A shocking new study by the American Civil Liberties Union has found that more than 3,200 people nationwide are serving life terms without parole for nonviolent offenses. Of those prisoners, 80 percent are behind bars for drug-related convictions. Sixty-five percent are African-American, 18 percent are white, and 16 percent are Latino — evidence of what the ACLU calls "extreme racial disparities." The crimes that led to life sentences include stealing gas from a truck, shoplifting, possessing a crack pipe, facilitating a $10 sale of marijuana, and attempting to cash a stolen check. We speak with Jennifer Turner, human rights researcher and author of the new ACLU report, "A Living Death: Life Without Parole for Nonviolent Offenses."
- Obama Allows Health Insurers to Continue Substandard Plans
- Obama Calls on Congress to Wait on Iran Sanctions
- Iraq: At Least 41 Killed in Blasts Targeting Shiites
- Warren Questions Fed Chair Nominee Janet Yellen on Failure to Regulate Big Banks
- Judge Criticizes U.S. Failure to Prosecute a Single CEO for Financial Crisis
- U.S. Probes Potential Currency Manipulation by Traders at Big Banks
- AP Source Sentenced to 3 Years for Leak on Yemen Operation
- Relatives of Drone Victims Travel to D.C. for Summit
- Report: 97% of NYPD "Stop-and-Frisks" Yielded No Conviction
- Philippines Death Toll Climbs; Corpses Buried in Mass Grave
- Iceberg the Size of Singapore Heads to Sea in Latest Sign of Warming
- Report: 2013 Among 10 Warmest Ever Recorded
- Gas Pipeline Explosion Kills 2 in Poland
- Pipeline Explosion in Texas Spurs Evacuation of Entire Town
- Colorado City Approves Fracking Ban
- Michigan Prosecutors to Speak on Renisha McBride Shooting
- Activist Jeremy Hammond Faces Sentencing for Statfor Hack
- Socialist Candidate Kshama Sawant Wins Seattle City Council Seat
We look at the drug war in Mexico and efforts to demand accountability in thousands of cases of people who have been kidnapped, tortured, disappeared and killed. Newly declassified cables from U.S. embassies and consulates in Mexico reveal how drug cartels there have operated with "near impunity" in recent years. In many cases they are exerting control over government authorities and entire regions as they kidnap and kill anyone at will. Human Rights Watch meanwhile has found that Mexican security forces participate in enforced disappearances as part of the so-called "war on drugs" and then try to cover up their complicity. We are joined by Sister Consuelo Morales, who has helped lead the fight in Mexico to defend victims of human rights violations and hold their abusers accountable. In 1992, Morales helped found the group Citizens in Support of Human Rights, which has taken the lead in documenting human rights violations carried out by the drug cartels and the Mexican security forces, and provides support for victims. She recently received Human Rights Watch’s 2013 Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism. We are also joined by Nik Steinberg, Human Rights Watch’s senior researcher for the Americas and co-author of their report, "Mexico’s Disappeared: The Enduring Cost of a Crisis Ignored."
The Senate is poised to vote soon to make sweeping changes in the way the military handles complaints of sexual assault. Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has said 46 senators — 38 Democrats and eight Republicans — support her proposal to remove the power to decide whether to try sexual assault cases from the military chain of command and put it in the hands of an independent military prosecutor. Last week, the Pentagon revealed that sexual assault in the military increased by 46 percent in the past fiscal year. In total, more than 3,500 sexual assaults were reported from last October through June, compared to roughly 2,400 over the same period the previous year. Pentagon officials claim the spike shows more victims are coming forward. But sexual assaults are still dramatically underreported in military ranks; a recent survey estimated 26,000 people were sexually assaulted in 2011 alone. We are joined by Amy Ziering, producer of the Oscar-nominated film "The Invisible War," which interviews veterans from multiple branches of the U.S. military about their experience of being assaulted.
TPP Exposed: WikiLeaks Publishes Secret Trade Text to Rewrite Copyright Laws, Limit Internet Freedom
WikiLeaks has published the secret text to part of the biggest U.S. trade deal in history, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). For the past several years, the United States and 12 Pacific Rim nations have been negotiating behind closed doors on the sweeping agreement. A 95-page draft of a TPP chapter released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday details agreements relating to patents, copyright, trademarks and industrial design — showing their wide-reaching implications for Internet services, civil liberties, publishing rights and medicine accessibility. Critics say the deal could rewrite U.S. laws on intellectual property rights, product safety and environmental regulations, while backers say it will help create jobs and boost the economy. President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman reportedly wish to finalize the TPP by the end of the year and are pushing Congress to expedite legislation that grants the president something called "fast-track authority." However, this week some 151 House Democrats and 23 Republicans wrote letters to the administration saying they are unwilling to give the president free rein to "diplomatically legislate." We host a debate on the TPP between Bill Watson, a trade policy analyst at the Cato Institute, and Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.
- Boehner Rules Out Talks on Immigration Reform
- Obama Admin: 106,000 Enrollments in Health Exchanges' 1st Month
- Dems Threaten to Join GOP on Health Law Rebuke
- Confirmed Typhoon Haiyan Death Count Tops 2,300
- Obama Admin Asks Congress to Delay Iran Sanctions Vote
- Palestinian Negotiators Resign over Israeli Settlement Building
- 3 Students Shot Near Pittsburgh High School
- Washington State Machinists Reject Pension, Benefit Cuts; Boeing Offered Largest-Ever State Subsidy
- Striking Nestlé Worker Shot Dead in Colombia
- Study: Over 3,200 Jailed for Life on Nonviolent Convictions
Egypt has announced the lifting of a three-month state of emergency and nighttime curfew, which allowed authorities to make arrests without warrants and search people’s homes. But Egyptian human rights activists have expressed fear that the country’s interim government is on the verge of approving a draconian protest law that will severely restrict the right to organize demonstrations. The emergency law and curfew were imposed during a crackdown on protesters supporting former President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president. Overthrown by the military in July following widespread demonstrations against his rule, Morsi is now on trial for allegedly inciting the killing of protesters outside the presidential palace in 2012. But no charges have been brought over the killings of hundreds of Morsi supporters since his ouster. "The Egyptian military and the Muslim Brotherhood have acted as two juggernauts in the Egyptian body politic," says Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Cairo-based independent journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent. "They’re both characterized by patriarchy, secrecy and mendacity, and they’ve both ripped apart Egypt’s social fabric as they struggle for power."
In a story of life and death that intersects with 20 years of failed immigration policy, we look at the case of Dave Pierre, who has just been released after three years in immigration detention. Pierre is an immigrant from Antigua who first came to the United States when he was two years old. In 2009 he went to pay a traffic fine and was arrested for illegally entering the country. He was first sent to prison and then placed in immigrant detention, where he spent the next three years seeking his release and fighting his deportation. He wrote letters to anyone who would listen — including Democracy Now! — documenting the 1,144 days he spent in detention centers and county jails from Alabama to Pennsylvania. On October 25, just two weeks ago, Pierre was suddenly told he was free to go. This came after a fellow immigrant from Antigua, 35-year-old Tiombe Carlos, committed suicide at the York County Jail in Pennsylvania, where they were both being held along with about 900 other immigrants. Pierre joins us to talk about his prolonged detention and how his newfound freedom may be related to his fellow detainee’s suicide. We are also joined by Abraham Paulos, executive director of Families for Freedom, who is calling for an independent investigation into Carlos’ suicide.
Anger is growing in the Detroit area over the killing of Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old African-American woman who was shot dead by a white homeowner on his front porch. Her family says she died as she was seeking help after a car accident. The homeowner told police he believed McBride was trying to break into his home, but he claimed his gun accidentally fired at her. No charges have been filed. An autopsy revealed McBride was shot in the face by a shotgun, but not at close range. We are joined from Detroit by Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations; and by dream hampton, a writer, activist and filmmaker.
- Philippines President Lowers Death Toll as Haiyan Survivors Seek Aid
- Philippine Foreign Secretary: Typhoon a "Manifestation of Climate Change"
- Philippine Climate Negotiator Continues Hunger Strike at U.N. Summit
- Obama Admin Seeks Congressional Pause on Iran Sanctions
- Israel Freezes E1 Settlement Construction, OKs 20,000 New West Bank Homes
- Afghan Gov't Abandons Wardak Probe over Reported U.S. Stonewalling
- Bangladeshi Workers Strike Grows, 250 Factories Closed
- Hawaii Senate Votes to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage
- GOP Blocks Another Obama Judicial Nominee
- Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Challenge to Ruling Against Anti-Abortion Oklahoma Ultrasound Law
- Obama Taps New Head for Commodity Futures Trading Commission
- Justice Dept. Approves American Airlines-U.S. Airways Merger
This month marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. It is a topic our guest Thom Hartmann wrote about the 2009 book, "Legacy of Secrecy: The Long Shadow of the JFK Assassination," co-authored with Lamar Waldron. Warner Brothers is now making the book into a movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the role of FBI informant Jack Van Laningham. The topic of JFK’s assassination has also been in the news after last week’s interview with Secretary of State John Kerry on NBC, in which he expressed doubts about whether JFK’s accused shooter acted alone. Kerry was questioned about those remarks Sunday by NBC’s David Gregory. Kerry declined to elaborate on his beliefs about a possible conspiracy surrounding the assassination.
Could the United States face another economic collapse? Writer and broadcaster Thom Hartmann looks back at past financial crises and comes to a startling conclusion. "As long as you don’t look too closely at our nation, things seem under control — the United States looks whole … but when you go around to the 'dark back side' of the nation, you see the shocking truth. There you see a nation whose core fundamentals have been hollowed out," writes Hartmann in his new book, "The Crash of 2016: The Plot to Destroy America — And What We Can Do to Stop It."
On the opening day of the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Poland, the chief climate negotiator from the Philippines gave an emotional appeal to the world to address the climate crisis following Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded. Estimates say the storm has killed at least 10,000 people. "In solidarity with my countrymen who are now struggling for food back home, and with my brother who has not had food for the last three days ... I will now commence a voluntary fasting for the climate," said Yeb Saño. A year ago, Saño gave another speech to the U.N. climate summit in Doha following the devastating Typhoon Bopha that killed some 1,100. "In Doha, we asked: 'If not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where?' But here in Warsaw, we may very well ask these same forthright questions," Saño said yesterday. "What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness. The climate crisis is madness. We can stop this madness. Right here in Warsaw."
- U.N. Launches $300 Million Appeal for Philippines; Aid Slow to Reach Victims
- Storm Kills At Least 100 in Somalia's Puntland Region
- Cambodia: 1 Killed in Police Crackdown on Striking Garment Workers
- Bangladesh: Garment Workers' Protest Shuts Down 100 Factories
- Haqqani Network Leader Shot Dead in Pakistan
- HRW: Syria Used Incendiary Weapons in Dozens of Attacks
- Report: Asylum Seekers in U.S. Unable to Work, Obtain Aid
- Report: Fewer Than 50,000 Enrolled on Obamacare Site
- Documents Show NSA Spied on OPEC
- Kerry Declines to Elaborate on JFK Assassination Views
- Right-Winger Avigdor Lieberman Reinstated as Israeli Foreign Minister
- Detained Greenpeace Activists Transferred 800 Miles to St. Petersburg
- Pussy Riot Member Out of Contact Since Transfer to Heart of Siberia
- Romania Rejects Gold Mine Project After Mass Protests
- Train Carrying 2.7 Million Gallons of Oil Derails in Alabama
- Autopsy: African-American Woman Killed on Michigan Porch Was Shot in Face
- 4 Dead in Brooklyn Murder-Suicide Involving Iranian Rock Band
- Texas: Prosecutor to Serve 10-Day Term for Hiding Evidence in Case That Sent Innocent Man to Jail
Today marks Veterans Day, the federal holiday honoring U.S. men and women who have fought in the armed forces. Veterans continue to face extremely high levels of unemployment, traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress and homelessness. Since 2000, nearly 6,000 servicemembers have experienced traumatic amputations from injuries caused by improvised explosive devices and other war-related dangers. Nearly one million active servicemembers have been diagnosed with at least one mental health disorder since 2000; nearly half of those have been diagnosed with two or more. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 22 veterans take their own lives each day. Last year, more U.S. military personnel died by their own hands than the hands of others. On any given night, nearly 63,000 veterans are homeless. Many suffer chronic debilitating mental health problems. We are joined by longtime writer and photographer Ann Jones, author of the new book, "They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars—The Untold Story."
As the Philippines reels from one of the worst storms in history, the annual U.N. climate summit is opening today in Warsaw, Poland. Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground, says rising sea levels caused by global warming increased the size of the storm’s surge, while the heating of the oceans threatens more extreme storms that could form into typhoons. We also air the emotional plea of Yeb Saño, a member of the Philippines Climate Change Commission, urging action on global warming at last year’s climate summit in Doha. Saño spoke just as Typhoon Bopha hit his country, killing hundreds and leaving 250,000 homeless. "Heartbreaking tragedies like this are not unique to the Philippines, because the whole world — especially developing countries, struggling to address poverty and achieve social and human development — confront these same realities," Saño said. "I ask of all of us here: If not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where?"
More than 10,000 people are feared dead in the central Philippines following one of the most powerful storms ever recorded. Nearly 1,000 people are confirmed dead so far, but the toll is expected to rise. Typhoon Haiyan sent huge waves that inundated towns, washed ships ashore and swept away coastal villages. More than 600,000 people have been displaced, and many still have no access to food, water or medicine. The city of Tacloban was described as a scene of massive devastation, with bodies scattered in the streets and buried under flattened buildings. We are joined by Al Jazeera correspondent Jamela Alindogan, who reported from Tacloban after Typhoon Haiyan struck, herself struggling to survive the storm.
- Typhoon Haiyan Devastates Philippines, Over 10,000 Feared Dead
- Iran Talks to Continue After Nuclear Deal Stalls
- Kerry: "Significant Progress" in Iran Nuclear Talks
- Israeli PM Decries "Bad and Dangerous" Iran Deal
- Iran, IAEA Reach Inspections Deal for Nuclear Sites
- Iranian Minister Shot Dead in Tehran
- U.N. Climate Summit Opens in Poland
- U.S. Drone Strikes Kill 5 in Yemen
- Pakistanis Rally Against U.S. Drone Attacks
- Saudi Arabia Arrests Foreign Workers; 2 Killed in Clashes
- U.N. Expert Urges Qatar to Improve Conditions for Migrant Workers
- Thousands Protest Raid of State Broadcaster in Greece
- 2 Killed, 22 Wounded in Texas Shooting
- Bloomberg Seeks Permanent Repeal of "Stop-and-Frisk" Curbs for NYPD
- "60 Minutes" Retracts Benghazi Story; Watchdog Urges Independent Review
- Sen. Graham Maintains Vow to Block Obama Nominees over Benghazi, Despite CBS Retraction
As a measure to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods fails to pass in Washington state, we speak to one of its major supporters, David Bronner, the grandson of Dr. Bronner who founded Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, who spent $2.3 million on the "Yes on 522" campaign, but was outspent 3-to-1 by opponents. The campaign against Initiative 522 drew millions of dollars from major corporations and out-of-state organizations who spent more than $22 million to defeat it, including Monsanto, which donated more than $5 million, and DuPont, which gave almost $4 million. Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Nestle dedicated more than $1.5 million each. This comes as a recent New York Times poll found 93 percent of Americans want labels on food containing GM ingredients. Sixty-four countries require it. Bronner notes votes are still being counted and the measure is not yet officially defeated, and says similar measures are pending in Connecticut and Maine.
The National Football League’s culture of violence has come under scrutiny after Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito allegedly made bullying and racist threats to his teammate Jonathan Martin. The Dolphins initially denied the threats, but later suspended Incognito, one of the team’s most popular players. For more, we talk with Dave Zirin, The Nation sports editor and host of Edge of Sports Radio. For those who think the controversy is simply a "sports issue," Zirin explains: "Think about other stories that have been in the media recently with names like Steubenville or Maryville or Torrington, Connecticut, instances where you see this connective tissue between jock culture and rape culture. All of these things are very connected. This idea where you get young men in a very violent kind of group mentality ... It creates a very, very destructive social climate that puts terrible social cues out to the general public."