Mar 28 2008

Weekly Digest – 03/28/08

Our weekly edition is a nationally syndicated one-hour digest of the best of our daily coverage.

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This week on Uprising:

* The Future of Pakistan
* Empire Notes on the Reverend Jeremiah Wright
* California Decision on the Electric Car Mandate
* Black Agenda Report on Race in America
* New Report on Children Sentenced for Life in US Prisons

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The Future of Pakistan

PakistanGUEST: Ali Ahsan, lawyer and son of leading dissident Aitzaz Ahsan, president of the Supreme Court Bar Association; Farhat Haq, Pakistani American teaching at Monmouth College, and expert on political Islam, women and Islam, and contemporary Pakistani Politics

Pakistani President and major US ally, Pervez Musharraf, swore in Yousaf Raza Gilani as the country’s new Prime Minister earlier in the week. The much-anticipated parliamentary elections this February resulted in a coalition government between Gillani’s Pakistan People’s Party, the Muslim League, and two smaller parties occupying a total of 2/3s of the seats. The Parliament voted 264-to-42 for Gillani in a move expressing a broad sentiment against Musharraf, who has been a key US ally in the so-called “war on terror.” Gilliani was a long-time aide to ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who was killed last December as she campaigned for the elections. In one of his first acts as Prime Minister, Gillani ordered the release of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, and other judges detained by Pervez Musharraf during last year’s tumultuous nationwide protests and Musharraf’s ensuing declaration of a state of emergency. After meeting recently with US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, Muslim League leader, Nawaz Sharif announced that the new government would review Pakistan’s role in the US-led “war on terror.”

Empire Notes on Reverend Jeremiah Wright

GUEST: Rahul Mahajan, author of Full Spectrum Dominance and The New Crusade

Empire NotesEmpire Notes are weekly commentaries filed by Rahul Mahajan, author of Full Spectrum Dominance and The New Crusade. Today’s commentary is on Jeremiah Wright.

Empire Notes is online at www.empirenotes.org.

California Decision on the Electric Car Mandate

plug in americaGUEST: Chelsea Sexton, executive director of Plug In America

Perhaps you are one of millions of Americans concerned about smog pollution, global warming, and fossil fuel consumption. Perhaps you’ve seen the acclaimed 2006 documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car? and are outraged that existing technology for making zero-emission vehicles has been squelched by political maneuvering. In 2003, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) killed the effort to produce electric cars and instead put into place a research program to investigate hydrogen fuel cell technology. Thousands of electric vehicles on the roads, were wrangled away from their tearful lease-holders and destroyed. California is on the forefront of the nationwide movement to put more zero and low-emission vehicles on the road. Today a little over 1000 electric cars remain in the state. On March 27th, CARB met once again decide on the fate of Electric cars, or so-called Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). Former CIA Director R. James Woolsey testified at the meeting on the wastefulness of diverting resources to hydrogen fuel-cell programs and the need to get plug-in cars on the road soon in order to reduce U.S. dependence on oil. Unfortunately for the earth’s environment, the Air Resources Board eliminated 70% of previous clean car requirements and voted to require automakers to produce only 5,357 zero-emission vehicles in 2012-2014. A few days before the meeting I spoke with Chelsea Sexton, executive director of Plug In America which mobilized thousands of Americans for the meeting. Chelsea, a former employee of GM, worked on developing the original GM EV1 electric car and was prominently featured in the documentary, Who Killed the Electric Car.

For more information visit www.pluginamerica.org.

Black Agenda Report on Race in America

GUEST: Glen Ford is a writer and radio commentator and the Executive Editor of The Black Agenda Report

This week’s commentary is about race in America. Visit www.blackagendareport.com for more information.

New Report on Children Sentenced for Life in US Prisons

EJIGUEST: Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama and Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law

Dozens of 13 and 14 year old children have been sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole in this nation. In a new report called Cruel and Unusual, the Equal Justice Initiative has documented 73 such cases. The United States is the only country in the world where a 13-year-old is known to be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. In fact, over 2225 juveniles (age 17 or younger) have been sentenced to life imprisonment without parole in the US. The children documented in the report are overwhelmingly poor, lacked legal representation, and are majority children of color. In fact, every single one of the children condemned to death in prison for non-homicide offenses are children of color. The United States Supreme Court recently declared that death by execution is unconstitutional for juveniles. But life imprisonment without parole for children has yet to be overturned. According to the Equal Justice Coalition, sentencing young children to imprisonment until death violates international law and the U.S. Constitution.

For more information, visit www.eji.org. Download the report at: http://eji.org/eji/files/20071017cruelandunusual.pdf

Sonali’s Subversive Thought for the Day

“If we don’t stand up for children, then we don’t stand for much.” — Marian Wright Edelman

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