This Week on Between The Lines

Posted April 29, 2015 for week ending May 8, 2015

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"The U.S. has from the get-go, fully backed this Saudi-led bombardment of Yemen. If the U.S. wants to play a positive role, the first thing it should do is immediately push at the UN Security Council, a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire at the very least to allow a humanitarian corridor to be created so that Yemenis who are seeking to leave the country can leave, and so that aid, food, fuel, water other things that Yemenis desperately need can get into the country."

– Chris Toensing, executive director of the Middle East Research and Information Project and editor of Middle East report


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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Saudi Airstrikes and Blockade Exacerbate Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis

MP3 Interview with Chris Toensing, executive director of the Middle East Research and Information Project and editor of Middle East report, conducted by Scott Harris

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The war in Yemen between Shiite Houthi rebels and forces loyal to Yemen’s President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi began last September after rebels seized control of the capital city of Sanaa. The World Health Organization says that the death toll from the conflict has now exceeded 1,000. Saudi Arabia and Gulf allied nations launched airstrikes targeting the Houthis on March 26. But Jamal Benomar, the former United Nations envoy who mediated talks between Yemen’s warring factions says that the Saudi air campaign derailed a power-sharing agreement that was close to being finalized.  Story continues

As Patriot Act Section 215 Expires, Campaign Pushes for Reform of Dragnet Government Surveillance

MP3 Interview with Sophia Cope, staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, conducted by Scott Harris

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Several of the most controversial provisions of the post-911 USA Patriot Act that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed to the world in 2013 are set to expire this year on June 1. Foremost among them is Section 215, which the Bush administration and the National Security Agency has interpreted as permitting the U.S. government to engage in the bulk collection of American’s phone call records. Section 215 has also been the target of civil liberties advocates who charge that warrantless surveillance of innocent citizen’s communications meta data is unconstitutional.  Story continues

Environmental Groups Protest New England Governors' Plan to Invest Billions in Natural Gas

MP3 Interview with Jen Siskind, staffer with the Connecticut chapter of Food & Water Watch, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

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Five New England governors met behind closed doors in Hartford, Connecticut on April 23 to discuss regional cooperation on energy, specifically when it comes to increasing the availability of fracked natural gas. The governors say investments in the billions of dollars are needed in natural gas pipelines and transmission wires, in order to reduce New England's electricity prices, which, outside of Hawaii, are the highest in the U.S.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

 

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