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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: 4 min 41 sec ago

Ariel Dorfman: George H.W. Bush Is Alive in His Many Victims Across the Globe, Including Me

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 08:42

George H.W. Bush was the only president in U.S. history to serve as CIA director, a role that would come to define his career and politics. He once described the intelligence agency as “part of my heartbeat.” Bush Sr. was at the helm of the CIA from January 1976 to January 1977. During that time, he oversaw Operation Condor, a U.S.-backed campaign in the 1970s and '80s in which Latin American countries coordinated to eliminate political dissidents. The campaign involved military dictatorships in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. We speak with Ariel Dorfman, best-selling author, playwright, poet and activist, who teaches at Duke University. In 1973, he served as a cultural adviser to Chilean President Salvador Allende's chief of staff. He says George H.W. Bush was “presiding over the CIA when Pinochet, the dictator of Chile, had concentration camps open. They were torturing people. They were executing people. They were persecuting people. And they were killing people overseas.” We also speak with Greg Grandin, prize-winning author and professor of Latin American history at New York University, and José Luis Morín, professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

How George H.W. Bush's Pardons for Iran-Contra Conspirators Set the Stage for Trump's Impunity

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 08:32

As the media lauds George H.W. Bush’s legacy, we look at his role in the Iran-Contra scandal. Bush Sr. was vice president when the Reagan administration conspired to deceive and defy Congress with its illegal arms sale to Iran in exchange for securing the release of American hostages in Lebanon. The proceeds from the sale were used to illegally fund the Nicaraguan Contras. In 1992, when Bush Sr. was president, he pardoned several Iran-Contra defendants, including Caspar Weinberger, Robert McFarlane and Elliott Abrams. We speak with Greg Grandin, prize-winning author and professor of Latin American history at New York University.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: U.S. Owes Reparations to Panama over Bush's Invasion

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 08:25

Last month, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights called on Washington to pay reparations to Panama over George H.W. Bush’s illegal invasion there in 1989. We speak with international human rights attorney José Luis Morín, who has been working since 1990 to secure reparations for Panama. He is a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and chairperson of the Latin American and Latina/o Studies Department. We also speak with Greg Grandin, prize-winning author and professor of Latin American history at New York University.

Greg Grandin: George H.W. Bush's 1989 Invasion of Panama Set the Stage for U.S. Wars to Come

Tue, 12/04/2018 - 08:10

The death of George H.W. Bush has dominated the U.S. news for days, but little attention has been paid to the defining event of Bush’s first year in office: the invasion of Panama. On December 19, 1989, Bush Sr. sent tens of thousands of troops into Panama, ostensibly to execute an arrest warrant against its leader, Manuel Noriega, on charges of drug trafficking. General Noriega was once a close ally to Washington and on the CIA payroll. In a nationally televised address, Bush claimed the invasion was needed to defend democracy in Panama. During the attack, the U.S. unleashed a force of 24,000 troops equipped with highly sophisticated weaponry and aircraft against a country with an army smaller than the New York City Police Department. An estimated 3,000 Panamanians died in the attack. We speak with historian Greg Grandin, prize-winning author and professor of Latin American history at New York University, on the lasting impact of the Panama invasion.

Interview: Bernie Sanders on Ending Yemen War, Medicare for All, Green New Deal & the Stop BEZOS Act

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 08:45

Hundreds of international progressive leaders gathered in Burlington, Vermont, last weekend for an event hosted by The Sanders Institute. While there, Amy Goodman sat down with independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to discuss his efforts to pass a Green New Deal, raise the minimum wage and protect Social Security. He also spoke about last week’s historic Senate vote to advance a resolution he co-sponsored to end military support for the Saudi-led, U.S.-backed war in Yemen.

Remembering George H.W. Bush's Inaction on AIDS at Home While Detaining HIV+ Haitians at Guantánamo

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 08:30

George H.W. Bush died on the eve of World AIDS Day, an irony not lost on many HIV/AIDS activists who remember the 41st president of the United States for his lack of action in the 1990s as the HIV/AIDS crisis raged on. Bush said little about the crisis during his years as vice president under Ronald Reagan, who didn’t even mention AIDS until the penultimate year of his presidency. Despite promises to do more after he was elected president, George H.W. Bush refused to address and fund programs around HIV/AIDS education and prevention, as well as drug treatment. We speak with Steven Thrasher, journalist and doctoral candidate in American studies at New York University. He was recently appointed Daniel H. Renberg chair of media coverage in sexual and gender minorities at Northwestern University. His recent article for The Nation is titled “It’s a Disgrace to Celebrate George H.W. Bush on World AIDS Day.”

Mehdi Hasan on George H.W. Bush's Ignored Legacy: War Crimes, Racism and Obstruction of Justice

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 08:15

George H.W. Bush died in Houston on Friday night at the age of 94. Bush was elected the 41st president of the United States in 1988, becoming the first and only former CIA director to lead the country. He served as Ronald Reagan’s vice president from 1981 to 1989. Since Bush’s death, the media has honored the former president by focusing on his years of service and his call as president for a kinder, gentler America. But the headlines have largely glossed over and ignored other parts of Bush’s legacy. We look at the 1991 Gulf War, Bush’s pardoning of six Reagan officials involved in the Iran-Contra scandal and how a racist election ad helped him become president. We speak with Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan. His latest piece is titled “The Ignored Legacy of George H.W. Bush: War Crimes, Racism, and Obstruction of Justice.”

Full Bernie Sanders Speech on Economic Justice, Healthcare, Opposing Trump & Ending the War in Yemen

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 08:32

Hundreds of international progressive leaders have traveled to Burlington, Vermont for a gathering hosted by the Sanders Institute. Last night, former presidential candidate and independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders kicked the event off with a keynote speech on healthcare, raising the minimum wage and his bipartisan resolution to end military support for the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led bombing of Yemen. He was introduced by Harvard professor Cornel West.

Medicare for All: As Healthcare Costs Soar, Momentum Grows to Guarantee Healthcare for All Americans

Fri, 11/30/2018 - 08:14

As Democrats prepare to take control of the House, pressure is growing on the Democratic leadership to embrace Medicare for All. Nearly 50 newly Democratic members of Congress campaigned for Medicare for All. In the last year, 123 incumbent House Democrats also co-sponsored Medicare for All legislation, double the number who supported a Medicare for All bill in the previous legislative session. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical, insurance and hospital companies are paying close attention. As the Intercept’s Lee Fang reports, over the summer the groups formed a partnership to fight the growing support for expanding Medicare. We speak to three proponents of Medicare for All who have assembled in Burlington, Vermont, for a gathering of the Sanders Institute: Kelly Coogan-Gehr of National Nurses United, British anesthesiologist Dr. Hosnieh Djafari-Marbini and organizer Jo Beardsmore.

George Monbiot: Ending Meat & Dairy Consumption Is Needed to Prevent Worst Impacts of Climate Change

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 08:42

We look at the link between climate change and meat consumption on the heels of a series of damning reports that say if humans don’t act now to halt climate change, the results will be catastrophic. A new study by the World Meteorological Organization shows the past four years have been the hottest on record. On Tuesday, the United Nations reported that carbon emissions reached record highs in 2017 and are on the rise for the first time in four years. Radical reductions are necessary to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, the level that would prevent the worst effects of catastrophic climate change. Livestock for meat and dairy products worldwide is responsible for almost 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, making it the second largest source of emissions after the fossil fuels industry. We speak with British author and journalist George Monbiot, who argues that the fate of the planet depends on the way we choose to eat.

Should Saudi Crown Prince Be Charged With War Crimes? G20 Host Argentina Considers Probe

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 08:24

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman could face prosecution in Argentina for alleged complicity in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi-led humanitarian crisis in Yemen. On Wednesday, an Argentine prosecutor reportedly accepted a request by Human Rights Watch to prosecute the crown prince, just hours after he landed in Argentina ahead of the G20 summit. Argentina recognizes universal jurisdiction for war crimes and torture, which means it is able to press charges against the crown prince while he is in the country. We speak with Reed Brody, counsel and spokesperson for Human Rights Watch, and Shireen Al-Adeimi, Yemeni scholar, activist, and an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University.

In a Historic First, Senate Advances Bill to End U.S. Support for Illegal War in Yemen

Thu, 11/29/2018 - 08:15

The Senate voted Wednesday to advance a resolution to end military support for the Saudi-led, U.S.-backed war in Yemen. This marks the first time in U.S. history that the Senate has voted to advance a bill to withdraw military forces from an unauthorized war using the War Powers Resolution Act. Wednesday’s vote sets the stage for a possible final vote on the measure within days, and has been seen as a rebuke of President Trump’s handling of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Just hours before the vote, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis held a closed-door briefing with U.S. senators, urging them to vote against the resolution. Administration officials warned senators not to compromise ties with Saudi Arabia over the killing of Khashoggi and said U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen is necessary to counter Iran’s influence in the Middle East. We speak with Shireen Al-Adeimi, Yemeni scholar, activist, and an assistant professor at Michigan State University.

How Tear Gas Became a Favorite Weapon of U.S. Border Patrol, Despite Being Banned In Warfare

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 08:46

As the Trump administration continues to defend firing tear gas into crowds of asylum seekers, we look at the history of tear gas, which is banned in warfare but legal for federal authorities and police to turn on civilians. Border authorities’ use of tear gas has spiked under the Trump administration, with the agency’s own data revealing it has deployed tear gas over two dozen times this year alone. Customs and Border Protection told Newsweek Tuesday it began using tear gas under the Obama administration in 2010. The agency’s use of tear gas has now reached a seven-year record high. We speak with Stuart Schrader, lecturer in sociology at Johns Hopkins University. He has studied how tear gas went from a weapon of war used in Vietnam to being deployed by law enforcement at home. His forthcoming book is titled “Badges Without Borders: How Global Counterinsurgency Transformed American Policing.”

Honduras: As Berta Cáceres Murder Trial Nears End, Will True Perpetrators Be Brought to Justice?

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 08:40

Eight men are on trial in Honduras for the murder of environmentalist Berta Cáceres, who was gunned down in her home in La Esperanza in 2016. A verdict is expected this week. The assassination of Cáceres came a year after she won the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work protecting indigenous communities and her campaign against a massive hydroelectric dam project. We speak with Dana Frank, professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her new book is titled, “The Long Honduran Night: Resistance, Terror, and the United States in the Aftermath of the Coup.”

"It Is Not a Natural Disaster": Dana Frank on How U.S.-Backed Coup in Honduras Fueled Migrant Crisis

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 08:28

As the United States continues to face criticism for tear gassing asylum seekers on the U.S.-Mexico border, we look at the crisis in Honduras and why so many Hondurans are fleeing their homeland. Honduras has become one of the most violent countries in the world because of the devastating drug war and a political crisis that stems in part from a U.S.-backed 2009 coup. We speak with Dana Frank, professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her new book is titled, “The Long Honduran Night: Resistance, Terror, and the United States in the Aftermath of the Coup.”

Brother of Honduran President Is Arrested for Cocaine Trafficking as Migrants Flee Violent Drug War

Wed, 11/28/2018 - 08:15

The brother of Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández has been arrested in the United States for drug trafficking and weapons offenses. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman accused Tony Hernández of being “involved in all stages of the trafficking through Honduras of multi-ton loads of cocaine that were destined for the U.S.” Hernandez is also accused of providing heavily armed security for cocaine shipments transported within Honduras, including by members of the Honduran National Police and drug traffickers. We speak with Dana Frank, professor emerita at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her new book is titled, “The Long Honduran Night: Resistance , Terror, and the United States in the Aftermath of the Coup.”

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