Democracy Now

Subscribe to Democracy Now feed Democracy Now
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 32 min ago

An Invisible Crisis: Native American Tribes Ravaged by Opioids Take On Purdue Pharma & the Sacklers

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 08:38

A group of more than 500 cities, counties and Native American tribes have filed a lawsuit against members of the Sackler family for their role in creating “the worst drug crisis in American history” by lying about the dangers of the opioid painkiller OxyContin and deceitful marketing of the drug. The lawsuit differs from others that target drug companies, because it names eight members of the Sackler family, which founded and owns Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. We speak with attorney Brendan Johnson, partner with the law firm Robins Kaplan and chair of its American Indian Law and Policy Group, about the federal lawsuit he filed on behalf of three Native American tribes from the Dakotas against major opioid manufacturers and distributors. We are also joined by Stacy Bohlen, CEO of the National Indian Health Board and a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

"The Opioid Crisis Isn't White": How the Lethal Epidemic Affects Communities of Color

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 08:31

As Oklahoma and Purdue Pharma reach a $270 million agreement in a lawsuit claiming the company knowingly helped create the opioid crisis responsible for nearly 50,000 deaths per year in the United States, we look at how the opioid crisis affects communities of color with Abdullah Shihipar, a graduate student of public health at Brown University who wrote an op-ed about his research for The New York Times headlined “The Opioid Crisis Isn’t White.”

OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma to Pay $270 Million Legal Settlement That Will Fund Addiction Center

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 08:14

The state of Oklahoma has reached a $270 million agreement with Purdue Pharma—the makers of OxyContin—settling a lawsuit that claimed the company contributed to the deaths of thousands of Oklahoma residents by downplaying the risk of opioid addiction and overstating the drug’s benefits. The state says more Oklahomans have died from opioids over the last decade than have been killed in vehicle accidents. More than $100 million from the settlement will fund a new addiction treatment and research center at Oklahoma State University in Tulsa. “It’s really just the first move in what is a very complicated legal chess game,” says Barry Meier, author of “Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic.” Meier was the first journalist to shine a national spotlight on the abuse of OxyContin. He asks, “Is this money going to be used wisely in terms of treating addiction?”

"Suicide Is Preventable": Public Health Advocates Push to End Stigma After Parkland & Newtown Deaths

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 08:39

The father of a 6-year-old girl who was killed in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was found dead by apparent suicide Monday. Jeremy Richman was a neuroscientist who, after the death of his daughter Avielle, founded the Avielle Foundation to support brain science research, with the ultimate goal of preventing violence and building compassion. The news of his death came just days after two students who survived last year’s shooting massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, died by suicide. An unnamed student died Saturday, according to local authorities, and 19-year-old Sydney Aiello died last weekend. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. We speak with Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, founder and director of The Columbia Lighthouse Project. If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Fears of New Gaza Invasion Rise as Israel Launches Airstrikes and Mobilizes Along Border

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 08:27

Israel has bombed Gaza for a third day in a row and mobilized dozens of tanks, raising fears that Israel could launch another invasion. The latest Israeli airstrikes came earlier this morning, after Hamas announced it had reached an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel. Tension has been escalating for days in Gaza. On Friday, Israeli troops shot dead two Palestinians taking part in the weekly Great March of Return protests. Sixty-two other Palestinians were injured. On Sunday, Israeli air raids struck parts of Gaza, including a refugee camp. Then, on Monday, militants inside Gaza launched a series of homemade rockets toward Israel. One rocket hit a house north of Tel Aviv, injuring seven members of a British-Israeli family. Israel blamed Hamas for the rocket attack and retaliated by launching heavy airstrikes in Gaza City targeting the office of Hamas’s political leader and the group’s military intelligence headquarters. Seven Palestinians were reportedly injured in the strikes. We speak with Budour Hassan, a Palestinian writer and project coordinator for the Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights, and Jehad Abusalim, scholar and policy analyst from Gaza. He runs the Gaza Unlocked campaign for the United States for the American Friends Service Committee.

"Hold Israel Accountable": Palestinians Call on Int'l Community to Oppose Golan Heights Annexation

Tue, 03/26/2019 - 08:14

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Washington on Monday to meet with President Trump, who signed an order officially recognizing Israel’s control of the Golan Heights in defiance of international law. We speak with Budour Hassan, a Palestinian writer and project coordinator for the Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights, and Jehad Abusalim, scholar and policy analyst from Gaza. He runs the Gaza Unlocked campaign for the United States for the American Friends Service Committee.

As Mueller Finds No Collusion, Did Press Overhype Russiagate? Glenn Greenwald vs. David Cay Johnston

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 08:20

As congressional Democrats call on the Justice Department to release the full Mueller report, we speak to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists who have closely followed the probes into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election: Glenn Greenwald, a founding editor of The Intercept and a leading critic of the media coverage of alleged Russian collusion, and David Cay Johnston, formerly of The New York Times, now founder and editor of, who has written critically about Donald Trump for decades. His most recent book is “It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration Is Doing to America.”

Mueller Finds No Trump-Russia Coordination, But “Does Not Exonerate” Trump of Obstruction of Justice

Mon, 03/25/2019 - 08:14

There was no collusion. That was the key finding of special counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report into whether President Trump and members of his campaign conspired with the Russian government to win the 2016 election. While the full report on Mueller’s 22-month investigation has not yet been made public, Attorney General William Barr sent a four-page letter to congressional leaders on Sunday laying out his interpretation of Mueller’s findings. Barr wrote that the report concluded Russia meddled in the 2016 election but that “the Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts.” Mueller also examined whether Trump could be criminally charged for obstructing justice, but he did not come to a definitive conclusion. Barr quoted a passage from the Mueller report saying that “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” In his letter Barr–who became attorney general just last month– announced that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had concluded there is not enough sufficient evidence to “establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”

"Water Is Life": Midwestern Floods Threaten Indigenous Communities at Forefront of Climate Crisis

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 08:47

As Nebraska and the U.S. Midwest recover from devastating climate change-fueled floods, we speak with Lakota historian Nick Estes on how two centuries of indigenous resistance created the movement proclaiming “Water is life.” Estes’s new book is titled “Our History Is the Future.” He is a co-founder of the indigenous resistance group The Red Nation and a citizen of the Lower Brule Sioux Tribe.

"Remember the South": Devastating Cyclone Idai Another Example of Global South Paying for Polluters

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 08:32

Cyclone Idai, the worst weather disaster in the history of the Southern Hemisphere, has caused extensive flooding and left tens of thousand homeless and more than 400 dead in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Officials say the death toll is over 400, and the number is expected to rise. More than 400,000 people could be displaced in Mozambique, and the country’s president says as many as 1,000 people may have been killed there alone. The storm dropped more than two feet of rain in parts of southeastern Africa—nearly a year’s worth of rain in just a few days—an extreme weather event that climate scientists say is consistent with models of climate change. We get an update from Dipti Bhatnagar, who is usually based in Maputo, Mozambique, where she is climate justice and energy coordinator at Friends of the Earth International. She joins us now from Penang, Malaysia.

Human Rights Attorney to Trump: "Israel Is Not Interested in the Golan Heights for Security"

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 08:12

Just weeks before major elections in Israel that could determine the future of embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Trump declares the U.S. will recognize Israeli sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights, in defiance of international law and decades of U.S. policy. The announcement comes as he is set to host Netanyahu at the White House next week amid the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, where Vice President Mike Pence will speak, along with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, among others. A growing number of Democrats—including at least eight presidential candidates—say they will skip the summit. We get reaction from Palestinian human rights attorney Noura Erakat, author of the new book “Justice for Some: Law and the Question of Palestine.”

Kushner, Inc.: Vicky Ward on How Jared and Ivanka's Greed & Ambition Compromise U.S. Foreign Policy

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 08:41

House Democrats are continuing to probe how President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner received a top-secret security clearance despite concerns from the CIA. The New York Times recently reported Trump ordered then-Chief of Staff John Kelly to grant Kushner the clearance despite the judgment of intelligence officials. Kushner failed to report over 100 foreign contacts on his initial application for clearance, which was denied by the FBI after a background check into his financial history and contacts with foreign investors. Kushner later revised his application three times, and was ultimately granted permanent security clearance last May. We speak with Vicky Ward, the author of a new book uncovering details about how Kushner has continued to let the financial dealings of his family impact the policy decisions he promoted overseas. In one case, this almost led to a war in the Middle East between Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The book is called “Kushner, Inc.: Greed. Ambition. Corruption. The Extraordinary Story of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.”

Anti-Government Protests Continue in Haiti; New Details Emerge About Role of U.S. Mercenaries

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 08:28

Ongoing protests are roiling Haiti, as demonstrators take to the streets to demand President Jovenel Moïse’s resignation due to government corruption and mismanagement of the country’s oil fund. The protests began in July, but Moïse is facing further scrutiny after five heavily armed Americans were arrested last month near Haiti’s central bank in Port-au-Prince with a cache of weapons, claiming to be on a “government mission.” The mercenaries were quickly sent back to the United States without facing criminal charges in Haiti, sparking outrage and mounting demands that the government explain why the men had been at the central bank in the first place. An explosive new investigation by Haiti Liberté and The Intercept has found that the mercenaries were at the central bank on a mission ordered directly by the embattled Haitian president. Their goal was to escort a presidential aide to the Haitian central bank as he transferred $80 million from the government’s oil account to another account controlled by Moïse. This news comes as Haiti’s Parliament has thrown out Prime Minister Jean Henry Céant in a no-confidence vote. We speak with Kim Ives, an editor of Haiti Liberté and co-author of the new joint investigation with The Intercept.

The Hidden U.S. Air War in Somalia: Amnesty Accuses U.S. of Possible War Crimes for Civilian Deaths

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 08:14

Amnesty International is accusing the United States of covering up civilian casualties in its secretive air war in Somalia targeting the militant group al-Shabab. The U.S. has carried out over 100 strikes in Somalia since 2017. For years the Pentagon has claimed no civilians were being killed in the airstrikes, but the new Amnesty report found that at least 14 civilians were killed, and eight more were injured, in just five airstrikes. The overall civilian death toll is likely to be far higher. We speak with Brian Castner, Amnesty International’s senior crisis adviser on arms and military operations. He helped write Amnesty’s report, titled “The Hidden US War in Somalia.”

The Roots of Police Violence in Chicago: How Cops Have Targeted Communities of Color for Decades

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 08:49

We look at the long history of police brutality against Latinos in Chicago. Latinos, especially immigrants, have faced police violence and killings for decades, and have a long history of fighting back against brutality through community organizing and activism. But their stories have received little news coverage. We speak with Lilia Fernández, a professor of history and Latino studies at Rutgers University and the author of “Brown in the Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago.” We also speak with Flint Taylor, an attorney with People’s Law Office and author of “The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago.”