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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 35 min ago

As Venezuela Coup Attempt Fails to Overthrow Maduro, Guaidó Calls for More Street Protests

Wed, 05/01/2019 - 08:11

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is claiming to have defeated a coup attempt launched by opposition leader Juan Guaidó, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly. On Tuesday morning, Guaidó appeared in an online video standing among heavily armed soldiers, calling for the military to back what he called the “final phase” of an effort to topple Maduro’s government. Guiadó appeared alongside Leopoldo López, a longtime opposition leader, who was reportedly released from house arrest by renegade officers. Guaidó has been attempting to topple the Venezuelan government since January, when he declared himself to be Venezuela’s interim president. The Trump administration, as well as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and others, openly supported the coup attempt. Earlier today, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox Business that military action in Venezuela is possible, “if that’s what is required.” We speak to Miguel Tinker Salas, Venezuelan historian and professor at Pomona College.

Former DHS Analyst: Trump Administration Not Taking White Nationalist Threat Seriously Enough

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 08:52

Funeral services were held Monday in San Diego, California, for Lori Kaye, a 60-year-old Jewish congregant who was shot dead Saturday in the latest attack by a white supremacist on a house of worship. To talk about the rise of white supremacist violence and the Trump administration’s response, we speak to Daryl Johnson, a former senior analyst in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In 2009, Johnson authored a report warning about the increasing dangers of violent right-wing extremism in the United States, sparking a political firestorm in the process. Under pressure from Republican lawmakers and popular talk show hosts, DHS ultimately repudiated Johnson’s paper.

With U.S. Support, Venezuelan Opposition Launch a Coup in Latest Attempt to Oust Maduro

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 08:45

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó says a coup is underway in Caracas. Guaidó appeared this morning, in a video posted online, standing among heavily armed soldiers, proclaiming he is “starting the final phase of Operation Liberty.” He appeared alongside formerly jailed opposition leader Leopoldo López, who said he’d been freed from house arrest by military officers loyal to the opposition. Venezuela’s defense minister said the government of Nicolás Maduro remains in control and that military units reported “normality” at barracks and bases across Venezuela. We speak to attorney Eva Golinger, who who served as an adviser to former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

Angela Davis: I Would Like to Accept Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Award After BDS Controversy

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 08:38

In February, Angela Davis returned to her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. She originally planned the visit to receive the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, but the institute withdrew the award in January, soon after the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center sent a letter urging the board to reconsider honoring Davis due to her support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting the Israeli government and Israeli institutions. Facing swift and widespread outcry, the institute then reversed its decision and reinstated the award. While Angela Davis has yet to accept the award, she tells Democracy Now! she would like to accept it, but says it is not an individual decision to make. “I will take the leadership from those doing the on-the-ground work.”

Angela Davis & Barbara Ransby: We Stand with Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Courageous, Bold Black Woman

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 08:15

Two of the founders of Black Lives Matter, as well as professor Angela Davis and scores of other black women, are holding a rally today on Capitol Hill to defend Congresswoman Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and to urge Congress to censure President Trump for his attacks on her. Omar made history earlier this year when she and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan became the first Muslim women in Congress. She is also the first member of Congress to wear a hijab. Omar, who was born in Somalia and came to the United States as a refugee, has been at the center of numerous right-wing attacks since taking office. Omar recently said death threats against her have spiked in number since President Trump tweeted a video juxtaposing her image with footage of the 9/11 attacks. We speak to the academic and activist Angela Davis, as well as Barbara Ransby, historian, author, activist adviser to the Movement for Black Lives and one of the planners behind Black Women in Defense of Ilhan Omar.

From LBJ to Robert Moses: Robert Caro on Writing About Political Power & Its Impact on the Powerless

Mon, 04/29/2019 - 08:15

Robert Caro is always working. The two-time Pulitzer Prize winner published his first book, “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York,” 45 years ago and has spent the decades since meticulously chronicling the life and times of Lyndon B. Johnson. The result is four sweeping volumes that total more than 3,000 pages and offer an unprecedented window into the inner world of one of the country’s most influential presidents. And he’s not done yet—Caro is currently writing the fifth and final installment of the collection. Robert Caro has been described as “the greatest political biographer of our times,” but to reduce his work as simply biographies of great men misses the point. Caro uses both Moses and Johnson to show how political power works. Robert Caro has just released a new book—by far the smallest volume in his collection—titled “Working.” It offers an inside look into the author’s meticulous research and writing process. We speak with Robert Caro in our New York studio.

Filipina Journalist Maria Ressa Helped Expose Duterte's Deadly Drug War; He's Now Trying to Jail Her

Fri, 04/26/2019 - 08:46

The award-winning Filipina journalist Maria Ressa has been arrested twice in recent months by the Philippines government as President Rodrigo Duterte cracks down on critics and the media. In February, she was detained in a cyber libel case that’s widely seen as politically motivated. She was arrested again in late March for allegedly violating a ban on foreign media ownership. Duterte has long attempted to shut down Rappler, which has published groundbreaking work on Duterte’s deadly war on drugs that has killed thousands. Duterte has repeatedly described the site as fake news outlet. We speak with Maria Ressa, the founder of the independent news site Rappler and a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Roe v. Wade Under Threat: Planned Parenthood Pres. Speaks Out as State Laws Threaten to Ban Abortion

Fri, 04/26/2019 - 08:41

Abortion rights are under threat across the United States, with 28 states currently considering legislation to ban or restrict abortion in various ways. Among the slew of strategies are trigger bans, to make abortion completely illegal in a state should Roe v. Wade be overturned, and six-week abortion bans. Earlier this month, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed into law a six-week abortion ban, which bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected—something that typically happens before many women realize they’re pregnant. The bill does not include exceptions for cases of rape or incest. A similar law is set to take effect in Mississippi in July, while judges have blocked similar bills from going into effect in Kentucky and Iowa. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is expected to sign his state’s abortion ban in the coming weeks. While over two-thirds of Americans are pro-choice, anti-choice activists have the edge in state governments, with Republicans controlling roughly two-thirds of statehouses and 27 of the country’s 50 governorships. We speak with the president of Planned Parenthood, Dr. Leana Wen.

Planned Parenthood President: Trump's "Pro-Life" Agenda Is Killing Thousands in the U.S. and Globally

Fri, 04/26/2019 - 08:29

A second federal judge has blocked a gag rule that would have stripped federal funding known as Title X for Planned Parenthood and other clinics that refer patients for abortions or even mention abortion as an option. The judge’s ruling halts the rule, which was announced by President Trump in February and was scheduled to go into effect on May 3. Washington state Federal Judge Stanley Bastian ruled against the changes to Title X funding Thursday, saying they would require clinics “to face a Hobson’s choice that harms patients as well as the providers.” This came two days after an Oregon judge issued a preliminary injunction to stop the gag order from going into effect, calling the rule a “ham-fisted approach to public health policy.” Title X covers non-abortion services like STD prevention, cancer screenings and contraception, and provides over $280 million in funding for 4 million mostly low-income women every year. We speak with the president of Planned Parenthood, Dr. Leana Wen. She says the gag rule would force doctors “to compromise the oath that we took to serve our patients.”

"A Shameful Week for the U.S.": Trump Admin Guts U.N. Resolution to End Rape as Weapon of War

Fri, 04/26/2019 - 08:15

The Trump administration is under fire after the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution to end rape as a weapon of war on Tuesday that excluded any mention of sexual and reproductive health. The resolution was gutted after the U.S. threatened to veto the measure altogether unless language referencing reproductive health was taken out due to the Trump administration’s belief that the language was code for abortion. The watered-down measure also weakened references to the International Criminal Court, making it harder for women and girls to seek justice. We speak with Jessica Neuwirth, director of the Human Rights Program at Roosevelt House at Hunter College and the director of the Sisterhood Is Global Institute. She sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo protesting the U.S. stance on the Security Council resolution. We also speak with Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen.

Navy SEALs Tried for Months to Report Superior for War Crimes and Were Told to "Let It Go"

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 08:46

Navy SEALs who witnessed their platoon chief commit war crimes in Iraq were encouraged not to speak out, and told they could lose their jobs for reporting him at a private meeting with a superior officer last year, according to new reports from The New York Times. A confidential Navy criminal investigation obtained by the Times reveals that the commandos saw Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher stab and kill an unarmed teenage captive, shoot to death a young girl and old man, and fire indiscriminately into crowds of civilians. But when the men on Gallagher’s team called a private meeting with their troop commander and demanded an investigation, they were told to stay quiet on the matter, and no action was taken. The group of seven SEALs eventually were able to force an investigation, and Chief Edward Gallagher was arrested in September on more than a dozen charges, including premeditated murder and attempted murder. The court-martial centers on a charge that Gallagher stabbed to death a teenage member of the self-proclaimed Islamic State while the unarmed youth was being treated by a medic. The trial begins May 28. If convicted, Gallagher could face life in prison. We speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and national correspondent for The New York Times Dave Philipps. His latest piece is headlined “Navy SEALs Were Warned Against Reporting Their Chief for War Crimes”

From Crime Bill to Iraq War Vote, Biden's Legislative History Under Scrutiny as He Enters Race

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 08:29

Former Vice President Joe Biden has entered the 2020 race for the White House, becoming the 20th Democrat to seek the nomination in the largest and most diverse field of Democratic candidates ever to run for president. Biden will face scrutiny for his long and checkered record in the coming weeks, including his 1994 crime bill, that helped fuel mass incarceration with financial incentives to keep people behind bars, and his handling of Anita Hill’s sexual harassment allegations against Supreme Court justice nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991. Biden is also known for close ties to the financial industry and voting to authorize the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. In the weeks before Biden announced his bid for the presidency, at least seven women stepped forward to accuse him of inappropriate touching. We speak with Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor for Harper’s magazine, about Biden’s record. His recent piece is headlined “No Joe! Joe Biden’s disastrous legislative legacy.”

A "Death Trap" in Raqqa: Amnesty Finds U.S.-Led Coalition Killed More Than 1,600 Syrian Civilians

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 08:12

A major new investigation by Amnesty International and Airwars has revealed the U.S.-led military coalition killed more than 1,600 civilians during the 2017 offensive to oust ISIS militants from the Syrian city of Raqqa. The coalition launched thousands of airstrikes and tens of thousands of artillery strikes on the city. U.S. troops fired more artillery into Raqqa than anywhere since the Vietnam War. At the time, the United States claimed it was the “most precise air campaign in history.” We speak with Donatella Rovera, lead investigator with Amnesty International. She is calling on the U.S. and coalition nations to fully investigate the mass civilian casualties. Rovera is senior crisis response adviser at Amnesty International. The new investigation is titled “Rhetoric versus Reality: How the 'most precise air campaign in history' left Raqqa the most destroyed city in modern times.”

Joseph Stiglitz: Elizabeth Warren & Bernie Sanders Want to Make the Economy Work for All Americans

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 08:49

As the 2020 election race barrels forward with nearly 20 Democratic candidates, we speak with Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz about the policy platforms of progressive hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, including Warren’s plan to break up big tech companies and cancel student debt and Sanders’s commitment to democratic socialism, which Stiglitz compares to “what in Europe is called social democracy, sometimes called the welfare state.” Stiglitz has a new book out titled “People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent.”

Economist Joseph Stiglitz: Capitalism Hasn't Been Working for Most People for the Last 40 Years

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 08:36

We look at staggering inequality and the state of the U.S. economy with Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who served as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton. Joseph Stiglitz is a professor at Columbia University and chief economist for the Roosevelt Institute. His latest book, out this week, is “People, Power, and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent.”

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