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: 5 hours 36 min ago

War Crime in Afghanistan?: Outrage After U.S. Airstrike on Hospital Kills 22 Patients & Staff

Mon 07 13 AM

Doctors Without Borders is demanding an independent international inquiry into a U.S. airstrike Saturday on an Afghan hospital in the city of Kunduz that killed 22 people, including 12 staff members and 10 patients, three of them children. At least three dozen people were injured. The attack continued for 30 minutes after the U.S. and Afghan militaries were informed by telephone that the hospital was being bombed. We speak with Dr. Gino Strada, co-founder of Emergency, an Italian NGO that provides free medical care to victims of war.

This Changes Everything: Naomi Klein & Avi Lewis Film Re-imagines Vast Challenge of Climate Change

Fri 07 28 AM

As we mark the third anniversary of Superstorm Sandy, one of the most destructive storms in the nation’s history, are we prepared for another extreme weather event, which researchers say are becoming more frequent with the effects of climate change? 2015 is on track to be the hottest year in recorded history, and nine of the 10 hottest months since record keeping began in 1880 have occurred since 2005. We speak to the duo behind the new film, "This Changes Everything," which re-imagines the vast challenge of climate change. The documentary is directed by filmmaker Avi Lewis and inspired by journalist Naomi Klein’s international best-selling book by the same name. Over the course of four years, the pair traveled to nine countries on five continents to profile communities on the front lines of the climate justice movement — from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta tar sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

After Latest Mass Shooting, a Look at the Oregon County Sheriff Who Vowed to Ignore Gun Control Laws

Fri 07 16 AM

As President Obama called for new gun control reform measures, Thursday’s school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon has brought new attention to the actions of Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, who is investigating the shooting. In 2013, he wrote a letter to Vice President Joe Biden asking him not to tamper with the Second Amendment, writing, "Gun control is NOT the answer to preventing heinous crimes like school shootings. Any actions against, or in disregard for our U.S. Constitution and 2nd Amendment rights by the current administration would be irresponsible and an indisputable insult to the American people." He went on to say, "I will NOT violate my Constitutional Oath. Therefore, the second purpose of this letter is to make notification that any federal regulation enacted by Congress or by executive order of the President offending the Constitutional rights of my citizens shall not be enforced by me or by my deputies, nor will I permit the enforcement of any unconstitutional regulations or orders by federal officers within the borders of Douglas County Oregon." We speak to Jennifer Lynch of the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety.

"This Has Become Routine": Obama Speaks Out After 10 Killed in Oregon in Year's 294th Mass Shooting

Fri 07 09 AM

Vigils were held in Oregon last night after a gunman opened fire at a community college Thursday morning, killing nine people before he was shot to death. Press reports have identified the gunman as 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer. CNN reported the suspect was armed with three handguns, a "long gun" and body armor. According to one count, this is the 294th mass shooting in the United States so far this year and the 45th shooting on a school or college campus. "Somehow this has become routine. The reporting is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine," President Obama said. "The conversation in the aftermath of it. We’ve become numb to this."

Dead Man Walking: Richard Glossip vs. The Death Penalty

Thu 07 53 AM

We end today’s show in Oklahoma. Just moments before death row inmate Richard Glossip was scheduled to be killed on Wednesday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin issued a stay of execution citing questions over the execution protocol and the chemicals used for lethal injection. Richard Glossip’s case has attracted international attention. On Wednesday, Pope Francis urged Governor Fallin to commute the death sentence over questions of Glossip’s guilt. We speak to Sister Helen Prejean, one of the world’s most well-known anti-death-penalty activists. She is the author of the best-selling book, "Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty."

"The Questioning Was Clearly Sexist": Rep. Brenda Lawrence on Republican Planned Parenthood Hearings

Thu 07 35 AM

Ending weeks of infighting, lawmakers voted Wednesday to avert a government shutdown just hours before a midnight deadline. In the House, a large majority of Republicans voted against the measure, which did not meet conservatives’ demands to cut off money to Planned Parenthood. The move to cut off funding came after the airing of heavily edited videos released by an anti-choice group which claimed to show Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sharing of fetal tissue with researchers. Wednesday’s vote came one day after Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, faced off with Republican lawmakers before a heated House hearing. We air excerpts and speak to Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), who says the questioning of Richards was "clearly sexist."

As Palestinian Flag Is Raised at UN, Abbas Says PA Not Bound by Deals Israel "Continually Violated"

Thu 07 28 AM

Wednesday marked a historic day for Palestine at the United Nations in New York, where the Palestinian flag was raised for the first time. Earlier this month, the U.N. General Assembly passed a motion to raise the Palestinian and Vatican flags. The United States and Israel voted against the motion, along with six other countries. Forty-five countries abstained. Earlier on Wednesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced in his address to the U.N. General Assembly that the Palestinian Authority was no longer bound by the peace agreements known as the Oslo Accords with Israel. We speak to Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, author of many books, including "Brokers of Deceit: How the U.S. Has Undermined Peace in the Middle East."

Rashid Khalidi on Syria: The Beginning of This Mess was the 2003 U.S. Invasion of Iraq

Thu 07 12 AM

Russia has launched airstrikes in Syria for a second day, becoming the latest foreign government to intervene in a war that has already killed over 240,000 people and displaced millions. The move sparked concern from U.S. officials, who say the Russian attacks did not hit ISIL targets but instead struck rebel groups fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, including at least one group trained by the CIA. The United States and Russia have long disagreed about strategy in Syria, with Washington calling for Assad’s departure and Moscow backing the Syrian president. Earlier today, the Kremlin said Russia is coordinating with the Syrian military to hit ISIL targets as well as other militant organizations. Russia is at least the 10th foreign government to launch airstrikes in Syria this year. Other countries include the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Australia, Turkey, Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. We speak to Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi.

Bernie Sanders Tells the Truth: Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich on His Surging Campaign

Wed 07 40 AM

Robert Reich, who served as labor secretary under President Clinton, discusses the economic plans of Democratic front-runners Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, as well as his new book, "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few." The book looks at why the United States is now experiencing the greatest income inequality and wealth disparity in 80 years.

Robert Reich: Donald Trump & Jeb Bush Plans Would Slash Taxes for the 1 Percent

Wed 07 35 AM

On the campaign trail, Republican candidates are proposing massive new tax cuts for the rich despite growing economic inequality across the country. On Monday, Donald Trump unveiled a plan to lower the income tax rate to the lowest level since 1931, cut corporate taxes and abolish the estate tax. Meanwhile, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has proposed broad tax cuts for individuals and corporations as part of his economic plan. Under the plan, Bush himself would save millions of dollars in taxes. We speak to Robert Reich. He served as labor secretary under President Clinton and is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. His newest book is "Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few."

"The Jury Never Heard It": Richard Glossip to Be Executed in Oklahoma Today Despite New Evidence

Wed 07 12 AM

Update: The governor of Oklahoma has issued a 37-day stay of execution

Death row prisoner Richard Glossip is slated to be executed this afternoon. An Oklahoma court recently rejected a request for a new hearing in the case. In 1997, Glossip was working as a manager at the Best Budget Inn in Oklahoma City when his boss, Barry Van Treese, was murdered. A maintenance worker, Justin Sneed, admitted he beat Van Treese to death with a baseball bat, but claimed Glossip offered him money and job opportunities for the killing. The case rested almost solely on Sneed’s claims. No physical evidence ever tied Glossip to the crime. In recent months, two men who served time in jail with Sneed have come forward saying Sneed framed Glossip to avoid the death penalty himself. On Monday, the court ruled this evidence "merely builds upon evidence previously presented to the court," and rejected a stay of execution. More than 240,000 people have signed a petition to spare Glossip’s life. We’re joined on the phone by two guests: Don Knight, one of the pro bono attorneys representing death row inmate Richard Glossip, and Sister Helen Prejean, one of the world’s most well-known anti-death-penalty activists. As a Catholic nun, she began her prison ministry over 30 years ago. She is the author of the best-selling book, "Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty."

A Voice for Dalit Women in India: Ruth Manorama Speaks Out Against Caste-Based Discrimination

Tue 07 50 AM

There are 200 million Dalits, who were previously called "untouchables," in India. According to the country’s National Crime Records Bureau, four Dalit women are raped, two Dalits are murdered, and two Dalit homes are torched every day. Now the Dalit Women’s Self-Respect Movement, a new national campaign to end caste-based sexual violence, is underway in India. The movement is the subject of the upcoming documentary, “#Dalitwomenfight!” We speak with Ruth Manorama, a well-known Dalit activist, who was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 2006 for "her commitment over decades to achieving equality for Dalit women, building effective and committed women’s organizations and working for their rights at national and international levels."

Thousands Protest Indian PM Narendra Modi in U.S. over Human Rights Record

Tue 07 37 AM

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Monday before leaving the United States after a seven-day trip that focused primarily on strengthening commercial ties between the U.S. and India. More than 100 academics in the U.S. wrote a letter protesting Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley, warning tech giants of the dangers of doing business with a government that has "demonstrated its disregard for human rights and civil liberties, as well as the autonomy of educational and cultural institutions." Before his election, Modi had been barred from the United States for many years over his role in anti-Muslim riots in 2002 that left more than 1,000 dead in Gujarat, where he was chief minister. He has never apologized for or explained his actions at the time. We speak with Trinity College professor Vijay Prashad, who signed the protest letter, and Ruth Manorama, a Dalit activist from India who won the Right Livelihood Award in 2006.

Obama & Putin Spar at U.N.: Will Regime Change in Syria Further Destabilize War-Torn Nation?

Tue 07 13 AM

President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin held their first formal meeting in two years on Monday in New York to discuss Syria and Ukraine. During the 90-minute meeting, Obama and Putin agreed that their armed forces should hold talks to avoid coming into conflict in Syria, where fighting has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions. Both leaders addressed the United Nations Monday, with Putin defending Russia’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Obama expressing willingness to work with Russia to resolve the crisis in Syria. According to reports, however, the United States ignored a Russian offer in 2012 to have Assad step aside at some point after peace talks had started between the regime and the opposition. And former Finnish president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martti Ahtisaari has said Western powers failed to seize on the 2012 proposal because the United States, Britain and France were convinced that the Syrian dictator was about to fall. Since then, tens of thousands more have been killed, and militants from ISIL have seized swaths of Syria. We talk about the crisis in Syria and the Obama-Putin meeting with Vijay Prashad, professor of international studies at Trinity College and columnist for the Indian magazine Frontline. He also is the author of several books, including "Arab Spring, Libyan Winter."

Journalist Peter Greste Calls on Australia to End Secrecy over Offshore Asylum Detention Centers

Mon 07 53 AM

Before his own imprisonment by the Egyptian government, Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste had reported on the refugee crisis around the world. He criticized his own Australian government for refusing press access to detention centers where refugees are being held. "They keep [asylum seekers] on islands away from the press. The press have been denied access to those areas. And I felt very, very strongly about this, that we’re not being denied access on national security grounds. It’s impossible, I think, to justify denying access to journalists to those detention centers, because in a democracy the government acts in our name, the government works for us, as voters, as taxpayers. And so, unless there is a very clear, very specific reason for denying us access on national security grounds—and I simply can’t see why there would be in the case of asylum seekers—then we need to know what is being done in our name.”