One day after her family confirmed her death in Syria, we remember the life of 26-year-old U.S. aid worker Kayla Mueller. Mueller’s captors, the Islamic State, say she was killed in a Jordanian airstrike last week. On Tuesday, the family said it had received proof she had died, but it remains unclear how. Mueller moved to the Turkish-Syrian border in late 2012 to work with Syrian refugees. She had previously worked with refugees overseas including Tibetans in India, Africans in Israel, and Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. Mueller disappeared in August 2013 after she was abducted while leaving a northern Syria hospital. In a letter written during her captivity, Mueller told her family: "I have been shown in darkness, light, and have learned that even in prison, one can be free. I am grateful. I have come to see that there is good in every situation, sometimes we just have to look for it." We are joined by two guests: Emily Schick, Mueller’s college roommate at Northern Arizona University and a fellow volunteer at the International Solidarity Movement in the West Bank; and Mauri Saalakhan of The Peace and Justice Foundation, who campaigned for Mueller’s release.
After months of demonstrations calling for justice, a New York City Police Department officer has been indicted for the fatal shooting of unarmed African American Akai Gurley last November. A grand jury elected to charge Officer Peter Liang with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault and official misconduct. Liang was reportedly carrying his gun in his left hand and a flashlight in his right when he opened the door to a dimly lit stairwell he was patrolling in a Brooklyn housing project. His gun went off, hitting Gurley as he walked down the stairs. Police Commissioner William Bratton has described the shooting as an "unfortunate accident" and said Gurley was "totally innocent." Liang did not respond to police radio contact for more than six minutes and texted his union representative for advice. A neighbor ended up calling for the ambulance that rushed Gurley to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. We get reaction to the indictment from Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Alabama has become the 37th state to allow same-sex marriage after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the state’s bid to block the unions. Same-sex couples lined up to marry in parts of the state, including Huntsville, Birmingham and Montgomery. But on Tuesday, 44 of Alabama’s 67 counties reportedly continued to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses after Sunday’s conflicting order from an Alabama Supreme Court justice. Chief Justice Roy Moore ordered judges and officials not to issue or recognize the licenses, arguing the local courts are not beholden to a federal court ruling that struck down the ban. Now, a federal judge has set a hearing that could determine whether resistant local probate judges must grant the licenses. While marriage-equality advocates have welcomed recent developments in the historically conservative state, they warn that much work remains to be done. Alabama is one of the 30 states where it is still legal for an employer to fire LGBT employees. We are joined by Tori and Shanté Wolfe-Sisson, who made history Monday by becoming the first same-sex couple to marry in Montgomery.
A new report has uncovered shocking details about the history of lynchings in the United States and their legacy today. After five years of exhaustive research and interviews with local historians and descendants of lynching victims, the Equal Justice Initiative found white Southerners lynched nearly 4,000 black men, women and children between 1877 and 1950 — a total far higher than previously known. The report details a 1916 attack in which a mob lynched Jeff Brown for accidentally bumping into a white girl as he ran to catch a train. In an example from 1940, a crowd lynched Jesse Thornton for not addressing a white police officer as "mister." In many cases, the lynchings were attended by the entire white community in an area. We speak with attorney and Equal Justice Initiative founder and director Bryan Stevenson, whose group’s report is "Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror." The EJI is calling for the placement of historical markers at sites where lynchings occurred.
- Obama to Seek Expansive War Powers Measure for Anti-ISIS Campaign
- Report: U.S. Mulls New Delay of Afghan Drawdown
- Family Confirms Death of U.S. Aid Worker Kayla Mueller in Syria
- Obama Urges Putin to Accept Ukraine Peace Deal as Violence Peaks
- U.S. Closes Yemen Embassy & Removes Staff Amid Political Upheaval
- Suspect Charged for Fatal Shooting of 3 Muslim Students in North Carolina
- Grand Jury Indicts NYPD Officer for Killing of Akai Gurley
- NBC News Suspends Brian Williams for 6 Months over False Iraq Claim
- Jon Stewart to Step Down as "Daily Show" Host
Monday marked six months since a white police officer killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting sparked protests over Brown’s death and the broader racial divide it came to symbolize. Now, half a year later, a major legal action is taking that divide head-on. On Sunday, more than a dozen St. Louis-area residents filed class-action lawsuits against Ferguson and another suburb, Jennings. The residents accuse local officials of creating a "modern debtors’ prison scheme" that targets African Americans with arrests and fines and then locks them up when they cannot pay. A study last year by the ArchCity Defenders found a large part of the revenue for several St. Louis counties comes from fines paid by African-American residents disproportionately targeted for traffic stops and other low-level offenses. In Ferguson, fines and fees were the city’s second-largest source of income in fiscal year 2014. Ferguson issued on average nearly three warrants per household last year — the highest number of warrants in the state, relative to its size. We speak to Michael-John Voss, managing attorney at ArchCity Defenders, one of the groups that has filed a lawsuit against Ferguson and Jennings. We are also joined by Allison Nelson and Herbert Nelson Jr., two of the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuits.
Controversy is mounting around Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned address to the U.S. Congress next month about Iran ahead of Israel’s election. Reuters is reporting Israeli officials are now considering whether Netanyahu should speak to a closed-door session of Congress, rather than in a prime-time television speech. Netanyahu was invited by Republican House Speaker John Boehner. President Obama has said he will not meet with Netanyahu so close to Israel’s election. We get analysis from retired Air Force general Charles Wald, the former deputy commander of U.S. European Command, and University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer, author of "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy."
As fighting continues in Ukraine, President Obama said Monday he has not ruled out arming the Ukrainian military against Russian-backed rebels. Meeting with Obama at the White House, German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her opposition to arming Ukraine, saying the conflict could not be resolved militarily. Merkel is set to hold talks in Minsk on Wednesday with the leaders of Russia, Ukraine and France in a bid to end the crisis that has killed thousands and displaced 1.5 million people over the past year. Should the United States escalate its role in the conflict by arming Ukraine? We host a debate between retired Air Force general Charles Wald, the former deputy commander of U.S. European Command, and University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer.
- Obama Undecided on Sending Arms to Ukraine
- Assad Says Syria Receiving Info on U.S.-Led Strikes
- Boko Haram Attacks Towns in Niger, Cameroon
- NATO Drone Strike Kills 8, Including ISIS Suspect
- 29 Migrants Die of Hypothermia After Rescue by Italy
- Egypt to Retry 2 Jailed Al Jazeera Journalists
- Same-Sex Marriages Begin in Parts of Alabama
- U.S. Oil Strike Expands to 2 More Refineries
- British Court: U.S.-U.K. Spy Program was Illegal
- Argentine Experts Cast Doubt on Mexico's Claims About Missing Students
- Mexico: Activist Who Protested Students' Disappearance Found Murdered
- East Timor Gets New Prime Minister
- Boston Transit Shuts Down amid Record Snowfall
- U.S. Pledges $3.2 Million to Help Monarch Butterfly
- North Carolina: Police Kill Elderly Black Man During Welfare Check
- Guantánamo Hearing Halted After Prisoners Recognize Interpreter from CIA Black Site
- CodePink Delegation Arrives in Cuba
In a broadcast exclusive interview, we spend the hour with John Kiriakou, a retired CIA agent who has just been released from prison after blowing the whistle on the George W. Bush administration’s torture program. In 2007, Kiriakou became the first CIA official to publicly confirm and detail the agency’s use of waterboarding. In January 2013, he was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison. Under a plea deal, Kiriakou admitted to a single count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act by revealing the identity of a covert officer involved in the torture program to a freelance reporter, who did not publish it. In return, prosecutors dropped charges brought under the Espionage Act. Kiriakou is the only official to be jailed for any reason relating to CIA torture. Supporters say he was unfairly targeted in the Obama administration’s crackdown on government whistleblowers. A father of five, Kiriakou spent 14 years at the CIA as an analyst and case officer, leading the team that found high-ranking al-Qaeda member Abu Zubaydah in 2002. He joins us from his home in Virginia, where he remains under house arrest for three months while completing his sentence. In a wide-ranging interview, Kiriakou says, "I would do it all over again," after seeing the outlawing of torture after he came forward. Kiriakou also responds to the details of the partially released Senate Committee Report on the CIA’s use of torture; argues NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden did a "great national service," but will not get a fair trial if he returns to the United States; and describes the conditions inside FCI Loretto, the federal prison where he served his sentence and saw prisoners die with "terrifying frequency" from lack of proper medical care.
- Islamic State Claims U.S. Aid Worker Kayla Mueller Killed in Jordanian Strike
- Report: Kayla Mueller's Parents Opposed U.S. Rescue Mission over Risk
- Ukraine, Russian Leaders to Hold Talks in "One of Last Chances" to Avoid Wider War
- Putin: U.S. Hegemony at Root of Ukraine Crisis
- German Leader to Meet Obama as U.S. Weighs Military Aid to Ukraine
- Yemen Talks Resume; U.N. Calls for Restoration of President Hadi
- Egypt Suspends Soccer Matches After Clashes Leave 40 Dead
- Nigeria Postpones Upcoming Presidential Vote, Citing Security Fears
- Report: HSBC Help Clients Hide over $100 Billion in Accounts
- 5 Killed, Including 2 Children, in Georgia Shooting
- Alabama Chief Justice Orders Judges to Reject Same-Sex Marriages
- Thousands Urge Fracking Ban in California Protest
- Brian Williams of NBC News Takes Temporary Leave as False Claims Probed
- Lawsuits Accuse St. Louis Suburbs of Targeting Blacks with Arrests & Fines
- Performers Invoke "Black Lives Matter" Movement at Annual Grammy Awards
Days after his deportation from the United States, the Palestinian activist and professor Sami Al-Arian discusses the end of his ordeal as the target of one of the most controversial prosecutions of the post-9/11 era. Sami was accused of ties to a militant group, but a Florida jury failed to return a single guilty verdict on any of the 17 charges against him. After prosecutors refiled charges, Sami chose jail time and deportation rather than face a second trial. For much of the three years following his arrest in 2003, he was imprisoned in solitary confinement and reportedly abused by prison staff under conditions Amnesty International called "gratuitously punitive." In a broadcast exclusive, Sami joins us from Turkey for his first broadcast interview since being deported. We are also joined by his daughter Laila Al-Arian, a Peabody Award-winning journalist based in Washington, D.C.
After much anticipation, the chair of the Federal Communications Commission has unveiled what he calls "the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the [agency]." Tom Wheeler backed the regulation of Internet service like a public utility in order to uphold net neutrality, the principle of a free and open Internet. The new rules would prevent Internet service providers like Comcast from blocking access to websites, slowing down content, or providing paid fast lanes for Internet service. It would also extend such protections to Internet service on cell phones and tablets. The proposal comes after the FCC received a record-setting number of public comments — nearly four million, almost all in support of strong protections. President Obama also released public statements in support of Internet protections. The FCC will vote on the plan February 26, ahead of an influx of lobbying by the telecom industry, which has also threatened to sue if the measure passes. We are joined by Tim Karr, senior director of strategy for Free Press, one of the main organizers of the Internet Countdown campaign leading up to the FCC’s net neutrality vote.
In a front-page report for the New York Daily News, Democracy Now! co-host Juan González exposes the troubles plaguing New York City’s overhaul of its 911 communications system. The NYC Department of Investigation found the administration of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg mismanaged the upgrade with multiple layers of unaccountable private consultants and vendors, putting the project nearly $1 billion over budget and 10 years behind schedule.
- German, French Leaders Visit Kiev & Moscow in Push to Revive Ceasefire
- Ukraine Demands Return to September Truce Terms; Top Officer Accused of Russia Spying
- Kerry: U.S. Nears Decision on Arming Ukraine Against Russian "Aggression"
- White House Admits Concerns Arming Ukraine Could "Expand Bloodshed"
- Kremlin: U.S. Military Aid to Ukraine Would Threaten Russian Security
- NATO Ministers OK Largest Collective Defensive Reinforcement Since End of Cold War
- Jordan Expands Anti-ISIS Strikes to Iraq After Pilot's Killing
- Scores Killed Around Damascus in Gov't, Rebel Attacks
- Greece, Germany Spar over Austerity as Syriza Gov't Ends Europe Tour
- Thousands Rally in Athens as Greek Prime Minister Vows to Reject Austerity "Orders"
- IMF Grants $100 Million in Debt Relief to Ebola-Stricken Countries
- Obama Admin: Guantánamo Recidivism Has Declined
- GOP Senator: More Prisoners Should Be Sent to "Rot in Guantánamo Bay"
- 2 Dead in Murder-Suicide at University of South Carolina
- 3 Democratic Lawmakers to Skip Netanyahu Speech
- Pope Francis to Become 1st Pontiff to Address Joint Congressional Session
Inside the Vaccine War: Measles Outbreak Rekindles Debate on Autism, Parental Choice & Public Health
The federal government has confirmed more than 100 people across 14 states have now developed measles. Public health officials suspect the outbreak, which is concentrated in California, began when an infected person visited Disneyland in Anaheim in December. In recent years, a growing number of parents have opted not to have their children vaccinated, claiming a link between vaccines and autism. The prestigious medical journal Lancet published a study in 1998 showing such a link, but the study was later retracted and has been widely discredited. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 12 children born in the United States is not receiving their first dose of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine on time. Several potential Republican presidential candidates have weighed in on the debate. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, an ophthalmologist, said he had heard of instances where vaccines caused "mental disorders." New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said vaccinating kids is a matter of "parental choice."
We spend the hour discussing the vaccine debate and public health with three guests: Dorit Rubinstein Reiss is a professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and co-author of the report, "Funding the Costs of Disease Outbreaks Caused by Non-Vaccination"; Mary Holland is the mother of a child with regressive autism who, she believes, was injured by the MMR vaccine. She is also a research scholar at New York University School of Law and co-editor of the book, "Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science, and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health, and Our Children"; and Dr. Paul Offit is chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor of pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is author of "Autism’s False Prophets: Bad Science, Risky Medicine, and the Search for a Cure" and "Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All."
- FCC Proposes Historic Open Internet Protections
- Cameroon: Boko Haram Massacres 100
- Ebola Drug Shows Promise as Weekly Death Toll Rises in West Africa
- Kerry, European Leaders in Ukraine as U.S. Mulls Sending Arms
- Obama's Pick for Defense Secretary Backs Arming Ukraine
- U.S. Diplomat: Return of Guantánamo Off the Table in Cuba Talks
- Pentagon Given Deadline in Case over Withholding of Torture Photos
- Palestinian Scholar Sami Al-Arian Deported After Controversial Prosecution
- NBC's Brian Williams Apologizes for False Story on Helicopter Attack
- Health Insurance Firm Anthem Reports Massive Data Breach
- Indiana Woman Faces Up to 70 Years in Prison for What She Says Was a Miscarriage
- Utah GOP Lawmaker Apologizes for Questioning If Sex with Unconscious Spouse is Rape
- Report: College Completion Gap Between Rich and Poor Doubles
As President Obama seeks $27.6 billion for federal drug control programs in his new budget, we talk to British journalist Johann Hari about the century-old failed drug war and how much of what we know about addiction is wrong. Over the past four years Hari has traveled to the United States, Mexico, Canada, Uruguay and Portugal to research his new book, "Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War of Drugs." His findings may surprise you — from the U.S. government’s persecution of Billie Holiday, to Vancouver’s success in addressing its heroin epidemic, to Portugal’s experiment with full decriminalization of all drugs.
Economist Dean Baker discusses last month’s victory of the left-wing Syriza party in Greece. This marked the first election victory in Europe of an anti-bailout party bent on reversing deep cuts demanded by international lenders. Baker praises the initial moves by the new government but warns Greece needs an "exit option" to leave the European Union.
President Obama has unveiled a $4 trillion budget proposal for next year Congress that calls for raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations in order to help fund education and fix crumbling infrastructure. The plan includes tax cuts for some poor and middle-class families. It also seeks to recoup losses from corporations that stash an estimated $2 trillion overseas by taxing such earnings at 14 percent, still less than half of the 35 percent rate for profits made in the United States. Obama’s proposed budget also takes aim at the high cost of prescription drugs, proposes a new agency to regulate food safety, and seeks $1 billion to curb immigration from Central America. It also calls for a 4.5 percent increase in military spending, including a $534 billion base budget for the Pentagon, plus $51 billion to fund U.S. involvement in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Speaking at the Department of Homeland Security, Obama said across-the-board cuts known as sequestration would hurt the military. We speak to economist Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and author of "Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People."