Ukraine is in a state of crisis two days after the country’s democratically elected president was ousted following months of street protests that left at least 82 people dead. On Saturday, Ukraine’s Parliament voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovych, a move Yanukovych described as a coup. Earlier today, Ukraine’s new leaders announced the ousted president was wanted for mass murder of peaceful protesters. Russia condemned the move to oust Yanukovych and recalled its ambassador to Ukraine. Meanwhile, Europe has embraced the new government. European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is traveling to Ukraine today to discuss measures to shore up Ukraine’s ailing economy. One of Yanukovych’s main rivals, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, was released from custody. We speak to Timothy Snyder, professor of history at Yale University. His latest article for The New York Review of Books is "Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine." We also speak to University of Rhode Island professor Nicolai Petro, who is in Odessa, Ukraine.
- Ukraine in Crisis Following Ouster of President
- Egypt Gov't Resigns in Possible Step Toward Sisi Presidential Bid
- Thailand: 4 Killed in Attacks on Opposition Protests
- Hundreds of Thousands Join Rival Protests in Venezuela
- Sinaloa Cartel Leader "Chapo" Guzmán Arrested in Mexico
- Taliban Gunmen Attack Afghan Army Base; Obama Mulls Plan for 3,000 Troops to Stay
- Pentagon to Scale Back Army, Keep Funding for Special Operations
- U.N. Passes Resolution for Aid Access in Syria
- Russia: 7 Sentenced to Prison Terms for Anti-Putin Protest
- Netflix to Pay Comcast for Faster Access in Potential Threat to Net Neutrality
- Detroit Bankruptcy Plan Slashes Worker Pensions
- Ugandan President Signs Anti-Gay Bill
- Hundreds Protest Anti-Gay Bill in Arizona; Illinois Same-Sex Couples Wed
- Jason Collins Joins Nets, Becoming 1st Openly Gay NBA Player
- Oil Spill Shuts Down Section of Mississippi River
- Report: Regulatory Failures Fuel Unsafe Conditions in Texas Oil Fields
- Exxon CEO Joins Lawsuit Against Texas Fracking Project Due to Property Value Concerns
- Obama Renews Call for Minimum Wage Hike; Gap Promises $10 Minimum Wage
- 4 Shot Dead at Native American Tribal Hearing in California
- Guggenheim Protest Highlights Plight of Migrant Workers in Abu Dhabi
A new exposé in The Nation magazine reveals that much of the lobbying money spent on shaping policy in Washington is going unreported. For the third straight year, the official amount spent by lobbyists has declined, and the number of registered lobbyists is the lowest it’s been in more than a decade. But these numbers are misleading, says reporter Lee Fang, author of the "The Shadow Lobbying Complex: On paper, influence peddling has declined. In reality, it has gone underground."
We speak with scientist Tyrone Hayes of the University of California, Berkeley, who discovered a widely used herbicide may have harmful effects on the endocrine system. But when he tried to publish the results, the chemical’s manufacturer launched a campaign to discredit his work. Hayes was first hired in 1997 by a company, which later became agribusiness giant Syngenta, to study their product, atrazine, a pesticide that is applied to more than half the corn crops in the United States, and widely used on golf courses and Christmas tree farms. When Hayes found results Syngenta did not expect — that atrazine causes sexual abnormalities in frogs, and could cause the same problems for humans — it refused to allow him to publish his findings. A new article in The New Yorker magazine uses court documents from a class action lawsuit against Syngenta to show how it sought to smear Hayes’ reputation and prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from banning the profitable chemical, which is already banned by the European Union.
Human Rights Watch has revealed as many as 12 civilians were killed in December when a U.S. drone targeted vehicles that were part of a wedding procession going toward the groom’s village outside the central Yemeni city of Rad’a. According to HRW, "some, if not all those killed and wounded were civilians" and not members of the armed group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula as U.S. and Yemeni government officials initially claimed. The report concluded that the attack killed 12 men, between the ages of 20 and 65, and wounded 15 others. It cites accounts from survivors, relatives of the dead, local officials and news media reports. We speak to Human Rights Watch researcher Letta Tayler, who wrote the report, "A Wedding That Became a Funeral: US Drone Attack on Marriage Procession in Yemen," and Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of the TheIntercept.org, a new digital magazine published by First Look Media. He is the producer and writer of the documentary film, "Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield," which is nominated for an Academy Award.
- Ukraine: Deal Proposed to Hold Early Election After Deadly Violence
- Somalia Presidential Palace Attacked
- Three Al Jazeera Journalists Plead Not Guilty in Egypt
- 100 Tons of Highly Radioactive Leaks at Fukushima
- NOAA: Last Month was Globe's Fourth Warmest January Ever
- Obama Proposes to Drop Social Security Cuts
- Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against NYPD for Spying on Muslims in New Jersey
- Family: Teen Shot Dead by Police Was Holding Video Game Controller, Not a Gun
- Texas Police Change Story on African-American Woman Shot Dead
- U.N. Seeks More Troops for Central African Republic
- Haitian Court: Duvalier Can Be Charged with Crimes Against Humanity
- Undercover Video Shows Shocking Conditions at Kentucky Hog Farm
- Idaho Considers Ag-Gag Bill
- Ex-Black Panther Russell Maroon Shoatz Moved from Solitary Confinement
- Ex-Army Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin: Jesus Will Return with AR-15
- Documentary on Indonesian Genocide Projected on World Bank Building
Eighteen years ago, on February 19, 1996, Democracy Now! aired for the first time. We began as a daily election-year show on Pacifica Radio and a handful of community radio stations. Democracy Now! was supposed to stay on the air for nine months. However, 18 years later, we are now a TV, radio and Internet news hour that millions of people worldwide rely on every day. We air a clip of that first episode before co-hosts Amy Goodman and Juan González are surprised with a birthday cake live on-air.
To celebrate our 18th birthday, we are asking our listeners and viewers to submit a photo or video that describes why Democracy Now! is important to you, starting with "I need Democracy Now! because…" Take a picture of yourself holding a sign or shoot a 30-second or shorter video telling us your name, where you live and why you tune in to Democracy Now! Click here to submit your photo or video. We’ll highlight our favorites online, live on air, or on our social media networks.
While the United States, Mexico and Canada held a major summit in Mexico on Wednesday, U.S. border policies are back in the spotlight after a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man near San Diego, California, on Tuesday. Officials said the agent was pursuing a group of people suspected of crossing the border from Mexico. When a man threw a rock at him, the agent opened fire and killed him. The agent suffered minor injuries and declined hospital care. The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general recently found U.S. border agents have been involved in 20 fatalities since 2010, eight of which — that’s nearly half — involved rock throwing. For more, we’re joined by John Carlos Frey, an investigative reporter who has long reported on immigration, and more recently on killings of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
In Venezuela, at least six people have died in recent days during a series of anti-government protests. The latest casualty was a local beauty queen who died of a gunshot wound. The protests come less than a year after the death of Hugo Chávez and present the biggest challenge to Venezuela’s new president, Nicolás Maduro. Earlier this week, right-wing opposition leader Leopoldo López turned himself in to the National Guard after authorities issued a warrant for his arrest last week, accusing him of inciting deadly clashes. On Monday, Maduro ordered the expulsion of three U.S. consular officials while claiming the United States has sided with the opposition. Our guest, George Ciccariello-Maher, looks at the recent history of the U.S. role in Venezuela opposing both the Chávez and Maduro governments. He is author of "We Created Chávez: A People’s History of the Venezuelan Revolution" and teaches political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
A short-lived truce has broken down in Ukraine as street battles have erupted between anti-government protesters and police. Last night the country’s embattled president and the opposition leaders demanding his resignation called for a truce and negotiations to try to resolve Ukraine’s political crisis. But hours later, armed protesters attempted to retake Independence Square, sparking another day of deadly violence. At least 50 people have died since Tuesday in the bloodiest period of Ukraine’s 22-year post-Soviet history. While President Obama has vowed to "continue to engage all sides," a recently leaked audio recording between two top U.S. officials reveal the Obama administration has been secretly plotting with the opposition. We speak to Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. His most recent book, "Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War," is out in paperback. His latest Nation article is "Distorting Russia: How the American Media Misrepresent Putin, Sochi and Ukraine."
- Truce Breaks Down in Ukraine; Clashes Kill 21
- Trial Opens for 3 Detained Al Jazeera Journalists in Egypt
- Nebraska Judge Voids State's Approval of Keystone XL Oil Pipeline
- More Coal-Waste Leaks Found in North Carolina, West Virginia
- U.S. Approves Loan Deal for 1st New Nuclear Power Plant in 30 Years
- Bahraini Activist Faces Possible Return to Prison
- FCC to Rewrite Net Neutrality Rules for Equal Internet Access
- Documents Tie Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to Secret Email System
- Juror in Trial of Michael Dunn Speaks Out
- New York Terror Suspect Pleads Guilty in Case That Feds Turned Down
- New York Agrees to Reform Use of Solitary Confinement in State Prisons
- Texas Suspends Abortion Provider Under Harsh New Law
- Pennsylvania Mother Faces Criminal Charges for Buying Abortion Medication for Daughter
- Pussy Riot Members Beaten by Cossack Militia
After serving 19 months in prison, the African-American transgender activist CeCe McDonald is free. She was arrested after using deadly force to protect herself from a group of people who attacked her on the streets of Minneapolis. Her case helped turn a national spotlight on the violence and discrimination faced by transgender women of color. In 2011, McDonald and two friends were walking past a Minneapolis bar when they were reportedly accosted with homophobic, transphobic and racist slurs. McDonald was hit with a bar glass that cut open her face, requiring 11 stitches. A brawl ensued, and one of the people who had confronted McDonald and her friends, 47-year-old Dean Schmitz, was killed. Facing up to 80 years in prison for his death, McDonald took a plea deal that sentenced her to 41 months. In the eyes of her supporters, CeCe McDonald was jailed for defending herself against the bigotry and violence that transgender people so often face and that is so rarely punished. At the time of the attack, the murder rate for gay and transgender people in this country was at an all-time high. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs documented 30 hate-related murders of LGBT people in 2011; 40 percent of the victims were transgender women of color. Transgender teens have higher rates of homelessness, and nearly half of all African-American transgender people — 47 percent — have been incarcerated at some point.
McDonald joins us on her first trip to New York City. We are also joined by one of her supporters, Laverne Cox, a transgender actress, producer and activist who stars in the popular Netflix show, "Orange is the New Black." She plays Sophia Burset, a transgender woman in prison for using credit card fraud to finance her transition. She is producing a documentary about McDonald called "Free CeCe." We also speak to Alisha Williams, staff attorney with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.
"I very easily could have been CeCe," Laverne Cox says. "Many times I’ve walked down the street of New York, and I’ve experienced harassment. I was kicked once on the street, and very easily that could have escalated into a situation that CeCe faced, and it’s a situation that too many trans women of color face all over this country. The act of merely walking down the street is often a contested act, not only from the citizenry, but also from the police."
Click here to watch part 2 of this interview.
- Ukraine: 25 Killed in Deadliest Episode of Uprising
- Thailand: 5 Killed in Clashes Between Police, Protesters
- Court in Britain Rules Detention of David Miranda, Partner of Glenn Greenwald, was Lawful
- Venezuela: Right-Wing Opposition Leader Surrenders to Authorities amid Rival Protests
- U.S. Border Agent Kills Man Who Threw Rock Near San Diego
- U.S. Soldier Who Raped, Murdered Iraqi Girl Dies in Apparent Suicide
- Report: Coal Ash Blankets Bottom of Dan River After Duke Spill
- Obama Orders Better Fuel Efficiency for Trucks
- Obama in Mexico for Talks with Canadian, Mexican Leaders
- Members of Pussy Riot Detained 3 Times in 3 Days
- 84-Year-Old Nun Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Peace Protest
- Whistleblower at Nuclear Site Fired from Her Job
Employees at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, have rejected membership in the United Auto Workers union. In a blow to organized labor, Volkswagen workers voted against the measure by a vote of 712 to 626, derailing attempts to make it the first unionized foreign-owned car factory in the United States. But the union faced intense opposition from Republican lawmakers, including threats suggesting the plant might miss out on future subsidies or on a new SUV line if the union succeeded. Outside groups also played a role. To find out more about the implications of the vote, we speak to Steven Greenhouse, the labor and workplace reporter for The New York Times, who has been following the events leading up to the vote at the Volkswagen plant. His most recent article is "Labor Regroups in South After VW Vote."
A new report based on leaks by Edward Snowden reveals the National Security Agency played a role in the monitoring of a U.S. law firm that represented the Indonesian government during trade disputes with the United States. According to The New York Times, the NSA’s Australian counterpart told the agency it was spying on trade talks between the United States and Indonesia, including potentially privileged communications between Indonesian officials and the U.S. law firm, Mayer Brown. The document notes the Australian agency "has been able to continue to cover the talks, providing highly useful intelligence for interested U.S. customers." The report by James Risen and Laura Poitras bolsters claims by Snowden and others that the NSA and its allies conduct spying for economic gain. We speak to Jesselyn Radack, legal adviser to Snowden. She is director of National Security & Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project. We are also joined by Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Four journalists who revealed the National Security Agency’s vast web of spying have been awarded the 2013 George Polk Awards in Journalism. Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Ewen MacAskill of The Guardian and Barton Gellman of The Washington Post were among the winners announced on Sunday. Even as the journalists who broke the stories based on Edward Snowden’s leaks were awarded one of journalism’s highest honors, a lawyer who represents Snowden was recently detained while going through customs at London’s Heathrow Airport. Jesselyn Radack joins us today to tell her story. Radack says she was subjected to "very hostile questioning" about Snowden and her trips to Russia. Radack also learned she might be on an "inhibited persons list," a designation reportedly used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to require further vetting of certain passengers. Radack is just one of a growing number of people who are being stopped, harassed and interrogated for their work around Snowden, WikiLeaks and National Security Agency documents. Radack is the director of National Security & Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project, the nation’s leading whistleblower support organization.
Top-secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden have revealed new details about how the United States and Britain targeted the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks after it published leaked documents about the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan. According to a new article by The Intercept, Britain’s top spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, secretly monitored visitors to a WikiLeaks website by collecting their IP addresses in real time, as well as the search terms used to reach the site. One document from 2010 shows that the National Security Agency added WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange to a "manhunting" target list, together with suspected members of al-Qaeda. We speak to Assange live from the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he has sought political asylum since 2012. Also joining us is his lawyer Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
- Documents Reveal Extensive NSA Targeting of WikiLeaks
- Iraq Rocked by Deadly Explosions
- Thailand: 3 Killed as Police Seek to Oust Protesters
- Ukraine: Protesters Clash with Police as Lawmakers Seek Curbs on President's Power
- Venezuela: Maduro Expels 3 U.S. Officials amid Opposition Protests
- U.N. Panel Finds Wide-Ranging Abuses in North Korea
- South Korea: Court Sentences Opposition Leader to 12 Years
- Iran Nuclear Talks Reopen in Vienna
- 2 Pussy Riot Members Detained in Sochi, Russia
- Transgender Activist Stages Pro-LGBT Actions at Sochi Olympics
- Arkansas Man Arrested for Opening Fire on Car, Killing 15-Year-Old Girl
- Report: Oil-Boom City of Williston, North Dakota Has Highest Rent in the U.S.
Comcast has announced plans to buy Time Warner Cable at a cost of more than $45 billion in stock. The takeover would allow Comcast to provide cable service to a third of American households and give it a virtual monopoly in 19 of the 20 largest media markets. While Comcast has claimed the deal will be "pro-consumer," the group Free Press warns the deal would be a "disaster" for consumers. Analysts predict Comcast will launch a lobbying blitz similar to when it won approval to take over NBCUniversal in 2011. Comcast has already hired FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, who signed off on its NBC deal. We speak to another former FCC commissioner, Michael Copps. He now leads the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at Common Cause.
As the country marks Presidents’ Day, we turn to an aspect of U.S. history that is often missed: the complicity of American presidents with slavery. "More than one-in-four U.S. presidents were involved in human trafficking and slavery. These presidents bought, sold and bred enslaved people for profit. Of the 12 presidents who were enslavers, more than half kept people in bondage at the White House," writes historian Clarence Lusane in his most recent article, "Missing from Presidents’ Day: The People They Enslaved."