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Politics: 2024Talks - April 30, 2024

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Politics and views in the United States.

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Big Pharma uses red meat rhetoric in a fight over drug costs. A school shooting mother opposes guns for teachers. Campus protests against the Gaza war continue, and activists decry the killing of reporters there.


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

What's gone wrong is calling in the police.

The protest was calm, well-organized, not violent.

There was little, if any, intimidation of anyone.

They have not shouted out slogans in support of Hamas.

Columbia University professor Bruce Robbins tells CNN that the media and politicians are not accurately describing the peaceful Gaza protest there, and should not confuse it with more violent events just off campus.

But Columbia student Ben Solomon also tells CNN he doesn't feel safe.

Particularly the last few days, I've felt uncomfortable around this university.

I've felt like this is not a welcoming environment.

After negotiations about divesting from Israel broke down, student protesters said they would defy orders to disperse, despite a threat of suspension.

And the protests continued to spread.

The Associated Press reports more than 1,000 students have been arrested on scores of campuses.

Medea Benjamin, a co-founder of the anti-war group Code Pink, says she was thrown out of the hotel hosting the glitzy White House correspondents' dinner.

Benjamin says she held up a sign reading "100 members of the press killed in Gaza."

It's quite ironic because tonight was all about press, press freedom, and it seems like standing here with the sign is something that's a lot worse than 100 journalists in Gaza being killed.

Missouri Republican state Senate leader Cindy O'Loughlin says Big Pharma is trying to confuse legislators with unrelated hot-button topics, like abortion access and illegal immigration, in a last-ditch effort to stop the state from joining a program that would force drugmakers to sell medicines at a discount.

Appealing to nuclear topics, which really do not apply in this situation, is a disingenuous way to try to defeat a bill that is actually good for Missouri.

O'Loughlin says the program's transparent and uses the tax money saved to help low-income families deal with chronic conditions like diabetes.

The drugmakers object to the government forcing them to give significant discounts.

Tennessee's legislature has been fighting over gun control since last year's shooting in Nashville.

After sharp debate, lawmakers moved to arm teachers.

But Covenant school parent Becky Hansen cried at a House hearing when describing how her five-year-old son's teacher saved her students and said giving her a gun would just have made the situation worse.

Our teacher had the wherewithal when she realized that what they thought they needed to do for a fire alarm was actually an active shooter, to turn it into a race, to not scare my five-year-old.

There is no way that my sweet teacher could have also held and properly ejected a weapon.

I'm Farah Sidiqi for Pacifica Network and Public News Service.

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