The ongoing protests in Venezuela have left at least 20 people dead since breaking out last month. Both sides have staged massive rallies, with opponents accusing President Nicolás Maduro of authoritarianism and mishandling the economy and supporters backing his continuation of Hugo Chávez’s legacy of social welfare. Maduro has bristled at outside attempts to intervene. We host a debate on who is protesting in Venezuela, and why, with two guests: Margarita López Maya, a Venezuelan historian and political analyst with the Center for Development Studies at the Central University of Venezuela, and Roberto Lovato, a writer with New American Media who recently returned from reporting in Caracas.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is rebuffing warnings from the U.S. and European Union as the crisis in Ukraine threatens one of the worst east-west standoffs since the Cold War. The pro-Russian Crimean Parliament has voted to hold a referendum on splitting off from Ukraine and joining Russia. But the vote’s legitimacy has been called into question after the installation of a pro-Russian government in Crimea just last week. We host a roundtable discussion with three guests: Anton Shekhovtsov, a Ukrainian citizen and researcher at the University College London specializing in far-right movements; Jonathan Steele, former Moscow correspondent for The Guardian and author of "Eternal Russia: Yeltsin, Gorbachev, and the Mirage of Democracy"; and Keith Gessen, an editor at n+1 magazine who covered the 2010 Ukraine elections for The New Yorker.
- Putin Rejects U.S.-EU on Ukraine; Crimea Sets Referendum for Secession
- Senate Rejects Independent Oversight of Sexual Assault
- Top Army Prosecutor Suspended for Alleged Sexual Assault; General Pleads Guilty to Lesser Charges
- FBI Probing Senate Panel for Seizing Classified CIA Docs on Torture
- "Deporter-in-Chief" Obama Faces Pressure to Issue New Reprieve for Undocumented Immigrants
- Duke Energy Ordered to Stop Pollution at N.C. Coal Plants
- Mall Shooting Wounds 1 in Tennessee; Idaho Approves Concealed Guns on College Campuses
- Colorado Prisoner Avoids Death Penalty with Backing of Victim's Father
- Rep. Ryan: Lunch Programs Yield "Full Stomach, Empty Soul"
- Mumia Abu-Jamal Criticizes Senate Rejection of Justice Dept. Nominee
For more than four decades, the world-renowned author, activist and scholar Angela Davis has been one of most influential activists and intellectuals in the United States. An icon of the 1970s black liberation movement, Davis’ work around issues of gender, race, class and prisons has influenced critical thought and social movements across several generations. She is a leading advocate for prison abolition, a position informed by her own experience as a fugitive on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list more than 40 years ago. Davis, a professor emerita at University of California, Santa Cruz, and the subject of the recent documentary, "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners," joins us to discuss prison abolition, mass incarceration, the so-called war on drugs, International Women’s Day, and why President Obama’s second term should see a greater wave of activism than in his first. Watch Part 2 of this interview.
In a stunning vote, a group of U.S. Senate Democrats has broken ranks to join Republicans in rejecting President Obama’s pick to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, Debo Adegbile. The confirmation fight focused almost solely on Adegbile’s role in the legal defense of imprisoned Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer, despite Abu-Jamal’s longstanding position of being not guilty. Adegbile was part of a team of lawyers at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund who successfully argued the trial judge’s jury instructions violated Abu-Jamal’s rights. Adegbile’s supporters say the attacks on him mark a new form of Willie Horton politics and race baiting. We discuss the controversy with two guests: Johanna Fernández, professor of history at Baruch College-CUNY and a coordinator with the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, and Ryan Haygood, director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund’s Political Participation Group.
- Crimean Parliament Votes to Join Russia, Hold Referendum
- Leaked EU Call: Opposition Behind Sniper Shootings in Kiev
- NATO Air Strike Kills 5 Soldiers in "Accidental" Bombing
- U.N. Panel: Assad Regime Waging War of "Starvation"
- CIA Rejects "Spurious" Claims of Spying on Senate Torture Probe
- Senate Rejects Obama Nominee over Legal Defense of Mumia Abu-Jamal
- White House Extends Window for Keeping Substandard Health Plans
- Prosecutors Drop Key Charges Against Activist-Journalist Barrett Brown
- Coal Giant to Pay Record Fine for Appalachia Pollution
- Alabama Lawmakers OK Anti-Abortion Bills
- Texas Anti-Abortion Law Forces Closure of More Clinics
- IRS Hearing Prompts Heated Exchange Between Lawmakers
- Venezuela: Tens of Thousands Mark Year Since Chávez Death Amidst Opposition Rallies
- RT Anchors Criticize Ukraine Coverage on Russia-Owned Network
- State Department Issues Visa Ban over Ukraine Crisis
We are joined by Bob Autobee, a Colorado resident who is opposing the death penalty for the prisoner who killed his son Eric, a prison guard, in 2002. During the original trial, Autobee supported a death sentence for Edward Montour. But the Colorado Supreme Court threw out Montour’s sentence in 2007 because it was imposed by a judge, not a jury as is required. A decade later, Autobee has now changed his mind. In the new murder trial that begins today, he wants to make a victim’s statement to the jury asking them not to impose the death penalty — but the judge in the case has barred him from doing so. Autobee describes why he opposes the death penalty in this case, and why he wants to see it abolished overall. "You’ve got to be willing to heal, and you’ve got to let the hate go," Autobee says. "To me the death penalty is a hate crime, a crime against humanity." We are also joined by Democracy Now! producer and criminal justice correspondent Renée Feltz, who notes that 80 percent of Colorado voters actually passed a constitutional amendment in 1992 that enshrines the rights of victims to make a statement in cases like Autobee’s.
In a Democracy Now! exclusive, former Black Panther Party leader Marshall "Eddie" Conway joins us less than 24 hours after his release from nearly 44 years in prison. Supporters describe Conway as one of the country’s longest-held political prisoners. He was convicted of killing a Baltimore police officer in 1970, for which he has always maintained his innocence. The shooting occurred at a time when federal and local authorities were infiltrating and disrupting the Black Panthers and other activist groups. At the time of the shooting, the FBI was also monitoring Conway’s actions as part of its counterintelligence program, COINTELPRO. Numerous groups have campaigned for years calling for his release, saying he never received a fair trial and was convicted largely on the basis of testimony from a jailhouse informant. Politically active in prison, Conway founded Friend of a Friend, a group that helps young men, often gang members, resolve conflicts, and published a memoir, "Marshall Law: The Life & Times of a Baltimore Black Panther." In his first interview since being released, Marshall details his time behind bars and the government surveillance he faced as a prominent Black Panther.
- U.S.-Russia in Direct Talks on Ukraine; EU Pledges $15 Billion in Aid
- Putin Denies Russian Troops in Crimea, Calls Force a "Last Resort"
- Obama Unveils $3.9 Trillion Budget
- Pentagon Budget Request at $575 Billion, Over $79 Billion for War
- U.S. Judge Bars Enforcement of Ecuadorean Ruling on Chevron Pollution
- Appeals Court Orders BP to Resume Gulf Spill Payments
- D.C. Council Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession
- CIA Officials Accused of Spying on Senate Panel
- Izzy Awards Honor Journalism on Mexico, U.S. Wars, Surveillance
A new report by Truthout has revealed doctors, residents and non-governmental organization workers in the city of Fallujah are accusing the Iraqi government of war crimes and crimes against humanity in its ongoing attack against the city. According to one account, at least 109 civilians have been killed and 632 wounded since January when Iraqi government forces began shelling Fallujah in its fight against militants. For more on this developing story, we are joined by Dahr Jamail, a staff reporter at Truthout.
U.S. peace activist Medea Benjamin was detained Monday at Cairo’s airport by Egyptian police without explanation. She says she was questioned, held overnight in an airport prison cell and then violently handcuffed by Egyptian officials, who dislocated her shoulder and broke her arm. She was then put on a plane and deported to Turkey, where she is now seeking medical treatment. We speak to her by telephone from the airport medical facility. Benjamin had intended to meet up with international delegates before traveling to Gaza for a women’s conference.
A new exposé by Mother Jones magazine may shock anyone who drinks out of plastic bottles, gives their children plastic sippy cups, eats out of plastic containers, or stores food with plastic wrap. For years, public campaigns have been waged against plastic containing bisphenol-A (BPA), a controversial plastic additive, due to concerns about adverse human health effects caused by the exposure to synthetic estrogen. But a new investigation by Mother Jones reporter Mariah Blake has revealed that chemicals used to replace BPA may be just as dangerous to your health, if not more. Plastic products being advertised as BPA-free — and sold by companies such as Evenflo, Nalgene and Tupperware — are still releasing synthetic estrogen. The Mother Jones piece also reveals how the plastics industry has used a "Big Tobacco-style campaign" to bury the disturbing scientific evidence about the products you use every day. Blake joins us to discuss her findings.
- U.S. Suspends Military Ties with Russia as Ukraine Standoff Continues
- Yemen: At Least 3 Killed by U.S. Drone Strike
- U.S. Peace Activist Medea Benjamin Detained, Abused in Egypt
- Report: Nearly 14,000 Afghan Forces Died in U.S.-Led War
- Iraq: More Than 700 Confirmed Dead in February
- U.N. Proposes 12,000-Member Peacekeeping Force for Central African Republic
- Knife Attack Suspects Arrested in China
- Mozambique: 300,000 Facing Famine
- Netanyahu, Obama Meet at White House
- Report: Israeli Settlements in West Bank Doubled Last Year
- Contractor for Israel's West Bank Barrier Wins U.S.-Mexico Border Contract
- Report: U.S. Border Agents Stepped in Front of Cars to Justify Shootings
- Mexico: Hospitals Accused of Turning Away Indigenous Women in Labor
- Chile: Daughter of Ousted President Allende to Lead Senate
- Supreme Court Considers Role of IQ Tests in Death Penalty Cases
- In Rare Interruption, Supreme Court Urged to Uphold Campaign Spending Caps
- 78 Groups Urge Scrutiny of Wall Street Cash in Local Housing Markets
- U.S. Allows Sale of Generic Morning-After Pills Without Age Limits
On Sunday, 398 opponents of the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline were arrested in front of the White House in what could be the largest youth sit-in on the environment in a generation. Students from more than 80 colleges rallied at Georgetown University and then marched to the White House, wearing mock "hazmat suits" and holding banners with slogans like "Keep your oil out of my soil" and "Even Voldemort hates tar sands." President Obama is expected to issue a decision in the next few months on the pipeline, which would transport 830,000 barrels of crude every day from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. We speak to American University student Deirdre Shelly about why she was arrested on Sunday and the growing student-led movement to convince universities, colleges and cities to divest from fossil fuel companies.
Who Is Provoking the Unrest in Ukraine? A Debate on Role of Russia, United States in Regional Crisis
Russia is vowing to keep its troops in the Ukrainian region of Crimea in what has become Moscow’s biggest confrontation with the West since the Cold War. Ukraine’s new prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said Russian President Vladimir Putin had effectively declared war on his country. Concern is growing that more of eastern Ukraine could soon fall to the Russians. Earlier today, Russian troops seized a Ukraine coast guard base in the Crimean city of Balaklava. On Sunday, the new head of Ukraine’s navy defected to Russia. To talk more about the crisis in Ukraine, we speak to Yale University history professor Timothy Snyder. His latest article for The New York Review of Books is "Ukraine: The Haze of Propaganda." We also speak to retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern. He focused on Russian foreign policy for the first decade of his 27-year career with the agency. He recently wrote an article titled "Ukraine: One 'Regime Change' Too Many?"
- Russia Seizes Parts of Ukraine's Crimea amid Standoff with U.S.
- Nearly 400 Arrested Protesting Keystone XL Pipeline at White House
- Death Toll from Venezuela Protests Rises to 17
- Nigeria: More Than 100 Killed in Boko Haram Attacks
- China: 29 Killed in Knife Attack on Railway Station
- Report: U.S. Troops Beat, Threatened Afghan Radio Broadcaster Who Aired U.S.-Paid Ads
- Karzai: "Afghans Died in a War That's Not Ours"
- U.K.: Former Guantánamo Prisoner Remanded in Custody on Syria Terrorism Claims
- Pakistani Taliban Declares Ceasefire; Attack on Anti-Polio Team Kills 13
- Osama bin Laden's Son-in-Law Goes on Trial in New York
- Freed Cuban Five Member Fernando González Returns to Cuba
- Marissa Alexander's Sentence for Warning Shot Could Triple to 60 Years
- EPA Moves Toward Blocking Pebble Mine in Alaska
- Idaho Governor Signs "Ag-Gag" Law
- L.A. City Council Moves to Ban Fracking in the City
- Meeting of Pro-Israel Group AIPAC Protested in D.C.
- Israeli Forces Shoot Dead Mentally Ill Woman in Gaza
- South Africa: Oscar Pistorius Goes on Trial for Killing Girlfriend
- "12 Years a Slave" Wins Best Picture Oscar in 1st for Black Director
Pakistani anti-drone activist Karim Khan was abducted February 5, just before he was due to travel to Europe to speak out about U.S. drone strikes. He joins us to describe how he was held for nine days. During that time he says he was repeatedly tortured and beaten. In 2009, a U.S. drone killed Khan’s brother and son. He joins us from London, where he traveled to to meet with British lawmakers to raise concerns about the U.S. drone program. "They attacked our mosques, they attacked our schools, they attacked our schoolchildren, they attacked our teachers," Khan says. "So everything is completely destroyed by these drone strikes." We also speak with Khan’s lawyer, Shahzad Akbar. "This is what the human face of the victim is, and it is important that the American people are told about who these people are," Akbar says. "They are being targeted in the name of national security, [but] what we see on the ground is that it is not really serving the national security interests of anyone."
We go to Bahrain to speak with human rights activist Zainab Alkhawaja, just after she was released from prison by the Bahraini government. "One year in prison is nothing," Alkhawaja says of her time behind bars. "Because it’s nothing compared to what we’re willing to sacrifice for our goals, for democracy in our country." On March 3, she could be sent back to prison after appearing in court to face charges of damaging police property, defacing a picture of the king and insulting a police officer. Her father, longtime activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, remains behind imprisoned, serving a life sentence. Bahrain is a U.S.-backed monarchy that is home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which is responsible for all naval forces in the Gulf. Alkhawaja’s release came on the heels of rallies marking the third anniversary of the pro-democracy protests that began on Feb. 14, 2011.
The latest top-secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden reveal the National Security Agency and its British counterpart, the the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) may have peered into the lives of millions of Internet users who were not suspected of wrongdoing. The surveillance program codenamed "Optic Nerve" compiled still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and stored them in the GCHQ’s databases with help from the NSA. In one six-month period in 2008 alone, the agency reportedly amassed webcam images from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts worldwide. According to the documents, between 3 and 11 percent of the Yahoo webcam images contained what the GCHQ called "undesirable nudity." The program was reportedly also used for experiments in "automated facial recognition" as well as to monitor terrorism suspects. We speak with James Ball, one of the reporters who broke the story. He is the special projects editor for Guardian US.
- Armed Men Seize Control of Airports in Crimea, Ukraine
- GCHQ Intercepted Yahoo Webcam Chats & Stored Images
- 47 Die in Baghdad Bombings
- Palestinian Man Shot Dead by Israeli Troops in West Bank
- Protests Call for Release of Al Jazeera Journalists Jailed in Egypt
- 2,000 Haitians Mark 10th Anniversary of U.S.-Backed Coup
- 13 Workers at New Mexican Nuclear Waste Dump Exposed to Radiation
- Obama Taps SOPA Lobbyist to Guide TPP Negotiations
- Hunger Strike Launched at Supermax in Colorado
- Concealed Jailhouse Deal Raises Question over Texas Execution
- Bank of America Contests $2.1 Billion Fine
- Convictions Tossed for Italian Agents Tied to CIA Kidnapping of Muslim Cleric
- U.S. Prepares for Oil and Gas Exploration in Atlantic
- Keystone XL Dissent Protests Planned for Washington
- "Yoga Mat Chemical" Found in 500 Food Items
- Cuban Five Member Fernando González Released