A shell on the street in Homs. (David Manyua/UN/Associated Press)
Today's guest host was Gillian Findlay.
Part One of The Current
It's Friday, June 15th.
Disney has announced it will ban junk food ads on its kids channels.
Currently, the company says it wants fit and healthy children watching hour upon hour of Disney TV.
This is The Current.
International Arms Sales and the Syrian Conflict - Sadia Hameed
From U.S. secretary of state Hilary Clinton to the French foreign ministry and Human Rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, this week they are all calling for a complete halt of arms exports to Syria. The pressure on Russia to stop arming Syria is mounting.
But some say the U.S. should take a look at its own dealings with one particular arms merchant. The Russian Arms Broker Rosoboronexport continues to sell arms to Syria, despite numerous UN attempts to have it sign an arms embargo.
Last year, it sold nearly a billion dollars worth of heavy arms to Syria, and it still has $4 billion in outstanding contracts. But Rosoboronexport doesn't only sell to totalitarian states. The U.S. department of Defence purchased twenty-one MI 17 Helicopters from Rosoboronexport for its mission in Afghanistan.
We did request an interview with the US Department of Defence. While it declined to provide an official to speak with us, it did send us a statement regarding the purchase of those twenty-one MI 17 Helicopters from Rosoboronexport for its mission in Afghanistan. In part, the statement reads:
"The contract with Rosoboronexport is the only legal method to purchase the military version of the MI-17... The procurement complements the existing aircraft inventory completing the number of helicopters necessary to establish the Afghan Air Force's rotary-wing capability for ensuring its future security."
We also requested an interview with Rosoboronexport. None of our calls or emails were returned.
International Arms Sales and the Syrian Conflict - Jeff Abramson
Maybe it's because weapons sales are so lucrative and so cloak and dagger, but the trade in guns and munitions is barely regulated.
While individual countries may have guidelines on weapons trade, there is no set of international rules holding nations to account. That could change this summer, as a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty will be hammered out in New York.
This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien and Julia Pagel.
Other segments from today's show: