“The economic system we have set up that allows corporations to make billions of dollars doing something which is so destructive, we have to stop that, enough of that. … We can’t expect oil companies to stop on their own. They’re just corporations; they’re just money-making machines. They’re not going to do it. We’ve got to tell them. That’s what we’re attempting to do.”
– Interview with Peter Wilcox, captain of the Greenpeace ship, “Arctic Sunrise”, on their nonviolent direct action protest designed to draw attention to the environmental hazards of drilling for fossil fuels in the Arctic. Wilcox and his crew recently spent two months in a Russian prison as a result of their attempt to board and scale a Russian-owned Gazprom oil drilling rig in the Arctic Ocean.
Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.
Interview with Peter Wilcox, captain of the Greenpeace ship, “Arctic Sunrise”, conducted by Scott Harris
On Sept. 18, members of the environmental activist group Greenpeace boarded and attempted to scale a Russian-owned Gazprom oil drilling rig in the Arctic Ocean. The Russian military responded to the nonviolent direct action protest – designed to draw attention to the environmental hazards of drilling for fossil fuels in the Arctic – by firing guns and brandishing knives. All 28 crew members of the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise, and two freelance journalists accompanying them were arrested by the Russian government. The activists and their ship were taken to the northern Russian city of Murmansk. Story continues
Interview with Sharon Levin, director of Federal Reproductive Health Policy with the National Women’s Law Center, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
Jan. 1, 2014 marked the start date for several important provisions of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and, despite the shaky rollout of the federal website in the fall, more than 2.1 million Americans have signed up for private health insurance through the federal and state health exchanges. That’s in addition to the 3 million young adults who have been able to retain health coverage under their parents’ insurance policies, and the addition of 3.9 million Americans now eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program in states that agreed to expand Medicaid eligibility paid for by federal funds. Several of the new health insurance provisions relate specifically to women. Story continues
One Year After Sandy Hook School Massacre, Newtown Action Alliance Continues Campaign to Strengthen Gun Safety Laws
Interview with Monte Frank, Newtown Action Alliance board member, conducted by Scott Harris
It’s been a little over one year since the unspeakable violence that claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and 6 educators at Newtown, Conn.’s Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. Not long after family members, friends and neighbors from Newtown and people across the country took time to mark that grim day, one year later, the Connecticut State police released a final report on their investigation into one of the nation’s most disturbing massacres – and new details about the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza. Story continues
This week’s summary of under-reported news
Compiled by Bob Nixon
- Marathon talks in Northern Ireland collapsed on New Year’s Eve amid the divisive issues of flags, parades and investigating 3,000 politically motivated killings during the 30 year civil war in Northern Ireland known as the “Troubles.” (“Northern Ireland talks collapse as main unionist parties reject Haass proposals,” The Guardian, Dec. 31, 2013; “Amnesty urges Northern Ireland parties to publish ideas despite failed talks,” The Guardian, Dec. 31, 2013)
- Over the last decade, Bolsa Familia, a social program in Brazil that gives small cash stipends to women in exchange for ensuring their children attend school and get medical checkups at local health clinics, has helped lift 36 million Brazilians out of extreme poverty. (“Brazil’s Bolsa Familia: welfare model or menace?” Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 17, 2013; “Brazil’s bolsa familia scheme: political tool or social welfare success,” The Guardian, Dec. 19, 2013)
- On the eve of the inauguration of Bill de Blasio as New York City’s new mayor, thousands of city residents were living on the streets or scrambling to find shelter or food. Under outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the number of homeless people in the City had doubled since the 2008 financial collapse. As a candidate, de Blasio pledged to end the “tale of two cities” in the Big Apple. (“New York’s Homeless wait for Bill de Blasio to put words into action,” The Guardian, Dec. 30, 2013)