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Democracy Now! is an independent daily TV & radio news program, hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. We provide daily global news headlines, in-depth interviews and investigative reports without any advertisements or government funding. Our programming shines a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lifts up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. Democracy Now! is live weekdays at 8am ET and available 24/7 through our website and podcasts.
Updated: 41 min 15 sec ago

Costs of War: 17 Years After 9/11, Nearly Half a Million People Have Died in Global "War on Terror"

Wed, 11/21/2018 - 08:49

Nearly half a million people have died from violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan since George W. Bush declared a “war on terror” in the wake of 9/11, according to a major new report from Brown University’s Costs of War Project. More than 17 years later, the war in Afghanistan is the longest war in U.S. history. Costs of War reports that more than 480,000 people have died from violence in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan—including soldiers, militants, police, contractors, journalists, humanitarian workers and civilians. Several times as many people have died indirectly because of water loss, sewage and other infrastructural problems, and war-related disease. The wars have uprooted 21 million Afghan, Iraqi, Pakistani and Syrian people who are now refugees of war or internally displaced. The cost of the global so-called war on terror will soon surpass $6 trillion. We speak with Neta Crawford, director of the Costs of War Project. She is a professor and department chair of political science at Boston University.

Did Israel Kill Yasser Arafat? Stunning Investigation Exposes Israel's Secretive Assassination Program

Wed, 11/21/2018 - 08:30

Israeli intelligence officials desperately tried to prevent Ronen Bergman from writing “Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations,” a stunning book exposing the details of Israel’s extrajudicial killing program. Israel even changed and extended secrecy laws to prevent Bergman from gaining access to historical documents. Despite this, Bergman gained unprecedented access while writing the book, scouring thousands of documents and meeting with some 1,000 sources. The result is a stunning investigation that dives deep into the targeted killing programs of Israel, which has assassinated more people than any other country in the Western world since World War II. We speak with Ronen Bergman about Israel’s many attempts to kill the former chair of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat, and the possibility that they succeeded.

Trump Chooses "Relationship with Saudi Arabia" over Accountability for Jamal Khashoggi's Murder

Wed, 11/21/2018 - 08:15

Despite overwhelming evidence that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated at the order of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, President Trump stood by Saudi Arabia Tuesday in an extraordinary written statement riddled with exclamation points and subtitled “America First,” writing, “It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t! That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” Trump’s statement came even after The Washington Post reported last Friday that the CIA has “high confidence” that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. Saudi officials have tried to dismiss Khashoggi’s death as a rare, unauthorized killing, but a recent New York Times report suggests the kingdom has sought out private companies to assassinate perceived enemies since the beginning of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s rule. We speak with the Israeli investigative reporter who helped break the story, Ronen Bergman, author of “Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations.” Ronen Bergman is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine and the senior national security correspondent for Yedioth Ahronoth. His piece in The New York Times is titled “Saudis Close to Crown Prince Discussed Killing Other Enemies a Year Before Khashoggi’s Death.”

How America's Perpetual Warfare Abroad Is Fueling an Increase in White Supremacist Violence in U.S.

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 08:47

America’s perpetual warfare abroad has led to an increase in white supremacist violence at home. That’s one of the key findings in Frontline PBS and ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson’s new investigation, “Documenting Hate: New American Nazis,” which premieres Tuesday evening on PBS. The documentary reveals the deep ties between the military and white supremacy, as Thompson examines the Pittsburgh shooting and the rise of violent hate groups such as Atomwaffen. Thompson interviews historian Kathleen Belew, who says there has always been a correlation in the U.S. between the aftermath of war and the rise of white supremacist violence. “If you look for instance at the surges in Ku Klux Klan membership, they align more consistently with the return of veterans from combat and the aftermath of war than they do with anti-immigration, populism, economic hardship or any of the other factors that historians have typically used to explain them,” she notes. We speak with A.C. Thompson in Boston. His investigation premieres Tuesday on PBS stations and online.

New American Nazis: Inside the White Supremacist Movement That Fueled Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 08:30

Neo-Nazis are on the rise in America. Nearly a month after a gunman killed eleven Jewish worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, we look at the violent hate groups that helped fuel the massacre. On the same day that shooter Robert Bowers opened fire in the synagogue, a neo-Nazi named Edward Clark that Bowers had been communicating with online took his own life in Washington, D.C. The man’s brother, Jeffrey Clark, has since been arrested on weapons charges. The brothers were both linked to the violent white supremacist group Atomwaffen. We speak with A.C. Thompson, correspondent for FRONTLINE PBS and reporter for ProPublica. His investigation “Documenting Hate: New American Nazis” premieres tonight on PBS stations and online.

Federal Judge Blocks Trump's "Asylum Ban," Saying President Can't Rewrite Immigration Laws

Tue, 11/20/2018 - 08:15

In the latest pushback against President Trump’s attack on immigrants rights, a federal judge in California has temporarily halted Trump’s asylum ban, which attempted to deny asylum to anyone entering the country from outside of a legal port of entry. Trump announced the move earlier this month, but Monday, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar put a temporary halt on the order. Tigar wrote, “Asylum seekers will be put at increased risk of violence and other harms at the border, and many will be deprived of meritorious asylum claims. The government offers nothing in support of the new rule that outweighs the need to avoid these harms.” We speak with one of the lawyers who sued the Trump administration over the ban, legal director for the Center for Constitutional Rights Baher Azmy.

Filipino Reporter Maria Ressa on Duterte’s Targeting of the Press & How Facebook Aids Authoritarians

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 08:33

As Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte amps up his attacks on the free press, we speak with renowned Filipino journalist Maria Ressa about Duterte’s deadly “war on drugs,” his affinity for Donald Trump, and his weaponization of social media. Ressa is the CEO and executive editor of the leading independent Filipino news site The Rappler, which Duterte has repeatedly tried to shut down. Last week, the Filipino government indicted her for tax evasion in what is widely seen as the government’s latest attack on the website. We speak with Maria Ressa in New York City. She has received the 2018 Knight International Journalism Award and the Committee to Protect Journalists 2018 Gwen Ifill Press Freedom Award.

Meet the Prisoners Being Paid $1 an Hour to Battle the Deadly Climate-Fueled Fires of California

Mon, 11/19/2018 - 08:16

As the death toll from the Camp Fire rises to 77, California is combatting its deadliest fire in state history using prison labor. Some 1,500 of the 9,400 firefighters currently battling fires in California are incarcerated. They make just a dollar an hour, but are rarely eligible to get jobs as firefighters after their release. According to some estimates, California saves up to $100 million a year by using prison labor to fight its biggest environmental problem. In September the Democracy Now! team traveled to the Delta Conservation Camp in Northern California, a low-security prison where more than 100 men are imprisoned. We interviewed incarcerated firefighters who had just returned from a 24-hour shift fighting the Snell Fire in Napa County.

As Camp Fire Death Toll Rises, Meet the Prisoners Making $1 an Hour to Fight California's Wildfires

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 08:53

The death toll from the Camp Fire in California has risen to at least 63, with 631 people reported missing. As California continues to battle the deadliest fire in the state’s history, we turn to the hidden heroes on the front lines the raging climate-fueled wildfires: prisoner firefighters. At least 1,500 of the 9,400 firefighters currently battling fires in California are incarcerated. They make just a dollar an hour battling on the front lines but are rarely eligible to get jobs as firefighters after their release. In September, the Democracy Now! team traveled to the Delta Conservation Camp about an hour north of San Francisco, a low-security prison where more than 100 men are imprisoned. We interviewed incarcerated firefighters who had just returned from a 24-hour shift fighting the Snell Fire in Napa County.

Color of Change: Facebook Retaliated Against Protests by Pushing Anti-Semitic, Anti-Black Narratives

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 08:40

A New York Times investigation has revealed that Facebook fought critics and a growing number of scandals following the 2016 election by launching a PR offensive backed by a dubious Republican opposition-research firm: Definers Public Affairs. We speak with Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, one of the organizations targeted by Definers Public Affairs. We also speak with Siva Vaidhyanathan, the author of “Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy.” He is a professor of media studies and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia. Vaidhyanathan’s new article for Slate is titled “Facebook Is a Normal Sleazy Company Now.”

Bombshell Investigation: How Facebook Fought Critics, Spread Disinformation Using Republican Firm

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 08:33

“Delay, Deny and Deflect.” That’s the name of a new bombshell investigation by The New York Times revealing that Facebook executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, were aware of a Russian misinformation campaign on the social media network and took a series of extraordinary private actions to preserve the company’s reputation, launching an aggressive lobbying campaign to combat critics and spread misinformation. The New York Times investigation reveals that Facebook hired the Republican opposition-research firm Definers Public Affairs to discredit critics of Facebook, linking them to the billionaire liberal donor George Soros. Facebook also allegedly lobbied the Anti-Defamation League to condemn criticism of the company as anti-Semitic. Since the publication of the investigation, Facebook has announced it will cut ties with Definers. We speak with Rashad Robinson, president of Color of Change, one of the organizations targeted by Definers Public Affairs. We also speak with Siva Vaidhyanathan, the author of “Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy.” He is a professor of media studies and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia. Vaidhyanathan’s new article for Slate is titled “Facebook Is a Normal Sleazy Company Now.”

Exclusive: WikiLeaks Lawyer Warns U.S. Charges Against Assange Endanger Press Freedom Worldwide

Fri, 11/16/2018 - 08:15

The Justice Department has inadvertently revealed that it has prepared an indictment against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In an unusual development, language about the charges against Assange was copied and pasted into an unrelated court filing that was recently unsealed. In the document, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer wrote, “Due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged.” The news broke on Thursday night just hours after The Wall Street Journal reported the Justice Department was planning to prosecute Assange. Assange has been living since 2012 in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where he has sought refuge and political asylum. It’s unclear what charges may be brought against Assange; the Justice Department has previously considered prosecuting him over his role in the release of hacked DNC emails during the 2016 presidential campaign, as well as over the release of the so-called Iraq and Afghanistan War Logs, shared by U.S. military whistleblower Chelsea Manning. The Assange case has been closely followed by advocates for press freedom. Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch tweeted, “Deeply troubling if the Trump administration, which has shown little regard for media freedom, would charge Assange for receiving from a government official and publishing classified information—exactly what journalists do all the time.” We speak with human rights attorney Jennifer Robinson, who has been advising Julian Assange and WikiLeaks since 2010.

Vermont Immigrant Rights Group Sues ICE for Monitoring, Infiltrating & "Hunting Down" Organizers

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 08:47

A major new federal lawsuit claims that immigration agents are targeting undocumented organizers for their activism in Vermont. The suit accuses Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security and the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles of carrying out a multiyear campaign of political retaliation against members of the group Migrant Justice. According to the lawsuit, Migrant Justice was infiltrated by an informant, and its members were repeatedly subjected to electronic surveillance. At least 20 active members of Migrant Justice have been arrested and detained by ICE. We speak with Will Lambek, an organizer with Migrant Justice, a Vermont-based group founded and led by immigrant farmworkers.

"He Was a Protector": Remembering Jemel Roberson, 26-Year-Old Chicago Security Guard Slain by Police

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 08:33

Community members are demanding answers for the police killing of a black security guard in the Chicago suburbs, after 26 year-old Jemel Roberson was shot and killed by a white policeman Sunday. Roberson jumped into action early Sunday morning when a shooting broke out at a bar where he was working as a security guard. He was restraining a shooting suspect when several police officers arrived on the scene, and a white police officer from the Midlothian Police Department shot and killed Roberson. Witnesses said the police officer opened fire even though people at the bar were screaming that Roberson was a security guard. Roberson was armed and held a valid gun owner’s license. We speak with Avontea Boose, the partner of Jemel Roberson and mother of his 9-month-old son Tristan. She is currently expecting their second child. We also speak with Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney representing the children of Jemel Roberson.

Rep. Ro Khanna: By Blocking Yemen Resolution, House GOP Is Abdicating Its Duty to Decide War & Peace

Thu, 11/15/2018 - 08:15

House Republicans have quashed debate on a resolution that aims to end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, by sneaking a single line into an unrelated resolution about wolves. The House voted 201 to 187 on the bill Wednesday, approving a provision that blocks the Democrats from forcing a vote on the U.S. role in Yemen under the War Powers Act. For nearly four years the United States has played a key role supporting the Saudi-led invasion, which has devastated Yemen, creating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The U.N. is warning 14 million Yemenis are on the brink of famine. One new study has estimated the war has killed at least 57,000 people since the beginning of 2016. We speak with Congressmember Ro Khanna, who introduced the resolution in the House.

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