Mar 19 2014

Daily News Flash with Rahul Mahajan on Ukraine Crisis, NSA Oversight, and Toyota Settlement

Uprising’s guest expert Rahul Mahajan, a sociologist and news analyst and author of Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Pro-Russian forces have taken over a Ukrainian naval base in the Crimean Peninsula. The soldiers took over the base without firing a shot, just as Crimeans have formally voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia. Ukrainian soldiers in the peninsula have been told that they would be welcome to join the Russian army if they wished. Meanwhile, US Vice President Joe Biden is in Eastern Europe this week rallying European allies to stick to their joint criticism of Russia over Crimea and reaffirm their commitment to one another as NATO allies. Click here for a Wall Street Journal article and click here for a Washington Post article about the story.

Here in the US, we now know thanks to the Guardian newspaper that the deputy Defense Department inspector general for intelligence and special program assessments, Anthony C Thomas, was unaware of the NSA’s program of phone surveillance. Thomas’ position is supposed to be a watchdog over such activities and the NSA has assured the public that its programs were indeed being overseen by the Pentagon Inspector General. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

The Justice Department announced this morning “the largest criminal penalty imposed on a car company in U.S. history.” The car company in question is Toyota, and the penalty is a $1.2 billion settlement over a criminal probe of Toyota’s faulty acceleration in some of its vehicles. Attorney General Eric Holder called the company’s conduct “shameful.” This latest fine comes on top of $1.6 billion in payouts to car owners who filed lawsuits over the same issue. Click here for a USA Today article about the story.

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