An ethnic cleansing campaign carried out by the South Sudanese government has triggered one of the biggest refugee crises in Africa. The United Nations has accused the government’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army, known as the SPLA, of committing atrocities including mass rape and torture, as well as burning down entire villages. A U.N. report published in May says the abuses may amount to war crimes. We speak with journalist Nick Turse, a reporter with The Investigative Fund. He spent six weeks in South Sudan and refugee camps in neighboring countries.
Health experts say, given the shortcomings of both the Affordable Care Act and Republican proposals, now is the time to move forward with a simple Medicare-for-all system, known as single payer. In 2015, even Donald Trump appeared to come out in favor of a form of single-payer health insurance. About 20,000 U.S. physicians now support single-payer healthcare, and National Nurses United, the biggest nursing union in the country, is also pushing for the program that would guarantee universal coverage. We speak with Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a key advocate for Medicare for all.
The healthcare bill proposed by Senate Republicans would reduce key benefits for millions of Americans and defund Planned Parenthood for a year, making breast cancer screenings and basic reproductive services more difficult for women to secure. We get response from Dr. Willie Parker, a physician, abortion provider and the board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Health. "The Affordable Care Act expanded access to the preventive services of contraception and family planning," Parker notes. "It strikes me as odd that the people who are ideologically driven to reduce abortion in this country are going to reduce the very services that make abortion unnecessary. So, hundreds of thousands of women got their birth control through Medicaid coverage because it was a preventive service, and as a result of that, we’ve seen the lowest number of abortions in this country since it became legal."
After weeks of secret deliberations, Republican senators released a healthcare proposal that would remove millions of low-income and disabled people from Medicaid, prompting protests on Capitol Hill that are expected to continue throughout the country. The bill would also cut subsidies to purchase health insurance, allow states to effectively eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and defund Planned Parenthood for a year. It was negotiated behind closed doors between 13 Republican male senators. We get response from Harvard professor John McDonough, a chief architect of Romneycare who also worked on the development and passage of the Affordable Care Act, and speak with Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, a key advocate for Medicare for All.
Protests are continuing in London over last week’s devastating apartment fire that killed 79 people. On Wednesday, around 200 protesters, including survivors of the fire, marched from West London to Parliament to protest the government’s handling of the fire. Last week’s fire occurred at a 24-story apartment building called Grenfell Tower located in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of West London. Many of the residents of the building are low-income workers and recent immigrants. The company that recently renovated the building admitted over the weekend it used highly flammable—and less expensive—cladding during construction. The cladding is banned from use in the U.S. and European Union, but allowed in Britain. The building’s residents say the renovation was largely aimed at making aesthetic improvements to the exterior of the building in order to make it blend in with the new luxury high-rises in the area. We speak to Mustafa Almansur, the principal organizer of the Grenfell protests. He began organizing after learning a family friend died in the blaze.
Human Rights Watch and the Associated Press have just published explosive new reports on a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates and Yemeni forces. Dozens of people, including children, have been "arbitrarily detained, forcibly disappeared, tortured, and abused" in these prisons, according to Human Rights Watch. American forces reportedly participated in interrogations of detainees who were abused, a potential violation of international law. For more, we speak to Kristine Beckerle of Human Rights Watch.
More than 10,000 people have died amid the ongoing U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has also destroyed the country’s health, water and sanitation systems, sparking a deadly cholera outbreak. The cholera death toll has risen to 1,054. The United Nations warns some 19 million of Yemen’s 28 million people need some form of aid, with many of them at risk of famine. We speak to Kristine Beckerle of Human Rights Watch.
As the U.S. moves ahead with a massive arms deal with Saudi Arabia, Saudi’s king has deposed his nephew as crown prince and has replaced him with his son—the same man presiding over the devastating U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen. The move comes a month after President Donald Trump signed a series of arms deals with Saudi Arabia totaling a record $110 billion during a visit to Riyadh. The arms deal includes tanks, artillery, ships, helicopters, missile defense systems and cybersecurity technology. We speak to Kristine Beckerle of Human Rights Watch.
A new piece in The New Yorker titled "Fighting for the Immigrants of Little Pakistan" looks at how a predominantly Muslim neighborhood in Brooklyn is coping with the presidency of Donald Trump, who, just seven days after taking office, issued a controversial travel ban targeting predominantly Muslim countries. Trump’s presidency also ushered in a rise in immigrant deportations and arrests. We speak with the author of the piece, Jennifer Gonnerman, who looks in part at the story of Shahid Ali Khan and his family, who are facing possible deportation. We also speak with Mohammad Razvi, founding executive director of Council of Peoples Organization (COPO), a community group serving Muslims, Arabs and South Asians.
As Senate Republicans draft their repeal of Obamacare behind closed doors, we speak to The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel about secret bills, single-payer healthcare and the media’s coverage. Her latest article is titled "On Trump, the Media’s Malpractice Continues." In it, she critiques what she calls the mainstream media’s "prevailing focus on palace intrigue and White House scandals," which comes at the expense of substantive policy coverage. Vanden Heuvel points to the Republican healthcare bill, drafted entirely in secret, as a prime example of important issues that have been overlooked.
As we continue to look at Tuesday’s special election in Georgia, we speak to Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation and columnist for The Washington Post.
In the most expensive congressional race in history, Republican Karen Handel has defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in a special election in Georgia. We go to Atlanta for response and look at the role of gerrymandering in shaping the outcome of the race. We speak to Georgia state Senator Nan Orrock and Rev. Raphael Warnock, the chair of the New Georgia Project, which conducts voter registration and outreach to the state’s growing population of color. He is also the senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, which was the spiritual home of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Next week, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to the United States and meet with President Trump. Modi was once banned from the United States on charges he did not intervene in a massacre against Muslims in 2002 in the Indian state of Gujarat. Trump has praised Prime Minister Modi, while Hindu nationalists have been big supporters of Trump, even throwing him a birthday party celebration earlier this month. For more on Modi’s visit to Washington, D.C., we speak with award-winning Indian novelist, journalist and writer Arundhati Roy, whose new novel, "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness," has just been published. While critics often compare Modi to Trump, Roy says there are important distinctions between the two, referring to Modi as the "opposite of an outlier."
For decades, Kashmir has been one of the most militarized zones in the world. It’s also a territory that, according to acclaimed Indian writer Arundhati Roy, is nearly impossible to capture in nonfiction writing. But Roy has not shied away from writing about Kashmir in her second novel, "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness," which has just been published.
Twenty years ago, Indian writer Arundhati Roy published the groundbreaking novel "The God of Small Things." It won the Booker Prize and catapulted Roy to international fame. But her readers have had to wait 20 years to read Roy’s next novel, "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness," which was just published. This is Arundhati Roy reading an excerpt from her acclaimed new novel.
Today we spend the hour with the acclaimed Indian writer Arundhati Roy. It has been 20 years since her debut novel, "The God of Small Things," made her a literary sensation. While the book won the Booker Prize and became an international best-seller, selling over 6 million copies, Roy soon turned away from fiction. Now, two decades later, Roy has returned to fiction and has just published her second novel, "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness."