This Week on Between The Lines

Posted March 18, 2015 for week ending March 27, 2015

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"There are relatively few (neoconservatives) who come out and just say we want war. But I think the belief among Iran experts is that if these negotiations collapse, it's unlikely that Iran will return to the negotiating table ... tensions are going to rise and ultimately it could very well result in war."

– Jim Lobe, Washington bureau chief of Inter Press Service, on neoconservative objectives in trying to sabotage international nuclear negotiations with Iran


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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Neocon Campaign to Derail Iran Nuclear Talks Increases Likelihood of War

MP3 Interview with Jim Lobe, Washington bureau chief of the international news agency, Inter Press Service, conducted by Scott Harris

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The Republican party’s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on March 3, where he had challenged a future international nuclear deal with Iran (just two weeks before Israel’s election) was widely criticized for its failure to notify the White House. But when GOP Arkansas freshman Sen. Tom Cotton initiated a letter, signed by 47 of his Republican colleagues that warned the Iranian government that any nuclear agreement they signed with President Obama could quickly be overturned by a successor government, a firestorm of criticism erupted across the nation. With dozens of editorials condemning the letter and the appearance of the Twitter hashtag #47Traitors plastered all over social media, some GOP operatives felt compelled to claim the letter was not meant to be taken seriously.  Story continues

Department of Justice Report on Pervasive Racism in Ferguson Police and Courts Provokes Calls for Accountability

MP3 Interview with Lizz Brown, St. Louis-based attorney, political analyst and columnist, conducted by Scott Harris

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A cascade of disturbing events has once again shaken the community of Ferguson, Missouri, following the release of a Department of Justice report examining the conduct of the town’s police and courts. On March 11, just hours after Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson resigned, protesters converged on Ferguson’s police headquarters and then shots fired there injured two police officers. The officers were not critically wounded and were both soon released from the hospital. Several days later on March 14, police arrested 20-year-old Jeffrey Williams, who they say admitted firing the shots. Williams, who maintains he was not firing his gun at police, but another party in a personal dispute, faces several charges, including two counts of first-degree assault.  Story continues

Privatizing Prisons: A Bad Deal for Inmates and Society

MP3 Interview with Donald Cohen, executive director of In the Public Interest, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

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In the past few years, many states have undertaken efforts to reform their criminal justice policies and practices, either from a justice perspective or out of concern that the swelling ranks of the incarcerated are breaking budgets. Policy changes across the nation have included early prisoner release before a sentence has been completed and alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders, which provide treatment for drug addiction and/or mental health issues. Just under half of inmates serving time in state prisons are there for non-violent offenses such as drug possession or forgery.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

 

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