Syria Downs Israeli F-16: A new, major war looming in the Middle East?

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On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Jana Nakhal, an independent researcher and a member of the Central Committee of Lebanese Communist Party, and Dan Cohen, a journalist and filmmaker. An Israeli fighter jet was shot down in Syria over the weekend, after the Israeli Air Force attacked Syrian installations. That attack was in response to an Iranian drone crossing into Israeli airspace. By the time it was all over, six Syrians were dead and many more wounded. The hosts talk about North and South Korea and the attitude of the Trump Administration. Mike Pence went out of his way to demonstrate unhappiness with the possibility that peace could break out on the Korean Peninsula. The two Koreas marched under one flag at the Olympics and North Korea has invited South Korean President Moon Jae-in to visit Pyongyang for more talks. The Korean War began 68 years ago—might it finally be coming to a close? Patrick Lawrence, the author of “Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century” and a columnist at Salon and The Nation, and Bruce Gagnon, the coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space and a contributor to Foreign Policy In Focus, join the show. The Trump administration submitted today a budget proposal that would see massive cuts made to social programs, including Medicare, alongside a huge boost to military spending. Meanwhile, President Trump will unveil his infrastructure bill today that critics say falls well short of what is needed to address the country’s needs. Brian and John speak with Dr. Jack Rasmus, a professor of economics at Saint Mary's College of California and author of “Central Bankers at the End of Their Ropes: Monetary Policy and the Coming Depression.” Debate is set to begin today in the Senate on a new immigration reform bill, although no such debate has been scheduled in the House, casting doubt on Republican protestations that they want immigration reform. Meanwhile, 120 immigrants detained in an ICE facility in Washington State have begun a hunger strike. Jorge Barón, the executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, joins the show. Lissa Lucas was asked to testify before the West Virginia legislature on an oil and gas industry-sponsored bill that would allow companies to drill on private land without the owner's consent. A few minutes into her testimony, her microphone was turned off. And a few minutes after that, she was forcibly dragged from the room. Natalie Thompson, the Executive Director of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, joins Brian and John. The Ohio Attorney General is suing DuPont and its spinoff Chemour Co. for years of dumping toxic chemicals from its West Virginia plant into a river that fouled air, water, and land in neighboring Ohio, despite knowing the damage it was doing. Robin Blakeman, the Huntington Project Coordinator with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, joins the show. The New York Times reported over the weekend that the US intelligence community recently conducted a top secret operation to recover stolen classified documents from Russian operatives. The article says that the operation also inadvertently yielded a cache of documents related to Donald Trump and to Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The only problem is that the CIA, in a very rare public statement, says the report is “fantasy” and “patently false.”

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