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Democracy Now
Jan 23, 2020

"Dark Waters": Meet the Lawyer Whose 20-Year Fight Against DuPont Inspired the New Film
The new film "Dark Waters" tells the story of attorney Rob Bilott's 20-year battle with DuPont over contaminated drinking water in West Virginia from toxic chemicals used to make Teflon. The Environmental Working Group credited Billot with "uncovering the most heinous corporate environmental conspiracy in history," and the issue of contaminated water from the plastics industry continues to devastate areas across the country. On Wednesday, the Environmental Working Group released a shocking report about how toxic fluorinated chemicals known as PFAS have been found in the drinking water of dozens of U.S. cities, including major metropolitan areas including Miami, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. The so-called forever chemicals are linked to cancer, high cholesterol and decreased fertility, and they do not break down in the environment. We speak with attorney Robert Bilott, who has just published a new book titled "Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer's Twenty-Year Battle Against DuPont." He is portrayed by Mark Ruffalo in the Hollywood film "Dark Waters." We're also joined by Tim Robbins, Academy Award-winning actor and director, who plays Bilott's boss at his law firm in "Dark Waters."

Democracy Now
Jan 23, 2020

Tim Robbins: Bernie Sanders Is the Best Shot We Have to Defeat Donald Trump
We continue our conversation with Academy Award-winning actor and director Tim Robbins, whose recent projects include the new film "Dark Waters" and a play about immigration called "The New Colossus." He recently endorsed Vermont senator and Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders for president. "I believe he is the only one of them that can defeat Trump," Robbins says.

Democracy Now
Jan 23, 2020

"The New Colossus": In New Play, Tim Robbins Tackles Immigration & Xenophobia
President Trump said Wednesday that he would expand his highly controversial travel ban, which already bars citizens from seven countries, most of which have Muslim-majority populations — Libya, Iran, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela — from entering the United States. Politico reports that the expanded ban could implement immigration restrictions on seven more countries: Belarus, Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania, according to two sources. We speak with acclaimed actor, director and activist Tim Robbins, whose recent work has focused on immigration to the United States. He has starred in many movies, including "The Shawshank Redemption," "Mystic River" and "Dark Waters." He also wrote and directed the highly acclaimed film "Dead Man Walking." He is the director of a new play about immigration called "The New Colossus," with the play's title borrowed from the 1883 Emma Lazarus sonnet that is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.

Democracy Now
Jan 23, 2020

Trump Brags About Withholding Evidence as Democratic Impeachment Managers Lay Out Case in the Senate
During the opening day of oral arguments in the impeachment trial, President Trump was accused of abusing his office to "cheat an election." House impeachment managers spent about eight hours on Wednesday laying out their case for why President Trump should be removed from office. The Senate trial comes a month after the House impeached Trump for withholding congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine as part of an effort to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate Trump's political rival, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. While the impeachment trial was taking place in the Senate, President Trump was across the Atlantic at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he tweeted more than 140 times and dismissed the impeachment trial as a hoax. Trump also appeared to boast about having withheld evidence from the impeachment process, saying, "We have all the material; they don't have the material." For more on the historic impeachment trial, we speak with Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor and Supreme Court reporter at Slate.com.

Democracy Now
Jan 23, 2020

Headlines for January 23, 2020
Democrats Accuse Trump of Trying to "Cheat" Upcoming Election, Supreme Court Decides Not to Fast-Track Obamacare Case, D.C. Sues Trump's Inaugural Committee over $1M Rental of Trump Hotel Ballroom, ICJ Orders Burma to Protect Rohingya from Genocide, Trump Says He's Planning to Add More Countries to Travel Ban, State Department to Make It More Difficult for Pregnant Women to Receive Visas, Trump Says He May Cut Medicare, Social Security, Trump Plans to Speak at Anti-Choice March for Life Friday, Chinese Authorities Seal Off City of Wudan as Coronavirus Spreads, Tulsi Gabbard Sues Clinton for Defamation, U.N.: Climate-Fueled Droughts in Central America Driving Migration, Mexican Feminist & Activist Isabel Cabanillas de la Torre Killed in Juárez, American Journalist Philip Jacobson Faces 5 Years in Prison in Indonesia, U.N. Experts Accuse Saudi Crown Prince of Hacking Jeff Bezos's Phone, Study: Tap Water in 43 U.S. Cities Contaminated with PFAS Chemicals, Trump Admin to Remove Environmental Protections for Waterways, San Francisco District Attorney's Office Ends Cash Bail

Democracy Now
Jan 22, 2020

Criminalizing Reporting: Glenn Greenwald Faces Cybercrime Complaint After Exposing Scandal in Brazil
In Brazil, federal prosecutors have filed a criminal complaint against journalist and Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald in connection to a major investigation he spearheaded that exposed misconduct among federal prosecutors and a former judge. Called "The Secret Brazil Archive," the series of pieces published in The Intercept and The Intercept Brasil used a trove of documents to offer new and damning insight into the sweeping anti-corruption campaign that brought down former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and paved the way for the election of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro. The investigation used previously undisclosed private chats, audio recordings, videos and other information provided by an anonymous source to expose the wrongdoing of top officials, including Justice Minister Sérgio Moro, who oversaw the anti-corruption crusade known as "Operation Car Wash." On Tuesday, a justice minister filed a denunciation of Glenn Greenwald, claiming he "directly assisted, encouraged and guided" individuals who allegedly accessed online chats related to Operation Car Wash. A judge will now decide whether to press charges. The move has sparked international outrage at what many are condemning as an attack on the free press in Brazil. We speak with Andrew Fishman, managing editor of The Intercept Brasil and reporter for The Intercept.

Democracy Now
Jan 22, 2020

A Torturer Meets His Victims: CIA Psychologist Defends Brutal Methods at Guantanamo Military Hearing
On Tuesday, the psychologist identified as the "architect" of the CIA's torture program testified for the first time to the war court at Guantánamo Bay. James Mitchell was in the courtroom for a pretrial hearing for five 9/11 suspects who had been subject to torture, euphemistically called "enhanced interrogation techniques." Mitchell and his partner, Dr. Bruce Jessen, were paid $81 million to help design the CIA's torture methods, including some of the agency's most abusive tactics. The pair had no prior experience in interrogation. At the hearing, Mitchell reportedly told defense lawyers he only came to Guantánamo to testify in person before the families of the 9/11 victims, and at one point told the torture survivors, "You folks have been saying untrue and malicious things about me and Dr. Jessen for years." In 2014, James Mitchell confirmed to Vice News that he personally waterboarded alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Mitchell also reportedly waterboarded Abu Zubaydah at a secret CIA black site in Thailand. Earlier this month, protesters marked the 18th anniversary of Guantánamo by donning orange jumpsuits and lining up in front of the White House. They later held a mock funeral at Trump International Hotel for those who died at the U.S. detention facility. We speak with Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Democracy Now
Jan 22, 2020

A Torturer Meets His Victims: CIA Psychologist Defends Brutal Methods at Guantánamo Military Hearing
On Tuesday, the psychologist identified as the "architect" of the CIA's torture program testified for the first time to the war court at Guantánamo Bay. James Mitchell was in the courtroom for a pretrial hearing for five 9/11 suspects who had been subject to torture, euphemistically called "enhanced interrogation techniques." Mitchell and his partner, Dr. Bruce Jessen, were paid $81 million to help design the CIA's torture methods, including some of the agency's most abusive tactics. The pair had no prior experience in interrogation. At the hearing, Mitchell reportedly told defense lawyers he only came to Guantánamo to testify in person before the families of the 9/11 victims, and at one point told the torture survivors, "You folks have been saying untrue and malicious things about me and Dr. Jessen for years." In 2014, James Mitchell confirmed to Vice News that he personally waterboarded alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Mitchell also reportedly waterboarded Abu Zubaydah at a secret CIA black site in Thailand. Earlier this month, protesters marked the 18th anniversary of Guantánamo by donning orange jumpsuits and lining up in front of the White House. They later held a mock funeral at Trump International Hotel for those who died at the U.S. detention facility. We speak with Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Democracy Now
Jan 22, 2020

"The Senate Voted for a Cover-Up": GOP Senators Tilt Impeachment Trial in Trump's Favor
After the first marathon day leading up to President Trump's impeachment trial, we speak with Vince Warren and Baher Azmy, executive director and legal director, respectively, of the Center for Constitutional Rights. In a 13-hour session, the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate approved rules for the impeachment trial that Vince Warren says are tantamount to a "cover-up." Under the rules, each side will be given 24 hours over a three-day period for opening arguments. Senators also agreed to automatically admit evidence from the House inquiry into the trial record. Republicans rejected 11 amendments from Democrats to subpoena witnesses and documents at this stage in the trial.

Democracy Now
Jan 22, 2020

"Andrew Johnson Was a Lot Like Trump": Echoes of 1868 in Trump's Impeachment Trial
After a nearly 13-hour marathon session, the U.S. Senate approved by a party-line vote the rules for the impeachment trial of President Trump. This marks just the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history. The Senate trial comes a month after the House impeached Trump for pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. Under the rules, each side will be given 24 hours over a three-day period for opening arguments. Senators also agreed to automatically admit evidence from the House inquiry into the trial record. Republicans rejected 11 amendments from Democrats to subpoena witnesses and documents at this stage in the trial. Democrats were attempting to subpoena documents from the White House, the State Department and the Office of Management and Budget. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer spoke early on Tuesday laying out the Democrats' case for impeachment. "President Trump is accused of coercing a foreign leader into interfering in our elections to benefit himself, and then doing everything in his power to cover it up," Schumer said. "If proved, the president's actions are crimes against democracy itself. It's hard to imagine a greater subversion of our democracy than for powers outside our borders to determine the elections from within." For more, we speak with Manisha Sinha, professor of American history at the University of Connecticut and author of "The Slave's Cause: A History of Abolition."

Democracy Now
Jan 22, 2020

Headlines for January 22, 2020
Senate Approves Rules for Trump's Impeachment Trial, Spain Declares Climate Emergency & Readies Climate Legislation, Australian Wildfires Release Massive Amounts of Greenhouse Gas, Airstrikes in Syria Kill 40 People, Including Children, in Idlib, Protesters Denounce Lebanon's Newly Formed Government, U.S. Deports Honduran Children Seeking Asylum to Guatemala Despite Being Ill, Hillary Clinton Slams Bernie Sanders in New Documentary But Says She Will Support Democratic Nominee, Architect of CIA's Torture Program Testifies in War Court at Guantánamo Bay, The Guardian: Bezos's Cellphone Was Allegedly Hacked by Saudi Arabia, Iranian Northeastern University Student Deported from Logan Airport, Arizona: Police Officers Attacked Black Teenager with Developmental Disability, Brazilian Prosecutors File Criminal Complaint Against Glenn Greenwald, First U.S. Case of Coronavirus Confirmed, FDA Issues Warning About Sunscreen, Boeing Stops Production of 737 MAX Plane, Oakland Passes Measure Barring Housing Discrimination Based on Criminal History, Rutgers Names First African-American President in University's 253-year History

Democracy Now
Jan 21, 2020

Greta Thunberg Addresses Global Elite at Davos: Our House Is Still on Fire
The 17-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg delivered a speech Tuesday to the world leaders and global elite gathered in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum, one year after she first condemned the forum for its inaction on climate change. "We don't need a 'low-carbon economy.' We don't need to 'lower emissions.' Our emissions have to stop," Thunberg said. "And until we have the technologies that at scale can put our emissions to minus, then we must forget about net zero. We need real zero."

Democracy Now
Jan 21, 2020

National Archives Doctored Photo of 2017 Women's March to Blur Messages Critical of Trump
The National Archives and Records Administration apologized Saturday for doctoring a photo of the 2017 Women's March to remove criticisms of President Trump. In an exhibit called "Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote," the National Archives had displayed a large image of the first Women's March. But at least four signs referencing Trump had been blurred to remove his name, including a poster reading "God Hates Trump." Signs in the photo referencing female anatomy were also blurred. The shocking revelation that the archives — which calls itself the country's "record keeper" — had altered the image was first reported in The Washington Post last week. The National Archives initially stood by its decision to edit the photo, telling The Washington Post that the changes were made "so as not to engage in current political controversy." But Saturday, as tens of thousands in Washington, D.C., and across the country took to the streets for the fourth Women's March, officials at the archives were seen flipping over the image at the exhibit as an apology went up in its place. But critics say an apology is not enough. We speak with Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union. "The job of the National Archives is to record history. Its job is not to manipulate history … so as to obliterate critiques of the president," Melling says.

Democracy Now
Jan 21, 2020

National Archives Doctored Photos of 2017 Women's March to Blur Messages Critical of Trump
The National Archives and Records Administration apologized Saturday for doctoring a photo of the 2017 Women's March to remove criticisms of President Trump. In an exhibit called "Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote," the National Archives had displayed a large image of the first Women's March. But at least four signs referencing Trump had been blurred to remove his name, including a poster reading "God Hates Trump." Signs in the photo referencing female anatomy were also blurred. The shocking revelation that the archives — which calls itself the country's "record keeper" — had altered the image was first reported in The Washington Post last week. The National Archives initially stood by its decision to edit the photo, telling The Washington Post that the changes were made "so as not to engage in current political controversy." But Saturday, as tens of thousands in Washington, D.C., and across the country took to the streets for the fourth Women's March, officials at the archives were seen flipping over the image at the exhibit as an apology went up in its place. But critics say an apology is not enough. We speak with Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union. "The job of the National Archives is to record history. Its job is not to manipulate history … so as to obliterate critiques of the president," Melling says.

Democracy Now
Jan 21, 2020

Voting Rights Advocate: The Impeachment of Trump Is Needed to Protect Our Elections & Democracy
The impeachment trial begins its proceedings in the Senate today amid accusations of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attempting to rush the impeachment process. Senators will have 16 hours for questions and four hours for debate, after 24 hours for opening arguments on each side. We speak with Rick Perlstein, historian and author, and Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Clarke says that thanks to the rules set by McConnell, Trump's impeachment trial could be over within a week, with much of the debate taking place in the evening. The process is designed "to keep the Senate and the public in the dark," she says.

Democracy Now
Jan 21, 2020

A Show Trial? As Trump Impeachment Trial Begins, Mitch McConnell Accused of Staging a Cover-Up
The Senate opens the third impeachment trial of a U.S. president in the country's history Tuesday, marking a historic day in Washington. Under proposed rules by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, each side will be given 24 hours over two days for opening arguments, after which senators will have 16 hours for questions and four hours for debate. The Senate will then vote on whether to hear from any new witnesses. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has said McConnell is trying to rush the impeachment process, while House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff, who is one of the impeachment managers, has accused the CIA and NSA of withholding documents potentially relevant to the impeachment trial. This comes as President Trump has added several prominent lawyers to his legal team, including former independent counsel Kenneth Starr, whose probe led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and former Harvard University law professor Alan Dershowitz. In 2008, Starr and Dershowitz helped serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein receive a sweetheart plea deal when he was arrested on sex trafficking charges. One of Epstein's victims also accused Dershowitz of sexually assaulting her, but Dershowitz has long denied the charge. We speak with Rick Perlstein, historian and the author of several books, including "The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan," which covered the Watergate investigations and Nixon's impeachment.

Democracy Now
Jan 21, 2020

Headlines for January 21, 2020
Impeachment Trial Opens as Democrats Accuse GOP of "Cover-Up", Trump and Greta Thunberg Address Elites at Davos as Oxfam Condemns Mounting Inequality, NYT Endorses Senators Warren, Klobuchar, as Sanders Gets Backing from Reps. Jayapal and Pocan, Puerto Ricans Call on Governor Vázquez to Resign After Viral Video Shows Unused Emergency Supplies, Attack Kills 100 Soldiers in Yemen, Police Injure Hundreds in Lebanese Anti-Government Protests, At Least 4 Killed, Dozens Injured in Iraq as Popular Protests Mount Nationwide, Racist Treatment of Meghan Markle Highlighted as Plans for "Megxit" Move Forward, 10,000s Attend Pro-Gun Rally in Virginia, Appeals Court Dismisses Landmark Youth Climate Lawsuit Against U.S. Government, Protesters Turn Out for Women's March as National Archives Under Fire for Doctoring Photo of 2017 March, MOVE 9 Member Delbert Orr Africa Released from Prison, Ex-GOP Rep. and Trump Supporter Chris Collins Sentenced for Insider Training, Oakland #Moms4Housing to Buy Home They Occupied

Democracy Now
Jan 20, 2020

SPECIAL: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in His Own Words
Today is the federal holiday that honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was born January 15, 1929. He was assassinated April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just 39 years old. While Dr. King is primarily remembered as a civil rights leader, he also championed the cause of the poor and organized the Poor People's Campaign to address issues of economic justice. Dr. King was also a fierce critic of U.S. foreign policy and the Vietnam War. We play his "Beyond Vietnam" speech, which he delivered at New York City's Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, as well as his last speech, "I've Been to the Mountaintop," that he gave on April 3, 1968, the night before he was assassinated.

Democracy Now
Jan 17, 2020

Interpretation Crisis at the Border Leads to Deportation of Mayan-Language Speakers Seeking Refuge
As the U.S. continues to use hostile policies to stop people from seeking refuge and asylum in the United States, we look at a key problem that is preventing migrants from getting due process, and in many cases getting them deported: inadequate interpretation for indigenous asylum seekers who speak Mayan languages. Guatemala has a population of 15 million people, and at least 40% of them are indigenous. In the past year, a quarter of a million Guatemalan migrants have been apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border. At least half of them are Mayan. Many speak little or no Spanish. This is the focus of a new report in The New Yorker magazine titled "A Translation Crisis at the Border." We speak with the article's author, Rachel Nolan, in Guatemala City. We also spoke with Odilia Romero, Zapotec interpreter and a longtime indigenous leader with the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations. Romero is a trilingual interpreter in Zapotec, Spanish and English, who recently developed a training program for indigenous-language interpreters.

Democracy Now
Jan 17, 2020

At U.S. Border, Poor & Inaccurate Interpretation for Mayan-Language Speakers Can Lead to Deportation
As the U.S. continues to use hostile policies to stop people from seeking refuge and asylum in the United States, we look at a key problem that is preventing migrants from getting due process, and in many cases getting them deported: inadequate interpretation for indigenous asylum seekers who speak Mayan languages. Guatemala has a population of 15 million people, and at least 40% of them are indigenous. In the past year, a quarter of a million Guatemalan migrants have been apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border. At least half of them are Mayan. Many speak little or no Spanish. This is the focus of a new report in The New Yorker magazine titled "A Translation Crisis at the Border." We speak with the article's author, Rachel Nolan, in Guatemala City. We also spoke with Odilia Romero, Zapotec interpreter and a longtime indigenous leader with the Binational Front of Indigenous Organizations. Romero is a trilingual interpreter in Zapotec, Spanish and English, who recently developed a training program for indigenous-language interpreters.

Democracy Now
Jan 17, 2020

4 Years Seeking Justice: Daughter of Slain Indigenous Environmental Leader Berta Cáceres Speaks Out
In Honduras, a new report by the Violence Observatory at the Honduran National Autonomous University says that at least 15 women have been murdered in the first 14 days of this year. Violence against women, LGBTQ people, indigenous leaders and environmental activists has skyrocketed in Honduras under the U.S.-backed government of President Juan Orlando Hernández. The report comes nearly four years after the Honduran indigenous environmental activist Berta Cáceres was shot dead inside her home in La Esperanza, Honduras, by hired hitmen. Last month in the capital of Tegucigalpa, seven men were sentenced to up to 50 years in prison for her killing in March 2016. At the time of her assassination, Cáceres had been fighting the construction of a major hydroelectric dam on the Gualcarque River on sacred Lenca land in southwestern Honduras. In November 2018, a court ruled that Cáceres's killing was ordered by executives of the Honduran company behind the Agua Zarca dam, known as DESA, who hired the convicted hitmen. Cáceres won the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work protecting indigenous communities and for her environmental justice campaign against the massive dam in 2015. In December, we sat down with one of her daughters, Laura Zúñiga Cáceres, in Madrid, Spain, where she was receiving a human rights award. "This is a late conviction. It has been almost four years of seeking justice. It is the product of a rather difficult and painful process that has been putting us as victims in direct dispute with a murderous and aggressive state, and they produced the minimum consequences that the state could have given," Zúñiga Cáceres says.

Democracy Now
Jan 17, 2020

"They Must Conduct a Full and Fair Trial": Senators Sworn in for Historic Trump Impeachment Trial
For just the third time in history, the U.S. Senate has opened a trial to determine if a sitting president should be removed from office. The Senate trial comes a month after the House impeached President Trump for pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the impeachment trial in the Senate, later swore in senators who will serve as jurors when the trial officially begins on Tuesday. This comes as more information is coming to light about the actions of President Trump and his associates. On Thursday, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office said the White House Office of Management and Budget violated federal law by withholding $400 million in aid money to Ukraine even though the funds had been allocated by Congress. We speak with attorney John Bonifaz, co-founder and president of Free Speech for People and co-author of "The Constitution Demands It: The Case for the Impeachment of Donald Trump."

Democracy Now
Jan 17, 2020

Headlines for January 17, 2020
Senate Impeachment Trial Opens as Accountability Office Says Trump Broke Law by Withholding Aid, Pentagon Contradicts Trump and Says 11 U.S. Troops Injured in Iranian Strikes, Senate Votes to Approve USMCA, Report: Six Banks Reaped $18 Billion Last Year from Trump Tax Cuts, Guatemalan Protesters Demand Outgoing President Be Arrested for Corruption, Deported Immigrant Rights Leader Jean Montrevil Sues U.S. Government, FBI Arrests 3 Suspected Neo-Nazis Ahead of Pro-Gun Rally in Richmond, Virginia, Florida Supreme Court Upholds Law Limiting Voting Rights for People with Felony Convictions, Harvard Law Students Protest Law Firm Paul Weiss for Representing ExxonMobil

Democracy Now
Jan 16, 2020

Tanks & AR-15s: Moms 4 Housing Speaks Out After Militarized Eviction from Vacant Oakland House
We look at the fight for affordable housing in the Bay Area with Moms 4 Housing, the unhoused and insecurely housed mothers who were evicted Tuesday by a militarized police force from a vacant home they had been occupying in Oakland, California. The action ended a two-month standoff between the mothers and real estate developer Wedgewood Properties when sheriff's deputies arrested two mothers and two of their supporters. All four were released on bail Tuesday afternoon. We speak to Misty Cross, one of the moms who was arrested, and her daughter Destiny Johnson. "It was never about trying to stay in that house," says Cross. "The message we were trying to send out was to get people aware of policies and things that are in place that are making us not move forward in life." We also speak to Carroll Fife, the director of the Oakland office for Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.

Democracy Now
Jan 16, 2020

We Can't Be Silent Anymore: Rev. Barber & Poor People's Campaign Push Presidential Debate on Poverty
As the final Democratic debate ahead of the Iowa caucuses took place Tuesday night in Des Moines, Iowa, more than 100 protesters gathered outside the debate venue at Drake University to demand a televised presidential debate on poverty. Led by Reverend William Barber, demonstrators carried a coffin to honor the 250,000 people who die every year from the impacts of poverty. According to the Poor People's Campaign, 140 million Americans — over 43% of the population — can't pay basic living expenses. In Iowa, 630,000 workers — 45% of the state's workforce — make less than $15 an hour. We're joined by Reverend William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People's Campaign and president of Repairers of the Breach. Last night, he and the Poor People's Campaign hosted a mass meeting on poverty in Des Moines. "We cannot enliven the electorate as long as we keep having dead silence on poverty," Barber says. "We've had nearly 30 debates since 2016 alone, and not one of them have focused on poverty."

Democracy Now
Jan 16, 2020

Putin Proposes Sweeping Changes to Russian Constitution, Possibly Prolonging His Grip on Power
In Russia, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev resigned Wednesday along with his entire Cabinet in a move that surprised many in Moscow and abroad. The move came as Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed sweeping constitutional changes to expand the power of the parliament and the State Council while weakening the presidency. Critics of Putin say the proposals could help him keep power after his final presidential term ends in 2024. The Russian parliament is expected to vote today to confirm Putin's pick for new prime minister, Mikhail Mishustin, a bureaucrat who runs Russia's tax service. The Russian newspaper Kommersant has described the recent political shake-up as "the January revolution." We are joined by Tony Wood, author of "Russia Without Putin: Money, Power and the Myths of the New Cold War." Wood is a member of the New Left Review editorial board. He is also the author of "Chechnya: The Case for Independence."

Democracy Now
Jan 16, 2020

Trump Becomes Just Third U.S. President to Face Impeachment Trial as Case Moves to the Senate
In a historic move, the House of Representatives presented articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate Wednesday. It marks only the third presidential impeachment trial in all of U.S. history. Earlier Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held a news conference with the seven impeachment managers. The House vote to send articles of impeachment to the Senate comes as The Washington Post reports explosive new information at the center of the impeachment inquiry. New material released by House Democrats shows text messages between former Giuliani associate Lev Parnas and Robert Hyde, a Republican congressional candidate from Connecticut, in which the two have threatening exchanges about Marie Yovanovitch, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. In the text messages, Parnas and Hyde discuss how Yovanovitch was under surveillance. Yovanovitch has repeatedly said she felt threatened by Trump, who called her "bad news" in his now-infamous July 25 call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. For more, we're joined by Elie Mystal, justice correspondent for The Nation. "Pelosi at least thinks or hopes that there will be witnesses, there will be cross-examination, and this will be something more approaching a real trial situation as opposed to kind of just a show," Mystal says.

Democracy Now
Jan 16, 2020

Headlines for January 16, 2020
House Lawmakers Deliver Articles of Impeachment to Senate, Ex-Giuliani Associate Says Trump Knew of Ukraine Pressure Campaign, U.S. Troops Resume Iraq Operations Despite Parliament's Expulsion Order, Afghan Reconstruction Watchdog Tells Congress of U.S. "Mendacity" and "Lies", Trump Signs "Phase 1" Agreement with China, Easing Trade War, Russian Government Resigns as Vladimir Putin Seeks to Retain Power Beyond 2024, At Least 21 Killed in Idlib Amid Syrian, Russian Airstrikes, Court Blocks Trump Order Allowing Local Leaders to Refuse Refugees, ACLU Sues to End Trump's Policy of Sending Asylum Seekers to Guatemala, Vermont DMV Settles Lawsuit over Helping ICE Deport Immigrant Activists, Virginia Legislature Ratifies Equal Rights Amendment, 2019 Was the Second-Hottest Year on Record, Capping the Warmest-Ever Decade, U.K. Extinction Rebellion Actions Target Fossil Fuel Ties of Siemens, Shell, Virginia Declares State of Emergency as Gun Rights Groups Plan Rally on MLK Holiday

Democracy Now
Jan 15, 2020

Democrats Debate Wealth Tax, Free Public College & Student Debt Relief as Part of New Economic Plan
At Tuesday's Democratic debate, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg repeated his criticism of plans for tuition-free public college and wiping out student debt, supported by both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Activist and Truthout contributor Alexis Goldstein says the dispute highlights a philosophical split within the Democratic Party. "We essentially have a disagreement between the progressive candidates and the moderate candidates about whether or not we want to pursue a universal benefit for higher education and make it a public good, much in the way that K-12 education is treated as a public good," Goldstein says.

Democracy Now
Jan 15, 2020

A Modest Improvement or a Deal to be Rejected? Warren & Sanders Debate New NAFTA Rewrite
Progressive Democatic presidential candidates Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders clashed over their trade policy disagreements as they zeroed in on the U.S., Mexico and Canada trade agreement that is meant to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement. Sanders said the government can do much better. "The heart and soul of our disastrous trade agreements — and I'm the guy who voted against NAFTA and against permanent normal trade relations with China — is that we have forced American workers to compete against people in Mexico, in China, elsewhere, who earn starvation wages, $1 or $2 an hour," Sanders said. "Second of all, every major environmental organization has said no to this new trade agreement because it does not even have the phrase 'climate change' in it." Meanwhile, Warren argued the USMCA "will give some relief" to U.S. farmers and workers. "I believe we accept that relief, we try to help the people who need help, and we get up the next day and fight for a better trade deal," she said. We speak with Julian Brave NoiseCat, journalist and vice president of policy and strategy at the think tank Data for Progress.

Democracy Now
Jan 15, 2020

In First All-White Democratic Debate, CNN Didn't Ask a Single Question About Immigration
As the federal government plans to divert an additional $7.2 billion from the military budget for the construction of President Trump's promised border wall, and tens of thousands of asylum seekers from Central America, the Caribbean and other regions are stranded throughout the U.S.-Mexico border, CNN moderators failed to question Democratic presidential candidates on border and immigration issues. We speak to Julio Ricardo Varela, co-host of the Latinx political podcast "In the Thick" and founder of Latino Rebels. "Anyone who thinks that a wall is going to protect us, the statistics aren't there. … But that is what the American people are led to believe," Varela says. "The only way you fight against this is that you challenge that propaganda, because that is what it's becoming. It has become propaganda. And political journalists need to do a better job in challenging what the president says."

Democracy Now
Jan 15, 2020

Sanders and Warren Openly Spar as Some Progressives Fear Fighting Could Help Centrist Democrats
At Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren openly sparred for the first time when asked about Warren's claim that Sanders told her in a private 2018 meeting that a woman could not win the presidential election. Sanders again denied the accusation when asked about it by CNN's Abby Phillip. Warren maintained her claim. At the end of the night, Warren also apparently refused to shake Sanders's hand. We speak with journalist Julian Brave NoiseCat, activist and Truthout contributor Alexis Goldstein and Larry Hamm of People's Organization for Progress.

Democracy Now
Jan 15, 2020

Sanders and Warren Openly Spar as Some Progressives Fear Fighting Could Help Moderate Democrats
At Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren openly sparred for the first time when asked about Warren's claim that Sanders told her in a private 2018 meeting that a woman could not win the presidential election. Sanders again denied the accusation when asked about it by CNN's Abby Phillip. Warren maintained her claim. At the end of the night, Warren also apparently refused to shake Sanders's hand. We speak with journalist Julian Brave NoiseCat, activist and Truthout contributor Alexis Goldstein and Larry Hamm of People's Organization for Progress.

Democracy Now
Jan 15, 2020

Phyllis Bennis on Dem Debate: Support for Combat Troop Withdrawal is Not Enough to Stop Endless Wars
Six Democratic presidential candidates sparred on Tuesday night in Des Moines, the last debate before the crucial Iowa caucuses. The debate, hosted by CNN and The Des Moines Register, focused heavily on foreign policy and rising tensions with Iran following the U.S. assassination of that country's top military commander, Qassem Soleimani. As the presidential field continues to narrow, the U.S. Senate is preparing for the historic impeachment trial of President Trump, for which Senators Sanders, Warren and Klobuchar are all expected to leave the campaign trail to serve their role as jurors.

Democracy Now
Jan 15, 2020

Headlines for January 15, 2020
House to Vote to Send Impeachment Articles to Senate, WaPo: Threatening Text Messages Show Yovanovitch Was Under Surveillance, War Powers Resolution Limiting Trump on Iran Could Pass Senate , Six Democratic Candidates Took Stage in Des Moines, Iowa, 5,000 Puerto Ricans Still Homeless After 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake, HRW Blasts China for Human Rights Violations Against Uyghurs & Protesters , 15 Women Murdered in Honduras in First 2 Weeks of This Year, American Citizen Moustafa Kassem Dies in Egyptian Prison After Hunger Strike, Seattle Bans Foreign-Influenced Companies from Political Spending, "Jeopardy!" Apologizes After Claiming Church of Nativity Is in Israel, Not Palestine, Moms 4 Housing Evicted & Arrested in Oakland But Vow to Continue Fight

Democracy Now
Jan 14, 2020

"Floaters": Martín Espada Pays Tribute to Salvadoran Father & Daughter Who Drowned at U.S. Border
Acclaimed poet Martín Espada pays tribute to Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his 23-month old daughter Angie Valeria, who drowned in the Rio Grande river in June 2019 trying to cross into the United States. A photo of the drowned Salvadoran father and daughter caused widespread outrage at the humanitarian crisis at the U.S. southern border and also raised questions about the ethics of exploiting such images in the press. Espada's poem "Floaters" meditates on their passing and its aftermath.

Democracy Now
Jan 14, 2020

"Morir Soñando": Martín Espada Reads Poem About Luis Garden Acosta, Young Lord & Community Activist
Last week marked the first anniversary of the passing of Luis Garden Acosta, the founder and longtime president of the nationally known El Puente youth and community leadership program in Brooklyn. Long regarded as one of New York City's foremost human rights and Latino community activists, Garden Acosta died last January at the age of 72. A former seminarian who had been active in the Catholic antiwar movement, Garden Acosta joined the Young Lords Party in 1970 and later founded that group's Massachusetts chapter while he was still a student at Harvard Medical School. He went on to pioneer successful nonviolent direct action campaigns against segregated public schools and against environmental racism in New York City. In his later years, together with his wife Frances Lucerna, Garden Acosta created an alternative public high school geared toward human rights activism, the El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice. To honor his legacy, we speak with the renowned poet Martín Espada. He is a professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the author of more than 20 books. His latest collection of poems is called "Vivas to Those Who Have Failed."

Democracy Now
Jan 14, 2020

Moms 4 Housing: Meet the Oakland Mothers Facing Eviction After Two Months Occupying Vacant House
In Oakland, California, a group of mothers fighting homelessness is waging a battle against real estate speculators and demanding permanent solutions to the Bay Area housing crisis by occupying a vacant house with their children. The struggle began in November, when working mothers in West Oakland moved into 2928 Magnolia Street, a vacant house owned by real estate investment firm Wedgewood Properties. The firm tried to evict them, claiming they were illegally squatting on private property, but the mothers went to court and filed a "right to possession" claim, saying housing is a human right. Their name is Moms 4 Housing. The battle for the house came to a head last week when an Alameda County judge ruled in favor of Wedgewood Properties and ordered the mothers to vacate the house. But Moms 4 Housing has stayed to fight eviction. Monday night, hundreds of protesters gathered at the house after receiving a tip that the Sheriff's Office was coming to evict the families — a show of support that led the sheriff to abandon the eviction attempt. We speak with Carroll Fife, director of the Oakland office for the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, and Dominique Walker, a member of Moms 4 Housing who has been living at the house with her family. Our interview was interrupted by news of another possible eviction attempt.

Democracy Now
Jan 14, 2020

GOP Debate on Impeachment Witnesses Intensifies as Pelosi Prepares to Send Articles to Senate
The impeachment trial of President Trump is anticipated to proceed this week, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to send the two articles of impeachment to the Senate as early as Wednesday. The House impeached Trump in December for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress related to Trump's effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. A growing number of Republican senators are pushing for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to hold a vote on whether to allow witnesses to speak at the Senate trial. The timing of the Senate impeachment trial could impact the 2020 presidential race. Three Democratic candidates — Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar — will have to leave the campaign trail for the trial, which could begin this week. On Monday, Senator Cory Booker dropped out of the race in part because of the time demands of the impeachment trial. We speak with Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at Slate.com, where she is their senior legal correspondent and Supreme Court reporter. Dahlia also hosts the podcast "Amicus."

Democracy Now
Jan 14, 2020

Headlines for January 14, 2020
"It Doesn't Really Matter": Trump Changes Story on Soleimani Killing, Six Democratic Candidates Will Take Stage for Debate in Iowa Tonight, Warren: Sanders Said Woman Couldn't Win in 2020, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Launching New PAC to Support Progressive Democrats, Trump Plans to Divert Additional $7.2 Billion from Military Budget to Border Wall, Turkey and Russia Broker Ceasefire for Idlib, Syria, France to Send More Troops to West Africa Amid Rising Violence in Sahel, 55 Die in Avalanches in Pakistan, Study: 2019 Was Hottest Year for World's Oceans on Record, AG Barr and Apple Face Off over Phone of Alleged Pensacola Shooter, "Harriet" Star Cynthia Erivo Nominated for Oscar for Best Actress

Democracy Now
Jan 13, 2020

"Stop the Money Pipeline": 150 Arrested at Protests Exposing Wall Street's Link to Climate Crisis
Nearly 150 people were arrested on Capitol Hill Friday in a climate protest led by Academy Award-winning actor and activist Jane Fonda. Fonda has been leading weekly climate demonstrations in Washington, D.C., known as "Fire Drill Fridays," since October. For her last and 14th protest, actors Martin Sheen and Joaquin Phoenix, indigenous anti-pipeline activist Tara Houska, journalist Naomi Klein and dozens more lined up to get arrested as they demanded a mass uprising and swift political action to thwart the climate crisis. Fonda then marched with supporters down Pennsylvania Avenue to a Chase Bank branch where environmentalist Bill McKibben and dozens of others were occupying the space to draw attention to the bank's ties to the fossil fuel industry. Ten, including McKibben, were arrested. The day of action was the launch of "Stop the Money Pipeline," a campaign to halt the flow of cash from banks, investment firms and insurance companies to the fossil fuel industry. "Let us remember that we are not the criminals," Naomi Klein told a crowd of protesters. "The criminals are the people who are letting this world burn for money."

Democracy Now
Jan 13, 2020

"America Exists Today to Make War": Lawrence Wilkerson on Endless War & American Empire
Retired U.S. Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff from 2002 to 2005, says the escalation of tensions between the U.S. and Iran today is a continuation of two decades of U.S. policy disasters in the Middle East, starting with the 2003 run-up to war with Iraq under the Bush administration. "America exists today to make war. How else do we interpret 19 straight years of war and no end in sight? It's part of who we are. It's part of what the American Empire is," says Wilkerson. "We are going to cheat and steal to do whatever it is we have to do to continue this war complex. That's the truth of it. And that's the agony of it."

Democracy Now
Jan 13, 2020

"A System Failure": Iran Admits to Downing Airplane, Sparking Renewed Anti-Government Protests
Iranian protesters have taken to the streets for a third day, after the Iranian military acknowledged it accidentally shot down a Ukrainian airliner last week, killing all 176 people on board, including 82 Iranians and 57 Canadians. Iran initially denied downing the plane, but Iran's Revolutionary Guard took responsibility for what authorities now describe as a "disastrous mistake." The plane was downed hours after Iranian forces fired 22 rockets at military bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops, in retaliation for the U.S. assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. Millions of Iranians took to the streets last week to pay tribute to Soleimani, but this week anti-government protests resumed in at least a dozen cities. There are reports of Iranian forces firing live ammunition and tear gas to disperse the protesters. Meanwhile, in Washington, Defense Secretary Mark Esper has publicly contradicted President Trump's assertion that Soleimani was planning to attack four U.S. embassies at the time of his assassination. Esper said he had not seen evidence supporting Trump's claim. For more on the Iranian protests, we speak with Ali Kadivar, assistant professor of sociology and international studies at Boston College. Kadivar grew up in Iran during the Iran-Iraq War and completed his undergraduate and first graduate degree at the University of Tehran, where he was active in the student movement.

Democracy Now
Jan 13, 2020

Headlines for January 13, 2020
Esper Says He Did Not See Specific Evidence Soleimani Was Planning Embassy Attacks, Iran Admits It Mistakenly Shot Down Plane Last Week, Sparking Protests, House Expected to Vote to Send Articles of Impeachment to Senate This Week, Coveted New Hampshire Union SEIU Local Endorses Sanders, White House Press Secretary Under Pressure to Hold Press Briefing, Volcanic Eruption in Philippines Forces Residents to Evacuate Homes, French Government Backing Down on Efforts to Raise Retirement Age, Taiwan: Voters Re-elect President Tsai Ing-wen in Rebuke to Beijing, Malta: New Prime Minister to Be Sworn In, After Journalist's Murder Rocked Government, 2 Iraqi Journalists Killed in Basra; Mexican Radio Presenter Killed in Michoacán, Judge Orders Chicago Police Department to Turn Over Misconduct Documents, "Jeopardy!" Sparks Outrage by Claiming Church of Nativity Is in Israel, Not Palestine, Women Protest Against Accused Rapists Harvey Weinstein & President Trump, South Africa: Transgender Activist Nare Mphela Murdered

Democracy Now
Jan 10, 2020

The Weaponization of Data: Cambridge Analytica, Information Warfare & the 2016 Election of Trump
We continue our conversation with the directors of "The Great Hack," Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, as well as former Cambridge Analytica employee Brittany Kaiser and propaganda researcher Emma Briant, about Cambridge Analytica's parent company SCL Group's history as a defense contractor. "We're in a state of global information warfare now," Briant says. "How do we know if our militaries develop technologies and the data that it has gathered on people, for instance, across the Middle East … how do we know when that is turning up in Yemen or when that is being utilized by an authoritarian regime against the human rights of its people or against us? How do we know that it's not being manipulated by Russia, by Iran, by anybody who's an enemy, by Saudi Arabia, for example, who SCL were also working with? We have no way of knowing, unless we open up this industry and hold these people properly accountable for what they're doing."

Democracy Now
Jan 10, 2020

"Democracy For Sale": Cambridge Analytica & Big Tech's History of Manipulating Elections
A longtime Facebook executive has admitted the company's platform helped Donald Trump win the 2016 election, and it may happen again this year. In an internal memo, Facebook Vice President Andrew Bosworth wrote, "So was Facebook responsible for Donald Trump getting elected? I think the answer is yes." Bosworth, who was a backer of Hillary Clinton in 2016, went on to write that the company should not change its policies in an effort to hurt Trump's re-election chances. In his memo, Bosworth referenced the role of the shadowy data firm Cambridge Analytica but downplayed its significance. However, a new Oscar-shortlisted documentary called "The Great Hack" argues Cambridge Analytica has played a significant role not just in the U.S. election but in elections across the globe. The company harvested some 87 million Facebook profiles without the users' knowledge or consent and used the data to sway voters during the 2016 campaign. We speak with the directors of "The Great Hack," Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, as well as former Cambridge Analytica employee Brittany Kaiser and propaganda researcher Emma Briant.

Democracy Now
Jan 10, 2020

Headlines for January 10, 2020
House Approves Resolution Aimed at Limiting Trump's War Powers, NYT: Video Appears to Show Iranian Missile Hitting Jet Before Tehran Crash, Internal Emails Show Boeing Workers Mocked Regulators & 737 MAX Jet Designers, Trump Seeks to Exempt Large Projects from Some Environmental Review, Mexican Asylum Seeker Dies by Suicide After Being Denied Entry into U.S., Six Democratic Candidates Will Debate in Iowa Next Week, Ahead of Caucus, Transport Workers' Strike Becomes Longest in French History, Health and Human Services Declares Public Health Emergency for Puerto Rico, Grand Jury Indicts Hanukkah Attack Suspect on More Federal Hate Crime Charges, Study: Raising Minimum Wage by a Dollar Could Prevent Thousands of Suicides a Year, Yolanda Carr, Mother of Atatiana Jefferson, Dies in Texas

Democracy Now
Jan 09, 2020

Uyghurs & Other Muslim Minorities Forced into Labor Programs to Staff Chinese Factories
In China, a shocking new exposé has revealed that Chinese authorities are systematically forcing Muslims — mostly Uyghurs and Kazakhs — into labor programs to supply Chinese factories with a cheap and compliant workforce. The New York Times investigation, based on official documents, interviews and visits to the far-western region of Xinjiang, reveals a sweeping program to push poor farmers, villagers and small traders into sometimes months-long training courses before assigning them to low-wage factory work. The programs work in tandem with indoctrination camps where an estimated 1 million adults from the Uyghur community are being imprisoned. China claims its labor programs are "vocational training centers" designed to combat extremism and alleviate poverty, while Uyghur activists say they are part of China's ongoing campaign to strip them of their language and community and to carry out cultural genocide. We speak with Austin Ramzy, a New York Times reporter who co-authored the recent exposé, and Nury Turkel, a Uyghur-American attorney and board chair at the Uyghur Human Rights Project.

Democracy Now
Jan 09, 2020

Uyghurs & Other Muslim Minorities Forced into Labor Programs to Work in Chinese Factories
In China, a shocking new exposé has revealed that Chinese authorities are systematically forcing Muslims — mostly Uyghurs and Kazakhs — into labor programs to supply Chinese factories with a cheap and compliant workforce. The New York Times investigation, based on official documents, interviews and visits to the far-western region of Xinjiang, reveals a sweeping program to push poor farmers, villagers and small traders into sometimes months-long training courses before assigning them to low-wage factory work. The programs work in tandem with indoctrination camps where an estimated 1 million adults from the Uyghur community are being imprisoned. China claims its labor programs are "vocational training centers" designed to combat extremism and alleviate poverty, while Uyghur activists say they are part of China's ongoing campaign to strip them of their language and community and to carry out cultural genocide. We speak with Austin Ramzy, a New York Times reporter who co-authored the recent exposé, and Nury Turkel, a Uyghur-American attorney and board chair at the Uyghur Human Rights Project.

Democracy Now
Jan 09, 2020

Andrew Bacevich: The U.S. Needs to Abandon "Militarized Approach" to Middle East and Build Peace
We continue our conversation with Andrew Bacevich, president and co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He is a retired colonel, Vietnam War veteran and author of, most recently, of "The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory." Bacevich says the crisis with Iran, sparked by President Trump's assassination of top general Qassem Soleimani, is just the latest in a long series of ill-advised American actions in the Middle East. "The only conceivable way for us to begin to extricate ourselves from this terrible mess in the region … is to abandon this militarized approach and to take a more balanced position with regard to the rivalries in the region," Bacevich says.

Democracy Now
Jan 09, 2020

Andrew Bacevich: Trump Sparked "Unnecessary Crisis" by Killing Soleimani, Barely Avoiding War
President Trump vowed on Wednesday to hit Iran with new sanctions but appeared to pull back from taking any new military action. Tension between the two countries soared after the U.S. assassinated Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani at the Baghdad International Airport last week. Early on Wednesday, Iran retaliated by firing 22 ballistic missiles at military bases in Iraq housing U.S. forces, but no one was injured in the attack. Iran had warned the Iraqi government about the strike in advance. Two small rockets also later hit the Green Zone near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. During a televised address on Wednesday, Trump urged NATO to become more involved in the Middle East and called for countries to pull away from the Iran nuclear deal. We speak with Andrew Bacevich, president and co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. He is a retired colonel and Vietnam War veteran and author of, most recently, "The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory."

Democracy Now
Jan 09, 2020

Headlines for January 9, 2020
Trump Appears to Pull Back from New Military Action Against Iran, Mitch McConnell Met with Trump at White House & Discussed Impeachment Trial, Investigators Probe Cause of Fatal Boeing Plane Crash in Tehran, Youth Climate Group the Sunrise Movement Endorses Bernie Sanders, More Than 1 Billion Animals Killed in Climate-Fueled Wildfires in Australia, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Says She's Cancer-Free, Guatemalan President Says U.S. Cannot Send Mexican Asylum Seekers to Guatemala, Spanish Socialist Party Leader Pedro Sánchez Sworn In as Prime Minister, Facebook Doubles Down on Its Policy of Allowing Lies in Political Ads

Democracy Now
Jan 08, 2020

Deadly Earthquake Rocks Puerto Rico, Causing Mass Power Outages and "Infrastructural Aftershocks"
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked Puerto Rico early Tuesday, killing at least one person and plunging nearly the entire population into darkness in a mass power outage. It is the largest earthquake to hit the island in more than 100 years and follows a series of strong quakes that have rattled the island in recent days. A 5.8 magnitude quake struck on Monday, damaging the coastal town of Guánica. Damage from the earthquakes has left nearly 350 people homeless and at least 300,000 without drinking water. Governor Wanda Vázquez declared a state of emergency Tuesday. The devastation comes as Puerto Rico continues to reckon with the fallout from Hurricane Maria in 2017, which killed at least 3,000 and left Puerto Rico in the dark for months in the longest blackout in U.S. history — and the second-longest blackout in world history. We speak with Yarimar Bonilla, a political anthropologist and professor at Hunter College. She is the co-editor of the anthology "Aftershocks of Disaster: Puerto Rico Before and After the Storm" and the founder of Puerto Rico Syllabus, a guide for understanding the economic crisis in Puerto Rico. She says the word "aftershock" takes on a new meaning as delays in infrastructure repairs and electricity revival continue. The "infrastructural aftershocks ... are not just about the earth shaking, but really about a lack of preparedness on the part of the government," Bonilla says.

Democracy Now
Jan 08, 2020

Deadly Earthquake Rocks Puerto Rico, Causing Mass Power Outages and "Infrastructure Aftershocks"
A 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked Puerto Rico early Tuesday, killing at least one person and plunging nearly the entire population into darkness in a mass power outage. It is the largest earthquake to hit the island in more than 100 years and follows a series of strong quakes that have rattled the island in recent days. A 5.8 magnitude quake struck on Monday, damaging the coastal town of Guánica. Damage from the earthquakes has left nearly 350 people homeless and at least 300,000 without drinking water. Governor Wanda Vázquez declared a state of emergency Tuesday. The devastation comes as Puerto Rico continues to reckon with the fallout from Hurricane Maria in 2017, which killed at least 3,000 and left Puerto Rico in the dark for months in the longest blackout in U.S. history — and the second-longest blackout in world history. We speak with Yarimar Bonilla, a political anthropologist at the City University of New York, co-editor of the anthology "Aftershocks of Disaster: Puerto Rico Before and After the Storm" and the founder of Puerto Rico Syllabus, a guide for understanding the economic crisis in Puerto Rico. She says the word "aftershock" takes on a new meaning as delays in infrastructure repairs and electricity revival continue. The "infrastructural aftershocks ... are not just about the earth shaking, but really about a lack of preparedness on the part of the government," Bonilla says.

Democracy Now
Jan 08, 2020

Iranian-American Lawmaker Warns of Rising Xenophobia as U.S.-Iran Tension Escalates
In the midst of escalating U.S.-Iran tensions, Border Patrol has been detaining Iranian Americans at the U.S.-Canada border. At least 100 people were delayed at ports of entry along the border over the weekend, following the U.S. assassination of Qassem Soleimani on January 3. For response, we speak with Anna Eskamani, Florida Democratic state representative of Orlando. She is the first Iranian American to be elected to any public office in Florida. "The reality is that when we see the potential war rise in countries like Iran ... we'll see xenophobia rise right here locally" in the U.S., Eskamani says.

Democracy Now
Jan 08, 2020

Blowback? U.S. Assassination of Soleimani May Weaken Growing Protest Movement in Iran
Protests broke out in Iran in November in response to high fuel prices, leading to demonstrations in dozens of cities around the country. The protesters have demanded economic relief and denounced corruption. More than 1,000 people have been killed since the outbreak of the protests and a violent crackdown by security forces. The rise in tensions between Iran and the United States, triggered by the U.S. assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, could weaken that protest movement, says Ali Kadivar, assistant professor of sociology and international studies at Boston College who was active in Iran's student movement while studying at the University of Tehran.

Democracy Now
Jan 08, 2020

Juan Cole: U.S.-Iran Conflict Enters Unprecedented Territory with Assassinations & Military Attacks
Iran's retaliatory missile strikes on bases in Iraq housing U.S. troops, following the U.S. assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, have dramatically raised tensions in the Middle East. Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei called the missile strike a "slap in the face" of the Americans and called for U.S. troops to leave the Middle East. The Iranian missile strikes come just days after the Iraqi Parliament voted to expel all foreign military forces from Iraq. We speak with Juan Cole, professor of history at the University of Michigan.

Democracy Now
Jan 08, 2020

A View from Tehran: Iranian Professor Condemns U.S. Aggression & Warns U.S.-Backed Gulf States
Iranian forces fired 22 ballistic missiles at U.S. forces in Iraq early Wednesday in what Iran described as "fierce revenge" for the U.S. assassination of Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike last week at the Baghdad airport. The Iranian missiles targeted the Al Asad Airbase in Anbar province and a base in Erbil. There were no initial reports of U.S. or Iraqi casualties. Shortly after the attacks, Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted, "We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression." Earlier today, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the missile strike a "slap in the face" of the Americans and called for U.S. troops to leave the Middle East. After the strikes, President Trump tweeted, "All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning." The Iranian missile strikes come just days after the Iraqi Parliament voted to expel all foreign military forces from Iraq. We speak with Mohammad Marandi in Tehran, where he is professor of English literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran. He was part of the nuclear deal negotiations in 2015.

Democracy Now
Jan 08, 2020

Headlines for January 8, 2020
Iran Strikes 2 Iraqi Bases in Retaliation for Soleimani's Assassination, McConnell Says He Has Enough Votes to Open Impeachment Trial Without Witnesses, Trump Declares Emergency for Puerto Rico Following Earthquake, Spain Poised to Form First Progressive Coalition Government Since 1930s, Argentina Deals Blow to Legitimacy of Venezuela's U.S.-Backed Opposition, Indian Workers & Students Launch Strike to Protest Privatization, Wet'suwet'en Nation Issues Eviction Notice to Workers of Pipeline Company in Canada, Planned Parenthood Attacked with Incendiary Device in Delaware, NYT: More Than 20 Shootings at After School Sports Events in Last 6 Months

Democracy Now
Jan 07, 2020

Propaganda Machine: The Military Roots of Cambridge Analytica's Psychological Manipulation of Voters
We continue our discussion of data harvesting, targeted advertising and voter manipulation — practices used by firms like Cambridge Analytica. The secretive data firm collapsed in May 2018 after The Observer newspaper revealed the company had harvested some 87 million Facebook profiles without the users' knowledge or consent to sway voters to support Trump during the 2016 campaign. A new trove of internal Cambridge Analytica documents and emails are being posted on Twitter detailing the company's operations, including its work with President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton. We speak with Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, co-directors of the Oscar-shortlisted documentary "The Great Hack"; Brittany Kaiser, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower featured in "The Great Hack" and author of "Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower's Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again"; and Emma Briant, a visiting research associate in human rights at Bard College. Her upcoming book is titled "Propaganda Machine: Inside Cambridge Analytica and the Digital Influence Industry."

Democracy Now
Jan 07, 2020

"The Great Hack": Big Data Firms Helped Sway the 2016 Election. Could It Happen Again in 2020?
The documentary "The Great Hack," which was shortlisted from the Oscars, explores how the data firm Cambridge Analytica came to symbolize the dark side of social media in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Cambridge Analytica collapsed in May 2018 after The Observer newspaper revealed the company had harvested some 87 million Facebook profiles without the users' knowledge or consent. Cambridge Analytica then used the data to sway voters to support President Trump during the 2016 campaign. We speak with "The Great Hack" co-directors Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim, as well as Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Brittany Kaiser.

Democracy Now
Jan 07, 2020

Meet Brittany Kaiser, Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Releasing Troves of New Files from Data Firm
New details are emerging about how the shadowy data firm Cambridge Analytica worked to manipulate voters across the globe, from the 2016 election in the United States to the Brexit campaign in Britain and elections in over 60 other countries, including Malaysia, Kenya and Brazil. A new trove of internal Cambridge Analytica documents and emails are being posted on Twitter detailing the company's operations, including its work with President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton. The documents come from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Brittany Kaiser, who worked at the firm for three-and-a-half years before leaving in 2018. We speak with Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, co-directors of the Oscar shortlisted documentary "The Great Hack"; Brittany Kaiser, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower featured in "The Great Hack" and author of "Targeted: The Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower's Inside Story of How Big Data, Trump, and Facebook Broke Democracy and How It Can Happen Again"; and Emma Briant, a visiting research associate in human rights at Bard College whose upcoming book is titled "Propaganda Machine: Inside Cambridge Analytica and the Digital Influence Industry."

Democracy Now
Jan 07, 2020

Headlines for January 7, 2020
John Bolton Willing to Testify in Senate Impeachment Trial, Confusion in Pentagon & Trump Administration over U.S. Policy on Iran, Julián Castro Endorses Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Can Now Deport Mexican Asylum Seekers to Guatemala, Wildfires Rage in Australia; India Suffered Hottest Decade on Record, Harvey Weinstein Charged with Rape in Los Angeles County, Mexico: 60,000 People Disappeared Since U.S.-Backed Drug War Began, Bolivia Sets May 3 Date for New Election, After Morales's Ouster, Confusion over Leader of National Assembly Reigns in Venezuela, Earthquake Knocks Out Power Across Puerto Rico, Men Sue Boy Scouts of America over Alleged Childhood Sexual Abuse, Violence in Mississippi Kills 5 Prisoners, 25,000 Marched in New York to Denounce Anti-Semitism

Democracy Now
Jan 06, 2020

Former Top Bush Official: I Saw the March to War in 2003. I'm Seeing the Same Thing with Iran Now
We look at the Trump administration's assassination of Iran's top military commander Qassem Soleimani with Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired United States Army colonel who served as Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief of staff from 2002 to 2005. On February 5, 2003, he watched as Powell made the case for war in a speech to the United Nations. He has since become an outspoken critic of U.S. intervention in the Middle East. In 2018, Wilkerson wrote an article for The New York Times titled "I Helped Sell the False Choice of War Once. It's Happening Again."

Democracy Now
Jan 06, 2020

AOC Condemns Killing of Soleimani: This Was An Act of Aggression Committed by the United States
Over the weekend, Democracy Now! spoke with New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and asked her response to the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. "We need to be tactical about how we can actively resist further escalation on already an unprecedented level of escalation and aggression by the president, and therefore by the United States," Ocasio-Cortez said. "He did this on behalf of our entire country. And that's what makes the potential illegality of his action so flagrant, because he did not consult Congress and this was not done with the support of the United States."

Democracy Now
Jan 06, 2020

Trump's Killing of Qassem Soleimani Means "Rules of the Game Have Totally Changed" in Middle East
The Iraqi Parliament voted Sunday to expel all U.S. military forces from Iraq. President Trump responded by threatening to impose sanctions on Iraq "like they've never seen before." Iraq has already been the target of some of the harshest sanctions the world has even seen. U.S.-backed sanctions killed more than a million Iraqis, including over 500,000 children, between 1990 and 2003. From Baghdad, we talk to Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, correspondent for The Guardian newspaper.

Democracy Now
Jan 06, 2020

Soleimani's Death Could Galvanize Shia Coalitions Against One "Foreign Aggressor" — The U.S.
Fallout continues to mount following the U.S. assassination of Iran's top military commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad last week. Iranian media reports that over a million mourners took to the streets of Tehran today for the funeral of Soleimani, who headed Iran's elite Quds Force. On Sunday, Iran announced it would suspend its commitments under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, which the U.S. pulled out of in 2018. Trump has also threatened to target 52 locations in Iran, including cultural sites, if Iran retaliates against the U.S. The targeting of cultural sites is widely viewed as an international war crime. Meanwhile, Iraq's caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has revealed he had plans to meet with Soleimani on the day he was killed to discuss a Saudi proposal to defuse tension in the region. From Washington, D.C., we speak with Narges Bajoghli, professor of Middle East studies at Johns Hopkins University and the author of "Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic."

Democracy Now
Jan 06, 2020

Headlines for January 6, 2020
Iraqi Parliament Votes to Oust U.S. Military; Trump Threatens Sanctions, In Dozens of U.S. Cities, Protesters Say No War with Iran, Elizabeth Warren Accuses Trump of Killing Soleimani to Distract from Impeachment, Al-Shabab Kills U.S. Soldier and 2 U.S. Contractors in Attack in Kenya, 17 Killed, Dozens Wounded in Airstrike in Tripoli, Libya, 14 Killed, including 7 Children, in IED Attack in Burkina Faso, Australia Deploys Military as Unprecedented Wildfires Rage, Death Toll in Jakarta Flooding & Landslides Rises to 53, Masked Men Attack Students at Jawaharlal Nehru University in India, 36 Killed in Collapse of Hotel Under Construction in Cambodia, Maduro Takes Control of Venezuela's National Assembly, Rick Perry Rejoins Pipeline Company Energy Transfer's Board of Directors, New Cambridge Analytica Leaks to Expose Election Manipulation in 68 Countries, Boeing Discovers Another Flaw in Troubled 737 MAX Jets, Accused Rapist Harvey Weinstein's Trial Begins in Manhattan Today

Democracy Now
Jan 03, 2020

"This Country Is a Tinderbox": Australia Braces for More Devastation as Gov't Denies Climate Crisis
Australia is bracing for what is expected to be the worst weekend yet in an already devastating climate-fueled wildfire season that has ravaged the southeastern part of the country, killed at least 18 people and nearly half a billion animals, and destroyed 14.5 million acres of land. As thousands of evacuees fled to the beaches, conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing growing outrage for his inaction on climate and close ties with the coal industry. As fires blazed in December, the prime minister went on a holiday to Hawaii. He told reporters this week that fighting the fires — not climate change — was his top priority. On Thursday, Morrison was shouted out of the town of Carbago after being confronted by angry fire victims. We go to Melbourne, Australia, to speak with Tim Flannery, chief councilor at the Australian-based Climate Council.

Democracy Now
Jan 03, 2020

"Right-Wing Populists Will Sweep the Elections": U.S. Killing of Soleimani Helps Hard-Liners in Iran
We host a roundtable discussion on the U.S. assassination of Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, who has long been one of the most powerful figures in Iran. He was the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' Quds Force — Iran's powerful foreign military force, similar to a combination of the CIA and U.S. Special Forces. Iran called Soleimani's assassination an act of "international terrorism." "It was probably the best, the fastest, the quickest way to have a unifying rallying cry for the Iranian political establishment," notes Iranian journalist Negar Mortazavi. We are also joined by historian Ervand Abrahamian, author of "The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations," and Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of "Understanding the US-Iran Crisis: A Primer."

Democracy Now
Jan 03, 2020

U.S. Assassination of Soleimani Could Spark "Another Round of Civil War" in Iraq
After the United States assassinated Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani in a major escalation of the conflict between Iran and the United States, which now threatens to engulf Iraq and the Middle East, we get response from Iraqi journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, who says the U.S. killing of Soleimani was reckless. "Did anyone consult Iraqis about the assassination of Qassem Soleimani on Iraqi soil?" he asks. "We don't want another round of civil war."

Democracy Now
Jan 03, 2020

Rep. Ro Khanna on Qassem Soleimani Assassination: Trump's Actions Are Unconstitutional
We continue our discussion of the U.S. assassination of Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani with Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna of California. Khanna says he believes the assassination was planned for some time and that Congress has failed to hold the Trump administration accountable. "I believe that the president's policies are putting us in tremendous danger, and the motives are almost not relevant. What's relevant is that he acted in a way that's unconstitutional," Khanna says.

Democracy Now
Jan 03, 2020

Trita Parsi: U.S. Assassination of Iranian General Is Major Escalation & Will Make America Less Safe
The United States has assassinated Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani in a major escalation of the conflict between Iran and the United States, which now threatens to engulf Iraq and the Middle East. President Trump authorized the drone strike that killed Soleimani at the Baghdad International Airport and four other people, including a high-level Iraqi militia chief, Thursday night U.S. time, Friday morning in Baghdad. Iran called Soleimani's assassination an act of "international terrorism." Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said, "The U.S. bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism." The Pentagon justified Soleimani's assassination as a defensive strike, saying the general was "actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region." The Pentagon did not offer evidence of an upcoming planned attack. We get response from Iranian scholar Trita Parsi, who is executive vice president of the Quincy Institute, a new think tank.

Democracy Now
Jan 03, 2020

Headlines for January 3, 2020
U.S. Assassinates Powerful Iranian General Qassem Soleimani at Baghdad Airport, New Emails Show Trump Directly Ordered Hold on Ukraine Aid, Julián Castro Drops Out of Presidential Race, Sanders Campaign Raised $34.5 Million in Third Quarter, Australia Braces for "Blast Furnace" as Heat & Winds Fuel Wildfires, Amazon Threatens to Fire Workers over Environmental Activism

Democracy Now
Jan 02, 2020

Death Toll Rises in India as Protests Against Modi Government's Citizenship Law Intensify
In India, the death toll amid the government's crackdown on widespread protests has risen to at least 27 people, and over 1,000 more have been arrested. The protests are against a controversial new citizenship law, which provides a path to Indian citizenship for undocumented immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan — unless they are Muslim. Opponents of the law say it's a step toward the official marginalization of India's 200 million Muslims. Paramilitary and police forces were deployed in response to the demonstrations in Muslim-majority districts in Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi, and the internet was shut down. We go to Mumbai for an update from Rana Ayyub, global opinions writer for The Washington Post, where her latest piece is headlined "India's protests could be a tipping point against authoritarianism."

Democracy Now
Jan 02, 2020

"The Genocidal Regime Is Still in Power": Assad Forces Push into Idlib, Last Rebel Stronghold
The United Nations says a quarter of a million people have fled the Russian-backed Syrian government offensive in the northwestern province of Idlib. Aid groups are now warning the offensive in Idlib could become the worst humanitarian crisis in the nine-year war in Syria. Nearly 200,000 Syrian civilians have fled toward the Turkish border as Syrian government ground troops advance into Idlib, the last major rebel-held territory, where about 3 million people live. Displaced civilians have sought refuge in several camps along the border, where they struggle with harsh winter conditions, flooding and mud due to heavy rainfall. We get an update from Yassin al-Haj Saleh, a Syrian writer, dissident and former political prisoner, and Loubna Mrie, a Syrian writer, photographer and activist who worked in Idlib from 2012 to 2014 for Reuters. "The genocidal regime is still in power," Yassin al-Haj Saleh says. "It is more powerful now than ever because now it is a protectorate of the Russians and the Iranians."

Democracy Now
Jan 02, 2020

Could a "New Civil War" Erupt in Iraq as U.S. and Iran Fight for Influence in the Country?
In Iraq, Iran-backed militia members withdrew from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad's heavily guarded Green Zone on Wednesday after being tear-gassed by American security forces. Their withdrawal ended a tense standoff that began Tuesday when militia members broke through the embassy's reception area chanting "Death to America" while thousands rallied outside to protest a slew of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria that killed at least 24 members of the Iranian-backed militia Kata'ib Hezbollah. The U.S. airstrikes came after an American contractor was killed in a rocket attack in Kirkuk, Iraq, Friday. The embassy withdrawal was ordered by militia leaders, who said they agreed to leave after Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi pledged to pursue legislation to force U.S. troops out of Iraq. We speak with Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, a correspondent for The Guardian newspaper.

Democracy Now
Jan 02, 2020

Headlines for January 2, 2020
Iranian-Backed Militia Withdraws After Standoff at U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Reports: 9 Civilians Killed in Syrian Government Strike on School in Idlib, Wildfires Rage in Australia; Floods Kill 16 in Indonesia, Tens of Thousands Protest in Hong Kong on New Year's Day, Thousands March in Santiago, Chile, Against Austerity on New Year's Day, French Rail Workers' Strike Now Longest Since 1968, Netanyahu Asks Parliament for Immunity in Corruption Cases, 16 People Killed in Prison Riot in Zacatecas, Mexico, Pope Francis Condemns Violence Against Women in New Year's Day Speech, Scores of New Laws Take Effect Across the United States

Democracy Now
Jan 01, 2020

First Lady of the World: Eleanor Roosevelt's Impact on New Deal to U.N. Declaration of Human Rights
2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote, and we begin the new decade with a New Year's Day special about one of the most influential women in U.S. politics: first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. She served as the first lady of the United States from 1933, when her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt took office, until his death during his fourth term in office in 1945. She went on to serve as United States delegate to the United Nations General Assembly and spearheaded the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights. President Harry Truman later called her the "First Lady of the World." We speak with the prize-winning historian Blanche Wiesen Cook, distinguished professor of history and women's studies at John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author of the definitive three-part biography of the former first lady: "Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 1: The Early Years, 1884-1933," "Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 2: The Defining Years, 1933-1938" and "Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 3: The War Years and After."

Democracy Now
Dec 31, 2019

Dangerous Women Embracing Risk to Change the World: Ava DuVernay, Ai-jen Poo, Abigail Disney & More
Media trailblazer Pat Mitchell is a person of many firsts. She was the first woman president of PBS, CNN Productions and the Paley Center for Media, formerly known as the Museum of Television & Radio. She is chair of the Sundance Institute and the Women's Media Center. Mitchell tells her story in her new memoir, "Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World," and speaks with us about some of the women she chose to profile. "Being the first or the only person in any situation that looks like you is always an additional challenge because there is a harsher spotlight," she says. "For women leaders, it's always meant a fear of being judged entirely as a woman leader."

Democracy Now
Dec 31, 2019

Jewish Community Denounces Anti-Semitic Attacks Fueled by a "White Nationalist Administration"
Federal prosecutors have filed hate crime charges against the man accused of stabbing five Jewish worshipers with a machete during a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi's home in a heavily ultra-Orthodox New York suburb of Monsey. They say the suspect, Grafton Thomas, kept journals that had references to Adolf Hitler, "Nazi culture" and a drawing of a swastika, and his cellphone showed multiple online searches for "Why did Hitler hate the Jews." His family and lawyers say he is mentally ill. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called the attack "domestic terrorism," and several Jewish elected officials in New York have asked him to declare a state of emergency and to deploy the National Guard to "visibly patrol and protect" Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods. It was New York's 13th anti-Semitic incident in three weeks and comes after a shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City in which two assailants killed three people before police shot them dead after an hours-long shootout. A new Associated Press database counts more mass killings in 2019 than any year dating back to at least the 1970s. We speak with Audrey Sasson, executive director of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, and Alex Yablon, a reporter who covers guns, extremism and mass shootings.

Democracy Now
Dec 31, 2019

Headlines for December 31, 2019
Protests Rage Outside U.S. Embassy in Iraq After U.S. Airstrikes Kill 24, Hate Crime Charges Filed Against Suspect in Hanukkah Stabbing in NY, Texas Church Shooter Had Long Criminal History, NYT: Top Officials Failed to Convince Trump to Release Withheld Ukraine Aid, Death Toll from Crackdown on Protests in India Rises to 27, Five Kashmiri Political Leaders Released from Detention, Sudanese Court Sentences 29 to Death for Killing Teacher in Anti-Protest Crackdown, Thousands Flee to the Ocean to Escape Australia Wildfires, Former Nissan Head Flees Japan to Lebanon to Escape Trial on Financial Crimes, New York Settles Suit over Invasive Strip Searches for Jail Visitors, Michigan State Police Settle with Family of Teen Who Died After Being Tased, Colorado Judge Orders Denver to Stop Enforcing Ban Against Camping, Progressive Journalist William Greider Dies at 83, WBAI Producer and Journalist Dred Scott Keyes Dies at 68

Democracy Now
Dec 30, 2019

Michael Moore on Trump, 2020 & Why "the Old, Angry White Guy" Doesn't Represent the Working Class
Last week on Democracy Now!, acclaimed filmmaker "Michael Moore predicted":https://www.democracynow.org/2019/12/26/michael_moore_donald_trump_impeachment Donald Trump would win-re-election if Democrats don't choose a candidate to run against him who excites their base of voters. His comments prompted President Donald Trump to respond on Twitter, "He made [the] same prediction in 2016. Nobody ever said Michael was stupid!" But Moore's comments went further than Trump's tweet alluded to. He said the working class in the United States is mostly women, people of color and young people — all groups who tend to vote Democratic. Moore, who supports Bernie Sanders, said Democrats can win if they focus on these voters and on bold proposals like Medicare for All.

Democracy Now
Dec 30, 2019

Headlines for December 30, 2019
Man Stabs 5 Jewish Worshipers Celebrating Hanukkah at Rabbi's Home in New York, Gunman Shoots and Kills 2 Worshipers During Church Service in Texas, U.S. Launches Airstrikes in Iraq & Syria After U.S. Contractor Killed in Iraq, 250,000 People Flee Syrian Government Offensive in Idlib, Bombing Kills 79 in Mogadishu, Somalia, Taliban Agrees to Temporary Ceasefire in Afghanistan, 10 Killed in Strike on Military Parade in Southern Yemen, Politico: Democratic Party Insiders Now Think Sanders Could Win Nomination, WaPo: Giuliani Held Back-Channel Call with Maduro, France: Strikes Against Pension Overhaul Enter 25th Day, Ukraine & Pro-Russia Separatists Carry Out Prisoner Swap, Pompeo Will Meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Jan. 3, Firefighter Dies in Australia as Fires Continue to Rage, Judge Backs Georgia's Decision to Purge 100,000 Names from Voter Rolls, Lily Tomlin Arrested at Capitol Hill Protesting Climate Change, John Lewis Diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer

Democracy Now
Dec 27, 2019

"Bedlam": Film Shows How Decades of Healthcare Underfunding Made Jails "De Facto Mental Asylums"
Are prisons and jails America's "new asylums"? A new documentary looks at how a disproportionate number of underserved people facing mental health challenges have been swept into the criminal justice system, where they lack adequate treatment. Nearly 15% of men and more than 30% of women in jails have a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, major depression or bipolar disorder. For many of them, jail is their first point of entry into mental health treatment. The documentary "Bedlam" was filmed over five years in Los Angeles County's overwhelmed and vastly under-resourced Emergency Psychiatry Services, a jail warehousing thousands of psychiatric patients, and the homes — and homeless encampments — of people who are living with severe mental illness. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and will air on PBS "Independent Lens" this April. The film features many people, including Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who share their personal experiences with family members' chronic psychiatric conditions that have pushed them into the path of police officers, ER doctors and nurses, lawyers and prison guards. We speak with Cullors, who shares her experience with seeking help for her brother Monte, who has lived with schizoaffective disorder since he was a teenager, and director Ken Rosenberg, an addiction psychiatrist affiliated with Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City whose own sister struggled with schizophrenia.

Democracy Now
Dec 27, 2019

Headlines for December 27, 2019
In Confidential Videos, Navy SEALs Say Gallagher Was "Toxic" & "Freaking Evil", Hospitals & Health Clinics Shuttered by Heavy Bombing in Idlib, Syria, Japan to Deploy Destroyer to Middle East Amid Rising Tensions in Gulf of Oman, Nigerian-American Journalist Omoyele Sowore Released from Prison, In India, Protests Rage Against "Anti-Muslim" Citizenship Law, Netanyahu Staves Off Party Leadership Challenge Ahead of General Election, Mexico to Bring Complaint Against Bolivia's Interim Government to ICJ, Congolese Asylum Seeker Died in Border Patrol Custody on Christmas Day, Los Angeles Prosecutors Consider Filing Criminal Charges Against Weinstein

Democracy Now
Dec 26, 2019

Michael Moore: Americans Pay More for Healthcare Than Others, But "We Don't Call It a Tax"
We continue our interview with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore about election 2020 and some of the major issues for voters. Long before Medicare for All became a rallying cry in the Democratic Party, Moore's 2007 film "Sicko" diagnosed the shortcomings of the for-profit American healthcare system and called for a system of universal healthcare. "The real question never gets asked. They always want to pin them on how much is it going to cost in taxes," Moore says of debate moderators who ask whether Democratic presidential candidates will raise taxes to pay for Medicare for All.

Democracy Now
Dec 26, 2019

Michael Moore: Republicans Who Oppose Impeachment Are "Dying Dinosaurs," But Trump Could Win in 2020
As the Senate attempts to set rules for President Trump's impeachment trial, at least one Republican is expressing concern about the proceedings. Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said in an interview Tuesday that she was disturbed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's promise of "total coordination" with the White House. Murkowski's comments mark a rare instance of dissent for the Republican Party, which has been unified behind President Trump until now. McConnell needs 51 votes to set the rules for the hearing. Republicans have a thin majority of 53 seats in the Senate. Last week, Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore witnessed the historic vote to impeach the president from the front row of the House gallery. He joins us for the hour to discuss the impeachment process, the 2020 election and why he thinks Trump would win re-election today.

Democracy Now
Dec 26, 2019

Headlines for December 26, 2019
Murkowski "Disturbed" by McConnell's "Coordination" with White House for Impeachment Trial, Trump Attacks Windmills with a Series of False Claims, The Intercept: Bloomberg Used Prison Labor to Make 2020 Campaign Calls, Thousands of Syrian Civilians Flee Government Offensive in Idlib, 35 Civilians Killed in Attack in Burkina Faso, China Calls on U.S. to Take "Concrete Steps" Toward Peace with North Korea, At Least 21 Killed as Typhoon Phanfone Slams into the Philippines, U.S. Ambassador to Zambia Recalled After Criticizing Criminalization of Homosexuality, Evo Morales Vows to Return to Bolivia by Next Christmas, Hong Kong Protesters Occupy Shopping Malls on Christmas, Russian Youth Climate Activist Arshak Makichyan Freed from Jail, Pope Francis Condemns Migrant Detention Camps in Christmas Day Address

Democracy Now
Dec 25, 2019

Celebrating the Life of Toni Morrison with Oprah Winfrey, Angela Davis, Ta-Nehisi Coates & More
In special broadcast, we spend the hour remembering Toni Morrison, one of the nation's most influential writers, who died in August at the age of 88 from complications of pneumonia. In 1993, Toni Morrison became the first African-American woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. She also won a Pulitzer Prize in 1988 for her classic work "Beloved." Toni Morrison was born in Lorain, Ohio, in 1931. She did not publish her first novel, "The Bluest Eye," until she was 39 years old. She wrote it while taking care of her two young sons as a single mother and juggling a day job as a book editor at Random House. As an editor, she is widely credited with helping widen the literary stage for African Americans and feminists. Much of Morrison's writing focused on the female black experience in America. Her work was deeply concerned with race and history, especially the sin of transatlantic slavery and the potentially restorative power of community. In 2012, President Obama awarded Morrison the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Upon her death, he said, "Toni Morrison was a national treasure. Her writing was not just beautiful but meaningful — a challenge to our conscience and a call to greater empathy." Today we remember Toni Morrison through those who knew and loved her — editors, writers, musicians — with highlights from a celebration of her life on November 21 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. We hear from Oprah Winfrey, Erroll McDonald, Edwidge Danticat, Angela Davis, Fran Lebowitz, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Kevin Young and David Remnick.

Democracy Now
Dec 24, 2019

"Becoming a Dangerous Woman": Media Legend Pat Mitchell on Embracing Risk to Change the World
Media legend Pat Mitchell is the author of a new book, "Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World." In it, she shares her life story, rising from her grandparents' small cotton farm with no electricity to become the first woman president of PBS, CNN Productions and the Paley Center for Media. Mitchell includes in her book the voices of other "dangerous" women: Stacey Abrams, Ai-jen Poo, Ava DuVernay, Mary Robinson, Abigail Disney, Christine Schuler Deschryver, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Zoya, Monique Wilson, Laura Flanders, Jacqueline Novogratz, Sandi Toksvig, Ruth Ann Harnisch and Meagan Fallone. Pat Mitchell speaks with us from Atlanta, Georgia. "Our single most dangerous act, actually, is preparing each other, supporting each other, showing up for each other, sponsoring, mentoring, championing each other," Mitchell says. "We are living in dangerous times, and such times require of us to become more dangerous to meet those challenges."

Democracy Now
Dec 24, 2019

Jane Fonda Arrested: We Are in a Climate Emergency. I Have No Choice But to Put My Body on the Line
A new round of protests, Fire Drill Fridays, led by actress Jane Fonda are calling for action to address the climate crisis, as bushfires fueled by a historic heat wave threaten Australia, high tides threaten to flood Venice, and the Philippines prepares for a Christmas typhoon. Last Friday, a day before Jane Fonda's 82nd birthday, the longtime political activist, feminist and two-time Academy Award winner was arrested for the fifth time, as she has been nearly every Friday in Washington since she started Fire Drill Fridays, inspired in part by the Swedish youth climate activist Greta Thunberg. She was arrested along with more than 140 others inside the Hart Senate Office Building, and demonstrators sang "Happy Birthday" to her as she was taken outside. This month Jane Fonda wrote an op-ed in The New York Times headlined "We Have to Live Like We're in a Climate Emergency. Because We Are." In it, she writes, "It should come as no surprise that I believe in the power of protest. That's why I moved to Washington to start what I call Fire Drill Fridays, joining the millions of young people around the world who turned out in the fall for protests to demand that our leaders act to save their futures." We speak with Jane Fonda about her climate activism and why she started Fire Drill Fridays.

Democracy Now
Dec 24, 2019

Headlines for December 24, 2019
House Could Bring Additional Articles of Impeachment Against Trump, Boeing Fires CEO Dennis Muilenburg over 737 MAX Jet Controversy, NYT: Pentagon May Withdraw U.S. Troops from West Africa, Syria: Up to 100,000 Civilians Forced to Flee Intensification of Fighting in Idlib, Asian Leaders Urge U.S. & North Korea to Move Toward Peace, Report: Canadian Police Were Prepared to Use Lethal Force Against Indigenous Land Defenders, Trump Met with Accused War Criminal Eddie Gallagher, Nigerian Man Dies in ICE Custody in Maryland, Colorado Governor Pardons Woman Who Took Sanctuary to Fight Her Deportation, Former Black Panther Robert Seth Hayes Dies at Age of 72

Democracy Now
Dec 23, 2019

"The First Cell": Dr. Azra Raza on Why the "Slash-Poison-Burn Approach" to Cancer Has Failed
Slash, poison, burn. That's what a leading cancer doctor calls the protocol of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. We spend $150 billion each year treating cancer, yet a patient with cancer is as likely to die of it today — with a few exceptions — as one was 50 years ago. Today we spend the hour with renowned cancer doctor, Dr. Azra Raza, author of the new book, "The First Cell: And the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the Last." She argues that experiments and the funding for eradicating cancer look at the disease when it is in its later stages, when the cancer has grown and spread. Instead, she says, the focus should be on the very first stages — the first cell, as her book is titled. She says this type of treatment would be more effective, cheaper and less toxic.

Democracy Now
Dec 23, 2019

Headlines for December 23, 2019
White House Halted Ukraine Aid 91 Minutes After Trump & Zelensky Phone Call, U.S. Considering Plan to Deport Mexican Asylum Seekers to Guatemala, WaPo: White House Pushes to Use Migrant Children to Ensnare Parents, Saudi Arabia Sentences 5 People to Death for Khashoggi's Murder, ICC Takes Step to Investigating Israel for War Crimes, India: Protests Continue as Modi Defends "Anti-Muslim" Citizenship Law, Iraq: Thousands Demand Appointment of Independent Prime Minister, Reuters: Up to 1,500 Dead in Iran's Bloody Crackdown Against Nov. Protests, Pentagon: U.S. Soldier Killed in Afghanistan, French Unions Continue Strike over Holidays as Macron Refuses to Scrap Pension Overhaul, Video Shows California Deputy Fatally Slamming Motorist's Head into His Own Car, Texas Grand Jury Indicts Officer Aaron Dean for Murdering Atatiana Jefferson

Democracy Now
Dec 20, 2019

"Wine Cave Full of Crystals": Warren & Buttigieg Spar over Donors, But Poverty Is Left Out of Debate
During Thursday's Democratic debate, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg sparred over money's role in politics and who funds their campaigns. The main difference between their approaches to taking funding is that Warren's policies have been consistently clear on issues of inequality, while Buttigieg is "more of a cipher," says Heather McGhee, distinguished senior fellow and former president of Demos. Meanwhile, moderators did not ask candidates about their platforms to tackle poverty in the U.S. "The word 'poverty' has yet to be mentioned by a moderator, and this is not a matter just of semantics," adds guest Alan Minsky with the Progressive Democrats of America. "It's a complete erasure of the reality of the lives of tens of millions of Americans."

Democracy Now
Dec 20, 2019

Joe Biden Criticized at Democratic Debate over Iraq, Afghanistan Wars & Failure to Close Gitmo
Former Vice President Joe Biden sparred with Senator Bernie Sanders about his support for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and faced scrutiny over his failure to close Guantánamo Bay during President Obama's tenure in the White House at Thursday night's Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles. We look at the candidates' foreign policy stances with award-winning investigative reporter Azmat Khan, a New York Times Magazine contributing writer and a Future of War fellow at the New America Foundation.

Democracy Now
Dec 20, 2019

Activists Demand a Migrant Justice Platform as Democratic Candidates Discuss Immigration in Debate
Protesters for immigrant rights demonstrated outside the Democratic debate Thursday in Los Angeles, displaying a banner that read "Migrant Justice on Day One" and demanding a moratorium on deportations and immigrant worker protections. We look at how the candidates responded, with Erika Andiola, chief advocacy officer for RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. "I'm really happy that immigration came up this time around," she notes. "In the past few debates, the issue didn't even come up."

Democracy Now
Dec 20, 2019

As Democratic Field Gets Whiter, DNC Should "Press Pause" & Fix Process Shutting Out People of Color
Within a day of President Trump's impeachment, the Democratic presidential candidates held their final debate of the year at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. On the stage were Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, along with Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Vice President Joe Biden, billionaire Tom Steyer and Andrew Yang. Amna Nawaz, the first Pakistani American and first Muslim American to moderate a presidential primary debate, questioned Yang about being the only nonwhite candidate on the stage. We get response from Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Erika Andiola, chief advocacy officer for RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.

Democracy Now
Dec 20, 2019

Headlines for December 20, 2019
Pelosi Delays Sending Impeachment Articles to Senate, 7 Democratic Candidates Debate in Los Angeles, Senate Passes $1.4 Trillion Spending Package, House Passes USMCA to Replace NAFTA, Protests Erupt in Lebanon as President Names New Prime Minister, Number of Killings by Police Soars in Brazil, Sudan Protesters Mark Anniversary of Uprising that Ousted Omar al-Bashir, Report: WA Republican Rep. Matt Shea Participated in Domestic Terrorism, Amazon Facing Criticism over Data Breach with Ring Home Security System

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