Recent blog posts
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- Knon 89.3, Lambda Weekly 2016.04.03 with Jennifer Maddox from Jonathan's Place, Lerone & David Taffe Lambda Weekly
- Texas Blues Radio Living Blues radio poll report, April 1, 2016
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
Student groups, faith communities and labor organizers are calling for Wendy’s to join the Fair Food Program and respect the rights of farmworkers. On March 6, Fair Food advocates will convene at Wendy’s headquarters here in Columbus, Ohio, for a major demonstration, calling on the the fast-food giant to establish more humane farm labor standards and fairer wages for farmworkers. We speak to Natali Rodriguez, a member of the Alliance for Fair Food.
Ohio holds the distinction of being the first state to sell off a public prison to a private corporation. This happened in 2011 when Governor John Kasich oversaw the sale of Lake Erie Correctional Institution to the Corrections Corporation of America. The sale was promoted as a way to save the state money, but according to the ACLU of Ohio, the plan largely backfired. We speak to Mike Brickner, senior policy director at the ACLU of Ohio. The group released a report and short documentary film called "Prisons for Profit."
Harvey Wasserman of Columbus, Ohio, has been a vocal critic of electronic voting machines. He co-wrote the book, "What Happened in Ohio: A Documentary Record of Theft and Fraud in the 2004 Election." His upcoming book is titled "The Strip & Flip Selection of 2016: Five Jim Crows & Electronic Election Theft." We talk to him about his concerns for the upcoming presidential race.
While former Ohio state Senator Nina Turner disagrees with Republican presidential candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich on reproductive rights and many other issues, she praises his record on police reform. Kasich created a task force on policing and signed an executive order calling for statewide standards for law enforcement on the use of deadly force and hiring. The reforms came after the fatal police shootings in Ohio of 12-year-old Tamir Rice and John Crawford, who was killed inside a Wal-Mart for holding an air rifle that was on sale at the store. Turner co-chaired Gov. Kasich’s task force that recommended police reforms in the wake of the killings.
Republican presidential hopeful and Ohio Governor John Kasich on Sunday signed a bill that aims to strip funding from Planned Parenthood in the state. Although the organization isn’t explicitly named in the legislation, the law prohibits the state health department from contracting with organizations that provide any abortions—or work with those who do. The law will strip Planned Parenthood of $1.3 million in state and federal assistance. Planned Parenthood funds support a number of services, including breast cancer screenings, STD testing and programs working to prevent violence against women. State and federal laws already prohibit taxpayer dollars from going to fund abortions, with exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. We speak with former Ohio state Senator Nina Turner, who once wore a T-shirt opposing anti-choice policies that read "GOP—Get Out of My Panties." "I’m just sick and tired of Republicans across this country talking about smaller government, but they want government to be big enough to fit into a woman’s womb," Turner says.
- Afghans Stranded in Northern Greece Stage Protest: "Why Racism?"
- Report: U.S. Airstrikes Killing Afghan Civilians at Highest Rate Since 2008
- France: Thousands Face Possible Eviction from Calais Refugee Camp
- German Mob Blocks Refugee Bus; Crowd Cheers Burning of Shelter
- India: Caste-Related Protests Leave 19 Dead, Cut Off Water in Delhi
- Cruz Fires Spokesperson for Circulating False Video of Rubio
- Donald Trump Says He Wants to Punch Protester in the Face
- Kasich Apologizes for Saying Women "Left Their Kitchens" to Back Him
- WikiLeaks: Top-Secret Documents Show NSA Spying on Foreign Leaders
- Study: Oceans Rising at Fastest Rate in 28 Centuries Due to Fossil Fuels
- White House to Give Congress Plan for Closing Guantánamo
- Bolivia: Morales Says Results of Re-election Referendum Still Not Final
- Relatives of 43 Missing Students Launch Caravan Across Mexico
- Mexico: Journalist Who Received Threats Stabbed to Death in Tabasco
- Syrian Journalist Killed in Daraya
- Report: U.S. Still Leads the World in Arms Exports
- Charlotte, NC City Council Passes LGBT Protections
After more than 43 years in solitary confinement, Albert Woodfox is a free man and joins us today for his first broadcast interview. The former Black Panther spent more time in solitary confinement than anyone in the United States, much of it in a six-by-nine cell for 23 hours each day. Albert Woodfox was released Friday after he entered a plea of no contest to charges of manslaughter and aggravated burglary of a prison guard more than four decades ago. Prior to Friday’s settlement, his conviction had been overturned three times. Albert Woodfox was serving a five-year sentence for armed robbery at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola when he and fellow prisoner Herman Wallace were accused in 1972 of stabbing prison guard Brent Miller. The two men always maintained their innocence, saying they were targeted because they had organized a chapter of the Black Panther Party to address horrific conditions at the Angola prison, a former cotton plantation. Woodfox, Wallace and and a third man, Robert King, became collectively known as the Angola 3. For decades, Amnesty International and other groups campaigned to free the three men. Woodfox was the last remaining member of the group to be released. Today we speak to Woodfox and King, who was freed in 2001 when his conviction for killing a fellow inmate was overturned. Herman Wallace was freed in 2013, just days before he died from cancer. Watch Part 2 of this interview.
- Albert Woodfox Released from Prison After More Than 43 Years in Solitary
- Syria: Bomb Attacks Kill 150; U.S., Russia Reach "Provisional" Ceasefire Deal
- Libya: U.S. Airstrikes Kill 2 Serbian Hostages
- Fiji Hit by Record Storm; 17 Killed
- Clinton Beats Sanders in Nevada Democratic Caucuses
- Donald Trump Wins South Carolina GOP Primary; Rubio Comes Second
- Jeb Bush Ends Bid for Republican Presidential Nomination
- Michigan: Uber Driver Accused of Killing 6 in Shooting Rampage
- Bolivia: Evo Morales Appears to Lose Referendum Allowing 4th Term
- Brussels: Greenpeace Activists Block Building to Stall Massive U.S.-EU Trade Deal
- NYC: Protesters Show Solidarity with Flint, Honor Malcolm X
- Texas Official Forced to Retire After Co-authoring Study on Harms of GOP Birth Control Policy
- Judge Orders Kesha to Remain in Contract with Producer She Says Raped Her
- Harper Lee, Author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," Dies at 89
- Italian Scholar Umberto Eco, Author of "The Name of the Rose," Dies at 84
Twenty years ago today, Democracy Now! went on the air on the eve of the New Hampshire primary. The date was February 19, 1996. The show began as a radio show on a handful of stations. It expanded into television five years later. Today, 5,000 episodes later, Democracy Now! airs on over 1,400 TV and radio stations. We spend the hour looking back at some highlights, including our first broadcast; Amy Goodman and Jeremy Scahill’s investigation, "Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria’s Oil Dictatorship"; President Clinton accusing Amy of being "hostile and combative"; our coverage of the 2004 U.S.-backed coup in Haiti; Juan González debating Lou Dobbs; the 2008 arrests of Amy, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar at the Republican National Convention; and our live coverage from the Georgia prison grounds where Troy Davis was executed.
- Libya: U.S. Airstrikes Kill 30 in Escalation of U.S. Military Action
- Heading into SC Primary, Pope Suggests Trump is "Not Christian"
- Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton Tied Ahead of Nevada Caucus
- Student Protests Rock India over Arrest of Student Leader
- California: Officials Say Worst Gas Leak in U.S. History Now Capped
- Congressmembers Call for Investigation of Shell over Climate Change
- Obama to Visit, Seek Closer Relations with New Right-Wing Argentine President
- Baltimore: Trials of Officers Charged in Freddie Gray's Death on Hold
- Chicago #BlackLivesMatter Leader Refuses to Meet with Obama
- Wisconsin: 14,000 People Gather at Capitol for "Day Without Latinos"
South Dakota could soon become the first state in the country to ban transgender students from using the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. On Tuesday, the South Dakota state Senate passed a measure mandating that restrooms and locker rooms used by public school students "shall be designated for and used only by students of the same biological sex." The bill defines "biological sex" as "the physical condition of being male or female as determined by a person’s chromosomes and identified at birth by a person’s anatomy." The bill’s proponents say it’s about protecting students, but opponents, including the American Civil Liberties Union, say the measure ostracizes transgender children who already face a high risk of harassment. We speak to Chase Strangio, staff attorney at the ACLU. Chase recently wrote a letter to South Dakota lawmakers, which reads, in part, "If I were a student in South Dakota right now, chances are I would not survive into adulthood."
In Utah, more than 100 protesters disrupted a federal auction of oil and gas leases, spontaneously bursting into song until they were forced to leave. Author and activist Terry Tempest Williams, registered as Bidder 19, successfully bought rights to 1,750 acres of land to spare it from fossil fuel extraction. When asked by a Bureau of Land Management official if she was making a "legitimate bid for energy development," Tempest Williams said: "You can’t define what energy is for us. Our energy development is fueling a movement." Terry Tempest Williams joins us from Salt Lake City.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon released nearly 200 photographs relating to the abuse of prisoners by U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan but refused to release a larger batch of 1,800 images. The American Civil Liberties Union has been fighting for nearly 12 years to win release of photos related to the Bush administration’s torture program. The released images include close-ups of bruised and lacerated body parts and bound, blindfolded prisoners. The withheld photos are believed to be far worse. We speak to ACLU attorney Alex Abdo.
A major debate over privacy and online encryption has erupted after the computer giant Apple announced it will resist a court order to help the FBI break into an iPhone recovered from one of the San Bernardino shooters. Citing an 18th century law, federal prosecutors requested a court order to compel Apple to assist the investigation in unlocking the phone of Syed Rizwan Farook. In December, Farook and his wife killed 14 and injured 22 others in San Bernardino. On Tuesday night, Apple CEO Tim Cook published an open letter to customers announcing his company’s decision to fight the court order. "Up to this point, we have done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them," Cook said. "But now the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone." We speak to Alex Abdo, staff attorney at the National Security Project at the American Civil Liberties Union.
- Turkey: 28 Killed in Car Bomb Blast in Ankara
- White House: Obama to Visit Cuba in Next Few Weeks
- Pope Francis: "Flow of Capital Cannot Decide Flow & Life of People"
- Texas: U.S. Marshals Arrest Man over $1,500 Student Loan Debt
- Yemen: Journalist Killed in Taiz; Drone Strikes Kill 3 in Huta
- 2 LAPD Officers Charged with Sexually Assaulting Women While on Duty
- Report: NYPD Officers Not Complying with New Stop & Frisk Rules
- KY Rep. Introduces Bill Restricting Access to Erectile Dysfunction Treatment, in Response to Abortion Restrictions
- Report: Number of Hate Groups Surges Amid Election Cycle Marked by Hate Speech
- Bolivia: 6 Government Workers Die After Building Lit on Fire After Protest
- Libya: Thousands Celebrate Fifth Anniversary of Revolution
- Ted Cruz and Donald Trump in Feud over South Carolina Campaign Ad
- AFL-CIO Withholds Endorsing a Presidential Candidate
- NYC: Protest Against Beyoncé Turns into Pro-Beyoncé Rally
Michigan's Water Wars: Nestlé Pumps Millions of Gallons for Free While Flint Pays for Poisoned Water
As Flint residents are forced to drink, cook with and even bathe in bottled water, while still paying some of the highest water bills in the country for their poisoned water, we turn to a little-known story about the bottled water industry in Michigan. In 2001 and 2002, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality issued permits to Nestlé, the largest water bottling company in the world, to pump up to 400 gallons of water per minute from aquifers that feed Lake Michigan. This sparked a decade-long legal battle between Nestlé and the residents of Mecosta County, Michigan, where Nestlé’s wells are located. One of the most surprising things about this story is that, in Mecosta County, Nestlé is not required to pay anything to extract the water, besides a small permitting fee to the state and the cost of leases to a private landowner. In fact, the company received $13 million in tax breaks from the state to locate the plant in Michigan. The spokesperson for Nestlé in Michigan is Deborah Muchmore. She’s the wife of Dennis Muchmore—Governor Rick Snyder’s chief of staff, who just retired and registered to be a lobbyist. We speak with Peggy Case, Terry Swier and Glenna Maneke of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation.
We speak with Curt Guyette of the ACLU of Michigan. He is an investigative reporter who was just named Michigan Journalist of the Year by the Michigan Press Association. He talks about the citizen-led effort to prove, despite assurances by state officials, the Flint water supply was contaminated with lead.