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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: 38 min 44 sec ago

Uncle of Stephen Miller: Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Is What Happens When Hate Is Legitimized

Mon, 10/29/2018 - 08:16

A gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, on Saturday, killing 11 worshipers. The massacre is being described as the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history. The victims have been identified as Cecil Rosenthal, David Rosenthal, Melvin Wax, Irving Younger, Daniel Stein, Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Bernice Simon and Sylvan Simon. They ranged in age from 54 to 97. Six others were injured, including four policemen. They were gathered on Saturday morning for Shabbat services when a 46-year-old white man named Robert Bowers entered the synagogue armed with an AR-15 and three handguns. He yelled “All Jews must die” as he opened fire on worshipers. We speak with Dr. David Glosser, a retired neuropsychologist who has volunteered with HIAS in Philadelphia helping refugees. He is also the uncle of Stephen Miller, a key political adviser to President Trump who has pushed for a crackdown on immigrants.

Saudi Ties to U.S. Universities Under Question amid Ongoing Crisis over Khashoggi Murder

Fri, 10/26/2018 - 08:46

As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urges Saudi Arabia to disclose who ordered the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, we end today’s show looking at how U.S. universities are facing new scrutiny over their close ties to Saudi Arabia in the wake of Khashoggi’s murder. In Connecticut, activists are calling on the University of New Haven to cut ties to King Fahd Security College in Saudi Arabia. According to news reports, the Saudi forensic doctor who allegedly dismembered Khashoggi’s body served on the editorial board of a publication tied to King Fahd Security College. Dr. Salah Muhammed al-Tubaigy’s name was removed from the publication’s website this week. A forensic scientist from the University of New Haven served on the editorial board with him. We speak to Stanley Heller, executive director of the Middle East Crisis Committee, and Harvard Medical School fellow Yarden Katz.

“I Believe in the Bible. I Also Believe in Science”: How One Man Built Florida Home to Survive Storm

Fri, 10/26/2018 - 08:35

Fifteen miles from Tyndall Air Force Base is Mexico Beach, Florida, which was practically wiped off the map after Hurricane Michael. On the beach just one house still stands—it is known as the Sand Palace. Over the weekend, Democracy Now traveled to the Florida panhandle. We spoke to Russell King, an attorney from Chattanooga, Tennessee, who owns the Sand Palace.

While Trump Calls Climate Change a Hoax, Hurricane Michael Damaged US Fighter Jets Worth $6 BIllion

Fri, 10/26/2018 - 08:24

On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence traveled to the Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, just over a week after the base was largely destroyed during Hurricane Michael. The base is home of a fleet of 55 F-22 stealth fighters. Before Hurricane Michael leveled the base, at least 33 of these jets were flown to safety. But at least 17 of the planes, costing $339 million each, were likely left behind and possibly destroyed. There are several air bases located right on the coast in storm-prone areas in states in the South where scientists anticipate that climate change induced hurricanes will grow more intense and more frequent. But on Thursday, Mike Pence vowed to rebuild the entire base. We speak to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dave Philipps of the New York Times.

Trump Admin Opens Up Alaska for Drilling, Threatening Already At-Risk Arctic Biodiversity

Fri, 10/26/2018 - 08:14

We begin today’s show with the historic announcement by the Trump administration to approve a plan to drill for oil off the Alaska coast. On Wednesday, the Department of the Interior approved Hilcorp Energy’s proposal to drill in the Beaufort Sea, six miles off the Alaskan coast. It would be the first oil and gas production facility in federal waters in Alaska. Hilcorp plans to build a nine-acre artificial island about 20 miles east of Prudhoe Bay, not far from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Dubbed the Liberty Project, the operation plans to extract about 70,000 barrels of oil per day on the state’s North Slope. This latest move continues the Trump administration’s targeting of the Alaskan Arctic. We’re joined by Subhankar Banerjee, activist, photographer and professor of art and ecology at the University of New Mexico. He is the author of “Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Seasons of Life and Land” and editor of “Arctic Voices: Resistance at the Tipping Point.” His work is included in the exhibition “Nature’s Nation: American Art and Environment,” at the Princeton University Art Museum.

Renters vs. Landlords: California's Prop 10 Would Expand Rent Control Amid Affordable Housing Crisis

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 08:54

On November 6, California will be voting on a ballot initiative to expand rent control. Proposition 10 would repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, a sweeping state law that permanently exempts some properties from rent control. The ballot measure has come under attack by landlords and private equity firms, including the Blackstone Group. We speak to Elena Popp, executive director of the Eviction Defense Network, one of the three organizations that put Proposition 10 on the ballot.

Gustavo Arellano: Could Longtime GOP Stronghold Orange County Go Blue in Midterms?

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 08:41

Orange County, California, has become an unexpected battleground region that could determine who controls Congress after the midterms. The Southern California county between Los Angeles and San Diego has remained staunchly Republican for 80 years. Orange County produced President Richard Nixon—who was born here in Yorba Linda and retired to San Clemente—and Orange County last voted for a Democratic president in 1936 with FDR. But dissatisfaction with Donald Trump and changing demographics in the region have challenged Republican dominance in and around Orange County. Now Democrats are hoping that the midterm elections will turn Orange County blue. We speak to Gustavo Arellano, a columnist at the Los Angeles Times. He is the former editor of OC Weekly. He resigned from the publication last year in protest against budget cuts.

California Neo-Nazi Group Members Arrested for Role in Violence at Rallies in CA and Charlottesville

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 08:27

The leader of California neo-Nazi gang the “Rise Above Movement” was arrested Tuesday in Los Angeles. Robert Rundo faces charges of plotting riots and inciting violence for his role in a range of attacks in 2017, including the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville last August. Three other members of the group were charged alongside Rundo. Robert Boman and Tyler Laube were apprehended at their homes in Torrance and Redondo Beach. A fourth suspect, Aaron Eason, is still at large. The men are accused of participating in violent attacks, as well as using the internet to incite violence ahead of various events. The group publicly documented their attacks as a recruitment tool. We speak to former FBI agent Mike German and Chapman University professor Pete Simi, who has studied political violence for decades.

Trump Blames Media for Inciting "Anger" After Bombs Sent to CNN & High-Profile Democrats

Thu, 10/25/2018 - 08:16

Federal authorities have launched an investigation after pipe bombs were sent to a number of prominent Democrats, all critics of President Trump. The targets identified include President Obama, Hillary Clinton, George Soros, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Congressmember Maxine Waters and former CIA Director John Brennan. The packages listed Democratic Congressmember Debbie Wasserman Schultz as the return address. Police are also investigating a suspicious package sent to former Vice President Joe Biden and a suspicious package found today at actor Robert De Niro’s restaurant in New York. On Wednesday, CNN was forced to evacuate its New York office after it received what police described as a “live explosive device” along with a container of white powder. It came in a package addressed to Brennan. All of the targets have been vilified by President Trump in the past. Authorities said it remains unclear if the devices were operable bombs or designed to look like bombs. No one has been hurt by the devices. We speak to former FBI agent Mike German and Chapman University professor Pete Simi, who has studied political violence for decades.

Who's Behind ICE? How Amazon, Palantir, Microsoft & Tech Giants Are Powering Trump's Deportations

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 08:50

A shocking new investigation by immigrant rights groups reveals how corporations like Amazon, Palantir and Microsoft are profiting from and expediting Trump’s incarceration and deportation operations. Some 10 percent of the Department of Homeland Security’s $44 billion budget is dedicated to data management. The report was published as new documents obtained by the Project on Government Oversight show Amazon is pushing Immigration and Customs Enforcement to start using its controversial facial recognition technology that could identify immigrants in real time by scanning faces in a video feed. We speak with Jacinta González, organizer with Mijente, a national political hub for Latinx organizing. The group partnered with the Immigrant Defense Project and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild on the new report titled “Who’s Behind ICE? The Tech and Data Companies Fueling Deportations.”

Latino Voter Suppression in Kansas: Dodge City's Only Polling Site Is Moved Outside City Limits

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 08:43

In Kansas, local officials are under fire for moving a majority-Latino city’s single polling site outside of city limits, more than a mile from the nearest bus stop. Dodge City, Kansas, is 60 percent Hispanic, but the Associated Press reports that Hispanic turnout was just 17 percent in Ford County, where Dodge City is located, compared to 61 percent turnout for white voters in 2014. The ACLU reports that the city’s lone polling site services more than 13,000 voters, compared to an average of 1,200 voters per polling site at other locations. We are joined by Johnny Dunlap, chair of the Ford County Democratic Party.

Stacey Abrams Stands By Burning the Racist, Segregationist Georgia State Flag in 1992

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 08:32

During Tuesday’s debate, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams defended her actions in 1992 when she helped burn the Georgia state flag, which at the time contained a prominent Confederate battle flag. In a victory for civil rights advocates, the flag was later changed. We speak to Leah Wright Rigueur, professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Greg Palast Sues Georgia's Brian Kemp for Purging 340,000 from Voter Rolls Ahead of Election

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 08:22

A new investigation has found Georgia secretary of state and Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp has overseen the removal of more than 340,000 current Georgia residents from voting rolls. We speak with Greg Palast, a journalist who has been investigating Brian Kemp and voter suppression in Georgia. He has joined a lawsuit against Kemp over the purge.

Stacey Abrams Slams Brian Kemp on Suppressing Vote as He Worries Too Many Georgians Will Vote

Wed, 10/24/2018 - 08:14

With the midterm elections less than two weeks away, we look at the governor’s race in Georgia, where Democrat Stacey Abrams is attempting to become the first black woman governor in the country. Polls show Abrams and her opponent, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, are in a dead heat, but the race has been roiled with accusations that Kemp has used his power as secretary of state to suppress the vote. Earlier this month, Abrams called on Kemp to step down as secretary of state for placing 53,000 voter applications on hold. Seven out of 10 of the stalled applications are for African-American voters, in a state where less than one-third of the population is black. Voting rights activists have also sued Kemp for purging voters from the rolls. On Tuesday, Rolling Stone published an audio recording of Kemp privately telling Republican donors that he was concerned about too many Georgians exercising their right to vote. Hours later, Abrams and Kemp sparred in their first debate. We speak to Leah Wright Rigueur, professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is the author of “The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power.”

The U.S. Helped Destabilize Honduras. Now Honduran Migrants Are Fleeing Political & Economic Crisis

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 08:44

President Donald Trump is lashing out at the Central American migrant caravan of some 7,000 people making their way through Mexico and toward the U.S. border. On Monday, he claimed without evidence that terrorists and members of the MS-13 gang had infiltrated the group. Trump has doubled down on his threat to cut aid to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, and called out Democrats over U.S. border policy, in an ongoing attempt to turn the caravan into a main issue in upcoming midterm elections. We speak to two Central American-born activists, Patricia Montes of Centro Presente and Oscar Chacón of Alianza Americas.

Rula Jebreal: My "Secret Interview" with Jamal Khashoggi Before His Brutal Murder by the Saudis

Tue, 10/23/2018 - 08:15

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has directly accused Saudi Arabia of the premeditated murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was last seen alive entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in Turkey on October 2. Erdogan said a team of Saudi officials had planned Khashoggi’s murder days in advance, directly contradicting Saudi Arabia’s claim that Khashoggi died after a fight in the consulate. Turkish officials have claimed that audio and video recordings show Saudi officials used a bone saw to dismember Khashoggi’s body, but Erdogan made no mention of the audio and video recordings of the killing. Fallout from Khashoggi’s murder is being felt across the globe. We speak with Rula Jebreal, a journalist, author and foreign policy analyst who conducted one of the last known interviews with Khashoggi. She says calling Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a reformer is “like calling David Duke a civil rights activist.” Her new cover story for Newsweek is titled “Jamal Khashoggi Secret Interview: The Saudi Journalist’s Views of Islam, America and the 'Reformist' Prince Implicated in His Murder.”