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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: 1 hour 26 min ago

Teachers in Revolt: Meet the Educators in Kentucky & Oklahoma Walking Out over School Funding

April 4, 2018 - 8:12am

Schools across Oklahoma are closed today for a third day as teachers continue their strike demanding more funding for education and increased pay. Oklahoma’s public education budget has been slashed more than any other state since the start of the recession in 2008, and its teachers are among the lowest paid in the nation. Scores of teachers are planning to begin a 123-mile protest march today from Tulsa to Oklahoma City. Meanwhile, thousands of teachers continue to protest in Kentucky, demanding a reversal to a provision in a recently passed bill about sewage treatment that gutted their pension benefits. On Monday, every school in the state was closed either due to spring break or in anticipation of a massive rally in the capital of Frankfort, where teachers filled the rotunda of the Kentucky state Capitol, chanting “Fund our schools!” This year’s wave of teacher rebellions began in West Virginia, where teachers won a 5 percent pay raise after a historic strike. We speak to four guests: Oklahoma teacher Andrea Thomas, Kentucky state lawmaker Attica Scott, retired Kentucky teacher Mickey McCoy and labor journalist Mike Elk.

He Gave His Life in the Labor Struggle: MLK's Forgotten Radical Message for Economic Justice

April 3, 2018 - 8:50am

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated 50 years ago this week while in Memphis, where he was supporting striking sanitation workers and building support for his Poor People’s Campaign. We look at King’s long history of fighting for economic justice, with the Rev. James Lawson and historian Michael Honey, author of the new book “To the Promised Land: Martin Luther King and the Fight for Economic Justice.”

MLK's Final Days: The Rev. James Lawson Remembers King's Assassination & Support for Memphis Strike

April 3, 2018 - 8:37am

Fifty years ago today in Memphis, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his final sermon, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” Less than 24 hours later, King was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just 39 years old. King was in Memphis to support striking sanitation workers. We speak to Rev. James Lawson, who invited King to come to Memphis to support the strike. At the time, Lawson was the pastor of Centenary Methodist Church in Memphis. King called Rev. Lawson “the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world.”

Media Giant Sinclair, Under Fire for Forcing Anchors to Read Trumpian Screed, Is Rapidly Expanding

April 3, 2018 - 8:15am

While Sinclair Broadcast Group is not a household name, it is one of the most powerful TV companies in the nation. It owns 173 local TV stations across the country, including affiliates of all the major networks. And it’s attempting to grow even larger by purchasing Tribune Media—a $3.9 billion deal currently under regulatory review. Sinclair has been widely criticized for its close ties to the White House. But Sinclair is facing new scrutiny after it ordered news anchors at scores of its affiliate stations to recite nearly identical “must-read” commentaries warning of the dangers of “fake news” in language that echoes President Trump’s rhetoric. The commentaries reached millions of viewers last month and drew widespread attention after the website Deadspin published a video over the weekend showing side-by-side comparisons of the broadcasts from 45 Sinclair-owned stations. We speak to Andy Kroll, senior reporter at Mother Jones magazine.

Starvation Wages Are a "Crime": Lessons from MLK & 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike, 50 Years Later

April 2, 2018 - 8:43am

This week, commemorations are being held to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The civil rights leader and peace activist was gunned down April 4, 1968, on the balcony of his hotel room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just 39 years old. King was in Memphis to support striking sanitation workers, who he saw as being on the front lines of fighting poverty and integral to his new initiative, the Poor People’s Campaign. “It is a crime for people to live in this rich nation and receive starvation wages,” King told people in Memphis shortly before his death. In the late 1960s, King recognized that the next phase in the quest for civil rights and equality would focus on the economic divide. We speak with William “Bill” Lucy, former secretary-treasurer with AFSCME. He played a key role in the 1968 Memphis sanitation workers’ strike. He is also president emeritus of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. Also with us in Memphis is H.B. Crockett, one of the striking sanitation workers in 1968. He worked for the Memphis Sanitation Department for 53 years before retiring.

Massacre in Gaza: Israeli Forces Open Fire on Palestinians, Killing 18, Wounding As Many As 1,700

April 2, 2018 - 8:16am

At least 18 Palestinians have died in Gaza after Israeli forces opened fire Friday on a protest near the Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel. As many as 1,700 Palestinians were wounded. The deaths and injuries came as 30,000 Gaza residents gathered near the wall, as part of a planned 6-week-long nonviolent protest against the blockade of Gaza and to demand the right of return for Palestinian refugees. The protests began on Friday, March 30, known as “Land Day,” marking the anniversary of the 1976 killing of six Palestinians protesting the Israeli confiscation of Arab land. Video posted online shows unarmed Palestinians being shot in the back while taking part in Friday’s protest. Another 49 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces on Saturday. Israel’s actions have been condemned around the world, but Israel is rejecting calls to investigate the killings. At the United Nations, the U.S. blocked a move by the U.N. Security Council to open an investigation.

Remembering Stephen Hawking, Groundbreaking Physicist and Advocate for Climate, Palestine & Peace

March 30, 2018 - 8:48am

On Saturday, members of the scientific community, family, friends and fans alike will gather to remember the life and legacy of groundbreaking physicist Stephen Hawking. Hawking died on March 14 at his home in Cambridge, England, at the age of 76. For decades, Hawking enchanted both scientists and science lovers by making groundbreaking discoveries about the origins of the universe, then translating these ideas for millions of nonscientists worldwide. His career and life itself have been celebrated as a medical miracle. Born in Oxford, Britain, in 1942, he was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disorder known as Lou Gehrig’s disease at the age of 21. Doctors said he had only a few years to live. Instead, he went on to live for more than 50 years, traveling the world in his motorized wheelchair and communicating through a custom-made computerized voice synthesizer. His only complaint was that the synthesizer gave him an American accent. He also protested against U.S. wars, including the U.S. war in Vietnam and the U.S. invasion of Iraq. We speak to Kitty Ferguson, author of two books about Hawking, “Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind” and “Stephen Hawking: Quest for a Theory of Everything.”

Meet the Doctor Suing Trump: Dr. Eugene Gu on Gun Violence, Privatization of VA & White Supremacy

March 30, 2018 - 8:35am

Doctors across the country are slamming former Republican Senator Rick Santorum for arguing that young people protesting for gun control would be better served by learning CPR. Dr. Eugene Gu of Vanderbilt University Medical Center tweeted, “As a surgeon, I’ve operated on gunshot victims who’ve had bullets tear through their intestines, cut through their spinal cord, and pulverize their kidneys and liver. Rick Santorum telling kids to shut up and take CPR classes is simply unconscionable.” We speak to Dr. Gu about gun violence, his lawsuit against President Trump and why he was suspended for taking a knee to fight white supremacy.

David Shulkin's Firing at the VA Is Latest Step in Trump-Koch Push to Privatize Veterans' Healthcare

March 30, 2018 - 8:14am

On Wednesday, President Trump fired Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin and said he’d replace him with White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson, a rear admiral in the Navy. Dr. Jackson has no experience running a large agency. The Department of Veterans Affairs is the federal government’s second-largest department, with 360,000 employees. Shulkin had been facing criticism for various ethics violations, including using taxpayer money to pay for his wife’s airfare during a trip to Europe last summer. But Shulkin says he’s actually being ousted because of his opposition to privatizing the VA, which runs 1,700 hospitals and clinics. The push to privatize the VA has been led by a group called Concerned Veterans for America, which is funded by the billionaire conservative Koch brothers. We speak to Suzanne Gordon, an award-winning healthcare journalist. Her forthcoming book is titled “Wounds of War: Veterans’ Healthcare in the Era of Privatization.”

Family to Bury Slain Sacramento Man Stephon Clark, as Protests Continue Demanding Justice

March 29, 2018 - 8:50am

The family of Stephon Clark is holding his funeral today in Sacramento, California, as massive protests continue against the police shooting that killed the unarmed African-American man in his grandmother’s backyard on March 18. Police first claimed he was holding a gun, but later admitted they found only his cellphone near his body. We get an update from Berry Accius, with Voice of the Youth in Sacramento.

"I Am Raising My Voice": Guatemalan Mother in Sanctuary in NYC Accuses Border Patrol of Sexual Abuse

March 29, 2018 - 8:30am

We turn now to a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive interview with a Guatemalan woman named Aura Hernández, who has taken sanctuary in the Fourth Universalist Society of New York, the Unitarian church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, to avoid her deportation to Guatemala. She has been living in the United States for 13 years. She’s the mother of two U.S.-born children: 10-year-old Victor Daniel and 14-month-old Camila Guadalupe. She entered sanctuary a few weeks ago to keep her family united as she continues to fight her immigration case. She says that in 2005, when she first entered the United States, she was sexually abused while detained by the Border Patrol in Texas. She says the officer who abused her then threatened to come find her if she ever went public about the abuse. She has fought for years, quietly, to obtain a U visa as a result of the alleged sexual abuse. U visas are for the victims of certain crimes who cooperate with law enforcement. She says that despite her cooperation with authorities, the Department of Homeland Security has refused to certify her U visa, meaning she has not yet been able to obtain protections to stay in the country. The Customs and Border Protection agency declined to comment. After being forced to take sanctuary to avoid her deportation, she is now breaking her silence. On Tuesday night, Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman and Laura Gottesdiener sat down with Aura Hernández for her first-ever television interview.

NYC Minister: I'm Willing to Be Arrested If ICE Comes for Immigrant Mother in Sanctuary in My Church

March 29, 2018 - 8:24am

A few weeks ago, the Fourth Universalist Society of New York City opened its doors to Guatemalan mother Aura Hernández, who took sanctuary to avoid her deportation to Guatemala. Last year, the congregation voted to become a sanctuary church; shortly thereafter, the church was vandalized with swastikas carved into the church’s front doors. On Tuesday night, Democracy Now! sat down with the senior minister of the Unitarian church, Rev. Schuyler Vogel.

As North Korea Talks with China, South Korea & Japan, Could Bolton Derail Denuclearization Progress?

March 29, 2018 - 8:10am

The leaders of North and South Korea announced today that they will hold a historic meeting on April 27, coming together for talks for the first time in more than a decade. The news comes after Kim Jong-un’s surprise trip to China this week to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, where he reportedly said he was willing to give up North Korea’s nuclear weapons. Kim is due to meet sometime soon with President Trump, although a date has not been set for that summit. It would be the first-ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader. We speak with Tim Shorrock, correspondent for The Nation and the Korea Center for Investigative Journalism.

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