Jun 25 2014

Daily News Flash with Rahul Mahajan on the Latest on Iraq, Women and Children in US Prisons, and No-Fly List Declared Unconstitutional

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:

Iran is reported to be sending military hardware to Iraq’s embattled government, even as Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki refuses to bow to US pressure on a cabinet reshuffle. The New York Times is reporting this morning that according to anonymous American officials, “Iran is directing surveillance drones over Iraq from an airfield in Baghdad and is secretly supplying Iraq with tons of military equipment, supplies and other assistance.” The paper also notes that US and Iranian efforts are not being coordinated. Meanwhile, Iraq’s Prime Minister Al Maliki has refused to give in to US pressure for greater Sunni representation in the government, saying such a move would be tantamount to a “coup against the constitution and the political process.” Click here for the New York Times article about the Iran story, and here for an Al Jazeera article about Al Maliki’s response to the US.

We turn next to women and children in the US prison system. California, which has one of the nation’s largest prison populations, is moving to ban inmate sterilizations. A bill passed the Assembly’s health committee and has gained traction because of reports of female inmates being sterilized without their consent during medical procedures. Meanwhile, the Sentencing Project has released a report exposing many states who are not complying with a 2012 Supreme Court decision that barred minors from being sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. Some states have adopted even harsher policies, such as Nebraska, which according to the Guardian, “has introduced a minimum 40 years in custody for juveniles convicted of homicide before a parole review can even be contemplated.” Click here for a Reuters article about California inmate sterilizations, and here for a Guardian article about life sentences for minors.

Finally, the US’s so-called No-Fly list has just been declared unconstitutional by an Oregon Federal district judge. The ruling was made in response to a case filed by the ACLU on behalf of over a dozen Muslim Americans, some of whom are military veterans, who found they were unable to travel by air because their names were on the list. The plaintiffs apparently tried and failed numerous times to get their names off the list before filing the suit. There is a follow-up hearing in the case scheduled for mid-July. < a href=”http://rt.com/usa/168220-no-fly-list-brown/ “>Click here for an RT.com article about the story.

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