This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Dec. 11, 2013 for week ending Dec. 20, 2013

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"We have – like every large city in the country – our fair share of corruption and incompetence, but this financial crisis is directly traceable to policies of de-industrialization that this country bought into, this country put in place for the past 20 to 30 years."

–Interview with John C. Philo, legal director with the Maurice and Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice, on Detroit's bankruptcy


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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Federal Court Ruling on Detroit Bankruptcy Jeopardizes Public Employee Pensions Nationally

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Interview with John C. Philo, legal director with the Maurice and Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice, conducted by Scott Harris

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Detroit, an American city that once was the hub of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers became the largest municipality in U.S. history to enter into Chapter 9 bankruptcy after federal judge Steven Rhodes handed down his ruling on Dec. 3 in a controversial case being watched closely around the country.The ruling allows bankruptcy proceedings to move forward over the objections of 48 labor union groups and public employee retirees who had urged Judge Rhodes to reject Detroit's eligibility for bankruptcy. Opponents of the ruling have already taken steps to appeal the case. As part of the bankruptcy process, Judge Rhodes announced he will allow Detroit, which is $18 billion in debt, to cut pension benefits – but emphasized that he will only authorize pension cuts if he finds them to be fair and equitable.  Story continues

Dams Along Tigris and Euphrates Rivers Create Water Crisis in Iraq

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Excerpt of speech by Johanna Rivera, coordinator of Save the Tigris Campaign, recorded and produced by Melinda Tuhus

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Johanna Rivera is a former pharmacy graduate student. In 2010, she decided to postpone her Ph.D. dissertation and travel to Israel/Palestine, where she worked for the Tent of Nations, the Palestine Solidarity Project in Palestine and the Kayan Feminist Organization. Rivera then moved to the Kurdistan region of Iraq, where she worked on human rights issues ranging from violence against women, honor killings, internally displaced Camps, and most recently she has been working across Iraq and internationally in an advocacy campaign to protect the Tigris River from dams upstream in Turkey and Iran. Rivera, now coordinator of Iraq’s Save the Tigris Campaign, has traveled to Tunisia, Turkey and Jordan to talk about the need to protect water rights and the social, cultural and environmental heritage of Mesopotamia.  Story continues

On the Wrong Side of History: Ronald Reagan's Embrace of Apartheid South Africa and Condemnation of Nelson Mandela

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Interview with Robert Parry, founder and editor of ConsortiumNews.com, conducted by Scott Harris

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As the world mourned the passing of Nelson Mandela, the much loved father of post-apartheid South Africa, 100 current or former heads of state joined tens of thousands of his country’s citizens at a national memorial service held in his honor at Soweto’s FNB Soccer Stadium. Since he died on Dec. 5, the legacy of the 95-year-old symbol of South Africa’s struggle for equality and justice has been the subject of much media coverage in the U.S. and around the globe.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

 

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