Newscast for Thursday, January 10, 2013
- Year: 2013
- Length: 29:03 minutes (26.59 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
Today President Barack Obama announced the nomination of White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to replace outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
“Jack has the distinction of having worked and succeeded in some of the toughest jobs in Washington and the private sector. As a congressional staffer in the 1980s, he helped negotiate the deal between President Reagan and Tip O’neil to save social security. Under President Clinton, he presided over three budget surpluses in a row. So all the talk out there about deficit reduction, making sure our books are balanced, this is the guy who did it.”
The former director of the Office of Management and Budget pledged to work towards a “sound economy” and a safer world. But some have criticized Lew’s time in the private sector. The watchdog group Public Citizen expressed concern about Lew’s “deep Wall Street connections,” noting his previous work at Citigroup. Speaking at the National Democratic Institute in September, Lew praised controversial international trade agreements in Asia and Latin America and pushed for opening markets around the world.
“We’re harnessing our economic power, finalizing trade pacts with Colombia, Panama and South Korea to increase US exports, expanding trade with emerging powers from Brazil to India to Indonesia, working to open new markets for American businesses, increasing exchanges and collaborations in science and technology and pursuing a high standard trade pact in the Pacific that should be a model and will be a model for the world.”
As of this week, more than 230,000 people signed a petition to urge President Obama to nominate nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman to head the Treasury Department, citing Krugman’s prescience in predicting the housing bubble, his call for more job creation and his opposition to cuts to social security and medicare benefits. Jack Lew still needs to be confirmed by the Senate.
In Washington, hundreds of organic and conventional farmers took the Monsanto Corporation to federal court on Thursday. They’re asking the agribusiness giant to promise not to sue them for patent infringement should their crops get contaminated by neighboring genetically modified crops. But many food justice advocates want to go further. They’re calling on the courts and Congress to revoke Monsanto’s seed patents, label all genetically modified food, and better protect farmers from crop contamination. FSRN’s Alice Ollstein was in the courtroom this morning, and brings us this report.
After yesterday’s State of the State address in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo captured headlines for a passionate speech about reducing gun violence and strengthening gun control laws. He also outlined plans for tourism, agriculture, the economy and education. He did not mention one of the most controversial issues the state is facing - whether to lift a moratorium on fracking. To put pressure on the Governor and other elected officials, more than 1,000 people gathered at the capitol to call for a ban on fracking. FSRN’s Jim Krivo was there and brings you some of their voices.
Those were the voices of protesters in Albany, including: singer Natalie Merchant and her husband, Jon Bowermaster; Wes Gillingham, with the environmental group Catskill Mountainkeeper; and Stephanie Redman and her son Quaylin. The State Assembly is holding a public hearing on fracking today, and some lawmakers are urging the Governor to extend the comment period on the latest fracking regulations, which ends tomorrow.
Intense storms hit the Mideast this week, leading to major flooding in Israel, the deaths of four Palestinians in the west bank, and dozens of injuries in Gaza. Today, snow blanketed many areas. But the rare opportunity to play in the snow turned violent after Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian youth near the northern West Bank city of Nablus. FSRN’s Ghassan Bannoura reports.
In Germany, a group of refugees and their supporters in Berlin have taken over an abandoned school building as part of a protest against the treatment of asylum seekers. The group is demanding changes in Germany's immigration laws and an end to deportations. FSRN's Kelly Benjamin has more.
We now turn to a deeper look at the immigration laws in Germany and the European Union. According to the UN’s Refugee Agency, there are more than half a million refugees in Germany. About 60,000 of those are seeking asylum. But it’s a process that can last years and in the meantime, legal advocates say conditions for refugees -- in terms of access to employment, aid and education -- are poor. For more, we’re joined by Karl Kopp, director for European Affairs with the organization PRO ASYL, a human rights organization based in Frankfurt.