Background Briefing: March 15, 2023


Russian and American Military Aircraft Clash Over the Black Sea

We begin with the downing of a US unmanned aircraft over the Black Sea by Russian fighters that dumped fuel on the Reaper drone before colliding with a propeller which led to the drone operators crashing it into the sea. Joining us to discuss what technical intelligence the Russians might gain from resurrecting pieces of the drone from the bottom of the sea as Putin’s National Security Advisor has vowed to do is John Pike, one of the world’s leading experts on defense, space and intelligence policy. He is Director of, which is focused on innovative approaches to the emerging security challenges of the new millennium. John Pike previously worked for nearly two decades with the Federation of American Scientists, where he directed the Space Policy, Cyber-strategy, Military Analysis, Nuclear Resource and Intelligence Resource projects. He has also been at the forefront of utilizing satellite imagery to monitor worldwide weapons facilities.


A Zealous Anti-Abortion Judge in Texas is Poised to Ban an Abortion Drug Nationwide

Then we look into the hearing today in Amarillo, Texas before an anti-abortion zealot Federal District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk who entertained ludicrous and unscientific objections to an abortion drug that was approved by the FDA 22 years ago and has a record of safety better than Viagra and Tylenol. Joining us to assess the likely ruling to ban Mifepristone nationwide is Dr. Ushma Upadhyay, a Professor of Reproductive Health in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and the Co-Director of the University of California Global Health Institute’s Center for Gender and Health Justice. A public health social scientist and expert on abortion safety, access and law, she is the Principal Investigator of the California Home Abortion by Telehealth study, which examines the safety, effectiveness, and acceptability of telehealth for abortion.


Fallout From the Failure of the SVB Bank is Spreading to Europe

 Then finally we examine the fallout from the failure of Silicon Valley Bank with banks in Europe now under stress and Credit Suisse stock plunging after Saudi investors refused to throw more good money after bad. Joining us is Dennis Kelleher, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets, Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that promotes the public interest in the U.S. and global financial markets. Better Markets is a Wall Street watchdog and has been referred to as “a persistent thorn in the side of Wall Street.”