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The Critical Hour
The mainstream news outlets play it safe by parroting the perspectives of their corporate benefactors. The Critical Hour uses clear, cutting edge insight and analysis to examine national and international issues impacting the global village in which we live.

US Terminates 30-Year-Old Nuclear Arms Treaty With Russia

US Terminates 30-Year-Old Nuclear Arms Treaty With Russia
On this episode of The Critical Hour, Dr. Wilmer Leon is joined by Mark Sleboda, international affairs and security analyst.

The Trump administration announced Friday that the United States will pull out of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, a nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, ending a cornerstone Cold War agreement and raising fears of a new nuclear arms race in Europe and Asia. US President Donald Trump said Russia is violating the INF Treaty, a charge Moscow denies. It is the US' contention that the treaty leaves it at a disadvantage because of its own compliance at a time when global threats have changed considerably in the more than 30 years since the pact was signed. Are the US' allegations true? If so, how dangerous of a move is this?

The Trump administration is gearing up to bring home several thousand troops from Afghanistan in a bid to strike a peace agreement with the Taliban after 18 years of conflict. In return, the White House will be seeking a number of concessions from the Islamic fundamentalists, including a ceasefire and the renunciation of al-Qaeda, US officials revealed. What does this mean for the possibility of peace in the region going forward?

A New York Police Department judge, Deputy Commissioner of Trials Rosemarie Maldonado, has recommended that NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo who put Eric Garner in a deadly chokehold in 2014, be fired from his position from the department. She reached her verdict after overseeing Pantaleo's disciplinary trial earlier this year. A spokesperson for NY Mayor Bill de Blasio says the police commissioner is expected to decide Pantaleo's fate by August 31. Richard Donoghue, the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said that an exhaustive investigation found there is "insufficient evidence" to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that Pantaleo acted "willfully" when applying the chokehold.

China says it doesn't want a trade war with the US but is not afraid of fighting one. That's part of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's response to Trump's threat to impose a 10% tariff on another $300 billion worth of Chinese imports starting September 1. Trump made the threat in a series of tweets Thursday, and China fired back Friday morning.    

Only eight presidential candidates have qualified for the next Democratic debate: Former Vice President Joe Biden; New Jersey Senator Cory Booker; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; California Senator Kamala Harris; Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar; Former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke; Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. The Democratic National Committee has set stricter criteria for the third set of debates, which will be held on September 12 and 13 in Houston. If 10 or fewer candidates qualify, the debate will take place on only one night. Who will survive?

The Federal Reserve is cutting its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point. Policymakers wrapped up their July meeting this week by lowering the Fed's benchmark rate to 2-2.25%. It's the first rate cut by the central bank since the financial crisis more than 10 years ago. However, they're sending mixed signals on what's next.


Mark Sleboda — International affairs and security analyst.    

Dr. Marvin Weinbaum — Scholar-in-residence and director of the Middle East Institute's Center for Pakistan and Afghanistan Studies.  

John Burris — Lead attorney and founder of the Law Office of John L. Burris. He is primarily known for his work in the area of civil rights, with an emphasis on police misconduct and excessive force cases.    

Dr. Jack Rasmus — Professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of "Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression."

Daniel Lazare — Journalist and author of three books: "The Frozen Republic," "The Velvet Coup" and "America's Undeclared War."  

Jim Kavanagh — Political analyst and commentator and editor of The Polemicist.  

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