Russia’s Putin Faces Unprecedented Challenge as Tens of Thousands Protest Electoral Fraud
Tens of thousands of Russians filled the streets in Moscow and other cities over the weekend in the largest demonstrations Russia has seen in more than a decade. Protesters expressed outrage at the large-scale electoral fraud they said took place during recent parliamentary elections and are demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his ruling “United Russia” party. “I think what people in Russia want are the kind of things that people in the U.S. and Western Europe take for granted,” says our guest Luke Harding, award-winning foreign correspondent with The Guardian of London. “They just want fair elections. They want a real, clearer media that listens to opposition voices, that has critical people who are currently banned from state television. They want a more plural political landscape,” Harding was expelled from Moscow earlier this year after he used classified diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks to report on allegations that Russia, under the rule of Putin, had become a “virtual mafia state.” Harding has written a new book about his experience, “Mafia State: How one reporter became an enemy of the brutal new Russia.” Rush transcript to come. Check back soon.
Corzine Grilled Over MF Global Collapse After Witness Suggests Knowledge of Misused Funds
Former New Jersey governor and U.S. Senator Jon Corzine testified Tuesday on Capitol Hill about his brief stint at the helm of the failed commodities and derivatives brokerage house MF Global, which in October became the largest failure on Wall Street since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. After MF Global went bankrupt, regulators discovered that up to $1.2 billion in customer funds that should have been kept segregated were missing. Corzine says he never directed anyone at MF Global to misuse the funds, but a witness testified that Corzine was aware of loans that may have used customer money. We speak with Nomi Prins, a former investment banker turned journalist. “We’re listening to someone try to dodge his way out of responsibility and accountability, which is very much what all the CEOs have done through the subprime crisis and through past crises,” Prins says. “When you see 5,500 arrests across this country for the Occupy movement and you see zero on the part of CEOs and senior executives from Wall Street who took trillions of dollars out of our economy, out of the European economy, and are going around the world doing the same thing to Asia now, it is absolutely heinous.” Rush transcript to come. Check back soon.
House-Senate Revise Indefinite Detention Bill in Bid to Avoid White House Veto, But Fears Remain
The House is expected to vote today on a massive $662 billion defense bill that could usher in a radical expansion of indefinite detention under the U.S. government. A provision in the National Defense Authorization Act would authorize the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world without charge or trial. The measure would effectively extend the definition of what is considered the U.S. military’s battlefield to anywhere in the world, even the United States. The White House has issued a veto threat with backing from top officials, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and FBI Director Robert Mueller. But lawmakers are hoping several last-minute revisions will address the concerns and eliminate the veto threat, but critics warn the bill poses a major threat to basic constitutional rights. We speak to Chris Anders, the senior legislative counsel in the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington Legislative Office. “This is putting people in prison, potentially for the rest of their lives, based on nothing more than suspicion,” Anders warns.
Tawakkul Karman, Yemeni Nobel Peace Laureate, Pays Tribute to Women Activists Worldwide
The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize was presented this weekend to three women: Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Yemeni peace activist and journalist, Tawakkul Karman, the first Arab woman to win the prize, as well as its youngest winner to date. We featured highlights from their acceptance addresses this week. Today we play a final excerpt from Karman, the mother of three who has led rallies in the protests against the rule of the longstanding U.S. ally, President Ali Abdullah Saleh. “I see the great number of Arab women, without whose hard struggles and quest to win their rights in a society dominated by the supremacy of men I would not be here,” Karman says. “This supremacy has caused a lot of injustice to both men and women. To all those women, whom history and the severity of ruling systems have made unseen, to all women who made sacrifices for the sake of a healthy society with just relationships between women and men, to all those women who are still stumbling on the path of freedom in countries with no social justice or equal opportunities, to all of them I say, Thank you. This day would not have come true without you.”