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Democracy Now
Mar 04, 2021

Mumia Abu-Jamal Tests Positive for COVID, Prompting Urgent Call to Release Elder Political Prisoners
Renowned political prisoner and journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal's lawyers confirmed Wednesday he has tested positive for COVID-19 and also has congestive heart disease. Abu-Jamal also suffers from the preexisting conditions of liver disease, which advocates say is directly related to the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' failure to treat his hepatitis C in a timely fashion. Mumia's movement doctor, Dr. Ricardo Alvarez, says the only appropriate treatment is freedom. Marc Lamont Hill, who co-authored a book with Abu-Jamal titled "The Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black Life in America," says this is an opportunity to exercise COVID compassion. "The only possible solution, the only fair solution, is to let Mumia out of prison," says Lamont Hill. "Not just Mumia, but all political prisoners, all people over 50."

Democracy Now
Mar 04, 2021

Marc Lamont Hill & Mitchell Plitnick on ICC Probe & the "Palestine Exception" in Progressive Politics
Israel and the United States blasted the International Criminal Court's decision to open a probe into Israeli war crimes in the Palestinian territories, as well as crimes committed by Palestinian militant groups. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that the Biden administration "firmly opposes" an investigation. Mitchell Plitnick and Marc Lamont Hill, co-authors of "Except for Palestine," say it's an illustration of the "Palestine exception" that makes even supposedly progressive people unwilling to criticize Israel's human rights abuses and its ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories. "We are attempting to show that the American left — those who identify as progressive, radical, liberal, what have you — have not held up the bargain in terms of matching their own ideals and values on this question of Israel and Palestine," says Hill.

Democracy Now
Mar 04, 2021

Vaccine Apartheid: Marc Lamont Hill, Mitchell Plitnick on Israel's "Indifference to Palestinian Health"
Israel has had the fastest vaccination rollout in the entire world, with 40% of Israelis already fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have received almost no doses — a situation critics call "vaccine apartheid." By one count, just 34,000 vaccine doses have been administered to Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, which has a population of over 4.5 million. "What we're seeing right now is a gross injustice," says Marc Lamont Hill, author and professor of media studies and urban education at Temple University. We also speak with Mitchell Plitnick, political analyst and president of ReThinking Foreign Policy, who rejects Israel's claim that the Oslo Accords put public health responsibility on the Palestinian Authority. "The Oslo Accords don't say that," Plitnick says.

Democracy Now
Mar 04, 2021

COVID Deaths Soar in Brazil as Bolsonaro Blasts Lockdowns. Experts Warn It Will "Get Worse."
Brazil's COVID-19 death toll has now topped nearly 260,000, the world's second worst after the United States, as hospitals are overwhelmed with new cases. International concern is also growing about the P1 variant of the virus, which overwhelmed the Amazonian city of Manaus and caused its hospitals to run out of oxygen. Less than 4% of Brazil's population has been vaccinated. Marcia Castro, demography professor at Harvard University, says the crisis in Brazil is due to "a combination of inaction and also wrongdoing" by officials, including President Jair Bolsonaro, who has opposed lockdowns, masks and other public health measures. "It's going to get worse before it gets better," warns Castro.

Democracy Now
Mar 04, 2021

Headlines for March 4, 2021
House Passes Landmark Voting Rights and Police Reform Bills , House Cancels Thursday Session as Capitol Police Warn of Plot to Attack Congress, D.C. National Guard Chief Says Pentagon Took 3 Hours to Approve Reinforcements During Capitol Riot, Biden Agrees to Limit Eligibility for Stimulus Checks, At Least 38 Killed in Burma in Deadliest Day of Anti-Coup Protests, White House Does Not Rule Out More Military Strikes After Rocket Attack in Iraq, Pope Francis Moves Ahead with Iraq Trip Despite Coronavirus Concerns, Brazil COVID Deaths Spike; More COVAX Vaccines Delivered to African Nations, Biden Condemns Texas, Mississippi for Lifting Coronavirus Restrictions, Chicago Hunger Strikers Call Out Environmental Racism, Try to Halt Relocation of Scrapyard , Andrew Cuomo Refuses to Take Responsibility in Apology for Misconduct, Rejects Calls to Resign, Lawyers Confirm Mumia Abu-Jamal Has COVID-19, Dolly Parton "Gets a Dose of Her Own Medicine," Urges Others to Get COVID-19 Vaccine

Democracy Now
Mar 03, 2021

Latinx Farmworkers Risk Their Lives During Pandemic. Many Now Struggle to Access Vaccines
There are about 2.5 million farmworkers around the U.S., many of them undocumented immigrants working under dangerous and exploitive circumstances without sick leave or healthcare. Despite their status as essential workers, however, many farmworkers are facing an uphill battle to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Estella Cisneros, legal director of the Agriculture Worker Program for California Rural Legal Assistance, says an uneven rollout in California as well as technical barriers have left many farmworkers unvaccinated. "There's been a lot of inequities that we've seen," she says. We also speak with Mary Jo Dudley, director of the Cornell Farmworker Program, who says it's "puzzling" that farmworkers in New York state were left out of the current phase of vaccine distribution "at a time when we've seen an increasing number of COVID cases among the farmworker population."

Democracy Now
Mar 03, 2021

Cuomo Must Go: Calls Grow to Remove NY Governor over COVID Nursing Home Cover-up & Sexual Harassment
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing mounting calls from fellow Democrats and progressive organizations to resign or be impeached over sexual harassment allegations and his cover-up of thousands of COVID-19 deaths in New York nursing homes. New York Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation after three women — two former aides and a woman who met Cuomo at a friend's wedding reception — accused Cuomo of sexual harassment. "Credible accusations of sexual harassment made by these courageous women coming forward show a clear pattern of Cuomo's abuse of power," says New York Assemblymember Ron Kim, who is calling for Cuomo's resignation. Kim also discusses a threatening phone call he says he received from Cuomo after he spoke out against the cover-up of nursing home deaths. "He personally got on the phone to threaten my career to suppress the truth," Kim says.

Democracy Now
Mar 03, 2021

Asian American Communities Organize Against Rise in Hate Crimes, Say More Policing Is Not the Answer
Anti-Asian hate crimes have spiked across the U.S. over the past year, fueled in part by Donald Trump's racist rhetoric about the coronavirus. One recent study found a 150% increase in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans in 2020, even though overall hate crimes fell last year. Ron Kim, member of the New York State Assembly representing the 40th District in Queens, New York, says anti-Asian sentiment tends to flare up during times of crisis. "There's a long history of Asian Americans in this country feeling targeted and scapegoated whenever we experience economic downturns," says Kim. We also speak with Kim Tran, an antiracist writer and organizer based in the Bay Area, who says anti-Asian violence is "diffuse," affecting people in different ethnic and cultural communities in various ways, "but there is a common sense of racial scapegoating."

Democracy Now
Mar 03, 2021

Headlines for March 3, 2021
Biden Vows Vaccine Supply Will Be Enough to Vaccinate All U.S. Adults by End of May, Texas Lifts All COVID Restrictions; Sanders to Force Vote on $15 Minimum Wage, WH Pulls Tanden OMB Bid, Senate Confirms Raimondo for Commerce Dept., Rouse as Top Economic Adviser, Seth Harris, Who Wrote Blueprint for California's Prop 22, Tapped for Top Labor Role, FBI Director Says Domestic Terrorism Has Been "Metastasizing" as Capitol Increases Security, 3 Women Media Workers Shot Dead in Afghanistan, Protests in Lebanon After Currency Plummets to Record Low, Family of Hunger-Striking Western Sahara Political Prisoner Refused Visit, Fears for His Life, U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Russia over Navalny Poisoning, Reporters Without Borders Files Case Against Mohammed bin Salman for Jamal Khashoggi's Murder, Global Carbon Dioxide Emissions Surpassed Pre-Pandemic Levels by End of 2020, Biden Admin Halts Transfer of Oak Flat, Sacred Native Land, to Mining Company, State GOPs Attack Trans Rights, Barring Access to Healthcare, Participation in Sports, At Least 13 Killed in Southern California Vehicular Crash , Dems Make Push for Gun Control in New Administration

Democracy Now
Mar 02, 2021

Anti-Choice Forces Use Pandemic to Slash Abortion Access in Preview of Post-Roe v. Wade World
We look at how people across the U.S. have struggled to access abortions during the pandemic with reporter Amy Littlefield, who says that even before the COVID-19 outbreak, many states had restrictions, including three-day waiting periods and counseling sessions filled with misinformation. Then, many tried to use the pandemic as a pretext for banning abortion as a nonessential service. "Texas, in the early weeks of the pandemic, sort of gave us a dress rehearsal for what it could look like when states try to ban abortion entirely," says Littlefield. "We saw how half a century worth of attempts to whittle away at abortion access really collided with a deadly pandemic in a way that was just devastating."

Democracy Now
Mar 02, 2021

Black People Face Higher COVID Infections & Deaths. Should They Have Lower Age Cutoffs for Vaccines?
As the U.S. vaccine rollout continues to expand, health justice advocates worry about a racial gap in vaccinations. Black communities have been hard hit by the pandemic, but rates of vaccination in communities of color lag behind largely white communities across the country. Dr. Oni Blackstock, a primary care and HIV physician, argues that age cutoffs should be lowered or removed for Black people in order to speed up inoculations, noting that Black Americans are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as white Americans and also dying at rates similar to those of white Americans who are 10 years older. "These fixed-age cutoffs that most states implemented did not take into account structural racism's toll on Black life expectancy in addition to the impact of the pandemic on the life expectancy of Black people in this country," says Dr. Blackstock.

Democracy Now
Mar 02, 2021

A New Form of Jim Crow: Ari Berman on the GOP's Anti-Democratic Assault on Voting Rights
The Republican-led House in Georgia has passed a sweeping bill to make it harder to vote, in a move aimed to prevent Democrats from winning future elections. The bill limits access to absentee ballots, limits weekend early voting hours and curbs ballot drop boxes, among other provisions. Across the U.S., Republican lawmakers have introduced more than 250 bills in 43 states aimed at restricting voting access. Ari Berman, author and reporter for Mother Jones, says Republicans are "breaking democracy" with their push to restrict voting. "The Republican Party has no interest in appealing to a majority of Americans. Instead, they are doubling down on anti-democratic tactics so they can get a minority of votes but wield a majority of power," says Berman.

Democracy Now
Mar 02, 2021

Headlines for March 2, 2021
CDC Director Warns Against States' Rollback of Coronavirus Public Health Measures, Donald and Melania Trump Were Secretly Vaccinated Against COVID-19 in January, Merck Strikes Deal to Produce COVID-19 Vaccine of Rival Johnson & Johnson, WHO Warns of Global Rise in Coronavirus Cases After Weeks of Declines, U.N. Warns of "Death Sentence" for Yemenis as Humanitarian Aid Drive Falls Short, Senate Confirms Miguel Cardona as Education Secretary, Will Vote on Merrick Garland for AG, Democrats Unveil Wealth Tax on Ultra-Millionaires and Billionaires, DOJ to Appeal After Trump-Appointed Judge Orders End to Eviction Moratorium, President Biden Voices Support for Amazon Workers' Vote to Unionize in Alabama, Biden Administration Paves Way for Reunification of Families Separated by Trump , Goya Foods Boycott Grows After CEO Calls Trump the "Legitimate" U.S. President, Nearly 300 Nigerian Schoolgirls Released After Mass Kidnapping , Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy Found Guilty of Corruption, Georgia's State House Passes Voter Suppression Bill to Limit Absentee and Early Voting, Third Woman Accuses New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of Sexual Harassment, Australian Youth Climate Activists File Class Action Suit to Block Coal Mine Expansion

Democracy Now
Mar 01, 2021

Burmese Scholar: Military Junta Using Terror Against "Entire Population" to Keep Power After Coup
In Burma, mass protests continue after at least 18 people were killed in anti-coup protests, marking the deadliest day since the February 1 military coup which deposed and detained de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Police fired live ammunition into crowds as Burmese forces steadily escalated their crackdown. One local group says 1,000 people were arrested, including journalists and medical professionals. "The coup group and the entire security sector … have essentially terrorized the entire population," says Maung Zarni, a Burmese scholar, dissident and human rights activist. "I have seen absolutely nothing like what is happening."

Democracy Now
Mar 01, 2021

Rep. Ro Khanna: Democrats Should Ignore the Senate Parliamentarian and Pass $15 Minimum Wage Hike
The House of Representatives has voted to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package that includes an increase to the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour, which could now be stripped out in the final bill after the unelected Senate parliamentarian found it does not comply with budget rules. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have also said they'll oppose the measure. Congressmember Ro Khanna of California says the parliamentarian "misruled" in this case and that Democrats should pass the wage hike anyway. "I don't know any part of this country where someone can survive on $7.25," he says. "There is precedent for not listening to the parliamentarian's advice, and we are hopeful that the vice president, or whoever is in the Senate chair, will do that."

Democracy Now
Mar 01, 2021

Biden "Illegally" Bombs Iranian-Backed Militias in Syria, Jeopardizing Nuclear Talks with Tehran
The Biden administration is facing intense criticism from U.S. progressives after carrying out airstrikes on eastern Syria said to be targeting Iranian-backed militia groups. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports at least 22 people died. The Pentagon called the assault a response to recent rocket attacks on U.S. forces in northern Iraq. Those attacks came more than a year after Iraq's parliament voted to expel U.S. troops — an order ignored by both the Trump and Biden administrations. "Very quickly the Biden administration is falling into the same old patterns of before, of responding to this and that without having a clear strategy that actually would extract us from these various conflicts and actually pave the way for much more productive diplomacy," says Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute. We also speak with California Congressmember Ro Khanna, who says President Biden's recent airstrikes in Syria lacked legal authority. "This is not an ambiguous case. The administration's actions are clearly illegal under the United States' law and under international law," says Khanna.

Democracy Now
Mar 01, 2021

U.S. Says Saudi Crown Prince MBS Approved Assassination of Khashoggi, But He Avoids Any Sanctions
The Biden administration has released a declassified report that finds Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, responsible for the assassination of Saudi dissident and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. But the U.S. does not plan to sanction the crown prince, though the administration has announced travel restrictions to dozens of other Saudi officials. The decision is being criticized by human rights groups and friends of the late Khashoggi. "It's important to not point fingers but also to sanction MBS … and to treat him as the pariah he is, like Biden promised during the campaign," says Abdullah Alaoudh, who works as a researcher for Democracy for the Arab World Now, or DAWN, the organization founded by Khashoggi. We also speak with California Congressmember Ro Khanna, who welcomes the release of the report. "They need to follow that up with concrete action," he says. "At the very least, MBS shouldn't be allowed to come to the United States."

Democracy Now
Mar 01, 2021

Headlines for March 1, 2021
Biden Will Not Sanction MBS After Intel Report Confirms Responsibility in Khashoggi Murder, Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Rolls Out as CDC Warns Decline in Cases Has Stalled, Dem. Senators Move to Penalize Big Companies That Underpay Workers, 18 Killed in Deadliest Day of Burmese Anti-Coup Protests, 47 Hong Kong Activists Charged Under National Security Law, Four Killed, 120 Injured After Iraqi Security Forces Open Fire on Protesters in Nasiriyah, 42 Released Following Mass Kidnapping at Nigerian School, 15 Refugees Drown as Boat Capsizes Off Libyan Coast, Donald Trump Attacks Immigrants & Lies About 2020 Election in First Post-Presidency Speech, All Families Released from Berks County ICE Jail, Asian Americans and Allies Demand Action Against Surging Hate Crimes, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Apologizes After Second Former Aide Claims Sexual Harassment, Jackson, MS, Residents Still Lack Running Water Two Weeks After Cold Snap, Supporters Demand Prison Release of Mumia Abu-Jamal as He Suffers COVID-19 Symptoms

Democracy Now
Feb 26, 2021

"We Want the Truth Uncovered": Malcolm X's Daughter Ilyasah Shabazz Backs New Probe into Assassination
The family of Malcolm X is demanding a new investigation into his 1965 assassination in light of the deathbed confession of a former New York police officer who said police and the FBI conspired to kill the Black leader. Ilyasah Shabazz, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and one of Malcolm's six children, says the latest revelation is further evidence of how the authorities worked to infiltrate and undermine Black organizations during the Civil Rights Movement. "All he wanted was for America to live up to her promise of liberty and justice for all," she says of her father. "I'm happy that the truth can finally be uncovered."

Democracy Now
Feb 26, 2021

The Assassination of Malcolm X: Ex-Undercover Officer Admits Role in FBI & Police Conspiracy
The FBI and New York Police Department are facing renewed calls to open their records into the assassination of Malcolm X, after the release of a deathbed confession of a former undercover NYPD officer who admitted to being part of a conspiracy targeting Malcolm. In the confession, Raymond Wood, who died last year, admitted he entrapped two members of Malcolm's security team in another crime — a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty — just days before the assassination. This left the Black civil rights leader vulnerable at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem, where he was fatally shot on February 21, 1965. Raymond Wood's cousin Reggie Wood, who released the confession last week at a press conference, tells Democracy Now! his cousin's involvement in the plot haunted him for much of his life. "Ray was told by his handlers not to repeat anything that he had seen or heard, or he would join Malcolm," says Reggie Wood. "He trusted me enough to reveal this information and asked me not to say anything until he passed away, but at the same time not to allow him to take it to his grave."

Democracy Now
Feb 26, 2021

"The Whole System Needs to be Indicted": Attorney Benjamin Crump on Overhauling U.S. Policing
The Democratic-led House of Representatives is expected to vote next week on a sweeping police reform bill that would ban chokeholds, prohibit federal no-knock warrants, establish a National Police Misconduct Registry and other measures. The legislation, known as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2021, is in response to a series of high-profile killings of Black people in 2020 and the nationwide racial justice uprising they sparked. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who has represented the families of Floyd, Daniel Prude, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many other victims of police and racial violence, says the legislation is "crucial" for reforming police culture across the U.S. and reducing violence against Black people. "We need systematic reform," says Crump.

Democracy Now
Feb 26, 2021

Headlines for February 26, 2021
President Biden Orders Airstrikes on Syria, Killing 17 Iran-Backed Militia Members, Biden Calls Saudi King Salman, Doesn't Raise Crown Prince's Involvement in Khashoggi's Murder, Brazil's COVID-19 Death Toll Passes 250,000, "Long Covid": 1 in 10 COVID-19 Survivors Face Lingering and Debilitating Symptoms, WHO Warns, Biden Warns it's "Not a Time to Relax" as U.S. Records Another 2,400 COVID-19 Deaths, Senate Parliamentarian Advises Against Including Minimum Wage Hike in Coronavirus Relief Bill, Police Chief Warns Pro-Trump Militia Members Are Plotting to Blow up the Capitol, Hundreds of Nigerian School Girls Feared Abducted in Raid, U.S. House Passes Historic Equality Act Protecting LGBTQ People, Rand Paul Launches Transphobic Attack Against HHS Nominee Rachel Levine, Ex-Aide Accuses Andrew Cuomo of Sexual Harassment as Scandals Pile Up Around NY Governor, Ex-USA Gymnastics Coach Charged With Sexual Assaut & Human Trafficking Dies by Suicide, Georgia GOP Pushes Voter Suppression Bill in Wake of 2020 "Blue Sweep"

Democracy Now
Feb 25, 2021

"Decades in the Making": How Mainstream Conservatives & Right-Wing Money Fueled the Capitol Attack
As more details emerge about those who attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6, it's becoming clearer that the insurrection was not the work of a "fringe" group, but rather the result of a decades-long conservative effort to undermine democracy, according to author Brendan O'Connor. "The events of January 6 were not just months, but years, decades, in the making," says O'Connor, who notes that major Republican donors and prominent conservative groups were connected to the Trump rally that immediately preceded the Capitol riot.

Democracy Now
Feb 25, 2021

"Not Ready to Give Up": Democrats Push Senate to Keep Popular $15 Minimum Wage in Stimulus Bill
As the House of Representatives prepares to pass a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, a fight is brewing over the inclusion of an increase to the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. The measure is at risk in the Senate, where conservative Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema oppose its inclusion in the relief bill or suggest a lower amount. Congressmember Jan Schakowsky of Illinois says Congress must pass the minimum wage hike to help address inequality in the United States. "The current minimum wage, federally, is $7.25. Now, you can't live on that. You can't raise a family on that," she says. "Those colleagues of mine who think that it is too high, that we have to have perhaps a regional wage, are so disrespectful."

Democracy Now
Feb 25, 2021

100 Countries Push to Loosen WTO Rules on Vaccine Patents. Why Is the U.S. Still Blocking the Way?
As the pandemic's death toll nears 2.5 million, stringent rules around intellectual property rights could be preventing much of the world from obtaining COVID-19 vaccines. Over 45 million people in the United States have received at least one dose of a vaccine, according to the United Nations, while 130 other countries have not received any vaccines at all, leading to what some describe as "vaccine apartheid." At the World Trade Organization, South Africa and India are leading a push by over 100 nations to waive intellectual property rules that give pharmaceutical companies monopolistic control over vaccines they develop, even when the vaccines are developed largely with public funds, in order to speed up distribution of the life-saving medicines — but the U.S. has been a key impediment to loosening those restrictions. "The proposal really seeks to ensure that everyone has access," says Mustaqeem De Gama, a member of the South African WTO delegation. "We should enable more producers to produce, to scale, and to ensure that all of us are safe in the shortest possible time." We also speak with Congressmember Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, who supports the WTO waiver. "We know that these intellectual property rights really do put profit over people all over the world," she says.

Democracy Now
Feb 25, 2021

Headlines for February 25, 2021
Biden and VP Harris to Mark 50 Million Vaccine Shots Since Start of Admin, FDA Moves Closer to Approval of Single-Dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine, Manchin Will Vote to Confirm Rep. Haaland for Interior Sec. as Neera Tanden's Bid for OMB in Peril, Biden Admin to Release Intel Report on Jamal Khashoggi's 2018 Murder, 6,500 Migrant Workers Have Died in Qatar Since It Was Named Host of 2022 World Cup, At Least 41 Migrants Drown in Mediterranean After Boat Capsizes, Amnesty Revokes Alexei Navalny's "Prisoner of Conscience" Status over Hateful Remarks, 79 Prisoners Killed in Ecuador in Gang-Related Violence, Angola, Louisiana Prisoners on Hunger Strike over Extended Solitary Confinement, Illinois Becomes First State to End Cash Bail , Consumer Watchdog and 3 States Sue Bail Bond Co. for "Preying" on Jailed Immigrants, Prosecutors Charge Ex-NYPD Cop Who Attacked Capitol Officer "Like a Junkyard Dog" on Jan. 6, Biden Reverses Green Card Ban; Lawyers Found Parents of 105 Separated Migrant Kids in Past Month, Honduran Immigrant Alex García Leaves Missouri Church After 1,252 Days in Sanctuary, Immigration Activist Marco Saavedra Wins Political Asylum

Democracy Now
Feb 24, 2021

Biden Canceled Trump's "Remain in Mexico" Policy, But Asylum Seekers Still Wait in Squalid Refugee Camps
One of the most controversial Trump-era immigration policies — the so-called Remain in Mexico program, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols — left about 25,000 asylum seekers stranded on the other side of the border while their cases progressed through U.S. courts. President Joe Biden has suspended that program, but immigrant advocates say his administration needs to move more quickly to undo the damage. Although dozens of asylum seekers have been allowed to trickle in, many thousands are still waiting in dangerous conditions for their chance to cross the border, including in the Matamoros refugee camp across the border from Brownsville, Texas. It is the largest camp of its kind and holds hundreds of men, women and children seeking asylum, most of them fleeing extreme violence and poverty in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. "We've gotten very little government support on the ground with this transition," says Chloe Rastatter, a field engineer for Solidarity Engineering, a humanitarian organization that provides support in the Matamoros camp. "They say MPP is over, but there's a camp of 1,000 people still here." We also speak with Dison, an asylum seeker from Honduras who works with Solidarity Engineering, and investigative reporter Valerie Gonzalez, who covers the Rio Grande Valley.

Democracy Now
Feb 24, 2021

Biden Canceled Trump's "Remain in Mexico" Policy, But Asylum Seekers Still Waiting in Squalid Camps
One of the most controversial Trump-era immigration policies — the so-called Remain in Mexico program, officially called the Migrant Protection Protocols — left about 25,000 asylum seekers stranded on the other side of the border while their cases progressed through U.S. courts. President Joe Biden has suspended that program, but immigrant advocates say his administration needs to move more quickly to undo the damage. Although dozens of asylum seekers have been allowed to trickle in, many thousands are still waiting in dangerous conditions for their chance to cross the border, including in the Matamoros refugee camp across the border from Brownsville, Texas. It is the largest camp of its kind and holds hundreds of men, women and children seeking asylum, most of them fleeing extreme violence and poverty in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. "We've gotten very little government support on the ground with this transition," says Chloe Rastatter, a field engineer for Solidarity Engineering, a humanitarian organization that provides support in the Matamoros camp. "They say MPP is over, but there's a camp of 1,000 people still here." We also speak with Dison, an asylum seeker from Honduras who works with Solidarity Engineering, and investigative reporter Valerie Gonzalez, who covers the Rio Grande Valley.

Democracy Now
Feb 24, 2021

Pro-Fossil Fuel Senators Grill Deb Haaland as She Bids to Become First Indigenous Cabinet Secretary
Indigenous communities across the United States are closely following the Senate confirmation hearings of Congressmember Deb Haaland, President Joe Biden's pick to lead the Interior Department, who would become the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary if she is confirmed. Haaland is a tribal citizen of the Laguna Pueblo, and the prospect of an Indigenous person leading the federal department with broad oversight of Native American affairs has galvanized support for her in Indian Country. Several Republican senators have grilled Haaland over her past comments opposing fracking, the Keystone XL oil pipeline and other fossil fuel projects, attempting to paint her as a "radical." Journalist Julian Brave NoiseCat says there is a deep irony in Republican attacks on Haaland. "As soon as we get the first-ever Native cabinet secretary nominated, conservatives act like we're going to take away their land and their way of life," he says.

Democracy Now
Feb 24, 2021

Headlines for February 24, 2021
Ex-U.S. Capitol Security Say Intelligence Failures Led to Jan. 6 Attack Even as FBI Warned of "War", Senate Confirms Thomas-Greenfield, Vilsack as GOP Go After Haaland in Interior Confirmation, House to Vote Friday on $1.9 Trillion Relief Bill as Fate of $15/Hour Minimum Wage Remains Uncertain, U.S. Blocks Waiver on Vaccine Intellectual Property Protections, Lebanese Lawmakers Accused of Vaccine Line Cutting; Rabbis Call on Israel to Vaccinate Palestinians, No Charges Filed Against Rochester Police Officers Who Killed Daniel Prude, Ahmaud Arbery's Mother Files Lawsuit Against Her Son's Killers on Anniversary of His Death, Family Files Lawsuit over Police Killing of Filipino American Angelo Quinto in California, Indian Court Grants Bail to Indian Climate Activist Who Shared Info on Supporting Farmer Protests, Mohamed Bazoum Declared Winner of Niger's Presidential Election, Man Pleads Guilty to 2017 Murder of Maltese Reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia, Algerians Take to Streets 2 Years After Start of Historic Protests That Led to President's Resignation, Democratic Senators Propose Sanctions for Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, Biden Admin Reopens Trump-Era Texas Detention Facility for Migrant Teens, TX Electric Company Griddy Hit with $1 Billion Price Gouging Lawsuit; 5 ERCOT Board Members Resign, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Legendary Poet & Co-founder of San Francisco's City Lights Books, Dies at 101

Democracy Now
Feb 23, 2021

adrienne maree brown: Octavia Butler's Visions of the Future Have Transformed Generation of Readers
The visionary Black science-fiction writer Octavia Butler died 15 years ago on February 24, 2006, but her influence and readership has only continued to grow since then. In September, Butler's novel "Parable of the Sower" became her first to reach the New York Times best-seller list. We speak with adrienne maree brown, a writer and Octavia Butler scholar, who says Butler had a remarkable talent for universalizing Black stories. "She wrote about Black women and about Black feminism, about Black futures, but she wrote in a way that appealed to all human beings," says brown.

Democracy Now
Feb 23, 2021

Remembering Octavia Butler: Black Sci-Fi Writer Shares Cautionary Tales In Unearthed 2005 Interview
As Democracy Now! marks 25 years on the air, we are revisiting some of the best and most impactful moments from the program's history, including one of the last television interviews given by the visionary Black science-fiction writer Octavia Butler. She spoke to Democracy Now! in November 2005, just three months before she died on February 24, 2006, at age 58. Butler was the first Black woman to win Hugo and Nebula awards for science-fiction writing and the first science-fiction writer to receive a MacArthur "genius" fellowship. Her best-known books include the classics "Kindred," as well as "Parable of the Sower" and "Parable of the Talents" — two-thirds of a trilogy that was never finished. Her work inspired a new generation of Black science-fiction writers, and she has been called "the Mother of Afrofuturism." Her 2005 interview with Democracy Now! took place shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and as President George W. Bush was overseeing the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When asked how she set out to become a science-fiction writer when there were so few examples of Black women working in the genre, Butler said she never doubted her abilities. "I assumed that I could do it," she said. "I wasn't being brave or even thoughtful. I wanted it. And I assumed I could have it."

Democracy Now
Feb 23, 2021

U.S. COVID Death Toll Hits 500,000 as Rich Nations Hoard Vaccines, Leaving Poorer Nations Without Any
The United States has passed 500,000 COVID-19 deaths, by far the highest toll in the world. The morbid milestone comes as new COVID-19 cases continue to fall across the country amid an accelerating vaccine rollout, but the head of the World Health Organization is calling on rich countries not to undermine efforts to get vaccines to poorer nations by buying up billions of doses — in some cases ordering enough to vaccinate their populations more than once. "The inequities that we've seen here are just absolutely stunning," says Dr. Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, who urges advanced economies to share their vaccine stockpiles with poorer countries in order to end the pandemic sooner. "It's in our public health interest, it's in our economic interest, and, I think most importantly, it's really in our ethical and moral compass to be doing this."

Democracy Now
Feb 23, 2021

Headlines for February 23, 2021
U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Passes 500,000, AG Nominee Merrick Garland Pledges to Prosecute January 6 Insurrectionists, Confirmation Hearings Open for Deb Haaland for Interior Secretary, Xavier Becerra for HHS Secretary, President Biden to Meet Virtually with Candian Premier Justin Trudeau, Supreme Court Won't Block Release of Trump Tax Returns to Manhattan Prosecutors, Boeing 777 Jets Grounded After Engine Explosion Scatters Debris Over Colorado, U.N. Calls for Rescue of Rohingya Refugees Stranded at Sea, Colombian Inquiry Reveals Army Carried Out 6,400 Extrajudicial Killings from 2002-08, Italian Ambassador to Congo Among 3 Killed in Ambush of World Food Programme Convoy, Haitian Protesters Blast U.S. Support for Jovenel Moïse, Who Has Refused to Step Down, Offshore Oil Spill Hits Israel's Beaches, Devastating Wildlife, Texas Refineries Flared 337,000 Pounds of Toxic Chemicals as Winter Storm Hit, U.N. Probe Finds Erik Prince Broke Libya Arms Embargo to Aid Rebel Commander, Independent Probe Finds No Legal Basis for Fatal Assault by Cops and Paramedics on Elijah McClain, Virginia Lawmakers Vote to Outlaw Capital Punishment, New Jersey Governor Signs Bills Legalizing and Decriminalizing Marijuana

Democracy Now
Feb 22, 2021

No Heat or Water, Overflowing Toilets, Disgusting Food: Texas Prisons Went "from Bad to Dire" in Storm
As winter storms overwhelmed Texas, many incarcerated people in the state went days without heat and water, making already grim conditions behind bars even more intolerable for thousands of people. Officials say 33 prisons across the state lost power and 20 had water shortages after the state's electrical grid failed. Staff shortages compounded the problems, and some incarcerated people report not being provided with blankets to keep warm in their freezing cells and being served inedible food. "Texas prison conditions have gone from bad to dire," says Marshall Project reporter Keri Blakinger. "Prisons didn't really have the sort of infrastructure going into all of this that many people do in the free world."

Democracy Now
Feb 22, 2021

This Is What Deregulation Looks Like: Some Texans Face $10K in Electric Bills, Others Still in Dark
When millions of Texans lost power during extreme winter weather, some who were fortunate enough to keep the lights on now face astronomically high energy bills, with people being charged thousands of dollars for just a few days of energy use. The skyrocketing bills are a result of the state's years-long push to deregulate its energy market, says Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen's Energy Program. "We are seeing in these deregulated environments unscrupulous companies preying on their assumption that households will not understand or read the fine print," says Slocum. We also speak with Texas resident Akilah Scott-Amos, who saw her electricity bill jump to over $11,000 during the storm. "I have no problems with paying my fair share. But this is not fair," says Scott-Amos.

Democracy Now
Feb 22, 2021

Fossil Fuel Shock Doctrine: Naomi Klein on Deadly Deregulation & Why Texas Needs the Green New Deal
Millions of Texans are still suffering after severe winter weather devastated the state's energy and water systems. About 8 million Texans remain under orders to boil water, and 30,000 homes still have no power. Around 70 deaths have now been linked to the winter storms, including at least 12 people who died inside their homes after losing heat. Republican lawmakers in Texas are facing increasing criticism for their handling of the crisis, their decades-long push to deregulate the state's energy system, and their unfounded attacks on renewable energy and the Green New Deal. Naomi Klein, senior correspondent at The Intercept and a professor at Rutgers University, says Republicans' reaction is "because of panic" over their own culpability. "The Green New Deal is a plan that could solve so many of Texas's problems and the problems across the country, and Republicans have absolutely nothing to offer except for more deregulation, more privatization, more austerity." Klein also discusses the Biden administration's early policies on the climate crisis, the dangers of continued fossil fuel development, and her new book, "How to Change Everything."

Democracy Now
Feb 22, 2021

Headlines for February 22, 2021
Biden Declares Major Disaster in TX as Tragic Stories Emerge, Residents Hit with Soaring Power Bills, U.S. to Top 500,000 COVID Deaths as Democrats Advance $1.9 Trillion Stimulus Package, U.K. Eases Lockdown; Iranian Vaccine Shows Promising Results; Bolivia Health Workers Launch Strike, Protests Intensify in Burma After 3 Demonstrators Die Amid Violent Crackdown, Thailand Anti-Government Protests Continue After PM Survives No-Confidence Vote, Conservative Guillermo Lasso Advances to 2nd Round of Ecuadorian Presidential Election, Uber Drivers in U.K. Win Legal Battle to Be Recognized as Company Employees, Pentagon Chief Pledges Continued Support to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Attorney General Nominee Merrick Garland to Face Senate Confirmation Hearing, Neera Tanden's Nomination to Head OMB at Risk as Sen. Joe Manchin Vows to Vote "No", First Asylum Seekers Forced by Trump to Remain in Mexico Granted U.S. Entry, Sister Dianna Ortiz, Who Survived Torture by U.S.-Trained Guatemalan Military, Dies at 62, Former Cop's Deathbed Confession Reveals Role in Assassination of Malcolm X

Democracy Now
Feb 19, 2021

Democracy Now! Turns 25: Celebrating a Quarter-Century of Independent News on the Frontlines
Democracy Now! first aired on nine community radio stations on February 19, 1996, on the eve of the New Hampshire presidential primary. In the 25 years since that initial broadcast, the program has greatly expanded, airing today on more than 1,500 television and radio stations around the globe and reaching millions of people online. We celebrate 25 years of the War and Peace Report with an hour-long retrospective, including highlights from the show's early years, some of the most controversial interviews, and groundbreaking reports from East Timor, Standing Rock, Western Sahara and more.

Democracy Now
Feb 19, 2021

Headlines for February 19, 2021
Power Cuts, Freezing Temperatures Plague Millions as Texas Energy Producers Boast of Profits, Sen. Ted Cruz Fled to Cancún as Millions of Texans Endured Blackouts and Winter Cold, South Africa Switches to Johnson & Johnson Vaccine in Battle Against Coronavirus Variant, Peruvian VIPs Secretly Received First Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine, Pfizer Says its COVID-19 Vaccine Might Not Need Ultra-Cold Temperatures, U.S. COVID Deaths Drop in February But Still on Pace to Top Half-Million by Month's End, U.S. to Give $4 Billion to COVAX as Biden Tries to Repair International Ties, Biden's New ICE Guidelines Continue to Target and Demonize Immigrants, Residents Describe Harrowing November Massacre in Ethiopian Holy City, U.S. Open to Holding Talks on Relaunching Iran Nuclear Deal, Israel Expanding Dimona Nuclear Facility, U.S. Capitol Police Suspends 6 Officers over Actions During Jan. 6 Insurrection, New York Moves Closer to Releasing NYPD Disciplinary Records, Vice President Harris Calls Women's Exodus From Workforce a National Emergency, Protests in Guatemala Call for an End to Violence Against Indigenous Communities

Democracy Now
Feb 18, 2021

"No Hate! No Fear!" Democracy Now! Co-Host Nermeen Shaikh Celebrates 10 Years Covering War & Peace
As Democracy Now! prepares to mark 25 years on air, we celebrate Nermeen Shaikh's 10th anniversary as a Democracy Now! co-host and feature a report she filed from protests at New York's JFK Airport against the Trump administration's Muslim ban, one of the many highlights from her time on the program.

Democracy Now
Feb 18, 2021

"Not Doing This Is a Choice": Biden Drags His Feet on Canceling Student Debt Despite Campaign Pledge
Students, campaigners and top Democrats have been pushing President Joe Biden to use executive authority to cancel at least $50,000 in student loan debt per person. Student loan debt in the U.S. stands at $1.7 trillion, with some 45 million people owing money. Filmmaker and organizer Astra Taylor, an author, documentary director and organizer with the Debt Collective, says Biden has clear legal authority to cancel student debt. "Not doing this is a choice," she says. We also speak with Braxton Brewington, a digital strategist with the Debt Collective, who says student debt cancellation is also politically smart. "President Biden has a unique opportunity to bring together a broad coalition of individuals who otherwise would be unlikely to come together around a policy," he says.

Democracy Now
Feb 18, 2021

How to Wear a Mask & When to Wear Two to Reduce COVID Transmission & Increase Vaccine Effectiveness
While COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations appear to be waning, the United States has a long way to go before people can safely return to everyday life without masks. Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease physician and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, says it's vital to stay vigilant even as vaccinations ramp up. "If we can get our transmission down as low as possible, that is actually going to make the vaccines more effective."

Democracy Now
Feb 18, 2021

Failed State: Texas Power Grid Collapse Impacts Millions. Black & Brown Communities Are Worst Hit
Millions of people in Texas were plunged into freezing cold and darkness as a major winter storm overwhelmed the state's power grid. More than 12 million Texans face water disruptions and have been ordered to boil tap water for safe consumption, and some parts of the state have no running water at all. The state is also running out of food as the storms disrupt key supply chains. Leading Republicans, including Texas Governor Greg Abbott, falsely blamed renewable energy sources for the state's blackouts, warning against a shift to more green energy, but the state's own energy department said the outages were primarily due to freezing at natural gas, coal and nuclear facilities. Despite the crisis, state leaders say they will not integrate Texas's power grid with the rest of the country. "The impact of this storm is more than just power outages and inconveniences," says Texas Southern University professor Robert Bullard, who warns that the additional costs associated with the crisis will hurt Black and Brown communities most. "That's the inequity that's piled on top of the inequity."

Democracy Now
Feb 18, 2021

Headlines for February 18, 2021
Texans Face Deadly Winter Storm with Ongoing Power Outages, Water Shortages, U.S. Life Expectancy Falls by 1 Year in 2020, Drops Nearly 3 Years for Black Americans, Florida Gov. DeSantis Prioritizes Vaccines for Rich White Residents, Then Threatens Critics, Mexico Denounces Vaccine Hoarding as U.N. Warns 130 Nations Have Yet to Receive Any Vaccines, Top Executives at Vaccine Manufacturers Sold $500 Million in Stocks Last Year, FBI Probes Cuomo over Nursing Home COVID Deaths; Cuomo Threatens to "Destroy" Critic, White House Unveils Immigration Bill with 8-Year Path to Citizenship, Burmese Anti-Coup Protests Continue Two Weeks After Military Takeover, Bolivia Returns $350 Million Loan to IMF, Taken Out After 2019 Coup, Biden Speaks to Israeli PM Netanyahu; U.S. to "Recalibrate" Saudi Relations, Dubai Princess Says She Is Being Held Hostage by Her Family in New Video, U.S. Approves $200 Million in Arms Sales to Egypt Amid Human Rights Concerns, Gunmen Kidnap 42 at Nigerian School, South Carolina Passes Bill to Ban Nearly All Abortions, Biden Supports Slavery Reparations Study, HUD Faulted for Failing to Protect Residents from Lead Poisoning, Rush Limbaugh Is Dead, Atlantic City Demolishes Trump Casino

Democracy Now
Feb 17, 2021

"Work Won't Love You Back": Sarah Jaffe on Toxic U.S. Work Culture & the Fight Against Inequality
Amid the economic crisis and precarious working conditions for millions of people during the pandemic, we look at a new book by Sarah Jaffe, an independent journalist and author who covers labor and economic justice. "Work Won't Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone" looks at the unsustainable expectations of fulfillment around work and how the "labor of love" myth has contributed to the rise of toxic workplaces. Jaffe says the pandemic has shown that work can always get worse, and that more and more people are pushing back. "It's not just that it's a bad, grinding, slow, miserable job, but it's also a bad, grinding, slow, miserable job that could kill you now."

Democracy Now
Feb 17, 2021

"David vs. Goliath": Warehouse Workers in Alabama Fight Amazon for the Right to Unionize
Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama, are continuing to vote on whether to become the first unionized Amazon warehouse in the United States. Their demands include stronger COVID-19 safety measures and relief from impossibly high productivity standards that leave many unable to take bathroom breaks. "We want to be heard. We want to be treated like people and not ignored when we have issues," says Jennifer Bates, a worker at Amazon's BHM1 facility who has been part of the union drive from the beginning. We also speak with Michael Foster, a poultry plant worker, union member and member-organizer with RWDSU. "Amazon has a lot of authority going on right now. And we, as the union, trying to take on Amazon in a right-to-work state, gives you the perfect image of David and Goliath," he says.

Democracy Now
Feb 17, 2021

Teacher Unions: We Want to Reopen Schools as Well, But We Need Vaccines & Resources to Do It Safely
As school districts across the U.S. debate how to safely bring children into the classroom, we speak with two leaders of the teachers' union movement on what's at stake as schools reopen. Stacy Davis Gates, executive vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, says years of underfunding and privatization have left many school districts ill-equipped to meet the needs of students, as well as educators. "It's not just the context of opening schools. It's reopening schools safely with the resources that are necessary to keep people safe," she tells Democracy Now! We also speak with Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, who says when a clear safety program is in place, a majority of teachers are on board with returning to in-class instruction. "The people who are in school trust it and trust that they're going to be safe," Weingarten says.

Democracy Now
Feb 17, 2021

Headlines for February 17, 2021
Severe Winter Storm Kills 23 People, Cuts Power to Millions as Texas Energy System Fails, Storm Creates Havoc for COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout as Biden Seeks Support from Public for Stimulus, NAACP Files Lawsuit Against Trump, Giuliani over Jan. 6 Insurrection, French Assembly Approves Bill Accused of Targeting Muslim Communities, Chad Sending Troops to Sahel, France Will Maintain Military Presence, as Conflict Claims More Lives, Protests Erupt over Spanish Rapper Arrested for Anti-Monarchy Lyrics and Tweets, Biden Directs DHS to Stop Using Word "Alien" to Refer to Immigrants and Asylum Seekers, Biden Received $5 Million from Border Security and Immigrant Prison Companies During Campaign, Meat Plant Workers Suffer Discrimination for Seeking Healthcare, Compensation After Nitrogen Leak, Tribune Publishing Acquired by Hedge Fund Alden Global; Baltimore Sun Will Go to Nonprofit, Beloved Palestinian Poet Mourid Barghouti, Exiled from His Homeland, Dies at 76

Democracy Now
Feb 16, 2021

Andrés Arauz: Ecuador's Presidential Front-Runner on COVID, Austerity & Ending U.S. Interference
Ecuador's presidential front-runner says the country is facing a "double crisis" of COVID-19 and austerity. "We need a renewal in our politics," Andrés Arauz tells Democracy Now! The left-wing economist secured nearly 33% of the vote in the first round of Ecuador's presidential election on February 7 but fell short of the 40% needed to win outright. He will face right-wing banker Guillermo Lasso or Indigenous candidate Yaku Pérez in a runoff election on April 11, depending on the results of a recount after both candidates secured just over 19% of the vote. Arauz has pledged to end austerity measures imposed by Ecuador's outgoing right-wing President Lenín Moreno and is close to former President Rafael Correa, who led the country from 2007 to 2017 and has been credited with lifting over a million Ecuadorians out of poverty. Arauz served in Correa's administration as director of the Central Bank and later as a minister. Arauz says he would seek to work with the Biden administration, if elected, and rejects attempts to interfere in Latin American affairs. "We need to talk about peace, democracy, development as the key issues in Latin America," says Arauz. "We do not want foreign interference in our region. … We hope the Biden administration will stay away from trying to create division within the region."

Democracy Now
Feb 16, 2021

The Case for Prosecuting Trump: Elie Mystal on Why Criminal Charges Are Still Possible — and Needed
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has authorized a 9/11-style commission to further investigate the January 6 insurrection and the actions that led up to it, as calls grow for the criminal prosecution of former President Donald Trump after his acquittal in his second Senate impeachment trial. The Nation's justice correspondent Elie Mystal says House impeachment managers presented "a fairly compelling case for criminal liability" for Donald Trump over the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. "I think there's a case for indictment. I think we should at least try," he says.

Democracy Now
Feb 16, 2021

Headlines for February 16, 2021
Speaker Pelosi Authorizes Independent Commission to Investigate Jan. 6 Insurrection, Deadly U.S. Cold Snap Leaves Millions Without Power, New Orleans Cancels Mardi Gras Parade One Year After It Became Coronavirus Superspreader Event, Gov. Cuomo Acknowledges Not Reporting Nursing Home Deaths But Stops Short of Apology, New World Trade Organization Chief Warns Against Vaccine Nationalism, One Killed, 9 Injured in Missile Attack on U.S. Military Base in Northern Iraq, As Taliban Fighters Surround Afghan Cities, Biden Weighs U.S. Withdrawal Plans, U.S. Removes Houthis from Terror List as Yemen's Humanitarian Crisis Worsens, Western Sahara Independence Activist Sultana Khaya Assaulted by Moroccan Police, Dozens Dead and Hundreds Missing After Overloaded Boat Capsizes in Congo River, Palestinians Say Israel Has Halted Shipment of Vaccines to Gaza Strip, Federal Court Overturns Arkansas Law Requiring Pledge Not to Boycott Israel, St. Louis Reaches $5 Million Settlement with Black Undercover Cop Assaulted by White Officers , L.A. Police Officers Circulated Racist Meme Mocking George Floyd's Killing, New Jersey Attorney General to Investigate Cops Who Beat Arab American Teen, Guatemalan Women and Girls Protest Skyrocketing Cases of Femicides

Democracy Now
Feb 15, 2021

Lancet Report: 40% of U.S. COVID Deaths Were Preventable. The Country Needs Universal Healthcare Now
As the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 approaches half a million, a new report says nearly 40% of the deaths were avoidable. By comparing the pandemic in the U.S. to other high-income nations, the medical journal The Lancet found significant gaps in former President Donald Trump's "inept and insufficient" response to COVID-19, as well as decades of destructive public policy decisions. One of the report's recommendations is reforming the system to a single-payer model like Medicare for All, which President Joe Biden has so far rejected in favor of bolstering the Affordable Care Act. "The Affordable Care Act still left millions of people — 29 million people — without healthcare insurance coverage," says Dr. Mary Bassett, one of the authors of The Lancet report. "Single payer would address that."

Democracy Now
Feb 15, 2021

Conservative Lawyer Bruce Fein: Trump's Acquittal Gives Future Presidents License to Break the Law
As the Senate votes to acquit former President Donald Trump for inciting the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, we speak with constitutional lawyer and former Reagan administration official Bruce Fein, who says the insurrection was not just an attack on the U.S. Capitol, but "an effort, basically, to destroy the rule of law and the Constitution itself." Fein says failure to convict Trump will give license to future presidents to break the law. "It really is quite frightening that now we have a precedent that says a president has the right to do anything he wants, that he wishes to, without sanction," he tells Democracy Now! "That is no longer the rule of law."

Democracy Now
Feb 15, 2021

Trump Acquitted in Senate Impeachment Trial After Lawmakers Refuse to Call Witnesses
The Senate voted 57 to 43 to convict Donald Trump for inciting the January 6 insurrection, but the vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to find the former president guilty. Seven Republicans voted with Democrats to convict, making it the most bipartisan impeachment trial verdict ever. House impeachment managers did not include any witnesses, after Republicans threatened to prolong the trial for weeks or even months and grind other congressional business to a halt if witnesses were called to testify. Instead, a single statement by Congressmember Jaime Herrera Beutler was entered into the record before the final vote on conviction. "This was about choosing country over Donald Trump, and 43 Republican members chose Trump," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said after the vote.

Democracy Now
Feb 15, 2021

Headlines for February 15, 2021
Senate Acquits Trump for Inciting Jan. 6 Insurrection Despite Most Bipartisan Vote Ever, Roger Stone Security Guards and Dozens of GOP Officials Were Part of Mob Who Attacked U.S. Capitol, U.S. COVID Cases Decrease, But Experts Warn Variant Spread, Relaxed Measures Could Derail Progress, Most U.S. Adults Should Have Access to Vaccine Starting in April, Be Inoculated by Summer, CDC Issues Safe Reopening Guidelines for Schools, U.K. Gov't Under Fire for Response to Disabled COVID Patients; New Zealand Locks Down Largest City, Guinea Declares Ebola Epidemic After 3 Deaths, DRC Also Reporting Cases, Burmese Protests Continue as Fears Mount of Military Crackdown, Indian Climate Activist Arrested After Sharing Information on Supporting Farmworkers' Protest, Blast in Mogadishu Kills 3 as Somali Government Embroiled in Election Crisis, Haitian Protesters Accuse President Jovenel Moïse of Carrying Out a Coup to Remain in Power, Asian Americans Call for Action and More Attention Paid to Surge in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes, Allegiant Air Accused of Racial Profiling After Stranding Black Teens in Arizona, U.N. Human Rights Commission to Hear Report on Racist U.S. Policing, New York Accused of Failing Unhoused People After Subway Stabbing Attacks, White House Aide T.J. Ducklo Resigns After Threatening Reporter, James Ridgeway, Investigative Journalist Who Fought Prisoner Abuse, Dies at 84

Democracy Now
Feb 12, 2021

V-Day: Poet Aja Monet & V (Eve Ensler) on the Movement to End Violence Against Women & Girls
Amid a global rise in domestic violence during the pandemic, we speak with the founder of V-Day, a day of action to fight violence against women. V, the award-winning playwright of "The Vagina Monologues," formerly known as Eve Ensler, says organizers around the globe are finding ways to fight back. "I'm so moved to see our grassroots women movements around the world finding ways to rise in spite of people being locked in and shut in and in spite of COVID," she says. We also speak with blues poet and organizer Aja Monet, V-Day's artistic creative director, who says Black women are particularly at risk. "For every Black woman who reports rape, at least 15 Black women do not," Monet says. "We can go down the list and see the impact that sexual violence and harm and abuse has had on Black women primarily, but on women across the world."

Democracy Now
Feb 12, 2021

Ralph Nader on Corporate Crime, Holding Boeing Accountable for 737 MAX Deaths & Biden's First Weeks
Legendary consumer advocate Ralph Nader says the U.S. is experiencing a "corporate crime wave," and that the Trump administration's $2.5 billion settlement with Boeing over the manufacturer's faulty 737 MAX jets amounts to a "slap on the wrist." Boeing's faulty planes were involved in two fatal crashes that killed 346 people in 2018 and 2019, including Nader's 24-year-old grandniece Samya Stumo. Nader says the Biden Justice Department should reopen the previous administration's settlement and hold Boeing fully accountable. "This is just another example of giant companies getting away with their corporate criminality — a shocking sweetheart deal, an insult to the memories of the lost ones, and further endangering the safety of air travelers in the future," he says.

Democracy Now
Feb 12, 2021

Where Are the Witnesses? Ralph Nader Says Democrats' Impeachment Case Is "Prescription for Defeat"
As the historic Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump continues, we speak with longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who says Democrats have set themselves up for defeat by rushing proceedings and failing to call witnesses — including Trump himself. "The narrow approach of the articles of impeachment keep the Democrats from having a full hand," says Nader. "They have like 10 arrows in their quiver and they're using one or two."

Democracy Now
Feb 12, 2021

Impeachment Trial: Democrats Warn That Trump Would Use Political Violence Again If Not Convicted
Democratic House impeachment managers have wrapped up their case against Donald Trump, saying the former president remains a threat and should be convicted of inciting the deadly January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. The trial now moves ahead to Trump's legal team presenting their defense. We air highlights from the third day of the impeachment trial, including lead House impeachment Manager Jamie Raskin's reiteration of Trump's long history of inciting violence prior to January 6. "Is there any political leader in this room who believes that if he is ever allowed by the Senate to get back into the Oval Office, Donald Trump would stop inciting violence to get his way?" Raskin said. "President Trump declared his conduct totally appropriate. So if he gets back into office and it happens again, we'll have no one to blame but ourselves."

Democracy Now
Feb 12, 2021

Headlines for February 12, 2021
House Managers Rest Their Case in Donald Trump's Senate Impeachment Trial, Biden Blasts Trump's Failures to Prepare for Vaccinations as U.S. COVID-19 Death Toll Tops 475,000, As U.S. Secures 200 Million More Doses, Concern Grows Over Vaccine Inequity, NYTimes: Trump Was Far Sicker from COVID-19 Than Previously Reported, Five Killed in Attack on U.S. Convoy in Afghanistan's Capital, Lawmakers Plead With President Biden to End "Catastrophic Impact" of U.S. Sanctions, U.S. Has Sold Over a Million Barrels of Iranian Oil Seized As Part of Sanctions, China Bans BBC's World News Channel, Trump's "Remain in Mexico" Program to be Phased Out, Biden Admin Cancels National Emergency Order Used by Trump to Build U.S.-Mexico Wall, Authorities Searching for Truck With Dozens of Migrants After Harrowing 911 Call, New Details Emerge Over 2010 Killing of Mexican National By Border Patrol, Grand Jury Clears Officers Who Assaulted 75-Year Old Protester in Buffalo During BLM Uprising, Damning New Video Shows Minutes After Police Handcuffed, Pepper-Sprayed 9-Year-Old New York Girl, Colorado Police Officer Fired For Excessive Force Against Trespassing Suspect, Family of Black Cyclist Killed by L.A. Sheriff's Deputies Files $35 Million Claim

Democracy Now
Feb 11, 2021

"You Guys Are Not Immune": Modi Government Cracks Down on Independent Media Amid Farmer Protests
Indian farmworkers are continuing to take to the streets to demand Prime Minister Narendra Modi repeal three highly contested agricultural laws. Farmworkers say the laws, which seek to deregulate markets and allow large corporations to set prices, threaten their livelihoods. Dozens have died since the start of the protests, with many deaths caused by the harsh winter as tens of thousands of farmers have camped out in the cold on the outskirts of New Delhi and other parts of the country. The Modi government has come under harsh criticism for its response to the uprising as it raided the offices of the progressive news site NewsClick and demanded that Twitter remove hundreds of accounts as part of a crackdown on information about the protests. "The main idea of doing this is to send a warning and a message to the rest of us, the independent media, to say that you guys are not immune," says P. Sainath, award-winning Indian journalist and founder of the People's Archive of Rural India. "Independent media is having it as hard as it gets just now."

Democracy Now
Feb 11, 2021

RIP Anne Feeney, Legendary Labor Songwriter, Whose Favorite Place to Sing Was on a Picket Line
Anne Feeney, the legendary Pittsburgh folk singer-songwriter and self-described rabble-rouser, has died of COVID at age 69. Her death comes a decade after she joined in the Wisconsin uprising against a draconian anti-union bill and "sang its solidarity song," remembers The Nation's John Nichols, who covered the protests and is based in Madison.

Democracy Now
Feb 11, 2021

"Dangerous to the Republic": John Nichols Says Trump's Senate Trial Is Most Important in U.S. History
Democratic House impeachment managers laid out their case against former President Donald Trump on the second day of the Senate trial, releasing shocking video from inside the Capitol during the January 6 insurrection. The footage shows violent Trump supporters were just 58 steps away from lawmakers' offices. John Nichols, national affairs correspondent for The Nation, says impeachment managers aimed to show that Trump bears clear responsibility for what happened and that the mob attack represented "a genuine threat" to the transition of power. "This is the most important impeachment trial in American history," says Nichols. "It goes to the heart of why the impeachment power was created in 1787. It is to hold presidents to account when they act in a manner that might be that of a monarch or a king, when they take actions to perpetuate their own power that are dangerous to the republic."

Democracy Now
Feb 11, 2021

Capitol Attack: Impeachment Managers Build Case vs. Trump with Chilling New Video of Mob's Violence
On the second day of former President Trump's second impeachment trial, House impeachment managers presented detailed documentation of the events leading up to the January 6 insurrection and shared dramatic new footage of the violence as it unfolded. We air excerpts of video from security cameras, which show the pro-Trump mob searching the Capitol building for lawmakers, including Republicans like Vice President Mike Pence, coming within about 100 feet of the room where he was sheltering with his family. House impeachment managers also played audio of Capitol Hill police officers seeking backup.

Democracy Now
Feb 11, 2021

Headlines for February 11, 2021
"The Inciter-in-Chief": Democrats Accuse Trump of Being "Singularly Responsible" for Insurrection, Trump Attacked Pence on Twitter Minutes After Learning VP Was Evacuated from Capitol, Georgia Prosecutor Opens Criminal Probe of Trump over Election Interference, U.S. COVID Death Toll Tops 471,000; Half of All Deaths Occurred Since Nov. 1, WHO Backs Use of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine, Saudi Women's Rights Activist Loujain al-Hathloul Released After 1,001 Days in Prison, Biden & Xi Jinping Speak on Phone as U.S. Forms Military Task Force on China, U.S. Sanctions Military Junta as Anti-Coup Protests Continue in Burma, Israel Approves $3B U.S. Arms Deal; Soldiers Demolish Palestinian Village, Journalist Says He Was Fired by Guardian over Tweet Criticizing U.S. Military Support to Israel, Biden Administration to Continue Trump-Era Policy of Turning Away Asylum Seekers at Southern Border, U.S. Sides with Haitian President Jovenel Moïse as Protesters Continue to Demand He Step Down, Outrage in Honduras After 26-Year-Old Student Dies in Police Custody, Amazon Hires Koch Bros.-Linked Anti-Labor Consultant to Fight Union Drive in Alabama, Kings Bay Plowshares Activist Clare Grady Reports to Prison, Sen. Bernie Sanders Grills Neera Tanden, Biden's Pick to Head OMB

Democracy Now
Feb 10, 2021

"Four Hundred Souls": Ibram X. Kendi & Keisha Blain on History of African America from 1619 to Now
As the U.S. deals with the aftermath of the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, we speak with Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha Blain, co-editors of a new book that situates the white supremacists who rallied around Trump in the longer arc of U.S. history. "Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019" brings together prominent Black writers to collaborate on what they call a "choral history" of Black American life in 80 short essays, including by the renowned scholar and activist Angela Davis, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and others. "We wanted to bring together so many different voices from so many different backgrounds within the Black community to really share the history of this incredibly diverse and complex community," says Kendi, director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. Blain, associate professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh, says despite the mammoth undertaking in the midst of the pandemic, all the contributors were excited to take part. "They shared our enthusiasm," she says. "They recognized the significance of this project as a work of history — being history in and of itself."

Democracy Now
Feb 10, 2021

Historians Say "Decades of Medical Racism" Led to Unequal COVID Impact on Black & Latinx People
Historians Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha Blain dedicate their new book, "Four Hundred Souls," to the "Black lives lost to COVID-19." They put the content of their book in the context of the disparate impact of the pandemic on the African American community in the United States. "This has been in the making for decades. Even though this is a new virus, … it connects to a larger history of racial inequality, and we wanted to make sure that was clear," says Blain. Kendi is a cancer survivor and notes Black and Latinx are more at risk from preexisting conditions because of a history of racist policies, but "Americans don't know that history."

Democracy Now
Feb 10, 2021

Ibram X. Kendi & Keisha Blain on Impeachment, White Supremacist Violence & Holding Trump Accountable
As the impeachment trial of Donald Trump proceeds, we speak with two historians about the importance of accountability for the January 6 insurrection and white supremacist attacks in the United States. The scenes of violence at the U.S. Capitol were "familiar" to Black people, says Ibram X. Kendi, author, professor and founding director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. "We have consistently, over the course of 400 years, faced white supremacist mob violence." We also speak with Keisha Blain, an author and associate professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh, who says Trump must be held accountable for inciting the Capitol insurrection. "We cannot hold back and play games here," she says. "Whatever decision we make in this moment will determine the future of this nation."

Democracy Now
Feb 10, 2021

"This Cannot Be the Future of America": Rep. Jamie Raskin Gives Moving Account of Capitol Attack
Congressmember Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the lead Democratic impeachment manager in former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial, closed the first day of proceedings in the Senate with an emotional speech describing the terror of the January 6 Capitol attack. "All around me people were calling their wives and their husbands, their loved ones, to say goodbye," said Raskin.

Democracy Now
Feb 10, 2021

Watch: Dramatic Video of Capitol Attack & Trump's Incitement Kicks Off Impeachment Trial in Senate
The Senate has voted 56 to 44 to proceed with the impeachment trial of Donald Trump for inciting the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. Six Republicans joined Democrats in rejecting arguments from Trump's defense team that it is unconstitutional for a former president to face an impeachment trial. Trump is the first president to ever be impeached twice and the first to be tried after leaving office. We air highlights from the first day of Trump's historic second impeachment trial, including clips from a dramatic video mixing Trump's words on January 6 with scenes of rioters breaking into the Capitol.

Democracy Now
Feb 10, 2021

Headlines for February 10, 2021
Senate Votes to Proceed with Impeachment as Managers Present Harrowing Video of Jan. 6 Insurrection, Gov't to Send Vaccines to Community Health Centers as U.S. Continues Ramping Up Vaccinations, WHO Team Confirms COVID-19 of Animal Origin; Ghana Shuts Parliament After Outbreak Infects Lawmakers, Protesters in Burma Defy Bans, Escalating Crackdown by Police, Journalists Decry Raid on Progressive Indian News Site NewsClick, U.S. to Pursue Extradition of Julian Assange as Press Freedom Groups Warn of Dangerous Precedent, Fossil Fuel Pollution Causes One in Five Global Deaths, Calls Growing to Shut Down DAPL as Key Hearing on Fate of Pipeline Postponed, Chicago Teachers Vote to Return to In-Person Teaching After Battle with City Officials, Four Louisiana Officers Arrested over Police Brutality Cases and Other Misconduct, Two NYT Journalists Exit Paper Following Revelations of Improper Conduct

Democracy Now
Feb 09, 2021

Amid Unrest in Haiti, ICE Deports Dozens — Including a 2-Month-Old Baby — into "Burning House"
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has deported at least 72 people to Haiti, including a 2-month-old baby and 21 other children. The deportations appear to be a contradiction of the Biden administration's order to deport only people with serious charges against them. Haiti faces an increase in political violence and ongoing protests against President Jovenel Moïse's U.S.-backed regime, and Guerline Jozef, co-founder and executive director of Haitian Bridge Alliance, says sending people to Haiti is putting them in danger. "We should be providing protection for those people, but we are sending them into a burning house," says Jozef.

Democracy Now
Feb 09, 2021

Disabled Advocates Demand Better Vaccine Access as They Face Greater Risks of Dying from COVID-19
As the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus tops 465,000, we speak with two disability rights activists about growing calls to prioritize giving COVID vaccines to people with physical and mental disabilities. Some states, including California, are failing to prioritize vaccines for people with serious physical or developmental disabilities, even though studies show they are up to three times more likely to die from COVID-19. "I use a ventilator to breathe, and I have respiratory failure," says disabled activist Alice Wong, founder of the Disability Visibility Project and host of the podcast "Disability Visibility." "If I get the virus, I will not survive. That is a certainty." We also speak with Rabbi Elliot Kukla, a disability activist who offers spiritual care to those who are ill, dying or bereaved at the Bay Area Jewish Healing Center in San Francisco. "Since the beginning of this pandemic, it's been clear that disabled lives simply don't matter as much," he says.

Democracy Now
Feb 09, 2021

Senate Puts Trump on Trial in Historic Second Impeachment Case for Inciting Capitol Insurrection
The historic second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump marks the first time a president will face impeachment after leaving office, and many Republicans claim the trial of a former president is unconstitutional. But most legal experts disagree. "Of course the Senate can conduct this trial," says Alan Hirsch, author and chair of the Justice and Law Studies program at Williams College. He says doing otherwise would give presidents a "get-out-of-impeachment-free card" at the end of their terms. Since the U.S. was founded, the Senate has conducted just three other presidential impeachment trials: Andrew Johnson in 1868, Bill Clinton in 1999 and Donald Trump in 2020. The House's second impeachment of Trump came a week before his term ended for inciting the deadly insurrection in the U.S. Capitol on January 6, which was aimed at stopping lawmakers from counting the Electoral College votes.

Democracy Now
Feb 09, 2021

Headlines for February 9, 2021
Second Impeachment Trial of Donald J. Trump Opens in the Senate, Georgia's Secretary of State to Probe Trump's Efforts to Overturn 2020 Election, U.S. Mulls Plan to Require Negative COVID-19 Test for Domestic Airline Passengers, Texas GOP Rep. Ron Wright Dies After 18-Day Battle with COVID-19, FEMA to Pay Low-Income Families Up to $7,000 for Funeral and Burial Costs During Pandemic, New York Nursing Home Residents Got Experimental COVID-19 Treatments Without Families' Knowledge, Senate Confirms Denis McDonough to Lead Department of Veterans Affairs, Haitian Asylum Seekers, Including Children, Deported Despite Biden Administration's Promises, Colombia to Grant Protected Status to Venezuelan Asylum Seekers, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández Under U.S. Investigation for Bribery, Drug Trafficking, More Remains of Mexico Massacre Victims Identified, Former Chicago Teachers Union Leader Karen Lewis Dies at 67

Democracy Now
Feb 08, 2021

Rep. Cori Bush Denounces White Supremacist Violence from the Capitol Insurrection to Ferguson
With former President Donald Trump's impeachment trial set to begin in the Senate this week, we feature the speech Democratic Congressmember Cori Bush of Missouri made Thursday on the floor of the House of Representatives to demand accountability for the attack on the U.S. Capitol. "On January 3, we stood together to swear our oath to office, to the Constitution. We swore to defend it against all enemies foreign and domestic," Bush said. "It was attacked by a domestic enemy called white supremacy, and we must stand together now, today, to uphold that oath and hold every single person who helped incite it accountable."

Democracy Now
Feb 08, 2021

The Shecession: Women Face Staggering Job & Income Losses Amid the Pandemic's Economic Crisis
As Democrats in Congress push forward on passing President Joe Biden's sweeping $1.9 trillion stimulus package, many experts say measures to combat the economic fallout from COVID-19 must address the pandemic's disproportionate impact on women — especially women of color. Women in the U.S. lost 5.5 million jobs in the first 10 months of the pandemic, nearly 1 million more job losses than men, and, combined with increased responsibilities for caregiving at home, are experiencing a "shecession," according to researcher C. Nicole Mason. "Women have been disproportionately impacted by job and income losses during the pandemic and during this economic downturn," says Mason, who is president and CEO of the Institute for Women's Policy Research, a leading voice on pay equity, economic policies and research impacting women. "The reason for this is because women are overrepresented in the hardest-hit sectors: service, leisure/hospitality, education and healthcare services."

Democracy Now
Feb 08, 2021

Raji Sourani: Gaza Faces COVID Crisis as Israel Withholds Vaccines While Imposing Inhumane Blockade
The World Health Organization estimates there have been 51,312 confirmed cases and 522 deaths from COVID-19 in Gaza since reporting began in July 2020, and the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees warns the Gaza Strip's health system could collapse if the number of cases continues to rise. We get an update from Raji Sourani, human rights lawyer and director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza, on how Gaza has been impacted by COVID-19 as an ongoing blockade has destroyed its health infrastructure. "Our equipment is unable to deal with the emerging situation," Sourani says.

Democracy Now
Feb 08, 2021

ICC's "Landmark Decision" Could Open Door to Prosecuting Israel for War Crimes in Palestine
In a landmark decision, judges at the International Criminal Court say the body has jurisdiction over war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories, opening the door to possible criminal charges against Israel and militant groups like Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the international tribunal's decision "pure anti-Semitism" and rejected its claim of jurisdiction, as did the United States, while Palestinian officials and human rights groups welcome the news. Human rights lawyer Raji Sourani, director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights in Gaza, says the decision restores "the independence and the credibility of the ICC." We also speak with Katherine Gallagher, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights and a legal representative for Palestinian victims in front of the ICC. She says the court's ruling is "a landmark decision" that provides "some measure of accountability" when war crimes are committed in Palestinian territories. "There are just an array of violations that have been going on for years," Gallagher says.

Democracy Now
Feb 08, 2021

Headlines for February 8, 2021
Dems to Introduce $3,000 Benefit for Children as They Push Ahead with $1.9 Trillion Stimulus, Pentagon to Deploy Troops for Vaccination Effort as Fans Defy Warnings Around Super Bowl Parties, South Africa Halts Rollout of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine, Wyoming GOP Censures Rep. Liz Cheney for Backing Trump's Impeachment, Judge Rules NY Republican Claudia Tenney Won Last Open House Race, Mass Protests Continue in Burma Opposing Military Coup, Removal of Aung San Suu Kyi, Indian Farmworkers Blockade Roads as Mass Protests Show No Sign of Slowing Down, Scores of People Missing and Feared Dead After Himalayan Glacier Collapse, Leftist Economist Andrés Arauz Claims Victory in First Round of Ecuador's Presidential Election, Protests Break Out in Chile After Police Shoot and Kill Street Performer, Haitian Gov't Claims It Halted a Coup Amid Dispute over Jovenel Moïse's Presidency, Ongoing Protests, Biden Says U.S. Will Not Remove Trump-Era Sanctions on Iran, Egypt Frees Al Jazeera Journalist Mahmoud Hussein, Jailed for Four Years Without Trial, Israeli PM Netanyahu Pleads Not Guilty to Corruption Charges Ahead of Fresh Elections, U.S. to Remove Yemen's Houthis from Terrorism List Amid Warnings of Humanitarian Catastrophe, Biden Ends Trump-Era "Safe Third Country" Agreement on Central American Asylum Seekers, Cameroonian Asylum Seekers in Louisiana Say ICE Threatened Them with COVID-19 Exposure, Black Sheriff's Deputy in Louisiana Dies by Suicide After Condemning Police Violence and Racism, Amazon Workers in Alabama Begin Historic Vote on Unionization, Teachers in Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco Fight for Coronavirus Safety Measures, Virginia Poised to Become 23rd State to Abolish Death Penalty

Democracy Now
Feb 05, 2021

Will Biden Admin Reverse Trump's "Dangerous" Recognition of Morocco's Occupation of Western Sahara?
President Donald Trump broke with decades of U.S. foreign policy in the waning days of his administration and recognized Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, a territory the country has occupied since 1975 in defiance of the United Nations and the international community. U.S. recognition came as Morocco agreed to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, becoming the fourth Arab nation to do so in recent months as part of a regional push by the Trump administration to strengthen Israel without addressing the Palestinian conflict. Now the Biden administration must weigh whether to reverse Trump's decision on Western Sahara. "It'll be very dangerous if Biden does not reverse Trump's unprecedented recognition of Morocco's takeover of Western Sahara," says Stephen Zunes, professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco. "The United Nations Charter is very clear that the expansion of territory by military force is illegitimate."

Democracy Now
Feb 05, 2021

Yemen: Biden to End U.S. Offensive Support for Saudi-Led Assault, But Will the War Actually End?
President Joe Biden has pledged to end U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, supported by both the Obama and Trump administrations, describing it as a "humanitarian and strategic catastrophe." The six-year war in Yemen has devastated the country, killing at least 100,000 people and pushing 80% of the country into instability requiring some form of aid or protection, according to the United Nations. Biden's remarks on Yemen come amid a freeze of U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, with similar sales to the United Arab Emirates also up for review. "This is the culmination of six years of activism and advocacy to end the U.S.'s role in the war in Yemen," says Yemeni scholar and activist Shireen Al-Adeimi, an assistant professor at Michigan State University. "We have a president who finally acknowledged the devastating war that is, frankly, caused by the U.S.'s participation."

Democracy Now
Feb 05, 2021

We Can't Just "Move On": AOC & Rashida Tlaib Demand Accountability for Deadly Capitol Attack
As the U.S Senate prepares its impeachment trial of President Trump for inciting the January 6 insurrection, House lawmakers took to the floor Thursday to detail their experiences and demand accountability. We air excerpts from dramatic speeches by Democratic Congressmembers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. "Some are already demanding that we move on or, worse, attempting to minimize, discredit or belittle the accounts of survivors," Ocasio-Cortez said. "In doing so, they not only further harm those who were there that day and provide cover for those responsible, but they also send a tremendously damaging message to survivors of trauma all across this country, that the way to deal with trauma, violence and targeting is to paper it over, minimize it and move on."

Democracy Now
Feb 05, 2021

In Powerful Speeches to Congress, AOC & Rashida Tlaib Demand Accountability for Capitol Attack
As the U.S Senate prepares its impeachment trial of President Trump for inciting the January 6 insurrection, House lawmakers took to the floor Thursday to detail their experiences and demand accountability. We air excerpts from dramatic speeches by Democratic Congressmembers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. "Some are already demanding that we move on or, worse, attempting to minimize, discredit or belittle the accounts of survivors," Ocasio-Cortez said. "In doing so, they not only further harm those who were there that day and provide cover for those responsible, but they also send a tremendously damaging message to survivors of trauma all across this country, that the way to deal with trauma, violence and targeting is to paper it over, minimize it and move on."

Democracy Now
Feb 05, 2021

"A Moral Catastrophe": Africa CDC Head Says Lack of Vaccines for the Continent Will Imperil World
Countries across the African continent are facing a second COVID-19 outbreak, linked to a variant first found in South Africa that has been detected in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Comoros and Zambia and more than 20 non-African countries so far. There is concern new variants, which scientists believe are more infectious, could spread the virus further before widespread vaccination begins. More than 40 African countries have been hit by this second wave, and just six have received relatively small shipments of vaccines. John Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says the world faces "a moral catastrophe" without vaccine equity. "It has to be very clear that no part of the world will be safe until all parts of the world are safe," he says. "We either come out of this together or we go down together. There's no middle ground in this."

Democracy Now
Feb 05, 2021

Headlines for February 5, 2021
President Biden Pledges to End U.S. Support for "Catastrophic" War in Yemen, Johnson & Johnson Asks FDA for Emergency Authorization of Single-Shot COVID-19 Vaccine, Poll Reveals 25% of U.S. Adults Plan to Gather at Super Bowl Watch Parties, VP Harris Casts Tie-Breaking Vote to Move Ahead with Democratic COVID Relief Bill, Democrats Call on Biden to Cancel Student Debt Up to $50,000, House Removes Marjorie Taylor Greene from Committees over Violent, Bigoted Rhetoric, AOC Calls for Expulsion of Rep. Greene from House, Warns Against Dismissing Insurrection Survivors, Smartmatic Sues Fox News, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell for Election-Related Lies, Bolsonaro Investigated for Negligence in COVID Response as He Shuts Down Anti-Corruption Group, U.S. Suspends Deportations of Dozens of African Asylum Seekers Amid Claims of ICE Torture, Report Finds Dangerous Levels of Toxic Metals in Common Baby Foods, McKinsey Settles Lawsuit for $573 Million over Role in Helping Market Opioids, Imprisoned Activist Kinetik Justice Severely Beaten by Guards While Defending Fellow Prisoner, Chicago Teachers Move Closer to Strike over In-Person Teaching Amid Dispute with City Officials

Democracy Now
Feb 04, 2021

Mass Rapes. Sweeping Surveillance. Forced Labor. Exposing China's Crackdown on Uyghur Muslims
China faces widespread condemnation following a BBC report about the mass rape and sexual torture of Uyghur women and other Muslims detained in the province of Xinjiang. Women who spoke with the BBC described gang rapes, routine sexual torture using electrocution tools, forced sterilizations and men outside the prison camps paying for access to the detainees. China has rejected the report as "wholly without factual basis" and claims its mass detention of Muslim minorities is part of a "vocational training" program to counter extremism. Meanwhile, The Intercept has obtained a massive police surveillance database used by the Chinese government to monitor residents of Xinjiang, confirming China collects millions of text messages, phone contacts and call records — as well as biometric data — from Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. Information collected is used to decide who to detain. We speak with Abduweli Ayup, a Uyghur linguist and poet who was detained for 15 months for running a Uyghur-language kindergarten in Xinjiang. He says he was raped, tortured with electric shocks and subjected to humiliation rituals during his detention. "What's happening there is inhuman, and the target is the Uyghur, because of their religion and because of their culture," he says. We also speak with anthropologist Darren Byler, author of two forthcoming books on China's treatment of Uyghurs and technologies of reeducation.

Democracy Now
Feb 04, 2021

"Viruses Know No Borders": In Push for Global Vaccine Equity, U.S. AIDS Program Offers Blueprint
As the U.S. COVID death toll tops 450,000, the Biden administration is attempting to ramp up its vaccination campaign to slow the spread of new coronavirus variants. Meanwhile, health experts warn any vaccination progress in the United States will be threatened without global vaccine equity. "We need to, as quickly as possible, expand access to the vaccines, both in this country, in the United States, as well as around the world," says Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, director of the ICAP at Columbia University and professor of epidemiology and medicine at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. She argues that the U.S. needs to do more to supply the world with COVID-19 vaccines, as it did with HIV medications. "This is a model that can be emulated at this point in time in recognition of the fact that viruses know no borders."

Democracy Now
Feb 04, 2021

Headlines for February 4, 2021
CDC Director Warns Coronavirus Variants Could Reverse Drop in Caseload, Education Secretary Nominee Favors Return to In-Person Classes, Supports Trans Athletes, Senate Agrees to Power-Sharing Deal That Leaves Democrats in Control of Committees, Republican Leader Won't Punish Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene over Racist and Violent Rhetoric, 100s of Congressional Aides Call on Senate to Convict Trump and Bar Him from Holding Office, Canada Designates Proud Boys as a Terrorist Group, Prosecutors Seek Rearrest of Kyle Rittenhouse, Wisconsin Teen Charged with Killing 2 Protesters, Tigray Opposition Say 52,000 Killed in Conflict as U.N. Warns All of Ethiopia Faces Unrest, BBC Report Details Mass Rape and Torture of Uyghur Women in China's Xinjiang, ICC Finds Former LRA Commander and Child Soldier Guilty of War Crimes, U.N. Report Describes Widespread Torture of Prisoners in Afghanistan, French Court Finds Government Failed to Take Action to Combat Climate Crisis, U.S. and Russia Extend New START Nuclear Arms Treaty, Biden Administration Rules Out Talks with Venezuelan President Maduro, Ex-Officer Adam Coy Charged with Murdering Andre Hill in Columbus, OH, Report Details How Border Patrol Contributes to Humanitarian Crisis at Southwestern Border

Democracy Now
Feb 03, 2021

Jeff Bezos to Quit as CEO, But Amazon's "Predatory Business Model" Will Continue Unless Lawmakers Act
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has announced he will step down as CEO and move into a new role as executive chairman later this year, giving up the reins after nearly three decades during which he grew Amazon from an online book retailer into a sprawling business empire and became one of the world's richest people in the process. Andy Jassy, the head of the company's cloud computing division, is set to take over the top job, but Bezos will continue to be the largest Amazon shareholder and remain on the board of directors. The news comes as calls continue to mount for lawmakers to break up Amazon and other tech giants. "There's no reason to think anything is going to change at Amazon because Bezos has taken this new role," says Robert Weissman, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen. "Neither the economy nor our democracy can really function properly with fairness if Amazon is able to maintain its massive concentration of wealth and power."

Democracy Now
Feb 03, 2021

Immigration Advocates Welcome New "Tone" But Urge Biden Admin for More Concrete Change
Hundreds have been deported in the last week, even as President Biden signed several executive orders Tuesday to undo the Trump administration's hard-line anti-immigration policies. The orders include a push to reunify families torn apart under Trump's "zero tolerance" policy and a review of the Trump policy known as "Remain in Mexico" that requires non-Mexican asylum seekers to wait in Mexico as their immigration cases wind through court, leaving tens of thousands waiting in dangerous conditions along the border. Reporter Aura Bogado says that despite the Biden administration's new "tone," continued deportations of vulnerable people demonstrate "a continuation of the same practices that happened under President Trump and previously under Obama." Erika Pinheiro, an immigration attorney and the policy and litigation director of Al Otro Lado, a binational nonprofit helping immigrants on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, says many migrants left waiting in Mexico are losing patience with assurances that the new administration will have a plan for them. "If we don't have an answer for these people, other groups will fill that information void, like cartels and like smugglers, and ultimately the lack of a plan is going to result in more migrant deaths," says Pinheiro.

Democracy Now
Feb 03, 2021

A Coup in Burma: Did Military Seize Power to Avoid ICC Prosecution for Rohingya Genocide?
We speak with a Burmese dissident about the military coup underway in Burma as de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been arrested. The coup unfolded hours before lawmakers were to take their seats in the opening of parliament, following a November election in which Aung San Suu Kyi's party won over 80% of the contested seats in the Burmese parliament and the military made unsubstantiated claims of fraud. Hundreds of lawmakers, activists and human rights defenders have also been detained since the coup, and telecommunications have been cut in parts of Burma, which the military calls Myanmar. "The military decided that they could no longer play this democracy game with Aung San Suu Kyi," says Maung Zarni, co-founder of the Free Rohingya Coalition and the Forces of Renewal for Southeast Asia. "The military is completely outfoxed legally, as well as at the polls. That's why the military decided to wreck the game." He says the coup could also worsen the outlook for members of the Rohingya Muslim community, who have faced mass detention, killings and expulsion from Burma in a campaign widely recognized as genocide.

Democracy Now
Feb 03, 2021

Headlines for February 3, 2021
Democrats Say Trump "Singularly Responsible" for Jan. 6 Insurrection in Impeachment Brief, U.S. to Start Sending Vaccines to Pharmacies; Single AstraZeneca Shot Cuts Transmission by 67%, Senate Confirms Alejandro Mayorkas as DHS Chief, Pete Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary, Senator Warren to Introduce Wealth Tax on Households Worth Over $50 Million, Kevin McCarthy Weighs Removing Marjorie Taylor Greene from Education Committee After Bipartisan Condemnation, Alexei Navalny Receives 3.5 Years in Prison Amid Mass Protests, Healthcare Workers in West Bank Receive Vaccines from Israel While Other Palestinians Made to Wait, Israel and Kosovo Establish Diplomatic Ties, Kosovo to Open Embassy in Jerusalem, Mexican Police Officers Arrested over Massacre of 19 People on U.S.-Mexico Border, Jeff Bezos Steps Down as Amazon CEO After Amassing Huge Personal Fortune, Amazon to Pay Contract Drivers $61.7 Million After FTC Probe Finds It Stole Tips to Pay Wages, Two FBI Agents Shot Dead While Executing Search Warrant in South Florida, Black Missouri Father Dies After Being Denied Emergency Room Treatment 3 Times, New York Repeals Anti-Transgender "Walking While Trans" Law

Democracy Now
Feb 02, 2021

Alexei Navalny Faces "Kafkaesque" Charges in Russia for Breaking Parole While in Poison-Induced Coma
Russian authorities have arrested thousands of people during anti-government protests in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who has been held in jail since returning to Russia on January 17 after recovering in Germany from an attempt on his life in August using the nerve agent Novichok. Navalny has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of being behind the poisoning that nearly killed him. While Navalny has emerged as Russia's leading opposition figure and anti-corruption campaigner, his political roots have links to right-wing nationalist and anti-immigrant causes. Joshua Yaffa, Moscow correspondent for The New Yorker, says that Navalny has been willing to change and adapt his views to court public opinion, including through his "flirtation" with Russian nationalism. "We'll only know what sort of politician Navalny is when he's actually allowed to participate in formal politics."

Democracy Now
Feb 02, 2021

Russia's Sputnik V Is Found to Be 91.6% Effective, Providing Boost for Global Vaccination Effort
Russia has been one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic, recording about 73,000 deaths and over 3.8 million infections over the past year. Meanwhile, there is widespread skepticism over the domestically developed Sputnik V vaccine, with many Russians reluctant to get the shot. Now a peer-reviewed study published in the respected Lancet medical journal has confirmed the vaccine's 91.6% efficacy, as developers of the shot have long maintained. "That's good news for the developers of the vaccine in Russia. That's good news for Russia writ large, which certainly has plenty of geopolitical ambitions surrounding the vaccine," says Joshua Yaffa, correspondent for The New Yorker in Moscow. "And it's frankly good news for the world."

Democracy Now
Feb 02, 2021

Latinx COVID Deaths Soar 1,000% in Los Angeles as Communities of Color Lag Behind in Vaccine Rollout
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Black and Latinx people in the United States have died at higher rates, and new data shows that they are getting vaccinated at much lower rates than white people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 60% of those vaccinated were white, while just 11.5% were Latinx, 6% were Asian, and just over 5% were Black. The CDC data is based on details gathered during the first month of the U.S. vaccination campaign that saw nearly 13 million Americans get a shot, though race and ethnicity was only known for about half of the recipients. Black and Latinx people continue to face a disproportionate risk for COVID-19 in their jobs as essential workers and are more likely to have preexisting conditions. "What we're seeing illustrated is about 150 years of medical neglect," says Dr. David Hayes-Bautista, director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at UCLA School of Medicine. "These disparities didn't suddenly appear nine months ago at the beginning of the pandemic. These disparities have been built in, decision by decision."

Democracy Now
Feb 02, 2021

Headlines for February 2, 2021
U.S. Tops 26 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Shots, Surpassing Confirmed Coronavirus Cases , Biden Takes Executive Action to Reverse Trump Immigration Policies as Deportations Continue, Senate Republicans Meet at White House to Press Far Smaller Coronavirus Relief Bill, South Africa Receives First COVID-19 Vaccines; New Variant Linked to Reinfections in Brazil, WHO Team Probes Virus Origins in Wuhan; Australia Puts Perth on Lockdown After Single COVID-19 Case, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Reveals She Is a Sexual Assault Survivor in Video Recalling Jan. 6 Capitol Attack, Trump Hires New Lawyers. One Declined to Prosecute Bill Cosby. Another Met Jeffrey Epstein in Jail, Senate Republican Leader Blasts Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's "Loony Lies and Conspiracy Theories", Salvadoran President Bukele Inflames Tensions After Attack That Killed Two Leftist Activists, U.N. Condemns Military Coup in Burma, Calls for Restoration of Democracy, Top Turkish Official Attacks Students as "LGBT Freaks" over Rainbow Flag Artwork, Former Guantánamo Prisoners Urge Biden to Close Military Prison , Biden Releases Hurricane Recovery Funds for Puerto Rico Withheld by Trump Admin, Police Union President Defends Officer Who Handcuffed, Pepper-Sprayed 9-Year-Old Girl in Rochester, NY, Oregon Becomes First U.S. State to Decriminalize Low-Level Possession of All Drugs

Democracy Now
Feb 01, 2021

"Judas and the Black Messiah" Director Shaka King on Fred Hampton, the Black Panthers & COINTELPRO
A highly anticipated new feature film, "Judas and the Black Messiah," tells the story of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton and William O'Neal, the FBI informant who infiltrated the Illinois Black Panther Party to collect information that ultimately led to Hampton's killing in 1969 by law enforcement officers. The film is premiering at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and stars Daniel Kaluuya as Hampton, LaKeith Stanfield as O'Neal and Martin Sheen as FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. Shaka King, the film's director and co-writer, says focusing on Hampton and O'Neal was a way "to make 'The Departed' inside the world of COINTELPRO," referring to the decades-long illegal FBI program to undermine Black and radical political organizations. "I just thought that that was a very clever vessel and intelligent way to Trojan-horse a Fred Hampton biopic."

Democracy Now
Feb 01, 2021

The Assassination of Fred Hampton: New Documents Reveal Involvement of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover
Newly unearthed documents have shed new light on the FBI's role in the murder of the 21-year-old Black Panther leader Fred Hampton on December 4, 1969, when Chicago police raided Hampton's apartment and shot and killed him in his bed, along with fellow Black Panther leader Mark Clark. Authorities initially claimed the Panthers had opened fire on the police who were there to serve a search warrant for weapons, but evidence later emerged that told a very different story: The FBI, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and the Chicago police had conspired to assassinate Fred Hampton. FBI memos and reports obtained by historian and writer Aaron Leonard now show that senior FBI officials played key roles in planning the raid and the subsequent cover-up. "It was approved at the highest level," says attorney Jeff Haas. We also speak with attorney Flint Taylor. Both are with the People's Law Office and were the lead lawyers in a landmark civil rights case over the deaths of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark.

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