America’s Biggest Drug Pushers Are in Corporate Boardrooms

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Aug 27 2019 116 mins  
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Dr. Louis Kyriakoudes, a professor at Middle Tennessee State University, director of the Albert Gore Research Center, and one of only three experts who has testified against Big Tobacco, according to The Nation magazine.

In a landmark decision yesterday, a state judge in Oklahoma ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay the state $572 million for intentionally playing down the dangers and overselling the benefits of opioids. The decision fell short of the $17 billion that Oklahoma was seeking as reimbursement addiction treatment, drug courts, and other costs of the epidemic. But it opens the company to similar suits in every other state in America.

Senator Tom Cotton, a far-right wing senator from Arkansas, has an op-ed in today’s New York Times in which he says that the United States must purchase Greenland at all costs. Cotton adds that he even raised the idea with the Danish Ambassador to the US a year ago. The Danish government has repeated that the island is not for sale. Is this crazy idea becoming mainstream? Bruce Gagnon, the coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus, joins the show.

French President Emmanuel Macron said yesterday that he would like to broker direct talks between President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, a proposal that Trump immediately endorsed. But Rouhani said today that there would be no direct talks between the two countries until US sanctions against Iran are lifted. Brian and John speak with Mohammad Marandi, an expert on American studies and postcolonial literature who teaches at the University of Tehran.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is rejecting $20 million in aid offered by the G-7 countries to fight raging wildfires in the Amazon. He also called on French President Emmanuel Macron to apologize for calling the fires an international crisis. Bolsonaro is apparently so angry at Macron that he took to Facebook today to call Macron’s wife “ugly.” Now it’s Macron who is demanding an apology. But are both politicians just grandstanding while the planet is in crisis? Aline Piva, a journalist and a member of Brazilians for Democracy and Social Justice, joins the show.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said today that he’s feeling more optimistic about achieving a Brexit deal and not crashing out of the European Union after spending the past week touring Europe and meeting with leaders. The hook seems to be--still--what to do about the Irish border. In the meantime, though, it is more and more clear that there will not be freedom of movement into the UK by EU nationals once the deal is done. Neil Clark, a journalist and broadcaster whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The Week, and Morning Star, joins Brian and John.

Tuesday’s weekly series is False Profits—A Weekly Look at Wall Street and Corporate Capitalism with Daniel Sankey. Brian and John speak with financial policy analyst Daniel Sankey.

Today’s regular segment that airs every Tuesday is called Women & Society with Dr. Hannah Dickinson. This weekly segment is about the major issues, challenges, and struggles facing women in all aspects of society. Hannah Dickinson, an associate professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an organizer with the Geneva Women’s Assembly; Nathalie Hrizi, an educator, a political activist, and the editor of Breaking the Chains, a women’s magazine; and Loud & Clear producer Nicole Roussell join the show.