2015-03-19 13:44:39

Democracy Now! - March 19, 2015

Dozens of people have been wounded in clashes surrounding Wednesday’s massive protest against austerity in Frankfurt, Germany. A crowd of around 10,000 people marched outside the new headquarters of the European Central Bank to oppose economic policies that force deep cuts to public spending and worsen unemployment. Around 14 officers and 21 protesters were injured after breakaway marchers clashed with police. We speak with German climate justice activist Tadzio Mueller, who took part in the Blockupy protest.

A shooting rampage at Tunisia’s national museum has left 22 people dead — 20 foreign tourists and two Tunisians. Nearly 50 people were injured. The two gunmen began the attack by opening fire on tourists as they got off a bus and then chasing them inside the museum. The Bardo museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Tunis and is adjacent to the country’s Parliament building. The dead included residents of Japan, Italy, Colombia, Australia, France, Poland, Spain and Britain. It was the most serious attack in years in Tunisia, where the Arab Spring began in 2011. In recent years, thousands of Tunisians have left the country to fight with the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq, Syria and Libya. In response to the attack, the Tunisian government has pledged to wage what it calls a "merciless war against terrorism." Thousands of Tunisians have marched in the streets to denounce the shooting. We are joined from Tunis by Amna Guellali, director of the Tunisian office of Human Rights Watch.

Congressional Democrats are openly criticizing the secrecy surrounding the negotiations over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), just as President Obama begins a major push to pass the controversial deal. The United States is engaged in talks with 11 Latin American and Asian countries for the sweeping trade pact that would cover 40 percent of the global economy. But its provisions have mostly been kept secret. After the White House deemed a briefing on the trade pact "classified," Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut called the measures "needlessly secretive," saying: "If the TPP would be as good for American jobs as they claim, there should be nothing to hide." This comes as Obama recently called on Congress to pass "fast track" legislation to streamline the passage of trade deals through Congress. Meanwhile, theAFL-CIO says it will withhold contributions to congressional Democrats to pressure them to vote no on fast-track authority. And some tea party-backed Republicans are saying Obama cannot be trusted with the same negotiating authority that past presidents have had. This spring, the White House has invited Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to address a joint session of Congress in which he may promote the TPP. For more, we speak with by Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, who has been sounding the alarm about the negotiations. She says Congress could vote on the TPP proposal in the third week in April.

"How the FBI Created a Terrorist." That’s the subtitle of a new exposé in The Intercept by Trevor Aaronson, a journalist who investigates the FBI’s use of informants in sting operations. The article tells the story of Sami Osmakac, a mentally disturbed, financially unstable young man who was targeted by an elaborately orchestrated FBIsting in early 2012. The operation involved a paid informant who hired Osmakac for a job, when he was too broke to afford inert government weapons. The FBIprovided the weapons seen in a so-called martyrdom video Osmakac filmed before he planned to deliver what he believed was a car bomb to a bar in Tampa, Florida. His family believes Osmakac never would have initiated such a plot without the FBI. And transcripts of conversations obtained by Aaronson show FBI agents appeared to agree, describing him as a “retarded fool” whose terrorist ambitions were a “pipe-dream scenario.” The transcripts show how the agents worked to get $500 to Osmakac so he could make a down payment on the weapons — something government prosecutors wanted to prove their case. In November 2014, Osmakac was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison, despite a court-appointed psychologist diagnosing him with schizoaffective disorder. We are joined by Avni Osmakac, the older brother of Sami Osmakac, and Trevor Aaronson, contributing writer at The Intercept and executive director of the nonprofit Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.





Amy Goodman Austerity Democracy Now! Europe Terrorism Terrorist The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Tunisia

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