The Alyona Show: China's Big Vote

 While the United States builds up economic sanctions aimed at crippling the Iranian government, it's biggest obstacle to success lies in Beijing. The Chinese have been outspoken in their opposition to UN sanctions and favor diplomacy with Tehran. Next week, Chinese President Hu Jintao will travel to Washington for a nuclear summit. This development was a surprise to many, given the current status of relations between China and the US What is the significance of this visit? Jeffrey Laurenti, Foreign Policy Director at the Century Foundation, joins Alyona with the answers.

After 9/11, President George W. Bush ordered the NSA to spy on an Islamic charity, among many other groups and individuals. The charity, based in Oregon, challenged the lawfulness of President Bush’s actions, which have been upheld by President Barack Obama, and in a landmark ruling, a federal judge has ruled the government violated federal law. What will this case mean for others who were illegally spied on by their own country? Radio host Thom Hartmann is with Alyona to discuss.

Then, renowned economists Simon Johnson and James Kwak have published a new book entitled “13 Bankers.” It argues that a select few Wall Street bankers and firms control the American economy, including Washington’s decision-making on monetary policies. Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks joins Alyona to discuss whether this book will force Washington to change it’s ways.

Later, CNN is in the midst of an epic ratings disaster and seem to have no way out. For decades the news organization has maintained an objectivity that Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow would be proud of. Yet, in the modern age of polarization and talking heads, the network seems to have lost its way. What, if anything can CNN do to get out of this mess? Resident media expert Joel Silberman is with Alyona in studio to discuss.

Finally, NASA is working on its Taurus 2 rocket, designed to send materials to the International Space Station. Their contractors are having trouble with the design, so to fix the problem, they’ve purchased a number of Soviet-era NK-33 engines. Aerojet, the Sacramento based company in charge of building the engines for the Taurus 2, made a similar purchase in the 1990’s and are relying on the Soviet era equipment because of its quality and durability. Commercial space pioneer Jeffrey Manber is with Alyona to break down the significance of this story.