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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: 34 min 29 sec ago

Advocates: Trump Creating Border Crisis by Pitting Troops Against Women & Children Fleeing Violence

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 08:47

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is traveling to McAllen, Texas, today to visit some of the thousands of troops deployed at the U.S.-Mexico border by President Donald Trump. Nearly 6,000 active-duty troops are currently stationed in Texas, California and Arizona, following Trump’s escalating attacks against the Central American caravan heading toward the border. Trump has warned that that number could swell to 15,000—more than the U.S. forces in Afghanistan and almost triple the number of troops in Iraq. According to some reports, the border deployments could cost $220 million, despite the fact the Pentagon does not see the caravan as a risk. Mattis’s visit comes just days after the Trump administration announced new immigration rules to deny asylum to anyone who enters the country outside of a port of entry, a move the American Civil Liberties Union has called “illegal.” We speak with Fernando Garcia, the founding director of the Border Network for Human Rights, an advocacy organization based in El Paso. We also speak with Liz Castillo, immigration reporter and managing editor with Neta, a community news outlet in the Rio Grande Valley.

As Jeff Bezos Earns $191K Per Minute, Why Are NY & VA Giving Amazon $3 Billion in Corporate Welfare?

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 08:25

Amazon has selected a pair of cities to host its new, expanded headquarters: Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia, and Long Island City in Queens, New York. Amazon’s decision came after a 14-month search that saw cities around the U.S. promise tax breaks, taxpayer-funded infrastructure and business-friendly ordinances in an effort to win what Amazon says will be $5 billion in new investment and thousands of jobs. Democratic Virginia Governor Ralph Northam called the Amazon headquarter “a big win for Virginia,” and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has similarly applauded Amazon’s decision. But many local politicians have openly criticized authorities in New York and Virginia for backing the deals, which will create a total of 50,000 jobs. We host a roundtable discussion about Amazon and corporate welfare. In New York, we speak with Ron Kim, member of the New York State Assembly. He recently co-wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times headlined “New York Should Say No to Amazon.” In Washington, D.C., we speak with Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First, a watchdog group on economic development incentives. And in Portland, Maine, we speak with Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. She is the author of “Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses.”

NY Politician: We Need to Block $3 Billion Handout for Amazon & Use Money to Forgive Student Debt

Wed, 11/14/2018 - 08:16

After a months-long PR campaign, Amazon has officially announced it will split its so-called second headquarters between New York and Arlington, Virginia, outside Washington, D.C., after being offered more than $3 billion in tax breaks and other incentives. The news prompted protests at the site of Amazon’s future office complex in Long Island City, New York, to condemn the city and state governments for showering Amazon with massive tax breaks and other giveaways to entice the company to expand into the city. As part of the deal, New York taxpayers will even build a helipad for Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is the richest man in the world. Many local politicians have openly criticized authorities in New York and Virginia for backing the deals, which will create a total of 50,000 jobs. We speak with New York Assemblymember Ron Kim, who is introducing legislation to block the deal and redirect taxpayer money away from Amazon subsidies and toward student debt relief. He recently co-wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times headlined “New York Should Say No to Amazon.”

Acting AG Matt Whitaker Scrutinized over His Radical Judicial Beliefs & Past Dirty Work for GOP

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 08:48

Controversy is growing over President Trump’s selection of Matt Whitaker to serve as acting attorney general following the ousting of Jeff Sessions. The state of Maryland is heading to court today to challenge the legality of Whitaker’s appointment. The state contends that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should have been named acting attorney general instead of Whitaker, who was not confirmed by the Senate for his previous post—chief of staff to Sessions. Meanwhile, pressure is growing on Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. We speak with Ian Millhiser, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the editor of ThinkProgress Justice.

Gaza Is Already Unlivable: A Response to Israel's Deadly Airstrikes Targeting TV Station & Homes

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 08:39

The death toll in Gaza has risen to at least six after Israel launched its heaviest airstrikes on the region since 2014, targeting scores of buildings, including the TV station Al-Aqsa TV. Israeli airstrikes also reportedly hit dozens of homes. Militants in Gaza responded by launching hundreds of homemade rockets into Israel. One person in Israel, a Palestinian man in Ashkelon, was reportedly killed. Some 16 others were injured, including at least two critically. The escalation began after a team of Israeli commandos drove into the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis Sunday in a clandestine raid that killed seven Hamas members, including a commander. Israel said one of its soldiers had been killed in an exchange of fire before Israel called in tank fire and airstrikes while the commandos escaped back to Israel. We speak with Muhammad Shehada, a writer and activist from the Gaza Strip and a student of development studies at Lund University, Sweden. He writes for Haaretz, The Forward and other publications.

"An Incredible Victory": Opponents of Keystone XL Pipeline Praise Judicial Order Blocking Construction

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 08:32

On Thursday, a federal judge in Montana temporarily halted the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada’s tar sands region in Alberta to refineries as far away as the Gulf of Mexico. The court’s decision will require the Trump administration to review more thoroughly the potential negative impacts of the pipeline on the surrounding environment and climate change. President Obama halted the construction of the pipeline, which is being built by TransCanada, in 2015 following mass public protests, but Trump reversed the order shortly after he came into office. Environmental and indigenous groups hailed the decision Thursday. Sierra Club attorney Doug Hayes said in a statement, “The Trump administration tried to force this dirty pipeline project on the American people, but they can’t ignore the threats it would pose to our clean water, our climate, and our communities.” We speak with May Boeve, executive director of 350 Action, the political arm of the climate organization

As Fires Devastate California, Calls for Transition to 100% Renewable Energy Economy

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 08:29

California’s Camp Fire has become the state’s deadliest fire on record, decimating the town of Paradise, killing 42 people and destroying 7,200 structures. The fires in California are so large they can be clearly seen from space. Smoke and ash have left millions of Californians exposed to air quality rated at “unhealthy” or “very unhealthy” levels, with residents of Los Angeles, Sacramento and the Bay Area warned against spending time outdoors. We speak with May Boeve, executive director of 350 Action, who says, “We are really daunted by the reality of the climate impacts that are facing us.”

Climate Scientist Who Fled CA Wildfire: We're Going to Keep Paying Price If We Ignore Climate Change

Tue, 11/13/2018 - 08:14

At least 44 people are dead and more than 200 remain missing as two massive wildfires, fueled by easterly winds and a historic drought, continue to rage in California. In Northern California’s Butte County, the Camp Fire has become the state’s deadliest fire in history, after the blaze swept through the town of Paradise, killing 42 people and destroying nearly 6,500 homes. In Southern California, a quarter-million residents of Los Angeles and Ventura counties were ordered to evacuate the Woolsey Fire—including the entire city of Malibu and parts of the San Fernando Valley. Governor Jerry Brown said Sunday that the fires were driven by climate change and that California needs to learn to adapt. We speak with climate expert Glen MacDonald, John Muir memorial chair of geography, director of the White Mountain Research Center and a UCLA distinguished professor. He was forced to evacuate his Thousand Oaks home due to the Woolsey Fire.

After Former Marine Kills 12 in Thousand Oaks, CA, a Discussion on Mental Health for Veterans

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 08:53

On November 7, 2018, a former marine opened fire at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, California, killing 12 people, mostly college students. Police have identified the gunman as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a Marine veteran who had deployed to Afghanistan and had a history of mental health issues, including possible PTSD. The shooting has reignited a national discussion over mental healthcare for veterans returning from war. Earlier this year, Ian Long was evaluated by mental health professionals after police responded to a disturbance at his home, where he lived with his mother—and was cleared by the specialists. For more, we talk with Suzanne Gordon, whose new book probes the history of the Veterans Health Administration providing healthcare to U.S. veterans, generating medical innovations and healing the wounds of war.

On Veterans Day, Advocates Warn Against Pence & Trump-Led Attacks on VA Healthcare

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 08:45

On the federal observance of Veterans Day, we take a closer look at the issue of veterans’ healthcare. On Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence wrote an article for Fox News touting Trump’s record on veterans’ health and the passage of a policy known as “Veterans Choice,” which is seen by veterans’ advocates as an attempt to drain the Veterans Health Administration of needed resources and eventually force privatization of the system. We’re joined by award-winning journalist and author Suzanne Gordon. Her new book is “Wounds of War: How the VA Delivers Health, Healing, and Hope to the Nation’s Veterans.” She recently wrote an article for The New York Times titled “By Protecting Veterans’ Health, You May Protect Your Own.”

A Century After WWI's End, Adam Hochschild Cautions: "Think Long and Hard Before Starting a New War"

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 08:31

Between 1914 and 1918, about 10 million civilians perished in World War I, and almost 10 million soldiers were killed. Another 21 million were wounded. This week marks the 100th anniversary of the celebrated armistice credited with ending the war. But the agreement, which signified German surrender, was a shock to the people of Germany, says journalist and author Adam Hochschild—and it guaranteed the continuation of a brutal wartime naval blockade that saw over 400,000 Germans die of malnutrition. A right-wing backlash in Germany followed after the armistice, leading into World War II and the Holocaust. Hochschild says WWI, like the Iraq War, holds important lessons for today’s leaders to avert another war. “Wars almost always cause more problems than they solve,” he says. “Anybody at any time should take that lesson from this first of the terrible wars of the 20th century.”

Emma Goldman, Eugene Debs, Jane Addams: Honoring Antiwar Resisters on the 100th Anniv. of WWI's End

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 08:24

This weekend marked 100 years since the armistice that ended World War I. In a speech commemorating the anniversary, French President Emmanuel Macron cautioned against the dangers of nationalism, in comments widely viewed as a rebuke of U.S. President Trump, who has recently identified himself as a “nationalist.” Just before the summit, Macron also called for the formation of a European army that would operate without the United States. Journalist and author Adam Hochschild argues that the 100th anniversary of the war’s end is an opportunity to honor the dissenting voices against the war, including anarchist political activist and writer Emma Goldman, socialist and trade unionist Eugene V. Debs and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jane Addams.

A Century After End of WWI, Trump Snubs Peace Summit While Macron Warns of Growing Nationalism

Mon, 11/12/2018 - 08:16

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month—that’s when World War I ended in 1918, 100 years ago this weekend. On Sunday, world leaders gathered in Paris to pay tribute to the dead, marking the anniversary of the armistice of what had been described as the “war to end all wars.” Following the formal ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe, Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel attended a peace conference with dozens of heads of state, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Trump was reportedly the only one among 72 leaders to skip the meeting. Trump also faced widespread criticism for his decision to cancel a visit to a U.S. military cemetery in France on Saturday because it was raining. To find out more about the significance of the war and its commemoration, we speak with Adam Hochschild, lecturer at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley. His most recent book, published last month, is titled “Lessons from a Dark Time and Other Essays.” His article for The New Yorker earlier this month was headlined “A Hundred Years After the Armistice.”

Congresswoman-elect Rashida Tlaib & Peace Activist Kathy Kelly Condemn Saudi Cruelty in Yemen

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 08:50

We turn now to the crisis in Yemen, where the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition has drastically escalated its assault on the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah. The Guardian reports there have been at least 200 airstrikes in the past week, killing at least 150 people. One Saudi airstrike destroyed a home in Hodeidah, killing a father and his five children. The increased fighting comes as calls grow for a ceasefire to the 3-year war, which has devastated Yemen. On Thursday, a group of Yemeni and international organizations called for “immediate cessation of hostilities” in Yemen, warning that 14 million people were now “on the brink of famine.” UNICEF has warned that the Saudi assault and blockade on Hodeidah is increasing shortages of food, drinking water and medicine. The group says a Yemeni child now dies from a preventable disease every 10 minutes. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis have both called for a ceasefire in Yemen. Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration is considering designating the Houthis a “terrorist organization.” We speak to newly elected Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, a campaign to end U.S. military and economic warfare. She took part in Thursday’s protest.

Rashida Tlaib on Impeaching Trump, Occupied Palestine & Becoming One of First Muslim Congresswomen

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 08:38

On Tuesday evening, Palestinian American Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and Somali American Ilhan Omar in Minnesota became the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress. Rashida Tlaib is a Democratic Socialist who supports the Palestinian right of return and a one-state solution. She also supports Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage and abolishing ICE. The child of immigrants, Tlaib has spoken out against the Trump administration’s travel bans.

"We Will Never Concede to Bigotry": Florida Organizers Sound the Alarm over Voting Discrepancies

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 08:27

Days after the midterm elections, Florida’s contests for U.S. Senate and governor appear to be heading for recounts. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum said he is prepared for a possible recount, as his margin with Republican opponent Ron DeSantis narrowed to less than half a percentage point Thursday. A recount is triggered in Florida if the winning candidate’s margin is less than half a percentage point. Incumbent Democratic Senator Bill Nelson and Republican Governor Rick Scott will likely also head to a recount in the Senate race, with Scott leading by less than a quarter percentage point as of Thursday. Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott is also suing the Democratic election supervisors of Broward and Palm Beach counties, accusing them of trying to steal the election. Andrea Cristina Mercado, executive director of The New Florida Majority, joins us to discuss the group’s grassroots organizing to expand the electorate in Florida. She also details reports of widespread voting problems on Tuesday, including confusion over ballot design and problems with accessing polling sites and navigating Florida’s voter ID law.

After Massacre in California Bar, Will a Democrat-Controlled House Take Action on Gun Control?

Fri, 11/09/2018 - 08:13

The city of Thousands Oaks, California, is mourning after a former marine opened fire at a country music bar Wednesday night, killing 12 people, mostly students. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since the Parkland, Florida, school shooting in February. Police have identified the gunman as 28-year-old Ian David Long, a Marine veteran who had deployed to Afghanistan and had a history of mental health issues, including possible PTSD. The dead include 27-year-old Telemachus Orfanos, who survived the deadly Las Vegas massacre at a country music festival last year, only to be gunned down Wednesday night. We speak with Sarah Dachos, a Navy veteran and volunteer with the D.C. chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and a founding member of the Everytown Veterans Advisory Council.