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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: 2 hours 45 min ago

As Joe Biden Hints at Presidential Run, Andrew Cockburn Looks at His "Disastrous Legislative Legacy"

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 08:53

Speculation is mounting that former Vice President Joe Biden will soon enter the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. As a longtime senator from Delaware, Biden has previously run twice for the Democratic nomination. The last time was in 2008, when he ultimately became then-Senator Barack Obama’s running mate. While a new campaign would seek to capitalize on Biden’s two terms as vice president, it would also invite scrutiny of his Senate record in a Democratic political climate that is notably more progressive today than it was when Biden last sought the nomination. We speak with Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor for Harper’s magazine. His latest piece is headlined “No Joe! Joe Biden’s disastrous legislative legacy.”

Cheating, Bribes & Lies: DOJ Charges Dozens of Rich Parents & Coaches in College Admission Scandal

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 08:36

Operation Varsity Blues. That’s the name of a sweeping federal probe into what the Justice Department calls the biggest college admissions scam the agency has ever uncovered. On Tuesday, 50 people, including 13 college coaches, were arrested for taking part in a scheme where wealthy parents paid exorbitant bribes to secure spots for their unqualified children in elite schools, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, UCLA, USC and Wake Forest. Prosecutors have charged 33 parents, including Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin; Loughlin’s husband, the fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli; and Bill McGlashan, a founder of TPG Capital, one of the largest private equity investment firms in the world. We speak with Ivory Toldson, professor of counseling psychology at Howard University and president of Quality Education for Minorities. His new book is titled “No BS (Bad Stats): Black People Need People Who Believe in Black People Enough Not to Believe Every Bad Thing They Hear About Black People.”

Ralph Nader's Grandniece Died in Ethiopian Plane Crash; Now He Is Urging Boycott of Boeing Jet

Wed, 03/13/2019 - 08:13

Calls are growing for the United States to ground all Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes in the wake of a devastating plane crash in Ethiopia Sunday that left 157 people dead. It is the aircraft model’s second fatal crash in the past five months. An Indonesian flight of the same plane type crashed last October, killing 189 people. In response, two-thirds of the 737 MAX 8s have been pulled from service. At least 41 countries across the globe, from China to Turkey to India, have grounded their fleets of the aircraft until a thorough safety review is conducted. Despite international outcry, the United States and Canada are continuing business as usual. We speak with Ralph Nader, longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic and former presidential candidate. His great-niece, Samya Stumo, died on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. Nader wrote an open letter to Boeing titled “Passengers First, Ground the 737 MAX 8 Now!” And we speak with William McGee, aviation journalist for Consumer Reports. He is the author of “Attention All Passengers: The Airlines’ Dangerous Descent.”

The Fight for Hampshire College: How One School's Financial Calamity Exposes a Crisis in Higher Ed

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 08:43

Students and faculty are fighting to save Hampshire College from unprecedented financial crisis and potential collapse, following a series of devastating cuts and administrative decisions. In January, Hampshire College President Miriam Nelson announced the board of trustees and senior administrators would seek to merge the school with a “strategic partner.” The announcement was followed by staff layoffs in the school’s development and admissions offices, and news that the school would not be admitting a full class in the fall. We host a discussion with Hampshire professor Margaret Cerullo; Hampshire senior Desta Cantave, who is also a member of Hampshire Rise Up; and Hampshire College trustee William Null.

Justice for Stephon Clark: Protests Erupt as DA Fails to Charge Cops Who Killed Unarmed Black Father

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 08:32

Protests in Sacramento continue more than a week after the county’s district attorney announced the two police officers who shot and killed 22-year-old, unarmed African American Stephon Clark in his grandmother’s backyard last year will not face criminal charges. Since the news broke, organizers have joined walkouts at local colleges and high schools, demonstrations at the City Council, an ongoing occupation of a Sacramento police station, a die-in at UC Davis and a protest in one of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods that led to 84 arrests. This marks the 34th consecutive police shooting review in which Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert found that the officers acted legally, according to The Sacramento Bee. We speak with Berry Accius, founder of Voice of the Youth and a Sacramento community activist.

Trump's New Budget Slashes Medicare and Bolsters Military in an "Attack on the Poor & Middle Class"

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 08:20

President Trump is seeking $8.6 billion to fund a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, and an almost 5 percent increase in military spending. Meanwhile, Trump is calling for drastic cuts to domestic spending, including cutting $845 billion from Medicare spending over the next decade. Trump also wants to slash funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent and the Interior Department’s budget by 14 percent. We speak with David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, and founder and editor of DCReport.org.

We Will See Trump's Tax Returns: David Cay Johnston Predicts Probes Will Uncover President's Secrets

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 08:13

The New York Times is reporting New York Attorney General Letitia James issued subpoenas late Monday to Deutsche Bank and Investors Bank for records related to the Trump Organization. This comes just weeks after Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testified before Congress that Trump had inflated his assets in financial statements. New York state regulators subpoenaed the Trump Organization’s insurance broker, Aon, after Cohen’s testimony. The House Judiciary Committee also recently requested documents from 81 people and groups in Trump’s inner circle. We speak with David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, and founder and editor of DCReport.org. His most recent book is titled “It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America.”

Greenwald: White House Spread False Story About Venezuela Burning Aid Trucks to Win Support for War

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 08:49

An investigation by The New York Times has found that several trucks carrying so-called humanitarian aid that were set ablaze during a showdown at the Colombia-Venezuela border last month were not caused by President Nicolás Maduro’s forces, as was widely reported at the time by the media and Trump administration officials. We speak with Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and one of the founding editors of The Intercept. His latest piece is “NYT’s Exposé on the Lies About Burning Aid Trucks in Venezuela Shows How U.S. Government and Media Spread Pro-War Propaganda.”

Glenn Greenwald: Chelsea Manning's Refusal to Testify Against WikiLeaks Will Help Save Press Freedom

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 08:41

Chelsea Manning has been sent back to jail after refusing to answer questions before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. Manning, a U.S. Army whistleblower, had been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in Virginia’s Eastern District to appear for questioning about her 2010 leak to WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of State Department and Pentagon documents about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We speak with Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and one of the founding editors of The Intercept.

"I Know No One More Patriotic": Daniel Ellsberg Praises Chelsea Manning After She Is Jailed Again

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 08:31

U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning has been sent back to jail after refusing to answer questions before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. Manning had been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors in Virginia’s Eastern District to appear for questioning about her 2010 leak to WikiLeaks of hundreds of thousands of State Department and Pentagon documents about the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Manning was imprisoned from 2010 to 2017 for the leak. President Obama commuted her sentence before he left office. We speak with Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg about the significance of Chelsea Manning’s actions.

Journalists, Lawyers & Activists Targeted in Sweeping U.S. Intelligence Gathering Effort on Border

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 08:13

Newly revealed documents show the U.S. government created a secret database of activists and journalists who were documenting the Trump administration’s efforts to thwart a caravan of migrants hoping to win asylum in the U.S. An investigation from San Diego’s NBC 7 revealed the list was shared among Homeland Security Investigations, ICE, Customs and Border Protection and the FBI. It included the names of 10 journalists—seven of whom are U.S. citizens—along with nearly four dozen others listed as “organizers” or “instigators.” House Democrats are now calling for the full disclosure of the government’s secret list. We speak with one of the activists targeted by the government, Nicole Ramos, director of Al Otro Lado’s Border Rights Project. The project works with asylum seekers in Tijuana, Mexico. We also speak with Ryan Devereaux, staff reporter at The Intercept. In early February, he wrote an article titled “Journalists, Lawyers, and Activists Working on the Border Face Coordinated Harassment from U.S. and Mexican Authorities.”

Lost Children Archive: Valeria Luiselli's New Novel Bears Witness to the U.S. Immigration Crisis

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 08:49

Days after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen defended President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border, we speak with Valeria Luiselli about her new book, “Lost Children Archive.” It chronicles one family’s journey from New York to the southwestern U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona as the mother researches the plight of migrant children seeking refuge in the United States.

Debate over Ilhan Omar Highlights New Willingness in U.S. to Question Power of Pro-Israeli Lobby

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 08:31

Following a week of debate surrounding Democratic Congressmember Ilhan Omar’s comments about U.S. foreign policy in Israel, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution Thursday condemning anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim discrimination, white supremacy and other forms of hate. We host a discussion with Gideon Levy, Haaretz columnist and member of the newspaper’s editorial board; Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies who serves on the national board of Jewish Voice for Peace; and Remi Kanazi, a Palestinian-American poet, writer and organizer based in New York City.

It's Time to Tell the Truth: Israeli Journalist Gideon Levy Supports Ilhan Omar's Critique of Israel

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 08:24

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution Thursday condemning anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim discrimination, white supremacy and other forms of hate, following a week of debate among congressional Democrats. The controversy began after some lawmakers accused Democratic Congressmember Ilhan Omar of invoking anti-Semitic tropes while questioning U.S. foreign policy on Israel. The House leadership initially drafted a resolution condemning anti-Semitism in what was seen as a direct rebuke of Omar. But many progressive Democrats said Omar, one of the first two Muslim Congresswoman in U.S. history, was unfairly being singled out. The split within the Democratic Party forced the leadership to withdraw its initial resolution and then present a much broader one. Congressmember Ilhan Omar voted for and praised the new resolution in a joint statement with fellow Muslim lawmakers Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and André Carson of Indiana. We speak with Gideon Levy, Haaretz columnist and member of the newspaper’s editorial board. His latest piece is headlined “Keep It Up, Ilhan Omar.”

Ilhan Omar in Her Own Words: I Know What Hate Feels Like

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 08:14

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution Thursday condemning anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim discrimination, white supremacy and other forms of hate. The vote was 407 to 23, with nearly two dozen Republicans voting against it. The vote capped a week of intense debate among congressional Democrats that began after some lawmakers accused Democratic Congressmember Ilhan Omar of invoking anti-Semitic tropes while questioning U.S. foreign policy on Israel at an event last week. Omar said, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” While the media has largely focused on this single sentence in her remarks, few have heard her broader comments. We hear from Ilhan Omar in her own words, speaking last week at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C.

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