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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: 48 min 25 sec ago

Special Report: Puerto Ricans in Vieques Cope with Devastation & Fear Toxic Contamination from Maria

October 6, 2017 - 7:50am

We end today’s show where we began the week: in Puerto Rico. Doctors say the island’s health system remains crippled two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit the island, leaving more than 90 percent of the island without electricity and half of its residents without drinking water. That’s at least according to statistics published by FEMA on Wednesday. But on Thursday, FEMA removed data about access to drinking water and electricity in Puerto Rico from its website. Democracy Now!’s Juan Carlos Dávila is on the ground in Puerto Rico, and this week he managed to make it to the island of Vieques to speak with residents of the area that the U.S. Navy used as a bombing range for decades. Since the 1940s, the Navy used nearly three-quarters of the island for bombing practice, war games and dumping old munitions. The bombing stopped after a campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience, but the island continues to suffer. The Navy says it will take until 2025 to remove all the environmental damage left by more than 60 years of target practice. Juan Carlos filed this report from Vieques in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Will the NRA Use Regulation of "Bump Stocks" as Excuse to Avoid "Real Action" on Gun Control?

October 6, 2017 - 7:44am

On Thursday, the National Rifle Association said it would support additional regulation on the gun accessory known as “bump stocks.” Investigators believe the device was used in Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, in which Stephen Paddock, a 64-year-old white man, killed 59 people, including himself, and injured nearly 500 people. Authorities say Paddock bought at least 12 bump stocks, which allow semi-automatic rifles to act like machine guns, capable of firing hundreds of rounds a minute. But many say the “bump stocks” regulations do not go far enough to prevent future mass shootings. We go to Las Vegas, where we are joined by Annette Magnus-Marquart, executive director of the Nevada-based Battle Born Progress, which advocates for gun control.

Are Trump's Efforts to Sabotage Iran Nuclear Deal a Precursor for U.S. War with Iran?

October 6, 2017 - 7:30am

Amid news of the Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, we turn now to look at whether President Donald Trump is trying to sabotage the Obama-brokered nuclear agreement with Iran and seek a war with Iran. According to The Washington Post, Trump is expected to announce next week the deal is not in the United States’ national interest, and will move to “decertify” the deal. If this happens, Congress will decide whether or not to reinstate harsh economic sanctions against Iran, potentially tanking the landmark deal. The move comes despite the fact the Trump administration begrudgingly certified that Iran has complied with its obligations under the agreement earlier this year, as has the International Atomic Energy Agency, which closely monitors Iran’s activities.

Nuclear Ban Group ICAN Wins Nobel Peace Prize as Trump Threatens to End Iran Deal & Nuke North Korea

October 6, 2017 - 7:15am

As the Nobel Committee made their announcement today in Oslo, President Trump is expected to “decertify” the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal next week. We speak with Tim Wright, the Asia-Pacific director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and go to Tehran and Washington to get response.

"It Was an Insult": Rep. Nydia Velázquez on Trump's Visit to Puerto Rico, Attacks on San Juan Mayor

October 5, 2017 - 7:46am

We get response from Puerto Rican-born Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) to President Trump’s visit to the island two weeks after Hurricane Maria, and his comments that he would help the U.S. territory wipe out its $73 billion debt to help it recover from the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Maria. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney later walked back the remarks.

Masha Gessen: Trump Doing "Incredible Damage" to Democracy While Media is Obsessed with Russia Probe

October 5, 2017 - 7:31am

As the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee says it has reached the conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and CNN reports a number of Russian-linked Facebook ads specifically targeted Michigan and Wisconsin, two states crucial to Trump’s victory in November, we speak with Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen. “We don’t know if there was a conspiracy,” Gessen says of allegations the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. “But even if there was, we should do our best to try not to engage in conspiracy thinking. … It lends itself to this idea that once we discover that Trump colluded with the Russians, that we’ll magically get rid of Trump.” She says it is unlikely the investigation will produce the kind of evidence of collusion that could be used as a legal basis for impeachment, and argues impeachment is unlikely while Republicans have control of both houses of Congress.

Russian Journalist Masha Gessen on Trump & Putin's Autocracy and Media's Refusal to Call Out Lies

October 5, 2017 - 7:13am

As the Senate Intelligence Committee says Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, we discuss Russia and Trump with Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen. Her new book, “The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia,” has just been shortlisted for the National Book Award and offers a warning to the United States today as she points to the similarities between Trump and Putin, and warns of the threat of autocracy under a Trump presidency.

Rev. Barber on NFL Protests: MLK Kneels, Prophets in the Bible Kneel, I Kneel—It Should Be Applauded

October 4, 2017 - 7:55am

We get reaction to President Trump’s attack on NFL players protesting racism from Bishop William Barber, president of Repairers of the Breach and author of “The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement.” “The president is trying to change the issue,” Barber says. “Kaepernick knelt because he was saying the nation is not living up to its promise—one nation under God, liberty and justice for all—because African-American men, unarmed, are being shot—and women—in the street by people who have sworn to protect and serve.”

Rev. Barber: Systematic Racialized Voter Suppression is the "Election Hacking" the U.S. Must Address

October 4, 2017 - 7:43am

This weekend hundreds will gather in Raleigh for the North Carolina NAACP State Convention, the last one that will be presided over by Bishop William Barber II as president of the state conference. Rev. Dr. Barber announced he would not run for re-election to his post earlier this year, in order to focus on his work with Repairers of the Breach and the launch of a Poor People’s Campaign. In what he says is a national call for moral revival, Barber is on a 15-state public event tour to address issues of systemic racism, poverty, militarism and ecological devastation, and spread North Carolina’s Moral Mondays movement nationwide in a push that draws on the history and unfinished work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1967-'68 Poor People’s Campaign, which called for America to stand against what King called the “triplets of evil”— systemic racism, poverty and militarism. Bishop Barber joins us in our studio and says right now he is focused in part on voting rights. “It is amazing to me that we’re having a conversation about Russian hacking, but we’re not having a conversation about racialized voter suppression, which is systemic racism, which is a tool of white nationalism, which is a direct threat to our democracy.”

After Las Vegas Massacre, Advocates Look to Australia's Successful Fight to Curb Gun Violence

October 4, 2017 - 7:29am

In the aftermath of the deadly shooting in Las Vegas Sunday night by 64-year-old Stephen Paddock that left 59 people dead and 527 others wounded, we look at calls for gun control and how Australia worked to change its culture of gun violence after a massacre 20 years ago—and won. In April of 1996, a gunman opened fire on tourists in Port Arthur, Tasmania, killing 35 and wounding 23 others. Within 12 days of the attack, Australia’s conservative government announced a bipartisan deal to enact gun control measures. There has not been another mass shooting in Australia since. We speak with Rebecca Peters, who led the campaign to reform Australia’s gun laws after the Port Arthur massacre and is now an international arms control advocate and part of the International Network on Small Arms.

Could Trump Actually Cancel Puerto Rico's Wall Street Debt After Devastation of Hurricane Maria?

October 4, 2017 - 7:15am

Puerto Rico officials say the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico has increased from 16 to 34, though the Center for Investigative Journalism reports that number could still rise. The announcement came after President Donald Trump visited the U.S. territory on Tuesday and repeatedly praised his administration’s response to the storm, comparing it to George W. Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. During Trump’s visit, protesters also gathered outside the convention center in San Juan. On Tuesday evening, Trump shocked observers by suggesting that he might seek to cancel Puerto Rico’s $74 billion debt. We get response from Democracy Now!’s Juan González.

Puerto Ricans Protest Trump's Visit, Denounce Militarization Amid Lack of Aid Distribution

October 3, 2017 - 7:48am

As President Trump travels to Puerto Rico two weeks after it was devastated by Hurricane Maria, we go to the island for an on-the-ground report. Democracy Now!'s correspondent Juan Carlos Dávila traveled to the town of Utuado to speak with residents who have yet to get help other than a few bottles of water. He also joins us live in the capital San Juan from a protest against Trump's visit.

"They Don't Care Who the Guns Go To": Experts Warn Trump Admin. Plans to Widen U.S. Weapons Exports

October 3, 2017 - 7:42am

Efforts by President Donald Trump to ease some restrictions on U.S. weapons sales overseas have raised concerns as he considers changes that would allow the State Department and Pentagon to more actively advocate on behalf of American arms manufacturers. The move could be included in an executive order or presidential memorandum Trump plans to issue this fall. This comes as the United States is already the global leader in weapons exports, accounting for more than half the world’s annual arms deals. We speak with William Hartung, the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy.

After Las Vegas Massacre, Republicans in Congress Push Bills That Could Make Mass Shootings Deadlier

October 3, 2017 - 7:27am

As details emerge about the massacre in Las Vegas, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, Republican leaders called for a moment for national mourning and prayer, even as lawmakers advanced a pair of bills that would liberalize gun laws. One measure that could pass the House as early as this week would remove long-standing restrictions on silencers. Another bill expected to move through Congress this fall would allow people to lawfully carry concealed weapons across state lines into jurisdictions that don’t allow them. We speak with two journalists following the story: Kira Lerner is a political reporter at ThinkProgress, and Lois Beckett is a senior reporter at The Guardian covering gun policy, criminal justice and the far right in the United States.

As Las Vegas Massacre Toll Rises, Calls Grow for Background Checks on Nevada Gun Sales

October 3, 2017 - 7:12am

As the the toll from Sunday night’s mass shooting in Las Vegas rose to 59 dead and 527 wounded, we go to Nevada to speak about the state’s lax gun laws with Elizabeth Becker, the former head of the Nevada chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “The people of Nevada want every gun sale … to have to undergo a background check,” Becker says.

Spanish Police Injure 800 in Crackdown on Catalonia Independence Referendum as Crisis Escalates

October 2, 2017 - 7:49am

In Spain, tensions are escalating over Sunday’s independence referendum in the northeast region of Catalonia. More than 800 people were injured after Spanish police stormed polling stations and tried to forcibly prevent people from voting, firing tear gas and physically attacking prospective voters. Late on Sunday night, the Catalan regional government said 90 percent of Catalan voters chose independence. The Catalan government now says it plans to unilaterally declare independence from Spain within 48 hours. Spain says it will recognize neither the results of the referendum nor a declaration of independence. The escalating conflict is being described as the biggest constitutional crisis in Spain since the end of the Franco dictatorship in the 1970s. For more, we speak with Sebastiaan Faber, professor of Hispanic studies at Oberlin College and author of the forthcoming book “Memory Battles of the Spanish Civil War: History, Fiction, Photography.” He’s the co-author of an article in The Nation headlined “Have Spain and Catalonia Reached a Point of No Return?” We also speak with Pau Faus, filmmaker and writer from Barcelona, Spain. His recent documentary “Ada for Mayor” follows the campaign of Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau.

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