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Syndicate content 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: 10 min 42 sec ago

Cuban Exile & CIA Agent Luis Posada Carriles Dies a Free Man in U.S. Despite Years of Terrorism

May 25, 2018 - 8:51am

Former CIA operative and Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles died Wednesday just outside of Miami. He was 90 years old. Posada Carriles is best known as the suspected mastermind of the 1976 bombing of a Cubana airline jet. For decades, the U.S. refused to extradite Posada Carriles to face terrorism charges, despite demands by Cuba and Venezuela. Posada Carriles later publicly admitted ties to a series of hotel bombings in Cuba in 1997. In 2000, he was arrested in Panama City for plotting to blow up an auditorium where Fidel Castro would be speaking. Despite his record, Luis Posada Carriles died a free man in Florida. We get reaction from José Pertierra, a Cuban attorney based in Washington, D.C. He represented the Venezuelan government in its efforts to extradite Luis Posada Carriles, and also represented Elián González in 2000-2001.

Bill Cosby Rape Survivor Says Black Women Face Disproportionate Pressure Not to Speak Out on Assault

May 25, 2018 - 8:38am

Harvey Weinstein surrendered to police Friday, facing charges that he sexually assaulted two women. His arrest comes just one month after the public downfall of another extremely powerful man in entertainment—comedian Bill Cosby. Cosby was convicted of three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. She was the former director of operations for the women’s basketball team at Temple University. Like Weinstein, Cosby has been accused of rape and sexual assault by dozens of women, also in cases stretching back decades. The 80-year-old comedian is now facing up to 30 years in prison and will be sentenced later this summer. In Los Angeles, we speak with visual artist and actor Lili Bernard, who has accused Bill Cosby of drugging and raping her in the early 1990s when he mentored her in preparation for her guest starring role on “The Cosby Show.” We also continue to speak with Louise Godbold, who survived sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein.

"It Is About Bloody Time": Harvey Weinstein Assault Survivor Reacts to Arrest in NYC on Rape Charges

May 25, 2018 - 8:30am

[Update: Harvey Weinstein’s bond was set at $10 million, and paid $1 million in cash to post bail.]

The former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein has surrendered to police this morning, as a Manhattan prosecutor brings charges that Weinstein sexually assaulted two women. His bail is expected to be set at $2 million. Law enforcement officials said Weinstein would be charged with first-degree rape and third-degree rape in one case, and with first-degree criminal sex act in a second. It’s the latest stunning development in Weinstein’s downfall, which rocked Hollywood and helped spark a global movement of women coming forward to accuse men of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. Part of the New York case stems from the accusations of former aspiring actress Lucia Evans, who says Weinstein sexually assaulted her back in 2004. In total, more than 100 women have come forward to accuse Weinstein of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment, in cases that stretch back decades. In Paris, we speak with Louise Godbold, the executive director of Echo Parenting & Education and author of the blog post, “My Encounter with Harvey Weinstein and What It Tells Us About Trauma.”

As Trump Pulls Out of N. Korea Summit, Women Activists Head to DMZ to Promote Korean Peace Process

May 25, 2018 - 8:10am

President Trump has canceled plans for a June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. A top official in North Korea’s foreign ministry said Friday that Kim Jong-un is still willing to meet with Trump at any time and that the cancellation of the summit was “extremely regrettable.” In a letter to Kim, Trump cited Kim’s “tremendous anger and open hostility” in recent comments as his reason for canceling the talks. Trump went on to write, “You talk about nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.” Trump sent the letter just hours after North Korea declared it had destroyed one of its nuclear weapons test sites. According to a report from NBC, the decision was made so abruptly the Trump administration did not have time to notify congressional leaders or foreign allies, including South Korean President Moon Jae-in. In Seoul, South Korea, we speak with Christine Ahn, founder and international coordinator of Women Cross DMZ, a global movement of women mobilizing to end the Korean War. And in Washington, D.C., we speak with investigative journalist Tim Shorrock, correspondent for The Nation and the Korea Center for Investigative Journalism in Seoul.

"The Tale": Astonishing New Movie Tackles Filmmaker Jennifer Fox's Reckoning with Child Sexual Abuse

May 24, 2018 - 8:37am

As the #MeToo movement has inspired women around the world to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment, abuse and assault, we turn to a remarkable new film that is a narrative memoir about a woman’s own reckoning with childhood sexual abuse. It is directed by the woman who experienced the abuse: Jennifer Fox. It premieres May 26 on HBO. “The Tale” premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. The film’s stars include Laura Dern, Ellen Burstyn, Jason Ritter and Common. The film received rave reviews, with The Guardian calling it “a stunning sexual abuse drama” and “the mother of all #MeToo movies.” We speak with Jennifer Fox, the writer and director of “The Tale,” in New York City.

Volcano Lava Reaches Geothermal Plant and Pacific Ocean in Hawaii, Risking Public Health Disaster

May 24, 2018 - 8:27am

On the Big Island in Hawaii, the Kilauea volcano is continuing to erupt, spewing plumes of ash and lava. Lava is flowing increasingly close to the Puna Geothermal Venture plant, or PGV, which provides 25 percent of the Big Island’s energy. Workers are rushing to shut down the power plant to prevent the uncontrollable release of toxic gases from the site. The PGV came online in 1989 amid controversy over its location on what some residents say is sacred land. Many native Hawaiians believe the volcano is home to Pele, the goddess of fire. Others say that though geothermal energy is renewable, the plant poses risks to the health of residents and the environment. In Honolulu, we speak with Brittany Lyte, a reporter for Honolulu Civil Beat. Her recent article is titled “Workers Scramble to Seal Wells at Geothermal Plant Threatened by Lava.”

NFL Bans National Anthem Protests on Same Day Video of Police Tasering of NBA Player Is Released

May 24, 2018 - 8:11am

The National Football League has announced it will fine teams if players refuse to stand for the national anthem before games. But under the new rules adopted by the league’s 32 owners, players will be allowed to stay in the locker room during the anthem. Over the past two seasons, dozens of players have knelt during the anthem to protest police shootings of unarmed black men. The on-field protests began in August 2016 when quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem to protest racism and police brutality. President Trump has praised the NFL’s new rule, saying the league is “doing the right thing.” Just hours after the NFL announcement, the sports world was jolted by the release of a video showing police officers in Milwaukee tasering NBA player Sterling Brown, who plays for the Milwaukee Bucks. Brown, who is African-American, was approached by police after he parked his car across two handicap spaces in front of a Walgreens. The body cam footage confirms Brown was not “combative,” as police initially claimed, in a dispute over the parking violation. In a statement, Brown said, “Situations like mine and worse happen every day in the black community. Being a voice and a face for people who won’t be heard and don’t have the same platform as I have is a responsibility I take seriously.” In Washington, D.C., we speak with Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation magazine and host of “Edge of Sports.” His new piece is titled “The Real Reason NFL Owners Want to Punish Players for Protesting During the Anthem.” 

The New COINTELPRO? Meet the Activist the FBI Labeled a “Black Identity Extremist” & Jailed 5 Months

May 23, 2018 - 8:45am

In Texas, a black activist says he is the first person to be targeted and prosecuted under a secretive U.S. surveillance effort to track so-called black identity extremists. On December 12, activist Rakem Balogun awoke to armed FBI agents storming his Dallas apartment. He was then jailed for nearly six months without the possibility of bail as the FBI investigated him for “domestic terrorism,” in part because of his Facebook posts criticizing police brutality. He was released earlier this month, after U.S. attorneys failed to prosecute him. For more, we speak with Rakem Balogun, who was released earlier this month after being jailed for nearly six months. And we speak with Malkia Cyril, co-founder and executive director of the Center for Media Justice and a Black Lives Matter Bay Area activist.

Supreme Court Deals Blow to Workers' Rights in 5-4 Decision Against Collective Action

May 23, 2018 - 8:35am

In a major blow to workers’ rights, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 Monday that employers can use arbitration clauses to prohibit workers from banding together to challenge violations of federal labor laws in class-action lawsuits. Arbitration is often confidential. Many workers may agree to mandatory arbitration clauses without even being aware of it when they sign a contract with their employer. In a rare show of public displeasure, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench, calling the majority opinion “egregiously wrong” and saying, “The court today holds enforceable these arm-twisted, take-it-or-leave-it contracts—including the provisions requiring employees to litigate wage and hours claims only one-by-one. Federal labor law does not countenance such isolation of employees.” For more, we speak with Terri Gerstein, former labor bureau chief for the New York State Attorney General’s Office.

"We Are Lurching Toward Plutocracy": Rep. Ellison on Rollback of Key Dodd-Frank Banking Regulations

May 23, 2018 - 8:21am

In a rare bipartisan effort Tuesday, House lawmakers voted 258 to 159 to exempt banks with less than $250 billion in assets from many of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act regulations, even though banks’ profits are soaring. The Dodd-Frank Act was passed after the 2008 economic crisis, which was provoked by years of risky lending by Wall Street banks. Thirty-three Democrats joined their Republican counterparts in voting for the financial regulation rollback, which, if signed into law, would leave less than 10 banks in the U.S. subject to stricter federal oversight. For more, we speak with Minnesota Democratic Congressmember Keith Ellison. He is the first Muslim member of Congress and the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, or DNC.

DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison: The Democratic Party Should Stay Out of Primaries, Let Voters Decide

May 23, 2018 - 8:10am

Voters in Georgia, Texas, Arkansas and Kentucky headed to the polls Tuesday to determine a number of key primaries, and it was another big night for female Democratic candidates. In Georgia, Stacey Abrams made history by becoming the first African-American woman to win a major party’s nomination for governor in the U.S. If Abrams wins in November, she will become the first African-American governor in the Deep South since Reconstruction. Meanwhile in Houston, Texas, Lupe Valdez made history by becoming the first openly gay and first Latina candidate to win a major-party nomination for Texas governor. For more, we speak with Minnesota Democratic Congressmember Keith Ellison, deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee.

President Trump Is Not "Above the Law": John Bonifaz Warns Against Normalizing Impeachable Offenses

May 22, 2018 - 8:52am

Top FBI and Justice Department officials have confirmed they will meet with congressional leaders to review classified information on the handling of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. This comes after President Trump demanded an investigation into whether the FBI infiltrated his presidential campaign. Trump has claimed for months, without evidence, that the Obama administration spied on his campaign. Legal experts say his tweet Sunday crossed a line by applying overt presidential pressure on the Justice Department, which could possibly set up a clash similar to the one between President Nixon and the Justice Department during the Watergate scandal. 
The finding of wrongdoing by Trump could ultimately be referred to Congress and make impeachment a topic of debate among candidates in the midterm elections, though few Democratic leaders have openly supported it. This comes as Texas Democratic Congressmember Al Green doubled down on his effort to impeach Trump, a year after he first announced he was drafting articles of impeachment. We get an update from John Bonifaz, an attorney and president of Free Speech for People, one of the organizations that launched the “Impeach Donald Trump Now” campaign.

Royal Wedding Celebrates Black Culture, But U.K. Gov't Has Been Targeting Black Immigrants for Years

May 22, 2018 - 8:41am

While the royal wedding has been heralded for celebrating black culture, the British government is facing ongoing scrutiny for hostile immigration policies that have targeted black immigrants. Last month, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd resigned amid an escalating scandal over how thousands of Caribbean immigrants who have lived in Britain for decades are facing discrimination and deportation despite having legally immigrated to Britain after World War II. Known as the Windrush generation, many of the immigrants never formalized their citizenship after they immigrated from former British colonies. Now, following harsh new anti-immigration laws enacted in 2012, many of them are facing eviction, unemployment and the possibility of deportation. The British government has admitted that more than 60 people may have been wrongfully deported. We speak with Gabrielle Bruney, editor for Esquire. Her new piece is “The Royal Wedding Celebrated the Contributions of Black Britons: But it comes amid a scandal rooted in the British government’s mistreatment of Caribbean people.” We are also joined by Priya Gopal, a university lecturer in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge.

British Royals Rebrand with Royal Wedding, But Critics Say White, Neoliberal Monarchy Needs to Go

May 22, 2018 - 8:29am

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married Saturday at Windsor Castle in a ceremony that many heralded for celebrating black culture and history. Markle is biracial, divorced and a self-proclaimed feminist. The wedding featured a sermon about slavery, poverty and the enduring power of love by Bishop Michael Curry, the first African American to preside over the Episcopal Church. The British royal family is a “celebration of wealth, of elitism, of privilege in the hands of the few, of all the resources concentrated in the hands of a very small percentage of the country. In that sense it very much represents the current economic order in which we all live,” says Priya Gopal, a university lecturer in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge.

Pompeo Threatens Iran with Strongest Sanctions in History, Speeding U.S. March Toward War

May 22, 2018 - 8:11am

On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used his first major policy address to threaten Iran with “the strongest sanctions in history.” Pompeo presented a list of 12 “basic requirements” for a new nuclear treaty with Iran, including “unqualified access” to all nuclear sites and an end to its interventions in Yemen. This comes just under two weeks after the Trump administration withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal. “Pompeo and Bolton have made the choice for the international community much, much easier,” says Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council. “Either you collaborate with the Trump administration and go along with these sanctions and walk away from this nuclear deal—and, by that, you’re speeding up this march toward war—or you resist.”

Soraya Chemaly on Mass Shootings: "Focus Should Be on Boys & Men Who Can't Take No for an Answer"

May 21, 2018 - 8:50am

As details surface about the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, Friday that left 10 dead, a familiar pattern has emerged: The shooter was a white male who had been rejected by a female classmate. The mother of Shana Fisher, one of the victims in the art classroom where police say 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis entered and opened fire, told the Los Angeles Times that her 16-year-old daughter “had 4 months of problems from this boy. … He kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no.” Sadie Rodriguez said her daughter recently stood up to Pagourtzis in class, and “a week later he opens fire on everyone he didn’t like.” The Santa Fe shooting echoes another that followed rejection: In March, 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey was shot in the head at Great Mills High School by 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins after she had ended their relationship. Her injuries left her brain dead. She later died after she was taken off life support by her family. We are joined by Soraya Chemaly, a journalist who covers the intersection of gender and politics. She is the director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project.

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