Democracy Now

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: 26 min 17 sec ago

50 Years After Murder, Malcolm X Remembered by Daughter Ilyasah Shabazz & Friend A. Peter Bailey

Tue 07 43 AM

As Democracy Now! continues to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, we are joined by his daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, and friend, A. Peter Bailey. Both were inside the Audubon Ballroom on Feb. 21, 1965, the day Malcolm X was shot dead. Shabazz was just two years old, while Bailey was among the last people to speak with Malcolm X that day. Shabazz is a community organizer, motivational speaker and author of several books, including the young adult-themed "X: A Novel" and a memoir, "Growing Up X." Bailey is a journalist, author and lecturer who helped Malcolm X found the Organization of Afro-American Unity and served as one of the pallbearers at his funeral. Bailey is the author of several books, including "Witnessing Brother Malcolm X, the Master Teacher." Shabazz and Bailey discuss the circumstances surrounding Malcolm X’s killing and share personal reflections on his life and legacy.

Watch Part 2 of the discussion here.

Revolt at "Ritmo": Dire Conditions in For-Profit Texas Immigration Jail Spark Prisoner Uprising

Tue 07 34 AM

In Texas, up to 2,000 immigrant prisoners in Raymondville staged a two-day uprising to protest inadequate medical care at a privately run prison. After refusing to eat breakfast on February 20, prisoners seized control of part of the prison and set fires. Critics have described the jail as "Ritmo" — short for Raymondville’s Guantánamo prison — or simply "tent city," since most of the prison population sleeps in massive Kevlar tents. In a report last year, the American Civil Liberties Union described living conditions as "[not] only foul, cramped and depressing, but also overcrowded." The Willacy County Correctional Center in Raymondville is owned and operated by Management & Training Corporation, a private company based in Utah. It is one of 13 privately run so-called "Criminal Alien Requirement" prisons. The latest reports indicate that the prisoners are being relocated from the facility after it was deemed "uninhabitable." We speak to Carl Takei, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Prison Project. Last year he wrote the report, "Warehoused and Forgotten: Immigrants Trapped in Our Shadow Private Prison System."

As Netanyahu Tries to Stop U.S.-Iran Deal, Leaked Cables Show Israeli Spies Reject His Nuke Claims

Tue 07 12 AM

In what has been described as the biggest intelligence leak since Edward Snowden, Al Jazeera has begun publishing a series of spy cables from the world’s top intelligence agencies. In one cable, the Israeli spy agency Mossad contradicts Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s own dire warnings about Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear bomb within one year. In a report to South African counterparts in October 2012, the Mossad concluded Iran was "not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons." The explosive disclosure comes just as the United States and Iran have reported progress toward reaching a nuclear deal, an outcome Netanyahu will try to undermine when he addresses the U.S. Congress next week. We go to Doha to speak with Clayton Swisher, the head of Al Jazeera’s investigative unit, which broke the Iran story and several others in a series of articles called, "The Spy Cables."

50 Years Later, Malcolm X's Family Gather at Place of His Murder to Honor Revolutionary Life, Legacy

Mon 07 40 AM

This weekend, people around the country marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, known as Malcolm X — one of the most influential political figures of the 20th century. In New York City, family members and former colleagues led a memorial ceremony in the former Audubon Ballroom where Malcolm X was gunned down on February 21, 1965. The Audubon Ballroom is now the Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Memorial and Education Center. We hear some of the event’s speakers, including Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz. We broadcast an excerpt of our 2006 interview with the late civil rights activist Yuri Kochiyama, who witnessed the assassination and held Malcolm X as he lay dying. We also air the Pacifica Archives recording of the 1965 eulogy delivered by the actor and activist Ossie Davis.

"Mayor 1%" Rahm Emanuel of Chicago Faces Progressive Challenge in Heated Bid for Re-election

Mon 07 17 AM

The battle between Rahm Emanuel — a Democrat known as "Mayor 1 Percent" — and a host of challengers has reached a fever pitch in Chicago. Emanuel is struggling to keep his seat when voters head to the polls on Tuesday. Opponents say he has failed to improve the city’s schools and address gun violence. Emanuel’s re-election campaign has the endorsement of his former boss, President Obama, and a war chest of more than $15 million — about four times the amount raised by his four opponents. Most of his funds come from about 100 donors. Emanuel’s closest rival is Jesús "Chuy" García, a county commissioner who has support from the Chicago Teachers Union and other labor and progressive groups. We speak with Rick Perlstein, a Chicago-based reporter and author of several books, including "The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan" and the bestseller, "Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America."

From Selma to Snowden, Oscar Speeches Invoke Activism & Calls for Social Justice

Mon 07 13 AM

Calls for social justice were a strong current throughout the acceptance speeches at last night’s 87th Annual Academy Awards. Accepting the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in "Boyhood," Patricia Arquette called for wage equality for women. Winning the Best Original Song along with the rapper Common for "Glory," featured in the movie "Selma," singer John Legend paid tribute to protesters from the civil rights era to today. In her acceptance speech for Best Documentary "Citizenfour" — the inside account of how Edward Snowden exposed NSA surveillance — Laura Poitras thanked Snowden and all other whistleblowers exposing government wrongdoing. And accepting the award for Best Picture, Birdman Director Alejandro Iñárritu made a dedication to his home country, Mexico, and the millions of immigrants seeking fair treatment in the United States.

NSA & British GCHQ Hacked SIM Card Maker to Steal Encryption Keys to Spy on Billions of Cellphones

Fri 07 49 AM

A new investigation by The Intercept reveals the National Security Agency and its British counterpart, the GCHQ, hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe. The secret operation targeted the Dutch company Gemalto. Its clients include AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and some 450 wireless network providers around the world. It produces two billion SIM cards a year. According to The Intercept, the stolen encryption keys give intelligence agencies the ability to monitor mobile communications without seeking or receiving approval from telecom companies and foreign governments. According to The Intercept, agents from the NSA and GCHQ formed the Mobile Handset Exploitation Team in 2010 to specifically target vulnerabilities in cellphones. The Intercept’s report was written by Jeremy Scahill and Josh Begley. It was based on documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. We speak to Chris Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union. He is also a visiting fellow at Yale Law School’s Information Society Project.

Watch Part 2 of the interview:
Security Researcher Christopher Soghoian on How to Use a Cellphone Without Being Spied On

Malcolm X Remembered 50 Years After 1965 Assassination

Fri 07 27 AM

This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, one of the most influential political figures of the 20th century. He was shot dead as he spoke before a packed audience at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City on February 21, 1965. Malcolm X had just taken the stage when shots rang out riddling his body with bullets. He was 39 years old. Details of his assassination remain disputed to this day. We air highlights from his speeches, "By Any Means Necessary" and "The Ballot or the Bullet." We also speak with journalist Herb Boyd, who along with Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, co-edited "The Diary of Malcolm X: El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, 1964."

An Unsolved Case of Racial Terror: FBI Probes 1946 Moore's Ford Bridge Lynching in Georgia

Fri 07 13 AM

Federal authorities are reportedly investigating whether people who carried out one of the worst mass lynchings in recent history are still alive and can be brought to justice. It was July 25, 1946, when a white mob in rural Georgia ambushed a car carrying two African-American couples, dragged them out and shot them to death. One of the men, George Dorsey, was a military veteran who had recently returned from serving five years overseas in World War II. His wife, Mae Murray Dorsey, was also killed. Dorothy Malcom, the other woman in the car, was seven months pregnant. The mob cut her open and removed her unborn child. Her husband, Roger Malcom, had just been bailed out of jail after he was accused of stabbing a white man. A coroner estimated people in the crowd fired more than 60 shots at the two couples, at close range. The horrific attack was carried out near Walton County, Georgia, not far from Moore’s Ford Bridge. It became known as the Moore’s Ford lynching, and sparked a national outcry, prompting President Harry Truman to push for civil rights reform. The FBI also investigated, but no one was ever convicted of the four murders. But a relative of one of the men allegedly involved in the attack has come forward in a videotaped interview with the NAACP. Wayne Watson says his uncle and several other men he named were members of the Ku Klux Klan. We speak to Edward DuBose, a member of the NAACP national board and former president of the Georgia branch of the NAACP, and journalist Herb Boyd.

Who Killed the Argentine Prosecutor? 400,000 March for Justice in Buenos Aires as Controversy Grows

Thu 07 49 AM

As many as 400,000 people marched through the pouring rain in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires on Wednesday demanding an independent judiciary. The march came one month after the mysterious death of special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who had accused Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, of helping to cover up Iran’s role in the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center that killed 85 people and injured hundreds in Buenos Aires. On January 18, Nisman was found dead in his apartment of a gunshot wound to the head. His body was discovered just a day before he was due to testify before lawmakers on his findings on the 1994 attack. Just four days before his death, Nisman appeared on television and outlined his allegations against the president and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman. Investigators initially said Nisman’s death appeared to be a suicide, but no gunpowder residue was found on his hands. If it was not a suicide, who killed him? That question has gripped Argentina for the past month. We make sense of this unfolding story with Sebastian Rotella, senior reporter for the investigative news website ProPublica. He first covered the investigation into the 1994 bombing as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times based in Buenos Aires.

As Extreme Cold Engulfs Eastern U.S., Fossil Fuel Mishaps Leave Disaster Areas on Fire

Thu 07 34 AM

As extreme cold temperatures blast the eastern third of the United States, the fossil fuel industry has seen a series of disasters in less than a week. On Wednesday, an explosion at an ExxonMobil refinery south of Los Angeles rocked the surrounding area with the equivalent of a 1.4-magnitude earthquake. The blast in California happened as oil tank cars from a derailed train remained on fire Wednesday in West Virginia, two days after the accident. The derailment forced the evacuation of two towns and destroyed a house. The derailment in West Virginia happened just two days after another oil train derailment in Ontario, Canada, which also left rail cars burning for days. We are joined by Stephen Kretzmann, executive director of Oil Change International. "Climate policy and energy policy are not usually discussed together in this country," Kretzmann says. "Climate change means that we need to transition away from fossil fuels, sooner rather than later."

Coming Out of the Shadows: Meet José Espinoza, Undocumented Worker Impacted by Delayed Reprieve

Thu 07 20 AM

The Obama administration has delayed its deportation reprieve for millions of undocumented immigrants following this week’s ruling by a right-wing judge. President Obama’s executive order on immigration would apply to those brought to the U.S. illegally as children and who have lived here for at least five years, as well as those who have lived here for at least five years and are the parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents. It remains on hold as the case is appealed, possibly ending up before the U.S. Supreme Court. We are joined by two immigrants on both sides of the reprieve divide: José Espinoza, an undocumented immigrant who had hoped to apply for relief when eligibility was supposed to begin on Wednesday, and Oscar Hernandez, who was granted relief in 2012 and is now a lead field organizer with United We Dream in Houston, where he has been helping to get eligible immigrants like Espinoza ready to apply.

Ruling by Right-Wing Judge Delays Long-Awaited Reprieve for Millions of Undocumented Immigrants

Thu 07 13 AM

President Obama’s plan to shield as many as five million immigrants from deportation was supposed to begin taking its first applications this week. But late Monday night, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville, Texas, issued an injunction after a motion filed by Texas and 25 other states. Now the administration says it will comply with the ruling and delay accepting applications for work permits and deportation reprieves. We speak with Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, which filed a court brief opposing the challenge to Obama’s order.

Jailed for Speaking to the Press: How the Obama Admin Ruined Life of State Dept Expert Stephen Kim

Wed 07 33 AM

A new report by The Intercept tells the story of the Obama administration’s prosecution of former North Korea expert Stephen Kim for violating the Espionage Act. Kim is one of nine such cases under the Obama administration — twice as many as all previous presidents combined. The former State Department contractor was accused of discussing classified documents on North Korea with Fox News reporter James Rosen. Last year, he was sentenced to 13 months in prison. But Kim always maintained his innocence. During the year before he went to prison, he shared his story with The Intercept. Journalist Peter Maass of The Intercept details the prosecution of Kim in a new article out today, "Destroyed by the Espionage Act: Stephen Kim Spoke to a Reporter. Now He’s in Jail. This is His Story." We speak to Maass about Kim’s case and broadcast an excerpt of "The Surrender," a documentary that accompanies The Intercept’s report.

Rejecting Austerity, Greece Squares Off with Its Creditors & Risks Future in Eurozone

Wed 07 11 AM

Less than a month after the anti-austerity Syriza party swept to victory in Greece, a major dispute has broken out between Greece’s new leaders and European finance ministers. On Monday, talks between Greece and its European creditors collapsed amid disagreement over the future of German-backed austerity. Greek negotiators rejected a deal to extend the terms of the current bailout scheme with no alterations to the austerity terms. Greece is reportedly now planning to submit a request to the eurozone to extend a "loan agreement" for up to six months, but Germany says no such deal is being offered and that Athens must stick to the terms of its existing international bailout. Lawmakers from the ruling Syriza party say Greek voters had rejected the terms of the bailout and that Greece would not be intimidated into accepting them. The breakdown in talks has raised fears Greece may be on the verge of leaving the eurozone. We are joined by British journalist Paul Mason, who has closely covered Greece’s economic crisis for years.