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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

Risk of Nuclear War Rises as U.S. Deploys a New Nuclear Weapon for the First Time Since the Cold War

Fri, 02/07/2020 - 08:12

The Federation of American Scientists revealed in late January that the U.S. Navy had deployed for the first time a submarine armed with a low-yield Trident nuclear warhead. The USS Tennessee deployed from Kings Bay Submarine Base in Georgia in late 2019. The W76-2 warhead, which is facing criticism at home and abroad, is estimated to have about a third of the explosive power of the atomic bomb the U.S. dropped on Hiroshima. The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) called the news “an alarming development that heightens the risk of nuclear war.” We’re joined by William Arkin, longtime reporter focused on military and nuclear policy, author of numerous books, including “Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State.” He broke the story about the deployment of the new low-yield nuclear weapon in an article he co-wrote for Federation of American Scientists. He also recently wrote a cover piece for Newsweek titled “With a New Weapon in Donald Trump’s Hands, the Iran Crisis Risks Going Nuclear.” “What surprised me in my reporting … was a story that was just as important, if not more important, than what was going on in the political world,” Arkin says.

Erasing History: The National Archives Is Destroying Records About Victims of Trump's ICE Policies

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 08:51

Last month, the National Archives and Records Administration apologized for doctoring a photo of the 2017 Women’s March to remove criticisms of President Trump. The shocking revelation that the agency had altered the image was first reported in The Washington Post. In an exhibit called “Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote,” the National Archives had displayed a large image of the first Women’s March. But signs referencing Trump had been blurred to remove his name — including a poster reading “God Hates Trump” and another reading “Trump & GOP — Hands Off Women.” Other signs in the photo referencing female anatomy were also blurred. The National Archives initially stood by its decision to edit the photo, telling The Washington Post that the changes were made “so as not to engage in current political controversy.” For more, we turn to a historian who says this was only the latest example of “a great and growing threat to our nation’s capacity to protect and learn from history.” The National Archives reportedly is allowing millions of documents, including many related to immigrants’ rights, to be expunged. We speak with Matthew Connelly, professor of history at Columbia University and principal investigator at History Lab. His recent piece for The New York Times is headlined “Why You May Never Learn the Truth About ICE.”

Chaos Continues in Iowa as Democrats Mistakenly Award Delegates for Bernie Sanders to Deval Patrick

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 08:34

Results from Monday’s Iowa caucuses continue to trickle in, with 97% of precincts reporting as of Thursday morning. Senator Bernie Sanders and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg are now in a virtual tie. Sanders maintains a lead in the popular vote, but Buttigieg has a slight advantage in what’s known as the “state delegate equivalent” race. Buttigieg has 26.2% of state delegate equivalents, while Sanders is at 26.1%. The New York Times is now predicting Sanders has a greater chance of winning overall, in part because of the Vermont senator’s overwhelming strength in satellite caucuses. Responding to widespread criticism for the inexplicably slow reporting process, Democratic officials have attributed the chaos in Iowa to a newly created app built by a little-known firm called Shadow, which has financial ties to the Democratic establishment as well as the Buttigieg campaign. For more, we speak with Chris Schwartz, chair of the Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors in Iowa and state co-chair for Bernie 2020.

Historian: With Impeachment Acquittal, the GOP Has Given Trump a Blank Check to Do Anything He Wants

Thu, 02/06/2020 - 08:12

The U.S. Senate has acquitted President Trump of two impeachment charges in just the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history. Trump was accused of abusing power and obstructing Congress to aid his re-election campaign by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. Every Democratic senator voted to remove President Trump from office, but they were joined by just one Republican: Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, who supported impeaching Trump on abuse of power. Romney became the first senator ever to vote against his own party’s president in an impeachment trial. President Trump responded on Twitter by hailing the vote as “the country’s Victory” and described the impeachment effort as a hoax. He also tweeted a video claiming Mitt Romney was a secret Democratic asset. Donald Trump Jr. called for Romney to be expelled from the Republican Party. While the impeachment trial is over, the probe of President Trump’s actions could continue. On Wednesday, House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler said the House will likely subpoena former national security adviser John Bolton. We speak with Manisha Sinha, professor of American history at the University of Connecticut and a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University.

Publisher Agrees to Boost Latinx Representation After Backlash to Whitewashed Novel "American Dirt"

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 08:47

We look at the massive backlash and criticism against the novel “American Dirt” as a movement led by Latinx writers declares victory, demanding more representation in the publishing industry. Dignidad Literaria, or literary dignity, formed in response to the controversial immigration novel “American Dirt.” The author, Jeanine Cummins, who is not Mexican, received a seven-figure advance for the book, and it was chosen for Oprah’s Book Club. But its critics say “American Dirt” exploits and misrepresents Mexico and the experience of Mexican migrants. Critics also say the novel completely erases the voices of Central Americans. On Monday, the leaders of the literary dignity movement celebrated a successful meeting in New York City with the book’s publisher, Macmillan, the owner of Flatiron Books. The publisher agreed to expand Latinx representation in its staff and its publications. The campaign is also calling for an investigation into discriminatory practices in the publishing industry at large. We speak with two co-founders of Dignidad Literaria: in Los Angeles, Myriam Gurba, Chicana writer, podcaster and artist, who wrote the first viral review of “American Dirt” that ignited criticism of the book, and in New York City, Roberto Lovato, award-winning journalist and author of the forthcoming book “Unforgetting: A Memoir of Revolution and Redemption.”

Roberto Lovato: Dems & GOP Share Same Playbook on Immigration, Foreign Policy & Corporate Domination

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 08:35

President Trump delivered his 2020 State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday. The speech reprised many of the themes of Trump’s 2016 campaign, including demonization of immigrants. We continue our discussion with Lee Fang, investigative journalist at The Intercept, and Roberto Lovato, author of the forthcoming book “Unforgetting: A Memoir of Revolution and Redemption.” About 10 Democrats skipped the speech and a few more walked out while it was in progress, but Lovato says the Democratic establishment doesn’t differ with Trump on many key issues. “Nancy Pelosi may have ripped the speech, but they both draw from the same playbook on issues like immigration, foreign policy, corporate domination. Trump knows that,” Lovato says.

In State of the Union, Trump Celebrates Hate & Xenophobia While Touting "Great American Comeback"

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 08:26

President Trump delivered his third State of the Union address Tuesday night, just a day before the Republican-controlled Senate is expected to vote to acquit him in the third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history. Trump’s speech, which focused heavily on the economy and immigration, sounded at times like a campaign rally, with Republican lawmakers chanting “Four more years!” He never once mentioned his impeachment trial. Prior to the speech, Trump refused to shake House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand, and once the speech was over, Pelosi was seen on television ripping up her copy of Trump’s remarks. She later called the speech a “manifesto of mistruths.” Several Democrats, including Congressmembers Rashida Tlaib, Tim Ryan, Seth Moulton and Bill Pascrell, walked out during Trump’s address. Some Democrats boycotted the night altogether, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, Maxine Waters of California, Al Green of Texas, Hank Johnson of Georgia, Steve Cohen of Tennessee, Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Frederica Wilson of Florida. We’re joined by Lee Fang, investigative journalist at The Intercept, and Roberto Lovato, author of the forthcoming book “Unforgetting: A Memoir of Revolution and Redemption” and co-founder of the campaign #DignidadLiteraria, which seeks to elevate the voices of Latinx writers in U.S. literature. At the State of the Union address, Trump was “throwing red meat to his base,” Fang says. “It was clear, from anyone watching this: This was a campaign rally speech — Trump previewing his election message for 2020.”

Sanders & Buttigieg Lead in Early Iowa Results After Faulty App Leads to Catastrophe at Caucus

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 08:10

The final results of Monday’s Democratic Iowa caucuses remain unknown, with 71% of precincts reporting the final tallies of the first 2020 presidential contest. Senator Bernie Sanders is leading in the popular vote, while former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has a narrow lead of 26.8% of precincts — the state delegate equivalent traditionally used to determine the winner — followed by Sanders with 25.2%. Sanders won the popular vote in both the first and second rounds of voting, followed by Buttigieg and Senator Elizabeth Warren. Former Vice President Joe Biden placed fourth, followed by Senator Amy Klobuchar. It is unclear when full results will be released and how the reporting problems will impact the Democratic race. Democratic officials cited problems with a newly created app built by a firm called Shadow that was supposed to help precincts report results. The Democratic Party in Nevada was also planning to use the app during its upcoming caucuses but abandoned that plan on Tuesday. We speak with Lee Fang, a reporter with The Intercept. His new piece is titled “New Details Show How Deeply Iowa Caucus App Developer Was Embedded in Democratic Establishment.”

Can Bernie Sanders Defeat Trump? Jacobin's Bhaskar Sunkara & The Atlantic's David Frum Debate

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 08:31

After a chaotic night in Iowa, the focus of the Democratic race has now shifted to New Hampshire. Senator Bernie Sanders is leading in most New Hampshire polls a week ahead of the state’s primary. While Sanders has been surging in popularity across parts of the country, the Democratic Party establishment is openly expressing concern that the self-described democratic socialist could win the nomination. While Bernie Sanders faces attacks from the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, many of his supporters say he is the candidate best suited to beat Trump in November. We host a debate with two guests who have different views on Sanders’s electability. David Frum is a staff writer at The Atlantic and the author of “Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic.” In 2001 and 2002, he served as a speechwriter for President George W. Bush and was credited with helping write Bush’s famous “axis of evil” line. Frum’s recent article is titled “Bernie Can’t Win.” Bhaskar Sunkara is the founding editor and publisher of Jacobin and the author of “The Socialist Manifesto: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme Inequality.” Sunkara’s recent piece in The Guardian is titled “Sanders is leading the pack in Iowa — and that’s good news for Democrats.”

Chaos in Iowa: Caucus Results Delayed, But Bernie Sanders' Internal Data Shows He May Have Won

Tue, 02/04/2020 - 08:10

The Iowa Democratic Party delayed releasing results from Monday’s caucuses after uncovering inconsistencies in the reporting of data. Caucuses were held in 1,600 precincts across the state on Monday, but many precincts had trouble reporting the delegate totals to the state Democratic Party. Part of the blame was placed on a new smartphone app designed to help precinct chairs tabulate and report the vote. Early Tuesday morning, Bernie Sanders’s campaign released internal caucus numbers from 40% of the precincts in Iowa showing the Vermont senator was in first place with nearly 30% of the final count vote. According to the data released by the Sanders campaign, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg placed second with about 24.5% of the vote, followed by Senator Elizabeth Warren with 21%. Former Vice President Joe Biden placed a distant fourth with 12%, just beating Senator Amy Klobuchar. For more on the chaos in Iowa, we speak with John Nichols, national affairs correspondent for The Nation and host of the podcast “Next Left.” He’s been reporting on the ground in Iowa and just wrote the piece “How to Figure Out Who 'Won' the Iowa Caucuses.”

Laurie Garrett on How Trump Has Sabotaged America's Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 08:47

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to spread, the United States has declared a public health emergency and is barring foreign nationals who have recently traveled to China from entering the country. So far, there are 11 confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. The virus has claimed at least 361 lives in China. A 44-year-old man in the Philippines became the first casualty of the disease outside of China Saturday, and over the weekend the number of confirmed cases worldwide rose to at least 17,205 across more than two dozen countries, with most of those cases occurring in China. U.S. citizens who have visited Hubei province, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, will be quarantined when re-entering the country. Questions are being raised about the handling of the disease by Chinese authorities, who critics say delayed their response and downplayed the severity of the problem. The local Red Cross in Hubei has also come under fire for failing to distribute essential medical supplies to the hospitals which need it most. Meanwhile, Chinese and Asian communities in countries including France and Canada say they have been the target of increased racism because of the outbreak. We speak to Laurie Garrett, former senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations and a Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer.

ACLU: Trump Is Expanding His Racist Travel Ban, This Time Targeting Africans

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 08:38

The Trump administration has expanded its contested travel ban to six additional countries — most of which are African nations. Under the new restrictions, nationals of Nigeria, Eritrea, Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan will no longer be able to obtain visas to live and work in the U.S., while Sudan and Tanzania will no longer be able to participate in the diversity visa lottery program. The ban, commonly referred to as the “Muslim ban,” already affects citizens from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Venezuela and North Korea. The expansion is expected to affect more than 350 million people. Democrats say they will challenge the new ban and are expected to introduce the NO BAN Act in Congress soon. The latest travel ban takes effect February 22. We speak to Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

"A Grand Tragedy": Democrats Slam Republican Stonewalling in Senate Impeachment Trial

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 08:30

The Republican-controlled Senate appears poised to acquit President Trump in just the third impeachment trial in U.S. history, with a final vote on the two articles of impeachment scheduled for Wednesday. On Friday, the Senate voted 51 to 49 against calling witnesses to the Senate trial. Just two Republican senators supported calling for witnesses and collecting new evidence: Mitt Romney of Utah and Susan Collins of Maine. Without new witnesses, Republicans have cleared the biggest hurdle in their drive to acquit President Trump on the two impeachment charges, which relate to his withholding of military aid to Ukraine in return for that country launching investigations into his political rivals. The final vote in the Senate is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Wednesday, a day after President Trump gives his State of the Union address. To talk more about the impeachment trial, we are joined by John Nichols of The Nation. He is the author of many books, including “The Genius of Impeachment: The Founders’ Cure for Royalism.” John Nichols joins us from Des Moines, Iowa, where he is covering the Iowa caucuses.

As Bernie Sanders Surges Ahead of Iowa Caucus, DNC Under Fire for Changing Rules to Help Bloomberg

Mon, 02/03/2020 - 08:10

The Iowa caucuses take place today, kicking off the official start of the 2020 presidential election season. Democratic presidential candidates spent the weekend making last-minute pitches to voters at rallies across Iowa. Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee is facing criticism for overhauling its rules, opening the door for billionaire former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who is running a self-funded campaign, to take part in the next debate. This comes as fear is growing among some Democrats that Bernie Sanders might win the nomination. Politico reports a small group of DNC members have begun discussing a proposal to increase the role of superdelegates to give the party establishment more say in who becomes the nominee. From Des Moines, Iowa, we’re joined by John Nichols, The Nation’s national affairs correspondent and host of the podcast “Next Left.” He’s covering the Iowa caucuses on the ground and recently wrote the piece “The DNC’s Move to Accommodate Bloomberg Stirs Outrage in Iowa.”

“Disclosure": Groundbreaking Documentary Examines a Century of Trans Representation in Film & TV

Fri, 01/31/2020 - 08:25

As South Dakota becomes the latest state to pass anti-transgender legislation in the state’s lower house, we look at how trans people have been depicted in film and television over the last century. The film “Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen,” which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, traces trans representation from the 1914 silent film “A Florida Enchantment” to the Oscar-winning 1999 film “Boys Don’t Cry” to the new hit television series “Pose.” Through in-depth interviews with transgender actors, activists and writers, the documentary reveals the way Hollywood and the media both manufacture and reflect widespread misunderstandings and prejudices against transgender people. The film also champions the transgender people in film and television who have fought and continue to fight tirelessly for accurate and dignified representation on screen. We speak with the film’s director, Sam Feder, as well as actress Jen Richards, Emmy Award-winning director Yance Ford and ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio — all of whom are featured in “Disclosure.”

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