Four years after the U.S.-led bombing campaign toppled Muammar Gaddafi’s government, Libya is in a state of crisis. On Monday, Egypt bombed Islamic State targets in Libya after the group released a video showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. Egypt claims it hit ISIS targets "precisely," but at least seven civilians, including three children, were reportedly killed in the coastal city of Derna. The attacks come as Libya faces what the United Nations calls "the worst political crisis and escalation of violence" since the U.S.-backed overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011. Two different governments claim power, each with their own parliaments and armies. A number of militant groups, including the Islamic State affiliate, are scattered in between. Will foreign governments intervene in Libya again? We are joined by Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who is just back from a reporting trip in Libya, and Vijay Prashad, a professor of international studies at Trinity College and author of several books, including "Arab Spring, Libyan Winter."
Al Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed are free on bail in Egypt after more than a year in prison. The pair, and a third colleague, Peter Greste, were arrested as part of a crackdown on Al Jazeera following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. They were sentenced last June to between seven and 10 years in prison, a ruling condemned around the world. Greste was released earlier this month and deported home to Australia. Then last week, after 411 days behind bars, Fahmy and Mohamed were freed on bail. Despite their release, the case has not been dismissed. A new hearing is scheduled for next week. We are joined by Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous in Cairo, who has been following their cases closely.
Talks between Greece and eurozone finance ministers over Athens’ debt broke down Monday when the newly elected leftist Syriza government rejected a deal to extend the terms of the current bailout. The Greek Syriza party was elected last month on a promise to roll back the crippling austerity measures in Greece’s international bailout. While Syriza has taken power in Greece, the grassroots party Podemos is also quickly gaining popularity in Spain, Europe’s fifth largest economy. On January 31, as many as 150,000 people rallied in Madrid to show support for the Podemos party, which translates into "We can." Podemos only became an official party last March, but a recent poll by El País found 28 percent of the population supports the party, enough to possibly win Spain’s next general election. Last May, Podemos surprised many when it received 1.2 million votes and five seats in the European Parliament elections. The party grew out of the "indignados" movement that began occupying squares in Spain four years ago. The indignados rallied against austerity cuts, rising unemployment and Spain’s political establishment. We are joined by Podemos Secretary General Pablo Iglesias, a 36-year-old political science professor and longtime activist who was elected to the European Parliament last year. If Podemos wins Spain’s national elections later this year, he could become Spain’s next prime minister.
Full episodes of Democracy Now! can be viewed at the link: https://www.freespeech.org/collection/democracy-now.
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