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As 12 states head to the polls on Super Tuesday, we look at how voting rights could become a pivotal issue in the 2016 race. On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act, which has been under attack ever since. In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down crucial components of the act in a case called Shelby County v. Holder, when it ruled that states with histories of voting-related racial discrimination no longer had to "pre-clear" changes to their voting laws with the federal government. Immediately following the Shelby ruling, several states passed laws that made it harder for people to vote. The 2016 race is the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act. "Sixteen states have new voting restrictions in place," notes Ari Berman, who covers voting rights for The Nation. His recent piece is "63,756 Reasons Racism is Still Alive in South Carolina." His book is titled "Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America."
Over the weekend, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump refused to condemn endorsements from David Duke, a prominent white supremacist and former KKK leader. Duke has told his radio audience that voting against Trump would be "treason to your heritage." Speaking on CNN’s "State of the Union" with Jake Tapper, Trump refused four times to disavow Duke’s support or the support of other white supremacists. "A lot of the people that come to hear him, this whole idea of 'make America great,' that’s all about making America great for a small group of people, generally white males," says Kevin Alexander Gray, a civil rights activist and community organizer in Columbia, South Carolina. He edited the book "Killing Trayvons: An Anthology of American Violence" and is the author of "Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics."
As voters went to the polls Saturday for South Carolina’s Democratic primary, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton crushed rival Bernie Sanders, winning the primary with 73.5 percent of the vote and picking up 39 additional delegates, compared to 14 delegates for Sanders. African Americans in the state favored Clinton over Sanders by more than six to one, while white voters narrowly preferred her, as well. Clinton’s decisive win propels her into this week’s critical Super Tuesday voting, where a dozen states go to the polls and about 880 delegates are at stake. Examining the turnout for Clinton, South Carolina civil rights activist and community organizer Kevin Alexander Gray is critical of how Sanders campaigned in the state’s black community. "If you’re going to come down here and you’re going to run a Northern liberal kind of campaign, if you come down here and you talk about revolution and movement but your campaign doesn’t look like the movement you claim to represent, I think people go with the devil you know," Gray says.
- Clinton Defeats Sanders in South Carolina Democratic Primary
- Sanders' Supporters Rally in NYC, Say They're "Not Here for Boys"
- DNC Vice Chair Resigns to Back Sanders; Bill Clinton's Labor Secretary Endorses Sanders
- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions Back Trump
- Trump Refuses to Condemn Endorsements from Former KKK Leader
- Alabama: Veterans Disrupt Trump Event to Protest Anti-Muslim Remarks
- Iraq: Double Suicide Bombing Kills At Least 70 in Baghdad
- Syria: Both Sides Accused of Violating Fragile Ceasefire
- Yemen: U.S.-Backed Coalition Bombs Market, Killing 40
- Japan: Three Executives Indicted for Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
- London: Tens of Thousands Rally Against British Nuclear Program
- Iran Election: Reformists Win in Tehran in Victory for Nuclear Deal
- California: 4 Stabbed During Clash Between KKK and Counterprotesters
- Michigan: Emails Show Gov. Snyder Aides Warned About Flint Water 1 Year Before It Was Switched Back
- African-American Stars Attend Benefit for Flint Instead of Oscars
- Host Chris Rock Blasts White Oscars; "The Big Short" Director Criticizes Money in Politics
- Washington: Man Kills Wife and Her Children in Latest U.S. Mass Shooting
As presidential candidates head into Super Tuesday, we look at a voting bloc that’s gotten little attention during this campaign season: Native Americans. We speak with indigenous writer Gyasi Ross, a member of the Blackfeet Nation, about last night’s debate, native support for Bernie Sanders in Nevada and why he believes Donald Trump is a "mercenary." Ross’s recent article for Indian Country Today Media Network is "A Few Notes for Native People About the Presidential Elections: Neither Democrat Deserves Our Vote (Yet)."
Ahead of Saturday’s South Carolina Democratic primary, a Black Lives Matter activist interrupted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Wednesday during a private fundraiser in Charleston. Ashley Williams held a banner reading, "We have to bring them to heel," a reference to controversial statements Clinton made in 1996 about some youth, whom she called "superpredators." Williams then confronted Clinton, saying, "I am not a superpredator." Williams joins us to discuss why she was compelled to act. "She’s had 20 years to answer these questions" but has yet to do so, Williams notes.
"I think Hillary Clinton has done everything right," says Stephanie Cutter in a recent "Meet the Press" panel, in which she is introduced as a Democratic campaign expert. But she failed to disclose that the firm she co-founded, Precision Strategies, was retained by the Clinton campaign for "digital consulting." "This is just one of many examples" notes The Intercept’s Lee Fang, who analyzed more than 50 different TV news segments. He discusses his latest article, "TV Pundits Praise Hillary Clinton On Air, Fail to Disclose Financial Ties to Her Campaign."
During Thursday’s GOP presidential debate, Florida Senator Marco Rubio said Trump University is a "fake school" where students who paid up to $50,000 were promised they would meet Trump, but instead "got to take a picture with a cardboard cutout." Many of the students are now suing. Rubio urged viewers to google "Trump University." We get details from The Intercept’s Lee Fang, who reports Trump could be forced away from the campaign trail to testify in the case. He says mostly low-income students had enrolled in Trump University. "It shows Trump’s contempt for working-class people that he would scam people in this way," Fang notes. He also discusses his recent piece, "Marco Rubio, Following Donor Dollars, Frequently Veers from Limited-Government Dogma."
Democracy Now! co-host Juan González reports Congress held two hearings on the Puerto Rican debt crisis Thursday after House Speaker Paul Ryan set a March 31 deadline to pass a bill that addresses the issue. Democrats and Republicans are divided on what action to take. Democrats have proposed a "super-bankruptcy" that would allow the U.S. territory to settle its debts with creditors under a restructuring deal. Republicans want a control board if it provides financial assistance, as has happened in places like Detroit. But González notes Puerto Rico has objected to such control since it is a self-governing territory.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio went on the offensive against Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump during a spirited debate last night in Houston, Texas. It was the final showdown for the five remaining Republican candidates before Super Tuesday, when about a dozen states will hold contests to choose a nominee. The debate came just days after business mogul Donald Trump won the Nevada caucuses in his third consecutive victory. With former Florida Governor Jeb Bush no longer on stage, the five remaining candidates were Trump, Rubio, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Ohio Governor John Kasich and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Much of the debate focused on immigration. We play highlights from the fiery debate and get reaction. "You look at the two Hispanic candidates for president who are trying to out-Trump Trump. … Given their own immigration history in this country, where is compassion? Where is empathy? Where is a sense of humanity when it comes to talking about this issue?" says Jose Antonio Vargas, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, founder and editor of #EmergingUS and founder of Define American. Vargas is also critical of the job moderators and reporters have done covering immigration in the 2016 election. "I just don’t understand … when it comes to an issue like immigration, which has been central to this campaign, why a lot of journalists don’t know the facts and don’t call out the candidates for not knowing the facts."
- Kansas: Shooter Kills 3 at Manufacturing Plant in Shooting Spree
- Fmr. Mexican President: "I'm Not Going to Pay for That F***ing Wall"
- Fmr. KKK Grand Wizard David Duke Urges People to Support Trump
- Ted Cruz Says He'd Pardon Anti-Choice Activist David Daleiden
- Louisiana: Anti-Choice Law Threatens to Leave Only 1 Clinic in State
- More U.S. Special Ops to Advise Nigeria in Fight Against Boko Haram
- Syria: Heavy Airstrikes Hours Before Ceasefire Slated to Take Effect
- France: Judge Says Evictions at Calais Refugee Camp Can Move Forward
- Medical Care Violations Played Role in 8 Deaths in ICE Detention Centers
- SeaWorld Admits Sending Employee to Spy on PETA
- Cancer Patients Who Protested TPP Arraigned in D.C. Court
- InsideClimate News, Jamie Kalven & Brandon Smith Win Izzy Award
- Amy Goodman to Be Inducted into I.F. Stone Hall of Fame
In an exclusive interview, we speak with one of four U.S. journalists who were detained in the Gulf state of Bahrain and released Sunday after an international outcry. Anna Therese Day and her camera crew were in Bahrain during protests marking the fifth anniversary of the kingdom’s February 2011 uprising. Bahraini authorities accused the group of falsely representing themselves as tourists and claimed one of them participated in an attack on police. They were taken into custody and charged with illegal assembly with the intent to commit a crime. During their interrogation, they were initially denied an attorney and prevented from speaking with family members. Human Rights First said the arrest of the journalists is part of a continuing crackdown on dissent in Bahrain. This comes as the group renews its call for the release of Bahraini opposition leader Ibrahim Sharif, who was sentenced to a year in jail Wednesday for a 2015 speech in which he called for change. The Bahraini government has fought to suppress opposition protesters and journalists since the uprising in 2011 that was crushed by martial law and U.S.-backed forces from Saudi Arabia. Bahrain is a close ally of the United States and is home to the Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which is responsible for all naval forces in the Gulf.
We speak with former CIA agent Barry Eisler about the role of Edward Snowden in raising public awareness about encryption and privacy ahead of the FBI’s push for Apple to break the encryption of the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters. "So much of Snowden’s revelations were about this very thing. And the fact that the public knows about corporate cooperation with the government now is in part, I think, what has emboldened Apple to push back," Eisler says. "If we didn’t know about these things, I would expect that Apple would be quietly cooperating. There would be no cost to their doing so." Eisner also discusses his new novel, "The God’s Eye View," which he says is "grounded in things that are actually happening in the world. … I realized I was not going nearly far enough in what I had imagined."
As the government continues to take a bite out of Apple, Apple CEO Tim Cook says the FBI’s request to unlock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters is the "software equivalent of cancer." In an interview on ABC, he explained why the tech giant is resisting a court order to help unlock the phone. The FBI says Apple is overstating the security risk to its devices, and argues the litigation is limited. "It won’t be unique to this one phone. It would be something that the government can use against any phone. And even if you think that it’s OK for the government to be able to break the encryption of anybody’s phone … what backdoor is accessible to the U.S. government would also be accessible to whatever is the American enemy du jour," says our guest Barry Eisler, who has written about government surveillance in fictional form. He is also a former CIA agent. Eisler is the author of several books, most recently, "The God’s Eye View."
Donald Trump is the front-runner as he enters the final Republican presidential debate ahead of next week’s Super Tuesday primary. He is also featured on the cover of a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, "The Year in Hate and Extremism." We speak with SPLC President Richard Cohen, who notes that "[o]ver 60 percent of the people who support Trump believe that President Obama is a secret Muslim and wasn’t born in this country." The report points to the presidential election cycle as one of the primary reasons for the rising number of hate groups across the U.S., saying last year was marked by a level of hate speech in mainstream politics not seen in decades. The Investigation Discovery network will premiere a series titled "Hate in America," based on the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center, this Monday, February 29, at 8 p.m. Eastern.
- Tornadoes Kill 7 in U.S. as Climate Change Fuels Extreme Weather
- Pentagon Contractors in Iraq Increases Eightfold over Last Year
- Report Says Israeli Security Agency Is Abusing Palestinian Prisoners
- Activists Urge Oscar Nominees to Reject Free Trip to Israel
- Five Remaining Republican Candidates to Debate Tonight in Houston
- #BlackLivesMatter Activist Interrupts Private Clinton Fundraiser
- Obama Considering NV Gov. Brian Sandoval for Supreme Court
- Turkey: Protests Halt Construction of Copper Mine
- U.N. Says All Sides in Libya May Be Guilty of War Crimes
- Bolivia: Morales Accepts Defeat in Referendum to Extend Term Limits
- Mexican President Visits Iguala for 1st Time Since 43 Students' Disappearance
- South Korea: "Ghost Rally" Protests Restrictions on Right to Assembly
We end today’s show remembering Black Lives Matter activist MarShawn McCarrel. On February 8, he shot himself to death at the entrance to the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. MarShawn McCarrel was just 23 years old. MarShawn organized against the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson and worked to aid the homeless. He launched the program Feed the Streets after he himself was homeless for three months. Hours before he shot himself, MarShawn wrote on Facebook, "My demons won today. I’m sorry." Just days before his death, MarShawn was honored as a Hometown Hero at the NAACP Image Awards for his community project, Pursuing Our Dreams. On Tuesday, Democracy Now! spoke to a group of students and a teacher who knew MarShawn.
In his third consecutive victory, billionaire businessman Donald Trump has easily won the Nevada caucus. Trump received 46 percent of the vote, winning most key demographic groups. Florida Senator Marco Rubio placed second with 24 percent. Texas Senator Ted Cruz came in third with 21 percent. "We won the evangelicals. We won with young. We won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated—I love the poorly educated—with the smartest people, with the most loyal people," Trump said. "And you know what I really am happy about? Because I’ve been saying it for a long time—46 percent with the Hispanics, 46 percent, number one with Hispanics. I’m really happy about that." We speak to Nicky Woolf, a reporter for The Guardian who covered the Republican caucus.
President Obama has submitted a plan to Congress to close Guantánamo Bay military prison. Despite Obama’s pledge to close the facility as one of his first acts after taking office in 2008, there are still 91 prisoners there, 35 of whom have been cleared for release. Republicans in Congress have repeatedly obstructed his attempts to close the prison. Obama wants to transfer all detainees to their home countries or to U.S. military or civilian prisons. We speak to Baher Azmy, legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Ken Gude, a senior fellow with the National Security Team at the Center for American Progress.
- Obama Gives Congress Plan to Close Guantánamo
- Trump Wins Nevada Caucuses, Vows to "Load" Gitmo with "Bad Dudes"
- Senate Republicans Vow to Reject Any Supreme Court Pick
- U.N. Voices Concern About the "Profiling of Refugees at Borders"
- Rhode Island: Protesters Shut Down Anti-Refugee Event at State House
- Rallies Across U.S. Show Support for Apple's Refusal to Unlock iPhone
- Petroperú Admits At Least 3,000 Barrels of Oil Spilled in Amazon
- Panama Flies Stranded Cuban Migrants to U.S.-Mexico Border
- Italy Summons U.S. Ambassador over Reports NSA Spied on Prime Minister
- Palestinian Enters "Unknown Territory" with 3-Month Hunger Strike
- Mexico: Charges Against Zapatista Subcomandante Marcos Ruled Invalid 20 Years Later
- Bernie Sanders: Pope Francis is a Socialist
- B&H Basement Warehouse Workers Vote to Join Union
- Center That Sent EMTs to Treat Eric Garner After Fatal NYPD Chokehold Pays Family $1 Million
- Man Who Reported Police Retaliation After Filming Eric Garner Chokehold Arrested Again
- Kalief Browder's Brother Joins Rally to Call for Closure of Rikers Island Jail
- Black Transgender Woman Murdered Less Than 2 Days After Another Found Dead
- Ava DuVernay, Ryan Coogler, Janelle Monáe & More to Hold Event in Flint on Oscar Night