The Alyona Show: Anything's Possible
Some 80,000 Uzbeks have fled across the border from Kyrgyzstan to Uzbekistan fleeing ethnic violence and about 100,000 more are now on the border awaiting entry, but Uzbekistan's officials have said the border is shut, and they will not accept any more people. How far will the ethnic tensions go? Will it become a civil war? And how long before regional organizations are forced to intervene? Alyona talks to Alisher Khamidov, a professor at John Hopkins University. He is an Uzbek from Kyrgyzstan and was in Osh when the violence broke out. He had to flee to Aravan for safety. Alyona asks him to describe what he witnessed and what the situation was like on the ground in Osh.
Then, in businesses all over the world, there are plenty of bosses rubbing their faces and biting their nails...but it's not over a corporate meeting. They're worried over the time and manpower that their companies are losing thanks to the World Cup. That's right, most places of business, whether it be white or blue collar, are reporting that their productivity has taken a serious hit thanks to the major soccer tournament. In Europe, South America and other regions of the world, the World Cup captures the attention of most of the population, as employees will call out sick, take vacation, or even a month-long sabbatical, just to watch every goal. Since the game is much more popular in other parts of the world, businesses have expected the decline in productivity, and have even made efforts to work with employees to find a middle ground between getting their work done and still keeping tabs on their favorite team. But here in America the productivity loss is much more shocking, mostly because employers weren't expecting it...watch what happens.
Later, on New Year's Day 2009, Oscar J.Grant III was shot and killed by a police officer on a subway platform in Oakland, California while dozens of people watched. Today the police officer who shot Grant, Johannes Mehserle, goes on trial for murder. He is the first police officer in California to ever be tried for murder in the line of duty, and perhaps that's because the shooting was caught on video. But with the trial beginning, protestors also took to the streets of LA with the larger goal of ending police brutality. Alyona talks to RT producer Ramon Galindo from the Los Angeles studio to get all the details.
Finally, according to an analysis done by The Washington Post of financial disclosure records, a large number of committee chairmen and ranking members in both houses of Congress have reported that they have millions invested in business sectors that their panels oversee. Is it possible for lawmakers to act in the interest of the people rather than in their own interests if their personal fortunes might be at stake? Alyona asks radio host Thom Hartmann.