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: 6 hours 14 min ago

Emails Show American Psychological Association Secretly Worked with Bush Admin to Enable Torture

Tue 07 13 AM

New details have emerged on how the American Psychological Association, the world’s largest group of psychologists, aided government-sanctioned torture under President George W. Bush. A group of dissident psychologists have just published a 60-page report alleging the APA secretly coordinated with officials from the CIA, White House and the Pentagon to change the APA ethics policy to align it with the operational needs of the CIA’s torture program. Much of the report, "All the President’s Psychologists: The American Psychological Association’s Secret Complicity with the White House and US Intelligence Community in Support of the CIA’s 'Enhanced' Interrogation Program," is based on hundreds of newly released internal APA emails from 2003 to 2006 that show top officials were in direct communication with the CIA. The report also reveals Susan Brandon, a behavioral science researcher working for President Bush, secretly drafted language that the APA inserted into its ethics policy on interrogations. We are joined by two of the report’s co-authors: Dr. Steven Reisner, a founding member of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology and member of the APA Council of Representatives, and Nathaniel Raymond, director of the Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

"The Army Knew": New Investigation Unravels Mexican Govt. Account of How 43 Students Disappeared

Mon 07 48 AM

An explosive new investigation published today by The Intercept reveals the untold story of how 43 students disappeared in Mexico on the night of September 26, 2014. It is based on more than two dozen interviews with survivors of the attacks and family members of the disappeared, as well as Mexican historians, human rights activists and journalists. The Intercept also reviewed official Mexican state and federal records including communication logs by security forces and sealed testimony from municipal police officers and gang members. The evidence shows repeated inconsistencies and omissions in the government’s account of what happened when the students went missing. We speak with Ryan Devereaux, staff reporter at The Intercept and author of the two-part investigation, "Ghosts of Iguala."

Relatives of 43 Missing Students: U.S.-Backed Drug War Fights Organized People, Not Organized Crime

Mon 07 32 AM

As protesters in Baltimore set fire to buildings and vehicles last Monday to protest the death of Freddie Gray, protesters in the Mexican state of Guerrero drove a burning truck into the congressional building in the capital Chilpancingo. The protesters were marking seven months since the disappearance of 43 students. Relatives have continued to question the Mexican government’s claim the students were attacked by local police and turned over to members of a drug gang, who killed and incinerated them. We speak with three relatives of the missing students: María de Jesús Tlatempa Bello, mother of José Eduardo Bartolo Tlatempa; Clemente Rodríguez Moreno, father of Christian Alfonso Rodríguez Telumbre; and Cruz Bautista Salbador, uncle of Benjamín Ascencio Bautista. The relatives have criticized U.S. support for the drug war, saying Mexico is using the aid to kill innocent people. "If they were really fighting organized crime, as the United States government says, then the crime rates would have gone down," Bautista Salbador says. "Apparently they are not fighting organized crime; they are fighting organized people."

Click here to see our extended interview with the three relatives of the missing students.

Baltimore Reacts to Charges in Freddie Gray's Death: "Strange Fruit Still Grows in Our Community"

Mon 07 18 AM

The six Baltimore police officers charged in Freddie Gray’s death have been released after posting bonds of $250,000 to $350,000. Meanwhile, Allen Bullock, an 18-year-old who turned himself in for participating in riots, is facing a bond of $500,000. Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman speaks with residents Sunday as they welcome the charges against the officers but note there is much more work to be done to reduce police brutality and improve accountability.

"Our Time is Now": Baltimore State's Attorney Mosby Charges Six Baltimore Cops in Freddie Gray Death

Mon 07 10 AM

Baltimore officials have lifted a 10 p.m. curfew and National Guard troops have begun to withdraw as peaceful protests continue over the death of Freddie Gray. On Friday, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced a range of charges against the six officers involved in Gray’s arrest and transport, including murder and manslaughter. Gray’s family says his voice box was crushed and his spine was "80 percent severed at his neck." Police said they arrested Gray for looking a lieutenant in the eye, then running away. We play excerpts from Mosby’s dramatic announcement, when she acknowledges protests calling for justice in the case and argues officers illegally arrested Gray without probable cause, then ignored his pleas for medical help. "To the youth of this city, I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment. This is your moment," Mosby says. "Let’s ensure that we have peaceful and productive rallies that will develop structural and systemic changes for generations to come. You’re at the forefront of this cause. And as young people, our time is now."

Ralph Nader on Bernie Sanders, the TPP "Corporate Coup d'État" & Writing to the White House

Fri 07 48 AM

As independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont announces his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, we speak to former presidential candidate Ralph Nader. "We don’t want a coronation of Hillary Clinton," Nader says of Sanders’ run. We also talk about his new book, "Return to Sender: Unanswered Letters to the President, 2001-2015." The book is dedicated in part to the workers of the U.S. Postal Service.

"This Did Not Begin with Freddie Gray": As Baltimore Awaits Answers, A Call for Long-Term Solutions

Fri 07 30 AM

Update: Warrants have been issued for the six officers involved in Freddie Gray’s death. Watch the full press conference by Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

Protests continue in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray as more evidence emerges that the 25-year-old died from injuries inside a police transport van. On Thursday, police revealed that the van made a previously undisclosed stop with Gray inside. The new stop was discovered from security camera footage, not from speaking to the officers involved. The investigation also reportedly concludes Gray’s spinal injuries had to have happened inside the van, not when he was initially detained and dragged on the ground. The medical examiner reportedly found that Gray’s spinal injury was caused by his slamming into a bolt in the back of the van. It remains unclear how. Meanwhile, a key witness in the case has rejected police claims that blamed Gray for his own injuries. Baltimore police investigators have given prosecutors the initial findings from their probe, paving the way for potential indictments. We are joined by Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP.

Massive Earthquake Leaves Trail of Destruction in Nepal, But Aid is Slow to Arrive

Fri 07 11 AM

Nepal’s army chief has warned the death toll from Saturday’s devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake could reach 15,000. The toll now stands at over 6,000, with almost double that number injured. Hundreds of thousands have been left homeless. Thousands of survivors slept in tents this week rather than risk returning to damaged homes susceptible to collapsing in an aftershock. The World Food Program warns 1.4 million people require emergency food assistance, and the United Nations estimates 1.3 million children are in urgent need of humanitarian aid. The quake opened massive rifts in roads and destroyed historic structures, including the 19th century Dharahara Tower in the capital Kathmandu, which was packed with sightseers when it collapsed. We go to Kathmandu to speak with Kunda Dixit, editor of the Nepali Times.

"History Is Finally Moving On": Tom Hayden on Thawing of U.S.-Cuba Relations Despite GOP Opposition

Thu 07 33 AM

In a wide-ranging discussion, Tom Hayden, author of the new book, "Listen, Yankee!: Why Cuba Matters," argues the United States and Cuba have much more in common than a 55-year disagreement. This comes as Republicans have launched an attempt to block President Obama’s efforts to restore U.S.-Cuba diplomatic relations for the first time in half a century with proposed legislation to stop new travel to Cuba from the United States. The bill would block the licensing of new flights and cruise ship routes to Cuba if the landing strip or dock is located on land confiscated by the Cuban government. Despite such efforts, Hayden says, "Travel is being expanded. You will be able to use your credit cards. The beaches will be open to tourists instead of tanks. History is finally moving on." He recalls his interviews with former senior U.S. officials on why the Obama administration is trying to end the embargo and remove Cuba from the list of countries that sponsor terrorism, and also discusses the Cuban missile crisis, the Cuban 5 and how the U.S. has sheltered Cuban exiles who were at virtual war with Cuba. Hayden’s book is based in part on conversations with Ricardo Alarcón, the former foreign minister of Cuba and past president of the Cuban National Assembly.

History Repeats? Activist Tom Hayden on Police Brutality Protests from the 1960s to Baltimore

Thu 07 16 AM

As protests continue in Baltimore and around the country over the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, we are joined by one of the leading longtime activists in the country, Tom Hayden, who is no stranger to police and protest. In 1968, Hayden was a major organizer of demonstrations against the Vietnam War during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. He became one of the Chicago 8 and was convicted of crossing state lines to start a riot. The judge ordered Bobby Seale, one of his fellow defendants and the only African American, to be bound and gagged and chained to his chair. Later Hayden would organize in Newark, New Jersey, and go on to write the book, "Rebellion in Newark: Official Violence and Ghetto Response." "The country came to near collapse. Baltimore today was everywhere in 1967, 1968," Hayden says. "So we have to remember that these issues of going abroad to fight enemies leaves our internal problems festering, and they can blow at any time. So, history repeats, I’m sorry to say."

Iraqi Activist Describes "Massacres Left and Right" as Civil Society Resists Takeover by ISIS

Wed 07 52 AM

As Yanar Mohammed, co-founder and the director of the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, attends the Women Stop War conference in The Hague, she describes the current situation in Iraq. "The country is under a prevailing culture of militias, which have the upper hand. … They say, ’It’s either us or ISIS.’" Mohammed says civil society is sandwiched between Shia and Sunni extremists, and argues a secular approach is the only way to resolve the conflict in her country.

Colombian Journalist Wins Courage Award After Kidnapping, Torture and Rape While Covering Arms Trade

Wed 07 44 AM

As we broadcast from the World Forum in The Hague at the Women Stop War conference, Amy Goodman interviews Colombian journalist Jineth Bedoya Lima, who has covered her country’s armed conflict for more than 18 years. She received the International Women of Courage Award in 2012 after she came forward about being kidnapped, tortured and raped by a paramilitary group while she reported on the arms trade, and notes, "I refused to go into exile after this, and I continued to work as a journalist." Bedoya Lima went on to found the group Survivors United for Action.

From Police Violence to Boko Haram, African Activist Says Fundamentalism Must Be Addressed Globally

Wed 07 39 AM

In Nigeria, hundreds of bodies have been found in the northeastern town of Damasak, after an apparent massacre by the militant group Boko Haram. Local sources say the death toll exceeds 400. We speak with African women’s rights activist Hakima Abbas about Boko Haram, militarization and fundamentalism. "In your own country, the white supremacist and Christian right fundamentalisms is also exacerbated by the gun culture and the promotion of an armed police force which is killing black women, men, trans people, and children in the U.S.A.," Abbas notes. "So fundamentalism is really something that we have to address globally, and the people at the forefront of that battle are women’s rights organizations and women’s rights organizers." Abbas is the director of programs for the Association for Women’s Rights in Development.

Japan Agrees to New Military Cooperation Plan with United States Despite Its Pacifist Constitution

Wed 07 35 AM

As peace activists gather in The Hague, Japan is moving toward taking a more active military role internationally despite having a pacifist constitution. On Tuesday, President Obama hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a White House state dinner. The two nations have just unveiled new guidelines for military cooperation. We examine Japan’s growing military role with Kozue Akibayashi, the newly elected president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She also discusses opposition to the presence of some 25,000 U.S. military personnel stationed in Okinawa. "The U.S. military has been granted almost diplomatic immunity to whatever they do. Crimes are committed, but they are not punished. They get away."

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Marks 100th Anniversary as War Rages on Worldwide

Wed 07 27 AM

We are broadcasting from the World Forum in The Hague where 100 years ago this week over 1,000 female peace activists gathered from around the world to call for an end to war. The extraordinary meeting, known as the International Congress of Women, took place as World War I raged across the globe, and marked the formation of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. It was organized by Dutch suffragist Dr. Aletta Jacobs. The event took place in the Netherlands because of its neutral position during World War I. Two future Nobel Peace Prize winners took part in the U.S. delegation: Jane Addams, the co-founder of Hull House, and the sociologist Emily Greene Balch. "They saw, quite rightly, that the absence of women in making decisions in government meant there was greater likelihood of war. And they were right," says our guest, Madeleine Rees, WILPF’s secretary general. She has joined thousands of women from around the world who have gathered again in The Hague to call for peace and to mark the group’s 100th anniversary as wars rage on in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and other countries.

"You Can Replace Property, You Can't Replace a Life": Voices of the Unheard in the Baltimore Streets

Wed 07 09 AM

Democracy Now! reports from the streets of Baltimore, where an overnight curfew has taken effect following Monday’s riots sparked by the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old African-American man who died of neck injuries suffered in police custody. Tuesday night, police in riot gear fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters who defied the curfew when it began at 10 p.m. At least 10 people were arrested. But overall, the Baltimore Police Department declared "the city is stable." Thousands of forces, including National Guard troops, have deployed throughout the city streets. Monday’s unrest led to more than 200 arrests, dozens of cars set on fire, and many buildings badly damaged. Democracy Now!'s Aaron Maté and videographer Hany Massoud speak with locals as they take part in both the clean-up effort and the continued protests over Freddie Gray's death.