Democracy Now!

Subscribe to Democracy Now! feed 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 day 7 hours ago

San Juan Mayor Calls for End to Puerto Rico's Colonial Status Amid Slow Hurricane Maria Recovery

Mon, 2018-02-19 08:45

Five months after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, swaths of the island still have no electricity, while food and water supplies have been slow to arrive. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, known as FEMA, has been hit by a series of scandals, after it was revealed that only a fraction of the 30 million meals slated to be sent to the island after Hurricane Maria was actually delivered. FEMA approved a $156 million contract for a one-woman company to deliver the 30 million meals. But in the end, FEMA canceled the contract after she delivered only 50,000 meals, in what FEMA called a logistical nightmare. This came after FEMA gave more than $30 million in contracts to a newly created Florida company which failed to deliver a single tarp to Puerto Rico. For more, we speak with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

Five Months After Maria, San Juan Mayor Decries "Disaster Capitalism" & Privatization in Puerto Rico

Mon, 2018-02-19 08:27

As this week marks five months since Hurricane Maria battered the island of Puerto Rico, more than a quarter of the island remains without power, marking the longest blackout in U.S. history. While the official death toll is just 64, it is believed that more than 1,000 died since the storm struck the island on September 20. Puerto Rico’s governor has also announced plans to privatize the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, known as PREPA, which is the largest publicly owned power authority in the United States. For more, we speak to San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

WATCH: Parkland High School Shooting Survivor Emma Gonzalez's Powerful Speech Demanding Gun Control

Mon, 2018-02-19 08:11

In Florida, as funerals continue for the 17 people killed in at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida, survivors of the school shooting have launched an unprecedented youth-led movement to demand gun control. At a rally on Saturday, survivors of the school shooting demanded politicians stop accepting money from the National Rifle Association. For more, we broadcast the full speech of Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa's New President, Known for Moving Profits to Offshore Tax Havens

Fri, 2018-02-16 08:54

African National Congress leader Cyril Ramaphosa has been confirmed as the new president of South Africa, after the former leader, Jacob Zuma, resigned from office abruptly on Wednesday night amid a series of corruption scandals. Ramaphosa once led the National Union of Mineworkers under apartheid in the 1980s. He later built a business empire that encompassed mining interests—including the Marikana platinum mine, where police killed 34 workers during a strike in 2012. Ramaphosa is now one of Africa’s wealthiest men, with a net worth of about $450 million. Now, activists are talking about Ramaphosa’s ties to tax havens during his time in the corporate sector. We go to Johannesburg to speak with activist Koketso Moeti, founder of the community advocacy organization Amandla.mobi. Her recent piece for News24 is headlined “The rich can’t steal, right?”

White Supremacy, Patriarchy and Guns: FL Shooter Had Record of Death Threats, Violence Against Women

Fri, 2018-02-16 08:36

Seventeen people were killed and at least 15 other people were wounded Wednesday at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida, in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. More evidence has emerged showing that the gunman, a 19-year-old former student named Nikolas Cruz, shared a common trait with many other men who have carried out mass shootings: He had a record of abusing and threatening women. On Thursday, a white nationalist hate group called the Republic of Florida Militia also claimed the gunman was a member who had trained with the militia, but the group’s leader later walked back the claim. Former classmates of Cruz did describe him as politically extreme and espousing racist beliefs. For more, we speak with George Ciccariello-Maher, a visiting scholar at the Hemispheric Institute at New York University and the author of “Decolonizing Dialectics,” and Trevor Aaronson, executive director and co-founder of the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting and a contributing writer to The Intercept.

Trump Blames Mental Illness for Parkland Shooting, Ignores Easy Gun Access & Loose Background Checks

Fri, 2018-02-16 08:12

In Parkland, Florida, students and family members gathered for a candlelight vigil on Thursday night to mourn the 17 people killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, Florida, in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. Early Thursday morning, President Trump tweeted, “So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!” Mental health advocates are warning President Trump’s comments perpetuate stigma against people with mental illness, who are more likely to be the victims than the perpetrators of violence. We speak with Lindsay Nichols, the federal policy director for Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and Vanderbilt University psychiatry professor Jonathan Metzl, lead author of a Vanderbilt study entitled “Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms,” which found that fewer than 5 percent of fatal shootings in the United States are committed by people diagnosed with mental illness. Metzl also wrote a recent Politico piece titled “I’m a Psychiatrist. Making Gun Violence About Mental Health Is a Crazy Idea.”

Kept Out: Banks Across U.S. Caught Systematically Rejecting People of Color for Home Loans

Thu, 2018-02-15 08:46

A shocking new investigation by Reveal and the Center for Investigative Reporting has uncovered evidence that African Americans and Latinos are continuing to be routinely denied conventional mortgage loans at rates far higher than their white counterparts across the country. Reveal based its report on a review of 31 million mortgage records filed with the federal government in 2015 and 2016. The Reveal investigation found the redlining occurring across the country, including in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Louis and San Antonio. We speak to Aaron Glantz, senior reporter at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, and Rachelle Faroul, a 33-year-old African-American woman who was rejected twice by lenders when she tried to buy a brick row house in Philadelphia, where Reveal found African Americans were 2.7 times as likely as whites to be denied a conventional mortgage.

Republican Lawmakers Refuse to Adopt Gun Control Despite 200 School Shootings Since Sandy Hook

Thu, 2018-02-15 08:32

Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, there have been 200 school shootings. But on Capitol Hill and in many state legislatures, Republican lawmakers have blocked efforts to enact gun control. Wednesday’s shooting in Florida comes just days after President Trump released his budget, which proposes cutting millions of dollars from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. We speak to Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. He is the co-author of “Guns, Democracy, and the Insurrectionist Idea.”

When Will This Stop? 17 Shot Dead in Florida School Massacre, the 18th School Shooting of Year

Thu, 2018-02-15 08:15

In Parkland, Florida, 17 people died Wednesday in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. The massacre at the Stoneman Douglas High School was the 18th school shooting this year, according to Everytown for Gun Safety. This means there has been a school shooting on average every 60 hours so far this year. Police have identified the gunman as a 19-year-old former pupil named Nikolas Cruz. He was carrying an AR-15 with multiple magazines of ammunition. In addition to the 17 dead, 15 people were injured. We speak to Geraldine Thompson, a former Florida Democratic state senator. She represented the Orlando district where the 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre took place.

V-Day: Global Movement to Stop Violence Against Women and Girls Marks 20th Anniversary

Wed, 2018-02-14 08:53

As the White House is facing an escalating scandal over how it ignored the serious accusations of former Staff Secretary Rob Porter’s verbal and physical violence against his two ex-wives, we end today’s show looking at the worldwide movement called V-Day to stop violence against women and girls. Today marks the 20th anniversary of the V-Day movement, which was inspired by Eve Ensler’s groundbreaking play “The Vagina Monologues.” We speak to three V-Day activists from around the world: Christine Schuler Deschryver of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rada Borić from Croatia and Agnes Pareyio from Kenya.

As Porter Domestic Violence Scandal Roils WH, Lawmakers Demand Kelly’s Ouster & Trump’s Impeachment

Wed, 2018-02-14 08:49

Rep. Pramila Jayapal talks about the scandal embroiling the White House over former Staff Secretary Rob Porter, who resigned after evidence surfaced that he had abused his two ex-wives. On Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to the Senate that the FBI had told the White House about the physical and verbal abuse allegations that were holding up Porter’s background check months earlier than the White House has admitted. Jayapal talks about why she has called for White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to resign, as well as her support for impeachment proceedings against Trump.

As Lawmakers Debate Future of DACA, What Will It Take for Democrats to Protect DREAMers?

Wed, 2018-02-14 08:46

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are continuing to debate the future of DACA, the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gives some 800,000 young undocumented immigrants permission to live and work in the United States. Republican lawmakers are pushing to include an amendment to punish so-called sanctuary cities as part of any immigration legislation to protect DREAMers. Meanwhile, a second federal judge has temporarily blocked the Trump administration from canceling DACA. On Tuesday, Judge Nicholas Garaufis in New York issued an injunction to keep the program temporarily in place, warning its cancellation would have “profound and irreversible” social costs, writing, “It is impossible to understand the full consequences of a decision of this magnitude.” For more, we speak with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), vice ranking member of the House Budget Committee and vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal: Trump's Immoral Budget Punishes the Poor, Sick & Elderly

Wed, 2018-02-14 08:33

President Trump’s $4.4 trillion budget proposes deep cuts to education, healthcare and social safety net programs—while massively increasing the Pentagon’s budget. Trump’s plan would slash the Department of Education’s budget by more than 10 percent. It would sharply reduce income-based student loan repayment plans, while ending the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Trump’s budget would cut more than $17 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—or SNAP—barring food stamp recipients from buying fresh fruit and vegetables, and instead providing only a boxed food delivery program. The budget would also phase out federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports public and community radio and TV stations. This comes as McClatchy reports the Trump administration is considering a plan that would not only impose work requirements for Medicaid enrollees, but which would also put a lifetime limit on adults’ access to Medicaid. Meanwhile, Trump’s budget would see a 13 percent rise in spending on weapons and war, bringing the Pentagon’s budget to $686 billion. We speak to Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), vice ranking member of the House Budget Committee and vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Two Reuters Journalists Face 14 Years in Burmese Prison After Exposing Massacre of Rohingya Muslims

Wed, 2018-02-14 08:12

In Burma, two journalists from the Reuters news agency have entered their third month in jail. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were arrested on December 12 and charged with violating Burma’s Official Secrets Act. They have been denied bail and face up to 14 years in jail. At the time of their arrest, they were investigating a massacre committed by the Burmese military targeting Rohingya Muslims in the village of Inn Din in September. While the two journalists remain in prison, other journalists with Reuters have continued to piece together what happened in Inn Din. In a shocking new exposé, Reuters reports Burmese soldiers and members of an informal militia executed 10 Rohingya Muslim captives. At least two of the men were hacked to death. The others were shot. We speak with Antoni Slodkowski, Reuters bureau chief in Burma.

As Deadly Flu Sweeps Country, Koch-Backed Group Fights Paid Sick Leave Policies Nationwide

Tue, 2018-02-13 08:49

This week marks 25 years since Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act, which gave employees in the U.S. the right to unpaid time off to care for themselves and family members. A decade later, San Francisco became the first city to approve paid sick leave. Today some 14 million workers in 32 municipalities and nine states have paid sick leave policies. On Thursday, Austin city councilmembers will vote on an ordinance that would make it the first city in the South to require paid sick leave from private employers. But the measure is facing strong opposition from a Koch brothers-backed lobbying group called the National Federation of Independent Business, which is fighting paid sick leave policies across the country. This the same lobbying group that led the opposition to the Affordable Care Act. For more we speak to Gregorio Casar, the Austin city councilmember who introduced the paid sick leave measure. When he first won election in 2014, he was the youngest councilmember in the city’s history. He is the son of Mexican immigrants.

"It's Hard to Believe, But Syria's War Is Getting Worse": World Powers Clash as Civilian Deaths Soar

Tue, 2018-02-13 08:17

Tensions across northern Syria are escalating sharply amid a series of clashes between external and internal powers, including Israel, Iran, Turkey, Russia and the Syrian government. On Saturday, Israel shot down what it says was an Iranian drone that had entered Israel’s airspace after being launched in Syria. Israel then mounted an attack on an Iranian command center in Syria, from where the drone was launched. One of the Israeli F-16 military jets was then downed by a Syrian government anti-aircraft missile. Meanwhile, also in northern Syria on Saturday, a Turkish Army helicopter was shot down by U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters near the Syrian Kurdish city of Afrin, where Turkey has launched a bombing and ground offensive. All this comes as the United Nations is warning of soaring levels of civilian casualties in Syria. For more, we speak with Anne Barnard, The New York Times bureau chief in Beirut, Lebanon. Her recent articles are titled “Israel Strikes Iran in Syria and Loses a Jet” and “It’s Hard to Believe, But Syria’s War Is Getting Even Worse.” And we speak with Syrian-Canadian researcher Yazan al-Saadi.

Pages