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Democracy Now
Jan 15, 2019

Arizona Activists Face Jail Time for Providing Life-Saving Aid to Migrants Crossing Sonoran Desert
As the longest government shutdown in U.S. history heads into its 25th day and President Trump continues to crack down on immigrants, we look at how the Trump administration is criminalizing humanitarian aid at the border. In Tucson, Arizona, activists with the humanitarian group No More Deaths go to trial today facing charges for a slew of federal crimes, all due to their efforts to leave water and food in the harsh Sonoran Desert to help refugees and migrants survive the deadly journey across the U.S. border. The charges were filed last year in January, just a week after No More Deaths published a report accusing U.S. Border Patrol agents of routinely vandalizing or confiscating water, food and other humanitarian aid, condemning refugees and migrants to die of exposure or dehydration. We speak with Paige Corich-Kleim, a humanitarian aid worker and volunteer with No More Deaths, and Ryan Devereaux, a staff reporter at The Intercept. His latest piece is titled "Arizona Judge in No More Deaths Case Had Secret Talks with Federal Prosecutors."

Democracy Now
Jan 15, 2019

Will Trump's AG Pick William Barr Face Questions over Gitmo, Mass Incarceration & NSA Surveillance?
Senate confirmation hearings begin today for William Barr, President Trump's nominee for attorney general to replace Jeff Sessions, who was fired in November. Barr served as attorney general for George H.W. Bush from 1991 to 1993. During that time, he was involved in the pardon of six Reagan officials for the Iran-Contra scandal and oversaw the opening of the Guantánamo Bay military prison, which was initially used to indefinitely detain HIV-positive asylum seekers from Haiti. Barr also openly backed mass incarceration at home and helped develop a secret Drug Enforcement Administration program which became a "blueprint" for the National Security Agency's mass phone surveillance effort. We speak with Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Democracy Now
Jan 15, 2019

"Public Education Is Not Your Plaything": L.A. Teachers Strike Against Privatization & Underfunding
Los Angeles public school teachers are on strike for the first time in three decades. On Monday morning, tens of thousands of teachers braved pouring rain on the picket line for the strike's first day. Some 20,000 people marched through downtown Los Angeles, demanding smaller class sizes, higher pay, the regulation of charter schools and more nurses, counselors and librarians. Over 31,000 members of United Teachers Los Angeles are striking. We speak with Cecily Myart-Cruz, strike leader and National Education Association vice president at United Teachers Los Angeles, and Eric Blanc, a reporter covering the strike for The Guardian and Jacobin. He is author of the forthcoming book "Red State Revolt: The Teachers' Strike Wave and Working-Class Politics."

Democracy Now
Jan 15, 2019

Headlines for January 15, 2019
Over 30,000 Los Angeles Teachers Walk Out in First Strike in 30 Years, Barr Pledges to Protect Mueller Probe as He Faces Senate AG Hearings, NYC Prisoners Go on Hunger Strike, Feel Effect of Gov't Shutdown, Poland Mayor, Defender of Immigrant Rights, Dies After Public Stabbing, Afghanistan: Taliban Car Bomb Kills 5, Injures Over 100, Afghanistan: New Defense Minister Accused of War Crimes, Human Rights Abuses, Brexit: Lawmakers Set to Vote on Contested Brexit Deal, Pennsylvania Judge Blocks Trump's Birth Control Restrictions Nationwide, Justice Ginsburg Declared Cancer-Free, Reviews SCOTUS Cases from Home, SCOTUS Won't Review Case Challenging Legality of Acting AG, California: PG&E to File for Bankruptcy 2 Months After Deadly Camp Fire, GOP Strips Rep. King of Committee Seats After He Praises White Supremacy, EPA Referrals of Polluters for Prosecution Hit 30-Year Low in 2018, AP: U.S. Gov't Approved Thousands of Immigration Requests for "Child Brides", InfoWars Must Turn Over Internal Documents to Families of Sandy Hook Victims

Democracy Now
Jan 14, 2019

As Gov't Shutdown Drags On, IRS Continues to Aid the Rich & Corporations While Targeting the Poor
As 800,000 federal workers remain furloughed or working without pay in the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, we look at how the Trump administration has restarted a division of the Internal Revenue Service to help corporate lenders. The Washington Post reports that an appeal from the mortgage industry has resulted in hundreds of IRS staffers returning to the agency to carry out income verifications for lenders. This process earns the $1.3 trillion mortgage banking industry millions of dollars in fees. We speak with Paul Kiel, a reporter for ProPublica and contributor to the series "Gutting the IRS." His recent piece for the series is titled "Who's More Likely to Be Audited: A Person Making $20,000—or $400,000?"

Democracy Now
Jan 14, 2019

The Groveland Four: Florida Pardons Men Falsely Accused in Jim Crow-Era Rape Case in 1949
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has granted posthumous pardons to four young African-American men accused of raping a white woman near Groveland, Florida, in 1949. Two men were brutally murdered as a result of the false accusations. The case is now seen as a racially charged miscarriage of justice emblematic of the Jim Crow South. The story of the "Groveland Four," now 70 years old, has continued to haunt the state of Florida. We speak with Gilbert King, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America," and Carol Greenlee, daughter of Charles Greenlee, one of the Groveland Four.

Democracy Now
Jan 14, 2019

Headlines for January 14, 2019
Gov't Shutdown Now Longest in U.S. History, Trump Admin Considered Disaster Relief Funds to Build Border Wall, Interior Dept. Pushes Ahead Plans for New Arctic Drilling Leases, Texas: Tornillo Immigrant Prison Camp Shuts Down, Los Angeles: Public Teachers Go on Strike, Dems Vow to Investigate After 2 New Reports on Trump's Relationship with Russia, WSJ: Nat'l Sec. Council Asked About Possible Military Strike on Iran in 2018, Trump Threatens to "Devastate Turkey Economically" If Syrian Kurds Targeted, Saudi Arabia: Sec. of State Pompeo Meets with Crown Prince 3 Months After Khashoggi Killing, Canada Grants Asylum to Saudi Teen Fleeing Abusive Family, Gaza: Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Woman at Weekly Protest, U.N. Food Agency Cuts Aid to Occupied Territories, France: "Yellow Vest" Protesters Take to Streets for 9th Straight Week, Poland: Huawei Employee Arrested over Spying Charge, California Judge Halts Trump Attempt to Roll Back Reproductive Rights, Rep. Steve King to Meet with Minority Leader After Praising White Supremacy in NYT, Julián Castro and Rep. Gabbard Announce 2020 Presidential Bids

Democracy Now
Jan 11, 2019

Exclusive: Angela Davis Speaks Out on Palestine, BDS & More After Civil Rights Award Is Revoked
In a Democracy Now! exclusive, legendary activist and scholar Angela Davis speaks out after the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute rescinded a human rights award for her, reportedly due to her activism for Palestinian rights. In September, the institute announced that it would award Davis the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award, named after the civil rights icon. But last Friday, the institute voted to withdraw the award and cancel this year's gala event. The institute rescinded the award days 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. Others in the Birmingham area criticized Davis for her support for the Black Panthers and Communist Party. We speak with Angela Davis in her first television interview since the controversy began.

Democracy Now
Jan 11, 2019

Headlines for January 11, 2019
Protests Target Shutdown as Federal Employees Miss First Paycheck, Trump May Raid Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Funds for Border Wall, Protesters Gather on Both Sides of U.S.-Mexico Border as Trump Visits, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell Blocks Vote on Bill to Fund Government, Study Finds Oceans Are Absorbing Far More Heat Than Previously Known, Pentagon Says It's Withdrawing from Syria as Turkey Readies Invasion, In Cairo, U.S. Secretary of State Rebukes Obama and Threatens Iran, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Calls Jamal Khashoggi Murder an "Atrocity", Protests Outside Supreme Court Demand Closure of Guantánamo Prison, McClatchy: CIA Chief Gina Haspel Ran Guantánamo Black Site, Venezuelan President Accuses U.S. of Coup Plotting as 2nd Term Begins, Brazil to Withdraw from U.N. Agreement Protecting Migrants, Democrats Unveil Bill to Reduce Prescription Drug Prices, Sen. Sanders Apologizes to Ex-Staffers Alleging Harassment in 2016 Campaign, Donald Trump's Ex-Fixer Michael Cohen to Testify to House Committee, Rep. Steve King Praises White Nationalism, Blasts Congressional Diversity, Black Transgender Woman Murdered in Montgomery, Alabama

Democracy Now
Jan 10, 2019

Facing Mass Deportation, Haitians Sue Trump to Preserve Temporary Protected Status
A New York City trial is challenging the Trump administration's attempt to end temporary protected status—known as TPS—for more than 50,000 Haitians living in the U.S. Tens of thousands of Haitians were granted TPS after an earthquake devastated their country nine years ago this week. In November 2017, the Trump administration announced it would revoke TPS for Haitians, sparking protests and multiple lawsuits around the country. We speak with Marleine Bastien, executive director the Family Action Network Movement, or FANM, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. She testified on Wednesday as a witness in the trial.

Democracy Now
Jan 10, 2019

There Are Thousands of Cyntoia Browns: Mariame Kaba on Criminalization of Sexual Violence Survivors
Cyntoia Brown was granted full clemency by Republican Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam on Monday after serving 15 years in prison. The decision follows months of intense public pressure and outrage over her case. Brown was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder for shooting her rapist as a teenager. She had been sexually trafficked and repeatedly abused and drugged. The shooting happened when Brown was just 16 years old, but she was tried as an adult. We speak with Mariame Kaba, organizer and educator who has worked on anti-domestic violence programs, anti-incarceration and racial justice programs since the late 1980s. Kaba is the co-founder of Survived and Punished, an organization that supports survivors of violence who have been criminalized for defending themselves. She's also a board member of Critical Resistance.

Democracy Now
Jan 10, 2019

National Parks Overflow With Trash, Human Waste As Gov't Shutdown Approaches 3 Weeks
National parks around the country have seen overflowing toilets and trash piling up since the government shutdown began nearly three weeks ago. Park experts are now warning that the damage may take years to undo. We speak with Jonathan Asher, government relations manager at The Wilderness Society.

Democracy Now
Jan 10, 2019

Public Citizen: Frightening Prospect If an Authoritarian Like Trump Declares State of Emergency
President Trump says that he will likely declare a national emergency over the border wall if negotiations over the government shutdown continue. We speak with Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. "The Congress has given the president quite a bit of authority to declare emergencies with terms that are almost unbounded," Weissman says. "Congress has always expected, and society has always expected, that presidents wouldn't abuse that authority recklessly, declaring emergencies just because they want to. We obviously have a president now who has no such constraints."

Democracy Now
Jan 10, 2019

From EPA to TSA, Agencies Devoted to Nation's Health and Safety Are Going Unfunded During Shutdown
The partial government shutdown has entered its 20th day. On Saturday, it will become the longest shutdown in U.S. history if a deal is not reached. President Trump reportedly stormed out of a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Wednesday after they refused to back a deal to fund a wall on the southern border. Schumer accused Trump of throwing a temper tantrum. Trump described the meeting as a "total waste of time." We speak with Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen. The group just released a report titled "As Shutdown Drags On, Agencies Devoted to Consumer and Worker Health and Safety Unfunded and Deprioritized."

Democracy Now
Jan 10, 2019

Headlines for January 10, 2019
Trump Walks Out of Shutdown Negotiations After "Temper Tantrum", Unions for Federal Workers to Protest as Shutdown Enters 20th Day, Donald Trump Jr. Compares Immigrants to Zoo Animals, Trump Nominates Ex-Coal Lobbyist Andrew Wheeler as Permanent EPA Head, Congo: Felix Tshisekedi Declared Provisional President-Elect, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Meets Egyptian Leader el-Sisi, Campaigners Mark 100 Days Since Jamal Khashoggi's Assassination, After Weeks Stranded at Sea, Asylum Seekers Granted Access to Malta, Lebanon: Winter Storms Bring Death and Misery to Syrian Refugees, Police Issue Arrest Warrant for Ex-Manager of R. Kelly, Lady Gaga Apologizes for Collaborating with R. Kelly in 2013, Kentucky Lawmakers Prepare Bill to Outlaw Abortions, New York: Pipeline Protesters Found Guilty over 2016 Direct Action, Los Angeles Teachers Delay Strike Plans Until Monday, Puerto Rican Human Rights Activist Luis Garden Acosta Dies

Democracy Now
Jan 09, 2019

William Arkin On Homeland Security's Creeping Fascism and Why the CIA & FBI Won't Save Us From Trump
Longtime NBC reporter and analyst William Arkin announced he was leaving the network last week in a blistering letter that took aim at the mainstream media for encouraging perpetual warfare and bolstering the national security state. In his letter, Arkin writes of Trump, "Of course he is an ignorant and incompetent impostor. And yet I'm alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically argue the contrary, to be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Really? We shouldn't get out Syria? We shouldn't go for the bold move of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula? Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War? And don't even get me started with the FBI: What? We now lionize this historically destructive institution?" We speak with Arkin in New York City. He is the author of many books, including "Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State."

Democracy Now
Jan 09, 2019

Longtime Reporter Leaves NBC Saying Media Is "Trump Circus" That Encourages Perpetual War
"Prisoners of Donald Trump." That's how longtime NBC reporter and analyst William Arkin described the mainstream media in a scathing letter last week announcing he would be leaving the network, accusing the media of warmongering while ignoring the "creeping fascism of homeland security." He issued the blistering critique after a 30-year relationship with NBC, calling for "Trump-free" media days and a reckoning about how the network encourages a state of perpetual warfare. We speak with Arkin, whose award-winning reporting has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post. He is the author of many books, including "Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State."

Democracy Now
Jan 09, 2019

Bernie Sanders Responds to Trump's Border Wall Address, Debunking President's Lies About Immigration
After Donald Trump addressed the nation Tuesday in a speech that attacked immigrants and demanded a border wall, Sen. Bernie Sanders called out the president for lying to the American people and creating a false crisis at the border. We speak with Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, an immigrant rights group based in Chicago.

Democracy Now
Jan 09, 2019

"A Racist, Xenophobic Attack": Immigrant Rights Activist Decries Trump Remarks About Southern Border
President Donald Trump addressed the nation Tuesday night in his first prime-time speech from the Oval Office. He urged Congress to approve $5.7 billion to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, but he opted not to declare a national emergency to force construction of the wall, in a xenophobic speech riddled with falsehoods. We speak with Oscar Chacón, executive director of Alianza Americas, an immigrant rights group based in Chicago.

Democracy Now
Jan 09, 2019

Headlines for January 9, 2019
Trump Delivers Error-Filled Border Security Address to Nation, Senate Blocks Anti-BDS Bill Amid Ongoing Gov't Shutdown, Carbon Emissions Spiked in 2018 Despite Coal Plant Closures, Deputy AG Rosenstein to Depart After Confirmation of New AG, Court Filings Show Manafort Shared Trump Campaign Info with Russian Operative, Documents Reveal Russian Lawyer at 2016 Trump Tower Mtg Had Ties to Kremlin, Turkey: Pres. Erdogan Blasts U.S. Changes in Syria Withdrawal Plan, Sudan: Anti-Gov't Protests Result in Mass Arrests, Press Censorship, Los Angeles: Dead Man Found in Home of Top Democratic Donor, Texas: Second Man Arrested in Murder of 7-Year-Old Girl, Reports: Georgia DA May Investigate R. Kelly in Wake of Damning Documentary, Seattle Councillors Warn New Yorkers of Risks from Amazon Expansion, Baltimore: ICE May Deport Salvadoran Activist Who Resisted Racial Profiling, Angela Davis Responds to Withdrawal of Human Rights Award, California Proposes Health Plan Expanding Coverage for Undocumented Youth, NYC Mayor: City Will Guarantee Healthcare for All New Yorkers

Democracy Now
Jan 08, 2019

"Crime Punishment" Exposes Racial Quotas in the NYPD & Retaliation Against Officers Who Speak Out
A group of New York Police Department officers are challenging what they call a racially charged policy of quotas for arrests and summonses. Known as the "NYPD 12," they risked their reputations and livelihoods to confront their superiors, fight illegal quotas and demand a more just police force. We look at a film following their story called "Crime Punishment." It has just been shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. We speak with Stephen Maing, the film's director and producer, and Lieutenant Edwin Raymond, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit filed by the NYPD 12.

Democracy Now
Jan 08, 2019

Rashida Tlaib: The Senate's Anti-BDS Bill is an Unconstitutional Attack on Free Speech
A new Senate bill would allow state and local governments to boycott any U.S. companies which are engaged in a boycott against Israel. We speak with Congressmember Rashida Tlaib, who has come out out against the bill, tweeting, "They forgot what country they represent. This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality. Maybe a refresher on our U.S. Constitution is in order, then get back to opening up our government instead of taking our rights away."

Democracy Now
Jan 08, 2019

Rep. Rashida Tlaib: I Won't Apologize for My Comments About Trump—I Still Want to Impeach Him
Newly elected Democratic Congressmember Rashida Tlaib of Michigan made headlines last week for declaring, "We're going to go in there, and we're going to impeach the motherf***er," in reference to President Donald Trump. Tlaib made the comment at a Washington, D.C., bar, days after she made history last week when she and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota became the first Muslim women sworn in to Congress. Tlaib is part of the most diverse and most female class of representatives in U.S. history. We speak with Rashida Tlaib in Detroit, Michigan.

Democracy Now
Jan 08, 2019

Headlines for January 8, 2019
Trump to Address Nation as Shutdown Takes Toll on Workers, Dem. Lawmakers Blast Trump's Nat'l Emergency Threat on Visit to Border, TN Gov. Haslam Grants Clemency to Sex Trafficking Survivor Cyntoia Brown, Asylum-Seeking Saudi Teen Avoids Deportation from Thailand After Int'l Outcry, Beijing: Kim Jong-un to Meet with President Xi as U.S.-China Trade Talks Underway, Brazil: Troops Deploy to Fortaleza as Violence Spikes in Coastal City, Brazil: Rio Governor Says Armed Forces Can Shoot to Kill, Head of World Bank Resigns, Canada: Armed Police Raid Protected Indigenous Territory, Dems to Introduce Gun Control Bill on 8th Anniversary of Giffords Shooting, NYT: Dem. Operatives Created Fake Online Alcohol Ban Campaign in 2017 Senate Race, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Rescinds Award for Angela Davis, SCOTUS: Bader Ginsburg Misses Oral Arguments for 1st Time in 25 Years, SCOTUS Rejects Exxon Bid to Block Investigation by Massachusetts AG

Democracy Now
Jan 07, 2019

Surviving R. Kelly: New Doc Says Time's Up for Singer Accused of Abusing Black Girls for Decades
We look at the shocking Lifetime documentary series "Surviving R. Kelly," which chronicles two decades of allegations of sexual assault and misconduct against the celebrated R&B singer and producer. R. Kelly has been accused of abuse, predatory behavior and pedophilia throughout his career but has avoided criminal conviction despite damning evidence and multiple witnesses. We speak with Angelo Clary, whose daughter Azriel Clary met R. Kelly at the age of 17 and moved in with him with hopes of advancing her music career. He hasn't seen her in almost four years. We also speak with Oronike Odeleye, co-founder of #MuteRKelly—a campaign to end R. Kelly's music career—and an Atlanta-based arts administrator.

Democracy Now
Jan 07, 2019

Sunrise Movement: Pelosi's Actions on Climate Fall Woefully & Inexcusably Short of What We Need
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is facing criticism from some climate activists for failing to back a Green New Deal. Last week Pelosi announced the formation of a new Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, headed by long-standing Florida Congressmember Kathy Castor. But the committee is far weaker than what backers of a Green New Deal had envisioned. The committee will not have subpoena power or the power to draft legislation. We speak with Varshini Prakash, founder of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate group that has occupied and lobbied at congressional offices, risking arrest to demand adoption of the Green New Deal and bold climate leadership.

Democracy Now
Jan 07, 2019

Ari Berman: Dems Introduce Sweeping Voting Rights Bill to Combat Rampant Voter Suppression
Voting rights activists are hailing a new House bill that aims to restore voting rights to millions, crack down on the influence of dark money in politics, restore the landmark Voting Rights Act, establish automatic and same-day voter registration and other measures. The bill has been dubbed the For the People Act. It is the first piece of legislation introduced by the new Democratic majority in the House. We speak with Ari Berman, senior writer at Mother Jones, reporting fellow at The Nation Institute and author of "Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America." His latest piece is titled "Democrats' First Order of Business: Making It Easier to Vote and Harder to Buy Elections."

Democracy Now
Jan 07, 2019

Headlines for January 7, 2019
Trump Threatens to Call Nat'l Emergency as Shutdown Shows No Sign of Abatement, Bolton Says Syria Troop Withdrawal Contingent on Defeating ISIS, Netanyahu Calls for U.S. to Recognize Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights, Yemen: U.S. Airstrike Kills Plotter of 2000 USS Cole Attack, Pentagon Chief of Staff Resigns in Wake of Mattis Departure, France: Yellow Vests Protesters Take to Streets as Impasse with Gov't Persists, Intercept: Senate Set to Vote on Anti-Israeli Boycott Bill, 49 Migrants Stranded at Sea as European Countries Refuse to Host Them, Scientists Identify Recording of Noise Targeting U.S. Diplomats in Cuba as Crickets, DOJ Says It Will Not Correct Errors in 2018 Terrorism Report, Man Arrested in Killing of 7-Year-Old African-American Girl, NV: Death Row Prisoner Whose Execution Was Blocked Dies of Suicide, Shooting at SoCal Bowling Alley Kills Three, SC: 2 Men Charged with Manslaughter in Drowning Death of 2 Women Detainees Fired, D.C. Court Rules For Trump's Transgender Military Ban, NYC: Trial Challenges Trump Admin's Revocation of TPS for Haitians, Canada: Indigenous Activists Say Raid on Wet'suwet'en Camps "Imminent"

Democracy Now
Jan 04, 2019

How Trump's Labor Secretary Cut a Deal for Multimillionaire & Serial Sexual Abuser Jeffrey Epstein
One Cabinet member after another has been forced to leave the Trump administration over corruption and other issues in recent months, leaving Trump's Cabinet at its most unstable since he assumed office two years ago. We look at whether Trump's Labor Secretary Alex Acosta will be the next Trump Cabinet member to go, after an explosive Miami Herald investigation revealed that Acosta cut what's been described as "one of the most lenient deals for a serial child sex offender in history" as U.S. prosecutor in Florida. Multimillionaire hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein—friend to Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and others—has been accused of molesting and trafficking hundreds of underage girls in Florida, but served just 13 months in county jail. We speak with Julie Brown, longtime investigative reporter at the Miami Herald. Her series exposing multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein's crimes is titled "Perversion of Justice."

Democracy Now
Jan 04, 2019

Christmas in Tornillo: Activists, Lawmakers Demand Trump Shut Down Prison Camp for Migrant Children
As the government shutdown heads into its 14th day and Trump doubles down on his demands for a border wall, we turn to look at the ongoing crisis unfolding at the U.S. border and the protesters on the ground fighting back. In West Texas, immigrant rights activists are staging daily actions to shut down the Tornillo prison camp, where thousands of immigrant youth are being detained. The organizers call themselves the "Christmas in Tornillo" occupation. On New Year's Eve, they shut down the entrance of the sprawling prison camp, where 2,300 children are being held in more than 150 tents. We speak with Juan Ortiz, immigrant rights activist and lead organizer with the Christmas in Tornillo occupation, and Democratic Congressmember Judy Chu from California.

Democracy Now
Jan 04, 2019

As Most Diverse Congress in History Takes Office, Dems Push to End Shutdown Without Funding for Wall
The 116th Congress made history Thursday, swearing in the most diverse group of lawmakers ever and more than 100 women in the House, including the first two Native American women, the first two Latina women from Texas and the first two Muslim women. The first-ever African-American women congressmembers from Connecticut and Massachusetts were sworn in, as was Colorado's first-ever African-American member of Congress. The first-ever and now second female House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and House Democrats sought to end the government shutdown as their first order of business, passing a package of spending bills that would reopen the federal government without meeting Trump's demand for $5 billion for expanding the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. We speak with California Rep. Judy Chu.

Democracy Now
Jan 04, 2019

Headlines for January 4, 2019
116th Congress Sworn In as Nancy Pelosi Elected House Speaker, House Democrats Adopt PAYGO Austerity Spending Rule, House Democrats Approve New Ethics Rules, Form Climate Committee, Trump Repeats Border Wall Demands as Gov't Shutdown Enters 14th Day, Trump Admin Wants to Send More Troops to U.S.-Mexico Border, Brazil: President's Assault on Indigenous Rights Threatens Amazon, Mexico: Mayor Assassinated Hours After Taking Office, Trump Administration Threatens Iran over Its Space Program, Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Faces Criminal Inquiry, Google Uses "Double Irish Dutch Sandwich" Scheme to Avoid Taxes, President Trump May Roll Back Federal Anti-Discrimination Rules, Houston, TX: Police Seek Killer of 7-Year-Old African-American Girl, Salvadoran Mother of Three Takes Sanctuary in Maryland Church

Democracy Now
Jan 03, 2019

On Her Shoulders: Stunning Film Follows Nobel Peace Winner Nadia Murad's Fight to End Sexual Violence
We look at the remarkable story of Nadia Murad, the Yazidi human rights activist from Iraq who was recently awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. Murad was kidnapped by the Islamic State in 2014 and repeatedly raped as she was held in captivity. After managing to escape, Murad fled Iraq and has dedicated her life to drawing international attention to the plight of the Yazidi people. The documentary "On Her Shoulders" follows Murad as she shares her story with the world. The documentary has been shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Documentary and recently received the Columbia Journalism duPont Award. We speak with the film's award-winning director Alexandria Bombach.

Democracy Now
Jan 03, 2019

Netflix Censors Hasan Minhaj in Saudi Arabia, Sparking Backlash over Khashoggi Killing, War in Yemen
Netflix is under fire for pulling an episode of U.S. comedian Hasan Minhaj's show "Patriot Act" from Saudi Arabia, after officials from the kingdom complained to the streaming company that it violated Saudi cybercrime laws. The episode was posted in late October, a few weeks after Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Hasan Minhaj sharply criticized the Saudi royal family and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The censored episode has been viewed more than 1.6 million times on YouTube, where it remains available to viewers in Saudi Arabia. On Wednesday, Minhaj tweeted, "Clearly, the best way to stop people from watching something is to ban it, make it trend online, and then leave it up on YouTube. Let's not forget that the world's largest humanitarian crisis is happening in Yemen right now. Please donate: help.rescue.org/donate/yemen." We speak with Courtney Radsch, advocacy director at the Committee to Protect Journalists, and Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa Division.

Democracy Now
Jan 03, 2019

Headlines for January 3, 2019
Democrats Take Back House with Historic Firsts, Dems to Vote on Contested PAYGO Rule, Which Restricts Gov't Spending, Dems to Vote on Plan That Funds Gov't Without Border Wall Funding, Shutdown Takes Toll on on Native American Communities, Trump Takes Aim at Mattis, Praises Kim Jong-un in Cabinet Meeting, Trump Takes Takes Credit for Markets, China Trade Relations, India: 2 Women Enter Hindu Temple After Centuries of Denied Access for Women, Mali: Gunmen Kill 37 Civilians Amid Mounting Ethnic Tensions, Russia: U.S. Citizen Detained on Espionage Charges, Chinese Probe Lands on Far Side of Moon in Historic First, NASA's New Horizons Space Probe Visits Farthest Object Ever Explored, NRA Sues Washington State over New Semiautomatic Rifle Law, News Veteran Arkin Quits NBC, Slams Network's Reporting, NYC: Activists Arrested for Peaceful Protest Against War on Yemen

Democracy Now
Jan 02, 2019

As Brazil's Bolsonaro Takes Office, Opponents Warn of Regressive Policies & Threat of Dictatorship
Far-right former Army Captain Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in as president of Brazil on New Year's Day. His election marks the most radical political shift in the country since military rule ended more than 30 years ago. We speak with Fernando Haddad, former Brazilian presidential candidate on the Workers' Party ticket who lost in a runoff to Jair Bolsonaro. Haddad is the former mayor of São Paulo and served as education minister under former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Democracy Now
Jan 02, 2019

Federal Employees' Union Sues Trump Admin as 800,000 Workers Remain Unpaid In Ongoing Gov't Shutdown
The government shutdown continues as President Trump prepares to meet with congressional leaders just one day before Democrats take control of the House. President Trump has insisted on including $5 billion for border wall funding before he'll agree to sign any spending measure. Eight hundred thousand government workers' lives have been thrown into disarray by the shutdown, with 380,000 workers on furlough and 420,000 who have worked without pay since December 22. We speak with a federal workers' union that is suing the Trump administration over the shutdown. The American Federation of Government Employees, or AFGE, says it is illegal for federal workers to work without pay. We speak with Heidi Burakiewicz, lead attorney in the lawsuit, and David Borer, general counsel for AFGE.

Democracy Now
Jan 02, 2019

Federal Employees' Union Sues Trump Administration as 420,000 Work Without Pay During Shutdown
The government shutdown continues as President Trump prepares to meet with congressional leaders just one day before Democrats take control of the House. President Trump has insisted on including $5 billion for border wall funding before he'll agree to sign any spending measure. Eight hundred thousand government workers' lives have been thrown into disarray by the shutdown, with 380,000 workers on furlough and 420,000 who have worked without pay since December 22. We speak with a federal workers' union that is suing the Trump administration over the shutdown. The American Federation of Government Employees, or AFGE, says it is illegal for federal workers to work without pay. We speak with Heidi Burakiewicz, lead attorney in the lawsuit, and David Borer, general counsel for AFGE.

Democracy Now
Jan 02, 2019

Headlines for January 2, 2019
Brazil Swears In Far-Right President Jair Bolsonaro, Gov't Shutdown Enters 12th Day, Causing Chaos for Workers, Border Agents Tear-Gas Migrants at U.S.-Mexico Border, Texas: Activists Block Access to Tornillo Youth Immigration Jail, AZ: Prosecutors to Investigate Child Abuse at Immigrant Prison, Sec. of State Pompeo Reaffirms U.S. Military Relationship with Israel, Israeli PM: Bolsonaro Pledged to Move Brazilian Embassy to Jerusalem, Gaza: Israeli Forces Kill Palestinian Man at Protest, U.S. and Israel Formally Leave UNESCO, North Korea: Kim Jong-un Offers Both Threats and Peaceful Overtures to U.S., Netflix Pulls Episode of Hasan Minhaj's Show for Criticizing Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi Killing, Bangladesh: 17 People Killed in Election Violence as Ruling Party Wins Landslide, Philippines: Flash Floods and Landslides Kill At Least 85, Indonesia: Landslide Kills At Least 15 on New Year's Eve, Sen. Warren Announces 2020 Presidential Exploratory Committee, Democratic House Leaders Reject Green New Deal for Weaker Climate Committee, New EPA Rules Would Roll Back Regulations on Mercury & Other Toxins, Romney Attacks Trump's Character While Praising His Policies, Interior Dept. Tries to Limit FOIA Requests After Ex-Secretary Zinke Ethics Scandals, Son of Yemeni Woman Who Sued to Get Travel Ban Waiver Dies in California Hospital

Democracy Now
Jan 01, 2019

Four Days in Occupied Western Sahara—A Rare Look Inside Africa's Last Colony
In this special rebroadcast of a Democracy Now! exclusive documentary, we break the media blockade and go to occupied Western Sahara in the northwest of Africa to document the decades-long Sahrawi struggle for freedom and Morocco's violent crackdown. Morocco has occupied the territory since 1975 in defiance of the United Nations and the international community. Thousands have been tortured, imprisoned, killed and disappeared while resisting the Moroccan occupation. A 1,700-mile wall divides Sahrawis who remain under occupation from those who fled into exile. The international media has largely ignored the occupation—in part because Morocco has routinely blocked journalists from entering Western Sahara. But in late 2016 Democracy Now! managed to get into the Western Saharan city of Laayoune, becoming the first international news team to report from the occupied territory in years.

Democracy Now
Dec 31, 2018

Noam Chomsky on Pittsburgh Attack: Revival of Hate Is Encouraged by Trump's Rhetoric
On October 27th, a gunman stormed the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, killing 11 Jewish worshipers. The massacre has been described as the worst anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history. After the shooting, we spoke with Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned professor, linguist and dissident, about Pittsburgh, Israel's policies toward Gaza and other recent white supremacist and right-wing attacks in the U.S.

Democracy Now
Dec 31, 2018

Noam Chomsky: The Future of Organized Human Life Is At Risk Thanks to GOP's Climate Change Denial
As the death toll from the climate change-fueled Camp Fire in California continues to rise and hundreds remain missing, we rebroadcast our conversation about climate change with world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky from October. He says Republican Party leaders are dedicated to "enriching themselves and their friends" at the cost of the planet, and warns: "We have to make decisions now which will literally determine whether organized human life can survive in any decent form."

Democracy Now
Dec 31, 2018

A March to Disaster: Noam Chomsky Condemns Trump for Pulling Out of Landmark Nuclear Arms Treaty
President Donald Trump recently announced plans to pull the United States out of a landmark nuclear arms pact with Russia, in a move that could spark a new arms race. President Ronald Reagan and former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, in 1987. The INF banned all nuclear and non-nuclear missiles with short and medium ranges. The treaty helped to eliminate thousands of land-based missiles. We spoke with world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky in October about the significance of the INF treaty and the impact of Trump's plan to pull out.

Democracy Now
Dec 31, 2018

Noam Chomsky: Members of Migrant Caravan Are Fleeing from Misery & Horrors Created by the U.S.
Days after a federal judge in California temporarily halted Trump's asylum ban, we revisit our conversation with world-renowned professor, linguist and dissident Noam Chomsky about U.S. foreign policy in Central America. He joins us in Tucson, Arizona, where he teaches at the University of Arizona. Chomsky is also institute professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught for 50 years. We ask him about the Central American caravan and national security adviser John Bolton declaring Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua to be part of a "troika of tyranny" and a "triangle of terror" earlier this month.

Democracy Now
Dec 31, 2018

A Disaster for Brazil: Noam Chomsky on Brazil's New Far-Right President Jair Bolsonaro
As Brazil's President-elect Jair Bolsonaro prepares to take office on Tuesday, we return to our conversation with world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky shortly after the election. Bolsonaro's impending presidency marks the most radical political shift Brazil since military rule ended more than 30 years ago. Bolsonaro is a former Army officer who has praised Brazil's former military dictatorship, spoken in favor of torture and threatened to destroy, imprison or banish his political opponents. Bolsonaro has also encouraged the police to kill suspected drug dealers, and once told a female lawmaker she was too ugly to rape. Noam Chomsky calls Bolsonaro a "disaster for Brazil."

Democracy Now
Dec 28, 2018

Documentary on Impact of Vietnam War Recalls Responsibility to Stand Up & Say No to War
"The War at Home," a landmark documentary about antiwar protests in the 1960s and '70s in Madison, Wisconsin, has just been re-released nationwide. We speak with co-director Glenn Silber, two-time Academy Award nominee, about the making of the film and why he argues now is an important time to revisit the responsibility to stand up and say no to war.

Democracy Now
Dec 28, 2018

Bring the Troops Home & Stop the Bombing: Medea Benjamin on U.S. Withdrawal from Syria & Afghanistan
As President Donald Trump makes a surprise visit to Iraq this week and defends his plans to withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria and about half the nearly 7,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, we get response from leading antiwar activist Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink. "We want to challenge Donald Trump … by pointing out that he continues to support the war in Yemen and the repressive Saudi regime," Benjamin says. Her recent piece for Salon.com is titled "Bring the troops home—but stop the bombing too."

Democracy Now
Dec 28, 2018

A Path to Freedom? Journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal Wins Chance to Reargue Appeal in 1981 Police Killing
Former Black Panther and award-winning journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner but has always maintained his innocence. On Thursday, a Philadelphia judge ruled Abu-Jamal can reargue his appeal in the case before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. The judge cited then-Chief Justice Ronald Castille's failure to recuse himself from the case due to his prior role as Philadelphia district attorney when Abu-Jamal was appealing. We get an update from Johanna Fernandez, professor of history at Baruch College-CUNY and one of the coordinators of the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home. She has been in the courtroom for much of this case and is the editor of "Writing on the Wall: Selected Prison Writings of Mumia Abu-Jamal."

Democracy Now
Dec 28, 2018

Headlines for December 28, 2018
Gov't Shutdown Set to Extend into 2019 over Border Wall Impasse, Mother of Migrant Boy Who Died in U.S. Custody Speaks Out, DHS Secretary Visits Border Amid Calls for Investigations into Migrant Children's Deaths, D.C. Judge Denies DOJ Request to Delay Deadline in Asylum Ban Case, Saudi Arabia: Cabinet Reshuffle Consolidates Power for Crown Prince, DRC: Political Unrest Ahead of Presidential Elections, Sudan: Deadly Anti-Government Protests Flare Amid Economic & Political Turmoil, PA Judge: Mumia Abu-Jamal Can Reargue Appeal in 1981 Police Killing Case, Ohio GOP Fails to Pass "Heartbeat Bill" But Kasich Signs Bill Banning D&E Abortions, GOP Blocks Bill to Help Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, African-American Woman Dies While in Mississippi Prison, NYC: Times Square NYE Festivities to Honor Committee to Protect Journalists

Democracy Now
Dec 27, 2018

"RBG": As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Recovers from Surgery, a Remarkable Film Charts Her Trajectory
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been discharged from the hospital following surgery that removed two malignant growths in her left lung. Doctors called the surgery a success and said there's no sign that Ginsburg's cancer has spread. The health of the liberal 85-year-old justice—the oldest sitting justice on the Supreme Court bench—has come under increased scrutiny in recent years. In November, she was hospitalized after a fall that resulted in three fractured ribs. She previously fractured two ribs in 2012 and has twice survived cancer—pancreatic cancer in 2009 and colon cancer in 1999. Despite her illnesses, in her 25 years on the court Ginsburg has never missed a day of oral argument. We turn now to a remarkable award-winning documentary released earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. The film has been shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. It's called "RBG."

Democracy Now
Dec 27, 2018

Without Notifying Anyone, ICE Dumps Hundreds of Migrants at El Paso Bus Station Around Christmas
U.S. Customs and Border Protection have ordered medical checks on every child in its custody, following the death of two Guatemalan children in recent weeks. On Christmas Eve, an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy named Felipe Gómez Alonso died in New Mexico while in CBP custody. This follows the death of a 7-year-old indigenous Guatemalan girl, Jakelin Caal Maquín, who died on December 8—also in New Mexico—two days after she and her father presented themselves at the border in a bid for asylum. Meanwhile, authorities in El Paso, Texas, scrambled over the Christmas holiday to assist hundreds of migrant asylum seekers who were dropped off suddenly by ICE officials outside a Greyhound bus terminal without any plan to house them. We speak with Dylan Corbett, executive director of Hope Border Institute, an El Paso-based charity that assists migrants.

Democracy Now
Dec 27, 2018

Headlines for December 27, 2018
President Trump Makes Surprise Visit to U.S. Military Base in Iraq, NYT: Queens Podiatrist Helped Donald Trump Avoid Vietnam in 1968, Trump Says No End in Sight to Partial Government Shutdown, Violence Against Women Act Expires Due to Government Shutdown, Texas: Hundreds More Migrants Released by ICE at El Paso Bus Station, Guatemala: Funeral Held for 7-Year-Old Girl Who Died in U.S. Custody, ProPublica: Sexual Assaults Pervasive Inside Jails for Migrant Children, Sudan: 37 Killed as Protests Call for an End to Omar al-Bashir's Rule, Russia Tests New "Hypersonic" Nuclear-Capable Missile, Yemen: U.N. Team Tasked with Monitoring Ceasefire Arrives in Hodeidah, Israel Advances New West Bank Settlements, Sets Election for April 9, Japan Will Resume Commercial Whaling, Defying International Ban, Kevin Spacey Charged with Sexual Assault, White Referee Forces Black New Jersey Teen Wrestler to Cut Dreadlocks

Democracy Now
Dec 26, 2018

Muslim Ban: Meet the Yemeni Americans Suing Trump in an Attempt to Reunite with Loved Ones
A group of Yemeni Americans have filed a new federal lawsuit over President Trump's Muslim ban. The suit alleges the State Department has revoked previously approved visas preventing many Yemenis from reuniting with their families living in the United States. We speak to two of the plaintiffs and the Center for Constitutional Rights, which brought the lawsuit.

Democracy Now
Dec 26, 2018

Richard Wolff: We Need a More Humane Economic System—Not One That Only Benefits the Rich
The partial shutdown of the U.S. federal government is entering its fifth day after a political impasse over President Donald Trump's contentious demand for border wall funding. Funding for about a quarter of all federal programs expired at midnight on Friday, including the departments of Justice, Agriculture and Homeland Security. On Christmas Day, Trump said the shutdown will last until Democrats agree to fund his $5 billion U.S.-Mexico border wall, despite previously repeatedly claiming Mexico would pay for the wall. The shutdown is occurring as concern grows over the U.S. economy. U.S. stock markets are on pace to suffer their worst December since 1931 during the Great Depression. In response, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin held an emergency meeting with top financial regulators and also convened a separate call with top executives of six major banks. We speak to economist and professor Richard Wolff.

Democracy Now
Dec 26, 2018

8-Year-Old Guatemalan Boy Dies in Border Patrol Custody Days After High Court Rejects Asylum Ban
For the second time this month, a Guatemalan child has died in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Eight-year-old Felix Gomez Alonzo died in New Mexico on Christmas Eve, after being detained since December 18. This follows the death of a 7-year-old indigenous Guatemalan girl, Jakelin Caal Maquín, who died on December 8, two days after she and her father presented themselves at the border in a bid for asylum. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has rejected President Trump's asylum ban, which attempted to deny asylum to anyone entering the country from outside of a legal port of entry. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal wing of the court in the 5-4 vote. We speak to Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, which helped file the lawsuit.

Democracy Now
Dec 26, 2018

Headlines for December 26, 2018
8-Year-Old Guatemalan Migrant Dies in U.S. Custody, Trump Warns of "Very Long" Government Shutdown over Border Wall, 800,000 Federal Employees Furloughed or Working Without Pay, Supreme Court Blocks Trump's Asylum Ban, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Lung Cancer Surgery, ICE Strands Hundreds of Migrants in Winter Cold for Christmas, Stocks Plunge as Trump Assails Federal Reserve, Syria: Israeli Warplanes Bomb Sites Near Damascus, U.S. Ends Support to Kurdish Militias as Turkish Troops Mass for Invasion, Trump to Replace James Mattis with Patrick Shanahan on January 1, U.S. Anti-ISIS Envoy Quits over Trump's Withdrawal from Syria, Indonesia: Death Toll from Tsunami Rises to 430, Kabul, Afghanistan: 43 Killed as Gunmen Storm Government Building, Indonesian Army Accused of Using Banned Chemical Weapon in West Papua

Democracy Now
Dec 25, 2018

A Tribute to Blacklisted Lyricist Yip Harburg: The Man Who Put the Rainbow in The Wizard of Oz
His name might not be familiar to many, but his songs are sung by millions around the world. Today, we take a journey through the life and work of Yip Harburg, the Broadway lyricist who wrote such hits as "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" and who put the music into The Wizard of Oz. Born into poverty on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Harburg always included a strong social and political component to his work, fighting racism and poverty. A lifelong socialist, Harburg was blacklisted and hounded throughout much of his life. We speak with Harburg's son, Ernie Harburg, about the music and politics of his father. Then we take an in-depth look at The Wizard of Oz, and hear a medley of Harburg's Broadway songs and the politics of the times in which they were created.

Democracy Now
Dec 24, 2018

From 1968 to 2018: Angela Davis on Freedom Struggles Then and Now, and the Movements of the Future
Legendary scholar and activist Angela Davis's work around issues of gender, race, class and prisons has influenced critical thought and social movements across several generations. Amy Goodman sat down with her in Washington, D.C., in October to discuss freedom struggles over the past 50 years, and where people's movements are going next.

Democracy Now
Dec 24, 2018

Angela Davis: We Owe It to People Who Came Before Us to Fight to Abolish Prisons
Angela Davis is a leading advocate for prison abolition, a position informed by her own experience as a prisoner and a fugitive on the FBI's top 10 wanted list more than 40 years ago. Once caught, she faced the death penalty in California. After being acquitted on all charges, she spent her life fighting to change the criminal justice system. Amy Goodman sat down with Angela Davis at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C., in October to talk about the prison abolition movement.

Democracy Now
Dec 24, 2018

Angela Davis on Running from the FBI, Lessons from Prison and How Aretha Franklin Got Her Free
For more than four decades, Davis has been one of most influential activists and intellectuals in the United States. An icon of the black liberation movement, Davis's work around issues of gender, race, class and prisons has influenced critical thought and social movements across several generations. She is a leading advocate for prison abolition, a position informed by her own experience as a prisoner and fugitive on the FBI's top 10 most wanted list more than 40 years ago. Once caught, she faced the death penalty in California. After being acquitted, she has spent her life fighting to change the criminal justice system. Just before the midterm elections, Angela Davis sat down with Amy Goodman in Washington, D.C., at Busboys and Poets to tell her life story.

Democracy Now
Dec 21, 2018

This Congressmember Camped in the Cold to Escort an Asylum-Seeking Honduran Mother Across Border
Nearly a month after a photo of a Honduran mother and her small children fleeing tear gas fired by U.S. Border Patrol captivated the nation, 39-year-old Maria Meza was finally admitted into the U.S. with her five children on Monday. Their asylum request is now being processed. But this came only after California Congressmembers Jimmy Gomez and Nanette Barragán intervened on behalf of Meza's family, camping out overnight with them on the U.S. side of the border near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry between Tijuana and San Diego. We speak with Congressmember Nanette Barragán, who just returned from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Democracy Now
Dec 21, 2018

Congress Touts First Step Act as Criminal Justice Victory—But Critics Fear Bill Makes False Promises
A major criminal justice reform bill is poised to become law after the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in its favor Thursday. The First Step Act, passed in the Senate earlier this week with an 87-12 vote, would roll back sentences for federal prisoners, including mandatory life terms for third-time offenders and mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug users. The bill is now heading to the desk of President Trump, who has pledged to sign it into law. The bill only affects federal prisoners, who make up less than 10 percent of the more than 2 million U.S. prisoners. It has been endorsed by a wide range of supporters across the political spectrum, from the American Civil Liberties Union to the conservative Koch brothers. But the bill explicitly excludes immigrants and has been criticized by groups such as the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of more than 150 black-led organizations, for encouraging profiteering and making "false promises" about bringing black prisoners home. We speak with Van Jones, president and co-founder of #cut50, a national bipartisan initiative to reduce the U.S.'s incarcerated population by 50 percent over the next 10 years. We also speak with Jessica Jackson Sloan, a human rights attorney and co-founder and national director of #cut50.

Democracy Now
Dec 21, 2018

Congress Touts First Step Act as Criminal Justice Victory—But Critics Say Bill Makes False Promises
A major criminal justice reform bill is poised to become law after the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in its favor Thursday. The First Step Act, passed in the Senate earlier this week with an 87-12 vote, would roll back sentences for federal prisoners, including mandatory life terms for third-time offenders and mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug users. The bill is now heading to the desk of President Trump, who has pledged to sign it into law. The bill only affects federal prisoners, who make up less than 10 percent of the more than 2 million U.S. prisoners. It has been endorsed by a wide range of supporters across the political spectrum, from the American Civil Liberties Union to the conservative Koch brothers. But the bill explicitly excludes immigrants and has been criticized by groups such as the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of more than 150 black-led organizations, for encouraging profiteering and making "false promises" about bringing black prisoners home. We speak with Van Jones, president and co-founder of #cut50, a national bipartisan initiative to reduce the U.S.'s incarcerated population by 50 percent over the next 10 years. We also speak with Jessica Jackson Sloan, a human rights attorney and co-founder and national director of #cut50.

Democracy Now
Dec 21, 2018

Andrew Bacevich on Mattis & Why We Need to End Our Self-Destructive, Mindless Wars in Middle East
Secretary of Defense James Mattis has announced he will resign at the end of February, in a letter publicly rebuking President Trump's foreign policy. Mattis resigned one day after President Trump ordered the withdrawal of all 2,000 U.S. troops from Syria and on the same day that reports emerged that Trump has ordered the withdrawal of about 7,000 troops from Afghanistan. The New York Times reports Mattis is the first prominent Cabinet member to resign in protest over a national security issue in almost 40 years. Much of the Washington establishment expressed shock over Mattis's resignation. We speak with Andrew Bacevich, a retired colonel and Vietnam War veteran. He's the author of several books, including his latest, "Twilight of the American Century." His other books include "America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History" and "Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War." He is professor emeritus of international relations and history at Boston University.

Democracy Now
Dec 21, 2018

Headlines for December 21, 2018
Secretary of Defense Mattis Resigns in Rebuke of Trump Foreign Policy, Trump & Senate at Impasse over Border Wall Funding as Shutdown Looms, Acting AG Whitaker Rejected Advice of DOJ to Recuse Himself from Mueller Probe, U.S. Plans to Send Asylum Seekers Back to Mexico While Awaiting Claims Processing, Treasury Dept. Lifts Sanctions on Russian Oligarch's Business Empire, DOJ Charges 2 Chinese Nationals over Massive Hacking Campaign, Yemeni Mother Reunites with Dying Son After Travel Ban Waiver, Egypt: Court Acquits 40 NGO Workers over 2013 Illegal Funding Charges, Pope Francis: Catholic Church Will "Never Again" Cover Up Sexual Abuse, U.K.: Flights Resume at Gatwick After Drone Sightings, Washington, D.C., Passes Ambitious Clean Energy Bill, France: Environmental Groups Plan Lawsuit over Gov't Climate Change Inaction

Democracy Now
Dec 20, 2018

NAACP Launches Boycott of Facebook: Platform Is Unhealthy for African Americans & U.S. Democracy
Facebook is under fire again, this time for new revelations that Russian trolls targeted African Americans on social media in an effort to influence the vote ahead of the 2016 election. A pair of bipartisan reports published by the Senate Intelligence Committee Monday claim the Russian government focused on African Americans in its effort to suppress the turnout of voters likely to cast ballots for Hillary Clinton, spreading fake news and sowing discord in the run-up to the election. The NAACP has launched a Facebook boycott in response, demanding the social media giant be held responsible. We speak with Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP.

Democracy Now
Dec 20, 2018

The Bombings Will Continue: Phyllis Bennis Warns U.S. Military Role in Syria Is Not Actually Ending
President Trump has announced that the U.S. will withdraw troops from Syria, in a move that has been praised by some in the American peace movement and some progressive lawmakers, as well as anti-interventionist Republicans, including Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee. We speak with Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, who warns that the U.S. warplanes and drones will continue to bomb the country. "ISIS has not been 'defeated,' and the U.S. should not remain in Syria militarily," Bennis says. "You cannot defeat terrorism militarily. Terrorism is a phenomenon that emerges out of social and economic and national and all kinds of crises, in all kinds of countries. And stopping it doesn't mean playing whack-a-mole with your military."

Democracy Now
Dec 20, 2018

Trump Pledges to Withdraw U.S. Ground Troops from Syria—But Global Powers & Deadly Air Forces Remain
President Trump has ordered the withdrawal of all 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria, shocking many in Washington and around the world. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, "We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency." He ordered the withdrawal despite opposition from within the White House. We speak with Yazan al-Saadi, a Syrian-Canadian writer and researcher, who warns that U.S. military presence in the region will continue. "You might have a large chunk of the boots on the ground leaving, but it seems very clear that the American air power is going to remain," al-Saadi says.

Democracy Now
Dec 20, 2018

Headlines for December 20, 2018
Trump Announces Withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Syria, Senates Passes Stopgap Spending Measure in Hopes of Averting Shutdown, WSJ: AG Nominee Barr Sent Memo to Justice Dept. Critical of Mueller Probe, Trump Signed "Trump Tower Moscow" Letter of Intent, Contradicting Giuliani Claim, Blackwater Guard Found Guilty of Murder in 2007 Nisoor Sq. Massacre, D.C. Attorney General Sues Facebook over User Privacy Violations, U.K. and EU Leaders Prepare for Possible "No-Deal Brexit", Mexico: 2 Honduran Teenagers Who Traveled with Migrant Caravan Killed, Five-Month-Old Girl Who Traveled with Migrant Caravan Hospitalized in California, Judge Blocks Trump Asylum Rule Barring Domestic and Gang Violence Survivors, HHS Relaxes Sponsorship Requirement for Migrant Children in Gov't Custody, Trump Administration Restricts Eligibility for Food Stamps, Judge Dismisses 83 Complaints Against New SCOTUS Justice Kavanaugh, NYT: Hackers Penetrated Private Communications of EU, the U.N., NYT: Democratic Operatives Used Russian Cyber Tactics in 2017 Alabama Senate Race, Senate Votes to Make Lynching a Federal Crime, Catholic Church Withheld Info on Child Sexual Abuse by 500 Priests, L.A. Bishop Resigns 13 Years After Revelation of Child Sexual Abuse Allegation, Reports: Tobacco Giant Altria to Sign $13 Billion Deal with Juul, Ohio: Bank Calls 911 on Black Patron After Refusing to Cash His Check, ACLU Sues in Texas & Arkansas over Israel Boycott Employment Provisions, NYC: Immigration Activist Who Scaled Statue of Liberty Found Guilty

Democracy Now
Dec 19, 2018

Cambodians Who Fled War, U.S. Bombs and Genocide Now Face ICE Raids and Deportations Under Trump
Cambodians are being deported from the U.S. at record numbers, including many who have been living in the U.S. for decades after fleeing war, U.S. bombings and genocide under the Khmer Rouge. On Monday, an Omni Air flight departed from El Paso, Texas, with 36 Cambodians on board. They were deported to the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. Attorneys believe it to be one of the largest deportation flights to Cambodia yet under the Trump administration. We speak with Kevin Lo, staff attorney in the Immigrant Rights Program at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus. He has been working with Cambodians living in the U.S. who are facing deportation.

Democracy Now
Dec 19, 2018

Mental Health Experts & Rights Groups Call for Unceasing Media Coverage of Detained Migrant Children
It's been more than four months since a judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite all families that were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, but 140 children are still separated from their parents in U.S. custody. It is believed that 30 children will never be reunited. Despite this, family separation is no longer in the daily headlines. We speak with a Harvard psychologist who is trying to change this by calling on U.S. media outlets to highlight the growing number of days that migrant children have been forcibly separated from their parents. Dr. Paula J. Caplan is a clinical and research psychologist and associate at the DuBois Institute at Harvard University. She is leading a coalition of human rights groups and mental health professionals calling attention to the ongoing family separation crisis.

Democracy Now
Dec 19, 2018

Mental Health Experts & Rights Groups Call for Unceasing Media Coverage of Separated Migrant Children
It's been more than four months since a judge ordered the Trump administration to reunite all families that were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, but 140 children are still separated from their parents in U.S. custody. It is believed that 30 children will never be reunited. Despite this, family separation is no longer in the daily headlines. We speak with a Harvard psychologist who is trying to change this by calling on U.S. media outlets to highlight the growing number of days that migrant children have been forcibly separated from their parents. Dr. Paula J. Caplan is a clinical and research psychologist and associate at the DuBois Institute at Harvard University. She is leading a coalition of human rights groups and mental health professionals calling attention to the ongoing family separation crisis.

Democracy Now
Dec 19, 2018

Greg Grandin: How U.S. Policies Punished Central Americans, Long Before Jakelin Caal Maquín's Death
As public outrage grows over the death of Jakelin Caal Maquín, a 7-year-old indigenous Guatemalan girl who died in Border Patrol custody, we discuss U.S. policy in Central America with Greg Grandin, prize-winning author and professor of Latin American history at New York University. Searching for answers after Jakelin's death, Grandin points to border militarization policies dating back to the Clinton administration and the closure of safer urban routes to the U.S. border. He also links the displacement of Jakelin's family to the U.S.-backed coup in Guatemala in 1954 and economic policies that destroyed subsistence agriculture in her region. Grandin's latest piece in The Nation, co-authored with Elizabeth Oglesby, is titled "Who Killed Jakelin Caal Maquín at the US Border?"

Democracy Now
Dec 19, 2018

Justice for Jakelin: Lawmakers Demand Answers in Death of 7-Year-Old Girl in Border Patrol Custody
Outrage is mounting over the death of a 7-year-old indigenous Guatemalan girl in Border Patrol custody, as lawmakers demand answers for the conditions that led Jakelin Caal Maquín to die after being detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. Maquin died on December 8, two days after she and her father presented themselves at the border alongside 161 other Central American asylum seekers. She had been held in detention for more than eight hours when she began to have seizures. Border Patrol agents brought the girl to the hospital after her body temperature spiked to 105.7 degrees. The 7-year-old died of dehydration, shock and liver failure at an El Paso hospital less than 24 hours later. We speak with Clara Long, senior researcher at Human Rights Watch, and Greg Grandin, prize-winning author and professor of Latin American history at New York University. His latest piece in The Nation, co-authored with Elizabeth Oglesby, is titled "Who Killed Jakelin Caal Maquín at the US Border?"

Democracy Now
Dec 19, 2018

Headlines for December 19, 2018
Senate Approves Bipartisan Criminal Justice Bill, Federal Judge Rebukes Michael Flynn But Delays Sentencing, Trump Foundation to Dissolve over "Willful Self-Dealing Transactions", Trump Backs Down from Government Shutdown Threat over Border Wall, Honduran Mother Tear-Gassed by U.S. Border Guards Applies for Asylum, Lawmakers Demand Answers In Death of 7-Year-Old Guatemalan Migrant, Yemeni Mother of Dying 2-Year-Old Gets Waiver from Trump Travel Ban, Advertisers Flee as Tucker Carlson Says Immigrants Make U.S. "Dirtier", NYT: Facebook Shared Users' Data with Other Silicon Valley Giants, Trump to Ban Bump Stocks, More Than a Year After Las Vegas Massacre, Arizona Republican Martha McSally Will Fill John McCain's Senate Seat, Reuters: Burma Taking Steps to Prevent Rohingya Refugee Repatriation, U.S. Sportswear Was Manufactured in Chinese Forced Labor Camp, German Amazon Workers Strike for Better Pay and Conditions

Democracy Now
Dec 18, 2018

Marc Lamont Hill Speaks Out After CNN Fires Him for Pro-Palestine Speech at U.N.
Less than a month after CNN fired Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill for giving a speech at the United Nations supporting Palestinian rights, we speak with him about the international attention his comments have received, academic freedom and why he feels it's more important than ever to speak out about Israeli human rights abuses. Marc Lamont Hill is a professor of media studies and urban education at Temple University. He is the author of several books, including "Nobody: Casualties of America's War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint and Beyond." We also speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, whose recent piece is titled "CNN Submits to Right-Wing Outrage Mob, Fires Marc Lamont Hill Due to His 'Offensive' Defense of Palestinians at the U.N."

Democracy Now
Dec 18, 2018

Glenn Greenwald: Congress Is Trying to Make It a Federal Crime to Participate in Boycott of Israel
Twenty-six states have laws preventing state agencies from contracting with companies or individuals aligned with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. BDS is an international campaign to pressure Israel to comply with international law and respect Palestinian rights. However, its opponents say BDS is a thinly disguised anti-Semitic attempt to debilitate or even destroy Israel. We speak with Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and one of the founding editors of The Intercept. His latest piece is headlined "A Texas Elementary School Speech Pathologist Refused to Sign a Pro-Israel Oath, Now Mandatory in Many States—So She Lost Her Job."

Democracy Now
Dec 18, 2018

Meet the Texas Speech Pathologist Who Lost School Job for Refusing to Sign Pro-Israel, Anti-BDS Oath
A Palestinian-American speech pathologist in Austin, Texas, has filed a federal lawsuit for losing her job after refusing to sign a pro-Israel oath. Bahia Amawi is an Arabic-speaking child language specialist who had worked for nine years in the Pflugerville Independent School District. But she lost her job last year after she declined to sign a pledge that she would "not boycott Israel during the term of the contract" and that she would not take any action that is "intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with Israel." We speak with Bahia Amawi and Gadeir Abbas, senior litigation attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations. He is representing Amawi in her lawsuit against the Pflugerville Independent School District and the state of Texas.

Democracy Now
Dec 18, 2018

Headlines for December 18, 2018
Government Shutdown Looms as Trump Demands $5 Billion for Border Wall, Yemen: Fragile Ceasefire Takes Hold After Hodeidah Fighting Dies Down, Yemeni Mother of Dying 2-Year-Old Child Is Denied U.S. Entry, Ex-Associates of Michael Flynn Arrested over Illegal Turkish Lobbying, Senate Committee Claims Russia Targeted African Americans on Social Media, Nicaraguan Government Raids Journalists' Office, Human Rights Group, U.N. Appeals for Palestinian Aid as Trump Withdraws U.S. Support, Australia Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's Undivided Capital, U.S. and Hungary Dissent as U.N. Votes 181 to 2 for Refugee Pact, Hungary: Thousands Protest "Slave Law" in Budapest, Trump Administration to Scale Back "Quiet Skies" Surveillance Program, CBS to Deny $120 Million Golden Parachute to Ex-Leader Les Moonves, States Ask Pennsylvania Prosecutors for Info on Catholic Church Abuses, West Virginia Transgender Student Says He Was Bullied by High School Administrator, Missouri Judge Orders Serial Poacher to Watch "Bambi" Once a Month, Canada: Indigenous Activists Brace for Raid on Anti-Pipeline Blockade, Seattle Protest Targets JPMorgan Chase over Pipeline Investments

Democracy Now
Dec 17, 2018

From Arizona to Yemen: How Bombs Built by Raytheon in Tucson Killed 31 Civilians in Yemeni Village
In a historic vote, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution on Thursday calling for an end to U.S. military and financial support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen. This represents the first time in U.S. history the Senate has voted to withdraw military forces from an unauthorized war using the War Powers Resolution. The Saudi-led war in Yemen has created what the U.N. calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with 14 million of Yemen's 28 million people on the brink of famine. A remarkable piece in this week's New York Times Magazine traces how bombs built by Raytheon in Tucson, Arizona, made its way into the Saudi arsenal and then were dropped on Yemeni villages. The article centers on what happened in the remote village of Arhab when U.S.-backed Saudi warplanes carried out a series of bombings on September 10, 2016. According to Human Rights Watch, at least 31 civilians were killed, three of them children; 42 people were injured. We speak to journalist Jeffrey Stern.

Democracy Now
Dec 17, 2018

"To the Ramparts": Ralph Nader on How Bush & Obama Paved the Way for the Trump Presidency
A new book by longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic and former presidential hopeful Ralph Nader links the criminality of the Trump administration to the unchecked power of previous U.S. presidents, including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. In "To the Ramparts: How Bush and Obama Paved the Way for the Trump Presidency, and Why It Isn't Too Late to Reverse Course," Nader argues that the U.S. federal government is fundamentally corrupt, warmongering and owned by corporations—but he also issues a call for members of the public to hold their representatives and senators accountable, including by building local commerce watchdog groups across the country and utilizing "citizens summons" to force members of Congress to appear before residents of their districts.

Democracy Now
Dec 17, 2018

Ralph Nader on Single Payer, Climate Devastation, Impeachment & Why Mulvaney Is a "Massive Outlaw"
As President Trump threatens to shut down the federal government over border wall funding, there have been some shake-ups in the White House. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will resign as he faces at least 17 federal investigations into suspected ethics violations. A former fossil fuel industry lobbyist, David Bernhardt, will become the interim interior secretary. Meanwhile, Trump has tapped Mick Mulvaney to become acting chief of staff to replace Gen. John Kelly. Mulvaney already holds two posts in the administration: White House budget director and acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And in Texas, a federal court has declared the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate unconstitutional, setting up a likely challenge at the Supreme Court. We are joined by longtime consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader. He is author of the new book "To the Ramparts: How Bush and Obama Paved the Way for the Trump Presidency, and Why It Isn't Too Late to Reverse Course."

Democracy Now
Dec 17, 2018

Headlines for December 17, 2018
Countries Adopt "Rulebook" to Implement Paris Climate Agreement, Ryan Zinke Steps Down as Interior Secretary as Ethics Scandals Mount, Mick Mulvaney to Replace John Kelly as Trump's Acting Chief of Staff, Texas Judge Declares Affordable Care Act Unconstitutional, White House Threatens Government Shutdown over Border Wall Funds, Family Demands Answers in Death of 7-Year-Old Girl in Border Patrol Custody, ICE Arrests and Deportations Under Trump Rise in 2018, Michael Cohen Says Trump Knew Hush Money Payments Were Wrong, Giuliani Says Trump Pursued Moscow Skyscraper Deal into November 2016, Reuters: Johnson & Johnson Knew of Asbestos in Baby Powder for Decades, Trump Promises to "Review" Case of Army Green Beret Charged with Murder, Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker Signs Bills Weakening His Successor, Thousands of L.A. Teachers Rally Ahead of January Strike Deadline

Democracy Now
Dec 14, 2018

Bangladeshi Scientist: World Leaders Must Take Urgent Action to Prevent Climate Crisis Rise
At the U.N. Climate talks in Katowice, Poland, we speak with climate scientist Saleemul Huq, who is advising the bloc of least developed countries in the climate negotiations, about their demands. He is director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh.

Democracy Now
Dec 14, 2018

Climate Strike: Heeding Call of Greta Thunberg, Polish Students Walk Out of Class
Fifteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has called for a global climate strike today to protest inaction at the U.N. climate summit. Greta made international headlines after she refused to go to school in August and began a School Strike for Climate. Greta made the call for today's strike in a video posted on Twitter.

Democracy Now
Dec 14, 2018

Extinction Rebellion: UK Protesters Are Supergluing Themselves to Buildings to Fight Climate Crisis
As protests erupt at the U.N. climate summit in Katowice, Poland, we speak with Liam Geary Baulch, part of the new movement called Extinction Rebellion that began six months ago in the United Kingdom and has now spread to 35 countries. Members are taking extreme action to fight the climate crisis, including supergluing themselves to government buildings, shutting down London Bridge and taking to the streets to sound the alarm about the impending catastrophe of global warming. They are demanding governments commit to legally binding measures to slash consumption and reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025.

Democracy Now
Dec 14, 2018

Hundreds of Activists Stage Sit-in Against Big Polluters on Final Day of COP24 U.N. Climate Talks
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the U.N. climate summit in Katowice, Poland, on Friday, demanding bolder action from world leaders on climate change. The action was organized by the Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice. Demonstrators filled the staircase inside the conference center holding banners reading "Which side are you on?" and "People Not Polluters" and "System change not climate change." As protesters marched out of U.N. climate talks, Democracy Now! spoke with Maya Menezes, Canadian climate activist and member of the Canadian Youth Delegation with the climate justice organization The Leap. She is a migrant rights organizer with No One Is Illegal.

Democracy Now
Dec 14, 2018

"We Are Not Prepared to Die": Ex-Maldives President Warns of Catastrophic Climate Change
"We are not prepared to die." Those are the words that Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the low-lying island country of Maldives, delivered at the U.N. climate summit in Katowice, Poland, this week. In an impassioned plea for nations to overcome their differences, he urged world leaders to take decisive action to tackle climate change. Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed returned home to his island nation in November after two years in exile. Just a month later, Nasheed is now leading the Maldives delegation at the U.N. climate summit. We speak with him from the U.N. climate talks.

Democracy Now
Dec 14, 2018

Headlines for December 14, 2018
Senate Votes to End U.S. Support for Saudi-Led War on Yemen, Senate Passes Resolution Condemning Saudi Crown Prince for Khashoggi Murder, 7-Year-Old Guatemalan Girl Dies in U.S. Border Agents' Custody, Trump's 2016 Inauguration Being Probed for Misuse of Funds and Illegal Donations, Russian Gun Activist Pleads Guilty to Acting as Foreign Agent, Global Calls Mount to Release Burmese Journalists, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Nadia Murad Addresses Iraqi Officials, Argentina: Ex-Ford Execs Convicted of Kidnapping & Torture During Dirty War, France: Police Kill Suspect of Strasbourg Mass Shooting, Bolton Calls for Western Sahara Referendum, DeVos Forced to Fulfill Obama-Era Rule, Cancelling $150 Million in Student Debt, New Primary and Election Possible in Uncalled North Carolina Congressional Race

Democracy Now
Dec 13, 2018

You Are Stealing Our Future: Greta Thunberg, 15, Condemns the World's Inaction on Climate Change
Fifteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed the U.N. plenary last night in Katowice, Poland, condemning global inaction in the face of catastrophic climate change.

Democracy Now
Dec 13, 2018

Fossil-Free Costa Rica: How One Country Is Pursuing Decarbonization Despite Global Inaction
As world leaders struggle to agree on a plan to curb global emissions at the U.N. climate talks in Katowice, Poland, we look at Costa Rica's plan to go fossil-free beginning next year. It will be the first country in the world to decarbonize its economy. Costa Rica generates more than 90 percent of its electricity using renewable energy. Costa Rican officials have announced they want to host U.N. climate talks in 2019, since Brazil rescinded its offer to host the summit following the election of right-wing climate change denier President-elect Jair Bolsonaro. We speak with Monica Araya, a Costa Rican climate activist who works with the president of Costa Rica on sustainability issues. She is the director of Costa Rica Limpia, an NGO that promotes carbon neutrality and clean energy.

Democracy Now
Dec 13, 2018

A "Conference of Polluters": How Fossil Fuel Companies Are Shaping Policy at the U.N. Climate Summit
Officials from nearly 200 countries are in Katowice, Poland, to negotiate how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement. But so are representatives from many of the world's largest fossil fuel companies, including a lobby group that represents BP, Shell and ExxonMobil. Just last week, The Intercept reported that an executive from Shell Oil told participants at a COP side event that Shell helped draft a portion of the 2015 Paris climate agreement dealing with emissions mitigation. This week, activists protested outside an event hosted by Shell. Among them was Nnimmo Bassey, a Nigerian environmental activist and the director of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation, who says the nonbinding 2015 Paris climate agreement was popular with politicians because polluters saw they "didn't have to do anything that science requires." He argues, "This is just the design and the desire of the fossil fuel industry."

Democracy Now
Dec 13, 2018

As U.N. Calls for Urgent Action on Climate Change, U.S. Seeks to Dilute Pact to Cut Carbon Emissions
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres issued a dire warning Wednesday that nations must act now to save humanity from devastating climate change. Despite this call to action, talks here in Katowice have been hindered by the United States and the world's other biggest polluters, who are promoting fossil fuels and focusing on reducing emissions in developing countries but not their own. Talks are supposed to conclude Friday, but negotiators have expressed little hope in meeting the deadline. "It's really hypocritical that the United States is here, negotiating in what I would characterize as bad faith," says Meena Raman, of the U.S. role in climate talks at COP24. "[The U.S.] is seeking to dilute further what was a very delicate treaty that was concluded." Raman is coordinator of the climate change program at Third World Network.

Democracy Now
Dec 13, 2018

Headlines for December 13, 2018
Former Trump Lawyer Cohen Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison, National Enquirer Admits to Suppressing Trump Affair Story to Aid 2016 Presidential Bid, Yemen: Hodeidah Ceasefire Declared, Rep. Pelosi Secures Votes for House Speaker Role, Guardian: FBI Was Surveilling Members of Environmental Group 350.org, NYT: ALEC & Oil Industry Secretly Campaigning to Weaken Car Emission Standards, U.K.: Prime Minister May Survives Leadership Challenge, China Detains 2 Canadians as Huawei CFO Gets Out on Bail, Turkey Threatens Offensive Against U.S.-Backed Kurds in Syria, Australian Media Barred from Reporting on Vatican Official Convicted of Sex Crimes Against Children, West Bank: Deadly Attacks Kill 3 Palestinians and 2 Israelis, Gaza: Mourners Gather for Funeral of 4-Year-Old Killed by Israeli Forces, Temple University: Prof. Lamont Hill's Palestine Talk Protected by Free Speech, CDC: 40,000 People Killed by Guns in U.S. in 2017, NYC: DA Drops Charges for Mother Whose Baby Was Snatched by NYPD, Media Company Slate Votes to Go on Strike, NYC: Amazon Warehouse Workers Plan to Form Union, Christine Blasey Ford Presents Award to Sexual Assault Survivor Who Broke Silence on Larry Nassar

Democracy Now
Dec 12, 2018

U.S. & Other Big Polluters Obstruct U.N. Climate Talks, Stalling Efforts to Reduce Carbon Emissions
The world's worst emitters are hindering negotiations at the U.N. climate summit in Katowice, Poland, even as countries from the Global South warn that they could face annihilation without drastic action to confront climate change. We speak with Harjeet Singh, who has been observing how the U.S. and other big polluters are hindering climate talks. He is the global lead on climate change for ActionAid. He's been working with climate migrants in several countries, and he is based in New Delhi, India.

Democracy Now
Dec 12, 2018

Trump's Energy Adviser Runs Away When Questioned by Democracy Now! at U.N. Climate Talks
The Trump administration is promoting fossil fuels at the U.N. climate summit in Katowice, Poland, despite outcry from climate activists and world leaders concerned about the devastating threat of climate change. Chief among Trump's representatives at the climate summit is Wells Griffith, special assistant to the president for international energy and environment. He is a longtime Republican operative who served as deputy chief of staff to Reince Priebus when Priebus was chair of the Republican National Committee. Amy Goodman attempted to question Wells Griffith about the Trump administration's climate policy at the U.N. summit Tuesday. Griffith refused to answer questions and ran from our camera team for about a quarter-mile, retreating to the U.S. delegation office.

Democracy Now
Dec 12, 2018

"Ha, Ha, Ha": At U.N. Climate Talks, Protesters Laugh Out Trump Admin Official Pushing Fossil Fuels
Democracy Now! was in the room when indigenous and youth leaders disrupted an event Monday hosted by Trump administration officials promoting fossil fuels and nuclear interests at the U.N. climate talks in Katowice, Poland. Wells Griffith, special assistant to the president for international energy and environment, represented the U.S. at the event. Griffith said in his remarks, "We strongly believe that no country should have to sacrifice economic prosperity or energy security in pursuit of environmental sustainability." Moments later, nearly a hundred protesters began laughing, drowning out Griffith, calling the panel a "joke" and taking over the event to denounce fossil fuels.

Democracy Now
Dec 12, 2018

Typhoon Haiyan Survivor: Fossil Fuel Companies Killed My Family by Hastening Climate Change
As we broadcast from the U.N. climate summit in Katowice, Poland, world leaders and officials from nearly 200 countries are here to negotiate how to implement the 2015 Paris Agreement. But three years after Paris, they appear no closer to curbing global emissions and halting catastrophic climate change. New studies show global carbon emissions may have risen as much as 3.7 percent in 2018, marking the second annual increase in a row. As the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports that humanity has only a dozen years to mitigate climate change or face global catastrophe, we speak with Joanna Sustento, who has already felt the harrowing effects of climate change and has dedicated her life to climate activism as a result. Her life was turned upside down in 2013, when Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest cyclones in recorded history, devastated the Philippines, killing five members of her family and thousands of others.

Democracy Now
Dec 12, 2018

Headlines for December 12, 2018
Trump Threatens Government Shutdown over Border Wall Funding, U.K.: Prime Minister May Faces Leadership Challenge, France: Gunman on the Loose After Killing 3 at Christmas Market, Brazil: Gunman Kills 4 in Cathedral Shooting, Brazil: 2 Members of Landless Workers' Movement Killed, Report: Illegal Mining On the Rise in Amazon, Report: Arctic Is Warming at Rapid Rate, California: Activists Protest for Green New Deal at Pelosi's Office, ICE Arrested 170 Potential Sponsors for Unaccompanied Migrant Minors, Arizona Judge Orders Deportation of Immigrant and Reproductive Rights Activist, Ex-Frat President Accused of Violent Rapes Avoids Prison, Fined $400, Outrage Over Tennessee Court Ruling in Cyntoia Brown Case, Charlottesville: Jury Sentences Neo-Nazi to Life for "Unite the Right" Rally Murder, NYC: Protesters Denounce U.S.-Israel Joint Police Training Program, Obit: Documentary Filmmaker Bill Siegel Dies

Democracy Now
Dec 11, 2018

Climate Scientist: World's Richest Must Radically Change Lifestyles to Prevent Global Catastrophe
The 24th United Nations climate summit comes amid growing warnings about the catastrophic danger climate change poses to the world. In October, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that humanity has only a dozen years to mitigate climate change or face global catastrophe—with severe droughts, floods, sea level rise and extreme heat set to cause mass displacement and poverty. But on Saturday, the United States, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait blocked language "welcoming" the landmark IPCC climate report. New studies show global carbon emissions may have risen as much 3.7 percent in 2018, marking the second annual increase in a row. A recent report likened the rising emissions to a "speeding freight train." We speak with Kevin Anderson, professor in climate change leadership at Uppsala University's Centre for Environment and Development Studies, and 15-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg about the drastic action needed to fight climate change and the impact of President Trump on climate change activism.

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