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http://www.democracynow.org

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: 40 min 26 sec ago

Congresswoman Confirms Erik Prince Tied to Intelligence Operation Run Out of Dick Cheney’s Office

March 14, 2018 - 8:53am

On one of the latest episodes of Jeremy Scahill’s podcast “Intercepted,” he interviews Democratic Congressmember Jan Schakowsky about Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, who is now under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. For more, we speak with Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept.

Mike Pompeo, Christian Crusader & Koch Brothers Ally, Tapped to Be Trump's Secretary of State

March 14, 2018 - 8:43am

On Tuesday, President Trump announced via Twitter he was firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and tapping CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him. As a former Kansas Republican congressmember, Pompeo has a history of making Islamophobic statements. He’s also been a major ally to the billionaire right-wing Koch brothers. For more, we speak with Lee Fang, investigative reporter with The Intercept. His 2016 piece is “Trump CIA Pick Mike Pompeo Depicted War on Terror as Islamic Battle Against Christianity.”

Jeremy Scahill: Gina Haspel Should Be Answering for Her Torture Crimes, Not Heading the CIA

March 14, 2018 - 8:31am

Trump has tapped CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel to replace outgoing CIA Director Mike Pompeo, after Pompeo was named to succeed Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. Haspel was directly involved in the CIA’s torture program under George W. Bush. She was responsible for running a secret CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 where one prisoner was waterboarded 83 times and tortured in other ways. But she enjoys broad support, including from the intelligence community and Democrats in the Senate. For more, we speak with Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept.

"She Tortured Just for the Sake of Torture": CIA Whistleblower on Trump's New CIA Pick Gina Haspel

March 14, 2018 - 8:27am

Former CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou personally knew CIA director nominee Gina Haspel when he worked at the CIA. But their careers have taken very different paths over the past decade. Haspel, who was directly involved in torture at a secret CIA prison in Thailand, has been promoted to head the agency. Kiriakou, who blew the whistle on the torture program, ended up being jailed for 23 months. For more, we speak with John Kiriakou, who spent 14 years at the CIA as an analyst and case officer.

Trump's New CIA Nominee, Gina Haspel, Faces Possible Arrest Warrant in Germany over Torture

March 14, 2018 - 8:13am

Editor’s Note: ProPublica has retracted part of its reporting–which we cited in our coverage–about Gina Haspel’s role at a secret CIA black site in Thailand where prisoners were tortured. ProPublica is now reporting Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded at the site before Haspel took over. According to the New York Times, Haspel did oversee the waterboarding of another prisoner, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, at the secret prison.

On Tuesday morning, President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson via Twitter. In the same tweet, the president announced CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who is a close ally of the Koch brothers, would be nominated to become the new secretary of state. Trump also tapped CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel to head the CIA. Haspel was directly involved in the CIA’s torture program under George W. Bush. She was responsible for running a secret CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 where one prisoner was waterboarded 83 times and tortured in other ways. Both Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel must now face Senate confirmations, but barring any Republican defections, both can be confirmed without any Democratic support. Last year, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights asked German prosecutors to issue an arrest warrant for Haspel for her role in the torture program. For more, we speak with Wolfgang Kaleck, founder and general secretary of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights.

Critics of Bayou Bridge Pipeline in Louisiana Decry State & Company Surveillance of Protesters

March 13, 2018 - 8:39am

In Louisiana, newly disclosed documents reveal a state intelligence agency regularly spied on activists opposing construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline, which would carry nearly a half-million barrels of oil per day across Louisiana’s wetlands. The documents show the Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness regularly drafted intelligence memos on anti-pipeline activists, including a gathering of indigenous-led water protectors who’ve set up a protest encampment along the pipeline’s route. Other newly revealed documents show close coordination between Louisiana regulators and the company building the pipeline, Energy Transfer Partners. This comes just one week after a U.S. district judge in Baton Rouge ordered a temporary injunction against construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline in order to “prevent further irreparable harm” to the region’s delicate ecosystems, while court challenges proceed. For more, we speak with Pastor Harry Joseph of the Mount Triumph Baptist Church. We also speak with Pamela Spees of the Center for Constitutional Rights and Anne Rolfes, founding director of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade.

Charterize, Privatize, Christianize: The DeVos-Backed Policies That "Gutted" Michigan Public Schools

March 13, 2018 - 8:21am

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is facing new criticism after she struggled in a recent “60 Minutes” interview to explain why schools in her home state of Michigan are faring poorly under the policies she has championed. DeVos is a billionaire Republican activist and the sister of Blackwater founder Erik Prince. She once served as chair of the American Federation for Children in Michigan, where she promoted school choice and worked to expand the state’s use of private charter schools. Many educators say the results of DeVos’s policies in Michigan have been disastrous. For more, we speak with Allie Gross, a reporter with the Detroit Free Press. She covered education in Michigan as a freelance reporter and was a Teach for America teacher in a Detroit charter school.

"Unprecedented & Shocking": Armed Secret Service Agents Should Not Be Allowed at Polling Sites

March 13, 2018 - 8:12am

A bipartisan group of secretaries of state is condemning a proposal to allow armed Secret Service agents at election polling stations. The proposal has already been approved by the House as part of the Homeland Security Department reauthorization bill. On Friday, 19 secretaries of state wrote a letter to Senate leaders urging them to drop the proposal, calling it “unprecedented and shocking.” For more, we speak with Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

As Ex-CIA Head Admits to U.S. Meddling in Elections, Is Outrage over Russian Interference Overblown?

March 12, 2018 - 8:51am

Former CIA Director James Woolsey recently admitted the U.S. meddles in overseas elections. During an interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox News, Woolsey laughed about it and said the U.S. takes such action “only for a very good cause.” Woolsey made the comments shortly after 13 Russians were indicted for interfering with the U.S. election. We speak to former New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer, author of “Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq.”

Overthrow: 100 Years of U.S. Meddling & Regime Change, from Iran to Nicaragua to Hawaii to Cuba

March 12, 2018 - 8:27am

As special counsel Robert Mueller continues his probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, we take a look back at Washington’s record of meddling in elections across the globe. By one count, the United States has interfered in more than 80 foreign elections between 1946 and 2000. And that doesn’t count U.S.-backed coups and invasions. We speak to former New York Times reporter Stephen Kinzer, author of “Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq.”

Death to Drug Dealers: Trump Threatens to Ramp Up Drug War, Praising Efforts in Philippines & China

March 12, 2018 - 8:14am

President Trump has reiterated his calls for the U.S. to impose the death penalty on drug dealers, praising countries like the Philippines, China and Singapore that apply capital punishment to drug traffickers. During a speech on Saturday, Trump recounted conversations with Chinese and Singaporean leaders who, he said, solved their countries’ drug problems by executing drug traffickers. Trump has also repeatedly expressed admiration for Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and said he’s done an “unbelievable job on the drug problem.” Last month, the International Criminal Court opened a preliminary investigation into accusations that Duterte had committed crimes against humanity by overseeing the killing of up to 8,000 people in his so-called war on drugs. We speak to Widney Brown, the managing director of policy at the Drug Policy Alliance.

Overlooked: How Women Like Diane Arbus & Ida B. Wells Were Omitted from The NYT Obituaries

March 9, 2018 - 9:49am

As the world marked International Women’s Day on Wednesday, The New York Times began a new project highlighting the lives of remarkable women who never had an obituary in the paper, until now. The list might surprise you. It includes the pioneering anti-lynching journalist Ida B. Wells; the writer and poet Sylvia Plath; Qiu Jin, who was known as China’s Joan of Arc; the groundbreaking photographer Diane Arbus; the woman who helped engineer the Brooklyn Bridge, Emily Warren Roebling; Charlotte Brontë, who wrote “Jane Eyre”; Henrietta Lacks, whose cells led to a medical revolution; and Ada Lovelace, who is considered to be the world’s first computer programmer. The New York Times is calling the project “Overlooked,” and it is part of an effort to make up for the paper’s 167-year history of focusing largely on men—mostly white men—in the obituary pages. For more, we speak with Amy Padnani, digital editor of obituaries at The New York Times, who came up with the idea of “Overlooked.”

Toxic Coal Ash Being Dumped in Puerto Rico, Which Already Suffers Worst Drinking Water in the Nation

March 9, 2018 - 9:40am

Even before Hurricane Maria struck the island nearly six months ago, the majority of Puerto Rico’s residents lived with water that violated health standards set by the U.S. law. Since the storm, residents say the situation has only gotten worse. Among the sources of potential water contamination are mountains of coal ash generated by a coal-fired power plant owned by a private company called AES. For years, residents have demanded the company stop dumping toxic coal ash into their community, saying the waste is poisonous to their health and the environment. We speak with Mekela Panditharatne, a lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council who just returned from the island and wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post headlined ”FEMA says most of Puerto Rico has potable water. That can’t be true.”

How an Alabama Town Is Fighting Against Cancerous & Toxic Coal Ash Dumping—No Thanks to Trump's EPA

March 9, 2018 - 9:29am

Residents of Uniontown, Alabama, have lived with the Arrowhead landfill, which is twice the size of New York’s Central Park, have protested shipments of toxic coal ash—the residual byproduct of burning coal—from a massive spill in Kingston, Tennessee, believed to be the largest coal ash disaster in U.S. history. For two years, nearly 4 million tons of coal ash was also shipped by rail from a mostly white Tennessee county to Uniontown. Coal ash contains toxins, including arsenic, mercury and boron, that can affect the nervous and reproductive systems and cause other health problems. According to the EPA, people living within a mile of unlined coal ash storage ponds have a one-in-50 risk of developing cancer. In 2013, some Uniontown residents filed a complaint under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. This week, the EPA dismissed the claim, saying there was “insufficient evidence.” We speak with Ben Eaton, vice president of Black Belt Citizens Fighting for Health and Justice and a resident of Uniontown, Alabama; and with Mustafa Santiago Ali, former head of the EPA’s environmental justice program.

A Step Toward Peace? South Korea Announces Trump Will Meet with North Korea's Kim Jong-un

March 9, 2018 - 9:12am

The White House says President Trump has accepted an invitation to meet directly with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un. South Korea’s National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong spoke with reporters Thursday night outside the White House after briefing officials on the recent talks between Seoul and Pyongyang, and said the meeting would take place within two months. No sitting U.S. president has ever met with a North Korean leader; Kim Jong-un has never met another sitting head of state. For more, we speak with Tim Shorrock, correspondent for The Nation and the Korea Center for Investigative Journalism in Seoul.

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