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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 27 min ago

The Torture Machine: Flint Taylor on Chicago Police Brutality from Fred Hampton to Today

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 08:31

We look at the Chicago Police Department’s long history of violence against African Americans, from the murder of Black Panther Fred Hampton to the reign of torture overseen by commander Jon Burge. The brutality of the Chicago police force is laid bare in a new book by leading civil rights lawyer Flint Taylor. It’s called “The Torture Machine: Racism and Police Violence in Chicago.” The book exposes decades of corruption and cover-ups in the Chicago Police Department. We speak with Flint Taylor, who has represented survivors of police brutality in Chicago for nearly half a century.

Trump & Bolsonaro Join Forces to Back Regime Change in Venezuela & to Attack Media as "Fake News"

Wed, 03/20/2019 - 08:14

Brazil’s far-right president and former Army captain Jair Bolsonaro visited President Trump at the White House for the first time on Tuesday. During the visit, Trump announced he would designate Brazil a major non-NATO ally, opening the door for Brazil to receive more U.S. military aid. Trump also suggested Brazil could even become a member of NATO. Both leaders criticized what they called the “fake news” and discussed increasing efforts to remove Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from office. We speak with Maria Luísa Mendonça, director of the Network for Social Justice and Human Rights in Brazil. She is a visiting scholar at the City University of New York Graduate Center.

The Military-Industrial Complex: Trump's Ties to Boeing in Spotlight Amid Probes of 737 MAX 8 Jets

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 08:51

The Trump administration’s close ties to Boeing are facing new scrutiny in the wake of deadly plane crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia involving the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet. President Trump has publicly praised Boeing hundreds of times in his two years in office and participated in efforts to sell its planes, including the 737 MAX series, to countries and airlines around the world. Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg praised Trump’s support at a dinner last August at Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who was appointed by Trump, spent 31 years as a Boeing executive. And Trump’s former U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, has been nominated to the Boeing board of directors. We speak to William Hartung, the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy. His recent piece in The Nation is titled “A Former Boeing Executive Is Now Running the Pentagon.”

ACLU: The U.S. Is Acting Like an Authoritarian Regime by Barring ICC Officials Probing War Crimes

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 08:32

The Trump administration has barred International Criminal Court investigators from entering the United States. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday that the U.S. will start denying visas to members of the ICC who may be investigating alleged war crimes by the U.S. military in Afghanistan. In September, national security adviser John Bolton threatened U.S. sanctions against ICC judges if they continued to investigate alleged war crimes committed by U.S. troops in Afghanistan. A 2016 ICC report accused the U.S. military of torturing at least 61 prisoners in Afghanistan during the ongoing war. The report also accused the CIA of subjecting at least 27 prisoners to torture, including rape, at CIA prison sites in Afghanistan, Poland, Romania and Lithuania. We speak with Jamil Dakwar, director of the Human Rights Program at the American Civil Liberties Union.

"They Are Us": New Zealand Mourns After Mosque Attacks Killed 50 Including Refugees & Immigrants

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 08:16

Burials are beginning in New Zealand as the country mourns the loss of 50 Muslim worshipers gunned down in two mosques in Christchurch by a white supremacist Friday. It was the deadliest attack in New Zealand’s history. The worshipers killed in the Christchurch massacre came from around the world. Most of them were immigrants, or refugees who had come to New Zealand seeking safety. Six Pakistanis, four Jordanians, four Egyptians and at least three Bangladeshis are among the dead. The Palestinian Authority’s foreign ministry said that six of the victims were of Palestinian origin. We speak with Eva Nisa, a lecturer in religious studies at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. Her recent article for Middle East Eye is titled “New Zealand has been a home to Muslims for centuries, and will remain so.”

A Global Strike for Climate Change: 1.4 Million Students Walk Out of Class Demanding Action

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 08:53

Up to 1.4 million children around the world took part in a global climate strike on Friday to demand world leaders do more to address the dangers of climate. The mass protests were sparked by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has skipped school every Friday to sit outside the Swedish parliament to demand leaders act on climate change. Democracy Now! was in the streets of New York City on Friday with the young activists. We speak with 18-year-old Alysa Chen, one of the organizers of the walkout at New York City’s Bronx High School of Science.

Former Neo-Nazi: President Trump May Be Complicit in Growing Threat of White Supremacy

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 08:36

President Donald Trump is refusing to acknowledge the global rise of white nationalism in the wake of the hate-fueled New Zealand massacre that left 50 Muslim worshipers dead on Friday. Police have arrested and charged 28-year-old white supremacist Brenton Tarrant with the killings. Before the attacks, Tarrant published a manifesto in which he praised Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose” and described immigrants as “invaders.” On the same day, Trump claimed there was an “invasion” occurring on the southern border, signing his first presidential veto rejecting a resolution reversing his declaration of a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border. We speak with Christian Picciolini, the founder of Free Radicals Project, a nonprofit helping people disengage from hate and violent extremism. He was a leading neo-Nazi skinhead and far-right extremist in the 1980s and '90s. He is the author of “White American Youth: My Descent into America's Most Violent Hate Movement—and How I Got Out.” We also speak with Khaled Beydoun, a law professor at the University of Arkansas and author of “American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear.”

State-Sponsored Islamophobia & Trump's Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric Embolden Right-Wing Terrorists

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 08:28

Fifty people are dead, and millions around the globe are mourning, following the massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday. The terrorist attack unfolded during Friday prayer, when a lone gunman and avid white supremacist opened fire on worshipers while live-streaming the attack on Facebook. It was the deadliest shooting in the country’s modern history. The youngest of the dead is 3-year-old Mucad Ibrahim. Police have arrested and charged a 28-year-old Australian white supremacist named Brenton Tarrant with the killings. Tarrant published a manifesto praising President Donald Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” Trump has refused to acknowledge the global rise of white nationalism in the wake of the attack. We speak with Khaled Beydoun, a law professor at the University of Arkansas and the author of “American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear.” He says, “There’s an underbelly of anti-Muslim animus that facilitates the emergence of the very brazen Islamophobia we see today, weaponized by people like President Trump or by terrorists on the ground in places like New Zealand who commit massacres like we saw on Friday.”

After Deadly 1996 Massacre, Australia Overhauled Its Gun Laws. New Zealand Now Plans to Do the Same

Mon, 03/18/2019 - 08:12

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed to change the country’s gun laws following the deadly Christchurch massacre Friday that left 50 people dead and millions around the globe mourning following the massacre. The terrorist attack unfolded at two mosques during Friday prayer, when a lone gunman and avid white supremacist opened fire on worshipers while live-streaming the attack on Facebook. It was the deadliest shooting in the country’s modern history. The shooter reportedly used five guns to carry out the attack, including two semiautomatic assault weapons. We speak with Rebecca Peters, an international arms control advocate and member of the International Action Network on Small Arms. She led the campaign to reform Australia’s gun laws after the 1996 Port Arthur massacre, when a gunman shot dead 35 people at a cafe. After the attack, Australia cracked down on gun violence, outlawing automatic and semiautomatic rifles. More than 640,000 weapons were turned in to authorities in a nationwide buyback.

Journalist's Struggle to Find Bone Marrow Match Exposes Racial Disparity in National Registry

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 08:48

A nationwide campaign has been launched to find a blood stem cell donor for a 29-year-old journalist who was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia. Liyna Anwar is an Indian-American producer who used to work at StoryCorps. She desperately needs a stem cell transplant, but she does not match any of her family members or the 19 million people in a national registry. Her search for a match is made more difficult because South Asians are underrepresented in the national registry. A campaign urging people of South Asian descent to donate stem cells has been launched in Anwar’s name. It’s called #SwabForLiyna. We speak with her brother Dr. Abbas Anwar and an expert on acute myelogenous leukemia, Dr. Azra Raza. We also speak with Dave Isay, the founder of StoryCorps.

Anand Giridharadas: College Bribery Scandal Highlights How America is Rigged for Wealthy & Powerful

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 08:35

As the fallout continues over the elite college admissions scandal that investigators nicknamed “Operation Varsity Blues,” we speak with journalist Anand Giridharadas, author of “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.” His book examines how the so-called elite class of America have worked the system to maintain and consolidate power and wealth, even while claiming to help people and “change the world” through charity. On Wednesday, Giridharadas tweeted: “The college bribery scam is not a college bribery scam. It is a master class in how America—governed by a cheater, ruled by rule breakers, managed by a class that confuses its privilege for merit—functions.”

White Supremacist Kills 49 Muslim Worshipers in New Zealand as Islamophobic Hate Crimes Rise Globally

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 08:12

In New Zealand, a white right-wing extremist killed 49 people in an attack on two mosques in the city of Christchurch during Friday prayers. It is the deadliest shooting in New Zealand’s history. Police have arrested and charged a 28-year-old Australian man named Brenton Tarrant with the attack. The gunman live-streamed the attack and published a manifesto in which he praised President Donald Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.” We speak with human rights activist and lawyer Qasim Rashid, who recently launched a campaign to run for a seat in the Virginia state Senate. And we speak with Farid Hafez, a lecturer and researcher at the University of Salzburg, senior research fellow at The Bridge Initiative at Georgetown University and expert on Islamophobia.

Until We Reckon: Mass Incarceration, Violence & the Radical Possibilities of Restorative Justice

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 08:41

A staggering 2.2 million people are locked up in America’s sprawling prison system, and more than half of those currently confined in state prisons have been convicted of violent crime. In order to radically reduce the prison population and transform criminal justice in this country, author and community organizer Danielle Sered argues that reformers must reckon with violent crime and come up with radically new ways to address it. She lays out a path for this transformation in her new unflinching book, “Until We Reckon.” Sered has spent nearly a decade working directly with people that have committed violent acts and survivors of violence as the executive director of Common Justice, a Brooklyn-based organization that offers alternatives to incarceration for people charged with violent felonies. Her experience anchors her book as she calls for a complete overhaul of the way we’ve been taught to think about crime, punishment and justice. We speak with Sered about restorative justice and how incarceration perpetuates the very violence it is meant to curb.

Impeaching Trump: Pelosi Says It's "Not Worth It," But Progressive Democrats Push Ahead

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 08:29

Democratic lawmakers are continuing to push for the impeachment of President Donald Trump, despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking out against impeachment in an interview earlier this week. Impeachment rumors have been swirling since the Democrats regained control of the House in January. Congressmember Rashida Tlaib of Michigan said last week that she will formally introduce articles of impeachment this month. We speak with John Bonifaz, an attorney and political activist specializing in constitutional law and voting rights. He is the co-founder and president of Free Speech for People, one of the organizations calling for Trump’s impeachment.

Regime Change Via Sanctions? U.S. Uses International Finance System to Strangle Venezuelan Economy

Thu, 03/14/2019 - 08:15

Venezuelan officials say power will be largely restored in the country today after a week-long blackout across much of the country. The cause of the blackout remains in dispute. The United States blamed it on years of neglect of the Venezuelan energy system, but Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro accused the U.S. military of launching a “cyberattack against the electrical, telecommunication and internet systems.” The blackout comes amid a growing political crisis in Venezuela as U.S.-backed opposition groups attempt to topple Maduro’s government. On Monday, the United States announced it was withdrawing remaining diplomatic staff from its embassy in Caracas. We speak with Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and president of Just Foreign Policy. His latest piece for The New Republic is headlined “The Reality Behind Trump’s Coalition for Regime Change in Venezuela.”

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