In a major shakeup, Egypt’s new president, Mohamed Morsi, dismissed the country’s two top generals over the weekend, field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and military Chief of Staff Sami Enan. Morsi also quashed the army’s recent constitutional declaration that had curbed the new leader’s powers. "What’s, I think, most important to realize is that all of the new appointments came from within the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces," Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous says from Cairo. "These weren’t outsiders that came in to replace them."
Sharif Abdel Kouddous reports on his recent trip to Zabadani, a besieged Syrian town near the Lebanon border. "[Zabadani] is basically waiting for some kind of solution to happen and is yet really on the receiving end of the majority of the violence," says Kouddous, whose latest article, "On the Ground in Zabadani, a Syrian Town in Revolt," was published in The Nation on Monday.
The escalating conflict in Syria has magnified the refugee crisis, both internally and in neighboring countries. More than 4,000 people entered Turkey in recent days, bringing the total number of Syrian refugees there close to 60,000. There are tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in neighboring Lebanon as well. As the crisis deepens, we’re joined by Omar Dahi, assistant professor of economics at Hampshire College. Born and raised in Syria, Dahi has just returned from a research trip to Lebanon looking at the consequences of the Syrian uprising, including the impact on refugees.
With Republican Rep. Paul Ryan joining the Republican ticket for the White House, his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, is now in the national spotlight. Thousands have struggled with unemployment in Janesville since General Motors shut down its century-old plant there in 2008, causing mass layoffs. As the town tries to get back on its feet, Ryan has said Janesville has become a microcosm for the economic woes facing the nation. But much of its economic recovery is in fact due, in part, to money from President Obama’s stimulus package and other federal grants. We speak to Brad Lichtenstein, director of the new documentary, "As Goes Janesville," which follows the lives of laid off GM workers who try to reinvent themselves through federally funded job training programs, or by moving to work at other GM factories that stayed open after the auto industry bailout. We also play excerpts and outtakes from the film, including interviews with Ryan that did not make the final cut.
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