tv Headline News RT January 21, 2014 8:00pm-8:31pm EST
coming up on r t a new poll shows how divided americans are over n.s.a. surveillance have never heard president obama's reform promises will most who have don't believe the reforms go far enough a pulse of the nation next and in the u.k. the pleas of a pompous funny man who lost his father to the u.s. drone attack go an answer i mean one of the u.k. courts to reveal if the british government helped the cia conduct that drone strike but the court says no report from london is coming up and a debate over whether or not a man and who is a mexican citizen should be executed in the e.u. once the mexican government claims that the man's death would violate international law more on that later in the show.
it's tuesday january twenty first i'm megan lopez in washington d.c. and you are watching our two america well for the first time since president obama's speech announcing major reforms to the national security agency new polls show were americans stand on the issue of surveillance a study conducted by the pew research center found that house of the respondents had not heard about the speech or reforms at all forty one percent say they heard a little about it and only eight percent heard a lot about the n.s.a. reforms of those who had heard about the speech seventy three percent say the reforms will not increase their privacy and seventy nine percent say the changes will not impact u.s. counterterrorism efforts so a lot of the country appears to still be divided on the issue or confused about its implications even after the president's speech our chief political commentator sam
sacks recently wrote an op ed on our t.v. dot com and i spoke with him earlier about this study i first asked him if the proposed reforms were so minimal that they didn't register on people's radar or if people simply don't care. i think it's probably a little bit of both i think this is naturally somewhat of a wonky topic and i think the n.s.a. has made it a wonky topic to it's not just about they should the government spy on everybody which is what's really going on but when you hear things like section two fifteen bulk metadata to laugh in a collection people's eyes tend to glaze over and that's a lot of the stuff that the president's speech was focused on when he said he's going to appoint a privacy panel to the top secret phase of court people are like what's the phase of court when you hear about changes to national security letters you know these are all topics that are slightly wonky that people don't firmly have a quite a grasp on yet and the n.s.a. the way they've played with the language on what collection means what we're tension means what we're view means they've sort of turn the words upside down which is muddied the debate even further so yeah i think
a lot of people weren't paying attention to it and those who are paying attention don't fully understand what's going on and plus the mainstream media this isn't exactly the favorite topic if you remember the government shutdown everybody knew what was going on there you had a countdown clock you had all the issues being brought up you had constant coverage with this the in the mainstream media only focuses on this when there's a big story like the president's speech so let's take a look at another part of that very same pew poll when asked whether they approve of the government's n.s.a. collecting megaphone meditate on telephones and the internet fifty three percent disapprove and forty percent approve now that's the first time that the number of people who disapprove has actually been higher than the ones who approve what can you attribute that to well i think it shows that the n.s.a. and its defenders in congress and mr sharon losing the n.s.a. loves being in the dark they love being in this in secret these disclosures and force them to mount this p.r. push to go on sixty minutes to explain these programs and the more and more they've done that you've seen public approval of these programs they're trying to defend go
down and now we have the majority of americans disapproving of these programs it also speaks to what edward snowden what the journalists he's been working with and what organizations like the a.c.l.u. and the the f. i've been doing since these disclosures to try and get the american people outraged by what the government is doing it seems they're being more effective the more the people learn about these topics the more they distrust him now another issue that was addressed during this very same paul was what to do with edward snowden and whether he is a whistleblower a hero or a traitor now that issue was kind of split fifty fifty forty five percent say that they believe that he helped the public interest with those leaks forty three percent say that he hurt the public interest but the majority of people say that he should be prosecuted under u.s. law so what should we make of this now and of this poll that americans want to know more about the n.s.a. want to know more about what they're collecting but also disapprove of the person that brought this information to light the question is prosecuted for what. it is
myths that he committed a crime glenn greenwald was asked about it last week and he admits that it. broke the law but what should he be charged with should be charged with stealing government property maybe should he be charged with espionage no absolutely not i think the majority of those people polled who say that should be prosecuted wouldn't go and say you should be charged with espionage look there's a streak of civil disobedience here people are willing to break the law pay the consequences of that it kind of makes more powerful that they're doing but operating in this new post chelsea manning world in which when you try and engage in civil to disobedience and spill some secrets that expose wrongdoing by the government you are going to have your life ruined you're not going to go to jail in the way that martin luther king went to jail or in the way that other people who committed civil disobedience went to jail and then can go back on their life they are going to ruin your life they're going to charge you with espionage and take you down and you have to change the calculation here now something that i want to bring out sam is in a recent op ed that you wrote for r.t.
dot com you said that president obama's reforms are quote a trojan horse what did you mean by that thanks for the plug. what i meant is look this this speech was billed as a major reform speech the n.s.a. . and there were. some reforms introduced but ultimately the speech was focused on section two fifteen bulk metadata collection this was the first program revealed by the snowden documents it's also a program that's in danger it was almost defunded in july of last year and that was before seven months of more of n.s.a. disclosures there's efforts in the senate to undo this program and one federal judge has ruled it likely unconstitutional so i think the president wanted to come out and save this program before it gets completely taken out in june first twenty fifteen it expires all together and they're not might not be enough votes in congress to end the program today but there certainly are no votes in congress next year to renew it either so the president made a deal he says look the government we're not going to retain this information anymore he didn't say anything about collecting they're going to still keep collecting the information i compared him to cutting off his left hand to save his right hand there cutting off the left hand for attention to save the right hand or
the other hand of collection and i think we'll see if this gets the courts and congress off his back and sam that wasn't a shameless plug this is i encourage if you are us to go to our say dot com and check out your op ed in full and learn a little bit more about the n.s.a. the reforms especially for those fifty percent who don't know anything about it at all sam second political commentator all of us one of the most contentious supreme court rulings of our time and actually four years ago today the nine justices voted five to four in favor of citizens united in this case against the federal election commission and that decision paved the way for unlimited corporate spending in federal elections essentially saying that money is a form of political speech so one has changed in the u.s. in the four years since that historic supreme court decision well arty's less well finds us will look back. all four years ago today the political game in america changed that's when the supreme court struck down more than a century of campaign finance law and its citizens united decision the move paved
the way for limited political spending here's what we've learned in the last four years first billion is the new million before citizens united outside election spending was always in the millions take a look and two thousand we saw more than fifty million dollars an outside spending by the next presidential election in two thousand and four that increased to nearly two hundred million in two thousand and eight it was almost three hundred forty million dollars an ounce right spending and then citizens united happened in two thousand and twelve that was a game changer and in the very next election year in two thousand and twelve that is when we passed the billion mark so clearly you have to pay to play the data also shows disproportionate spending among political parties take a look at the numbers compiled by open secrets dot com as you can see in two thousand and four two thousand and six and two thousand and eight liberal groups outspent conservative groups in national elections but post citizens united which
is up and now conservative groups are spending huge amounts more on our elections than liberal groups in two thousand and twelve conservative groups spent nearly seven hundred twenty million dollars liberal groups on the other hand spent less than half of that but as we know president obama was reelected to a second term and much of those super pac funds were directed at attacking him so the investment for big donors and corporations doesn't always pay off so the political game has yet to be perfected and while it's up for debate how money impacts elections what we know for sure is that astronomically more money is being poured into elections and we can only expect campaign spending to rise and washington listen. r t well the pleas for justice of a pakistani men living in the united kingdom were ignored by the court of appeals this week for two years nor khan has been pushing for the english courts to take up
the case of his father's death his father was killed by what is believed to be a cia drone strike in northwest pakistan in two thousand and eleven now constant know if the u.k. helped the u.s. conduct that strike but it seems as if his efforts have hit another snag artie's tests are cilia his latest. court of appeal here in the u.k. essentially blocked an unprecedented case relating to a u.s. drone strike ruling that it could not be heard because that will be asking a u.k. court to pass judgement on the united states now the man behind the case is nor can whose father was a tribal elder from pakistan's northwestern tribal region and he was killed along with some forty others in a u.s. cia drone strike in march two thousand and eleven of the summer into his father was not connected to any terrorism or militancy and even opposed it however on the other hand the cia reportedly still claims that it had quote unquote killed no noncombatants in that strike so for two years nor khan has been
a seeking clarification on the policies and practices of the british government who is trying to get a judicial review asking the courts to examine whether officials at the british intelligence agency g c h q what in fact shared information about targets in pakistan with the cia and whether this in turn could make the british spies complicit in murder or war crimes as the law here states so here we are today with the court of appeal ruling essentially deciding against a review it's understood as not wanting to damage the u.k.'s relations with the united states a confluence noted that the government in the form of foreign secretary william hague who is responsible for g c h q he had lodged a public interest immunity application in order to stop consecrating from being heard which the lawyer says suggests that there may be things that will live he knows that he does not wish to disclose and there lies a source really of public anger this lack of transparency in what is a very controversial and increasingly unpopular practice but as it stands today the
appeal here is lawsuit it seems we won't be finding out this time if the u.k. was indeed helping the cia. that was our tests are so low reporting in london. well the upcoming execution of a man convicted in the shooting death of a houston police officer has created a sort of diplomatic standoff between the u.s. and mexico that's because forty six year old girl from miley is a mexican national now mexican authorities and a former texas governor are appealing to governor rick perry for a temporary stay to hold off on his execution in two thousand and four the international court of justice said that the u.s. had to review the execution sentences of fifty one mexicans in a decision known as the event judgment a statement by the mexican foreign affairs ministry reads in part quote should go to my o.b. executed without the review of the criminal proceedings and a reconsideration of his sentence in accordance with the i.c.j.
ruling this would be the third time a mexican included in the embedded judgment has been executed a clear violation by united states of its international obligations under the vienna convention secretary of state john kerry has also asked for a temporary reprieve from execution and a statement he released back in september kerry said quote i have no reason to doubt the facts of mr to miles conviction and as a former prosecutor i have no sense of sympathy for anyone who would murder a police officer but he warned that this man's execution could have an impact on how americans and legal trouble are treated abroad to my own was found guilty of the one thousand nine hundred four death of officer guy got it outside of a local nightclub an appeal hearing to consider the clemency happened today in u.s. district court for the western district of texas in austin two miles execution is scheduled for tomorrow to discuss the details of this case and the international rep or cautions of an execution i was joined earlier by richard dieter he's the
executive director of the death penalty information center and he started off by talking about today's appeal hearing. i don't think the good has made a ruling but will be making it prior to the execution obviously this is a challenge to the clemency process in texas which has been upheld in the past now i know that you are against the death penalty but this case goes beyond whether you are for or against capital punishment it's not arguing over whether or not this man is in fact guilty of this crime this is about an international diplomacy issue can you explain a little bit more detail sure i mean i think the chief concern is that u.s. citizens who travel abroad may get arrested or their children may get arrested want to consult with their u.s. embassy very quickly and the treaty that protects that is the same treaty that's implicated into my use case he being a mexican citizen had the right to consult with his embassy or his consulate when
he was arrested and that right wasn't given to him so all that's being asked for is a hearing just let's see would that have changed things and so far that hearing hasn't happened so there's certainly is more at stake here than simply for against the death penalty so what exactly is the vienna convention if consular relations what would it have helps well first of all it's a by a lateral kind of treaty both countries signed it to mutually respected in the u.s. back in the one nine hundred sixty s. signed and ratified this treaty so there's no question about our adoption of it and we even said that the international court of justice shall be the arbiter of this treaty and so a case was brought before there in the us was found in violation and still these kinds of hearings haven't happened so now there's legislation in our congress to try to rectify this to try to get texas to do what the treaty requires but that legislation hasn't been passed yet now in the recent l.a.
times article you said that mexico usually intervenes in capital punishment cases before the trial actually happens but that didn't happen in edgar to my own case why. is that and what difference would it have made if they had intervened before the trial where i mean there's a series of events where in the first mexican national faced execution this whole issue dawned on governments and on down mexico the you know what could they do to stop it and at the late eleventh hour it's very difficult to stop the train of execution so about ten years ago mexico decided to strive to stop these before they go to trial of void the death penalty to my o's case goes back twenty years ago so he you know there was no mexican program at that time what difference it would have made well i mean at a trial you want to present the person's family history and that family history is is over in mexico the people the culture the language the mental institutions if
there were any all of that is hard to get for a texas lawyer but for a mexican embassy they can go right to it and that kind of evidence could have been presented to the jury and if only one juror had said life would not get the death penalty now does this come down to something as simple as the miranda rights where there is just a statement that they read that they prepare and that's it that's exactly right it's one more line to the miranda rights in the u.s. state department has issued cards to police officers around the country with that language in various languages so that you could read it to a citizen who i mean a foreign citizen who doesn't understand english but few police have used those few courts have demanded that they be used the miranda rights is protected under the u.s. constitution this doesn't have that full full weight now back in two thousand and eight president bush had appealed against the execution of another mexican national who was a factor
a part of that world court ruling asking them to reconsider this however and then texas solicitor general ted cruz convince the supreme court that the state does not have to add here to. world court rulings why is that and what type of a precedent does that set for the future the dangerous precedent i think you have to remember too that president bush was before that governor bush of texas so here is president bush ordering texas courts to review this and as you said the the issue was brought up to the supreme court what the court said was that there needs to be legislation saying how the treaty should be used how it should be applied in texas and just because the u.s. side didn't ratify that doesn't mean that texas has to follow it they do as the law of the land but only through congress is implementation and there's a bill senator leahy of vermont has introduced the you know the vienna convention compliance act to get this but in told congress acts texas feels they are
protected and in a sense under the law they are so they're not saying we want all of this right but there needs to be legislation well as you mentioned this is the last few hours before this man scheduled execution there are a number of others that are on trial so potentially not affecting this man but maybe in the future richard dieter of the exit executive director of the death penalty information center thank you so much thank you international negotiators have started to arrive in geneva switzerland ahead of a second round of syrian peace discussions set to begin on wednesday now representatives from the united nations russia the u.s. the syrian government and its opposition will take part in these talks u.n. secretary general ban ki moon had extended a last minute invitation to are wrong to participate however that invitation was or send it after the syrian opposition threatened to pull out of the negotiations altogether if we did in fact attend parties or pissing off reports from switzerland . international peace conference on syria taking place here in this small swiss
town of montreal on the shores of lake geneva is truly an international achievement it took so much time and so much effort but it's finally going to happen. and the rebels after years of fighting and unimaginable are going to finally sit down and negotiate but if the government did confirm that it was going to take part in a complex long time ago. position even in my last twenty four hours and mainly because of iran a key regional player which was also supposed to take part in moscow and washington which had been pretty much organizing this conference had been saying that it's why the heads of the of this nation anyone with an influence on the situation there in syria and turn around is definitely one of these. you remember how the opposition reacted to the u.n. envoy they made revoke the returning the tickets in six hours time
all in all this is an ugly situation. that iran not taking part in the conference is not a catastrophe but it will definitely not help unite the muslim community in the fight against terror which is also going to be one of the key issues on the table here in one troll since besides the political opposition it is widely known that terrorists including al qaeda linked groups are fighting there in syria as well so as the world's. continue to gather here in montreal of course we'll be covering the whole conference and we'll be bringing you the latest details as it happens that was even more pissed off reporting while to ukraine now where anti-government demonstrators have taken to the streets night after night ever since new laws were put into place that limit the rights of its citizens to protest more than thirty people were arrested today of the interior ministry one hundred nineteen police officers have been injured since sunday afternoon. the new law bans protesters from
wearing masks or helmets at rallies not allowed to set up tents or sound equipment without police permission and convoys of five cars or more traveling together must seek prior approval protesters say that these laws infringe on their rights artie's alexei euro cesky is in ukraine and he brings us this report. it may have come down in terms of the noise at the governmental court in kiev but it's still far from settled only a few meters are separating the police lines and the line of the protesters or the rioters and still sometimes exchanging project hours at each other over the night we saw an attempt by the police to push the protesters off this particular place here the failed attempt when the protesters started charging with a writer started charging at the police the police had to withdraw and ever since then it's been like that the standoff continues over here it looks like yet another barricade with what remains of the police cars which were burned here on sunday
night basically separating the line of the rioters and the police from time to time the protesters and the police are exchanging project these rocks over here still being used to be thrown at the police during the night we also saw something very completely peculiar for ukraine in cases of vigilantism when the protesters organized something of a safari hunt on what they describe as pro-government provocateurs the court several of them took them to the revolutionary headquarters organized the city then took them out into the independence square and urged them to apologize for their actions more than several hundred people are still injured in hospitals including more than one hundred policemen which is something unprecedented not only for ukraine but for many other countries in the world and the word on the street here is that the authorities may actually consider implementing an emergency state in the country on thursday if things continue the way they do and we're certainly following all the developments in kiev will bring you the latest updates as we get
them that was artie's alexei you're asking reporting. well it might not be neatly packaged with a made in china stamp sealed on the bottom of it but it appears as if the far east expert in yet another product to american consumers although this one is much more nefarious than most and a study published this week by. the proceedings of the national academy of sciences journal says that china is export to california contributing to extra smog in the los angeles area so according to the study that uses statistics from two thousand and six one fifth or twenty percent of china's total pollution is caused by producing goods for export to american consumers winblows the factory pollution across the pacific in about six days resulting in an increase of twelve to twenty four percent of daily concentrations so while the u.s. europe and japan that rang about having lowered their carbon emissions
significantly in recent years that is these scientists argue that they have been lowered it so much as shifted it to china which is why air pollution levels stayed consistent between two thousand and two thousand and nine being that they are very kind or as the researchers put it outsourcing production to china does not always relieve consumers in the united states or for that matter many countries in the northern hemisphere from the environmental impacts of air pollution so while consumers around the world enjoy the benefits of cheap technology considering the environmental blowback. well in south carolina a robber was attacked by a police dog during his getaway in order to break free from the canines canines he shot the dog and found himself facing jail time the resident takes a look at what would happen if the cop shot a dog and killed it instead of a dropper.
a black man in south carolina is within the act of committing an armed robbery when the police showed up they had their police dog fargo with them and fargo chased down the criminal biting him in the leg the criminal freaked out and started shooting so he could get free all told he fired seven shots fargo died later that night from the gunshot wound and now the man that was just sentenced to thirty five years in prison for killing a dog he asked he fired around police but no one was remotely hurt except for the dog and the robber expressed much remorse for it saying he was just freaked out
that the dog was biting him it scared the crap out of him so he fired but he certainly had no intention of killing the dog and he feels horrible about it. now i am a huge dog lover i love dogs more than most people but come out in a dozen to sentence of thirty five years for killing a dog see a big success then this is specially when you consider how often police themselves shoot and kill dogs for instance police in boise just shot a dog named scrappy do three times when they approached the home on the report of a domestic disturbance police in ohio just shot and killed a labrador named champion first they shot the dog they saw how injured he was and then they shot the dog again dead police in orlando shot a dog named a lady while the littering a warrant to the wrong house. on new year's eve police in south carolina went to a house over noise complaints and shot
a dog named rockey police in san jose tales of golden retriever even believe the grass of all dogs named tiger when investigating a suspected but nonexistent burglary i could go on and on because police always shoot dogs it happens all the time in all of the cases i just mentioned to the owners insisted the dog didn't charge or bite anyone at all but are any of those police people serving time or being remotely punished at all oh no they are not and yet this black man is getting thirty five years over killing a police dog rapists and wait collar criminals go free cyber criminals and black people go to jail for sneezing in the wrong direction i'm not trying to race bait here i'm just telling it like it is that's what happens here in america clearly our justice system has gone to the dogs tonight let's talk about that by following me
on twitter at the resident. all right that does it for now for more on the stories we covered go to youtube dot com slash r t america or check out our web site r.t. dot com slash usa and don't forget to follow me on twitter at meghan underscore lopez but for now have a great night. we will air in aid in every part of the tour precocious on the our team. it's going to give you a different perspective give me one stock tip never i'll give you the information you make the decision don't worry about breaking the work of the mind it's a revolution of ideas and consciousness in the system extremely probably would be described as angry i think i'm