An Egyptian court has sentenced three Al Jazeera journalists to between seven and 10 years in prison on terrorism charges, including "spreading false news" in support of the Muslim Brotherhood, deemed by the government a "terrorist group." Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed have been jailed since December in a case that’s stoked international outrage. The sentence came down one day after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Cairo to meet with Egypt’s new president, the former army general Abdul Fattah el-Sisi. Amnesty International decried the jail sentences as "a dark day for media freedom in Egypt," while Al Jazeera said the verdict defied "logic, sense, and any semblance of justice." We go to Cairo to speak with Mohamed Fahmy’s brother Adel Fahmy, as well as Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who warns: "What this ruling means is that in Egypt journalism is a crime."
Secretary of State John Kerry made a surprise trip to Baghdad today to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Ahead of his arrival, Kerry signaled the Obama administration is prepared to drop support for Maliki, calling for leadership "prepared to represent all of Iraq." Kerry’s visit comes as Sunni militants with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have captured more territory. Over the weekend, ISIS militants seized three border crossings with Syria and Jordan, as well as four nearby towns. An Iraqi government airstrike, meanwhile, has reportedly killed at least seven civilians and wounded 12 others in the ISIS-held Tikrit. Residents say army helicopters fired on civilian cars lined up at a gas station. The Iraqi government is claiming it only killed insurgents. We go now to Baghdad to speak with Patrick Cockburn, Middle East correspondent for The Independent.
In what is being hailed as a major milestone for the global campaign to boycott and divest from Israel over its treatment of Palestinians, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) voted to divest from three companies that it says supply Israel with equipment used in the occupation of Palestinian territory. According to the church, the three firms — Motorola Solutions, Caterpillar and Hewlett-Packard — profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land by selling bulldozers, surveillance technology and other similar products. The decision passed by seven votes, 310 to 303, making the Presbyterian Church the largest religious group to vote for divestment. We are joined by two guests: Dr. Nahida Gordon, a Palestinian-American professor who is a member of the steering committee of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); and Rabbi Alissa Wise, director of organizing at Jewish Voice for Peace.
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