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Democracy Now
May 22, 2019

"Modern-Day Indentured Servitude": How Predatory Lenders Devastated New York City's Taxi Drivers
A new investigation by The New York Times has exposed the financial schemes at the root of the New York City taxi driver crisis. While the advent of apps like Uber and Lyft contributed to a loss of income for licensed taxi drivers, the exposé finds that a taxi medallion bubble helped lay the groundwork for their economic devastation. A group of industry leaders artificially inflated the cost of taxi medallions and orchestrated a predatory lending scheme, collecting millions of dollars in the process and putting many drivers into debilitating debt. City agencies did little to curb the system, which a Harvard professor called "modern-day indentured servitude." In response to the report, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city would launch an investigation into the predatory practices of taxi medallion brokers. New York state Attorney General Letitia James announced her office is also initiating an investigation. At least eight drivers have died by suicide—including three taxi medallion owners—since the start of 2018, with at least some of the drivers linking the decision to their crushing debt. We speak with investigative reporter Brian Rosenthal, who wrote the report.

Democracy Now
May 22, 2019

How ICE Is Using Solitary Confinement to Punish Asylum Seekers, Including LGBT & Disabled Immigrants
Since 2012, ICE has used solitary confinement as a routine punishment for thousands of immigrants and asylum seekers locked up in immigration jails across the country. We look at a new, damning investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that has revealed this widespread abusive use of solitary confinement in immigration jails overseen by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The United Nations special rapporteur on torture says solitary confinement should only be used in exceptional circumstances, and defines extended use of solitary as "inhuman and degrading treatment." Despite this, a review of more than 8,400 reports of solitary confinement in ICE detention found that immigration officers repeatedly used isolation cells to punish gay, transgender and disabled immigrants for their identities and to target other jailed immigrants for actions like kissing consensually or hunger striking. Almost a third of the people held in solitary confinement suffered from mental illness. In at least 373 cases, immigrants were put in isolation for being potentially suicidal. In nearly 200 instances, immigrants were held in solitary confinement for more than six months. The investigation is called "Solitary Voices." We speak to one of its lead authors, Spencer Woodman.

Democracy Now
May 22, 2019

"We Don't Want a Monarchy": Rep. Al Green Says Democrats Have No Choice But to Impeach Trump
A growing number of House Democrats are calling on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to launch an impeachment inquiry against President Trump. Pelosi has called for a closed-door special caucus meeting this morning to discuss the impeachment question, which has deeply divided House Democrats. The House speaker has long opposed opening an impeachment inquiry, arguing that focusing on impeachment could hurt the chances of Democrats winning in the 2020 election. But she is facing growing pushback from other members of the House as President Trump continues to block congressional oversight efforts by refusing to hand over documents and by barring officials from testifying. On Tuesday, former White House counsel Don McGahn defied a congressional subpoena and skipped a House Judiciary Committee hearing at the request of the White House. Earlier this month, Attorney General William Barr also skipped a House Judiciary Committee hearing. We go to Capitol Hill to speak with Democratic Congressmember Al Green of Texas. In 2017, he became the first member of Congress to call for President Trump's impeachment.

Democracy Now
May 22, 2019

Headlines for May 22, 2019
Calls for Impeachment Mount Among Democrats But Party Remains Divided, Dems Subpoena Ex-WH Communications Dir. Hope Hicks After Don McGahn Skips Hearing, Ex-Sec. of State Rex Tillerson Quietly Meets with House Foreign Affairs Cmte., IRS Memo Says Only Exec. Privilege Can Stop Congress from Obtaining Tax Returns, Lawmakers Are Briefed by Trump Admin on Iran Situation, Protesters Take to the Streets Nationwide to Condemn Abortion Bans, States Sue to Stop Rule Allowing Medical Providers to Refuse Care Based on Religious Belief, Vermont Dems Approve Bill Prohibiting Gov't from Interfering with Abortion Access, CBP Halts Migrant Prisoner Intake at McAllen Ctr. After Death of Sick Guatemalan Teen, U.S. Warns Syria Over Chemical Weapon Use as Leaked OPCW Report Suggests Douma Attack Was Staged, House Democrats Grill HUD Sec. Ben Carson in Tense Hearing, Senate Confirms Conservative Big Oil Defender to Lifetime Judgeship, NYC Launches Investigations into Taxi Medallion Scam, Austin Eubanks, Survivor of Columbine and Advocate for Addicts, Found Dead, Roz Payne, Activist and Founding Member of Newsreel Film Collective, Dies

Democracy Now
May 21, 2019

Family of Jailed Saudi Feminist Loujain Al-Hathloul: She Was Waterboarded, Flogged & Electrocuted
It's been a year since women's right activist Loujain al-Hathloul was detained and jailed in Saudi Arabia for leading a movement to lift the kingdom's ban on female drivers and overhaul its male "guardianship" system. Despite international outcry, she's been imprisoned ever since. During that time, her family says, she's been held in solitary confinement and faced abuse, including electric shocks, flogging and threats of sexual violence. The Saudi government has resisted calls from human rights groups and lawmakers from around the world to release Loujain and the other jailed activists. We speak with two of Loujain's siblings, Walid and Lina al-Hathloul.

Democracy Now
May 21, 2019

Jennifer Harbury: Deaths of Guatemalan Children at Border Have Roots in Decades of U.S.-Backed Genocide
Five Guatemalan children have died after being apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol since December. We look at the humanitarian crisis unfolding on the border and its ties to decades of bloody U.S. intervention in Latin America with human rights attorney Jennifer Harbury. Her husband, Efraín Bámaca Velásquez, was a Mayan comandante and guerrilla who was disappeared after he was captured by the Guatemalan army in the 1980s. After a long campaign, she found there was U.S. involvement in the cover-up of her husband's murder and torture. "We trained them. We taught them torture techniques. We funded them, and we armed them," Harbury says of the Guatemalan military. "They're devouring the country using the same techniques of torture and the terror that they used before. Once again, everyone is roaring north." We also speak with Fernando Garcia, the founding director of the Border Network for Human Rights, an advocacy organization based in El Paso.

Democracy Now
May 21, 2019

Detained, Abused & Denied Medical Care: How Trump Immigration Policies Led to Child Deaths at Border
A 16 year-old Guatemalan boy died in U.S. custody Monday after spending a week in immigration jail. Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez was found dead at a Border Patrol station at Weslaco, Texas, just one day after being diagnosed with the flu. He was not hospitalized. This marks the fifth death of a Guatemalan child apprehended by Border Patrol since December. Before last year, it had been more than a decade since a child died in the custody of U.S. immigration officials. We speak with Fernando Garcia, the founding director of the Border Network for Human Rights, an advocacy organization based in El Paso, and Jennifer Harbury, a longtime human rights lawyer based in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

Democracy Now
May 21, 2019

Headlines for May 21, 2019
Iran Responds to Trump Threat While U.N. Urges All Parties to De-escalate Rhetoric, Houthis Launch Drone Attack on Saudi Airport, U.N. Warns Yemen Food Aid May Be Suspended Due to Instability, Guatemalan Teen Becomes 5th Migrant Child to Die in U.S. Custody Since December, Trump Orders McGahn to Defy Congressional Subpoena, D.C. Judge Orders Accounting Firm to Hand Over Trump Financial Docs, NY Prosecutors Examining Financial Records from Trump's Inauguration, New Zealand Police Charge Christchurch Massacre Suspect with Terrorism, Defeated Prabowo Challenges Re-election of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, New Boeing Lawsuit Alleges Company Hid Design Flaws in 737 MAX Planes, San Francisco Journalist Who Was Raided by SF Police to Appear in Court, Muhlaysia Booker, a Black Transgender Woman, Is Found Dead a Month After Mob Attack, Intense Storms and Floods Hit Central U.S., Report: Climate Change-Induced Sea Level Rise Could Displace Over 180 Million, Guardian Updates Language, Replacing "Climate Change" with "Climate Crisis", EPA to Introduce New Counting Model That Downplays Projected Death Toll from Trump Coal Plan, Mayor Pete Buttigieg Blasts Fox News Stars During Fox News Town Hall, Sen. Kamala Harris Proposes Penalizing Companies with Gender Pay Gap, Gov. Inslee Rolls Out 2020 Climate Proposal, Sybrina Fulton, Mother of Trayvon Martin, Running for Public Office in Miami

Democracy Now
May 20, 2019

Bottle of Lies: How Poor FDA Oversight & Fraud in Generic Drug Industry Threaten Patients' Health
Generic drugs amount to 90% of all prescriptions filled in the U.S., most of them made in plants in India and China. Generic drugs can be more affordable, but in her new explosive book "Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom," investigative journalist Katherine Eban works with two industry whistleblowers to expose how some manufacturers are cutting corners at the cost of quality and safety. This comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration just issued its own update on the state of pharmaceutical quality that found the drug quality of factories in India and China scored below the world average. FDA officials say that's because more robust inspections have uncovered problems and that "the quality of the drug supply has never been higher."

Democracy Now
May 20, 2019

Headlines for May 20, 2019
Trump Threatens "Official End of Iran" Via Tweet If It Provokes the U.S., First Phase of Kushner's Middle East Peace Plan to Focus on Palestinian Economy, Sweden Requests Detention of Assange as WikiLeaks Accuses U.S. of Illegally Seizing His Property, Australian Voters Choose Conservative PM Morrison Over Opponent Who Vowed to Tackle Climate Change, Austria Calls Snap Election After Far-Right Leader Caught in Corruption Scandal, Protesters Take to the Streets Ahead of European Parliament Elections, Narendra Modi on Track for Second Term as Prime Minister as Voting Ends in India, Taiwan Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in Historic First for Asian Continent, Protesters in Alabama, Missouri Defend Reproductive Rights from Recent Abortion Bans, Trump Considering Memorial Day Pardons for War Criminals, Deutsche Bank Ignored Internal Warnings About "Suspicious" Trump & Kushner-Related Transactions, Rep. Justin Amash Becomes First Republican Congressmember to Suggest Impeachment, NYT: Industry Leaders Helped Bury NYC Taxi Drivers Under Mountains of Debt, Billionaire Robert F. Smith Will Pay Student Debt of Entire Graduating Class of Morehouse College, Boeing Admits Flight Simulators for Faulty 737 MAX Jets Did Not Adequately Prepare Pilots, Protesters Call on Whitney Museum to Remove Tear Gas Manufacturer's CEO from Board

Democracy Now
May 17, 2019

Immigrant Activists Maru Mora-Villalpando & Ravi Ragbir Keep Speaking Out Despite Deportation Threat
President Trump has unveiled plans for a new, so-called "merit-based" immigration system that would prioritize "highly-skilled" and English-speaking workers, while further restricting asylum seekers and immigrants who have family living in the United States. Although no legislative details for the plan have been revealed, Trump's proposal is likely to hit a wall in Congress, where the Democratically-led House has repeatedly clashed with the Trump administration over immigration policy. Trump's immigration policies have led to dire conditions for asylum seekers to the U.S. On Wednesday, a two-and-a-half year-old migrant boy died in U.S. custody, three days after he and his family were detained by Customs and Border Protection. Immigrant communities already established in the U.S. are also being targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with activists claiming they have been targeted for speaking out against the Trump administration. We speak with two prominent and outspoken immigration activists who are fighting their own deportation and have been targeted for their activism: Maru Mora-Villalpando and Ravi Ragbir. Mora-Villalpando is an activist with La Resistencia and Mijente and Ragbir is executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition. Last month, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of Ragbir in a free speech case, saying the First Amendment bars ICE from targeting activists for deportation based on their political speech.

Democracy Now
May 17, 2019

What Does a Post-Roe America Look Like? As Anti-Choice Laws Multiply, Many Already Are Living In It
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer issued what many considered a dire warning from the bench this week, implying that Roe v. Wade — the landmark ruling that recognizes the constitutional right to an abortion — is in danger. He wrote the comments in a dissent for an unrelated case in which the court voted to overturn a 40 year-old precedent. Breyer wrote "Today's decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the Court will overrule next." We speak to journalist Robin Marty about what a post-Roe America would look like, and how many people are already cut off from abortion access across the country.

Democracy Now
May 17, 2019

Meet The Alabama Doctor Who Could Face 99 Years In Prison For Providing Abortions Under New Law
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the nation's most restrictive abortion ban into law on Wednesday, effectively banning the procedure except in cases where a pregnant person's life is at serious risk. The law does not make exceptions in cases of rape or incest and doctors could face 99 years in prison for performing abortions. We speak with Dr. Yashica Robinson, the medical director of the Alabama Women's Center for Reproductive Alternatives, one of only three clinics left in the state that offer patients abortion services. She is one of only two abortion providers living and working in Alabama. Under the new Alabama law, she could spend the rest of her life in prison for doing her job.

Democracy Now
May 17, 2019

Headlines for May 17, 2019
Trump Immigration Plan Favors Job Skills Over Asylum Claims and Family Ties, Trump Officials Reportedly Clash Over U.S. Sabre-Rattling With Iran, UNICEF Chief Calls Yemen War "a Test of Our Humanity" That "We Are Badly Failing", Venezuelan Government Blasts U.S. Seizure of Embassy as Vienna Convention Violation, Brazilian Teachers and Students March Against Education Cuts, Mexican Journalist Francisco Romero Killed in Playa del Carmen, Lawyer Says Tennessee Prisoner "Suffered Excruciating Pain" During Execution, Alabama Prisoner Put to Death After "Pro-Life" Governor Denies Reprieve, Senate Confirms Anti-Choice Activist Wendy Vitter as a Federal Judge, NYPD Commander Called Killing of Eric Garner "Not a Big Deal", Father of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Buys $91 Million Sculpture, Trump Administration Plan to Redefine Poverty Would Cut Benefits to Millions, New York Blocks Construction of Fracked Gas Pipeline, Defiant Chelsea Manning Sent Back to Jail For Refusing to Testify About WikiLeaks

Democracy Now
May 16, 2019

The World Just Took a Major Step To Curb Plastic Pollution, But the U.S. Refused to Join Effort
Nearly every country in the world except the United States took a historic step to curb plastic waste last week, when more than 180 nations agreed to add plastic to the Basel Convention, a treaty that regulates the movement of hazardous materials between countries. The U.S. is one of just two countries that has not ratified the 30 year-old treaty. During negotiations last week in Geneva, the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department joined the plastics industry in trying to thwart the landmark, legally-binding agreement. Despite this, the United States will still be affected by the agreement, because countries will be able to block the dumping of mixed or unrecyclable plastic wastes from other nations. The amended treaty will make it much more difficult for wealthy countries to send their plastic waste to poorer nations by prohibiting countries from exporting plastic waste that is not ready for recycling. The U.N. estimates there are 100 million tons of plastic waste in the world's oceans. We speak with Pam Miller, co-chair of the International Pollutants Elimination Network and executive director of Alaska Community Action on Toxics.

Democracy Now
May 16, 2019

As EPA Insists Weed Killer Roundup is Safe, a Jury Orders Monsanto to Pay $2B to Couple With Cancer
U.S. agribusiness giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay its highest damages yet in a massive lawsuit over the popular weedkiller Roundup. A jury ordered Monsanto to pay more than $2 billion in punitive damages to Alva and Alberta Pilliod, a couple who were both diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer after using Roundup on their properties for decades. Monsanto is owned by German pharmaceutical giant Bayer. The main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, glyphosate, is said to cause the cancer. Attorneys estimate that there are thousands of similar cases against Roundup pending in courts around the country. Last year, a jury in California ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a school groundskeeper who developed cancer after regularly using Roundup. The 46-year-old man, Dewayne Johnson, also has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The EPA says that glyphosate is not carcinogenic, but other scientific studies and the World Health Organization have found that human exposure can in fact lead to cancer. We speak with attorney Brent Wisner, co-lead trial counsel for Alva and Alberta Pilliod.

Democracy Now
May 16, 2019

"Inside Syria's Secret Prisons": A Harrowing Account of How Assad's Torture Machine Crushed Dissent
A shocking exposé by the New York Times looks at how Bashar al-Assad's government has jailed and tortured tens of thousands of Syrians since the uprising began in 2011. According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, nearly 128,000 people have disappeared. They are presumed to be either dead or still in custody. The group estimates almost 14,000 individuals have died under torture. The detentions are continuing even as the fighting winds down. More than 5,600 Syrians were reportedly arbitrarily detained last year in a 25 percent jump from the previous year. While the Syrian government has denied running a secret torture and detention program, more evidence — including internal Syrian government documents — has emerged showing the extent of the torture program. A United Nations panel has said the conditions in the prison —including the paucity of toilet facilities, rampant illness, minimal and rotten food, and the absence of medical treatment — are tantamount to "extermination." We speak with the report's author Anne Barnard. She's a reporter at _The New York Times_ and a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Democracy Now
May 16, 2019

Headlines for May 16, 2019
Alabama Governor Signs Nation's Most Restrictive Anti-Choice Law, Missouri Senate Votes to Ban Most Abortions After 8 Weeks, Trump Declares National Emergency, Blacklisting Chinese Telecom Huawei, Trump Delays Plans for Tariffs on Foreign Cars and Auto Parts, Trump to Announce "Merit-Based" Immigration Plan to Limit Asylum Cases, Family Reunifications, White House Refuses House Judiciary Committee Request for Documents, U.S. Won't Join "Christchurch Call" Against Online Extremism, Six Civilians Killed in Yemen as Saudi-Led Coalition Bombs Fall on Sana'a, Sudanese Troops Fire on Pro-Democracy Protesters as Military Rulers Suspend Talks, Israeli Forces Fire on Gaza Protesters Marking Nakba Day, Trump Officials Claim Photos of Iranian Missile Boats Sparked Tensions, Top British Commander Denies U.S. Claims of Increased Threat Posed by Iran, DOT Orders a Halt to Flights Between the U.S. and Venezuela, Arctic Ocean Temperatures Soar as Nearly All Old Arctic Sea Ice Has Vanished, California Investigators Find PG&E Sparked Worst Wildfire in State History, NYC's Met and Natural History Museum Sever Sackler Family Ties Over Opioid Epidemic, Trump Pardons Media Baron Conrad Black, Who Authored Glowing Biography of Trump, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Joins 2020 Race Pledging to Fight for Working Families

Democracy Now
May 15, 2019

After End of Dictatorship, Sudan's Protest Movement Demands Transition From Military to Civilian Rule
Mass protests in Sudan continue to call for civilian rule following last month's military coup. On Monday, the Transitional Military Council says it has reached an agreement with protest leaders on a transitional power structure. Demonstrators have been demanding a transfer from military to civilian rule following last month's military coup that ousted longtime leader Omar al-Bashir. The announcement comes after at least six protesters and a member of security forces were killed when security and paramilitary troops opened fire on crowds outside military headquarters in the capital Khartoum on Monday. Dozens more were injured. The same day, deposed President Omar al-Bashir was charged in the killing of protesters during the popular uprising that led to his overthrow. The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors says 90 people were killed during the protests. Demonstrators have vowed to continue to sit-in and march until the government is transitioned to 100 percent civilian rule. We speak with Marine Alneel, a Sudanese activist based in New York City.

Democracy Now
May 15, 2019

Medea Benjamin: We Need to Build Up the Antiwar Movement to Oppose War Against Iran
The State Department has ordered all non-emergency personnel to evacuate the U.S. embassy and consulate in Iraq, in response to what the White House says is a threat linked to Iran. No further details were given. Iraqi officials expressed skepticism about any purported threats, as did a senior British official who is the deputy commander of the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State. Tensions between the U.S. and Iran are continuing to mount, despite both parties saying they are not seeking war. The New York Times reports the Pentagon has drawn up a plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East if President Trump decides to take military action against Iran. The U.S. also recently deployed a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the region claiming there was a "credible threat by Iranian regime forces." We speak with CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin about the growing threat of war with Iran and the role of National Security Advisor John Bolton, who Benjamin says has been pushing for war with Iran for years.

Democracy Now
May 15, 2019

Despite Threats & No Electricity, Anti-Coup Activists Remain Inside Venezuelan Embassy in D.C.
In Washington, D.C., four activists remain in the Venezuelan embassy after police raided the building Monday night. Activists with CodePink, ANSWER Coalition and Popular Resistance have been inside the embassy since late April at the invitation of Venezuela's government in order to prevent it from being taken over by Venezuela's U.S.-backed opposition, led by Juan Guaidó. Last week, authorities cut off water and electricity to the embassy. We speak with CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin about the ongoing stand-off at the embassy.

Democracy Now
May 15, 2019

Alabama Passes Near Total Ban on Abortion as Part of "Stealth Campaign" to Overturn Roe v. Wade
Alabama lawmakers voted to effectively ban abortion Tuesday, passing the most restrictive anti-choice law in the country in a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. The bill approved by the Senate Tuesday and the Alabama House last month bans abortions at all phases. Doctors could face up to 99 years in prison for performing abortions. The bill's only exception is grave risk to the mother's life — not cases of rape and incest. The legislation is now heading to the desk of anti-choice Republican Governor Kay Ivey, and many expect she'll sign it. Opponents say they'll challenge the bill in court should it become law, but this is precisely the point. Architects behind the legislation want to use it to challenge Roe v. Wade, which recognizes the constitutional right to an abortion. We speak with Jessica Mason Pieklo of Rewire and Monica Simpson of Sister Song.

Democracy Now
May 15, 2019

Headlines for May 15, 2019
Alabama Legislature Passes Near-Complete Abortion Ban, U.S. Evacuates Non-Emergency State Dept. Personnel from Iraq, Houthis Launch Drone Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities, Pompeo Meets With Lavrov & Putin Over Iran, Venezuela, 2020 Elections, CNN: Migrant Children Sleeping Outside on the Ground at Texas Border Patrol, Pennsylvania Sues Purdue Pharma Over Oxycontin, Reports: Donald Trump Jr. Agrees to Conditional Senate Hearing, San Francisco Bans Facial Recognition Technology, Pilots' Union Confronted Boeing Over Faulty 737 Max Jets After First Fatal Crash, NYC Activists Stage Hunger Strike To Call for Halt to Williams Oil Pipeline , Texas Officer Tases, then Shoots Black Woman After She Yelled "I'm Pregnant", "Black Mama's Bail Out Day" Frees Over 100 Women for Mother's Day, New Yorkers Protest Gala Honoring Brazilian Pres. Bolsonaro and Mike Pompeo

Democracy Now
May 14, 2019

The Apology: Eve Ensler's New Book Is the Letter She Wishes Her Abusive Father Had Written
"I am done waiting." Those are the first words in Eve Ensler's groundbreaking new book _The Apology_, in which the world-renowned playwright and activist imagines what it would mean for a survivor of abuse to hear the words she's been waiting for her entire life: I'm sorry. Eve Ensler's father sexually and physically abused her throughout her childhood, beginning when she was just five years old. His abuse caused immeasurable physical and emotional damage, but he never apologized for his actions. So Eve Ensler decided to write an apology for him, decades after his death. The result is a stunning new book in which Ensler writes to herself from her father's perspective. In the book's introduction she writes: "My father is long dead. He will never say the words to me. He will not make the apology. So it must be imagined. For it is in our imagination that we can dream across boundaries, deepen the narrative, and design alternative outcomes." Ensler says that she hopes the book will be a blueprint for an "age of reckoning." Eve Ensler is the author of _The Vagina Monologues_ and the founder of V-Day, an international movement to stop violence against women and girls. Ensler dedicates her new book to every woman still waiting for an apology.

Democracy Now
May 14, 2019

Will John Bolton's Dream to Bomb Iran Come True? Ex-Iranian Ambassador Warns About U.S. Escalation
The Pentagon has reportedly drawn up a plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East if President Trump decides to take military action against Iran. The New York Times reports the Pentagon presented the proposal on Thursday after National Security Advisor John Bolton requested a revision to an earlier plan. Bolton has long advocated for attacking Iran. According to the Pentagon, far more than 120,000 troops would be needed if a ground invasion was ordered. This comes as tension continues to escalate between the United States and Iran. The United States recently deployed the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the region claiming there was a "credible threat by Iranian regime forces." Iran has announced it will stop complying with parts of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal and resume high-level enrichment of uranium in 60 days if other signatories of the deal do not take action to shield Iran's oil and banking sectors from U.S. sanctions. The U.S. has attempted to cut Iran off from the global economy, even though Iran has remained in compliance with the nuclear deal. We speak with Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a Middle East Security and Nuclear Policy Specialist at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He served as spokesperson for Iran in its nuclear negotiations with the European Union from 2003 to 2005.

Democracy Now
May 14, 2019

Headlines for May 14, 2019
NYT: Pentagon Readies Plan to Deploy 120,000 Troops as U.S.-Iran Tensions Mount, Trump and Far-Right Hungarian PM Orbán Celebrate "Similar Approaches" at WH Meeting, U.S.-China Trade War Ramps Up as China Retaliates with Raised Tariffs, Philippines Midterms Bolster Authoritarian President Rodrigo Duterte, Sudan: At Least 6 Protesters Killed in Clashes with Security Forces, Sri Lanka: Mounting Anti-Muslim Violence Leads to Curfew, Social Media Ban, SCOTUS Rules Users Can Sue Apple For Allegedly Monopolizing Apps Market, Reports: Israeli Security Firm NSO Group Hacked Whatsapp, AG Barr Assigns Federal Prosecutor to Look Into Russia Probe, CA Jury Orders Monsanto to Pay Over $2 billion in Roundup Cancer Lawsuit, Carbon Levels in Atmosphere Reach Highest Ever in Human History, NYPD Holds Disciplinary Hearing for White Officer Who Killed Eric Garner in 2014, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock Enters 2020 Democratic Race, Police Raid Activists Occupying Venezuelan Embassy in D.C.

Democracy Now
May 13, 2019

Arundhati Roy on the Power of Fiction: Literature is "The Simplest Way of Saying a Complicated Thing"
We speak with world-renowned author Arundhati Roy on the importance of reading and writing literature, even in the most dire of political times. On Sunday night, Roy delivered the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write lecture at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, invoking James Baldwin to argue that literature can tell the truth when all other avenues fail. Roy told her audience, "I very much like the idea of literature that is needed. Literature that provides shelter. Shelter of all kinds."

Democracy Now
May 13, 2019

Arundhati Roy: A U.S. Attack on Iran Would Be "Biggest Mistake It Has Ever Made"
On Sunday night Arundhati Roy delivered the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write lecture at the Apollo Theater in Harlem as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. She reads an excerpt of the lecture. "Over these last few years, given the wars it has waged, and the international treaties it has arbitrarily reneged on, the U.S. Government perfectly fits its own definition of a rogue state," Roy said. "And now, resorting to the same old scare tactics, the same tired falsehoods and the same old fake news about nuclear weapons, it is gearing up to bomb Iran. That will be the biggest mistake it has ever made."

Democracy Now
May 13, 2019

Arundhati Roy: Capitalism Is "a Form of Religion" Stopping Solutions to Climate Change & Inequality
As one million species face extinction due to human activity and the globe faces a growing climate crisis, we speak with world-renowned author Arundhati Roy about the threat capitalism poses to the future of life on earth. Roy says that those most responsible for creating the climate crisis "will see to it that they profit from the solution that they propose."

Democracy Now
May 13, 2019

Arundhati Roy on Why She Admires WikiLeaks & Opposes Assange's Extradition to the U.S.
In Sweden, prosecutors are reopening an investigation into sexual assault allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and are seeking his extradition to face charges in Sweden. Prosecutors had dropped the investigation in 2017 because they said the case could not proceed while Assange was holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he lived for seven years before being forcibly removed by British police last month. Assange has since been sentenced to 50 weeks in jail in Britain for skipping bail in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden. Assange has denied the sexual assault accusations. Assange previously faced another sexual misconduct allegation but its statute of limitations expired in 2015. The United States is also seeking Assange's extradition over the publication of leaked documents by Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, which showed evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq. We speak with award-winning writer Arundhati Roy, who has criticized the arrest of WikiLeaks founder and Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange. Roy and other public intellectuals in India called for Assange's immediate release, writing in a statement, "The journalism WikiLeaks and its Editor-in-Chief stand for is a journalism of outrage — outrage against the injustices and atrocities that take place round the world — but always with an eye to factuality, substantiation, and precision... If the U.S. had charged Assange and Wikileaks for publishing classified material, the legal case would have been no different from charging The New York Times with publishing the Pentagon Papers".

Democracy Now
May 13, 2019

Arundhati Roy on the Indian Election and Narendra Modi's "Far-Right, Hindu Nationalist" Agenda
In India, the sixth phase of voting has concluded in a highly anticipated parliamentary election that is widely seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is seeking a second term in office. India is the world's largest democracy with 900 million eligible voters. The final phase of voting will take place on May 19 and vote counting will begin on May 23. Modi's Hindu nationalist BJP won a landslide victory in 2014. His government has been criticized for a crackdown on civil society, targeting political opponents, journalists, human rights activists, lawyers and writers. Human rights groups have also raised the alarm on attacks against vulnerable populations, especially Dalits and Muslims. We speak with world-renowned, award-winning Indian writer Arundhati Roy. She is the author of _The God of Small Things_ and _The Ministry of Utmost Happiness_. Her new book _My Seditious Heart_, a collection of her nonfiction writing, will be out next month.

Democracy Now
May 13, 2019

Headlines for May 13, 2019
Sweden Reopens Julian Assange Sexual Assault Case, Seeks His Extradition, Pompeo to Discuss Iranian "Threats" in Europe as U.S. Ramps Up Military Presence, Saudi Oil Tankers Damaged in "Sabotage Attack" off UAE Coast, 187 Countries, Not Including the U.S., Agree to Landmark Deal Curbing Plastic Waste, U.S.-China Trade Talks End Without Deal, Increased Sanctions, Pentagon Redirects $1.5 Billion To Fund Border Wall, Afghanistan: Gunmen Kill Ex-Broadcast Journalist and Gov't Adviser Mina Mangal, Pakistan: Attack on Hotel Kills at Least 5, Burkina Faso: Gunmen Kill 6 People, Incl. Priest and Burn Down Church, At Least 65 Migrants Drown After Boat Sinks in Mediterranean, U.N. Reports, 1 Killed, Dozens Injured in Weekly Gaza Great March of Return Protests, U.N.: 1,700 Injured Palestinians May Have to Get Amputated Due to Lack of Funding, Biden Under Fire for Seeking "Middle Ground" on Climate Change Policies, Bernie Sanders & AOC Introduce Legislation to Cap Credit Card Interest Rates, Democrats Subpoena Trump's Taxes, House Passes Relief Bill Despite Ongoing Battle Over Funds for Puerto Rico, Hollywood Threatens Georgia Boycott After State Passes Draconian Abortion Law, Tulsa Officials to Oversee Search for Mass Graves Nearly 100 Years After 1921 Race Massacre

Democracy Now
May 10, 2019

Explosive Investigation Uncovers Greed & Infighting at NRA, Shattering "Myth" of the Group's Power
Is the National Rifle Association imploding? As the nation grieves over another deadly school shooting, we turn to look at how internal turmoil inside the NRA threatens the future of the gun lobbying group. A major new report published by The Trace in partnership with The New Yorker finds that while the NRA has blamed its recent financial woes on left-wing attacks on the Second Amendment, the real damage to the organization comes from within. Chief among the NRA's problems is its three-decade-old relationship with Oklahoma-based public relations firm Ackerman McQueen. The firm, which is behind the NRA's imaging, messaging and most of its initiatives, was paid more than $40 million dollars in 2017. We speak to Mike Spies, staff writer at The Trace.

Democracy Now
May 10, 2019

"We Have No Reason to Trust the Police": Sandra Bland Arrest Video Reignites Anger Over Her Death
The family of Sandra Bland is calling for authorities to reopen the investigation into her death. The 28-year-old African-American woman died in a Texas jail cell in 2015, three days after she was arrested for allegedly failing to signal a lane change. Authorities have claimed Sandra Bland committed suicide while in jail by hanging herself with a garbage bag, but her family has long rejected this claim. On Monday, the Dallas TV station WFAA aired cellphone video filmed by Bland capturing the moment when she was pulled over. In the 39-second video you can see the officer — Brian Encinia — drawing his stun gun and saying, "I will light you up."

Democracy Now
May 10, 2019

"Black Mama's Bail Out Day": Movement Grows to Free Black Women From Jail for Mother's Day
Racial justice groups around the country are bailing black women out of jail so they can spend Mother's Day with their families. For the third year in a row, "Black Mama's Bail Out Day" is raising money to bail out as many black women from jail as possible. The effort is taking place in dozens of cities to call attention to the injustice of cash bail. We speak to Mary Hooks, the co-director of Southerners On New Ground, which is part of the National Bail Out Collective.

Democracy Now
May 10, 2019

Trump Steps up War on Whistleblowers: Air Force Vet Daniel Hale Arrested For Leaking Drone War Info
A former U.S. intelligence analyst was arrested Thursday and charged with violating the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking documents about the secretive U.S. drone program. Daniel Hale, 31, was arrested in Nashville. He faces up to 50 years in prison. Hale is accused of disclosing 11 top secret or secret documents to a reporter. The indictment does not name the reporter but unnamed government sources have told media outlets that the reporter is investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept. In 2015, The Intercept published a special report called the Drone Papers exposing the inner workings of the U.S. military's assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. We air excerpts of the documentary "National Bird" that features Daniel Hale and speak to The Intercept's James Risen, director of First Look Media's Press Freedom Defense Fund.

Democracy Now
May 10, 2019

Headlines for May 10, 2019
Trump Increases Tariffs on $200 Billion of Chinese Goods, Trump Nominates Patrick Shanahan as Pentagon Chief, Former U.S. Intel Analyst Charged Over Whistleblowing About Drone Program, Chelsea Manning Freed from Jail After 62 Days as WikiLeaks Grand Jury Expires, Dozens of Civilians Die as Syrian and Russian Warplanes Pound Idlib, Iraq: Baghdad Suicide Bomb Claimed by ISIS Kills 8, French Activists Contest Saudi Arms Shipment, Citing Civilian Deaths in Yemen, U.S. Seizes North Korean Ship, Accusing it of Violating Sanctions, Water and Power Cut to Venezuelan Embassy in D.C. as Activists Continue Occupation, Alabama Senate Delays Vote on Abortion Ban After Rancorous Debate, Colorado Mother Warned of "Repeat of Columbine" Ahead of High School Shooting, Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes: It's Time to Break Up Facebook

Democracy Now
May 09, 2019

Shocking UN Report Warns up to a Million Species are at Risk of Extinction Due to Human Activity
An alarming new report by a panel of leading scientists warns that human activity is causing the disappearance and deterioration of wildlife at a rate that could represent an existential threat to humanity within our lifetimes. The United Nations' Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services released its conclusions earlier this week, and found that one million plant and animal species could go extinct in the foreseeable future unless current trends are reversed. The study estimates the global extinction rate is "already at least tens to hundreds of times higher than it averaged over the past 10 million years." It is the largest and most comprehensive global study of biodiversity ever. It took three years to complete and is based on 15,000 scientific papers. The landmark report singled out industrial farming and fishing as major drivers of the crisis and called for "transformative change" to arrest present trends of biodiversity loss and species extinction. We speak with Kate Brauman, one of the coordinating lead authors of the UN report. She is an environmental scientist at the University of Minnesota. And we speak with Ashley Dawson, a professor of post-colonial studies at the City University of New York Graduate Center and College of Staten Island. His books include "Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change" and "Extinction: A Radical History."

Democracy Now
May 09, 2019

Gig Economy Drivers Strike: Uber Has Built Its $90 Billion Empire on an Anti-Worker Model
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance helped organize the Uber and Lyft strike in New York City on Wednesday. We speak to the group's executive director Bhairavi Desai.

Democracy Now
May 09, 2019

Striking Driver Speaks Out: Uber & Lyft Are "Slave Systems" That Exploit Workers
Uber and Lyft drivers in cities around the world went on strike Wednesday to protest low wages and poor treatment of workers just days before Uber's initial public offering, which could value the company at up to $90 billion dollars. But while Uber prepares for what could be one of the biggest IPOs in history and executives plan to take home millions, drivers say their conditions are worse than ever. Drivers in Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, São Paulo, New York and other cities temporarily halted work Wednesday to demand Uber and other rideshare companies like Lyft treat drivers like full-time employees rather than independent contractors, guarantee a livable income and end deactivations for drivers without explanation, among other demands. On Wednesday, striking Uber and Lyft drivers gathered on Wall Street to call out the practices of the ride-sharing companies. Democracy Now! producer Libby Rainey spoke with Inder Parmar, an Uber driver who says he has lost two-thirds of his income as the company has slashed compensation.

Democracy Now
May 09, 2019

The Gig Is Up: Rep. Deb Haaland Introduces Bill to Make Uber & Lyft Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes
As Uber and Lyft drivers staged a strike on Wednesday, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) announced legislation that would require Uber and Lyft to pay for drivers' Social Security and Medicare costs. Because drivers are considered "independent contractors," they are currently required to pay Social Security & Medicare costs themselves. Haaland's legislation would place that burden entirely on Lyft, Uber, and other multinational corporations employing large numbers of so-called independent contractors in the gig economy. Rep. Deb Haaland said in a statement "The gig is up." She joins us from Capitol Hill.

Democracy Now
May 09, 2019

A Constitutional Crisis? House Panel Holds AG Barr in Contempt as Trump Claims Executive Privilege
The House Judiciary Committee has voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress over his refusal to turn over the unredacted Mueller report and the underlying evidence to lawmakers. Meanwhile, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has issued a subpoena to the Justice Department for the unredacted report. This all came after the White House invoked executive privilege to prevent the full report's release to Congress and to bar former White House counsel Don McGahn from providing documents to Congress related to the Mueller probe. We speak with Ian Millhiser, a columnist for ThinkProgress whose recent piece is headlined "Trump's claim that the Mueller report is protected by executive privilege is hot garbage."

Democracy Now
May 09, 2019

Headlines for May 9, 2019
House Judiciary Votes to Hold Attorney General Barr in Contempt of Congress, Senate Panel Subpoenas Donald Trump Jr. to Testify About Russia, New York Bill Would Allow Congress to Obtain Trump's State Tax Records, Trump Administration Announces New Sanctions on Iranian Metal Exports, Bodies of 4 Migrants Found in Arizona as Trial of Humanitarian Aid Volunteer Wraps Up, Trump Laughs and Jokes as a Supporter Suggests Shooting Migrants, Maryland Judge Approves Supervised Release for White Nationalist Accused of Terror Plot, Five Killed in Kabul, Afghanistan as Taliban Attack U.S. Nonprofit, Pakistani Taliban Claims Attack on Sufi Shrine in Lahore that Killed 10, North Korea Tests Short-Range Missiles, South Africa Polls Close with African National Congress Poised to Retain Majority, Denver to Decriminalize Use of Psychedelic Mushrooms, Police Raid Johns Hopkins Student Occupation, Arresting 7, "Gig Economy" Drivers Strike Worldwide Ahead of $90 Billion Uber IPO

Democracy Now
May 08, 2019

New Era for the ERA? 35 Years Later, Will Equal Rights Amendment Finally be Ratified?
Activists and lawmakers testified last week before a House Judiciary subcommittee in the first congressional hearings on the Equal Rights Amendment in more than 35 years. The constitutional amendment was approved by Congress in 1972, and was ratified by 35 states over the next decade — three states short of the required total needed by a 1982 deadline. Nevada and Illinois have since ratified the amendment. A bill by Rep. Jackie Spear would eliminate the 1982 deadline, leaving the ERA just one state away from becoming a part of the U.S. Constitution. We speak with co-presidents and CEOs of the ERA Coalition/Fund for Women's Equality: Carol Jenkins and Jessica Neuwirth. Neuwirth is also the author of the book "Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for an Equal Rights Amendment is Now."

Democracy Now
May 08, 2019

Cecile Richards: Georgia's New "Fetal Heartbeat" Bill Criminalizes Women Who Seek Abortions
Georgia's Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed into law Tuesday a six-week abortion ban, or so-called "fetal heartbeat law" that bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected—something that typically happens just six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women realize they're pregnant. It is now one of the country's most restrictive abortion laws. "It doesn't just make abortion illegal," says Cecile Richards, former head of Planned Parenthood. "It basically would allow women to be convicted and either sentenced to death or to life imprisonment in Georgia." She notes the real medical crisis for women in Georgia and nationwide is maternal mortality.

Democracy Now
May 08, 2019

Supermajority: Cecile Richards Teams With Alicia Garza & Ai-jen Poo to Mobilize Women Voters in 2020
As the 2020 primary and general election season heats up, we speak with former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards about Supermajority, the new political action group she helped launch that aims to train a new generation of women activists to take on grassroots campaigns and electoral politics. "Women are the majority of voters ... the volunteers, we're increasingly the donors, increasingly the candidates, and it's time for political equity," says Richards. "We want to build a multi-racial, intergenerational movement to increase women's power." Supermajority was co-founded by Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza and Ai-jen Poo, the executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Richards says since their launch a week ago, more than 80,000 people have signed up, and adds: "There's a real need and interest in the country."

Democracy Now
May 08, 2019

Billion Dollar Loser: NYT Report on Trump's Taxes & Massive Losses May Prompt Fraud Investigation
We look at a major exposé from _The New York Times_, which obtained tax information on Donald Trump that shows his businesses lost $1.17 billion from 1985 to 1994. While Trump continues to refuse to release his tax returns, printouts from his official IRS tax transcripts for a 10 year period ending in 1994 show that in multiple years during that stretch, Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual taxpayer in the country and paid no federal income taxes for eight of the 10 years. "Almost every two cents of every dollar reported as losses one year, by everyone in the United States, were recorded by Donald Trump," notes our guest, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, an investigative reporter previously with the _Times_, now founder and editor of "DC Report.org.":https://www.dcreport.org/. He has been reporting on Donald Trump since the 1980s and his new piece for the _Daily Beast_ is headlined "Trump's Tax Leak Hints at Potential Fraud Investigations."

Democracy Now
May 08, 2019

Headlines for May 8, 2019
Iran to Suspend Part of Nuclear Deal Citing U.S. Sanctions, Pompeo Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq As U.S.-Iran Tensions Mount, UN Rapporteur Slams U.S. For Using Sanctions to Precipitate Humanitarian Disasters, 1 Dead, 8 Injured in Colorado School Shooting Near Columbine, NYT: Trump's Tax Records Show He Lost Over $1 Billion Between 1985 and 1994, House Prepares to Hold Barr in Contempt as Justice Dept. Advises Trump to Invoke Executive Privilege, Georgia Enacts One of Nation's Most Restrictive Abortion Bans, Uber & Lyft Drivers Strike Ahead of Uber's Wall Street Debut, Tens of Thousands of Teachers in Oregon to Walk Out of Classes, Sandra Bland's Family Calls For Probe of Her Death to be Reopened After Cell Phone Footage is Aired, Pamela Anderson Visits Julian Assange in London Prison as He Fights Possible Extradition to U.S., Trump Pardons Soldier Who Murdered Naked Unarmed Iraqi Prisoner

Democracy Now
May 07, 2019

After Florida Re-enfranchises 1.4 Million, Republicans Push New "Poll Tax" For Formerly Incarcerated
Civil rights groups are decrying what they say is a new poll tax after the Florida Senate passed a bill Friday that would require formerly incarcerated people with felony convictions to repay all fines and fees to courts before their voting rights are restored. This comes six months after voters in Florida approved a measure to restore voting rights to 1.4 million people with nonviolent felonies who have fully completed their sentences, overturning a Jim Crow-era law aimed at keeping African Americans from voting. Nearly 65 percent of voters approved the constitutional amendment to re-enfranchise people with former felony convictions in November. It was hailed as the biggest win for voting rights in decades, with the potential to sway the 2020 election and beyond. But the Florida legislature's vote threatens to keep tens of thousands from the ballot boxes. We speak with Desmond Meade, president of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and chairman of Floridians for a Fair Democracy. He spearheaded Amendment Four, which has re-enfranchised 1.4 million Floridians, including himself.

Democracy Now
May 07, 2019

Joe Biden's Son Hunter Is Invested in China's Mass Surveillance Program Used to Monitor Uyghur Muslims
As the United Nations accuses the Chinese government of setting up massive camps in the far-west Xinjiang province to imprison an unknown number of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims, Human Rights Watch reports that China is carrying out mass surveillance there using a mobile app that lets authorities monitor the Muslim population. We speak with investigative reporter Lee Fang about an unexpected investor in Chinese surveillance: Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son. And we speak with Human Rights Watch China director Sophie Richardson.

Democracy Now
May 07, 2019

Joe Biden's Son Hunter Is Invested in China's Mass Surveillance Program Used to Monitor Uyghurs
As the United Nations accuses the Chinese government of setting up massive camps in the far-west Xinjiang province to imprison an unknown number of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims, Human Rights Watch reports that China is carrying out mass surveillance there using a mobile app that lets authorities monitor the Muslim population. We speak with investigative reporter Lee Fang about an unexpected investor in Chinese surveillance: Hunter Biden, Joe Biden's son. And we speak with Human Rights Watch China director Sophie Richardson.

Democracy Now
May 07, 2019

As Countries Seek Trade With China, Imprisoned Uyghur Community Has Become "Collateral Damage"
China's top trade negotiator is traveling to Washington this week as tension over trade intensifies between the two nations. President Trump is threatening to impose a 25 percent tariff on nearly all Chinese imports after the U.S. accused China of backtracking on trade commitments. Talks are expected to resume on Thursday, but the Trump administration is facing criticism for refusing to address China's human rights record as part of the negotiations. The United Nations and a number of human rights groups have accused the Chinese government of setting up massive camps in the far-west Xinjiang province to hold an unknown number of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims. Estimates of the population of the camps range from hundreds of thousands to more than a million. China says the camps have been built as re-education and training centers and are needed to combat extremism in the region. The New York Times reports the Trump administration has shelved proposed targeted sanctions over the mass detentions out of fear it could derail a potential trade deal. Last week, Human Rights Watch revealed new details about how China is carrying out mass surveillance in Xinjiang in part thanks to a mobile app that lets authorities monitor the Muslim population. We speak with Human Rights Watch's China director Sophie Richardson and Rushan Abbas, a Uyghur-American activist and founder of Campaign for Uyghurs.

Democracy Now
May 07, 2019

As Countries Seek Trade With China, Imprisoned Uyghur Muslim Community Has Become "Collateral Damage"
China's top trade negotiator is traveling to Washington this week as tension over trade intensifies between the two nations. President Trump is threatening to impose a 25 percent tariff on nearly all Chinese imports after the U.S. accused China of backtracking on trade commitments. Talks are expected to resume on Thursday, but the Trump administration is facing criticism for refusing to address China's human rights record as part of the negotiations. The United Nations and a number of human rights groups have accused the Chinese government of setting up massive camps in the far-west Xinjiang province to hold an unknown number of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslims. Estimates of the population of the camps range from hundreds of thousands to more than a million. China says the camps have been built as re-education and training centers and are needed to combat extremism in the region. The New York Times reports the Trump administration has shelved proposed targeted sanctions over the mass detentions out of fear it could derail a potential trade deal. Last week, Human Rights Watch revealed new details about how China is carrying out mass surveillance in Xinjiang in part thanks to a mobile app that lets authorities monitor the Muslim population. We speak with Human Rights Watch's China director Sophie Richardson and Rushan Abbas, a Uyghur-American activist and founder of Campaign for Uyghurs.

Democracy Now
May 07, 2019

Trita Parsi: John Bolton Has Wanted War With Iran for 20 Years. Now Could Be His Best Chance
Iran is accusing the United States of "psychological warfare" after National Security Advisor John Bolton announced the U.S. is deploying a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the region. In a statement on Sunday night, Bolton said the move was intended to "send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attacks on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force." On Monday acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the deployment was made because of a "credible threat by Iranian regime forces" but he offered no details. Axios is reporting the threat is based on information passed on from Israel. The Trump administration has been ratcheting up pressure against Iran following Washington's withdrawal from the landmark Iran nuclear deal last year. Last month, the U.S. designated Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. The Trump administration also said it will end a waiver program that allowed some nations to circumvent U.S. sanctions and continue buying Iranian oil without suffering penalties. We speak with Trita Parsi in Washington, D.C., author of "Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy." He is the founder and former president of the National Iranian American Council, and an adjunct associate professor in the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University.

Democracy Now
May 07, 2019

Headlines for May 7, 2019
Reuters Reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo Released from Burmese Prison, 500 Ex-Prosecutors: Trump Would Be Charged with Obstruction If He Weren't President, House Dems to Vote on Holding AG Barr in Contempt Over Mueller Report, Treasury Misses Deadline To Hand Over Trump's Tax Returns, Russia Warns Against Military Intervention in Venezuela, Pompeo: Reduction of Arctic Sea Ice Opens Up "Opportunities for Trade", Turkey Scraps Istanbul Election Results After Ruling AKP Candidate Loses, Syria: Air Raids Destroy Hospitals, Kill at Least 17 Civilians, Panama Elects Centrist Laurentino Cortizo in Close Presidential Race, Report: Military Sexual Violence Up Nearly 40% in 2018, NOLA's Oldest Paper Times-Picayune Sold to Rival Outlet, Fires Staff, New NRA Head Attacks Rep. McBath: She Won For Being a "Minority Female", Senator and 2020 Candidate Cory Booker Unveils New Gun Control Plan

Democracy Now
May 06, 2019

Ex-Blackwater CEO Erik Prince Makes a Comeback Under Trump Selling Mercenary Armies Around the World
The House Intelligence Committee has sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department for Erik Prince, founder of the mercenary firm Blackwater. House Democrats are accusing Prince of lying to Congress during his November 2017 testimony before the Committee, when he described a meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian banker before Donald Trump's inauguration as a chance encounter. According to the Mueller report, the meeting was an attempt to establish a backchannel between the incoming Trump administration and Russia, and may have been arranged by the Trump team. The move is one of the latest actions placing Erik Prince in the spotlight after more than a decade of largely working in the shadows after Blackwater shut down. In a major new report, The Intercept looks at Prince's latest actions, including his pitch to privatize the war in Afghanistan; his creation of a mercenary army for the United Arab Emirates; a history of mismanaged projects that have soured his relationships with leaders around the world; and his comeback, made possible with the help of the Trump administration. We speak with Matthew Cole, the investigative journalist who wrote the story. It's titled "The Complete Mercenary: How Erik Prince Used the Rise of Trump to Make an Improbable Comeback."

Democracy Now
May 06, 2019

The Occupation is a Crime of Aggression: Gazans React After 25 Palestinians, 4 Israelis Die
Leaders in Israel and Gaza have reportedly reached a ceasefire agreement after an intense three days of fighting left 25 Palestinians and four Israelis dead. Palestinian authorities said the dead in Gaza included two pregnant women, a 14-month-old girl and a 12-year-old boy. The latest round of violence began on Friday. According to the Washington Post, Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinian protesters taking part in the weekly Great March of Return which began 13 months ago. Palestinians then reportedly shot and wounded two Israeli soldiers near the border. In response, Israel carried out an airstrike on a refugee camp killing two Palestinian militants. The heaviest combat took place on Saturday and Sunday as militants in Gaza fired about 700 rockets into Israel while Israel launched airstrikes on over 350 targets inside Gaza. The weekend has been described as the heaviest combat in the region since the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza. Residents in Gaza fear the ceasefire will not last. We go to Gaza City to speak with Raji Sourani, award-winning human rights lawyer and the director of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. We also speak with Jehad Abusalim, a scholar and policy analyst from Gaza who works for the American Friends Service Committee's Gaza Unlocked Campaign.

Democracy Now
May 06, 2019

Headlines for May 6, 2019
Gaza: Ceasefire Reached After Intense Fighting Kills 25 Palestinians and 4 Israelis, U.N. Report: 1 Million Species at Risk of Extinction, Trump Nominates Obama-Era Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan to Head ICE, Ex-WH Chief of Staff John Kelly Joins Board of U.S.'s Largest Jailer of Migrant Children, John Bolton: U.S. Deploying Warships to Send "Message" to Iran, North Korea Tests Missiles As Trump Admin Affirms Nuclear Deal Still on Track, U.N. Warns 40% of North Koreans in Need of Food Assistance, Colombia: Renowned Activist Francia Márquez Escapes Attack by Gunmen, Afghanistan: Taliban Raid Security HQ, Killing 13, Brunei Extends Death Penalty Moratorium After Global Outrage, Trump Ratchets up Tariff Threats Against China as Trade Talks Set to Resume, Boeing Aware of Sensor Problems Prior to Fatal 737 MAX 8 Crashes, Trump Says Mueller Should Not Testify to Congress as Deadline for Full Report Expires, Minneapolis Settles Lawsuit Over Killing of Unarmed Australian Woman, Judge Rules Lawsuit Opposing Muslim Ban Can Proceed, Texas: Transgender Migrants Win Asylum Case, Pro-Palestinian UMass Panel Attracts 2,000 After Lawsuit Fails to Halt Event

Democracy Now
May 03, 2019

"We Shall Overcome": Remembering Folk Icon Pete Seeger on What Would Have Been His 100th Birthday
It was 100 years ago today that the late folk singer and activist Pete Seeger was born. In 2004, Seeger came into our Firehouse studio for an in-depth interview. We play an excerpt to mark his centennial celebration, in which he recalls how he learned about the classic civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome," that he helped to popularize. Watch the "full interview":https://www.democracynow.org/2006/7/3/we_shall_overcome_an_hour_with and our "full archive of interviews":https://www.democracynow.org/appearances/pete_seeger with Seeger.

Democracy Now
May 03, 2019

We Can't Back People Who Hate Our Kids: Kentucky & Minnesota Teachers of Year Boycott Trump Meeting
We speak with two award-winning teachers who are trying to teach Trump a lesson. On Monday, Jessica Dueñas, the 2019 Kentucky Teacher of the Year, and Kelly Holstine, the 2019 Minnesota Teacher of the Year, boycotted a White House ceremony honoring them and other state winners of the award in protest of the Trump administration's education policies. But Dueñas and Holstine skipped the event to register their opposition to Trump's policies on immigration, education and LGBTQ rights, saying many of the White House policies directly impact their immigrant and refugee students.

Democracy Now
May 03, 2019

Roger Waters on Palestine: "You Have to Stand Up for People's Human Rights All Over the World"
After a judge ruled a panel can move forward Saturday at the University of Massachusetts Amherst on "Israel, Free Speech, and the Battle for Palestinian Human Rights," we speak with one of the event's scheduled participants: Roger Waters, co-founder of Pink Floyd, one of the most popular rock bands of all time. He says he welcomes the lawsuit that challenged the event, because "what it does is it serves to shine a light on the predicament of the Palestinian people."

Democracy Now
May 03, 2019

Mass. Judge Refuses to Halt Pro-Palestinian Event at UMass Featuring Roger Waters & Linda Sarsour
"Not Backing Down: Israel, Free Speech, and the Battle for Palestinian Human Rights." That's the title of an event set to take place Saturday at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. After three anonymous UMass students filed a lawsuit to stop the event, a judge ruled Thursday the event can proceed, saying, "There's nothing that comes even close to a threat of harm or incitement to violence or lawlessness." We get an update from Sut Jhally, event organizer and professor of communication at the University of Massachusetts, and Rachel Weber, attorney and member Jewish Voice for Peace, Western Massachusetts chapter.

Democracy Now
May 03, 2019

Headlines for May 3, 2019
Pelosi Accuses Barr of Lying to Congress over Mueller Report, Rep. Nadler Threatens to Hold Barr in Contempt, Over a Million Evacuate as Cyclone Slams Northeastern India, Venezuela Court Orders Arrest of Opposition Leader Leopoldo López, Two Activists Arrested Outside Venezuelan Embassy in D.C., EU Threatens to Sue U.S. over New Restrictions on Cuba, Senate Fails to Overturn Trump Veto on Yemen War, Assange to Fight Extradition to the United States, Pentagon Accused of Killing 10x as Many Civilians Overseas as Acknowledged in New Report, Report: U.S. Military Spending Is Higher Than Next Eight Countries Combined, High Levels of Economic & Housing Insecurity in U.S. Detailed in New Reports, Facebook Bans Louis Farrakhan, Alex Jones and Others for Engaging in "Violence and Hate", Trump Drops Plans to Nominate Stephen Moore to Fed, Trump Admin Rolls Back Safety Regulations for Offshore Drilling, Pharmaceutical CEO Convicted for Bribing Doctors to Prescribe Fentanyl, Baltimore Mayor Resigns Amid FBI and IRS Probes into Controversial Book Sales, Hundreds of Thousands Protest in Sudan Calling for Civilian Rule, 10-Month-Old Honduran Infant Dies After Raft Capsizes in Rio Grande, Florida Moves to Withhold Voting Rights for Felons Until All Old Fines Are Paid, Maine Makes History by Banning Styrofoam, Scientologist Cruise Ship Sets Sail After Quarantine over Measles Case on Board, Immigrant Rights Activists Maru Mora-Villalpando Vows to Continue Resisting Despite Deportation Order

Democracy Now
May 02, 2019

George Monbiot on U.K. Climate Emergency & the Need for Rebellion to Prevent Ecological Apocalypse
On Wednesday, the House of Commons became the first parliament in the world to declare a climate emergency. The resolution came on the heels of the recent Extinction Rebellion mass uprising that shut down Central London last month in a series of direct actions. Activists closed bridges, occupied public landmarks and even superglued themselves to buildings, sidewalks and trains to demand urgent action to combat climate change. Police arrested more than 1,000 protesters. Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn told Parliament, "We are witnessing an unprecedented upsurge of climate activism, with groups like Extinction Rebellion forcing the politicians in this building to listen. For all the dismissive and defensive column inches the processes have provoked, they are a massive and, I believe, very necessary wake-up call. Today we have the opportunity to say, 'We hear you.'" We speak with George Monbiot, British journalist, author and columnist with The Guardian. His recent piece for The Guardian is headlined "Only rebellion will prevent an ecological apocalypse." Monbiot says capitalism "is like a gun pointed at the heart of the planet. It will essentially, necessarily destroy our life-support systems. Among those characteristics is the drive for perpetual economic growth on a finite planet."

Democracy Now
May 02, 2019

A Debate on Maduro: Two Venezuelans Oppose U.S. Intervention But Differ on Steps Ahead
Competing pro- and anti-government rallies were held Wednesday as President Nicolás Maduro accused the United States of backing Tuesday's failed coup led by opposition leader Juan Guaidó. Speaking to a massive crowd of supporters outside the presidential palace of Miraflores, Maduro said the United States had been tricked into believing that several top Venezuelan officials were ready to break with his government. In Washington, the National Security Council held a principals' meeting on Wednesday to discuss Venezuela. The Washington Post reports the staff of national security adviser John Bolton clashed with a top general during the meeting for not presenting sufficient military options on Venezuela. This came as acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan canceled a planned overseas trip to focus on Venezuela. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to urge an end to Russian involvement in Venezuela. Lavrov reportedly responded by warning the United States should not take any more "aggressive steps" in Venezuela. We go to Caracas for a debate between Venezuelan Vice-Minister of Foreign Relations for North America Carlos Ron and Edgardo Lander, a Venezuelan sociologist who is part of the Citizen's Platform in Defense of the Constitution.

Democracy Now
May 02, 2019

Headlines for May 2, 2019
Attorney General Barr Grilled by Senate Judiciary over Mueller Report, Trump Administration Says It May Go to War to Oust Venezuelan President, Hundreds Arrested in St. Petersburg, Russia, and Paris, France, at May Day Rallies, Haitians Mark May Day with Calls for Living Wages, Ouster of President Moïse, Honduras Cancels Education and Healthcare Privatization Plans Amid Protests, Puerto Rico May Day Protesters Demand End to Austerity Measures, 10,000 South Carolina Teachers Rally for Union Rights and Livable Wages, New York Domestic Workers Join Protest at the Trump Building on Wall Street, 16-Year-Old Guatemalan Immigrant Dies in U.S. Custody, House Holds First Congressional Hearing on Equal Rights Amendment in 35 Years, Alabama House Advances Nation's Most Restrictive Abortion Ban, 100 Million in India and Bangladesh in Path of Worst Indian Ocean Cyclone in Five Years, In Historic First, U.K. Parliament Declares a Climate Emergency

Democracy Now
May 01, 2019

"It Is About Time": Rep. Ilhan Omar on Supporting Impeachment of Trump & Medicare for All
Congress held a historic hearing on Medicare for all on Tuesday, opening with an emotional testimony from activist and lawyer Ady Barkan, who is dying of terminal ALS. We speak to Representative Ilhan Omar about yesterday's hearing and her support for overhauling the country's healthcare system in favor of Medicare for all. We also talk to her about ongoing efforts to impeach President Donald Trump, which she says she supports.

Democracy Now
May 01, 2019

Hands Off Ilhan Omar: Angela Davis & Black Women Leaders Defend Congresswoman from Right-Wing Attacks
African-American women leaders gathered on Capitol Hill Tuesday in defense of Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim congresswomen in history and the first member of Congress to wear a hijab. Omar has been the target of numerous right-wing attacks since taking office, including by President Donald Trump himself. Omar says death threats against her have spiked in number since President Trump tweeted a video juxtaposing her image with footage of the 9/11 attacks. Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, civil rights icon Angela Davis and others addressed the crowd Tuesday to urge Congress to censure President Trump—to whom they referred simply as the "occupant of the White House"—for his attacks on Omar and to send a message to both political parties: Hands off Ilhan Omar.

Democracy Now
May 01, 2019

Ilhan Omar Speaks Out Against U.S. Sanctions & Bipartisan Support for Regime Change in Venezuela
Amid an ongoing coup attempt in Venezuela, we speak with Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who questioned U.S. special envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams on Capitol Hill in February about his record. Abrams is a right-wing hawk who was linked to the 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela that tried to topple Hugo Chávez. In the 1980s, Abrams defended Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt as he oversaw a campaign of mass murder and torture of indigenous people. Ríos Montt was later convicted of genocide. Rep. Ilhan Omar says that there is a direct correlation between this type of detrimental U.S. foreign policy in Latin America and "the kind of mass migration that we're noticing right now from Central America and South America to the U.S."

Democracy Now
May 01, 2019

Economist Jeffrey Sachs: U.S. Sanctions Have Devastated Venezuela & Killed Over 40,000 Since 2017
More than 40,000 people have died in Venezuela since 2017 as a result of U.S. sanctions, according to a new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research co-authored by economists Jeffrey Sachs and Mark Weisbrot. The report examines how U.S. sanctions have reduced the availability of food and medicine in Venezuela and increased disease and mortality. We speak with Jeffrey Sachs in our New York studio. In the report, he writes, "American sanctions are deliberately aiming to wreck Venezuela's economy and thereby lead to regime change. It's a fruitless, heartless, illegal, and failed policy, causing grave harm to the Venezuelan people."

Democracy Now
May 01, 2019

As Venezuela Coup Attempt Fails to Overthrow Maduro, Guaidó Calls for More Street Protests
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is claiming to have defeated a coup attempt launched by opposition leader, Juan Guaidó, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly. On Tuesday morning Guaido appeared in an online video, standing among heavily armed soldiers, calling for the military to back what he called the "final phase" of an effort to topple Maduro's government. Guiado appeared alongside Leopoldo Lopez, a longtime opposition leader, who was reportedly released from house arrest by renegade officers. Guaido has been attempting to topple the Venezuelan government since January when he declared himself to be Venezuela's interim president. The Trump administration - as well as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and others - openly supported the coup attempt. Earlier today U.S. Secretary Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox Business that military action in Venezuela is possible, "if that's what's required." We speak to Miguel Tinker Salas, Venezuelan historian and professor at Pomona College

Democracy Now
May 01, 2019

Headlines for May 1, 2019
Venezuelan President Says U.S.-Backed Coup Attempt Has Been Defeated, Julian Assange Sentenced to 50 Weeks in British Jail as U.S. Presses Extradition, Robert Mueller Sent Letter to Complain About AG William Barr's Summary of Report, Ady Barkan, Activist Dying of ALS, Testifies to Congress in Favor of Medicare for All, 2 Killed, 4 Injured as Gunman Opens Fire at University of North Carolina, Minnesota Cop Guilty of Murder, Manslaughter in Killing of Australian Woman, Prominent Black Women Rally on Capitol Hill in Defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar, Democratic Leaders Agree With Trump to Pursue $2 Trillion Infrastructure Deal, Protesters Pushing Sen. Schumer to Support Green New Deal Arrested in New York

Democracy Now
Apr 30, 2019

Former DHS Analyst: Trump Administration Not Taking White Nationalist Threat Seriously Enough
Funeral services were held Monday in San Diego, California, for Lori Kaye, a 60-year-old Jewish congregant who was shot dead Saturday in the latest attack by a white supremacist on a house of worship. To talk about the rise of white supremacist violence and the Trump administration's response, we speak to Daryl Johnson, a former senior analyst in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In 2009, Johnson authored a report warning about the increasing dangers of violent right-wing extremism in the United States, sparking a political firestorm in the process. Under pressure from Republican lawmakers and popular talk show hosts, DHS ultimately repudiated Johnson's paper.

Democracy Now
Apr 30, 2019

With U.S. Support, Venezuelan Opposition Launch a Coup in Latest Attempt to Oust Maduro
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó says a coup is underway in Caracas. Guaidó appeared this morning, in a video posted online, standing among heavily armed soldiers, proclaiming he is "starting the final phase of Operation Liberty." He appeared alongside formerly jailed opposition leader Leopoldo López, who said he'd been freed from house arrest by military officers loyal to the opposition. Venezuela's defense minister said the government of Nicolás Maduro remains in control and that military units reported "normality" at barracks and bases across Venezuela. We speak to attorney Eva Golinger, who who served as an adviser to former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

Democracy Now
Apr 30, 2019

Angela Davis: I Would Like to Accept Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Award After BDS Controversy
In February, Angela Davis returned to her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. She originally planned the visit to receive the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, but the institute withdrew the award in January, soon after the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center sent a letter urging the board to reconsider honoring Davis due to her support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting the Israeli government and Israeli institutions. Facing swift and widespread outcry, the institute then reversed its decision and reinstated the award. While Angela Davis has yet to accept the award, she tells Democracy Now! she would like to accept it, but says it is not an individual decision to make. "I will take the leadership from those doing the on-the-ground work."

Democracy Now
Apr 30, 2019

Angela Davis & Barbara Ransby: We Stand with Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Courageous, Bold Black Woman
Two of the founders of Black Lives Matter, as well as professor Angela Davis and scores of other black women, are holding a rally today on Capitol Hill to defend Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and to urge Congress to censure President Trump for his attacks on her. Omar made history earlier this year when she and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan became the first Muslim women in Congress. She is also the first member of Congress to wear a hijab. Omar, who was born in Somalia and came to the United States as a refugee, has been at the center of numerous right-wing attacks since taking office. Omar recently said death threats against her have spiked in number since President Trump tweeted a video juxtaposing her image with footage of the 9/11 attacks. We speak to the academic and activist Angela Davis, as well as Barbara Ransby, historian, author, activist adviser to the Movement for Black Lives and one of the planners behind Black Women in Defense of Ilhan Omar.

Democracy Now
Apr 30, 2019

Headlines for April 30, 2019
Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Claim a Coup Is Underway, Trump to Make Asylum Seekers Pay Application Fees, Trump Organization Sues Banks in Bid to Resist Congressional Subpoenas, Pentagon Links More U.S. Military Members to Neo-Nazi Group, Christchurch, NZ Police Find Explosive Device Amid Fears of More Anti-Muslim Violence, Terror Suspect Arrested After Receiving Fake Explosives from FBI Informant, Lori Gilbert-Kaye, Killed in Synagogue Shooting, Mourned at San Diego Funeral, Trump to Designate the Muslim Brotherhood a Terrorist Organization, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Who Oversaw Mueller Probe, Steps Down, ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Appears in Video for First Time in Five Years, Death Toll Rises from Mozambique's Worst-Ever Cyclone, Moroccan Authorities Attack Western Saharan Activists Ahead of U.N. Vote, Families of 737 Crash Victims Protest as Boeing Shareholders Meet in Chicago, Tennessee Governor Leads Anti-Union "Captive Audience" Meeting at VW Plant, John Singleton, Who Directed "Boyz n the Hood" and "Rosewood," Dies at 51

Democracy Now
Apr 29, 2019

From LBJ to Robert Moses: Robert Caro on Writing About Political Power & Its Impact on the Powerless
Robert Caro is always working. The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner published his first book, "The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York," 45 years ago and has spent the decades since meticulously chronicling the life and times of Lyndon B. Johnson. The result is four sweeping volumes that total more than 3,000 pages and offer an unprecedented window into the inner world of one of the country's most influential presidents. And he's not done yet—Caro is currently writing the fifth and final installment of the collection. Robert Caro has been described as "the greatest political biographer of our times," but to reduce his work as simply biographies of great men misses the point. Caro uses both Moses and Johnson to show how political power works. Robert Caro has just released a new book—by far the smallest volume in his collection—titled "Working." It offers an inside look into the author's meticulous research and writing process. We speak with Robert Caro in our New York studio.

Democracy Now
Apr 29, 2019

Headlines for April 29, 2019
White Nationalist Gunman Opens Fire on San Diego Synagogue, Killing 60-Year-Old Lori Kaye, Trump Admin Disbanded Domestic Terror Unit Amid Rising Far-Right Violence, One Dead, Seven Wounded as Gunman Fires Indiscriminately at Baltimore Crowd, At NRA Convention, Trump Ends Ratification Process for Arms Treaty, Oliver North, Who Illegally Funneled Weapons to Contras, Resigns as NRA President, Trump Praises Robert E. Lee as "One of the Great Generals", Spanish Socialist PM Pedro Sánchez Wins Election as Far-Right Vox Party Makes Gains, Mozambique Battered by Cyclone Kenneth, the Strongest Storm in Its History, U.K. Labour Leader Corbyn to Call for National Emergency Vote on Climate Change, Pipeline Protester in West Virginia Faces Terrorism Charge for Civil Disobedience, Sri Lanka Bans Face Coverings Following Easter Attacks, Alarming Muslim Leaders, Thousands in Hong Kong Protest Proposal to Allow Extradition to China for Trial, Kansas Supreme Court Rules That Abortion Is Protected by State Constitution, Prominent Women's Rights Activists Launch New Political Action Group, Pentagon Plan Would Expand Role for Military on U.S.-Mexico Border, Judge and Court Officer Charged for Helping Undocumented Immigrant Evade ICE, Over 1,000 Quarantined at Los Angeles Colleges Amid Measles Outbreak

Democracy Now
Apr 26, 2019

Filipina Journalist Maria Ressa Helped Expose Duterte's Deadly Drug War; He's Now Trying to Jail Her
The award-winning Filipina journalist Maria Ressa has been arrested twice in recent months by the Philippines government as President Rodrigo Duterte cracks down on critics and the media. In February, she was detained in a cyber libel case that's widely seen as politically motivated. She was arrested again in late March for allegedly violating a ban on foreign media ownership. Duterte has long attempted to shut down Rappler, which has published groundbreaking work on Duterte's deadly war on drugs that has killed thousands. Duterte has repeatedly described the site as fake news outlet. We speak with Maria Ressa, the founder of the independent news site Rappler and a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Democracy Now
Apr 26, 2019

Roe v. Wade Under Threat: Planned Parenthood Pres. Speaks Out as State Laws Threaten to Ban Abortion
Abortion rights are under threat across the United States, with 28 states currently considering legislation to ban or restrict abortion in various ways. Among the slew of strategies are trigger bans, to make abortion completely illegal in a state should Roe v. Wade be overturned, and six-week abortion bans. Earlier this month, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law a six-week abortion ban, which bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected—something that typically happens before many women realize they're pregnant. The bill does not include exceptions for cases of rape or incest. A similar law is set to take effect in Mississippi in July, while judges have blocked similar bills from going into effect in Kentucky and Iowa. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is expected to sign his state's abortion ban in the coming weeks. While over two-thirds of Americans are pro-choice, anti-choice activists have the edge in state governments, with Republicans controlling roughly two-thirds of statehouses and 27 of the country's 50 governorships. We speak with the president of Planned Parenthood, Dr. Leana Wen.

Democracy Now
Apr 26, 2019

Planned Parenthood President: Trump's "Pro-Life" Agenda Is Killing Thousands in the U.S. and Globally
A second federal judge has blocked a gag rule that would have stripped federal funding known as Title X for Planned Parenthood and other clinics that refer patients for abortions or even mention abortion as an option. The judge's ruling halts the rule, which was announced by President Trump in February and was scheduled to go into effect on May 3. Washington state Federal Judge Stanley Bastian ruled against the changes to Title X funding Thursday, saying they would require clinics "to face a Hobson's choice that harms patients as well as the providers." This came two days after an Oregon judge issued a preliminary injunction to stop the gag order from going into effect, calling the rule a "ham-fisted approach to public health policy." Title X covers non-abortion services like STD prevention, cancer screenings and contraception, and provides over $280 million in funding for 4 million mostly low-income women every year. We speak with the president of Planned Parenthood, Dr. Leana Wen. She says the gag rule would force doctors "to compromise the oath that we took to serve our patients."

Democracy Now
Apr 26, 2019

"A Shameful Week for the U.S.": Trump Admin Guts U.N. Resolution to End Rape as Weapon of War
The Trump administration is under fire after the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution to end rape as a weapon of war on Tuesday that excluded any mention of sexual and reproductive health. The resolution was gutted after the U.S. threatened to veto the measure altogether unless language referencing reproductive health was taken out due to the Trump administration's belief that the language was code for abortion. The watered-down measure also weakened references to the International Criminal Court, making it harder for women and girls to seek justice. We speak with Jessica Neuwirth, director of the Human Rights Program at Roosevelt House at Hunter College and the director of the Sisterhood Is Global Institute. She sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo protesting the U.S. stance on the Security Council resolution. We also speak with Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen.

Democracy Now
Apr 26, 2019

Headlines for April 26, 2019
Sri Lanka Lowers Death Toll from Easter Attacks; Top Officials Resign over Intelligence Failures, Anita Hill: I Am Not Satisfied by Biden's Apology over Handling of Clarence Thomas Allegations, As Comcast Lobbyist Hosts Biden's First Fundraiser, Campaign Boasts of Support From "Top 1%", Biden Hires Ex-Bernie Sanders Staffer as Senior Adviser, Hundreds of Thousands Protest in Sudan Demanding Civilian Rule, North Korea's Kim Jong-un Accuses U.S. of Acting in Bad Faith in Nuke Talks, In Response to Yellow Vest Protests, Macron Vows to Cut Taxes, Tells Nation It Must Work Harder, Report: U.S. Sanctions Have Killed 40,000 in Venezuela Since 2017, Second Judge Blocks Trump's Title X "Gag Rule" on Abortion, Texas Judge Temporarily Blocks Anti-BDS Bill, Saying It Violates First Amendment, Roger Waters & Linda Sarsour Event on Backlash Against Pro-Palestinian Voices Faces Lawsuit, Protest, Judge Considers Freeing Coast Guard Official Accused of Domestic Terrorist Plot, NSA Recommends Ending Metadata Surveillance Program Exposed by Edward Snowden, Pentagon Ethics Probe Clears Shanahan over Ties to Boeing, FBI & IRS Raid Homes & Office of Baltimore Mayor, After 1,100 Arrests, Extinction Rebellion Concludes 10 Days of Climate Civil Disobedience in London

Democracy Now
Apr 25, 2019

Navy SEALs Tried for Months to Report Superior for War Crimes and Were Told to "Let It Go"
Navy SEALs who witnessed their platoon chief commit war crimes in Iraq were encouraged not to speak out, and told they could lose their jobs for reporting him at a private meeting with a superior officer last year, according to new reports from The New York Times. A confidential Navy criminal investigation obtained by the Times reveals that the commandos saw Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher stab and kill an unarmed teenage captive, shoot to death a young girl and old man, and fire indiscriminately into crowds of civilians. But when the men on Gallagher's team called a private meeting with their troop commander and demanded an investigation, they were told to stay quiet on the matter, and no action was taken. The group of seven SEALs eventually were able to force an investigation, and Chief Edward Gallagher was arrested in September on more than a dozen charges, including premeditated murder and attempted murder. The court-martial centers on a charge that Gallagher stabbed to death a teenage member of the self-proclaimed Islamic State while the unarmed youth was being treated by a medic. The trial begins May 28. If convicted, Gallagher could face life in prison. We speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and national correspondent for The New York Times Dave Philipps. His latest piece is headlined "Navy SEALs Were Warned Against Reporting Their Chief for War Crimes"

Democracy Now
Apr 25, 2019

From Crime Bill to Iraq War Vote, Biden's Legislative History Under Scrutiny as He Enters Race
Former Vice President Joe Biden has entered the 2020 race for the White House, becoming the 20th Democrat to seek the nomination in the largest and most diverse field of Democratic candidates ever to run for president. Biden will face scrutiny for his long and checkered record in the coming weeks, including his 1994 crime bill, that helped fuel mass incarceration with financial incentives to keep people behind bars, and his handling of Anita Hill's sexual harassment allegations against Supreme Court justice nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991. Biden is also known for close ties to the financial industry and voting to authorize the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. In the weeks before Biden announced his bid for the presidency, at least seven women stepped forward to accuse him of inappropriate touching. We speak with Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor for Harper's magazine, about Biden's record. His recent piece is headlined "No Joe! Joe Biden's disastrous legislative legacy."

Democracy Now
Apr 25, 2019

A "Death Trap" in Raqqa: Amnesty Finds U.S.-Led Coalition Killed More Than 1,600 Syrian Civilians
A major new investigation by Amnesty International and Airwars has revealed the U.S.-led military coalition killed more than 1,600 civilians during the 2017 offensive to oust ISIS militants from the Syrian city of Raqqa. The coalition launched thousands of airstrikes and tens of thousands of artillery strikes on the city. U.S. troops fired more artillery into Raqqa than anywhere since the Vietnam War. At the time, the United States claimed it was the "most precise air campaign in history." We speak with Donatella Rovera, lead investigator with Amnesty International. She is calling on the U.S. and coalition nations to fully investigate the mass civilian casualties. Rovera is senior crisis response adviser at Amnesty International. The new investigation is titled "Rhetoric versus Reality: How the 'most precise air campaign in history' left Raqqa the most destroyed city in modern times."

Democracy Now
Apr 25, 2019

Headlines for April 25, 2019
President Trump Vows to Fight "All the Subpoenas" from Congress, U.S. Forces and Allies Killed More Afghan Civilians in Early 2019 Than the Taliban, U.S.-Led Coalition Killed 1,600 Syrian Civilians in Raqqa, Syria, China Jails Hong Kong Activists Who Led 2014 Pro-Democracy Rallies, Wealthy Sri Lankan Spice Trader Among Those Arrested over Easter Bombings, U.N. Condemns Saudi Arabia's Mass Execution of 37 Prisoners, Texas Executes White Supremacist Behind 1998 Lynching of James Byrd Jr., Joe Biden Enters 2020 Presidential Race, Kirstjen Nielsen Warned Against Discussing Russian Election Meddling with Trump, Thousands of Indigenous People Protest Bolsonaro's Deforestation Policies, U.K., Irish Politicians Join Funeral for Murdered Journalist Lyra McKee

Democracy Now
Apr 24, 2019

Joseph Stiglitz: Elizabeth Warren & Bernie Sanders Want to Make the Economy Work for All Americans
As the 2020 election race barrels forward with nearly 20 Democratic candidates, we speak with Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz about the policy platforms of progressive hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, including Warren's plan to break up big tech companies and cancel student debt and Sanders's commitment to democratic socialism, which Stiglitz compares to "what in Europe is called social democracy, sometimes called the welfare state." Stiglitz has a new book out titled "People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent."

Democracy Now
Apr 24, 2019

Economist Joseph Stiglitz: Capitalism Hasn't Been Working for Most People for the Last 40 Years
We look at staggering inequality and the state of the U.S. economy with Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who served as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton. Joseph Stiglitz is a professor at Columbia University and chief economist for the Roosevelt Institute. His latest book, out this week, is "People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent."

Democracy Now
Apr 24, 2019

Bernie Sanders Spurs Debate on Prisoner Voting Rights, But the Idea Is "Not as Radical as It Seems"
Presidential candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said at a town hall Monday that he believed in restoring voting rights for prisoners, sparking a national discussion about re-enfranchisement for the more than 2 million Americans behind bars. Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg has spoken out against prisoner voting rights, while Senator Elizabeth Warren said "I'm not there yet" on the issue. Senator Kamala Harris said "there has to be serious consequence for the most extreme types of crimes," referencing her background as a prosecutor. We speak with Ari Berman, senior writer at Mother Jones, about the public debate on voting rights for imprisoned Americans. Berman notes that prisoners are currently counted in the U.S. census in the counties where they are imprisoned, despite not being allowed to vote in most states.

Democracy Now
Apr 24, 2019

Supreme Court Appears Set to OK Census Citizenship Question Despite Risk of Undercounting Millions
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in a case challenging the Trump administration's plans to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Voting rights activists fear that adding the question will deter immigrants from participating in the census and lead to a vast undercount in states with large immigrant communities. Census officials have estimated 6.5 million people will not respond to the census if the citizenship question is added. This undercount could affect everything from the redrawing of congressional maps to the allocation of federal funding. The case centers on whether Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had the authority to add the question to the census. The American Civil Liberties Union and 17 states have sued, saying Ross's move was aimed at deterring immigrants from participating in the census. During the oral arguments, the court's conservative majority appeared to side with the Trump administration, while the liberal minority questioned the administration's motives and methods. Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor said, "There's no doubt that people will respond less. If you're talking about prediction, this is about 100 percent that people will answer less." We speak with Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. MALDEF is representing plaintiffs in one of the lawsuits challenging the census citizenship question. We also speak with Ari Berman, senior writer at Mother Jones. His new piece is titled "In Census Case, Supreme Court Suddenly Cares a Lot About Voting Rights Act."

Democracy Now
Apr 24, 2019

Headlines for April 24, 2019
Trump Says White House Aides Should Not Testify to Congress, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Ignores Congressional Deadline on Trump's Tax Records, U.S. Uses Veto Threat to Gut U.N. Resolution On Sexual Violence, Death Toll from Sri Lanka Easter Bombings Climbs to 359, Saudi Arabia Carries Out Mass Execution of Prisoners, Including Public Crucifixion, Hasan Minhaj Confronts Jared Kushner over His Support of Saudi Crown Prince, Kim Jong-un Arrives in Russia for First Meeting with Vladimir Putin, Malawi Begins First-Ever Malaria Vaccination Campaign, NYT Report: Navy SEALs Were Ordered to Remain Silent on War Crimes, Drug Company Executives Criminally Charged with Trafficking Opioids, SCOTUS Hears Case on Trump Admin's Plan to Add Citizenship Question to Census, Watchdog Launches Ethics Probe into Top Interior Department Officials, Thousands of Boy Scout Leaders Accused of Sexual Abuse, Florida Prosecutors Drop Charges Against Black Teen Brutalized by Cops, Bodycam Video Shows Connecticut Police Firing on Car with Unarmed Passengers, Disney Heiress Calls on Her Family's Company to Fight Inequality, Floods and Mudslides Kill At Least 33 in South Africa, Melting Arctic Permafrost Set to Cost the World $70 Trillion, 16-Year-Old Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Meets U.K. Lawmakers

Democracy Now
Apr 23, 2019

Baltimore Writer D. Watkins: "We Speak for Ourselves: A Word from Forgotten Black America"
"We Speak for Ourselves: A Word from Forgotten Black America." That's the name of a new book by D. Watkins that amplifies the experiences of poor black Americans typically sidelined by the public and the media—including his own life story. He writes, "I'm from the bottom, and what I mean by bottom is first-generation scholars, the project babies, the people without Wi-Fi, the workers, the people most likely to get hit by police bullets. We are the subjects of protests, the rarely heard-from even as our deaths are debated by media personalities who wouldn't step foot on our blocks. … To quote the brilliant scholar and activist Dr. Su'ad Abdul Khabeer, 'You don't need to be a voice for the voiceless. Just pass the mic.'" D. Watkins is a professor at the University of Baltimore and founder of the BMORE Writers Project. He is also the author of "The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir" and "The Beast Side: Living and Dying While Black in America."

Democracy Now
Apr 23, 2019

Johns Hopkins Students Enter Week 3 of Sit-In Protesting ICE Contracts & Plan for Armed Campus Cops
Students at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, have entered their 21st day of a sit-in occupation of their campus administration building to protest the university's plans for an armed police force on campus, as well as Johns Hopkins's contracts with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Students at Johns Hopkins are demanding the cancellation of contracts with ICE and a pledge to donate all money received from ICE to Baltimore's immigration defense fund. They're also demanding voluntary recognition for all workers wishing to unionize, and a student and faculty representative spot on the university's board of trustees.

Democracy Now
Apr 23, 2019

Johns Hopkins Students Enter Week 4 of Sit-In Protesting ICE Contracts & Plan for Armed Campus Cops
Students at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, have entered their 21st day of a sit-in occupation of their campus administration building to protest the university's plans for an armed police force on campus, as well as Johns Hopkins's contracts with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Students at Johns Hopkins are demanding the cancellation of contracts with ICE and a pledge to donate all money received from ICE to Baltimore's immigration defense fund. They're also demanding voluntary recognition for all workers wishing to unionize, and a student and faculty representative spot on the university's board of trustees.

Democracy Now
Apr 23, 2019

Charges Dropped for U. of Arizona Students Who Called Border Patrol "Murder Patrol" at Campus Event
Authorities at the University of Arizona in Tucson have dropped charges against three students who held a nonviolent protest against Border Patrol agents speaking on their campus. During the March 19 protest, the students called border agents "Murder Patrol" and an "extension of the KKK." All three students were charged with misdemeanors. On Friday, motions to dismiss the charges were granted after the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups led a campaign on behalf of the students. We speak with Mariel Bustamante, one of the "Arizona Three." She is a graduating senior who is double-majoring in law and anthropology.

Democracy Now
Apr 23, 2019

Right-Wing Vigilantes Hold Migrants Hostage on U.S. Border. Did Border Patrol Give Tacit Approval?
The FBI has arrested the head of an armed vigilante group that has repeatedly filmed itself detaining migrant border crossers at gunpoint. Sixty-nine-year-old Larry Mitchell Hopkins is the leader of the far-right, pro-Trump group calling itself United Constitutional Patriots, which the American Civil Liberties Union described as an "armed fascist militia organization." His arrest came just days after the ACLU accused the vigilantes of illegally detaining 300 migrants, including young children, near Sunland Park, New Mexico, last week. We speak to Peter Simonson, executive director of the ACLU of New Mexico.

Democracy Now
Apr 23, 2019

Headlines for April 23, 2019
Sri Lankan Minister Says Easter Bombings Were Retaliation for NZ Mosque Attacks, Trump Admin to Ratchet Up Unilateral U.S. Sanctions on Iranian Oil, House Democrats Subpoena Former White House Counsel Don McGahn, Trump Sues to Quash Subpoena Requesting 10 Years of Financial Records, Sen. Kamala Harris Calls for Trump's Impeachment, Breaking from Democratic Leaders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren Proposes Canceling Student Loan Debt, Making Public Colleges Free, Supreme Court to Weigh Citizenship Question on 2020 Census, Supreme Court to Decide If LGBTQ Workers Are Protected by Civil Rights Act, Charges Dropped Against 3 Arizona Students Who Protested Border Patrol, Activists Seek to Block U.S. Handover of Venezuelan Embassy to Opposition Leaders, Herman Cain Withdraws as Federal Reserve Board Nominee, Fed Reserve Board Nominee Stephen Moore Penned Sexist Columns, Burma's High Court Upholds 7-Year Sentences for Pulitzer-Winning Journalists, At Least 16 Killed as Two Powerful Earthquakes Strike Philippines, Greenland Ice Sheet Melting Even Faster Than Feared Due to Warming Climate, "Extinction Rebellion" Arrests in London Top 1,000 as Climate Campaign Continues, Polly Higgins, Who Sought to Make Ecocide an International Crime, Dies Aged 50

Democracy Now
Apr 22, 2019

Dallas Goldtooth: Hold Banks Accountable for Financing Climate Chaos & Violating Indigenous Rights
As millions celebrate Earth Day around the globe, we speak with organizer Dallas Goldtooth about indigenous-led anti-pipeline activism in the United States. President Trump signed two executive orders earlier this month to facilitate the approval of pipeline projects at a federal level, limiting states' ability to regulate such projects. The move is intended in part to clear the way for permitting on the northeastern Constitution pipeline, which has stalled after New York invoked the Clean Water Act to reject the project on environmental grounds. This comes as climate activists have filed a federal lawsuit with the ACLU challenging three South Dakota laws that they say violate the First Amendment rights of anti-pipeline organizers. Dallas Goldtooth is one of the plaintiffs in the ACLU lawsuit and an organizer with Indigenous Environmental Network.

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