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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: 1 hour 26 min ago

"This Is Unacceptable": Ex-Congresswoman Who Voted to Impeach Nixon Says Trump Is a Rogue President

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 08:23

The public phase of the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump began Wednesday, with testimonies from two witnesses: George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, and William Taylor, a former ambassador and the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine. The hearing brought forth new details about a previously unknown phone call in July between President Trump and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union. Both Kent and Taylor expressed concern over the role President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani had in dictating U.S. policy on Ukraine. We speak with Elizabeth Holtzman, a former U.S. congressmember from New York who served on the House Judiciary Committee that voted to impeach Richard Nixon.

In First Public Impeachment Hearing, Trump Implicated in Effort to Pressure Ukraine to Probe Bidens

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 08:14

The first public hearing of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump was held Wednesday. Trump is just the fourth president in U.S. history to face impeachment. Two witnesses testified before the House Intelligence Committee: George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, and William Taylor, a former ambassador and the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine. They both said President Trump withheld aid to Ukraine in an attempt to pressure the country to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company. We play highlights from the hearing.

A Coup? A Debate on the Political Crisis in Bolivia That Led to Evo Morales's Resignation

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 08:41

In Bolivia, right-wing Senator Jeanine Áñez declared herself president Tuesday night despite a lack of quorum in Congress, amid a deepening political crisis in the country. Evo Morales, Bolivia’s first indigenous president, left the country Monday after being granted asylum in Mexico. Morales announced his resignation Sunday shortly after the Bolivian military took to the airwaves to call for his departure. His Movement Toward Socialism party is refusing to recognize Áñez as president, calling her claim illegal and decrying Evo Morales’s resignation over the weekend as a military coup. Last month, Morales was re-elected for a fourth term in a race his opponents claimed was marred by fraud. He ran for a fourth term after contesting a referendum upholding term limits. On Tuesday, the Organization of American States held an emergency meeting in Washington, where U.S. Ambassador Carlos Trujillo read a statement from President Donald Trump applauding Evo Morales’s resignation and warning it should “send a strong signal” to Venezuela and Nicaragua. Mexico, Uruguay, Nicaragua and the president-elect of Argentina have all denounced Morales’s departure as a coup. Morales’s departure has sparked demonstrations and clashes across Bolivia. We host a debate on the political crisis in Bolivia with Pablo Solón, former ambassador to the United Nations under President Evo Morales until 2011, and Kevin Young, assistant professor of history at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the author of “Blood of the Earth: Resource Nationalism, Revolution, and Empire in Bolivia.”

Bill Moyers on Impeachment: All Presidents Lie, But Trump Has Created a Culture of Lying

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 08:28

We continue our conversation with legendary journalist Bill Moyers, who covered impeachment proceedings against Presidents Nixon and Clinton. The first televised impeachment hearings into President Trump begin today. Moyers says the current administration and the media have created a “culture of lying” that goes beyond what other presidents have done. “All presidents lie. It’s a defense they use. But not all presidents lie systemically,” Moyers says.

Democracy on Trial: Bill Moyers on Impeachment Inquiry & Why PBS Should Air Hearings in Primetime

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 08:13

Televised impeachment hearings begin today in the inquiry into whether President Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rivals. Two witnesses are testifying today before the House Intelligence Committee: George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, and William Taylor, a former ambassador and the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine. Both officials have privately told congressional investigators that Trump withheld aid to Ukraine in an attempt to pressure Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Donald Trump is just the fourth U.S. president to face an impeachment inquiry. Bill Clinton was impeached in 1998. Andrew Johnson was impeached in 1868. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 prior to an impeachment vote. We speak with the legendary journalist Bill Moyers, who covered the Nixon and Clinton impeachment hearings. In the 1960s, Moyers was a founding organizer of the Peace Corps and served as press secretary for President Lyndon Johnson. In 1971, he began an award-winning career as a television broadcaster that would last for over four decades. During that time, Moyers received over 30 Emmys and countless other prizes. He was elected to the Television Hall of Fame in 1995. Last week Bill Moyers took out a full-page ad in The New York Times urging PBS to broadcast the impeachment hearings live and to rerun them in primetime.

"Seattle Is Not For Sale": Voters Rebuke Amazon, Re-electing Socialist Kshama Sawant

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 08:51

In Seattle, Socialist City Councilmember Kshama Sawant has been re-elected in a race that pitted her against Amazon — Seattle’s largest private employer and one of the most powerful companies in the world. Overall, Amazon poured $1.5 million into Seattle’s City Council election and backed Sawant’s opponent, Egan Orion, with nearly half a million dollars. Kshama Sawant is Seattle’s first Socialist politician elected in nearly a century. She has successfully pushed a number of progressive policies, including making Seattle the first major American city to adopt a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Kshama Sawant joins us from Seattle. The re-election victory “has been a major repudiation, not only of Amazon and of Jeff Bezos himself, as the richest man in the world, but also it has been a referendum on the vision for Seattle,” Sawant says. “The voters in Seattle have spoken, that Seattle is not up for sale.”

Vowing to End Cash Bail & Reform Justice System, Chesa Boudin Wins San Francisco DA Race

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 08:36

In a stunning victory, public defender Chesa Boudin has been declared the winner of a hotly contested district attorney’s race in San Francisco. Boudin ran on a platform to end cash bail and dismantle the war on drugs, and was endorsed by Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders. His win sends a pointed message to the Democratic establishment, which had mobilized in full force against his campaign. San Francisco Mayor London Breed, California Governor Gavin Newsom and Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris all endorsed Boudin’s opponent, Suzy Loftus. Boudin is the child of Weather Underground activists Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, who were both incarcerated when he was still a toddler. He learned the news that he’d won the race by a razor-thin margin while he was on a plane flying back from visiting his father, who remains in prison in upstate New York. After four days of ballot counting, Boudin was declared the winner. From San Francisco, we speak with Chesa Boudin.

The Edge of Democracy: Lula is Freed in Brazil In Victory for Movement to Resist Bolsonaro

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 08:13

In Brazil, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was freed from prison Friday after 580 days behind bars. Lula’s surprise release came after the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled to end the mandatory imprisonment of people convicted of crimes who are appealing their cases. He was serving a 12-year sentence over a disputed corruption and money laundering conviction handed down by conservative Judge Sérgio Moro, an ally of current far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, and has long maintained his innocence. Lula has vowed to challenge Bolsonaro in the 2022 elections. At the time of his imprisonment in April 2018, Lula was leading the presidential polls. A new documentary, “The Edge of Democracy,” chronicles the imprisonment of Lula and impeachment of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. It also looks at the aftermath of the rise of President Jair Bolsonaro — a former military captain who glorifies Brazil’s past military regime, denies the climate crisis and celebrates misogyny, homophobia and racism. We speak with Petra Costa, a Brazilian filmmaker and the director of “The Edge of Democracy.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Environmental Justice, Shutting Down Pipelines, Capitalism & Billionaires

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 08:40

Six 2020 presidential candidates — Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, and Tom Steyer, Marianne Williamson, John Delaney and Joe Sestak — participated in the first-ever Presidential Forum on Environmental Justice in Orangeburg, South Carolina, on November 8. Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and former EPA official Mustafa Santiago Ali co-moderated the event, which took place at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg. We air highlights of Warren speaking about the climate crisis, public health, shutting down pipelines, capitalism, the order of primary states and more.

"This Is a Military Coup": Bolivian President Evo Morales Resigns After Army Calls for His Ouster

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 08:20

Bolivia is in a state of political crisis after longtime President Evo Morales resigned Sunday following what he described as a military coup. Weeks of protests have taken place since a disputed election last month. Morales announced his resignation in a televised address Sunday, shortly after the Bolivian military took to the airwaves to call for his resignation. Bolivia’s vice president also resigned Sunday, as did the head of the Bolivian Senate and the lower house. Opposition leader Jeanine Áñez, who is the second vice president of the Bolivian Senate, is claiming she will assume the presidency today. Evo Morales was the longest-serving president in Latin America, as well as Bolivia’s first indigenous leader. He was credited with lifting nearly a fifth of Bolivia’s population out of poverty since he took office in 2006, but he faced mounting criticism from some of his former supporters for running for a third and then a fourth term. For more on the unfolding crisis in Bolivia, we speak with Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. His latest piece for The Nation is headlined “The Trump Administration Is Undercutting Democracy in Bolivia.” “This is a military coup — there’s no doubt about it now,” Weisbrot says.

Remembering the 1968 Orangeburg Massacre When Police Shot Dead Three Unarmed Black Students

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 08:42

The 1968 Orangeburg massacre is one of the most violent and least remembered events of the civil rights movement. A crowd of students gathered on the campus of South Carolina State University to protest segregation at Orangeburg’s only bowling alley. After days of escalating tensions, students started a bonfire and held a vigil on the campus to protest. Dozens of police arrived on the scene, and state troopers fired live ammunition into the crowd. When the shooting stopped, three students were dead and 28 wounded. Although the tragedy predated the Kent State shootings and Jackson State killings and it was the first of its kind on any American college campus, it received little national media coverage. The nine officers who opened fire that day were all acquitted. The only person convicted of wrongdoing was Cleveland Sellers, a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, known as SNCC. Sellers was one of the organizers of the protest. He was convicted of a riot charge and spent seven months behind bars. He was pardoned in 1993. From Orangeburg, South Carolina, we speak with civil rights photographer Cecil Williams, who photographed the scene in the aftermath of the Orangeburg massacre. He is also the founder of the Cecil Williams Civil Rights Museum here in Orangeburg.

"We Can't Afford to Wait for the DNC": Why Black Lawmakers Organized an Environmental Justice Forum

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 08:24

The first-ever Presidential Forum on Environmental Justice takes place tonight in Orangeburg, South Carolina, where six presidential candidates will take to the stage at South Carolina State University. African-American communities and people of color on the frontlines in South Carolina have been fighting for justice in the face of extreme environmental racism for years. We host a roundtable with local leaders and environmental justice advocates to talk about the significance of the event, the issues their communities face and the 2020 candidates’ platforms on environmental justice. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, president of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, and Melanie Campbell, president of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, join us in Orangeburg.

Warren, Booker & Steyer to Take Part in First-Ever Presidential Forum on Environmental Justice

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 08:13

We broadcast live from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, where tonight the first-ever Presidential Forum on Environmental Justice will be held. Six presidential candidates — Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, Tom Steyer, Marianne Williamson, John Delaney and Joe Sestak — are participating. The forum is hosted by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators and leaders from frontline communities. South Carolina is a crucial state for the 2020 presidential race and one of the first that will have a Democratic primary, following New Hampshire and caucuses in Iowa and Nevada. The region has been repeatedly pummeled by climate-fueled hurricanes, including Hurricane Florence, which swept through the South in 2018, causing epic floods. Black residents and communities of color have faced disproportionate air and water pollution and exposure to environmental hazards, but South Carolina is also home to some of the most successful responses to environmental racism. Ahead of Friday’s presidential forum, we speak with Mustafa Ali, the forum’s co-moderator and the former head of the environmental justice program at the Environmental Protection Agency. “It’s important that we have these conversations about climate change, but those are the symptoms of a disease,” Ali says. “The disease has been the racism, the structural inequality, that continues to happen inside of communities of color.”

"The Pollinators": New Film Shows How Decline of Bee Colonies Could Mean Collapse of Food Chain

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 08:48

A documentary film “The Pollinators” tells the story of the world’s yellow-black jacketed honey bees, whose existence may determine the future of human survival. The insects pollinate nearly all the fruits, vegetables and nuts we consume, and some experts estimate one out of every three bites of food we eat depends on the work of honey bees. However, the future of the insects is now in peril with widespread reports of bee colony collapses. In the last decade and a half, beekeepers have reported staggering declines in their bee populations due to pesticides, parasites and loss of habitat. Scientists warn climate change is also threatening the insects’ survival, noting bees could die off at faster rates as the Earth warms. For more about the crisis of bee population decline, we’re joined by Peter Nelson, director of “The Pollinators,” cinematographer and beekeeper.

Ex-Twitter Workers Charged with Spying for Saudis as part of Kingdom’s Growing Crackdown on Dissent

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 08:33

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged two former Twitter employees with helping Saudi Arabia spy on thousands of the kingdom’s critics. Ali Alzabarah and Ahmad Abouammo are accused of giving the Saudi government detailed information about users, including telephone numbers and email addresses linked to the accounts, as well as internet protocol addresses that could be used to identify a user’s location. The charges are being filed just over a year after the brutal murder of Saudi journalist and critic Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Turkey. A new report by Human Rights Watch finds that one year after Khashoggi’s brutal murder Saudi Arabia continues to arbitrarily detain countless activists, regime critics and clerics. The report says there is a “darker reality” behind Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s widely touted initiatives for Saudi women and youth, including mass arrests of women activists, some of whom have allegedly been sexually assaulted and tortured with electric shocks. We speak with Adam Coogle, Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch.

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