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Will Coronavirus & Gov’t Negligence Cause a Global Economic Meltdown?

Will Coronavirus & Gov’t Negligence Cause a Global Economic Meltdown?
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Sputnik News analysts and producers Walter Smolarek and Nicole Roussell.

Friday is Loud & Clear’s weekly hour-long segment The Week in Review, about the week in politics, policy, and international affairs. Today they focus on the Coronavirus outbreak, the accompanying economic situation, Chelsea Manning’s release from prison, and more.

Whistleblower Chelsea Manning was released from jail yesterday after a federal judge ruled that continued incarceration was unlikely to force her to testify before a federal grand jury in the Julian Assange case. Manning is currently hospitalized following a suicide attempt on Wednesday. Hacker and activist Jeremy Hammond also was ordered released, but he will return to federal custody to serve out the remainder of a 10-year sentence for computer hacking. Kevin Gosztola, a writer for and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure, joins the show.

The US launched multiple airstrikes in Iraq overnight targeting the al-Kata’ib Hizballah militia group and, according to Iraqi military leaders, killing six people. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that strikes were in retaliation for the killing a day earlier of two Americans and a British national, although it is unclear who was responsible for those killings. The Iraqi military condemned the US action, saying that it would only further destabilize the region. Brian and John speak with Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran.

The Dow Jones Industrial Averages saw their biggest decline yesterday since the epic 1987 Black Monday crash, and all major indices moved into bear market territory, bringing to an end the longest period of economic expansion in American history. The market has fallen nearly 30 percent in the past three weeks. Meanwhile, Americans are panic-buying and hoarding essentials like toilet paper, water, and canned foods, expecting the coronavirus pandemic to worsen and to continue spreading across the country. Steve Keen, the author of “Debunking Economics” and the world’s first crowdfunded economist, whose work is at, joins the show.

The Democratic presidential debate scheduled for Sunday will be moved from Arizona to Washington DC because of coronavirus concerns, according to the Democratic National Committee. And one of the moderators, Univision’s Jorge Ramos, has dropped out because he was recently exposed to the virus. The debate will be limited to Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. The only other declared candidate still in the race, Tulsi Gabbard, was not invited. Jim Kavanagh, the editor of whose most recent piece is “The Party's Over: Bernie’s Last Dance With the Dems,” on and CounterPunch, joins Brian and John.

It’s Friday! So it’s time for the week’s worst and most misleading headlines. Brian and John speak with Steve Patt, an independent journalist whose critiques of the mainstream media have been a feature of his site Left I on the News and on twitter @leftiblog, and Sputnik producer Nicole Roussell.


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