria Unmasked" author and former executive director of Global Policy Forum, on U.S. response to the recent chemical attack upon Syrian civilians

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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After Alleged Chemical Attack, Obama Moves Toward "Cruise Missile Diplomacy" in Syria

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Interview with James Paul, "Syria Unmasked" author and former executive director of Global Policy Forum, conducted by Scott Harris


In response to the widely reported chemical weapons attack against civilians in the suburbs of Syria’s capital, Damascus, on Aug. 21, the Obama administration signaled that it is preparing to launch airstrikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s military forces. Even as United Nations weapons inspectors were attempting to verify the chemical attack that reportedly killed as many as 300 civilians in the town of eastern Ghouta, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the alleged attack in Syria as a "moral obscenity" and asserted that President Obama believed those responsible must be held accountable.  Story continues

California Prisoner Hunger Strike Demanding End to Long-term Solitary Confinement Exceeds 50 Days

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Interview with Isaac Ontiveros, a spokesman with the Prison Hunger Strikers Solidarity Coalition, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


On July 8, an estimated 30,000 inmates in the California prison system began a hunger strike, with the goal of ending the common practice of years-long solitary confinement. More than 50 days later, a number of prisoners remain on hunger strike, and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation recently received authorization from a federal judge to begin force-feeding inmates. The United Nations has declared that prisoners held in solitary confinement for more than 15 days constitutes a form of torture.  Story continues

TEPCO Incompetence in Managing 2-Year Nuclear Disaster at Fukushima Demands Outside Intervention

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Interview with Michael Mariotte, executive director with the Nuclear Information and Resource Service, conducted by Scott Harris


More than two years after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that triggered the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi complex, the Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, the plant’s operator, reported 300 metric tons of highly radioactive water had leaked from storage tanks on-site. Japan’s nuclear regulatory agency labeled the water leak as a “serious incident.” The water leaking from the tank had levels of beta radiation of 80 million becquerels per liter, 8 million times the safe limit for drinking water established by the Japanese Health ministry.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon


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