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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: 40 min 15 sec ago

"Freakishly Warm" Arctic Weather Has Scientists Reconsidering Worst-Case Scenarios on Climate Change

March 1, 2018 - 9:51am

Scientists are expressing dismay over unprecedented warm temperatures in the Arctic. In recent days, temperatures at the North Pole have surged above freezing—even though the sun set last October and won’t rise again until later this month. On the northern tip of Greenland, a meteorological site has logged an unprecedented 61 hours of temperatures above freezing so far in 2018. The record-breaking temperatures are connected to an unusual retreat of sea ice in the sunless Arctic winter. Scientists suggest warming temperatures are eroding the polar vortex, the powerful winds that once cushioned the frozen north. The alarming heat wave is causing scientists to reconsider even their bleakest forecasts of climate change. According to a leaked draft of a scientific report by a United Nations panel of scientists, “The risk of an ice-free Arctic in summer is about 50 per cent or higher,” with warming of between 1.5 and 2.0 degrees Celsius. We speak with Jason Box, professor in glaciology at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland in Copenhagen.

West Virginia Teachers Win Promise of Pay Raise, But Continue Strike over Soaring Healthcare Costs

March 1, 2018 - 9:47am

In West Virginia, public schools remain closed today, after the state’s teachers’ unions remained on strike over the high cost of health insurance. On Tuesday, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice agreed to boost teacher salaries by 5 percent in the first year of a new contract, but the teachers say the deal isn’t enough to offset skyrocketing premiums in the Public Employees Insurance Agency. Some 20,000 teachers and 13,000 school staffers say they’ll remain on strike until they win a better agreement on healthcare.

A Message to Trump: Fund Background Checks and Public Health Research on Guns—Don't Arm Teachers

March 1, 2018 - 9:15am

Two weeks after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 people dead, President Trump appears to have broken with the NRA and his Republican colleagues. At a televised White House meeting with lawmakers on Wednesday, Trump urged Republican and Democratic lawmakers to pass comprehensive gun control measures. At one point he accused Republican Senator Pat Toomey of being “afraid of the NRA.” After the meeting, NRA spokesperson Jennifer Baker said, “While today’s meeting made for great TV, the gun control proposals discussed would make for bad policy that would not keep our children safe. Instead of punishing law-abiding gun owners for the acts of a deranged lunatic, our leaders should pass meaningful reforms that would actually prevent future tragedies.” Joining us in Washington is Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. She wrote an open letter to Trump on Wednesday explaining her opposition to his push to arm teachers. Also in Washington is Kris Brown, co-president at the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. And here in New York is Andy Pelosi, executive director of the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus.

Afrofuturism, Liberation & Representation in "Black Panther": A Roundtable Discussion

February 28, 2018 - 9:45am

While “Black Panther” has broken box office records, it has also generated an intense debate. We host a roundtable with three guests: Christopher Lebron, a professor at Johns Hopkins University who recently wrote “Black Panther Is Not the Film We Deserve”; Robyn C. Spencer, a professor at Lehman College, who wrote “Black Feminist Meditations on the Women of Wakanda”; and Carvell Wallace, author of The New York Times Magazine story “Why Black Panther Is a Defining Moment for Black America.”

How the "Black Panther" Film Is "A Defining Moment for Black America"

February 28, 2018 - 9:31am

As Black History Month wraps up, we look at the record-breaking movie “Black Panther.” Since the release of “Black Panther” earlier this month, fans have crowdfunded campaigns to ensure children can see the film in theaters, teachers have incorporated the movie’s core themes of anti-colonialism and cultural representation into their curriculum, and activists have used film screenings to hold mass voter registration drives. The movie has also renewed calls for the release of more than a dozen imprisoned members of the real Black Panther Party. “Black Panther” has also ignited a firestorm of impassioned social commentary online among fans and detractors alike. We speak to historian Robyn C. Spencer, who wrote a piece, “Black Feminist Meditations on the Women of Wakanda,” and Carvell Wallace, whose piece, “Why Black Panther Is a Defining Moment for Black America,” appeared in The New York Times Magazine.

Cruel & Unconstitutional: ACLU Denounces SCOTUS Ruling Approving Indefinite Immigrant Detention

February 28, 2018 - 9:14am

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that federal authorities can continue to indefinitely detain some immigrants and asylum seekers without a bond hearing. The 5-3 ruling overturned the rulings of two lower courts that found immigrants facing prolonged detention must be given a custody hearing. But Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision does not end the battle over indefinite detention. The justices sent the case back to the federal appeals court to evaluate the constitutionality of the practice. Tuesday’s decision came a day after the Supreme Court dealt a blow to President Trump’s efforts to rescind DACA, the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gives at least 700,000 young immigrants permission to live and work in the United States. The court refused to hear a White House appeal of lower court rulings saying Trump’s move to cancel the program was unconstitutional. We speak to Michael Tan, staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

Janus v. AFSCME: Will Supreme Court Side with Koch Brothers in Their War Against Organized Labor?

February 27, 2018 - 9:48am

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a key case that could deal a massive blow to public unions nationwide. The case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, deals with whether workers who benefit from union-negotiated contracts can avoid paying union dues if they opt not to join the union. The lead plaintiff, Mark Janus, is a child support specialist who argues that a state law in Illinois allowing the union to charge a fee for collective bargaining activities violates his First Amendment rights. Numerous right-wing groups have trumpeted his claim in their latest attempt to weaken the political power of public unions. The groups include the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, the State Policy Network, ALEC—American Legislative Exchange Council—and the Bradley Foundation. We speak to Amanda Shanor, staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed an amicus brief in Janus v. AFSCME in support of AFSCME.

Let's Move Our Money: Penn. Lawmaker Demands Action Against Banks Practicing Racist Redlining

February 27, 2018 - 9:27am

As the state of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia begin probes into racist lending practices, Pennsylvania state Senator Vincent Hughes urges constituents to pull their money from banks denying home loans to people of color. This comes after a recent investigation by Reveal found African-American mortgage applicants in Philly are almost three times as likely to be denied a conventional mortgage as white applicants.

Modern-Day Redlining: Banks Face Probes for Refusing Home Loans for People of Color

February 27, 2018 - 9:15am

A shocking new investigation by Reveal and the Center for Investigative Reporting has uncovered evidence that African Americans and Latinos continue to be routinely denied conventional mortgage loans, even at rates far higher than their white counterparts, across the country. According to the piece, the homeownership gap between whites and African Americans is now wider than it was during the Jim Crow era. Reveal based its report on a review of 31 million mortgage records filed with the federal government in 2015 and 2016. The investigation found the redlining occurring across the country, including in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and San Antonio, Texas. Since its publication earlier this month, the report has sparked national outrage and, in some states, unusually swift political action. Pennsylvania’s attorney general and state treasurer have both launched investigations into redlining in Philadelphia. We speak to Pennsylvania state Senator Vincent Hughes and Aaron Glantz, senior reporter at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. His new investigation is headlined “Kept out: How banks block people of color from homeownership.”

Six Months After Harvey, Environmental Justice & Climate Change Absent from Houston's Recovery Plans

February 26, 2018 - 9:31am

This week marks six months since Hurricane Harvey caused historic flooding in Houston, Texas, the most diverse city in the nation and one of its largest. Houston is also home to the largest refining and petrochemical complex in the country. As federal money for rebuilding trickles in, Houston’s chief “recovery czar” is the former president of Shell Oil, Marvin Odum, whose past experience includes rebuilding Shell’s oil and gas facilities after Hurricane Katrina. Meanwhile, immigrants and fenceline communities who suffer from pollution along Houston’s industrial corridor are still largely absent from much of the discussion about how the city plans to recover. For more, we host a roundtable discussion with Dr. Robert Bullard, the “father of environmental justice”; Bryan Parras of the Sierra Club; undocumented immigrant activist Cesar Espinosa; and Goldman Environmental Prize winner Hilton Kelley in Port Arthur, Texas.

Lee Fang: Billionaire Koch Brothers Have Extracted "Laundry List" of Victories from Trump Admin

February 26, 2018 - 9:22am

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments today in a key case that could deal a massive blow to unions nationwide. The case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, deals with whether workers who are covered by union-negotiated contracts are required to pay a portion of union dues even if they are not members of the union. This case is among a slew of conservative causes that right-wing donors have poured money into in recent years—among them, the Koch brothers, who recently boasted they’ve won a “laundry list” of victories from the Trump administration. For more, we speak with Lee Fang, investigative reporter for The Intercept. His recent piece is entitled “Koch Document Reveals a Laundry List of Policy Victories Extracted from the Trump Administration.”

As Students Demand Gun Control, Arms Manufacturers Continue Targeting "Next Generation of Shooters"

February 26, 2018 - 9:12am

In Parkland, Florida, students returned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Sunday afternoon for the first time inside their school since February 14, when a 19-year-old former student named Nikolas Cruz walked into the school and opened fire with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, killing 17 people. This comes as lawmakers return to Capitol Hill today after a one-week vacation. Congress is facing massive pressure to pass gun control measures amid the rise of an unprecedented youth movement, led by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who survived the mass shooting. President Trump has reiterated his calls to arm teachers with concealed weapons. For more, we speak with The Intercept’s investigative reporter Lee Fang, whose recent piece is entitled “Even as a Student Movement Rises, Gun Manufacturers Are Targeting Young People.”

"Young Karl Marx" Director Raoul Peck Responds to NRA Chief Calling Gun Control Activists Communists

February 23, 2018 - 9:48am

World-famous filmmaker Raoul Peck is releasing a film today in Los Angeles and New York on the life and times of Karl Marx. It’s called “The Young Karl Marx.” The film’s release comes as the head of the National Rifle Association, Wayne LaPierre, broke his silence after last week’s Florida school shooting that left 17 dead, attacking gun control advocates as communists in an address to the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC. We speak with acclaimed Haitian filmmaker and political activist Raoul Peck about his new film and the role of Marxism in organizing for gun reform.

Masha Gessen: Russiagate Has Become a Conspiracy Trap Obscuring How Trump Is Damaging Nation

February 23, 2018 - 9:30am

Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen talks about how President Trump has benefited from what she calls the “conspiracy trap” around Russia’s role in the 2016 election. She wrote last year, “Russiagate is helping him—both by distracting from real, documentable, and documented issues, and by promoting a xenophobic conspiracy theory in the cause of removing a xenophobic conspiracy theorist from office.”

Masha Gessen: Did a Russian Troll Farm's Inflammatory Posts Really Sway the 2016 Election for Trump?

February 23, 2018 - 9:11am

The Justice Department recently indicted 13 Russians and three companies in connection with efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. The indicted are accused of orchestrating an online propaganda effort to undermine the U.S. election system. The indictment claims the Russians spread negative information online about Hillary Clinton and supportive information about Donald Trump, as well as Bernie Sanders—but some are warning against overstating what Russia accomplished. For more, we speak with award-winning Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen, a longtime critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Her recent piece for The New Yorker is titled “The Fundamental Uncertainty of Mueller’s Russia Indictments.”

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