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: 3 hours 39 min ago

Juan González: Respect Key in "Landmark Agreement" Between NYC & Teachers Union

Fri 07 07 AM

On Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new contract with the United Federation of Teachers. The tentative $4 billion, nine-year agreement ends a bitter five-year conflict between the city’s teachers and City Hall. "All that was needed was a little respect, some novel thinking and genuine cooperation between labor and management," writes Juan González in his column in the New York Daily News. "That’s the main message we should take away from the new labor pact the de Blasio administration reached this week with the United Federation of Teachers."

After Tufts Found to Violate Title IX, How Student Rape Survivors Are Leading Movement for Reform

Thu 07 46 AM

Wagatwe Wanjuki filed a complaint at Tufts University in 2008 after two years of rape and abuse by an ex-partner who was also a Tufts student, but the university did not take action, and later expelled her. This week, the U.S. Department of Education found Tufts to be in violation of the federal Title IX law, saying the school has mishandled complaints of sexual assault and harassment. Now an organizer with the "Know Your IX" campaign and a contributor at the blog Feministing, Wanjuki stood with Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday as he unveiled the administration’s new guidelines for handling sexual assault cases in schools. We also speak with Lena Sclove, a Brown University student who is speaking out about her sexual assault and campus policies.

Brown Student Lena Sclove Speaks Out After School Lets Her Accused Rapist Return to Campus

Thu 07 28 AM

The issue of sexual assault on college campuses has been in the spotlight this week with a White House task force urging schools to take action. The government launched a new informational website, NotAlone.gov, and a public service announcement featuring President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden alongside famous actors. But long before celebrities and senators entered the picture, the battle against sexual assault on college campuses was led by students who have risen up to hold their schools accountable. We are joined by Brown University student Lena Sclove, who says she was raped and strangled in August 2013 by a fellow student. Her alleged rapist was found responsible for four violations of the student conduct code, including "sexual misconduct that involves one or more of the following: penetration, violent physical force or injury." But his penalty effectively amounted to a one-semester suspension. Students say Sclove’s case is not unusual as universities across the country have come under fire for mishandling sexual assault cases. More unusual was Sclove’s decision to speak out by holding a press conference on Brown’s campus last week.

Lawyer for Next Oklahoma Prisoner Set for Death Calls for Independent Probe of Botched Execution

Thu 07 12 AM

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has ordered a review of the state’s execution procedures following the botched lethal injection that induced a prisoner’s fatal heart attack. The prisoner, Clayton Lockett, had initially won a stay for challenging the secrecy surrounding the untested execution drugs. But Fallin overruled Oklahoma’s Supreme Court last week and ordered the execution to proceed. Fallin’s review is being conducted by a member of her Cabinet, so its independence is in doubt. Oklahoma officials say Lockett suffered a vein failure, but critics say that claim could mark an effort to hide a problem with the untested chemicals. We are joined by Madeline Cohen, a federal public defender who represents Oklahoma death row prisoner Charles Warner, who was set to be killed right after Lockett, but whose execution has now been delayed for 14 days.

ALEC in the News: Oklahoma Punishes Solar Power Users; Wisconsin Voter ID Law Overturned

Wed 07 51 AM

Through a shadowy group called the American Legislative Exchange Council, the billionaire Koch brothers have helped advance a number of state laws that benefit corporate and right-wing interests. An internal document shows ALEC is tracking 131 bills which, among other issues, seek to roll back renewable energy standards, combat federal coal regulations and tout the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. ALEC’s efforts recently paid off in Oklahoma, where Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a measure allowing utilities to charge customers who generate energy from solar panels or small wind turbines. ALEC’s victory in Oklahoma comes as a federal judge has struck down a voter ID law in Wisconsin, saying it unfairly targeted the poor and people of color. ALEC has been exposed as the secretive powerhouse behind voter ID laws and other right-wing initiatives across the country, thanks largely to the reporting of our guest, Lisa Graves, president of the newly merged The Progressive magazine and the Center for Media and Democracy.

Egypt is a Police State: Senior Muslim Brotherhood Member Condemns New Mass Death Sentence for 683

Wed 07 28 AM

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont has announced plans to block $650 million in military aid to Egypt after an Egyptian court sentenced to death 683 alleged supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, including the group’s spiritual leader, Mohammed Badie. Leahy, who chairs the Senate subcommittee that oversees foreign aid, described the judicial proceedings as a "sham trial." Leahy’s announcement comes a week after the Obama administration said it would ease the suspension of military aid to Egypt that followed the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi last year. In another controversial move, an Egyptian court has banned the April 6 movement, a pro-democracy group that played a key role in the popular uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in 2011. We get an update on these developments live from Cairo with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous. We also speak with Mohamed Soudan, the exiled foreign relations secretary of the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Execution Chaos: Witness Recounts Botched Killing that Caused Okla. Prisoner's Fatal Heart Attack

Wed 07 13 AM

An Oklahoma death row prisoner has died of a heart attack after a botched execution Tuesday night. Clayton Lockett was injected with an untested cocktail of lethal drugs. After struggling violently on the gurney, doctors halted the killing 13 minutes in, when discovering Lockett was still conscious and trying to speak. Doctors say he suffered a ruptured vein, interrupting the flow of the lethal drugs. About 30 minutes after that point, Lockett apparently died of a heart attack when the drugs had spread through his body. The botched killing forced officials to cancel the execution of another prisoner, Charles Warner. Both Lockett and Warner initially won a stay of execution earlier this month after challenging the secrecy of their execution drugs. But the Oklahoma Supreme Court reversed the decision last week after Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin objected and state lawmakers threatened the judges’ removal from the bench. Warner’s execution has now been delayed for 14 days pending a review of execution procedures. We are joined by journalist Ziva Branstetter of Tulsa World, who was one of 12 media witnesses to attend the planned execution at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

"As Consumers, We are Guinea Pigs": Vermont Set to Become First State to Require GMO Food Labeling

Tue 07 51 AM

Vermont is poised to become the first state to require the labeling of genetically modified organisms in food products. Governor Peter Shumlin said he would sign the pro-GMO-labeling bill as early as this week. The new law would take effect in July 2016 and would also make it illegal to label foods containing GMOs as "all natural" or "natural." Vermont could prove to be the tipping point in a national movement to inform consumers about whether their food contains GMOs. Twenty-nine other states have proposed bills requiring labeling this year, and two have already passed similar bills. But those measures only take effect when neighboring states also approve the requirements. We speak with Vermont State Sen. David Zuckerman, who first introduced GMO labeling bills more than a decade ago when he served in the House.

Secret Tape Could Oust Clippers Owner Donald Sterling, But Has NBA Long Ignored His Public Racism?

Tue 07 34 AM

The National Basketball Association is set to announce its response to the racist comments of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling heard on a secret recording of an argument with his girlfriend. On the tape, Sterling is upset she posted a picture on Instagram with NBA legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson, telling her not to publicize her association with African Americans. Sterling’s comments have set off one of the NBA’s biggest controversies in decades. NBA stars, past and present, have called for his removal, and more than a dozen advertisers have canceled or suspended their sponsorships with the Clippers. While Sterling’s comments shocked the sports world, they came as no surprise to those who have followed his record. In 2009, he paid more than $2.7 million to settle federal allegations of driving out people of color from apartment buildings he owns. A former Clippers general manager also sued Sterling for racial bias, but lost in court. All this has raised the question of why it has taken a secret tape to draw attention to practices that have been out in the open for years. "The warning signs of Donald Sterling’s racism, egregious behavior and misogyny go back more than a decade — and the league has coddled him," says Dave Zirin, sports columnist for The Nation and host of Edge of Sports Radio on SiriusXM. Zirin is the author of several books on sports, including "Bad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love," which includes an essay on Sterling. Zirin also discusses the flawed handling of a rape case involving star Florida State University football player Jameis Winston and the historic vote by Northwestern University football players on whether to unionize.

As Unrest Grows, Is Ukraine Paying the Price of U.S.-Russian Ties Stuck in Cold War Era?

Tue 07 11 AM

The United States and the European Union have imposed new sanctions on Russia that target individuals and companies linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. The moves come as the crisis in eastern Ukraine faces continued chaos. On Monday, pro-Russian separatists seized a new town and continued to detain seven European monitors. The mayor of the Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, was shot in the back and is now in critical condition. Ukraine’s government and Western powers have accused Russia of orchestrating the unrest as a pretext for an invasion. We host a roundtable discussion with three guests: Christopher Miller, an editor at Kyiv Post, who has been based in Ukraine for four years; Jack Matlock, the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991; and Nina Khrushcheva, a professor of international affairs at The New School, and author of forthcoming book, "The Lost Khrushchev: Journey into the Gulag of the Russian Mind."

Ralph Nader on TPP, GM Recall, Nuclear Power & the "Unstoppable" Left-Right Anti-Corporate Movement

Mon 07 32 AM

Former presidential candidate and longtime consumer advocate Ralph Nader joins us to discuss his latest book, "Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State." Nader highlights the common concerns shared by a wide swath of the American public, regardless of political orientation, including mass government surveillance, opposing nebulous free trade agreements, reforming the criminal justice system, and punishing criminal behavior on Wall Street. Nader also discusses the U.S. push for the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, General Motors’ new bid to escape liability for its deadly ignition defect, the revived nuclear era under President Obama, and challenging U.S. militarism through the defense budget.

"We Need to End the Fossil Fuel Age": Music Legend Neil Young Protests Keystone XL Oil Pipeline

Mon 07 26 AM

The legendary Canadian musician Neil Young joined Saturday’s protest against the Keystone XL pipeline in Washington, D.C. "We’re all children of Mother Earth, and I’m here because I feel we are all threatened by what’s happening as a planet," Young said. "We’re threatened. I feel that the fossil fuel age is ending. It’s having its first death gasps, and we need to keep pushing. We need to stop this pipeline [bringing] this really bad fuel from the tail of the snake in Canada all the way down to the head of the snake in Texas."

Cowboy Indian Alliance Protests Keystone XL Pipeline in D.C. After Latest Obama Admin Delay

Mon 07 09 AM

Thousands of people rallied in Washington, D.C., on Saturday calling on President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. The protest was organized by the Cowboy Indian Alliance, a group of ranchers, farmers and tribal communities from along the pipeline route who have set up the "Reject and Protect" encampment near the White House. The rally came a week after the Obama administration announced it had again delayed a decision on approval or rejection of the pipeline that would carry tar sands oil from Alberta to the Gulf Coast. To discuss the continued resistance to the pipeline, we are joined by three guests: Gary Dorr of the Nez Perce Nation, an organizer of the Reject and Protect encampment; Art Tanderup, a Nebraska farmer and Cowboy Indian Alliance member who took part in the protest; and Daryl Hannah, an actress and activist who has been arrested three times for protests against the Keystone XL.

Protesting the 1964 World's Fair: Activists Recall Effort to Highlight Civil Rights, Labor Struggles

Fri 07 44 AM

On the 50th anniversary of the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City, which drew 51 million visitors over the span of two years, we look at the untold history of massive protests highlighting racial and economic inequality — and to demand equitable hiring practices at the international event. "We got 700 people from around the country to come in, to sit in at pavilions, to say we want the passage of the civil rights bill, and minorities visibly working at the World’s Fair," says Velma Hill, longtime civil and labor rights activist. "Because this world is not a white world. It is a white world, and a brown world, and a black world." She and her husband, Norman, were part of the Congress of Racial Equality, which led the demonstrations. "We thought it important that [they] understand that there could not be a peaceable gathering without economic justice, without equitable representation," Norman says. He went on to work with the AFL-CIO before becoming president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute. Velma went on to work as assistant to the president of the United Federation of Teachers. They are now writing a memoir about love and activism called "Climbing Up the Rough Side of the Mountain."

"Utopian Potential of the Internet": Astra Taylor on How to Take Back Power & Culture in Digital Age

Fri 07 33 AM

We are joined by author and activist Astra Taylor, whose new book, "The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age," argues net neutrality is just the beginning of ensuring equal access and representation online. "The utopian potential of the net is real," Taylor notes. "The problem is the underlying economic conditions haven’t changed. The same old business imperatives, the same old incentives that shaped the old model and made it so problematic are still with us. The Internet might have disrupted investigative journalism, but it didn’t disrupt advertising."