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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: 2 hours 55 min ago

Tessa Thompson & Time's Up Call on Hollywood to Work with More Women Directors in #4PercentChallenge

Thu, 01/31/2019 - 08:41

Acclaimed actor Tessa Thompson joins us at the Sundance Film Festival to talk about the Me Too movement and the Time’s Up initiative, which is pushing Hollywood studios and actors to commit to work with women directors in its new #4PercentChallenge. Time’s Up is about “addressing safety in the workplace,” says actor Thompson. “It’s really looking at imbalance of power.”

Dialogue: Women's March Leaders on Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Racism & More

Thu, 01/31/2019 - 08:19

Thousands took to the streets for women’s marches across the country on January 19, exactly two years after Donald Trump’s inauguration sparked a burgeoning women’s movement. But some of this year’s marches were steeped in controversy. In November, Teresa Shook, one of the founders of the Women’s March movement, called for the removal of the four national co-chairs: Bob Bland, Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour. She accused them of allowing “anti-Semitism, anti-LBGTQIA sentiment and hateful, racist rhetoric to become a part of the platform.” Much of the criticism focused on links between some of the co-chairs and the Nation of Islam’s Minister Louis Farrakhan, who has been widely accused of being anti-Semitic. A new documentary premiering at the Sundance Film Festival captures how Mallory and the movement handled the crisis. It’s called “This Is Personal.” On Monday, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour joined Rebecca Walker, author of the autobiography “Black, White, and Jewish,” and Nancy Kaufman, CEO of the National Council of Jewish Women, to discuss the controversy.

Stacey Abrams: "We Have to Work Harder" Than Those Who Would Suppress the Vote

Thu, 01/31/2019 - 08:02

Democrats have selected former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams to deliver the response to President Trump’s State of the Union address. The address will take place on Tuesday, after being delayed due to the government shutdown. Abrams will become the first person not in public office to respond to the president, as well as the first African-American woman to deliver the response. She recently launched Fair Fight Action, a voting rights advocacy group, after she narrowly lost Georgia’s governor’s race to Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who was widely accused of suppressing the vote. In mid-November, Abrams refused to concede the race, and Fair Fight Action is now suing Georgia election officials for mismanagement of the midterm elections. We recently spoke to Abrams in Los Angeles, where she was attending the National Day of Racial Healing. “Our responsibility doesn’t end on Election Day,” she said. “The minute the elections are over, the people who won—who did not share our values—are going to be working hard. We have to be working even harder.”

A War for Oil? Bolton Pushes Privatization of Venezuela's Oil as U.S. Ratchets Up Pressure on Maduro

Wed, 01/30/2019 - 08:49

As the Trump administration continues its attempt to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, the U.S. has imposed a de facto embargo on oil from Venezuela’s state-run oil company. The new sanctions include exemptions for several U.S. firms, including Chevron and Halliburton, to allow them to continue working in Venezuela. We speak with prize-winning investigative journalist Allan Nairn about the push to privatize Venezuela’s oil.

Allan Nairn: Trump's Venezuela Envoy Elliott Abrams Is a War Criminal Who Has Abetted Genocide

Wed, 01/30/2019 - 08:28

In an ongoing effort to topple Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, Vice President Mike Pence met with members of the Venezuelan opposition at the White House Tuesday alongside Trump’s new special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams. Elliott Abrams is a right-wing hawk who was convicted in 1991 for lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal, but he was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. Abrams defended Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt as he oversaw a campaign of mass murder and torture of indigenous people in Guatemala in the 1980s. Ríos Montt was later convicted of genocide. Abrams was also linked to the 2002 coup in Venezuela that attempted to topple Hugo Chávez. We look at Abrams’s track record with prize-winning investigative journalist Allan Nairn, who has closely tracked Abrams for over three decades. Nairn is two-time winner of the George Polk Award and a recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award.

As U.S. Moves to Oust Maduro, Is Invading Venezuela Next? Allan Nairn on Trump's Attempted Coup

Wed, 01/30/2019 - 08:12

The United States is continuing to ratchet up pressure on the Venezuelan government in an attempt to topple President Nicolás Maduro. On Tuesday, the State Department announced it is giving control of Venezuela’s U.S. bank accounts to opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who declared himself to be president last week. Meanwhile, the U.S. has also refused to rule out a military invasion of Venezuela. We spend the hour with prize-winning investigative journalist Allan Nairn.

Exclusive: Ex-Harvey Weinstein Employee Breaks Silence on Her Memo That Helped Take Down Movie Mogul

Tue, 01/29/2019 - 08:40

In her first television interview, we speak with a woman who helped topple Harvey Weinstein and expose his rampant sexual abuse but has remained largely behind the scenes until now. Lauren O’Connor was a literary scout at the Weinstein Company who worked closely with Weinstein. In 2015, she penned an internal memo about her boss that would later become famous. In it, she wrote, “I am a 28 year old woman trying to make a living and a career. Harvey Weinstein is a 64 year old, world famous man and this is his company. The balance of power is me: 0, Harvey Weinstein: 10.” This memo was later leaked and would eventually become the bedrock of the 2017 New York Times investigation that first exposed Weinstein’s decades of abuse. Lauren O’Connor tells her own story for the first time in “Untouchable,” a damning documentary about Weinstein’s abuse of power through the eyes of the women he targeted, that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday.

"Untouchable": Women Testify to Harvey Weinstein's Decades of Sexual Abuse in Powerful New Film

Tue, 01/29/2019 - 08:20

As we broadcast from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, we look at a new film that is forcing the movie industry to look closely at itself. It’s about the rise and fall of a movie titan who once used Sundance as a hunting ground: movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of rape, sexual assault or misconduct by more than 75 women. The film “Untouchable” takes on Harvey Weinstein’s decades of predatory behavior and the system that allowed it to happen, through the stories of survivors of his abuse, from his time as a young music promoter in Buffalo in the 1970s all the way until a series of investigations toppled Weinstein in 2017. The stories of accusers, from Gwyneth Paltrow to Salma Hayek to Angelina Jolie, rocked Hollywood, sparking the Me Too movement. More than a year after this public reckoning, Weinstein now faces five charges that could land him in prison for life, including rape and predatory sexual assault. Weinstein has just hired the former lawyers of one of his most public accusers, actor Rose McGowan, who says Weinstein raped her here at Sundance in 1997. His trial is expected to begin in May. Just two years after Harvey Weinstein joined the Women’s March in Park City, “Untouchable” premiered here on Friday. We sat down with the film’s director, Ursula Macfarlane, the day after the premiere.

"Where's My Roy Cohn?": Film Explores How Joseph McCarthy's Ex-Aide Mentored Trump & Roger Stone

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 08:22

Former Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone, who was arrested on Friday, and Donald Trump share a unique history: Both were heavily influenced by the infamous attorney Roy Cohn, who served as a chief counsel to Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare in the 1950s and would later become a leading mob attorney. Cohn represented Trump for years and once claimed he considered Trump to be his best friend. Cohn is the subject of a new documentary at the Sundance Film Festival titled “Where’s My Roy Cohn?” We speak to the film’s director, Matt Tyrnauer.

Regime Change Is Not the Answer: Rep. Ro Khanna Speaks Out Against U.S.-Backed Coup in Venezuela

Mon, 01/28/2019 - 08:13

More information has come to light about the direct U.S. role in an attempted coup in Venezuela. The Wall Street Journal reports Vice President Mike Pence called opposition leader Juan Guaidó on the night before he declared himself to be president, pledging U.S. support for his actions. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has accused the United States of attempting to wage a coup. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has named Elliott Abrams to be his special envoy to Venezuela. Abrams is a right-wing hawk who was convicted in 1991 for lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal, but he was later pardoned. Abrams defended Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt as he oversaw a campaign of mass murder and torture of indigenous people in Guatemala in the 1980s. Ríos Montt was later convicted of genocide. Abrams was also linked to the 2002 coup in Venezuela that attempted to topple Hugo Chávez. We speak to Ro Khanna, Democratic congressmember from California.

CodePink's Medea Benjamin Disrupts Pompeo Speech to Denounce U.S. Regime Change Agenda in Venezuela

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 08:48

On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged to send $20 million to the Venezuelan opposition in the form of humanitarian aid to address the shortages of food and medicine caused in part by harsh U.S. sanctions. Pompeo made the announcement while speaking at the OAS, the Organization of American States. Pompeo’s speech was interrupted by CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin, who held a sign reading, ”OAS: Don’t Support a Coup in Venezuela.”

Historian: Venezuela Is "Staging Ground" for U.S. to Reassert Control Over Latin America

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 08:31

While Mexico and Uruguay are calling for dialogue to address the crisis in Venezuela, much of Latin America has sided with the Trump administration by recognizing Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s new leader. We look at what this mean for the broader region with professors Alejandro Velasco and Steve Ellner.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister: The U.S. Interferes in Latin American Politics Every Day, Every Hour

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 08:25

The U.S.-led effort targeting the oil-rich nation of Venezuela dates back two decades, since the late Hugo Chávez became president in 1999. In November, John Bolton accused Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua of being part of a “troika of tyranny.” In September, The New York Times reported the Trump administration conducted secret meetings with rebellious military officers in Venezuela to discuss overthrowing Maduro. We air more of our recent interview with Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza. He came into the Democracy Now! studio last week.

How Washington's Devastating "Economic Blockade" of Venezuela Helped Pave the Way for Coup Attempt

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 08:16

Venezuela remains in a state of crisis as opposition forces—with the backing of the United States—attempt to unseat the government of Nicolás Maduro. On Thursday, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López said the military continues to stand by Maduro. His remarks came one day after President Trump announced that the U.S. would recognize opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s new leader. Guaidó, the new head of Venezuela’s National Assembly, declared himself president on Wednesday during a large opposition protest. Meanwhile, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has ordered the U.S. to remove all of its diplomats from Venezuela, but Washington is ignoring the request, claiming Maduro no longer has authority to take such action. We speak to two long-term observers of Venezuelan politics: Venezuelan-born NYU professor Alejandro Velasco and Steve Ellner, who lives in Venezuela, where he taught for several decades.

Lawyer Wolfgang Kaleck: Bush, Rumsfeld & Cheney Are a Troika of Tyranny & Should Be In Prison

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 08:47

As Venezuela faces an attempted coup supported by the U.S., Brazil and the European Union, we speak with human rights attorney Wolfgang Kaleck. In November, John Bolton accused Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua of being part of a “troika of tyranny.” Kaleck says the real “troika of tyranny” is George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, who should be in prison for war crimes. Kaleck is a human rights attorney who for decades has been at the forefront of the legal fight to hold powerful actors and governments around the world accountable for human rights abuses. His new book, titled “Law Versus Power: Our Global Fight for Human Rights,” documents his remarkable career, including his time as whistleblower Edward Snowden’s lawyer in Europe. Kaleck is general secretary of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.