This Week on Between The Lines

Posted April 9, 2014 for week ending April 18, 2014

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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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Supreme Court's McCutcheon v. FEC Ruling Increases Power of Super Rich in U.S. Politics

MP3 Interview with Jonah Minkoff-Zern, co-director of Public Citizen’s Democracy is For People campaign, conducted by Scott Harris

mccutcheon

On April 2, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 5 to 4 ruling in the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission case, overturning a 40-year limit on aggregate political contributions that a single donor can make to candidates and party political action committees. This decision effectively frees wealthy donors from previous restrictions, now allowing them to contribute to an unlimited number of candidates and party campaign organizations, while still being subject to caps on donations to individual candidates.  Story continues

Opponents of Proposed Alaska Pebble Copper/Gold Mine Applaud EPA Intervention

MP3 Interview with Kimberly Williams, director of Nunamta Aulukestai, an association of ten Alaskan native tribes, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

mine

After years of opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine from Alaskan native organizations and their allies, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on April 7 that it is invoking its Clean Water Act authority in order to determine whether the agency can permanently prohibit or restrict mine waste disposal into Alaska’s Bristol Bay watershed. The Pebble Mine, if it were to be built, would be North America’s largest open pit gold and copper mine. Bristol Bay is the easternmost area of the Bering Sea, extending for 250 miles along the Alaskan Peninsula.  Story continues

USAID Secret Operation Spied on 40,000+ Cubans Who Used U.S.-Funded Twitter-like Texting Platform

MP3 Interview with Marc Hanson, senior associate for Cuba, Washington Office on Latin America, conducted by Scott Harris

cuba

The results of a recent investigation published by the Associated Press revealed that the United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, had covertly created and funded a Twitter-like social media platform in Cuba, known as ZunZuneo. USAID, the government agency that delivers humanitarian aid around the world, built the social media program in 2010, using shell companies in the Cayman Islands which allowed Cubans to send text messages to others in the network. USAID’s plan was to build a subscriber base of perhaps more than 100,000 Cubans and then send messages designed to inspire political opposition and protest against Cuba’s government through the organizing of flash mobs and other tactics.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

 

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April

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