Shows: February 20, 2007

Photo for 'Protections for Whom?  Minimum Wage for Workers Northern Mariana Islands'
 

India: A Hidden Apartheid for Dalits?

To what extent do India's 165 million Dalits continue to face caste-based discrimination in housing, education, economic opportunity, and access to justice? The Indian government's answer to the international community, and that of NGOs that advocate on behalf of Dalits, will be highly scrutinized on Feb. 23 and 26th in Geneva. There, a United Nations Committee will evaluate India's compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, which India ratified in 1968. SMITA NARULA, professor of law at New York University School of Law and director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) joins us to
discuss the findings of Human Rights Watch and CHRGJ's "shadow report" that was released released last week.

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Protections for Whom? Minimum Wage for Workers Northern Mariana Islands

We look at the politics of protectionism: in this case, the garment industries of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam where low-wage, "guestworkers" labor in factories for labels including Ann Taylor and J. Jill for far less than the present minimum wage, and are exempted from U.S. immigration laws. However, the factory interests have furiously lobbied—both Democrats and Republicans alike—to close off the commonwealth and territory from labor protections such as the minimum wage hike that passed the House and Senate last month. Investigative reporter REBECCA CLARREN, who has visited Saipan and reported extensively on worker abuses there for Ms., joins us to explain.

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Iran: A Second Look

February 21, 2007, marks the deadline set by the United Nations Security Council for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has made clear that he wants talks around Iran's nuclear program, and is even willing to stop uranium enrichment, but will not accept the U.N. precondition to talks unless "Western" nations also cease uranium enrichment. To give us some context for the current state of play, we talk to HAMID DABASHI of Columbia University about his new book "Iran, A People Interrupted" and the modern history of Iran and Iran-United States relations. With the current heightened tensions around nuclear capabilities and UN sanctions, Iran is seen in the United States largely in black and white terms, within dichotomous constructs like Good vs. Evil, Islam vs. the West, Medieval vs. Modern. To the contrary, Dabashi argues that a view of Iran in terms of such polar opposites is mistaken—that Iran should be seen as fundamentally a modern, anti-colonial state, and that the Islamization of the country is a historical aberration.

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This program is brought to you by Amna Akbar, Aniruddha Das and Shirley Lin of the APF collective.

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