Democracy Now

Democracy Now!
A daily TV/radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, airing on over 1,100 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the United States.
Updated: 10 hours 50 min ago

Charlie Hebdo Shooting: 12 Killed in Attack on French Satirical Magazine Known for Muhammad Cartoons

Wed 07 12 AM

At least 12 people have been killed in a shooting attack on a French satirical magazine in Paris. Witnesses say masked gunmen entered the offices of the magazine, Charlie Hebdo, and opened fire. The dead include four cartoonists and two police officers. The magazine Charlie Hebdo has drawn multiple threats for its caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. In 2012, the magazine’s cartoon depicting Muhammad in pornographic poses helped spark protests across the Middle East. The outcry forced France to close embassies and other official sites in 20 countries. Charlie Hebdo has repeatedly claimed it publishes the cartoons as a defender of free expression and against religious extremism. We are joined by two guests: Robert Mahoney, deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists; and Tariq Ali, a British-Pakistani political commentator, historian, activist, filmmaker, novelist and an editor of the New Left Review.

As Obama Hosts Peña Nieto, Explosive Report Ties Mexican Federal Police to Students' Disappearance

Tue 07 46 AM

As President Obama hosts Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at the White House today, human rights groups want Obama to press the Mexican government on its failure to investigate and prosecute abuses by state security forces. The meeting comes on the heels of an explosive new report that directly contradicts the Mexican government’s claims they were unaware of what happened the night 43 students went missing after an attack by local police in the state of Guerrero. According to the Mexican magazine Proceso, federal police played a role in the attack, and federal authorities likely tortured key witnesses. The case has ignited protests across Mexico and around the world. We are joined by the reporters who broke the story, Anabel Hernández and Steve Fisher. Hernández is a leading Mexican investigative journalist and author of "Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and Their Godfathers."

As Obama Hosts Peña Nieto, Explosive Report Ties Mexican Federal Police to Students' Disappearance

Tue 07 46 AM

As President Obama hosts Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at the White House today, human rights groups want Obama to press the Mexican government on its failure to investigate and prosecute abuses by state security forces. The meeting comes on the heels of an explosive new report that directly contradicts the Mexican government’s claims they were unaware of what happened the night 43 students went missing after an attack by local police in the state of Guerrero. According to the Mexican magazine Proceso, federal police played a role in the attack, and federal authorities likely tortured key witnesses. The case has ignited protests across Mexico and around the world. We are joined by the reporters who broke the story, Anabel Hernández and Steve Fisher. Hernández is a leading Mexican investigative journalist and author of "Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and Their Godfathers."

"David Duke Without the Baggage": Will Top GOPer Steve Scalise Resign over Speech to Racist Group?

Tue 07 29 AM

As Congress begins a new session today, one of its top Republicans has acknowledged he once addressed a gathering of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has confirmed reports he spoke at a 2002 convention of EURO — the European-American Unity and Rights Organization. EURO is founded by David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader and perhaps the country’s most notorious white supremacist. Scalise was serving as a Louisiana state representative at the time. "Mr. Scalise reportedly described himself as 'David Duke without the baggage,' so it’ll be up to Republicans to decide what that says about their conference," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday. We speak with Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, who says that Scalise’s denials are not believable.

"David Duke Without the Baggage": Will Top GOPer Steve Scalise Resign over Speech to Racist Group?

Tue 07 29 AM

As Congress begins a new session today, one of its top Republicans has acknowledged he once addressed a gathering of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has confirmed reports he spoke at a 2002 convention of EURO — the European-American Unity and Rights Organization. EURO is founded by David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader and perhaps the country’s most notorious white supremacist. Scalise was serving as a Louisiana state representative at the time. "Mr. Scalise reportedly described himself as 'David Duke without the baggage,' so it’ll be up to Republicans to decide what that says about their conference," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday. We speak with Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, who says that Scalise’s denials are not believable.

Justice or Vengeance?: ACLU Raises Concerns as Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Begins

Tue 07 11 AM

Jury selection began Monday in the case of "The United States v. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev," one of the most high-profile federal trials in decades. The 21-year-old Tsarnaev is accused of planting bombs near the finish line at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and wounded more than 260. It was the nation’s worst bombing since the Oklahoma City attack of 1995. Tsarnaev faces 30 counts, more than half carrying the death penalty. Jury selection will take several weeks followed by a trial of up to five months. But as bombing victims and the wider Boston community search for closure, concerns around due process could prolong the case for years. Ahead of the trial, defense attorneys unsuccessfully tried to move the proceedings out of state, saying their client can’t receive a fair trial in the city where the bombing occurred. Federal prosecutors are also seeking the death penalty in a state where executions are barred. That will mean harsh constraints on the jury pool, ruling out anyone who opposes capital punishment. In a dissent to the First Circuit Appeals Court’s rejection of a trial delay, Judge Juan R. Torruella criticized the decision to proceed with the case, writing: "Such a rushed and frenetic process is the antithesis of due process.” We discuss the Boston Marathon bombing trial and its due process concerns with Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

Justice or Vengeance?: ACLU Raises Concerns as Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Begins

Tue 07 11 AM

Jury selection began Monday in the case of "The United States v. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev," one of the most high-profile federal trials in decades. The 21-year-old Tsarnaev is accused of planting bombs near the finish line at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and wounded more than 260. It was the nation’s worst bombing since the Oklahoma City attack of 1995. Tsarnaev faces 30 counts, more than half carrying the death penalty. Jury selection will take several weeks followed by a trial of up to five months. But as bombing victims and the wider Boston community search for closure, concerns around due process could prolong the case for years. Ahead of the trial, defense attorneys unsuccessfully tried to move the proceedings out of state, saying their client can’t receive a fair trial in the city where the bombing occurred. Federal prosecutors are also seeking the death penalty in a state where executions are barred. That will mean harsh constraints on the jury pool, ruling out anyone who opposes capital punishment. In a dissent to the First Circuit Appeals Court’s rejection of a trial delay, Judge Juan R. Torruella criticized the decision to proceed with the case, writing: "Such a rushed and frenetic process is the antithesis of due process.” We discuss the Boston Marathon bombing trial and its due process concerns with Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

From Drone Strikes to Black Sites, How U.S. Foreign Policy Runs Under a Cloak of Secrecy

Mon 07 43 AM

At least nine Pakistanis were killed Sunday in a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan, the first reported drone strike of 2015. News accounts of the strike are based on unnamed Pakistani government and security officials. The Obama administration has said nothing so far. For years, the United States did not even publicly acknowledge the existence of the drone strikes. The drone program is just one example of the national security state’s reliance on secret operations. The recent Senate Intelligence Committee report revealed another example: the shadowy network of overseas CIA black sites where the United States held and tortured prisoners. The report also noted the CIA shrouded itself in a cloak of secrecy keeping policymakers largely in the dark about the brutality of its detainee interrogations. The agency reportedly deceived the White House, the National Security Council, the Justice Department and Congress about the efficacy of its controversial interrogation techniques. We are joined by a guest who has closely followed the debate over national security and secrecy: Scott Horton, a human rights attorney and contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine, whose new book is "Lords of Secrecy: The National Security Elite and America’s Stealth Foreign Policy."

Defying U.S. & Israel, Will ICC Membership Bring Justice to Stateless & Occupied Palestinians?

Mon 07 14 AM

In a move opposed by the United States and Israel, Palestinian leaders have submitted a request to join the International Criminal Court and sign over a dozen other international treaties. The Palestinian Authority says it will seek the prosecution of Israeli officials for war crimes in the Occupied Territories. In retaliation, Israel has halted the transfer of tax revenues needed to pay for Palestinian salaries and public services. The Palestinian Authority opted to join the ICC after the United States and Israel successfully lobbied against a U.N. Security Council measure calling for an end to the Israeli occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state by 2017. We are joined by two guests: Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of "Understanding the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict: A Primer" and "Calling the Shots: How Washington Dominates Today’s United Nations"; and Ali Abunimah, co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of "The Battle for Justice in Palestine."

Russell Brand on Revolution, Fighting Inequality, Addiction, Militarized Police & Noam Chomsky

Fri 07 40 AM

In a holiday special, we feature our interview with Russell Brand. For years he has been one of Britain’s most popular comedians, but in 2014, he also emerged as a leading voice of Britain’s political left. He has taken part in anti-austerity protests, spoken at Occupy Wall Street protests and marched with the hacker collective Anonymous. A recovering addict himself, Brand has also become a leading critic of Britain’s drug laws. He has just come out with a new book expanding on his critique of the political system. It is simply titled, "Revolution."

Exclusive: Julian Assange on "When Google Met WikiLeaks" While He was Under House Arrest

Fri 07 20 AM

In a holiday special, we feature an exclusive Democracy Now! interview with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In July, Amy Goodman spoke to Assange after he had just entered his third year inside Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he has political asylum. He faces investigations in both Sweden and the United States. In the United States, a secret grand jury is investigating WikiLeaks for its role in publishing a trove of leaked documents about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as State Department cables. In Sweden, he is wanted for questioning on allegations of sexual misconduct, though no charges have been filed. During his interview, Assange talked about his new book, which at that time had not yet been released, titled, "When Google Met Wikileaks." The book was later published in September.

Who Goes to Jail? Matt Taibbi on "The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap"

Thu 07 40 AM

In part two of our holiday special, we feature our April 2014 interview with Matt Taibbi about his book, "The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap." The book 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. "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.

Matt Taibbi and "The $9 Billion Witness" Who Exposed How JPMorgan Chase Helped Wreck the Economy

Thu 07 00 AM

In holiday special, we feature a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive interview with Alayne Fleischmann, the whistleblower who helped the Justice Department force JPMorgan Chase to pay one of the largest fines in U.S. history for its role in the financial crisis. She is featured in a Rolling Stone investigation by recently returned Matt Taibbi, who also joins us. Fleischmann details how she witnessed "massive criminal securities fraud" in the bank’s mortgage operations. Taibbi’s investigation is headlined, "The $9 Billion Witness: Meet the woman JPMorgan Chase paid one of the largest fines in American history to keep from talking."

At End of Warmest Year on Record, "Alternative Nobel" Winner Bill McKibben Urges Action on Climate

Wed 07 46 AM

As the warmest year on record comes to a close, we end the last show of 2014 with climate activist and author Bill McKibben. He recently announced he is stepping down from the daily leadership of the climate action group 350.org, which he co-founded in 2007 and where he has been a leading voice warning of the dangers of not confronting global warming. He says he will remain a senior adviser and active member of the board, keeping 90 percent of his daily work the same. We play an excerpt of McKibben’s speech earlier this month in Stockholm, Sweden, where he received the Right Livelihood Award, known as the alternative Nobel Prize.

"The Great Reformer": Pope Francis Biographer on How Pontiff Became Star Diplomat & Voice for Change

Wed 07 29 AM

Pope Francis emerged this year as a star diplomat when he played a key role in the thawing of relations between the Cuba and the United States and presidents of both countries thanked him by name for his support. Earlier this month, the pope offered to assist the United States with another diplomatic hurdle: its efforts to close the Guantánamo prison. The Vatican has reportedly offered to help find adequate humanitarian solutions through its international contacts. We speak with Austen Ivereigh, whose new biography about the pope outlines these achievements, including the pontiff’s call for the Catholic Church "to create still broader opportunities for a more incisive female presence" even as he has stopped short of embracing the ordination of women to the priesthood. Ivereigh also examines Pope Francis’ recent steps to recognize the significance of liberation theology in Latin America, which has faced a decades-long attack by the Vatican for its socialist orientation.

Pope Francis Calls for Action on Climate Change & Capitalism on a Planet "Exploited by Human Greed"

Wed 07 14 AM

Pope Francis is set to make history by issuing the first-ever comprehensive Vatican teachings on climate change, which will urge 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide to take action. The document will be sent to the world’s 5,000 Catholic bishops and 400,000 priests who will distribute it to their parishioners. Given the sheer number of people who identify as Catholics worldwide, the pope’s clarion call to tackle climate change could reach far more people than even the largest environmental groups. "The document will take a position in favor of the scientific consensus that climate change is real ... and link the deforestation and destruction of the natural environment to the particular economic model of which Pope Francis has been a critic," says our guest, Austen Ivereigh, author of a new biography called "The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope." The pope also plans to address the United Nations General Assembly and convene a summit of the world’s main religions in hopes of bolstering next year’s crucial U.N. climate meeting in Paris.