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Politics: 2024Talks - April 16, 2024

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Politics and views in the United States.

Audio file

Former president Trump's hush money trial begins. Indigenous communities call on the U.N. to shut down a hazardous pipeline. And SCOTUS will hear oral arguments about whether prosecutors overstepped when charging January 6th insurrectionists.


Welcome to 2024 Talks, where we're following our democracy in historic times.

This is political persecution.

This is a persecution like never before.

Nobody's ever seen anything like it.

And again, it's a case that should have never been brought.

No jurors were picked on the first day of selection in former President Donald Trump's hush money trial, the first criminal proceeding against any president in office or out.

Trump is repeating his line that it's election interference for him to be prosecuted for falsifying business records to cover up payments after sex with a porn star.

Finding an unbiased jury could take some time.

White House and Pentagon officials are dismissing a report that Iran alerted the U.S. before attacking Israel.

Almost all of the 300 drones and missiles used in Saturday night's strike had no effect, although Iran is calling it a great victory.

The Biden administration is pressing Israel not to overreact, even as the right inside and outside that government are pressing for a fierce response.

National Security spokesman John Kirby says Israel can look to new international sanctions on Iran's missile programs.

We will be working to further isolate Iran internationally and increase economic and other forms of pressure.

So that's the upshot here.

A stronger Israel, a weaker Iran, a more unified alliance of partners.

Today, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on whether January 6th insurrectionists can be charged with obstruction for trying to block an official proceeding.

Defense attorneys argue that's a stretch.

A ruling is expected in June and could impact a separate criminal case pending against Trump.

Louisiana lawmakers passed a bill requiring poster-sized Ten Commandment displays in all public school classrooms, despite the Supreme Court ruling that's unconstitutional.

A two-year-old law already requires posting the phrase "In God We Trust."

State Representative Dodi Horton insists they're not favoring any one faith.

I have no qualms if it was.

This is not preaching a Christian religion.

It's not preaching any religion.

It's teaching a moral code.

Census data finds almost 25 million black and brown eligible voters are missing from registration databases.

An analysis says people of color are being systematically sidelined by seemingly inclusive voter engagement systems.

And Prentice Haney with the Ohio Organizing Collaborative says that compounds those citizens' existing mistrust.

Over time, they actually fall off the list, and they're not even in the conversation.

And what we see in America is that those voters tend to be black voters and brown voters and people of color.

And it's not because those voters are disengaged, it's that they're cynical about the system.

Native Americans are asking the United Nations to press the U.S. and Canada to shut down the Enbridge Line 5 oil and gas pipeline.

Whitney Gravel with the Bay Mills Indian Community says the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues already called for decommissioning of the pipeline running under the straits between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

The Permanent Forum also stated that it jeopardizes the Great Lakes in the United States, that the pipeline was a real and credible threat to the treaty-protected resources of Indigenous peoples in both the United States and Canada.

I'm Edwin J. Vieira for Pacifica Network and Public News Service.

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