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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: 18 hours 11 min ago

Amid Worst Winter Wildfires in California History, Farmworkers Are Laboring in Hazardous Air

Mon, 2017-12-11 08:55

In California, drought-fueled wildfires raged toward Southern California’s coastal cities over the weekend. The fires have scorched some 230,000 acres of land and forced nearly 200,000 people to evacuate. At least one woman has died so far. The wildfires are already the fifth largest on record in California history. Climate experts say the intensity of the winter blazes is linked to climate change. Authorities have warned residents to stay inside because of the dangerous air quality caused by smoke and carcinogenic ash from the fires. But a number of farms have stayed open, sparking concerns that farmworkers are laboring in hazardous conditions without proper equipment. Last week, volunteers handing out free protective masks to farmworkers say they were kicked off some farms, despite the fact that the pickers were asking for the safety equipment. For more, we speak with Lucas Zucker, who was evacuated last week due to the wildfires. Zucker is the policy and communications director for CAUSE—Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy—and he helped distribute respirator masks to farmworkers who had to continue working despite the hazardous air quality conditions. We also speak with Democratic California State Assemblymember Monique Limón, who represents Santa Barbara and Ventura County.

NAACP Head: Roy Moore Is Using Racial and Religious Fearmongering to Sway White Alabama Voters

Mon, 2017-12-11 08:49

As Alabama’s special Senate race on Tuesday nears, criticism is mounting over Republican Roy Moore’s refusal to step down from an increasingly tight race meant to fill the Alabama Senate seat left vacant by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Moore was twice ousted as Alabama’s chief justice—first in 2003 for refusing to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments in the rotunda of the Alabama Judicial Building. After being re-elected, he was again ousted in 2016, for ordering his judges to defy the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing marriage equality. He was a proponent of Trump’s racist and discredited “birther theory” about President Obama. He has compared homosexuality to bestiality. He said Minnesota Congressmember Keith Ellison shouldn’t have been allowed to be sworn into Congress using a Qur’an, which he compared to “Mein Kampf.” In 2011, Roy Moore proposed eliminating all constitutional amendments after the 10th, which includes amendments prohibiting slavery and the amendments giving women and African Americans the right to vote. We speak with Derrick Johnson, president and CEO at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Chokwe Antar Lumumba, mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, and a longtime activist.

Black Leaders Boycott Trump Photo Op at Civil Rights Museum: "Why Should Our Legacy Be Tarnished?"

Mon, 2017-12-11 08:35

In Mississippi, many black community leaders boycotted the opening of two new civil rights museums on Saturday in protest of President Donald Trump’s presence. Those who boycotted the events included African-American Democratic Congressmembers John Lewis of Georgia and Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, who wrote in a joint statement, “President Trump’s disparaging comments about women, the disabled, immigrants, and National Football League players disrespect the efforts of Fannie Lou Hamer, Aaron Henry, Medgar Evers, Robert Clark, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and countless others who have given their all for Mississippi to be a better place.” We speak with NAACP President Derrick Johnson and Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba. Both boycotted some of Saturday’s events in protest of Trump’s presence, which Johnson called “an affront to the veterans of the civil rights movement.”

On Eve of Alabama Senate Election, a Look at Roy Moore's Racism, Homophobia & Religious Fanaticism

Mon, 2017-12-11 08:13

Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore are locked in a tight and increasingly controversial race to fill the Alabama Senate seat left vacant by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The election is on Tuesday. A Democrat hasn’t won a U.S. Senate race in Alabama for 20 years. Polling shows the two candidates are neck and neck, despite Moore being accused by at least nine women of sexually harassing or assaulting them when they were teenagers. President Donald Trump has repeatedly endorsed Roy Moore, including on Friday, when he held a rally in Pensacola, Florida, which is 20 miles from the Alabama border and in the same media market as Mobile, Alabama. Roy Moore has had a long and highly controversial political career in Alabama that’s been marked by racism, homophobia, Islamophobia and religious fanaticism. Over the weekend, the Doug Jones campaign orchestrated a massive get-out-the-vote effort, particularly targeting African-American voters. A number of prominent African-American politicians, including New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, Alabama Congressmember Terri Sewell and former Massachusetts Democratic Governor Deval Patrick, all campaigned for Jones over the weekend. For more, we speak with Peter Montgomery, senior fellow at People for the American Way. His most recent piece is headlined “There’s More Than One Roy Moore Scandal.”

"The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump": Psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee on Growing Mental Health Concerns

Fri, 2017-12-08 08:49

Questions over President Donald Trump’s mental health continue to grow, following his speech on Wednesday where he slurred his speech and mispronounced words during an address on Israel. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded Thursday to the mounting concerns by announcing that Trump has scheduled a physical health exam. Meanwhile, Pentagon leaders last month told a Senate panel they would ignore any unlawful order by the president to launch a nuclear strike. The testimony came as part of the first congressional hearings in more than 40 years on the president’s authority to start a nuclear war. We speak with Dr. Bandy Lee, a forensic psychiatrist on the faculty of Yale School of Medicine and an internationally recognized expert on violence. She edited the best-selling book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.”

Dr. Bandy Lee declares that she is not representing the views of Yale University, Yale School of Medicine or Yale Department of Psychiatry.

No Democracy Here: Ousted Honduran Pres. Zelaya Says 2009 U.S.-Backed Coup Led to Election Crisis

Fri, 2017-12-08 08:13

In an exclusive interview, former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, who was ousted in a 2009 U.S.-backed coup, says U.S. actions led to the current political crisis in Honduras. The government continues to withhold the results of the November presidential election, which pitted U.S.-backed President Juan Orlando Hernández against opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla. Massive protests erupted after the government-controlled electoral commission stopped tallying votes when the count showed Nasralla ahead. Zelaya now heads the opposition LIBRE party, which is part of the Alliance Against the Dictatorship coalition led by Nasralla.

High-Profile Women Break the Silence on Sex Assaults, But Low-Wage Workers Still Vulnerable to Abuse

Thu, 2017-12-07 08:48

On Wednesday, Time magazine announced the 2017 “Person of the Year” goes to the women who have spoken out against sexual assault and harassment, sparking an international movement. It called the group “the Silence Breakers” and included Hollywood actresses, journalists, farmworkers and hotel cleaners. We look at how sexual abuse also thrives in low-wage sectors like farm work, hotel cleaning and domestic work, where workers are disproportionately women of color and immigrant women and are highly vulnerable to sexual harassment and sexual violence. We speak with Tarana Burke, founder of the “Me Too” movement and one of the women featured in Time’s new issue. She founded the organization in 2006 to focus on young women who have endured sexual abuse, assault or exploitation. She is now a senior director at Girls for Gender Equity. We are also joined by Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and strategy and partnership director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and by Mily Treviño-Sauceda, co-founder and vice president of the National Alliance of Women Farmworkers. She is a former farmworker and union organizer with the United Farm Workers.

"Settlers in the White House": Palestinians Denounce Trump Jerusalem Order & Protest in Day of Rage

Thu, 2017-12-07 08:23

As Palestinians protest President Trump’s announcement that he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and begin moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, we go to East Jerusalem to speak with Budour Hassan, a Palestinian writer and project coordinator for the Jerusalem Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights, and speak with Rebecca Vilkomerson, executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace. We are also joined in Ramallah by Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian politician and scholar.

PLO Leader Hanan Ashrawi: Trump's Jerusalem Order Violates Int'l Law & "Destroys" Chance for Peace

Thu, 2017-12-07 08:12

Palestinians are protesting in cities across the West Bank and Gaza Strip after President Trump announced Wednesday that he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and initiate a process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The announcement sparked a massive international backlash, with leaders of Britain, France, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, the Arab League and other nations all criticizing the move. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it an “important step toward peace.” We go to Ramallah to speak with Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian politician and scholar. She was elected an Executive Committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organization in 2009, becoming the first woman to hold a seat in the highest executive body in Palestine. She also served as the official spokesperson of the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East peace process.

Daniel Ellsberg Reveals He was a Nuclear War Planner, Warns of Nuclear Winter & Global Starvation

Wed, 2017-12-06 08:17

Could tension between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un bring us to the brink of nuclear war? As tensions ramp up, we discuss what nuclear war would look like with a former nuclear war planner and one of the world’s most famous whistleblowers—Daniel Ellsberg. In 1971, Ellsberg was a high-level defense analyst when he leaked a top-secret report on U.S. involvement in Vietnam to The New York Times and other publications, which came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. He played a key role in ending the Vietnam War. Few know Ellsberg was also a Pentagon and White House consultant who drafted plans for nuclear war. His new book, published Tuesday, is titled “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner.” We speak with Ellsberg about his top-secret nuclear studies, his front row seat to the Cuban missile crisis, whether Trump could start a nuclear war and how contemporary whistleblowers Chelsea Manning and Ed Snowden are his heroes.

Honduran Riot Police Refuse to Carry Out Crackdown on Opposition Protests After "Illegal" Election

Tue, 2017-12-05 08:38

National police in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa—including elite U.S.-trained units—refused to impose a nighttime curfew Monday night that was ordered by incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández after days of protests over allegations of fraud in the country’s disputed election. The move comes after at least three people were killed as Honduran security forces opened fire on the protests Friday night in Tegucigalpa. Protests erupted last week after the government-controlled electoral commission stopped tallying votes from the November 26 election, after the count showed opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla ahead by more than 5 percentage points. The commission now says Hernández has pulled ahead of Nasralla, by 42.98 percent to 41.39 percent, after a recount of suspicious votes. This comes as Nasralla and international observers are calling on the Honduras electoral commission—which is controlled by President Hernández—to carry out a recount. We speak with Allan Nairn, award-winning investigative journalist; Sarah Kinosian, a Honduras-based reporter; and Congressmember Jan Schakowsky, who represents the 9th District of Illinois. Her op-ed published in The New York Times is headlined “The Honduran Candidate.”

Native American Tribes Join to File Lawsuit Against Trump Attack on Bears Ears National Monument

Tue, 2017-12-05 08:21

Five Native American tribes have joined to file what they are calling an historic lawsuit against President Donald Trump, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and several other members of the administration. The move came just hours after Trump visited Utah Monday, where he announced his plan to open up protected federal lands to mining, logging, drilling and other forms of extraction. The plan calls for shrinking the 1.3 million-acre Bears Ears National Monument by more than 80 percent and splitting it into two separate areas. Trump would slash the state’s 1.9 million-acre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by 50 percent. Bears Ears National Monument was created in 2016 by then-President Barack Obama. President Bill Clinton created the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in 1996. The national monuments were designated under the century-old Antiquities Act, a law meant to protect sacred sites, artifacts and historical objects. We speak with Regina Lopez-Whiteskunk, a member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe and former co-chair of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, and with Bob Deans, director of strategic engagement at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

ACLU Vows to Keep Fighting as Supreme Court Allows Trump's Mostly Muslim Travel Ban to Take Effect

Tue, 2017-12-05 08:14

The Supreme Court handed a victory to President Donald Trump Monday, when it allowed his latest travel ban to go into effect even as legal challenges continue in lower courts. The administration can now fully enforce its new restrictions on travel from eight countries, six of them predominantly Muslim. The ruling will bar most citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea from entering the United States, along with some groups of people from Venezuela. We speak with Lee Gelernt, an ACLU attorney who presented the first challenge to Trump’s travel ban order, resulting in a nationwide injunction.

Honduras: Protesters Defy Military Crackdown and Flood the Streets to Protest Alleged Vote-Rigging

Mon, 2017-12-04 08:47

Tensions are rising in Honduras, where security forces have opened fire on protesters over the weekend, killing at least three people and injuring dozens more. On Sunday, tens of thousands of people poured into the streets to protest what many are calling an electoral coup d’état against opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla. Protesters accuse the electoral commission of rigging the vote in favor of incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández, who is a close U.S. ally. For more, we speak with Zenaida Velasquez, a Honduran human rights activist and one of the founders of the Committee of Relatives of the Disappeared in Honduras. We also speak with Matt Ginsberg-Jaeckle, a member of La Voz de los de Abajo and one of the founding members of the Honduras Solidarity Network. He has been in Honduras for over a week leading a human rights observation delegation.

Rep. Ellison Condemns Apparent Election Tampering in Honduras & Calls for Halting U.S. Military Aid

Mon, 2017-12-04 08:40

In Honduras, tens of thousands of protesters poured into the streets Sunday to denounce alleged election fraud and to support opposition presidential candidate Salvador Nasralla. Last week, the electoral commission paused the counting of the votes when incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández was trailing opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla, head of the Alliance Against the Dictatorship. On Friday, Hernández’s government suspended constitutional rights and imposed a military curfew. For more, we speak with Minnesota Democratic Congressmember Keith Ellison.

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