This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Dec. 18, 2013 for week ending Dec. 27, 2013

lede

"What Russia's done is exactly what the European Union has done, it's playing economic hardball. Ukraine is for sale, that's what's going on. The government of (Ukranian President) Viktor Yanukovich has been saying, 'Who makes me the best offer?' And Russia's making an offer and the EU is making an offer. And when we last turn the page, Russia's offer is better."

–Interview with Stephen F. Cohen, author and professor emeritus in Russian Studies and Politics at New York University


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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Roiled by Protests, Divided Ukraine Weighs Future Trade Relations with EU and Russia

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Interview with Stephen F. Cohen, author and professor emeritus in Russian Studies and Politics at New York University, conducted by Scott Harris

ukraine

For weeks, tens of thousands of demonstrators have gathered in Kiev’s Independence Square to protest Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich’s recent decision to delay or drop plans to sign an association trade agreement with the European Union. The protests calling for the dismissal of Ukraine’s government and new elections are the largest since the 2004 Orange Revolution. U.S. Sen. John McCain, the GOP’s 2008 presidential candidate, traveled to Kiev on Dec. 15, where he spoke to protesters strongly expressing his support for their cause.  Story continues

Civil Disobedience Action Against U.S. Drone Warfare Program Confronted by Clampdown on Dissent

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Interview with Mark Colville, New Haven Catholic Worker peace activist, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

drone

Opposition to drone warfare has been growing in the U.S. as well as in nations around the world where the bombs from these unmanned aircraft are dropped, often killing and injuring civilians. There have been an increasing number of conferences, demonstrations and human rights investigations critical of their deployment. On Dec. 9, three peace activists tried a novel approach. They were arrested as they attempted to deliver an Order of Protection on behalf of Afghan children and their families at the Hancock U.S. Air Force base near Syracuse, N.Y. The base hosts the 174th Attack Wing, from which computer operators pilot the unmanned drones to Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan and other target countries.  Story continues

House-Senate Budget Agreement Continues Austerity Policies Targeting Working Families

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Interview with Laura MacCleery, legislative director, National Nurses United Union, conducted by Scott Harris

budget

Congressional negotiators Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential candidate and Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington produced a budget agreement that was applauded in the corporate press as a cease-fire between the nation’s two warring political parties and modest progress toward bipartisanship. Their budget bill, which easily passed in the House and handily avoided the threat of a filibuster in the Senate, assuring its passage, would cancel half the across-the-board, automatic sequester spending cuts totaling $63 billion for the current fiscal year. The proposed budget, which avoids a government shutdown in January, makes $85 billion in additional cuts, which results in $23 billion in net deficit reduction over the next decade.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

 

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