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tv   Democracy Now  WHUT  October 18, 2013 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT

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people on thursday. most of the victims reportedly died as a result of 11 car bombs that exploded in a different areas in and around the capital baghdad. the obama administration is pursuing new charges against four former operatives of the private military firm blackwater for the 2007 nice or square massacre that killed 17 iraqi civilians, including women and children. an appeals court reinstated the case two years ago after a lower court dismissed it in 2009. now a federal grand jury has issued a new indictment charging the men with voluntary manslaughter and other crimes. in a statement, the chief government prosecutors said -- a hearing is set for next week. a panel of u.s. marine colonels has recommended a forcible discharge for an officer who
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oversaw group of snipers shown on video urinating on the corpses of afghans. captain james clement is the only officer to face criminal charges for the 2011 incident. plea marines accepted deals last year. a pair of lieutenant generals will now review the panel's recommendation on his fate. government official says international talks to resolve the conflict in syria could open in geneva in late november. a devotee prime minister in syria, is the first to mention a possible date for the talks. ban ki-moon has appointed sigrid kaag, a dutch expert on the middle east, to lead the team charged with destroying syria's .hemical arsenal the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons, which was awarded the nobel itse prize last week, says inspectors had made progress in visiting sites and are storing key equipment.
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u.s. secretary of state john kerry told npr the weapons should be relocated. >> the fact is that these weapons could be removed whether al-assad is there or not there. .ecause we know the locations locations have been declared. my hope is much of this material would be moved as rapidly as possible into one location and hopefully on a ship and removed from the region. >> syrian rebels meanwhile have reportedly shot dead a top general in an eastern province. was the military intelligence chief in the ezzor.e of dei r national security agency whistleblower edward snowden says he hasn't sure there is zero percent chance either china or russia could obtain access to the secret documents he is provided to journalists.
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he says he was able to prevent china from accessing the files because he was familiar with their systems after targeting them after an nsa contractor. he said -- snowden also disputed in earlier new york times report about a warning regarding his behavior placed in his personnel file in 2009 by supervisor at the cia. snowden said his supervisor was retaliating against him after he warned about the software vulnerability. theca has also disputed times account. edward snowden's father has returned after visiting his son in russia. he told reporters back in the u.s. that edward snowden is
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doing well. >> given where we were in june, i can imagine a better scenario today. this allows time to continue to push these issues forward, to make sure the story is the true story told, not spun within the media, about edward snowden. who is a whistleblower, not a fugitive. the white house has confirmed the director of national security agency, general keith alexander, will step down early next year. sinceder has led the nsa 2005. his deputy, john dingell is also expected to leave. and nsa spokesperson denied general alexander's departure was tied to recent revelations about the nsa's sweeping spy program. canada, dozensk, of people were arrested and several pleas cars were set ablaze as protesters resisted efforts by police to clear fracking blockade. weeks, residents have
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blocked eroded the village of rexton, cutting off access to an agreement compound used by the texas-based firm southwestern energy. the company seeking to explore the area for natural gas. residents say they don't want their water supplies poison by natural gas fracking. scores of police descended on the and cam in early thursday morning to enforce an injunction . protesters described what happened. oure were all asleep in tents and my sister hollers out, a are coming in. all i could do was rush to get and i come out onto the road and i could see them starting to come in. >> they came in through the fire exit car entrance near the highway. probably 75 to 100 cops. they are armed with
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semiautomatic long rifle weapons. there were shots fired at one point. i believe one of the people in cammo was firing in the air. >> police fired pepper spray at protesters, some of whom reportedly hurled molotov cocktails, setting five police cars on fire. at least 40 people were arrested by the police count. the crackdown has sparked widespread solidarity protests across canada and in the u.s. suspendedys it has its search for natural gas in northeast romania following massive civil disobedience against fracking. this week hundreds of people to blocke field chevron from drilling. protests also rubbed it in the capital bucharest. romanians have also taken to the streets by the thousands to protest plans by canadian firm to construct what would become europe's largest gold mine. the protesters say cyanide used
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in the mining process could poison animals and water supplies. in the u.s., the new government health insurance marketplace continues to be plagued with glitches. now there are reports the new federal health care exchange was made using decade-old technology that may require a complete overhaul. -- today reports the wall street journal says the federal health care marketplaces -- websites are feeding insurers flawed data, including "duplicate enrollments, spouses reported as children, and missing data fields." one analytics firm says just
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over one fourth of more than 200,000 users who started the registration process on monday and tuesday actually finished. that's up from 10% in the first week. in california, public transit workers have gone on strike after talks broke down between bay area rapid transit and union negotiators. it is the second time in four months the transit workers have gone on strike. they say they're approaching a deal to resolve issues related to health care and pensions, but remain at odds on work rules. the seiu local 1021 president said "we made concessions, but you can only good so far before you break." the world health organization is classified outdoor air pollution is a leading cause of cancer deaths among humans worldwide. the move places the air we believe -- read in the same top category of cigarette smoke, plutonium, and ultraviolet radiation. air pollution from sources
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including cars and factories caused more than 200 20,000 deaths from lung cancer worldwide in 2010, more than half of them in east asia. in a report by the walk free foundation has found there are nearly 30 million people living in slavery around the world. today people are enslaved as forced laborers and sex workers, child soldiers and child brides in forced marriages. india and china have the heist overall numbers. 10 countries in asia and africa account for 76% of the enslaved population, but there were enslaved people found in every single one of the 100 62 countries investigated. an estimated 60,000 enslaved people are living in the united states today. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. you have a piece today about
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the largest corruption case in city history, that you actually exposed, going to trial this week. scandal, three people start trial in u.s. district court in manhattan this week. they are the last of 11 people that were indicted by federal prosecutors in 2010 and 2011 over this massive information technology contract, a payroll system the new york city government and bloomberg administration was instituting. the amazing thing is, of the 11 people originally charged, one died, two fled to india with millions of dollars they stole from new york city taxpayers, and the rest have already pled guilty. there are only three leing the masterminds of the plot.
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the most fascinating thing in the first days of testimony is that a key city official who is never been indicted, the former head of mayor bloomberg's payroll agency, was repeatedly raised in testimony as the person who allowed this massive fraud, kickbacks of millions and millions of dollars to the contractors. the main company, the defense giant i'm a saic, has artie receed a deferred prosecution agreement with the government and repay the city of new york the astounding figure of $500 million, because his payroll project staed at $60 million and ended up costing over $700 million. the company paid back $500 million and one of its executives has now been a chief witness in the case. he testified the city payroll director basically allowed these
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fellow workers of his to develop the fraud, to continue to hire people and charge outrageous rates to the city, even when the company a self new he shouldn't be doing it but they were -- new himself they should be doing it. we will see how the testimony unfolds over the next month. the trial is expected to take a month. it really is sort of a way to look at what i considered for years to be the prime form of corruption in modern governments in the united states today, which is information technology contracts. it is the new form of corruption in local, state, federal government. >> it makes me wonder about the exchange website. >> absolutely. same kind of problems. >> hundreds of millions of dollars. >>, seeing you this new computerized system and inevitably, charging in a norma's amount of money and
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don't deliver what they promise and the taxpayers end up with problems. >> we will certainly continue to follow this trial that is just begun this week. >> now we want to turn it human rights groups are criticizing the obama administration for lifting rules to make it easier for u.s. arms manufacturers to export weapons and related tech with little oversight. this week, military firms had to register with the state department and obtain a license for each export deal. that allowed u.s. officials to screen for issues including possible human rights violations. but now tens of thousands of items are shifting to the commerce department, where they fall under looser controls. the changes were heavily lobbied for by military firms including lockheed martin, textron, and honeywell. >> the united states recently announced plans to scale back aid to egypt's military government three months after the ouster president mohammed morsi. departmenthe state said the united states will withhold hundreds of millions of dollars in military assistance
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until credible progress is made toward "an inclusive, democratically elected civilian government." but a new investigation from al jazeera's fault lines program shows the recent aid cuts by be more symbolic than anything else. al jazeera's anjali kamat joins us here in new york, former democracy now! producer. amazing report that you did. why don't you explain what you found as you traveled from the united states, washington, to egypt. >> i think the important thing to understand is this has been portrayed as a pretty substantial cut to u.s. military aid to egypt, in some ways, it amounts to several hundreds of millions of dollars. but what is important is this is temporary and something that obama administration officials made very clear that it can be reversible. the other thing is that at the end of the day, it is very symbolic.
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from the research we did and the reporting we did on the show that aired last week and now airing in al jazeera english, we found what actually mattered is the transfer of spare parts and maintenance contracts. that is continuing. that is not stopped. egypt artie has a surplus of these large military systems. what was announced last week by the administration was a temporary delay in the delivery of large systems which include f-16s and tanks, apache helicopters and egypt's military already has a surplus. it has the large amount. many and what became clear is they don't need these kind of large weapons systems for anything there constructing right now. it is interesting u.s. military has been trying to push for egypt to kind of switch from
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these large electric systems to later systems defined -- design for counterterrorism, freezing the sinai and all of that support will continue as before what will also continue is military training. egyptian officers and generals come to the u.s. teacher to be trained in american war colleges. sisi. those was general this exchange program will continue. the major generals in american military and egyptian military told us, this is a key part of the relationship. it creates lasting friendships between the two militaries. and you found even as the obama administration was announcing these cuts, huge shipments were on their way to egypt. >> right.
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so there was a military coup in egypt july 3. under u.s. law, the u.s. is required to suspend military aid to a country if there is a determination there is a military to there. the u.s. has declined to make the determination so far. what we found, and this is on the department of defense website, is that after july 3 in the three months after the coup before the latest announcement, the pentagon continued to award defense contracts to large defense corporations for equipment headed to egypt. so this was to raytheon, dae systems and general electric. this continue through july, august, and september. when we asked the pentagon to comment on this, they directed us to the state department. when we asked the state department to comment, they had no idea about it. so we commission further research on arms shipments to egypt from the united states, from a group that tracks armed shipments in chicago called trans arm. we found in the three months after the coup, there were
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nearly 2000 tons of military equipment they continued to flow to egypt, despite the administration's pronouncement that business would not be continuing as usual. and there was a review underway. that might have led some people to assume that maybe there would be a hold on some of this equipment. we found 2000 tons continued to flow on eight ship settler from baltimore, new york, virginia, and arrived in alexandria as late as late september. this continued despite the pronouncements of concern and despite august 14 it has been described human rights watch as one of the worst incidents of mass killings in egypt. hundreds of protesters were killed. the day after that, president obama said business cannot continue as usual, that these -- but the shipments and 10 year. >> president obama said the united states and avoided choosing sides in egypt after the militaries july 3 overthrow of morsi. >> and america has been attacked
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by all sides of this internal conflict. simultaneously accused of supporting the muslim brotherhood and engineering the removal of power. in fact, the u.s. has purposely avoided choosing sides. our overriding interest throughout these past two years has been to encourage a government that legitimately reflects the will of the egyptian people and recognizes true democracy as requiring a respect for minority rights and the rule of law. freedom of speech and assembly and a strong civil society. >> that was president obama speaking at the united nations. anjali kamat? is interesting, in egypt, the u.s. has early been viewed as a villain from both sides. there has been a great deal of populist anti-americanism,
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nationalism that has been fueled by state and private media within egypt because they perceive the u.s. as having supported the brotherhood and as not being as supportive of the military-led government after july 3 as they hoped the u.s. would be. on the other side, members of the muslim brotherhood, those who haven't been arrested, do yal thatense of betra they did not get the support they thought they would from the united states. when i was in cairo, hundreds of muslim brotherhood supporters and practically all of the top leadership had been arrested. there are about 1800 people who were arrested, many of them supporters. there are few of the top leadership that remain free. one of them used to be the minister for international operation under the morsi presidency, still free.
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he felt, he said i thought the era of supporting military dictatorships was over. but i should've known better. but within egypt, there is a very deep polarization right now in a way that it is probably never happened before. segments of the population that support the military-led government, military-backed government. and segments of the population that are opposed to the coup and support -- for a while there were calling for the return of the hasta president morsi, but that support the muslim brotherhood. there are still protests continuing. for a while they were fairly sporadic but in recent weeks they have stepped up. of morsi supporters on the streets of egypt, some of these protests have been targeted in continue to be violent from security forces against
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protesters. a lot of people in egypt are also -- might make up a solid majority, which is hard to tell, but the climate when i was in cairo was very much one of fear. there were still a curfew in place. it has largely been lifted by now. people are very scared to speak out. there was a sense that the police to egypt's notorious minister of interior, which their abuses under mubarak formed the basis of the january 25 2011 uprising. now they are stronger than ever before. seem to have a wide public backing. it is a very scary type of situation and people are unable to really speak out between these two dominant narratives, one from the military and a smaller one from the brotherhood. >> i want to get back to the military aid. one thing you point out is that a lot of the military aid from the u.s. to egypt never actually
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leaves the u.s. >> that thrive. this is something i think a lot of people don't realize is that since egypt signed a peace accord in 1979, there's been a steady flow of aid to egypt. since 1987, that is averaged about $1.3 billion in military aid. all of this aid stays in the u.s., never actually makes it to egypt. what happens is egypt can draw on this money or traditionally has draw on this money to purchase american-made equipment. >> it is deposited in a bank in new york. >> that's right. what we know at this point is half that aid has been disbursed. there is about 584 million dollars left. i spoke to the state department last week after their announcement to ask what was going to happen to the rest of this money. they said they still hadn't made a determination will stop they made it clear egypt would not have access to it immediately, but was still be used primarily
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to pay off the defense contractors. even though there has been a delay in the delivery of these large weapon systems -- some of them are weapons systems that were ordered back in 2009. these are orders made years before and some of them have been paid off already. >> boxes of massive weapons unopened? >> that's what we have heard. there are still unopened boxes of tanks. there are so many tanks there are no real uses. >> it is great corporate welfare. >> absolutely. analyst told us this is really a jobs program for the defense industry here. >> how did you travel there? it is very dangerous right now for reporters and especially for al jazeera reporters. many of your colleagues at al jazeera are in prison. but there are at least a couple of arabic al jazeera reporters,
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staff members that are in prison. they have been imprisoned since august, one of them possibly since july. their detention just got increased by another 45 days in late september. al jazeera is not well loved in egypt. the coverage on the arabic seen to be biased for the brotherhood. employeesaffects working for the english channel and the new al jazeera america channel. it has been very difficult for al jazeera staff and reporters to work inside egypt freely. when our team, we had a very small team of two people, when we traveled to cairo in early forember, that was a time al jazeera english staff members had actually been arrested. they had been detained for four days. they were still and attention when we got to egypt.
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the week we were there they were released and sent back home. at the office was raided. there was a climate of fear and we tried very hard to just stay not from the office and make very public the fact we were with al jazeera. >> we're going to take a break and come back to another investigation you did. one of the first shows they played was faultlines and it was your exposé, what is happening in the bangladeshi garment factories. now a kamat is our guest, correspondent for al jazeera faultlines, which airs on al jazeera english and al jazeera america throughout the united states. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. , anduest is anjali kamat our correspondent for al jazeera faultlines, weekly investigative news program on al jazeera english and al jazeera america, which launched in the u.s. and then cable channels across united states. anjali kamat, the first piece you did was in the -- the men made in bangladesh. we watched you in this documentary as you sifted looking forfire u.s. labels.
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can you talk about what happened there? >> there have been a series of disasters in garment factories in bangladesh over the past several years. there'been a lot of attention to it in the past year. we went to bangladesh in june to look at what was happening with walmart supply chain in bangladesh. we were interested in a pair of shorts, part of one marks faded glory line, that had been found in the ruins of has a ring, which was a factory that burned down last november, killing at least one hundred 12 workers. we spoke to workers, activists and spoke to different people along the supply chain. one of the things we found very it is very convenient for large corporations and large retailers like walmart to not know very much about their supply chain. entry main in the bark of -- in the dark about that. they give some plausible deniability when there is an accident. this is something an auditor who used to work for walmart told us
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, something advocates in u.s. like scott nova from the workers rights consortium told us, and it was played out by what we saw in the supply chain in bangladesh. at the very bottom of the supply chain, what we found is there is very little oversight and you have factories that are basically in people's backyards, in their apartments. large corporations pretend to know nothing about these operations. but this is the building blocks of the garments we buy and it is not just walmart. what we found is we ended up in a small fishing house where garments are finished, trimmed and the buttons are put on, the elastic band is put on, the final step before the garments are shipped out. we found a small finishing house with one small window, bars on the window, no fire extinguisher , just a thatched roof. about fund -- 25 young boys and girls working there on old navy jeans. we found children as young as 12
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putting in elastic and into old navy jeans. when we took o findings to cap inc. claimed they did not know anything about it and the articles were either fake. we matched barcodes. gap's claims these are counterfeit should be called into question. orwhat about the attempts publicized attempts, especially by european manufacturers, to institute new standards for the , whaties in bangladesh were you able to see in terms of whether there is any real progress or change in the way the manufacturing end of this worldwide garment industry -- so much is centered in countries
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like bangladesh. what is happening there? >> the garment industry is the backbone of the economy of bangladesh. everybody wants a job in the garment industry. that is something that needs to be said. with respect to the prince, you have two different safety accords now. the european retailers signed onto one safety accord. wall mart, gap, and other american retailers refuse to sign on and came up with her own accord saying this was the best guarantee of worker safety and building safety in bangladesh and they will begin on these inspections of factories in bangladesh. just earlier this month, there was another fire at a unit that had clothing linked walmart and at least 10 people were killed in this factory fire. walmart claimed this particular would not fall under their inspections. so there is a lot of gaps that
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are still not going to be included in these new safety accords. they don't really say very much about paying workers more, treating workers with more respect. i think it is important to remember that it has been almost a year since the tazreen factory fire and at least 112 workers were killed. walmart shorts were found in the rubble of the factory. there has been no compensation paid by walmart to any of the survivors, to the victims families. they are still living in the shadow of this factory. >> anjali kamat, thank you for being with us. as you continue to do your investigations, you can check out faultlines as a broadcast now all over the country. currentormer channel of , which al jazeera bought. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. we move onto an interesting study that has just come out. many so-search shows
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called experts who appeared on television making the case for u.s. strikes on syria have undisclosed ties to military contractors. the report by the public accountability initiative identifies 22 commentators with industry. while they appeared on television or were voted as experts 111 times, their links to military firms were disclosed only 13 of those times. let's take a look at how some of those pundits were identified during recent television appearances. >> for insight into this high- stakes diplomatic mission, i'm joined by former secretary of state madeleine albright. >> to analyze this with our panel of experts. general james cartwright. , served as aane four-star general and army vice chief of staff. good to see you. >> two former generals to talk about this. anthony zinni former commander- in-chief of centcom and michael hayden come a former cia
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director, now with the turnoff group. >> live from washington, d.c., former defense secretary william cohen. ambassador john negroponte, first u.s. director of national intelligence as well as u.s. ambassador of iraq and the united nations and many more post i should add. nice to see you. tva sampling of recent coverage on syria. all the pundits interviewed currently have ties to defense and intelligence contractors, investment firms with a significant defense or intelligence focus or ties to consulting firms with a focus on defense, intelligence. general jack keane, for example, is on the board of general dynamics. general anthony zinni is on the board of be ae systems. joining us now from san francisco is kevin connor, director and cofounder of the public accountability initiative and co-author of the report called, "conflicts of interest in the syria debate." lay out what you found. outhe report really maps
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the extent to which the policy conversation on the airwaves around syria was really dominated by individuals with ties to the defense industry. and these ties, as you laid out there, really were never disclosed,r rarely only 13 times out of 111 appearances during the syria debate. the importance is, viewers and readers at home forcing these people comment were introduced asthem as having credibility diplomats, former secretaries of state, generals, expertise, you would think these are independent experts who probably retired with a healthy pension. when in fact, they're representing interest that would profit from heightened military .ctivity abroad in syria that has a corrupting effect on the public discourse in an issue like syria that is so important. it really goes back to the
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responsibility of media outlets to disclose these ties and also the individuals here who are implicated in the culture of corruption and the revolving door in washington. anjali kamat mentioned on the first segment about jobs program for the defense industry. there is a jobs program in place for the foreign-policy establishment as they move out of their public positions onto the boards of these corporations. these are part-time positions, but they are very high positions. they have financial and -- financial and fiduciary responsibilities. this is something viewers at home should be notified of. and perhaps it should preclude their involvement in debates like this or perhaps they should not get the podium and platform they given for their views given the fact they have these conflict of interest that are
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quite serious. >> kevin, your report focuses largely on stephen hadley who served as national security visor to president george w. bush. during the debate on syria, he appeared on cnn, as some -- msnbc, fox news and bloomberg. none of the stations informed viewers that hadley currently serves as a director of the weapons manufacturer where evian that makes tomahawk cruise missiles. he also owns over 11,000 shares of raytheon stock in which traded it all time highs during the syrian debate. here he is being interviewed on fox news about the so-called red line. >> did he or did he or doesn't matter as we talked about this redline for joining us is stephen hadley. did he set the line and does it matter? >> he did set the line and it probably doesn't matter because there line is set and the credibility of the country is on
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the line. in some sense, congress needs to act in such a way so as to not undermine the credibility of president obama. we only have one president at a time and he embodies the united states. so if his that ability is undermined, the country's credibility is undermined. hadley.was stephen the tomahawk missile that raytheon produces was the one that was going to be used in the attack on syria. kevin, your response? >> this is an egregious conflict of interest that people should of been notified of when hadley was making the rounds. he also published an op-ed in "the washington post," argues tremendously about war. raytheon has nearly $900,000 worth of stock in a company,
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makes much money from the compensation. he has oversight of the, these profile and image -- of the company's profile and image. this is really a quite clear conflict of interest and should have been disclosed to readers and viewers. >> "the washington post" has been criticized for failing to inform its readers about stephen hadley's defense ties. september 8, the paper published a column by hadley that was headlined "to stop iran, obama must enforce redlines with assad ." the article described hadley center is a former national security adviser in the george w. bush administration. fred hiatt from the post defended the papers moved saying --
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kevin connor, your response? i would like to say kudos to the washington post for covering the report and really requiring hiatt to respond. his response is absurd. it demonstrates a fuzzy understanding of conflicts of interest and ethical issues. this is a clear conflict of interest. there are relationships mike ullman to question one's motives. this clearly does and nothing hiatt said really defense against that, hiatt might have special insight into hadley's in her thinking given their perhaps on the same foreign-policy
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written aatt, has glowing articles about hadley in the past so this is fairly standard for him in terms of his worldview and sort of -- >> kevin connor, thank you for being with us and we will link to your report. kevin is director and cofounder public accountability initiative. he is co-author of the report titled, "conflicts of interest in the syria debate." this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, we are going to look at fast food workers. how much are you paying for them to be paid so little? stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. a big mac costs only a couple of dollars, but it comes with a $7 billion side of welfare. new research shows more than
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half of low-wage workers at fast food restaurants rely on public assistance to survive -- a rate double that of the overall workforce. according to researchers at the university of california, berkeley, low wages in the fast food industry cost american taxpayers nearly $7 billion every year -- that's more than the entire annual budget of the centers for disease control and prevention. a companion report by the national employment law project found mcdonald's alone costs americans $1.2 billion annually i paying its workers insufficient wages. last year the top 10 largest fast food companies alone eight more than $7.4 billion in profits. >> while ceos are raking in record profits, in august, fast food workers went on strike and 60 u.s. cities in the largest protest of an almost year-long campaign to raise service sector wages including mcdonald's and burger king. the workers say they want to unionize without retaliation in order to collectively bargain
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for $15 an hour living wage, more than twice the federal minimum. longtime fast food workers went on strike in new york city. >> i have been in five schools since 1999 on and off and in 2013 i had a couple of other jobs in between. no mattere most part, what job i get, it always starts back at $7.25. that is statement among wage. minimum wage.te it is a matter where you work. that is the irony. it is not just fast food. people in factories, warehouses, people all over are not making money. some people can't even pay their rent. some people live in shelters. i know some people who don't even have homes. they live in shelters and work every day. that is what you call the working poor. >> for more we go to washington, d.c. where we're joined by jack temple, author of the new report
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"super sizing public costs: how low wages that top fast food chains leave taxpayers footing the bill." lay out your findings. is anhink this report important contribution to what we have seen over the last year. we know the fast food industry pays low wag. but what this report clarifies is that whether or not you work in the fast food industry, whether or not you each fast food, the low-wage business model in the fast food industry is costing you money. the model, which forces workers in the industry to rely on public assistance in order to afford food, for health care were housing rather basic necessities, is draining the economy of resources. this is an industry that is a race to the bottom. it is not just telling economic hardship for workers in the industry, but spelling weak economic growth and really dragging down the economy across the board. >> jack, i want to ask you about
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some of the arguments used in terms of defending this practice. these that many of restaurants, especially burger king and mcdonald's, or franchises where basically every restaurant is a small business, in effect, and these jobs are entry-level jobs that naturally would pay low wages because the people would move on to other jobs. refute bothacts those arguments. let's take them both in turn. for all the talk about small businesses in this industry, as you mentioned in the opening, mcdonald's made $5.5 billion last year. this is an industry making hundreds of billions of dollars every year. the corporate level really does exercise a lot of control over franchisees. the food taste the same in any mcdonald's you walk into. the napkin looks the same. whenever there is a new menu, all of the franchisees have to comply, by new agreement when needed. it is not fair for the company to say they can dictate terms of
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basically every -- they've ownerement between the and the company. in effect absolutely control the wages. the corporations are really on the hook for wages in this industry. the only thing more outrageous than that is the fact they have of thestantial profits same time. about entry-level workers, the data really shows this is an industry that is significantly older and more experienced than mightt popular impression suggest. 70% of all fast food workers are adults over the age of 20. in 30%, they're supporting children. these low wages are being used to support adults. they're trying to make ends meet. artists were families that make ends meet. that is why sue the public cost of this industry so high. >> how much do these franchises
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make annually? homage to the ceos make and the workers make you go to talk about justifying the disparity. .> that is a perfect contrast at the seventh largest publicly traded fast food companies in the u.s., the ceos of those companies made a combined total of $53 million in annual compensation last year. mcdonald's, for example, the ceo made $13.7 million a loan last year. meanwhile, the median hourly wage for a fast food worker is $8.69 an hour. it is one of the lowest wages in the economy today. so you see the stunning disparity between what the workers are making in this industry and what the ceos are making. >> the demographics of the workers? >> these are workers that are significantly older, as i mentioned. older than we expect. the median age of the fast food workers nearly 29 years old. many are supporting children.
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this is a workforce that is in all the different than what we're are seeing across the economy now. we have seen over the last several decades are real shift in the economy away from the manufacturing jobs, industrial jobs that once supported the middle-class throughout the beginning of the middle 20 century to service economy in retail and restaurants. these are the industries that are driving low wages for a lot of americans. >> not only are they defining the core of the economy, the bulk of the jobs created since the great recession of 2008 have these kinds of low-wage jobs. can you talk about what that means for the future of our economy? >> i think it means two things. the first point, at the very least, more americans are going to be finding themselves stuck
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in low-wage jobs. mo -- more low-wage jobs dominate the economy. the data bears that out. the projections for job growth over the next decade fines six of the 10 largest growth occupations over the next decade are going to be low-wage occupations. this is an economic trend that is been going on for the last three decades and projected to continue. we know if we don't take active steps to raise wages, the economy is not going to be doing it on its own. i think the real cost of this, even if you're not someone that jobsup relying on low-wage , as we show in this report, the low-wage economy, low-wage industry is costing all of us. the more workers have to rely on public assistance in order to make ends meet, that is more money drained out of the economy and going to support massively profitable industries, companies. >> and august, expressing support for striking fast food
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workers. >> most of the individuals who work in fast food restaurants, which is one of the growing -- fastest-growing industries in new york is a race to the bottom. a significant number in retail and in fast food restaurants are women of color who look like me. there's a feminization of poverty. it is a term which describes most women who live low the poverty level, struggling to make ends meet. >> new york city councilmember leticia james. jack temple, the issue of ts particularly affecting women, that welfare is a women's issue and what you think the public should do about this. >> i think we hear that argument a lot when we're talking about public assistance in general or the american safety net. trendshe transit show -- show it is beginning to affect workers across the board.
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it will be the case where we are not able to talk about specific demographic or specific qualities. is will begin to affect all of us as the trends continue. as you mentioned in the beginning of the segment, a lot of opponents or the company spokespersons will argue that these low-wage jobs are exclusively teens or exclusively workers that are starting out or entry-level workers that provides a springboard for more opportunity. with the fact of the matter is, these low-wage jobs are beginning to affect all americans across the board. if they're not relying on low- wage jobs already, then tax dollars are supporting low-wage companies. it is beginning to be an aspect of the core of the american economy. >> finally, the argument the companies make their will have to pick up the cost of the food and that will particularly hurt poorer people. >> countries have a ton of resources. we're talking about a multibillion-dollar industry
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here. there's no reason to expect companies can afford higher wages. >> jack temple, thank you for being with us. we will have a link to the report on democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693
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tavis: good evening. tonight, a conversation with actors jacqueline bissett. during her long career, she starred in movies like "under the volcano." she can be seen in a new series on bbc which follows the fictional multiracial jazz band as they make their way through 1930s london.
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>> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. take a jacqueline bissett has starred in -- tavis: jacqueline bissett has starred in hollywood lock busters and now stars on a drama based loosely on the experiences of duke ellington when his band became the toast
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of london. look now at "dancing on the edge," which also stars [indiscernible] >> i thought i would wish the band good luck for tonight. an evening with the prince of wales and the royal air force. what an extraordinary occasion that will be. >> i brought you the crisp edition runoff the press. -- edition hot off the press. >> the perfect present. >> is tremendous would you have made happen, you know. >> what i have made happen? band -- yes,r the for the band and you can do anything. >> flatterer. >> of course, think i had something to do with it, too. -- i couldn't have had any and i couldn't have done it without you. thank you.
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the various mispronunciations of your name over the years, i was told when was scheduled,ion i wa host told you must say her name correctly. >> i really don't mind at all take tavis: yes you do. >> i get called jacqueline bissett in america. i get called jacqueline bissett in europe. right.i got that >> thank you. tavis: to me about "dancing on the edge."
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>> this is a very well-written and good drama written by an authentic author, director, .rtist a very well reputed man and one of considerable intelligence and discipline. we all embarked on this with bycent -- with enthusiasm think we were all a little bit touch ae -- just a little fear that we wouldn't please stephen. we all had very interesting roles. i am joined in this project by many good actors. john goodman plays an extraordinary man, very wealthy. an english jazz band is trying to find their way. matthew