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Tuesday, September 19th

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No Is Not Enough: Naomi Klein on Bernie's Medicare-for-All Bill & Future of Democratic Party

http://www.democracynow.org - September 18, 2017 - 8:46am

Last week, Vermont independent Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a bill that would provide universal healthcare by expanding Medicare to include every American. Sanders introduced the bill flanked by doctors, nurses and some of the bill’s 15 Democratic co-sponsors. For more, we’re joined by best-selling author Naomi Klein.

Naomi Klein: We Are Seeing the Shock Doctrine in Effect After Hurricanes Harvey & Irma

http://www.democracynow.org - September 18, 2017 - 8:29am

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner has tapped the former head of U.S. operations for oil giant Shell to lead Houston’s post-Hurricane Harvey recovery effort. Marvin Odum was the chair of Shell for eight years. He retired in 2016. Hurricane Harvey killed at least 82 people, flooded thousands of homes and destroyed billions of dollars of property. It also caused widespread environmental contamination, triggering a half-million-gallon gasoline spill and the release of up to 5 million pounds of pollutants into the air. For more, we speak with best-selling author and journalist Naomi Klein.

Naomi Klein Warns Europe May Water Down Paris Accord to Win Support from Trump

http://www.democracynow.org - September 18, 2017 - 8:14am

President Donald Trump on Tuesday is scheduled to address the United Nations General Assembly. Climate change is expected to be high on the agenda at this year’s gathering. As the world leaders meet, another major storm—Hurricane Maria—is gaining strength in the Caribbean and following a similar path as Hurricane Irma. The current forecast shows Maria could hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm as early as Wednesday. The U.S. Virgin Islands, which were devastated by Irma, also appear to be in line to be hit by Maria. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that the Trump administration is considering staying in the Paris climate agreement, just months after the president vowed to pull out of it. The White House denied the report. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday signaled Trump may stay in the Paris accord, but National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster gave a different message on Fox News Sunday. We speak with best-selling author Naomi Klein, a senior correspondent for The Intercept. Her most recent book, "No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need," has been longlisted for a National Book Award.

South Asia: 1,300 Dead, 40 Million Impacted in Climate Change-Linked Flooding

http://www.democracynow.org - September 15, 2017 - 8:53am

We turn to the devastating floods in South Asia, where more than 41 million people have been battling floods and displacement. More than 1,300 people have died in Bangladesh, India and Nepal in recent months, after the region was hit by the worst flooding in at least 40 years. Some 40 million more people have seen their homes, businesses or crops destroyed. In the coming decade, devastating floods are expected to increase as changing weather patterns worsen risks in the region, climate researchers say. Flooding accounted for 47 percent of all weather-related global disasters between 1995 and 2015, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction said in a report. Of the 2.3 billion people affected, 95 percent were in Asia. We speak with David Molden, the director general of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development in Kathmandu, Nepal. The group works in eight countries across South Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan

The Forgotten Americans: Why Did U.S. Media Ignore U.S. Virgin Islands Devastated by Irma?

http://www.democracynow.org - September 15, 2017 - 8:34am

Hurricane Irma made landfall in the U.S. Virgin Islands as a Category 5 storm just over one week ago, knocking out electricity and running water, and cutting off communications with the outside world. Now, Governor Kenneth Mapp says the islands of Saint John and Saint Thomas are still nearly entirely without power. The hurricane also destroyed schools and the main hospital on Saint Thomas. The devastation was so extensive, it can be seen from space. Earlier this week, a U.S. military amphibious ship arrived on Saint Thomas ladened with equipment and supplies. The islands have also received emergency aid from residents of the nearby island of Puerto Rico, where volunteers banded together to collect supplies and transport them on dozens of ships. But while Hurricane Irma hit the U.S. Virgin Islands days before it made landfall on the Florida Keys, the Virgin Islands have been largely forgotten in the wall-to-wall U.S. media coverage of the storm. And that omission is even more striking given that the U.S. Virgin Islands are in the midst of celebrating their centennial as U.S. territory. We speak with Saint Thomas native Tiphanie Yanique, award-winning poet and novelist. She’s an associate professor in the English Department at Wesleyan University and the author of the poetry collection "Wife" and the novel "Land of Love and Drowning."

Deregulated & Unaccountable: For-Profit Nursing Homes in Florida Face Scrutiny After Irma Deaths

http://www.democracynow.org - September 15, 2017 - 8:15am

Authorities in Florida have obtained a search warrant to investigate the deaths of eight elderly residents at a nursing home in Hollywood in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The victims ranged in age from 71 to 99 years old. They died in the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills after a transformer was knocked out following the hurricane, causing the nursing home’s air conditioning unit to shut down. Authorities say that the administrators of the nursing home were aware that the air conditioning unit had failed, and that they installed fans and portable air coolers inside the facility. But the remedies did little to protect the residents from the sweltering heat. At 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning, one nursing home resident was rushed to the emergency room of Memorial Regional Hospital, a Level I trauma center just down the street. By 5 a.m., when the hospital received a third rescue call, some hospital workers went down the street to check on the nursing home. They found a situation so critical, the hospital sent in more than 50 medical workers under a mass casualty protocol. At least 150 people were evacuated, many with severe dehydration and other heat-related symptoms. We speak with Dale Ewart, vice president of 1199SEIU, the United Healthcare Workers East union. We also speak with Stephen Hobbs, a reporter for the Sun Sentinel who has been covering the eight deaths.

Roger Waters Criticizes Senate Bill Criminalizing BDS & Radiohead's Recent Concert in Tel Aviv

http://www.democracynow.org - September 14, 2017 - 8:42am

Last week, Roger Waters wrote a piece in The New York Times titled "Congress Shouldn’t Silence Human Rights Advocates." In the op-ed, Waters criticized a bill being considered in the Senate to silence supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement against Israel. The bill seeks to criminalize individuals who participate in the BDS effort. We speak to Waters and Sut Jhally of the Media Education Foundation. We also discuss criticism of the BDS movement and ask Waters about his public spat with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, whose band has rejected calls to join BDS.

"The Occupation of the American Mind": Documentary Looks at Israel's PR War in the United States

http://www.democracynow.org - September 14, 2017 - 8:21am

We continue our conversation with legendary British musician Roger Waters, founding member of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd. Waters is the narrator of a recent documentary titled "The Occupation of the American Mind: Israel’s Public Relations War in the United States." We air clips from the film and speak to Roger Waters and Sut Jhally, professor of communication at the University of Massachusetts and founder and executive director of the Media Education Foundation, which produced the documentary.

Pink Floyd Founder Roger Waters: BDS is One of "Most Admirable" Displays of Resistance in the World

http://www.democracynow.org - September 14, 2017 - 8:09am

Today we spend the hour with the world-famous British musician Roger Waters, founding member of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd. In recent years, he has become one of the most prominent musicians supporting BDS, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel over its treatment of Palestinians. Waters is scheduled to play Friday and Saturday in Long Island, despite attempts by Nassau County officials to shut down the concerts citing a local anti-BDS bill. Despite this, Roger Waters has continued to speak out. Last week, he wrote a piece in The New York Times titled "Congress Shouldn’t Silence Human Rights Advocates." In the op-ed, he criticized a bill being considered in the Senate to silence supporters of BDS. Roger Waters joined us in the studio on Wednesday.

"Will the 9/11 Case Finally Go to Trial?": Andrew Cockburn on New Evidence Linking Saudis to Attacks

http://www.democracynow.org - September 13, 2017 - 8:48am

As the nation marks the 16th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, questions still swirl about the role of Saudi Arabia in the attacks. The 9/11 attack was carried out by 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were from Saudi Arabia. Sixteen years after the attacks, 9/11 families and survivors are continuing their efforts to take Saudi Arabia to trial. Just this week, the New York Post reported new evidence presented in the case alleging the Saudi Embassy in Washington, D.C., funded a "dry run" of 9/11 two years before the attacks. The families’ lawyers say the new allegations offer "a pattern of both financial and operational support" by the Saudi government. We speak with Andrew Cockburn, whose latest piece is headlined "Crime and Punishment: Will the 9/11 case finally go to trial?"

Background Checks for Voting?: Inside the Trump Election Commission's Contentious Second Meeting

http://www.democracynow.org - September 13, 2017 - 8:28am

President Donald Trump’s so-called election integrity commission held its second meeting on Tuesday in Manchester, New Hampshire, even as it faces a series of lawsuits and calls for the resignation of its vice chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. President Trump convened the commission to look into his allegations of voter fraud during the 2016 presidential election. But many voting rights advocates worry that the commission aims to lay the groundwork for a nationwide voter suppression effort. At Tuesday’s contentious meeting, the witness list was comprised of 100 percent white men, including the far-right pro-gun activist John Lott Jr., who proposed requiring voters to first pass a background check. We speak with Ari Berman, senior reporter at Mother Jones. His recent article is titled "Lawsuits, Falsehoods, and a Lot of White Men: Trump’s Election Commission Meets Amid Growing Controversy." We also speak with Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The organization has filed a complaint against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

"Pivotal Moment in American History": Sen. Sanders Unveils Medicare-for-All Bill with 15 Co-Sponsors

http://www.democracynow.org - September 13, 2017 - 8:14am

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is slated to introduce universal healthcare legislation today, aimed at expanding Medicare coverage to include every American. In a New York Times op-ed published today, Sanders wrote, "This is a pivotal moment in American history. Do we, as a nation, join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee comprehensive health care to every person as a human right? Or do we maintain a system that is enormously expensive, wasteful and bureaucratic, and is designed to maximize profits for big insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, Wall Street and medical equipment suppliers?" Fifteen senators have already signed on as co-sponsors. The introduction of the Medicare for All Act comes after Republicans repeatedly failed to push through their legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The Republicans’ efforts sparked sustained grassroots protests, led by disability activists and healthcare professionals. We speak with Michael Lighty, director of public policy for National Nurses United and the California Nurses Association. National Nurses United has long advocated for a Medicare-for-all system.

Special Report: How Decentralized Mutual Aid Networks Are Helping Houston Recover from Harvey

http://www.democracynow.org - September 12, 2017 - 8:49am

We end today’s show in Houston, Texas, two weeks after Hurricane Harvey caused historic flooding and left residents to coordinate with each other to rescue thousands of people who were left stranded when officials were overwhelmed. Now that volunteer spirit of mutual aid has continued in the storm’s aftermath. We air a report from Renée Feltz on how many Houstonians have formed decentralized networks to clean out flooded homes, feed thousands who lost everything, and offer much-needed counseling.

A Storm of Silence: Study Finds Media Is Largely Ignoring Link Between Hurricanes and Climate Change

http://www.democracynow.org - September 12, 2017 - 8:36am

"A Storm of Silence." That’s the title of a new report by the watchdog group Public Citizen that looks at the media’s failure to discuss climate change in its wall-to-wall hurricane coverage. While all the television networks commented on the magnitude of Hurricane Harvey and "extreme weather," virtually none explained how warmer ocean temperatures lead to heavier winds, warmer air causes more precipitation, and higher sea levels exacerbate storm surges. The report examined 18 media sources’ coverage of Hurricane Harvey—looking at 10 major newspapers, three weekly news magazines and national programming from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and Fox News over the course of eight days’ worth of Hurricane Harvey coverage. The report concludes, "Many failed to discuss the issue [of climate change] much or failed to cover important aspects of it. ... Two of the three major broadcast networks, ABC and NBC, did not mention climate change at all in the context of Hurricane Harvey." We speak to David Arkush, managing director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program.

Austerity, Divestment & Irma: Juan González on Why 300,000 in Puerto Rico are Without Power

http://www.democracynow.org - September 12, 2017 - 8:32am

FEMA Administrator Brock Long is traveling today to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to see firsthand the damage caused by Hurricane Irma. In Puerto Rico, 300,000 remain without power—despite the fact that the island was barely hit by the storm. Authorities have warned parts of Puerto Rico could be without electricity for up to six months, in part due to the island’s economic crisis. We speak with Juan González about how U.S.-imposed austerity and divestment are contributing to the electricity crisis after Irma.

After Irma, a Look at Why Cubans are 15 Times Less Likely to Die from Hurricanes Than Americans

http://www.democracynow.org - September 12, 2017 - 8:12am

One of the Caribbean islands hardest hit by Hurricane Irma was Cuba, where 10 people died. Irma hit Cuba’s northern coast as a Category 5 storm. It was the deadliest hurricane in Cuba since 2005, when 16 people died in Hurricane Dennis. Cuba has long been viewed as a world leader in hurricane preparedness and recovery. According to the Center for International Policy, a person is 15 times as likely to be killed by a hurricane in the United States as in Cuba. Meanwhile, Cuba has already sent more than 750 health workers to Antigua, Barbuda, Saint Kitts, Nevis, Saint Lucia, the Bahamas, Dominica and Haiti. For more, we speak with Elizabeth Newhouse, director of the Center for International Policy’s Cuba Project. She has taken numerous delegations from the U.S. to Cuba to see how the Cubans manage disaster preparedness.

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