Democracy Now

Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! is an independent daily TV & radio news program, hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. We provide daily global news headlines, in-depth interviews and investigative reports without any advertisements or government funding. Our programming shines a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lifts up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. Democracy Now! is live weekdays at 8am ET and available 24/7 through our website and podcasts.
Updated: 13 hours 44 min ago

Jeremy Scahill on Paris Attacks, the al-Qaeda Link & the Secret U.S. War in Yemen

Mon 08 25 AM

The gunmen who attacked Charlie Hebdo staff, Chérif and Said Kouachi, were killed by French police on Friday following a three-day manhunt. Shortly before his death, Chérif Kouachi told a French television station he received financing from the late Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone in Yemen in 2011. Both brothers reportedly traveled to Yemen that same year and had weapons training in the deserts of Marib, an al-Qaeda stronghold. Meanwhile, a video released over the weekend shows Amedy Coulibaly — the gunman who killed four hostages at a kosher supermarket in Paris — pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. In a statement to The Intercept, a source within al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attack, saying: "The leadership of #AQAP directed the operation, and they have chosen their target carefully as a revenge for the honor of Prophet … the target was in France in particular because of its obvious role in the war on Islam and oppressed nations." We speak to the reporter who broke this story, The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill, about al-Awlaki’s background and the Paris shooters’ claims of militant ties.

"Circus of Hypocrisy": Jeremy Scahill on How World Leaders at Paris March Oppose Press Freedom

Mon 08 12 AM

An estimated 3.7 million people rallied across France on Sunday in response to the Charlie Hebdo shootings and ensuing attacks that left 17 people dead. More than a million people marched in Paris, making it the largest demonstration in French history. More than 40 world leaders traveled to Paris to help lead the march. "What we saw on display on the one hand was very heartening, to see so many people come into the streets," says Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept. "But on the other hand, this is a sort of circus of hypocrisy when it comes to all of those world leaders who were marching at the front of it. Every single one of those heads of state or representatives of governments there have waged their own wars against journalists."

29 Arrested as Single-Payer Advocates Disrupt Vermont Gov. Shumlin's Inauguration

Fri 08 52 AM

We turn now to Vermont, where a sit-in demanding single-payer healthcare erupted during Gov. Peter Shumlin’s inaugural address on Thursday. This comes after Shumlin backed down in December on his promise to create a single-payer healthcare system in the state. During Thursday’s sit-in, protesters sang songs and expressed their disappointment as they called out their demands and were arrested. We speak to James Haslam, director of the Vermont Workers’ Center, which coordinates the Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign.

FBI Probes NAACP Office Bombing in Colorado as Act of Domestic Terrorism

Fri 08 45 AM

The FBI says a deliberate explosion outside a Colorado office of the NAACP may have been an act of domestic terrorism. An improvised explosive device was detonated on the NAACP building’s wall in Colorado Springs Tuesday morning. A gasoline can was placed nearby, but did not ignite. An FBI spokesperson says a hate crime is among the potential motives. Police have announced a person of interest in the case, a white male around the age of 40. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP has been the target of eight bombings since 1965, including three in 1993, when the last attacks occurred. We speak to Rosemary Harris Lytle, president of the NAACP Colorado, Montana, Wyoming State Conference, and former head of the Colorado Springs branch of the NAACP.

French Muslims Fear Backlash, Increased Islamophobia After Charlie Hebdo Attack

Fri 08 29 AM

Muslims across France are fearing a backlash after Wednesday’s attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine. Several mosques have been attacked. A bomb exploded at a kebab shop in Paris. We speak to Muhammad El Khaoua, a graduate student in international relations at the Paris Institute for Political Science. He grew up in the outskirts of Paris where he was involved with different grassroots associations, including Salaam, a student association dedicated to promoting interfaith dialogue and a better understanding of Islam. Also joining is Lebanese-French academic Gilbert Achcar, professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Gilbert Achcar on the Clash of Barbarisms from the Massacre in Paris to the U.S. Occupation of Iraq

Fri 08 13 AM

French police have surrounded a building in a northern town near Charles de Gaulle Airport as part of a massive manhunt for the two men accused of carrying out the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Police say they believe the suspects, Said and Chérif Kouachi, are holed up in a small printing business where they have taken a hostage. Meanwhile, French officials are now saying there is a link between the two brothers accused of the Charlie Hebdo attack and the heavily armed man who shot dead a French policewoman on Thursday. That man is now holding five hostages, including women and children, at a kosher supermarket in Paris. Sources told Reuters the three men were all members of the same Paris cell that a decade ago sent young French volunteers to Iraq to fight U.S. forces. Chérif Kouachi served 18 months in prison for his role in the group. At the time, he told the court that he had been motivated to travel to Iraq by images of atrocities committed by U.S. troops in Abu Ghraib prison. We speak to Lebanese-French academic Gilbert Achcar, professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

"A Clash of Barbarisms": After Paris Attack, How U.S. Policy in Middle East Helps Fuel Extremism

Thu 08 53 AM

We discuss the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris with the Lebanese-French academic Gilbert Achcar, professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. "We have to put all this in context," Achcar says. "The Western intervention, the Western action in the Middle East, has been creating the ground for all this. This is what I called previously the clash of barbarisms, with a major barbarism represented by Western intervention." Achcar also discusses the close relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which he calls "the ideological source of the most fanatical, most reactionary interpretation of Islam."

Tune in on Friday for our continued discussion with Gilbert Achcar.

Comics Legend Art Spiegelman & Scholar Tariq Ramadan on Charlie Hebdo & the Power Dynamic of Satire

Thu 08 34 AM

We continue our coverage of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris by looking at the magazine’s background and its controversial history of satire. We are joined by two guests: Art Spiegelman, the renowned American cartoonist, editor and comics advocate whose Pulitzer Prize-winning "Maus" is considered one of the most important graphic novels ever published and one of the most influential works on the Nazi Holocaust; and Tariq Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford University and one of Europe’s most prominent Muslim intellectuals.

Scholar Tariq Ramadan, Harper's Rick MacArthur on Charlie Hebdo Attack & How the West Treats Muslims

Thu 08 11 AM

France is in a state of mourning after the deadly attack on the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. A massive manhunt is underway for the suspected gunmen, two French-born brothers of Algerian descent. Charlie Hebdo had come under threat and was firebombed in 2011 after publishing controversial caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. We begin our coverage of the Paris attack with a discussion between two guests: Tariq Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford University and one of the most prominent Muslim intellectuals in Europe; and John R. MacArthur, publisher of Harper’s Magazine, which in 2006 became one of the first U.S. publications to reprint the controversial Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that sparked international protests.

Leading Muslim Scholar Tariq Ramadan: Attack on Paris Magazine "a Pure Betrayal of Our Religion"

Wed 08 53 AM

We return to our top story of the day, the killing of at least 12 people in a shooting attack on a French satirical magazine in Paris. Witnesses say masked gunmen entered the offices of Charlie Hebdo and opened fire with automatic weapons. The dead reportedly include four cartoonists and two police officers. A major police operation is underway in the Paris area to catch the killers. Charlie Hebdo has faced attacks and threats for its caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, which helped spark protests across the Middle East in 2012. We are joined by Tariq Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford University who is considered one of the most prominent Muslim intellectuals in Europe. Responding to reports the attack was carried out by Islamist militants, Ramadan says: "This is just a pure betrayal of our religion and our principles."

Mario Cuomo (1932-2015): Late New York Gov. Remembered as Working-Class Champion

Wed 08 48 AM

The late three-term Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo of New York was laid to rest on Tuesday following his death on January 1. Cuomo was known for supporting abortion rights, despite his Catholic faith, and opposing the death penalty, among other causes, although he also expanded the state’s prison system. Cuomo is the father of the current New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, who delivered the eulogy at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola. Mario Cuomo is often remembered for his speeches, including his 1984 address at the Democratic National Convention, when he challenged President Ronald Reagan’s description of the United States as a "shining city on a hill." Democracy Now! co-host and New York Daily News columnist Juan González discusses Cuomo’s life and legacy.

Fighting Gag Order, Ferguson Grand Juror Accuses Prosecutor of Mishandling Case & Misleading Public

Wed 08 41 AM

A member of the grand jury that declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting unarmed African American Michael Brown is suing for the right to speak publicly about the case. The lawsuit accuses Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch of presenting possible charges to the grand jury in a "muddled and untimely manner," and notes the case had a "stronger focus on the victim" than other cases. It also challenges "the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges" against Wilson. The juror is challenging a lifetime ban preventing grand jury members from discussing cases. The grand juror has been identified only as a St. Louis County resident. We are joined by Tony Rothert, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, which is representing the unnamed juror.

Will James Risen Be Jailed? In Press Freedom Fight, NYT Reporter Tells Court He Won't Name Source

Wed 08 25 AM

In a closely watched press freedom case, New York Times investigative reporter James Risen was called to the witness stand Monday after a seven-year legal battle against the government’s attempts to subpoena him and force him to reveal his source. The hearing in Virginia took place ahead of the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, who is accused of giving Risen classified information which revealed a botched CIA plot to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program. It is unclear yet if Risen will be called to testify at Sterling’s trial. Without more information from Risen, Sterling’s defense attorney argues the case should be dismissed. We are joined by Matt Apuzzo, a colleague of Risen’s at The New York Times who is covering the case. During his previous stint with the Associated Press, Apuzzo and Adam Goldman won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the NYPD’s Muslim surveillance program. The Department of Justice opened three separate investigations into leaks related to their reports.

Charlie Hebdo Shooting: 12 Killed in Attack on French Satirical Magazine Known for Muhammad Cartoons

Wed 08 12 AM

At least 12 people have been killed in a shooting attack on a French satirical magazine in Paris. Witnesses say masked gunmen entered the offices of the magazine, Charlie Hebdo, and opened fire. The dead include four cartoonists and two police officers. The magazine Charlie Hebdo has drawn multiple threats for its caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. In 2012, the magazine’s cartoon depicting Muhammad in pornographic poses helped spark protests across the Middle East. The outcry forced France to close embassies and other official sites in 20 countries. Charlie Hebdo has repeatedly claimed it publishes the cartoons as a defender of free expression and against religious extremism. We are joined by two guests: Robert Mahoney, deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists; and Tariq Ali, a British-Pakistani political commentator, historian, activist, filmmaker, novelist and an editor of the New Left Review.

As Obama Hosts Peña Nieto, Explosive Report Ties Mexican Federal Police to Students' Disappearance

Tue 08 46 AM

As President Obama hosts Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at the White House today, human rights groups want Obama to press the Mexican government on its failure to investigate and prosecute abuses by state security forces. The meeting comes on the heels of an explosive new report that directly contradicts the Mexican government’s claims they were unaware of what happened the night 43 students went missing after an attack by local police in the state of Guerrero. According to the Mexican magazine Proceso, federal police played a role in the attack, and federal authorities likely tortured key witnesses. The case has ignited protests across Mexico and around the world. We are joined by the reporters who broke the story, Anabel Hernández and Steve Fisher. Hernández is a leading Mexican investigative journalist and author of "Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and Their Godfathers."