2015-01-20 14:29:02

Democracy Now! - January 20, 2015

As the world focuses on the threat posed by al-Qaeda in Yemen, the Yemeni government is on the verge of collapse. A dispute between Shia Houthi rebels and the government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi has sparked the capital Sana’a’s worst violence in months. Houthi fighters have reportedly entered Yemen’s presidential palace in a possible coup attempt. This comes days after fighters abducted the president’s chief of staff. As the government fights the Houthis, it also wages a U.S.-backed offensive against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), whose insurgency has only grown deadlier by the year. The latest unrest comes days after AQAP took responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris. Will the Yemeni government be overthrown in a coup? We are joined by two guests: Iona Craig, a journalist who has reported from Yemen for years and until recently was its last accredited foreign reporter; and Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of the The Intercept and the reporter who broke the story that AQAP took credit for the Charlie Hebdo killings. Scahill reported from Yemen extensively for his book and documentary film, "Dirty Wars."

Fox News has apologized for broadcasting false information about Muslims in the wake of the Paris attacks. Last weekend, self-described terrorism expert Steve Emerson claimed on air that parts of Europe, including the entire English city of Birmingham, were totally Muslim areas where non-Muslims do not go. Emerson was forced to apologize, but the claim about so-called "no-go zones" was repeated by other Fox guests and anchors. On Saturday, according to a CNN Money tally, Fox News took time out of four broadcasts to apologize for reports on Muslims. Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept, discusses the rise of so-called "terrorism experts" by Fox News and other major cable networks. In two recent interviews with CNN, Scahill has criticized the news giant and others for their use of "on-air analysts who also work in the private sector and make money on the idea that we should be afraid." He also responds to blistering criticism from FBI chief James Comey of using an anonymous al-Qaeda source in reporting on the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and analyzes what al-Qaeda’s claim of responsibility will mean for the U.S. drone war in Yemen.

In a major victory for human rights activists, a Guatemalan court has returned a guilty verdict in the Spanish Embassy massacre of 1980. On Monday, the court found former police chief Pedro García Arredondo responsible for ordering an attack on 37 peasant activists and student organizers who were occupying the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala City to protest government repression. According Monday’s ruling, Arredondo was the officer who gave the order to set fire to the diplomatic mission, burning the activists to death. He was also found guilty of two separate murders and sentenced to a total of 90 years in prison. One of the victims of the Spanish Embassy massacre was Don Vicente Menchú, an indigenous peasant leader and father of Rigoberta Menchú, who later won the Nobel Peace Prize. Rigoberta Menchú joins us from Guatemala City to discuss the historic verdict. We are also joined by filmmaker Pamela Yates, who is finishing the third documentary in her trilogy about Guatemala’s internal armed conflict. It looks at how the genocide trial of former dictator Efrain Ríos Montt trial empowered Guatemala’s nonviolent resistance movements.

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