A new reports finds the killings of environmental and land rights activists worldwide has tripled over the past decade. The group Global Witness documented 147 activists who were killed in 2012, compared to 51 in 2002. The death rate is now an average of two per week. Almost none of the killers have faced charges. We air interviews with some of the late activists featured in the report, including José da Silva, a Brazilian conservationist and environmentalist who campaigned against logging and clearcutting of trees in the Amazon rainforest. In 2011, José and his wife, Maria, were murdered by masked gunmen. "This could be the tip of the iceberg in terms of the scale of the real problem," says Global Witness campaigner Oliver Courtney, who says details about the murders were nearly impossible to locate.
The New York City Police Department is disbanding a controversial spying unit that targeted Muslim communities. The so-called "Demographics Unit" secretly infiltrated Muslim student groups, sent informants into mosques, eavesdropped on conversations in restaurants, barber shops and gyms, and built a vast database of information. But after years of collecting information, it failed to yield a single terrorism investigation or even a single lead. We get reaction from Linda Sarsour of the Arab American Association of New York, who calls the unit’s closure a "welcome first step," but says it will "take years to undo the trauma that the American Muslim community has endured." We are also joined by Matt Apuzzo, who was part of the Associated Press team that first revealed the NYPD’s post-9/11 surveillance program. The AP’s series won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. Apuzzo is co-author of "Enemies Within: Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and Bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America."
Was Kansas Shooting Avoidable? White Supremacist was Ex-Informant with Criminal Past & Hateful Views
Notorious white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller has been charged with killing three people at two Jewish community sites in Kansas. Miller, also known as Frazier Glenn Cross, has openly railed against Jews and African Americans for decades. He served three years in prison on weapons charges and an assassination plot, but avoided a longer sentence after testifying against other white supremacists. Miller claims to have been an FBI informant, and the federal government reportedly shielded him in the early 1990s as part of the witness protection program — the possible source of his multiple names. We are joined by two guests who have tracked Miller for years: Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, and broadcaster David Pakman, who interviewed Miller in 2010.
- Ukraine, Pro-Russian Separatists Clash on Eve of Talks
- 3 Afghan Civilians Reported Dead in U.S. Bombing
- Iraq Shutters Abu Ghraib Prison over Militant Threat
- U.N. Security Council Views Graphic Images from Syrian Defector
- Report: Syrian Rebels Obtain U.S.-Made Missiles
- Hundreds Missing in Sinking of Korean Ferry
- Owner of Collapsed Bangladeshi Garment Factory Faces Murder Charge
- NYPD Abandons Controversial Muslim Spying Unit
- Detroit Pensioners Reach 1st Post-Bankruptcy Deal
- Boston Marks 1st Anniversary of Marathon Bombing
- Oklahoma Bars Local Efforts to Raise Minimum Wage
- Arizona Enacts Law Authorizing Warrantless Inspection of Abortion Clinics
Millions of Americans are rushing to file their federal and state taxes today by the midnight deadline. But others are using the day to protest the use of tax dollars to fund war. The War Resisters League estimates at least 45 percent of the 2015 federal budget would be used for current and past military expenses, as well as interest on the national debt, some 80 percent of which stems from military spending. To voice their opposition, some Americans are taking a stand by personally refusing to pay their federal taxes. Lida Shao, a pre-med student at Columbia University, has been a war tax resister for three years with support from the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. Shao joins us to discuss why Tax Day for her is a day of resistance.
Award-winning journalist Matt Taibbi is out with an explosive new book that asks why the vast majority of white-collar criminals have avoided prison since the financial crisis began, while an unequal justice system imprisons the poor and people of color on a mass scale. In "The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap," Taibbi explores how the Depression-level income gap between the wealthy and the poor is mirrored by a "justice" gap in who is targeted for prosecution and imprisonment. "It is much more grotesque to consider the non-enforcement of white-collar criminals when you do consider how incredibly aggressive law enforcement is with regard to everybody else," Taibbi says.
- Ukraine Says Anti-Separatist Operation Underway; U.S. Threatens New Sanctions on Russia
- Nigeria Bus Bomb Toll Jumps to 71, 124 Wounded
- Ex-Klan Member Charged with Hate Crimes in Kansas Jewish Center Shootings
- Federal Agents Cede to Anti-Gov't Nevada Rancher After Armed Standoff
- Army General Denies Chelsea Manning Clemency Bid
- 9/11 Trial Suspended After Attorneys Claim Gov't Infiltration, Monitoring
- Justice Dept. Won't Contest Ruling Granting Force-Feeding Challenges by Guantánamo Prisoners
- Report: Killings of Environmental Activists Surge Worldwide
- Nebraska Landowners, Activists Unveil Anti-Keystone XL Crop Art
- Guardian US, Washington Post Win Pulitzer for NSA Reporting
Polk Winner on Afghanistan: Slain Journalists, Ghost Polls & Unresolved U.S. Ties to Deaths, Torture
Kabul-based journalist Matthieu Aikins was honored with the George Polk Award on Friday for his Rolling Stone article, "The A-Team Killings," that uncovered "convincing evidence" that a U.S. Army Special Forces unit killed 10 Afghan civilians in Wardak province. Aikins joins us to discuss the latest on his story — as well as recent developments in Afghanistan, from the country’s elections to continued violence that recently killed two journalists.
Ten months ago, Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald flew from New York to Hong Kong to meet National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. Poitras and Greenwald did not return to the United States until this past Friday, when they flew from Berlin to New York to accept the George Polk Award for National Security Reporting. They arrived not knowing if they would be detained or subpoenaed after Director of National Intelligence James Clapper described journalists working on the NSA story as Snowden’s "accomplices." At a news conference following the George Polk Award ceremony, Poitras and Greenwald took questions from reporters about their reporting and the government intimidation it has sparked.
In their first return to the United States since exposing the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance operations, journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras were honored in New York City on Friday with the George Polk Award for National Security Reporting. Over the past 10 months, Poitras and Greenwald have played key roles in reporting the massive trove of documents leaked by Edward Snowden. They were joined by colleagues Ewen MacAskill of The Guardian and Barton Gellman of The Washington Post, with whom they shared the award. In their acceptance speeches, Poitras and Greenwald paid tribute to their source. "Each one of these awards just provides further vindication that what [Snowden] did in coming forward was absolutely the right thing to do and merits gratitude, and not indictments and decades in prison," Greenwald said. "None of us would be here … without the fact that someone decided to sacrifice their life to make this information available," Poitras said. "And so this award is really for Edward Snowden."
- Ex-KKK Member Shoots Dead 3 at Jewish Centers in Kansas
- Ukraine Threatens Military Force to Quell Unrest
- U.N. Climate Panel: World Has Just 15 Years to Avoid Climate Catastrophe
- Obama Blasts GOP Assault on Voting Rights
- Obama Nominates Budget Director to Head Health and Human Services
- Iran to Challenge U.S. Visa Denial of New U.N. Envoy
- Report: Israel Issues One of Largest West Bank Land Seizures in Years
- Dozens Killed in Nigeria Bus Bombing
- Reports: NSA Exploited "Heartbleed" Bug; Obama Issues Exemption on Computer Safety
- Retiring SEC Attorney: Regulators "Tentative and Fearful" in Pursuing Wall Street
- Residents of Canadian Town Reject Enbridge Tar Sands Pipeline
We end today’s show looking at a new book titled "Imagine: Living in a Socialist USA." The book features essays by many prominent people, including Michael Moore, Angela Davis, Frances Fox Piven, Martín Espada, Rick Wolff and Democracy Now! co-host Juan González. The book comes out at a time when polls show Americans aged 18 to 29 have a more favorable reaction to the word "socialism" than "capitalism." The book is co-edited by the legendary book agent Frances Goldin, who has worked in the publishing world for more than six decades and will turn 90 years old in June. In 1951, at age 27, Goldin ran for New York State Senate on an American Labor Party slate headed by W.E.B. Du Bois. Goldin joins us now along with one of her co-editors, Michael Smith. He is a New York City attorney and a board member of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
A new Showtime television show featuring Hollywood actors and award-winning journalists brings the issue of climate change alive with the full drama and suspense of a blockbuster movie. In the series, "Years of Living Dangerously," Harrison Ford travels to Indonesia to investigate the palm oil industry, and Arnold Schwarzenegger joins an elite team of wildland firefighters. Hollywood luminaries such as Matt Damon, James Cameron and Jerry Weintraub have paired up with top reporters and leading climate scientists such as Drs. Heidi Cullen, Joe Romm and James Hansen to tell the true stories of people affected by climate change. We speak to Joe Romm, chief science adviser to "Years of Living Dangerously" and founding editor of Climate Progress.
Momentum is growing in the movement to divest from fossil fuel companies. On Thursday, South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu called for an anti-apartheid-style boycott and disinvestment campaign against the industry for its role in driving climate change. Meanwhile, nearly 100 members of the faculty at Harvard University released an open letter calling on the Ivy League school to sell off its interests in oil, gas and coal companies. "If the Corporation regards divestment as 'political,' then its continued investment is a similarly political act, one that finances present corporate activities and calculates profit from them," wrote the professors. "Slavery was once an investment issue, as were apartheid and the harm caused by smoking." Harvard has the largest university endowment in the country, worth more than $32 billion. We speak to James Anderson, professor of chemistry and Earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University. He is one of the signatories to the letter urging Harvard to divest from the fossil fuel industry. He has done groundbreaking work exposing the link between climate change and ozone loss. We also speak to Jamie Henn, co-founder of the climate change-focused organization, 350.org.
- Senate Report Finds CIA Exceeded Legal Authority, Misled Media on Torture
- U.N. Approves 12,000-Member Force for Central African Republic
- Russia Warns of Ukraine Gas Cuts; Nuland Touts "Truth-Telling Campaign"
- Taiwan Protesters End 3-Week Occupation of Parliament over Trade Pact
- U.S. Denies Merkel Access to Her NSA File
- Health Secretary Sebelius Resigns After Rocky Obamacare Rollout
- House Panel Votes to Hold Ex-IRS Official Lerner in Contempt
- Obama Pays Tribute to Civil Rights Act on 50th Anniversary
- DOJ: Most Fatal Shootings by Albuquerque Police were Unconstitutional
- General Motors Suspends 2 Engineers; Announces New Fix
- SAC Capital to Pay $1.8 Billion for Insider Trading
- Greenwald, Poitras Return to United States for Polk Awards
In an act of protest against drone attacks, a group of artists and villagers have unveiled a giant banner on a Pakistani field featuring the face of a young child. Organizers say the child lost her parents and two young siblings in a U.S. drone strike. Her picture is large enough to be picked up by satellite imagery. The "Not a Bug Splat" campaign is the work of Pakistanis, Americans and the French street artist JR. The project derives its name from a piece of military software that generates computer models of the destruction a bombing raid might cause — those models reportedly resemble the remains of a squashed insect on a windshield. Now, drone operators will see the face of the little girl staring up at them instead. We speak with Dr. Akash Goel, a physician who is one of the co-creators of the "Not a Bug Splat" project.
Wall Street's Land Grab: Firms Amass Rental Empire, Ousting Tenants & Threatening New Housing Crisis
The Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, is now the largest owner of single-family rental homes in the country. In one day alone, Blackstone bought up 1,400 houses in Atlanta. And as private equity firms gobble up huge swaths of the housing market, they are partnering with big banks to bundle the mortgages on these rental homes into a new financial product known as "rental-backed securities," reminiscent of the "mortgage-backed securities" that helped cause the last financial crisis. Could this new private equity rental empire help spark the next housing crisis? We are joined by Laura Gottesdiener, author of "A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home," who calls this wave of purchases "a land grab." Gottesdiener’s latest article focuses on New York City’s rental market, a case study in what critics call "predatory equity." Large firms have used abusive tactics to oust tenants in a bid to hike up rents — and tenants have been resisting. We are also joined by Benjamin Warren, who, along with nearly 1,600 families in 42 buildings, is a victim of one of the largest single foreclosures in the city’s recent history.
Protesters took to the streets in more than 60 cities on Saturday to call on President Obama to stop the deportation of undocumented immigrants. Some marked it as the date when the Obama administration likely reached its two millionth deportation. This comes as The New York Times reports that two-thirds of those deported under Obama had committed minor infractions, such as traffic violations, or had no criminal record at all. More than 5,000 children whose parents were removed from the country have ended up in foster care. But some activists say presidential action on deportations is not enough. They are focused instead on the passage of a bill in Congress that includes a path to citizenship. As Obama’s policies come under increasing scrutiny, we host a debate: Should the immigrant rights movement push Obama to take executive action to immediately stop deportations, or should the focus remain on pressuring Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill? We are joined by two guests: Pablo Alvarado, president of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and David Leopold, former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
- Pennsylvania High School Stabbing Victims in Critical Condition
- NATO Commander Open to U.S. Forces in Eastern Europe
- Israel Scales Back Contact with PA; Kerry Faults New Settlement Building
- Comcast, Time Warner Execs Push Merger Before Congress
- Senate GOP Blocks Paycheck Fairness Act
- FBI Racial Profiling Rules Preserve Ethnic Mapping, Drop National Security Exemption
- Holder Suggests Racist Treatment by GOP Rep.
- Fort Hood Memorial Honors Soldiers Killed in Shooting Rampage
- Transgender Teen Held in Adult Prison in Connecticut
- Study: Prisons Hold Ten Times More Mentally Ill Than Psychiatric Facilities
As voting begins in India in the largest elections the world has ever seen, we spend the hour with Indian novelist and essayist Arundhati Roy. Nearly 815 million Indians are eligible to vote, and results will be issued in May. One of India’s most famous authors — and one of its fiercest critics — Roy is out with a new book, "Capitalism: A Ghost Story," which dives into India’s transforming political landscape and makes the case that globalized capitalism has intensified the wealth divide, racism, and environmental degradation. "This new election is going to be [about] who the corporates choose," Roy says, "[about] who is not going to blink about deploying the Indian army against the poorest people in this country, and pushing them out to give over those lands, those rivers, those mountains, to the major mining corporations." Roy won the Booker Prize in 1997 for her novel, "The God of Small Things." Her other books include "An Ordinary Person’s Guide to Empire" and "Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers."