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Under Trump's Leadership, US Ratchets Up Confrontation With Russia

Under Trump's Leadership, U.S. Ratchets up Confrontation with Russia
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jim Kavanagh, the editor of, and Mark Sleboda, an international affairs analyst living in Moscow.

President Trump today expelled 60 Russian diplomats from the United States and closed the Russian consulate in Seattle in reaction to the poisoning of a spy in the UK, which accuses Russia of the act. 16 EU members in addition to Britain have also followed suit and expelled Russian diplomats. The move is a major step up in the worsening of relations between the US and Russia.

President Trump's announcement last week that he will impose nearly $60 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports sent the Dow Jones Industrial Averages down more than 1,000 points. But over the weekend, the Chinese response was muted and Washington's talking heads said on the Sunday morning news shows that cooler heads will prevail. Patrick Lawrence, the author of "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century" and a columnist at Salon and The Nation whose work is at, and John Ross, the first non-Chinese citizen to be appointed to a full-time post at a leading think tank in China — Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China and an award-winning resident columnist, join the show.

A deputy sheriff in Houston shot and killed an unarmed Black man last week, just days after another unarmed Black man, Stephon Clark, was shot and killed in his backyard in Sacramento. Danny Ray Thomas was shot once in the chest. The deputy said he "had something in his hand." No object, a gun or otherwise, was found. Brian and John speak with Michelle Gross, the president of Communities United Against Police Brutality.

Turkish President Erdogan said that his country was prepared to invade Sinjar in northern Iraq to fight PKK rebels there. The Iraqi government said it would not sit idly by while its territory was invaded. Kani Xulam, the founder of the American-Kurdish Information Network, joins the show.

Today is another installation of the Monday segment "Education for Liberation with Bill Ayers," where Bill helps us look at the state of education across the country. What's happening in our schools, colleges, and universities, and what impact does it have on the world around us? Bill Ayers, an activist, educator, and the author of the book "Demand the Impossible: A Radical Manifesto," joins Brian and John.

Egypt's president, Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi, will win reelection this week in an election largely viewed as a sham. Sisi's only opponent actually endorsed him. But Sisi is worried about turnout because his security crackdown, which has left tens of thousands imprisoned, has created an undercurrent of anger across Egypt. Many observers believe it's the same kind of anger that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. Dr. May Darwich, an assistant professor in International Relations of the Middle East in the School of Government and International Affairs at Durham University, joins the show.

Catalonian independence leader Carlos Puigdemont was arrested yesterday by German authorities as he was in transit from Denmark to Belgium. He is appearing before a German judge today. Puigdemont faces 30 years in prison in Spain on charges of sedition. Thousands of people demonstrated in Barcelona today calling for the Germans to release him. Brian and John speak with Dick Nichols, the correspondent for Spain and Catalonia for Green Left Weekly.

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