- 4 Killed, Dozens Wounded in NY Train Crash
- White House Claims Progress in Health Site Fix
- Dozens Arrested in Black Friday Protests; Fast-Food Workers Plan New Strike
- Pakistanis Continue Rallies, Blockade Against Drone War
- Karzai: U.S. Cutting Supplies in Security Pact Row
- Dozens Killed in Iraq Violence; November Toll Tops 600
- Egypt Assembly Approves Draft Charter; Hundreds Protest in Tahrir Square
- Thousands Protest Potential Israeli Expulsion of Bedouin Arabs
- Over 300,000 Rally in Ukraine over EU Ties
- Thousands Rally in Honduras in Recount Call
- Tens of Thousands Protest Peña Nieto in Mexico
- Marissa Alexander Freed on Bond Ahead of Trial
- Republican Tweet Mocked for Racism Claim
- Last Jailed Arctic 30 Member Freed on Bail
Filmmaker Uncovers Her Family's Shocking Slave-Trading History, Urges Americans to Explore Own Roots
As we continue our conversation on slavery, we are joined by a woman who uncovered that her ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. Katrina Browne documented her roots in the film, "Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North," which revealed how her family, based in Rhode Island, was once the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history. After the film aired on PBS in 2008, Browne went on to found the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery. We speak to Browne and Craig Steven Wilder, author of the new book, "Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities."
We spend the hour with the author of a new book, 10 years in the making, that examines how many major U.S. universities — Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, Rutgers, Williams and the University of North Carolina, among others — are drenched in the sweat, and sometimes the blood, of Africans brought to the United States as slaves. In "Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities," Massachusetts Institute of Technology American history professor Craig Steven Wilder reveals how the slave economy and higher education grew up together. "When you think about the colonial world, until the American Revolution, there is only one college in the South, William & Mary ... The other eight colleges were all Northern schools, and they’re actually located in key sites, for the most part, of the merchant economy where the slave traders had come to power and rose as the financial and intellectual backers of new culture of the colonies," Wilder says.
His name might not be familiar to many, but his songs are sung by millions around the world. Today, we take a journey through the life and work of Yip Harburg, the Broadway lyricist who wrote such hits as "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" and who put the music into The Wizard of Oz. Born into poverty on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Harburg always included a strong social and political component to his work, fighting racism and poverty. A lifelong socialist, Harburg was blacklisted and hounded throughout much of his life. We speak with Harburg’s son, Ernie Harburg, about the music and politics of his father. Then we take an in-depth look at The Wizard of Oz, and hear a medley of Harburg’s Broadway songs and the politics of the times in which they were created. [includes rush transcript]
The Supreme Court has agreed to take on cases that could decide if corporations can ignore parts of federal law based on the religious beliefs of their owners. The cases center around the controversy over whether for-profit corporations must fully cover birth control in the health insurance they provide for their employees. Two companies — Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood — object to provisions in the Affordable Care Act requiring companies to provide contraceptive coverage in employees’ health plans. The firms say they oppose birth control mandates on religious grounds. The case could force a re-hashing of the landmark Citizens United decision, which ruled companies have freedom of expression rights that allow unlimited spending on political campaigns. The court could now decide whether companies also have religious freedom rights. We are joined by Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the Reproductive Freedom Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.
The Pope Slams "Tyranny" of Capitalism and "Idolatry of Money," But Opposes Shift on Women, Abortion
Pope Francis has used his first major written work to attack capitalism as a "new tyranny," while urging global leaders to fight poverty and inequality. In a document published Tuesday, Pope Francis denounced the 'idolatory of money' and "trickle-down" economic policies, as well as consumerism and a financial system which he says rules rather than serves. The Pope urged politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare." However, the Pope rejected change in two other areas: the ordination of women to the priesthood and the church’s view on abortion. We speak to two dissident priests. Matthew Fox is former Catholic priest who was first stopped from teaching Liberation Theology and Creation Spirituality, then expelled from the Dominican Order. Father Ray Bourgeois is a Catholic priest and the founder of the School of Americas Watch.
Two days after he interrupted a speech by President Obama, Ju Hong, an immigrant rights activist from South Korea, joins us to talk about how Obama’s immigration policies have impacted him. As Obama continued his campaign for comprehensive immigration reform with a speech in San Francisco, Hong interrupted him to call for an end to deportations. Obama then turned around to address him directly, and Hong continued talking. Those who placed Hong behind Obama during the speech may not have realized he is one of the most outspoken young immigrant activists in California. He has been arrested previously during immigration protests — most recently over the summer when he opposed the confirmation of former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as president of the University of California system. Hong is a member of ASPIRE — Asian Students Promoting Immigrant Rights Through Education. "I thought about my family, I thought about my personal struggle as undocumented, and I thought about my friends and my communities who have been deported and who are currently in detention centers," Hong says about why he spoke out. "I felt I was compelled to tell the truth to President Obama that he has the ability stop the deportations for all."
Three computer consultants were found guilty on Friday of multiple charges for defrauding New York City of millions of dollars in the largest corruption case in city history. Private consultants were found guilty of siphoning tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks from the scandal-ridden $700 million CityTime payroll project. Last year, the project’s main contractor, SAIC, was forced to repay the city $500 million as part of a deferred prosecution agreement. Meanwhile, a top SAIC official is poised to become the next Secretary of the Air Force. The Senate is expected to soon hold a confirmation vote for Deborah Lee James who was in charge of “corporate responsibility” at SAIC at the time of the CityTime scandal. We get an update on the story from Democracy Now! co-host Juan González, who originally broke the story in the New York Daily News.
- Supreme Court Takes Up Challenge to Contraception Mandate
- U.S. Flies B-52s in Zone Claimed by China
- U.S. Warns Karzai over Delay of Security Pact
- Egypt Charges 2 Activists for Demonstrating Against Protest Law
- Honduran Students Protest Election Results
- Report: NSA Collected Data on Muslim Targets' Online Sexual Activity
- Microsoft Develops New Encryption over NSA Fears
- U.N. Panel Advances Anti-Surveillance Measure
- CIA Used Secret Guantánamo Site to Recruit Double Agents
- 30 Haitian Migrants Die in Boat Wreck
- CARICOM Urges Dominican Republic to Repeal Denial of Citizenship to Haitians
- Cuba Halts Consular Services in the U.S.
- Study: U.S. Underestimating Methane Emissions
- CBS News Correspondent, Producer Forced to Take Leave over Benghazi Report
As head of the Gestapo office for Jewish affairs, Adolf Eichmann organized transport systems which resulted in the deportation of millions of Jews to extermination camps across Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe. Eichmann helped draft the letter ordering the Final Solution — the Nazi’s plan to exterminate the Jewish people in Nazi-occupied Europe. After the war, Eichmann fled to Argentina, where he lived under a false identity until he was kidnapped by the Israeli intelligence agency, the Mossad, on May 11, 1960. He was flown to Israel and brought to trial in Jerusalem in April 1961. After being found guilty he was executed by hanging in 1962. One writer reporting on the trial was the German-Jewish philosopher and political theorist Hannah Arendt, the author of "The Origins of Totalitarianism" and "The Human Condition." Arendt’s coverage of the trial for the New Yorker proved extremely controversial. She expressed shock that Eichmann was not a monster, or evil, but "terribly and terrifyingly normal." Even more controversial was her assertion that the Jews participated in their own destruction through the collaboration of the Nazi-appointed Judenrat, or Jewish Councils, with the Third Reich. Arendt’s coverage of the Eichmann trial is chronicled in the 2013 film, "Hannah Arendt." We air clips of the film and speak with the film’s star, Barbara Sukowa, who was awarded the Lola Award for Best Actress, the German equivalent of the Oscars, for her role. We are also joined by the film’s director, Margarethe von Trotta, one of Germany’s leading directors, who has won multiple awards over her 40-year career.
For more than a decade, Reverend Billy, along with his Church of Stop Shopping, has preached fiery sermons against recreational consumerism — and more recently, against climate disaster. You can often find them greeting the crush of shoppers at Macy’s in New York City on Black Friday. That may not be the case this year. That is because in September, Rev. Billy was arrested after staging a 15-minute musical protest at a JPMorgan Chase bank in Manhattan to highlight the bank’s environmental record and the extinction of a Central American golden toad. He now faces a year in prison for misdemeanor charges of riot in the second degree, menacing in the third degree, unlawful assembly and two counts of disorderly conduct. Despite this, he and The Stop Shopping Choir are performing in New York City every Sunday through December 22. Rev. Billy is also featured in the film "What Would Jesus Buy?" and in the book of the same name.
As Wal-Mart Workers Plan Record Black Friday Protests, Study Says Retail Giant Can Afford Higher Pay
As Black Friday approaches, Wal-Mart workers and activists are planning another round of protests and strikes at the nation’s largest employer on the biggest shopping day of the year. The Black Friday protests come at a time of heightened scrutiny for the company. It made headlines last week when a photo surfaced online of a sign made by workers at one of its stores in Ohio. The sign was taped to a table and read: "Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner." Wal-Mart says the food drive shows the company tries to help its workers. But critics say it reveals the low wages Wal-Mart pays them. The National Labor Relations Board also ruled last week that Wal-Mart violated the rights of striking workers. We are joined by Catherine Ruetschlin, a policy analyst at Demos who co-authored the new report, "A Higher Wage is Possible: How Wal-Mart Can Invest in Its Workforce Without Costing Customers a Dime.” We also speak with Barbara Collins, a former Wal-Mart employee fired after last year’s Black Friday strike. Collins speaks to us from Bentonville, Arkansas, where Wal-Mart’s headquarters is located. She has been protesting there since Friday as part of a group of eight fired workers who are demanding their jobs back after the NLRB’s ruling that their firing was unfair.
- U.N. Sets Syria Peace Talks for January
- Obama on Iran Deal: "We Cannot Rule Out Peaceful Solutions"
- Obama Admin Warns Karzai on Delaying U.S.-Afghan Pact
- Pakistani Lawmakers Protest U.S. Drone Strikes
- Report: CIA Will Retain Control over Drone Strikes
- 12 Killed in Yemen Drone Strike
- Iraq Bombings Kill 17
- Israel Announces New Settlement Construction in West Bank
- Ruling Party Wins Honduran Elections, Challenger Claims Fraud
- Obama Challenged on Deportations in Immigration Speech
- School Superintendent, 3 Others Charged for Steubenville Rape Cover-Up
- Company Says Morning-After Pill Doesn't Work for Those Over 176 Lbs.
A new report details how corporations are increasingly spying on nonprofit groups they regard as potential threats. The corporate watchdog organization Essential Information found a diverse groups of nonprofits have been targeted with espionage, including environmental, antiwar, public interest, consumer safety, pesticide reform, gun control, social justice, animal rights and arms control groups. The corporations carrying out the spying include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Wal-Mart, Monsanto, Bank of America, Dow Chemical, Kraft, Coca-Cola, Chevron, Burger King, McDonald’s, Shell, BP, and others. According to the report, these corporations employ former CIA, National Security Agency and FBI agents to engage in private surveillance work, which is often illegal in nature but rarely — if ever — prosecuted. We’re joined by Gary Ruskin, author of the report, "Spooky Business: Corporate Espionage Against Nonprofit Organizations," and director of the Center for Corporate Policy, a project of Essential Information.
Click here to watch part 2 of this interview.
Both candidates are claiming victory in Honduras’ disputed presidential election. The race has pitted Xiomara Castro, wife of ousted President Manuel Zelaya, against right-wing candidate Juan Orlando Hernández. According to election officials, with more than half of precincts reporting, Hernández has won 34 percent of the vote, while Castro has 29 percent. Castro’s husband, Manuel Zelaya, was ousted in a U.S.-backed coup in 2009. The campaign has been marred by violent attacks in a country with the highest homicide rate in the world. At least 18 members of Castro’s LIBRE party were murdered in the run-up to the election, more than all other parties combined. We go to Honduras to speak with Adrienne Pine, an assistant professor of anthropology of American University, and Edwin Espinal, a community organizer who has survived harassment and torture by police. "This election, I think, for most Hondurans, represents the possible overturning of the coup, finally," Pine says. "People, in Xiomara Castro, have seen a leader … It is impossible to overstate the amount of hope, excitement, and organization people have been engaged in leading up to these elections." We also hear from Zelaya and leading Honduran human rights activist Bertha Cáceres, who has been in hiding for two months.
Iran and six world powers have clinched a deal to temporarily limit and roll back the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for the easing of international sanctions. The United States and Iran described the agreement as a first step toward a comprehensive deal. The deal was announced after five days of negotiations in Geneva, but it followed months of previously undisclosed secret talks between American and Iranian officials. We speak to Reza Marashi, research director at the National Iranian American Council, just back from Geneva where he attended the Iran nuclear talks.
- Secret U.S.-Iran Talks in Oman Paved Way for Nuclear Deal
- Warsaw Climate Summit Yields Modest Deal on Emissions Announcements, Loss and Damage
- Karzai Seeks Delay of U.S. Military Pact After Council Approval
- Both Sides Claim Victory in Honduras Presidential Race
- Thousands Protest U.S. Drone War in Pakistan
- Study: Over 11,000 Children Dead in Syrian Conflict
- Egypt Law Requires Permits for Demonstrations
- Sea Tribunal Orders Unconditional Release of Arctic 30
- ACLU Lawsuit Challenges NSA Surveillance
- House Bills Loosen Curbs on Fracking
- Oklahoma Suspends Spousal Benefits for National Guard to Avoid Anti-Discrimination Rules
- Dozens Protest Shooting Death of North Carolina Teen in Police Custody
- Swiss Voters Reject Bid to Limit CEO Pay
As we wrap our week of coverage at the U.N. climate summit in Warsaw, Poland, we discuss Africa’s climate crisis with two guests from the continent: Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, former chair of the Africa Group at the U.N. climate negotiations, and Mithika Mwenda, secretary general of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance. Many say Africa is least likely to have the financial resources needed to withstand the impact of climate change. "Every year which is passing, Africa is being pushed closer, closer to the fire. Africa can certainly not wait," Mpanu-Mpanu says.
Activists from around the world have been meeting in a convergence center in downtown Warsaw, holding their own meetings to strategize about how to address climate change. Many of them also attended the U.N. climate summit, but walked out in frustration for the first time in 19 years on Thursday. Democracy Now!’s Amy Littlefield and Hany Massoud visited the activist center to file this report. "This has been a beautiful, valuable space," says Kenyan activist Ruth Nyambura. "If nothing comes out of this COP, what the youth constituency of the UNFCCC has done has really, really changed the game."
One of the core solutions to reducing climate change proposed in the Kyoto Protocol has resurfaced at the latest U.N. climate talks in Warsaw, Poland — the creation of a carbon market. However, climate activists here say it is a "false solution" pushed by bankers and bureaucrats. We speak with South African activist and professor Patrick Bond, who says negotiators should instead emphasize cutting emissions and paying climate debt.