The Alyona Show: Oil Spill Fallout

 It's now day 71 of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It's estimated that more than 87 million gallons of oil have been dumped into the Gulf since the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that claimed 11 lives. The health hazards for those that live, work, and have been cleaning up in the area is not yet determined. RT Correspondent Cedric Moon discuses with Alyona the laundry list of health problems and talks about the symptoms people are currently facing.

A special report by Reuters has labeled this oil spill a “gusher for lawyers.” BP's potential costs range from cleanup expenses, to civil penalties, to litigation with investors, businesses and municipalities. If the Exxon Valdez can be used as an example for how long it will take all the lawsuits to play out, BP can count on about 20 years of legal battles. Alyona asks if the lawyers the only ones benefiting from this spill. Investigative journalist Greg Palast joins Alyona to discuss who will be making the big money.

Then, with a unanimous 99 to 0 vote, the Senate confirmed General David Petraeus as commander of US forces in Afghanistan. US President Barack Obama says that a change in command does not mean a change in strategy, but will this hold true? At yesterday's confirmation hearings, Petraeus said he would take a good hard look at the directives McChrystal put into place to cut down on civilian casualties. If these rules change, will the US be moving from counterinsurgency to counterterrorism? Former US State Department Official Matthew Hoh joins Alyona to discuss.

Later, a growing number of groups are calling for public schools to make accommodations for their Islamic communities. Some are requesting a separate area for Muslim children to go when they're fasting in order to avoid sitting in lunch rooms. Others are requesting footbaths in bathrooms, and separate rooms where Islamic students can go to perform daily prayers. Alyona asks, are Americas really ready for Islam to go mainstream in public schools? Alyona discusses this with Bahir Mustafa from the New York Civic Participation Project. Mustafa discusses how Muslims are not recognized in US public education.

And, a report released by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs says that the dollar has proved to be too unstable to serve as an international reserve currency. As a solution, the report is pushing for a new global reserve regime based on a supranational currency comprised of a basket of developed nation currencies. What would it mean for the dollar? Alyona discusses this with Rob Vos, director of the UN Development Policy and Analysis Division.

Finally, California residents will be voting in November on Proposition 19, which would allow adults 21 and older to cultivate and possess marijuana for personal use and not for profit. After a report by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project was released stating that African Americans are nearly twice as likely to be charged with marijuana possession than whites, the California chapter of the NAACP says they're supporting this measure. African Americans and Latinos make up 56 percent of all marijuana arrests in California, despite being only 44 percent of the state's population. Alyona asks if the proposition is about marijuana, or social injustice? Georgetown University Professor Christopher Chambers discusses this with Alyona.