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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 39 min ago

A Vote to Maintain Apartheid? Israel's Netanyahu Set to Win 5th Term After Vow to Annex West Bank

Wed, 04/10/2019 - 08:13

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be on the verge of securing a record fifth term in office as votes continue to be counted in Tuesday’s election. Last night, Netanyahu and his top challenger, ex-military chief Benny Gantz, both claimed victory in the tight race. With most of the votes counted, Netanyahu’s Likud party and Gantz’s newly formed Blue and White party have both secured 35 seats in the Knesset, but Netanyahu has a clearer path to forming a coalition government with the help of his right-wing allies. Tuesday’s election came just days after Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to annex Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank in defiance of international law, and more than a week after Netanyahu thanked President Trump for recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights. Netanyahu ran for re-election despite facing possible criminal indictments in three corruption cases. We speak with Israeli journalist Haggai Matar and Palestinian attorney Diana Buttu.

Stephen Miller's Uncle: Trump's Anti-Immigrant Comments Demonize Asylum Seekers & Stir Racist Hatred

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 08:48

As his administration intensifies anti-immigrant policies at the border, President Trump has reportedly put adviser Stephen Miller in charge of the administration’s immigration policy. The Wall Street Journal reports Miller has backed the reinstatement of Trump’s family separation policy and has been pushing officials at the Homeland Security and Justice Departments to “get in line” with a more hard-line immigration approach. This news comes as Trump told the Republican Jewish Coalition leadership Saturday, “Our country’s full. What can you do? We can’t handle any more. Our country is full.” We speak with Stephen Miller’s uncle, Dr. David Glosser, who says Trump’s comments echo the rhetoric of Nazi Germany. Glosser is a retired neuropsychologist and former faculty member at Boston University School of Medicine and Jefferson Medical College. Last year, he wrote a piece for Politico magazine headlined “Stephen Miller Is an Immigration Hypocrite. I Know Because I’m His Uncle.”

Kirstjen Nielsen's Cruel Legacy: Outgoing DHS Secretary Proudly Separated Families & Caged Children

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 08:40

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has been forced out of her role at the helm of President Trump’s immigration policy after reportedly resisting a move by the president to revive his family separation policy at the U.S. border. We look at Nielsen’s legacy with Renée Feltz, a Democracy Now! correspondent and producer who has long reported on the criminalization of immigrants, family detention and the business of detention. Nielsen oversaw Trump’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy last year and came under fire by Democrats for lying to Congress about the policy, as well as for withholding information on children who died in U.S. custody. At least two children died under Nielsen’s leadership: 8-year-old Felipe Alonzo Gómez and 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquín.

Trump Purges DHS Leadership, Threatening to Make Immigration Policies Even More Draconian

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 08:33

President Trump is intensifying a crackdown on immigration as he purges the leadership of the Department of Homeland Security. On Sunday, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was forced out after reportedly resisting a move by Trump to revive his family separation policy at the U.S. southern border. Nielsen had overseen Trump’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy last year and came under fire by Democrats for lying to Congress about the policy, as well as for withholding information on children who died in U.S. custody. On Monday, the White House announced Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles had also been removed from his position. Meanwhile, Trump has withdrawn the nomination of Ronald Vitiello to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement, indicating he wasn’t “tough” enough for the role. Trump has named Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan acting DHS secretary. McAleenan reportedly was open to reinstating a form of family separation in which families would have to choose between being separated or being taken into long-term detention with their children. We speak with Erika Andiola, the chief advocacy officer for RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.

Has Trump Locked U.S. and Iran into a "Permanent State of Enmity" by Listing IRGC as Terror Group?

Tue, 04/09/2019 - 08:16

In an unprecedented move, the Trump administration has designated Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, resulting in sweeping economic and travel restrictions on its members. This marks the first time the United States has formally labeled an arm of another country’s military a terrorist group. The Pentagon and CIA opposed the decision, warning it could put U.S. troops at risk. Key backers of the move included national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who formally announced the new policy on Monday. The step is the latest in the White House’s efforts to isolate Iran after the U.S. withdrew from the landmark Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on the country last year despite widespread international condemnation. We speak with Trita Parsi, the founder of the National Iranian American Council. His most recent book is titled “Losing an Enemy: Obama, Iran, and the Triumph of Diplomacy.” Parsi is an adjunct associate professor in the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University.

Kings Bay Plowshares: Peace Activists Face 25 Years for Action at U.S. Nuclear Submarine Base

Mon, 04/08/2019 - 08:27

A group of peace activists have been jailed for over a year before trial for entering the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia last April to protest U.S. nuclear weapons. The action took place on April 4, 2018—the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s assassination. Armed with hammers, crime scene tape and baby bottles containing their own blood, seven anti-nuclear activists secretly entered Kings Bay—one of the largest nuclear submarine bases in the world—under the cover of night. Their goal was to symbolically disarm the six nuclear ballistic missile submarines kept there. Each submarine carries 20 Trident thermonuclear weapons. One year after this historic action, three of the Plowshares activists remain jailed in Georgia. The other four are out on $50,000 bond with electronic ankle monitors. All seven face up to 25 years in prison for their actions. On Thursday, global leaders, activists and scholars, including Nobel Peace Prize-winning South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Daniel Ellsberg and Noam Chomsky, released a petition addressed to U.S. Attorney General William Barr demanding all charges against the Kings Bay 7 be dropped immediately. Democracy Now! recently spoke with the four Plowshares activists who are out on bond: Martha Hennessy, Carmen Trotta, Patrick O’Neill and Clare Grady.

A New Nuclear Arms Race: As NATO Marks 70th Anniversary, Threat of Nuclear Confrontation Grows

Mon, 04/08/2019 - 08:14

Commemorations—as well as protests—were held last week to mark the 70th anniversary of the formation of NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. President Trump used the anniversary to push for NATO countries to increase military spending. During an Oval Office meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump demanded Germany and other NATO countries increase their military spending from 2 to 4 percent of GDP. The push for more military spending could benefit U.S. weapons manufacturers including Boeing. This comes as Acting Pentagon Chief Patrick Shanahan is under investigation for improperly advocating on behalf of Boeing, where he worked for 30 years. We speak with Joe Cirincione, president of the global security foundation Ploughshares Fund.

How Trump's Call for More Military Spending by NATO Countries Benefits U.S. Weapons Manufacturers

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 08:50

As President Donald Trump pushes for more defense spending from NATO countries, we speak with Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, about how Trump’s foreign policy benefits weapons manufacturers. During an Oval Office meeting Tuesday with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, President Trump demanded Germany and other NATO countries increase their military spending from 2 to 4% of GDP. But Cirincione says NATO’s biggest problem is not insufficient funding. “The biggest problem NATO faces is the president of the United States, who keeps putting in doubt U.S. commitment to the alliance, who keeps putting in doubt whether the U.S. will come to the aid of NATO allies if they’re attacked,” he says. Cirincione also calls national security adviser John Bolton a “serial arms control killer.”

"Corporate Homicide": Ralph Nader Demands Boeing Recall Jets After Ethiopia Crash Kills His Niece

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 08:32

A wrongful death case was filed against Boeing on the same day that a preliminary investigation into last month’s Ethiopian Airlines crash revealed damning details about the aircraft manufacturer and raised new questions about whether it gave pilots proper instructions for navigating new software. The findings were released Thursday in Ethiopia, based on the analysis of a team of 18 investigators, less than a month after the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash killed all 157 people on board. The report found similarities in the technical issues experienced by pilots on both the Ethiopian Airlines flight and October’s Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610, which also crashed just minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board. Both flights were on a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. On Thursday, the first American lawsuit related to the devastating crash was filed against Boeing on behalf of the family of 24-year-old Samya Stumo, who died on the flight. Samya was the grandniece of Ralph Nader, the longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic and former presidential candidate. We speak with Nader about his calls to ground all 737 MAX 8 aircraft and the legacy of his grandniece. We also speak with Paul Hudson, the president of Flyers Rights, the largest nonprofit airline passenger rights organization in the U.S.

Meet the Family Suing Boeing in First U.S. Wrongful Death Suit Since Ethiopia Crash Kills 157

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 08:14

The first American lawsuit has been filed against Boeing for its role in the Ethiopian Airlines crash that left 157 people dead last month. The family of 24-year-old Samya Stumo, who died in the crash, sued Boeing and filed a claim against the Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday. They filed the suit in federal court in Chicago, where Boeing is headquartered. It reads in part, “Blinded by its greed, Boeing haphazardly rushed the 737 MAX 8 to market, with the knowledge and tacit approval of the United States Federal Aviation Administration … Boeing’s decision to put profits over safety … and the regulators that enabled it, must be held accountable for their reckless actions.” Samya Stumo’s father, mother and brother spoke alongside their lawyer at a press conference announcing the lawsuit.

The Invisible People: France's Yellow Vest Revolt Against Macron & Elites Reaches 20 Weeks

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 08:45

Yellow vest protesters took to the streets of Paris on Saturday for the 20th straight week of anti-government demonstrations, in spite of the French authorities’ crackdown on the movement. Last month, the French government deployed military forces and banned protesters from marching on the Champs-Élyseés and in other areas, after clashes with the police, nearly 200 arrests and damage to businesses by some protesters. Police used tear gas and water cannons on crowds in Paris. More than 33,000 demonstrators nationwide joined the demonstrations Saturday, down from nearly 300,000 in November, according to government estimates. The weekly protests began last year when France announced plans to hike gas taxes, with demonstrators across France taking to the streets to protest President Emmanuel Macron’s government. The demonstrators gained their name by wearing the yellow safety vests that French drivers are required to keep in their cars in case of emergency. Since then, in protests that have now lasted five months, the “yellow vests” have called out Macron’s pro-business economic policies, demanding fair wages for working- and middle-class citizens, and heavier taxation on the wealthy. We go to Paris to speak with Alexis Poulin, the co-founder of the news website Le Monde Moderne.

After Algerian President Resigns, Demonstrators Demand Government Overhaul & Vow to Keep Protesting

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 08:31

After two decades in power, longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned on Tuesday following weeks of protest. The move came shortly after military leaders called for him to step down. The 82-year-old president has been in power for 20 years and has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke in 2013. Algerians have gathered in mass protests for weeks demanding his resignation as well as an overhaul of the current political system, and more protests are scheduled Friday. We speak with Sihem Mellah-Sliker, an Algerian-born activist who moved to the U.S. in 2010 after winning the visa lottery. She founded the group SandByMe to promote Algerian and North African culture. She’s in close touch with her family members and protest leaders in Algeria. Mellah-Sliker is currently an adviser to Democratic New York state Senator Andrew Gounardes and serves on the board of the New York Progressive Action Network.

"A Great Moment for Democracy": Erdogan's AK Party Suffers Major Defeat in Local Turkish Elections

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 08:14

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party suffered major setbacks in local elections this weekend after dominating the country’s political system since 2003. The AK Party lost control in both of Turkey’s largest cities, Istanbul and Ankara, and is now disputing the results. Voters expressed frustration with Erdogan’s autocratic rule and are also facing soaring inflation and rising unemployment. Now the results are being disputed, and recounts are underway. “Whoever is criticizing Erdogan right now is held accountable for either terrorism charges or libel against the president,” says The New School professor Koray Caliskan, faculty fellow at the Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies at The New School who has been indicted 25 times in Turkey. “This is how he’s silencing dissent.”

AMLO: How Mexico's New Leftist President Has Navigated Corruption, Inequality and Trump

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 08:46

As President Trump continues his threats to close the U.S.-Mexico border to stop the flow of asylum seekers, we look at the response from Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the first four months of his presidency. In Mexico City, we speak with Humberto Beck, professor at El Colegio de México and co-editor of “The Future Is Today: Radical Ideas for Mexico.” He says that while López Obrador doesn’t want to openly confront Trump on stopping immigration, “he knows that sending back migrants to Central America is sending back these people to unlivable situations.”

Chicago Makes Herstory: First African-American Woman and Gay Chicago Mayor Wins in Landslide

Wed, 04/03/2019 - 08:28

Chicago voters made history Tuesday when Lori Lightfoot won a landslide victory as both the city’s first African-American woman mayor and openly gay mayor. This comes after a February runoff election that pitted her against Toni Preckwinkle, a former alderperson who is president of the Cook County Board. While Preckwinkle had been viewed as a highly formidable candidate, Lightfoot is a political outsider who has never held elected office. We are joined by Barbara Ransby, professor of African American studies, gender and women’s studies and history at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Her article for The Nation is headlined “The Rising Black Left Movement Behind Chicago’s Historic Elections.”

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