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: 4 hours 14 min ago

First Republican Debate of 2016 Presidential Race Kicks Off on Fox News with Roger Ailes Favorites

Fri 07 42 AM

Ten leading Republican presidential candidates faced off in the first debate of the 2016 presidential election Thursday night. Fox News invited 10 candidates to take part: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump and Scott Walker. Some analysts described the debate as the Roger Ailes primary since the head of Fox News had so much say into who participated in the prime-time event. Seven other Republican presidential candidates who didn’t make the cut participated in another debate earlier in the evening. Fox News said it calculated its top 10 list by averaging five national polls, a process which came under fire from polling agencies earlier this week. We feature highlights from the debate.

Gitmo is a "Rights-Free Zone": Dissident Psychologists Speak Out on APA Role in CIA-Pentagon Torture

Fri 07 23 AM

We broadcast from Toronto, Canada, site of the annual convention of the largest group of psychologists in the world, the American Psychological Association. Ahead of a vote on a resolution to bar psychologists from participating in national security interrogations, the Psychologists for Social Responsibility hosted a town hall meeting. We feature highlights.

James Risen: In Sharp Break from Past, APA Set to Vote on Barring Psychologists from Interrogations

Fri 07 11 AM

We speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter James Risen, who has extensively reported on the APA’s ties to the CIA and Pentagon’s torture program and is in Toronto to cover the American Psychological Association’s annual meeting. He talks about the significance of today’s scheduled vote by the APA’s Council of Representatives on barring psychologists from participating in interrogations. "It is a very sharp break from their past practices," Risen notes. "It is in response to an investigation that found collusion between psychologists and the Bush administration on interrogations."

Lead the Way Out of the Interrogation Room: Will American Psychological Assoc. End Role in Torture?

Fri 07 07 AM

We broadcast from Toronto, Canada, where the largest group of psychologists in the world, the American Psychological Association, is holding its first meeting since the release of a stunning report confirming the APA leadership actively colluded with the Pentagon and the CIA, manipulating the organization’s policies, meetings and members in order to endorse the torture programs. For the past decade, a group of dissident psychologists have protested the use of psychologists to conduct interrogations at CIA black sites and Guantánamo. For years they were ignored and ridiculed. But that changed with the recent release of the "Hoffman Report," a 542-page independent review commissioned by the APA’s board of directors. The study undermined the APA’s repeated denials that some of its 130,000 members were complicit in torture. Following the release, four top APA officials resigned or announced early retirements. Today the APA’s Council of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a resolution to bar psychologists from participating in interrogations. It is unclear if the measure will pass. Ahead of the vote, Psychologists for Social Responsibility hosted a town hall meeting here in Toronto last night. Speakers included New York-based psychologist Steven Reisner, a leading critic of the APA’s policies and founder of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology. "We have to make sure the APA goes from leading us into the dark side, leading us into the torture room … to leading the way out of the interrogation room," Reisner says.

On Hiroshima Anniv. Peacemakers March on Los Alamos Nuclear Weapons Lab, Birthplace of Atomic Bomb

Thu 07 46 AM

On the 70th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we are joined by peace activists from across the nation who are convening in Los Alamos, New Mexico, birthplace of the atomic bomb and home to the country’s main nuclear weapons laboratory and the site of ongoing nuclear development. This afternoon, activists will march toward the laboratory’s main entrance calling for nuclear disarmament. We speak with Rev. John Dear, author of "The Nonviolent Life" and "Thomas Merton, Peacemaker." He helped organize this weekend’s Campaign Nonviolence National Conference to mark the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. We’re also joined by the conference’s keynote speaker, Rev. James Lawson, civil rights icon and Holman United Methodist Church pastor emeritus. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. called Lawson "the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world."

Japanese Nobel Laureate Kenzaburo Oe on 70th Anniv. of US Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Thu 07 11 AM

Seventy years ago today, at 8:15 in the morning, the U.S. dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Destruction from the bomb was massive. Shock waves, radiation and heat rays took the lives of some 140,000 people. Three days later, the U.S. dropped a second atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki, killing another 74,000. President Harry Truman announced the attack on Hiroshima in a nationally televised address on August 6, 1945. Today, as the sun came up in Hiroshima, tens of thousands began to gather in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park to commemorate the world’s first nuclear attack. We are joined by the acclaimed Japanese novelist and winner of the 1994 Nobel Prize for Literature, Kenzaburo Oe, whose books address political and social issues, including nuclear weapons and nuclear power. "If Mr. Obama were to come to the memorial ceremonies in Hiroshima or Nagasaki, for example, what he could do is come together with the hibakusha, the survivors, and share that moment of silence, and also express considering the issue of nuclear weapons from the perspective of all humanity and how important nuclear abolition is from that perspective—I think, would be the most important thing, and the most important thing that any politician or representative could do at this time," says Oe, who has also spoken out in defense of Japan’s pacifist constitution, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has pushed to amend in order to allow the country to send troops into conflict for the first time since World War II.

The Making of Leopoldo López: An Investigation into Venezuela’s Most Prominent Opposition Figure

Wed 07 46 AM

"The Making of Leopoldo López: A Closer Look at the Democratic Bona Fides of the Rock Star of Venezuela’s Opposition." That’s the headline to a new investigation into Venezuela’s most prominent opposition leader who has been jailed since February 2014. President Nicolás Maduro dismisses him as a criminal. But López’s supporters call him a political prisoner and accuse Maduro of silencing a dissenting voice. We speak with Roberto Lovato about his new piece in Foreign Policy. Lovato is a writer and visiting scholar at the UC Berkeley Center for Latino Policy Research.

Ari Berman: Virtually Every GOP Candidate Has Been on Wrong Side of Voting Rights Issues

Wed 07 32 AM

As the Republicans prepare for their first debate of the 2016 race, we look at the candidates’ records on voting rights. In 2000, Jeb Bush was governor of Florida during the infamous recount that helped his brother, George W. Bush, take the White House. As governor of Ohio, John Kasich has signed a number of voting restrictions. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry is known for signing a controversial voter ID law. We speak to Ari Berman, author of the new book, "Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America."

Give Us the Ballot: The Struggle Continues 50 Years After Signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act

Wed 07 22 AM

This week marks the 50th anniversary of a landmark achievement of the civil rights movement. It was August 6, 1965, when President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act, as Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and now 14-term Congressman John Lewis looked on. The law has been under constant attack ever since. Just two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down parts of the measure in a case called Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder when it ruled states with histories of voting-related racial discrimination no longer had to "pre-clear" changes to their voting laws with the federal government. One month later, North Carolina passed sweeping voting restrictions that cut early voting and eliminated same-day registration. During the midterm elections in 2014, these new rules prevented thousands from casting their vote. We speak to Ari Berman, author of the new book, "Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America."

Juan González: Puerto Rico's Economic "Death Spiral" Tied to Legacy of Colonialism

Wed 07 12 AM

The White House has rejected a bailout package for Puerto Rico days after the U.S. territory failed to pay a small portion of the massive $72 billion it owes to bondholders. It was the biggest municipal bond default in U.S. history. Unlike U.S. states and municipalities, Puerto Rico cannot declare bankruptcy. Juan González discusses how the roots of the crisis are deeply tied to Puerto Rico’s colonial status.

Are Journalists & Activists Safe Anywhere in Mexico? Protests Erupt over Killing of 5 in Mexico City

Tue 07 41 AM

In Mexico City, thousands of protesters are continuing to denounce the murder of photojournalist Rubén Espinosa. Espinosa, who worked for the leading newsmagazine Proceso, was killed by gunmen alongside human rights activist Nadia Vera and three other women in an apartment in Mexico City Friday. Both Espinosa and Vera had been working in the southern state of Veracruz, which has seen increasingly deadly violence against journalists and activists. According to human rights groups, Espinosa’s murder signals a new level of violence against Mexican journalists, as he may be the first to be killed while in exile in Mexico City. We go to Mexico City to speak with Sebastián Aguirre of the human rights organization Article 19 and Laura Carlsen of the Center for International Policy. We also speak to Andalusia Knoll, a freelance journalist who has been reporting on social movements and human rights violations in Mexico for five years.

Naomi Klein on Visiting the Vatican & the Radical Economic Message Behind Papal Climate Encyclical

Tue 07 29 AM

Following the publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change, a major conference on climate change was held at the Vatican. Speakers included our guest, Naomi Klein, author of "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate.” We speak to Klein about her trip to the Vatican and the importance of the pope’s message – not only on climate change, but the global economy.

Naomi Klein: Obama Is Beginning to Sound Like a Climate Leader, When Will He Act Like One?

Tue 07 08 AM

As scientists warn 2015 is on pace to become the Earth’s hottest year on record, President Obama has unveiled his long-awaited plan to slash carbon emissions from U.S. power plants. Under new Environmental Protection Agency regulations, U.S. power plants will be required to cut emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. In addition, new power plants will be required to be far cleaner, which could effectively prevent any new coal plants from opening. But does the plan go far enough? We speak to Naomi Klein, author of the best-selling book, "This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate," which is out in paperback today.

"The Look of Silence": Will New Film Force U.S. to Acknowledge Role in 1965 Indonesian Genocide?

Mon 07 13 AM

October 1 marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the 1965 genocide in Indonesia that left over one million people dead. Human rights groups are circulating petitions calling for the U.S. government to acknowledge its role in the genocide and to release CIA, military and other governmental records related to the mass killings. The United States provided the Indonesian army with financial, military and intelligence support at the time of the mass killings. Today we look at the pursuit of one Indonesian man confronting his brother’s killers. In 1965, Adi Rukun’s older brother was killed by the Komando Aksi, a paramilitary organization in Aceh. Adi Rukun’s pursuit is the focus on Joshua Oppenheimer’s new documentary, "The Look of Silence." In 2012, Oppenheimer released a companion film titled "The Act of Killing," in which he interviewed the Indonesian death squad leaders and worked with them to re-enact the real-life killings. The film was nominated for an Academy Award.