Chevron Arbitration Ruling Against Ecuador ‘Completely Off Base’

In 2011, Ecuador’s courts rendered a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron, one of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies.

The Ecuadorian plaintiffs persuaded the Ecuadorian court that, from 1964 to 1992, Texaco, which was later purchased by Chevron, dumped polluted wastewater into open pits across vast swaths of Lago Agrio in the Ecuadorian jungle, contaminating the water used by locals. Locals call the area the ‘Amazon Chernobyl’.

On September 7, 2018, a non-public, arbitral tribunal staffed by corporate lawyers found that Ecuador violated a treaty with the United States by allowing its court system to issue this historic judgment.

For The Real News, I discuss the ruling of this tribunal with Steven Donziger, an American lawyer who has represented the Ecuadorean plaintiffs for two decades in one of the most contentious legal battles of the modern era.

My conversation with Mr. Donziger can be watched and heard here:

Canada’s Yemeni Community Calls on Justin Trudeau’s Government to End Arms Sales to Saudis

For The Real News, I speak with Hamza Shaiban, founder of the Yemeni Community in Canada, about Canadian arms sales to the brutal Saudi autocracy.

After describing the appalling conditions in Yemen, currently the site of the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe, Mr. Shaiban says that these arms sales cannot be reconciled with the Trudeau Government’s oft-stated commitment to ‘stand up for human rights.’

My discussion with Mr. Shaiban can be watched and heard here:

Roger Waters on Lionel Messi, Lana Del Rey and the BDS Movement

For The Real News, I speak to Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters, a leading proponent of the BDS movement, about the movement’s recent major victories.

Those victories include the decision earlier this summer of Lionel Messi and the Argentinian national football team not to play a friendly match in Israel, and Lana Del Rey’s announcement last week that she was pulling out of the Meteor Music Festival in Israel.

According to Roger, the BDS movement has grown enormously since he first became involved in it over a decade ago.

My discussion with Roger can be seen and heard here:


New Climate Study Warns of Dangerous ‘Hothouse Earth’ Scenario

For The Real News Network, I speak to Dr. Will Steffen of Australian National University. Dr. Steffen is a co-author of a new study warning of a dangerous, ‘hothouse earth’ scenario.

Dr. Steffen explains that, if we remain on our current trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions, we may well trigger a cascade of tipping points that will radically degrade the livability of our planet.

My conversation with Dr. Steffen can be seen here:

Greece Exits its Bailout but Remains Shackled by Debt and Austerity

This week, the Greek government of Alexis Tsipras announced with great fanfare that Greece had exited its bailout and that it had regained, finally, the freedom to pursue its own economic and social policies.

But is this true?

For The Real News, I spoke yesterday to former Syriza MP Costas Lapavitsas. Costas Lapavitsas is currently a Professor of Economics at the University of London. In 2015, after Prime Minister Tsipras disregarded the historic result of a Greek referendum on austerity, Professor Lapavitsas defected from Syriza to the newly formed Popular Unity Party.

As he explains in this interview, despite Greece’s official exit from the bailout, the Greek government will remain shackled by debt and austerity for years to come. Moreover, the structure of Greece’s economy has not fundamentally changed, but its productive capacity has been severely degraded by austerity.

Our conversation can be seen and heard here:


U.S. Court Delays Keystone XL Pipeline Construction by Ordering Environmental Review

The mainstream media seem to have mistakenly concluded that the completion of Keystone XL is inevitable because both the Trump administration and the Trudeau government are enthusiastic supporters of this planet-wrecking tar sands pipeline.

But as Diana Best of Greenpeace U.S.A. explains to me in this interview, the relentless resistance of civil society constitutes a formidable obstacle to the completion of Keystone XL.

My conversation with Diana can be seen and heard here:

Turkey’s President Vows To Win “Economic War” Waged By U.S. Against Turkey

Turkey is currently embroiled in a major economic crisis. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asserts that that crisis has resulted from an “economic war” being waged on Turkey by the Trump administration.

For The Real News Network, I spoke to German economist Heiner Flassbeck and Turkish political analyst Ekrem Ekici. They both argue that Turkey’s economic crisis has deeper roots and has not resulted solely from sanctions imposed on Turkey by the U.S. government.

Our conversation can be seen and heard here: