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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 38 min ago

Sri Lankan Gov't Responds to Unprecedented Attacks with Surveillance, Social Media Blackout, Curfew

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 08:16

In one of the worst terrorist attacks to hit South Asia, Sri Lankan government officials say a local Islamist extremist group called the National Thowheed Jama’ath coordinated a series of eight bombings on Easter Sunday at churches and luxury hotels throughout the country. The attacks killed at least 290 people, injured more than 500 and left behind scenes of carnage and chaos. The government has apologized for not taking more preventative measures. Sri Lanka’s telecommunications minister said a government memo circulated by Sri Lanka’s top police official 10 days earlier warned of a possible attack, but that the warning was ignored. Officials have forced the country of 21 million people to go on a dawn-to-dusk curfew, and blocked many social media networks in the wake of terrorist attacks. We go to the capital, Colombo, for an update from Bhavani Fonseka, senior researcher with the Centre for Policy Alternatives. “The discrimination, the targeting and the ethnic tensions have been there for decades,” says Fonseka. “This was most evident during the [Sri Lankan civil] war, but this has continued postwar, as well.” We are also joined by Alan Keenan, Sri Lanka project director at the International Crisis Group, and T. Kumar, former international advocacy director for Amnesty International USA. Kumar was a political prisoner for over five years in his native Sri Lanka.

The Mueller Report: Glenn Greenwald vs. David Cay Johnston on Trump-Russia Ties, Obstruction & More

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 08:15

The Justice Department has released a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report detailing Russian meddling in the 2016 election, the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia and President Trump’s attempts to impede the special counsel’s investigation. The report states the campaign “expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts,” but Mueller concluded, “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Mueller also outlined at least 10 instances where Trump attempted to impede the special counsel’s investigation, but Mueller came to no definitive conclusion on whether Trump broke the law by obstructing justice. In the report, Mueller suggests that this is a decision for Congress to make. We host a debate on the report’s findings between two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists: Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept and David Cay Johnston, who has covered Donald Trump since the 1980s. His most recent book is “It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America.”

Chomsky: By Focusing on Russia, Democrats Handed Trump a "Huge Gift" & Possibly the 2020 Election

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 08:48

As Attorney General William Barr releases Robert Mueller’s long-anticipated report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, we speak with world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky about what he sees as the political perils of “Russiagate.”

Noam Chomsky: The Green New Deal Is Exactly the Right Idea

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 08:42

Supporters of the Green New Deal are launching a nationwide tour Thursday to build support for the congressional resolution to transform the U.S. economy through funding renewable energy while ending U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. Democracy Now! spoke with Noam Chomsky about the Green New Deal and the lessons of the old New Deal in Boston last week.

"We Can Be Whatever We Have the Courage to See": Molly Crabapple's Art Breathes Life Into Green New Deal

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 08:28

“We can be whatever we have the courage to see.” That’s the message of a stunning new video released by The Intercept, Naomi Klein and award-winning artist Molly Crabapple Wednesday that imagines a future shaped by the Green New Deal. It’s called “A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.” The film was co-written by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez herself, along with Avi Lewis, the co-founder of The Leap. We speak with Avi Lewis and award-winning artist Molly Crabapple about the power of art to create social change.

"A Message from the Future with AOC": New Film Imagines World Transformed by the Green New Deal

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 08:14

As the push for the Green New Deal builds momentum in the United States, The Intercept has released a short illustrated video imagining a future shaped by the progressive environmental movement. It’s titled “A Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.” The New York congressmember narrates the film to envision an America that has been transformed by the Green New Deal policies, including a just transition of jobs, Medicare for all, and a total overhaul of the country’s energy system. The result is a vision of radical hope and transformation. The film features stunning artwork by award-winning illustrator Molly Crabapple. It is presented by The Intercept and Naomi Klein, co-written by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Avi Lewis, and co-directed by Kim Boekbinder and Jim Batt.

ICC Makes "Dangerous Decision" to Drop Probe into U.S. War Crimes in Afghanistan After U.S. Pressure

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 08:49

The International Criminal Court has announced it will not investigate possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the United States and other actors in Afghanistan. The court suggested the U.S.'s lack of cooperation with the investigation was behind the decision. Earlier this month, the U.S. revoked the visa of the ICC's chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda. A 2016 report by the ICC accused the U.S. military of torturing at least 61 prisoners in Afghanistan during the ongoing war. The report also accused the CIA of subjecting at least 27 prisoners to torture, including rape, at CIA prison sites in Afghanistan, Poland, Romania and Lithuania. We speak to Katherine Gallagher, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Libyan Humanitarian Crisis Worsens as Over 170 Killed, 18K Displaced in Warlord Assault on Tripoli

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 08:34

At least four people died in heavy shelling on Tuesday in the capital city of Tripoli. According to the United Nations, over 170 people have been killed and 750 injured since a Libyan warlord launched an assault on Tripoli on April 5. The fighting pits the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord against a militia led by former Libyan General Khalifa Haftar, who already controls much of eastern Libya. The Libyan government has accused the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt of funding and arming Haftar, who has dual U.S.-Libyan citizenship. Meanwhile, Qatar has called for the enforcement of an arms embargo against Haftar. The fighting has displaced nearly 18,000 people, but authorities fear the humanitarian crisis could quickly escalate if the fighting continues. We speak to Anas El Gomati, director of the Tripoli-based Sadeq Institute, Libya’s first independent research organization.

Extinction Rebellion: Climate Activists Glue Themselves to Buildings, Sidewalks & Trains in London

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 08:15

Extinction Rebellion. That’s the name of the movement shutting down Central London this week in a series of direct actions, as activists close bridges, occupy public landmarks and even superglue themselves to buildings to demand urgent action to combat climate change. Police have arrested more than 300 people so far, and the protests are continuing. Today, activists have halted trains at Canary Wharf—a financial hub of the city—with two protesters climbing a train car and another supergluing his hand to a train window. We speak to Clare Farrell, one of the co-founders of the environmental action group Extinction Rebellion, and Farhana Yamin, international environmental lawyer who helped draft the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement. On Tuesday, she was arrested after gluing both of her hands to the ground outside the Shell building in Central London.

Rep. Ilhan Omar Faces Death Threats & "Dangerous Hate Campaign" as Right-Wing Attacks Continue

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 08:48

Minnesota freshman Congressmember Ilhan Omar says death threats against her have spiked in number since President Trump tweeted a video juxtaposing her image with footage of the 9/11 attacks. Trump posted the video Friday with the caption, “WE WILL NEVER FORGET.” Trump’s tweet intercut video of the World Trade Center towers burning with video of Omar speaking about the increasing attacks on the Muslim American community after 9/11. Congressmember Omar’s comments were originally taken out of context and circulated by right-wing media, from The Daily Caller to Fox News. Congressmember Omar said in a statement, “This is endangering lives. It has to stop.” We speak with Moustafa Bayoumi, the author of “This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror.” His Guardian article is headlined “Ilhan Omar has become the target of a dangerous hate campaign.” Bayoumi is an English professor at Brooklyn College at the City University of New York. He is also the author of “How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America.”

Denied Entry to U.S., BDS Co-Founder Omar Barghouti Condemns McCarthyite Repression in U.S. & Israel

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 08:32

Critics are demanding answers after the Trump administration refused to allow prominent Palestinian human rights activist Omar Barghouti to enter the United States for a speaking tour, despite his valid U.S. visa. Barghouti is co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or BDS, an international campaign to pressure Israel to comply with international law and respect Palestinian rights. When he arrived at the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on April 10, Barghouti was told the United States was denying him entry. He was not given an explanation. Barghouti and his supporters say the move was motivated by his involvement with the BDS movement, calling it a form of “McCarthyite repression.” We reached Omar Barghouti in Ramallah to talk about his travel ban, the growth of the BDS movement and attempts to quash it, and the recent Israeli election that saw Benjamin Netanyahu re-elected prime minister for a fifth term.

France Mourns as Fire Rips Through Historic Notre-Dame Cathedral That Has Stood for Centuries

Tue, 04/16/2019 - 08:14

France is reeling after a massive fire tore through Paris’s beloved Notre-Dame cathedral, built 800 years ago and a celebrated landmark around the world. Parisians looked on in shock Monday as around 400 firefighters attempted to get the blaze under control—some onlookers engaging in prayers and religious songs. The fire claimed the cathedral’s spire and ravaged parts of the interior, but the iconic twin medieval towers remain standing, as does the rest of the stone structure. Two of France’s wealthiest men have pledged over $330 million to the reconstruction effort. The European Union has also vowed to help rebuild the church. Authorities have launched an investigation into how the fire started, but ruled out arson, saying they believed it was started by accident, likely related to the ongoing $180 million renovation of the building. We speak with Anne Lester, associate professor of medieval history at Johns Hopkins University, about the role of Notre-Dame in French cultural and spiritual life, as well as its significance to the wider world.

Allan Nairn: Indonesian General Tied to Mass Killings Plots to Arrest Critics If He Wins Presidency

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 08:47

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who is better known as “Jokowi,” is up for re-election on Wednesday. His chief rival is Prabowo Subianto, a former special forces military commander and the former son-in-law of Indonesia’s longtime dictator Suharto. It is a rematch of the 2014 election that Jokowi won by almost 6 percentage points. Investigative journalist Allan Nairn has just uncovered shocking plans made by Prabowo for if he wins the presidency. According to minutes of a campaign strategy session obtained by Nairn, Prabowo has made plans to stage mass arrests of political opponents and his current allies. Nairn reports Prabowo also wants to restore Indonesia’s Army to the role it played in the U.S.-backed Suharto dictatorship which lasted from 1967 to 1998. Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim nation and the third-largest democracy in the world behind India and the United States. We speak with Allan Nairn in Indonesia.

Bill McKibben: Green New Deal Is a Chance to "Remake Not Just a Broken Planet, But a Broken Society"

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 08:27

President Trump signed two executive orders last week to facilitate the approval of pipeline projects at a federal level, limiting states’ ability to regulate such projects. The move is intended in part to clear the way for permitting on the northeastern Constitution pipeline, which has stalled after New York invoked the Clean Water Act to reject the project on environmental grounds. We speak with Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org and the author of the new book “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?”

"Falter": In New Book, Bill McKibben Asks If the Human Game Has Begun to Play Itself Out

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 08:13

Thousands are taking to the streets in London today to demand radical action to combat the climate crisis. Protesters with the group Extinction Rebellion have set up encampments and roadblocks across Central London and say they’ll stay in the streets for at least a week. It’s just the beginning of a series of global actions that will unfold in the coming days, as activists around the world raise the alarm about government inaction in the face of the growing climate catastrophe. The London protests come just days after schoolchildren around the globe left school again on Friday for the weekly “strike for climate” and as the push for the Green New Deal continues to build momentum in the United States. The deal—backed by Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey—seeks to transform the U.S. economy through funding renewable energy while ending U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. We speak with climate activist and journalist Bill McKibben, who has been on the front lines of the fight to save the planet for decades. Thirty years ago, he wrote “The End of Nature,” the first book about climate change for a general audience. He’s just published a new book titled “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?”

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