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: 10 hours 13 min ago

Bernie Sanders on Challenging Wall Street: "CEOs May Like Hillary -- They Ain't Going to Like Me"

Mon 07 47 AM

Although finding concord on a host of issues including foreign policy, Saturday’s Democratic presidential debate highlighted a key difference between front-runner Hillary Clinton and top challenger Bernie Sanders: the economy. Clinton said corporations would welcome her in the White House, while Sanders pointedly said they wouldn’t. "The CEOs of large multinationals may like Hillary. They ain’t going to like me," Sanders said. "And Wall Street is going to like me even less. And the reason for that is we’ve got to deal with the elephant in the room, which is the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street." We get reaction to Clinton and Sanders’ comments from two guests: Bill Curry, political columnist at Salon.com and former White House counselor to President Clinton, and Phyllis Bennis, author and fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Bernie Blackout? As DNC Accused of Targeting Sanders, Corporate Media Ignores Historic Campaign

Mon 07 31 AM

Is the Democratic National Committee trying to undermine the presidential campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders? That’s the charge Sanders’ team is making amid a dust-up over a breach of voter information. On Friday, the DNC suspended Sanders’ access to a critical database after finding his staffers improperly viewed front-runner Hillary Clinton’s proprietary information when a computer glitch made it briefly available. The DNC backed down after Sanders filed suit, but the Sanders campaign has accused party leadership of trying to thwart the Vermont senator’s bid. This comes as the Sanders campaign says it’s on pace to break President Obama’s record of more than 2.2 million individual donations. Sanders is making history despite being subjected to what he calls a "blackout" in the corporate media. A recent report finds the flagship news programs at major networks NBC, CBS and ABC have dedicated 234 minutes this year to stories about Donald Trump—compared to just 10 minutes for Sanders. We are joined by Symone Sanders, national press secretary for the Bernie Sanders campaign.

As Sanders Chides Clinton on Regime Change, Is Democratic Front-Runner Touting a GOP Foreign Policy?

Mon 07 13 AM

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley faced off Saturday in the third Democratic presidential debate. The candidates met just one day after the Sanders campaign sued the Democratic National Committee for blocking access to key voter data files. The DNC took action after a Sanders campaign staffer improperly viewed Clinton’s voter files, taking advantage of a glitch in the system. The Sanders campaign fired the staffer involved, and the DNC has restored access to the files. Sanders apologized for the breach during Saturday’s debate, which focused largely on foreign policy. Clinton and Sanders sparred over the role of the U.S. military, with Sanders accusing Hillary Clinton of being too quick to push for regime change overseas. We get analysis from two guests: Bill Curry, political columnist at Salon.com and former White House counselor to President Clinton, and Phyllis Bennis, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of several books, including "Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror."

Ceasefire in Yemen Faces Collapse as U.S. Continues Weapons Sales to Saudi Arabia, Fueling Civil War

Fri 07 43 AM

United Nations-brokered peace talks in Yemen’s nine-month-old civil war are faltering, amid disputes between rival factions over the release of prisoners. Meanwhile, local officials have reported intensifying clashes and renewed airstrikes despite an ongoing ceasefire. Over the weekend, U.S.-backed, Saudi-led airstrikes killed 19 Yemeni civilians in their homes and at a market. About half of the nearly 6,000 people killed in Yemen’s conflict are civilians, including more than 600 children. Rima Kamal of the International Committee for the Red Cross in Yemen warned of a deepening humanitarian crisis. The United States has bolstered the Saudi-led coalition’s airstrikes in Yemen through arms sales and direct military support. Saudi Arabia is one of the U.S. arms industry’s biggest customers. Last month, the State Department approved a billion-dollar deal to restock Saudi Arabia’s air force arsenal, which was depleted by its bombing campaign in Yemen. The sale included thousands of air-to-ground munitions and "general purpose" bombs. The United States and other countries have also reportedly sold internationally banned cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia that are now being used in Yemen. We speak with reporter Sharif Abdel Kouddous, who has just returned from Yemen. His recent piece for GlobalPost is "With US help, Saudi Arabia is obliterating Yemen."

After 28 Years in Prison, Man Falsely Convicted in Botched Investigation to Walk Free

Fri 07 27 AM

A Denver, Colorado, man has spent 28 years in prison based on a dream—and it wasn’t his. Now he could soon be free. In 1989, Clarence Moses-EL, who is African-American, was sentenced to 48 years in prison after a woman said she dreamed he was the man who raped and beat her in the dark. The victim said she was raped in her apartment after a night out drinking at a party. She was beaten so badly during the attack that she suffered broken facial bones and lost the use of one eye. Initially, the victim named three men she had been drinking with as her possible attackers—none of them was Clarence Moses-EL. But police never investigated any of those men, because, a day and a half later, the victim said she had a dream that Moses-EL was the one who raped her. Moses-EL has always maintained his innocence. But the police threw out a rape kit and any possible evidence, like bed sheets and her clothes. This summer, another man confessed to the attack, yet Moses-EL remained in prison. Now a judge has lifted his conviction, but Moses-EL still remains in jail. He could be freed as early as Tuesday, when a bond hearing has been set. The District Attorney’s Office has not yet said if they will attempt to retry him for the crime. We speak with Colorado Independent editor Susan Greene, who has long covered the story, and with Moses-EL’s attorney, Gail Johnson.

Did the U.S. Cover Up Navy SEALs' Beating Death of Afghan Detainee & Pattern of Extreme Abuse?

Fri 07 11 AM

A stunning new investigation by The New York Times examines claims of military abuses and a possible cover-up that goes up the chain of command. Reporters uncovered accounts that in May 2012 members of a Navy SEAL team stationed at an outpost in Kalach, in southern Afghanistan, abused detainees that had been rounded up as suspects after a bomb exploded at a military checkpoint, killing one member of the Afghan Local Police unit the SEALs had been training. According to a report by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which the Times acquired through a FOIA request, three Navy SEALs dropped heavy stones on the detainees’ chests, stomped on their heads, and poured bottles of water on their faces in a modified form of waterboarding. One of the detainees was beaten so badly that he eventually died from his injuries. But what happened after the incident has many military justice experts questioning whether Navy commanders worked to cover up the case. Four U.S. soldiers working with the SEALs at the outpost reported that they witnessed the abuse, but Navy commanders chose to deal with the matter in a closed disciplinary process, one usually reserved for minor infractions. The SEALs were cleared of any wrongdoing. Two of the SEALs implicated in the abuse of the detainees and their lieutenant have since been promoted, despite calls by one commander to have them forced out of the SEAL team. We speak with Nicholas Kulish, a correspondent with The New York Times and one of the lead reporters on "Navy SEALs, a Beating Death, and Claims of a Cover-Up."

How Flint, Michigan, Saved Money and Poisoned Its Children: City Declares Water Emergency

Thu 07 43 AM

The mayor of Flint, Michigan, has declared a state of emergency to address lead poisoning in the city’s water supply. Last year, the city’s unelected emergency manager switched the city’s water source from the Detroit system to the long-polluted Flint River in an attempt to save money. A study released in September found the proportion of children under five in Flint with elevated lead levels in their blood nearly doubled following the switch. Flint residents filed a federal lawsuit accusing the city and state of endangering their health by exposing them to dangerous lead levels in their tap water. Michigan has the most sweeping emergency management laws in the country, which allow the governor to appoint a single person to run financially troubled cities. We speak to investigative reporter Curt Guyette of the ACLU of Michigan and Flint resident Melissa Mays. She and her three children have been diagnosed with lead and copper poisoning. She is the founder of Water You Fighting For?, a Flint, Michigan-based research and advocacy organization founded around the city’s water crisis.

Fire Bad Cops, Let Victims Speak, Turn On Body Cameras: Ben Jealous Calls for Police Reform

Thu 07 28 AM

From Baltimore to Ferguson to New York, Wednesday was a major day for criminal justice news. In Baltimore, a mistrial has been declared in the case of one of the police officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray. Gray died in April from a spinal injury sustained while being transported in the back of a police van. Meanwhile in Ferguson, Missouri, officials say they have reached the outlines of a deal with the Justice Department that would force changes to the city’s police department and head off a civil rights lawsuit alleging years of unconstitutional policing. We speak to Benjamin Jealous, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. He’s the former NAACP president and CEO.

Mistrial: Justice for Freddie Gray Uncertain as Baltimore Jury Fails to Reach Verdict

Thu 07 11 AM

In Baltimore, a mistrial has been declared in the case of a police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray. Gray died in April from a spinal injury sustained while being transported in the back of a police van. Gray’s family and attorney say his voice box was crushed and his spine was "80 percent severed at his neck." Six officers were charged in Freddie Gray’s death. Officer William Porter was the first one to go to trial, charged with involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. On Wednesday, a judge declared a mistrial after jurors were unable to reach a verdict on any of the charges after three days of deliberation.

Stephen Zunes: No Candidates Are Looking at Root Cause of ISIL, "This Monster We Created"

Wed 07 45 AM

As Republican candidates vowed to expand the wars in the Middle East, professor Stephen Zunes looks at how most of the candidates ignored how the U.S. invasion of Iraq helped create what became the self-proclaimed Islamic State. "There was a testosterone display put on by men who clearly have little knowledge of the Middle East and the origins of extremism," Zunes said of the debate.

Trump Calls for Closing Parts of Internet as Cruz & Rubio Debate NSA Powers

Wed 07 36 AM

In one of the more heated moments in Tuesday’s debate, Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio clashed over the National Security Agency’s bulk metadata collection. Donald Trump called for closing parts of the Internet to fight the self-proclaimed Islamic State. "You talk freedom of speech. You talk freedom of anything you want. I don’t want them using our Internet," Trump said.

Hugh Hewitt Questions Ben Carson If He Was Ruthless Enough to Kill Thousands of Innocent Kids in War

Wed 07 30 AM

During Tuesday’s debate, radio host Hugh Hewitt asked Dr. Ben Carson if he was ruthless enough to wage war. "Could you order airstrikes that would kill innocent children by not the scores, but the hundreds and the thousands," Hewitt asked. Carson, a neurosurgeon, responded in part, "You have to be able to look at the big picture and understand that it’s actually merciful if you go ahead and finish the job, rather than death by a thousand pricks." We speak to Zaid Jilani of The Intercept and Bob Herbert, distinguished senior fellow with Demos.

Democracy Is Being Dismantled Before Our Eyes: Bob Herbert on Sheldon Adelson-Backed GOP Debate

Wed 07 25 AM

Tuesday’s debate was held in Las Vegas at the Venetian casino, owned by Republican billionaire backer Sheldon Adelson. Adelson and fellow billionaire Donald Trump held a private meeting before the event. We speak to former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, distinguished senior fellow with Demos, on the state of the Republican race.

GOP Debate: Trump Defends Muslim Ban, Other Candidates Debate How to Restrict Rights & Go to War

Wed 07 13 AM

The nine leading Republican presidential candidates squared off last night in the first debate since Donald Trump shook up the race by proposing to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Much of the debate focused on national security, with several candidates pushing for increasing the size of the U.S. military, escalating the wars in the Middle East and expanding the power of the National Security Agency. "Tens of thousands of people having cellphones with ISIS flags on them? I don’t think so, Wolf. They’re not coming to this country," Trump said. "And if I’m president and if Obama has brought some to this country, they are leaving. They’re going. They’re gone." We speak to Arun Kundnani, author of "The Muslims Are Coming!: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror."

Juan González: GOP to Puerto Rico - "Drop Dead"

Wed 07 11 AM

On Tuesday, top Republicans in the Senate rejected a move by congressional Democrats to extend bankruptcy protection laws to Puerto Rico. This means Puerto Rico is now just two weeks away from the biggest municipal bond default in U.S. history. We get analysis from Democracy Now! co-host Juan González.

When Cops Rape: Daniel Holtzclaw & the Vulnerability of Black Women to Police Abuse

Tue 07 41 AM

A former Oklahoma City police officer is facing life in prison for the serial rapes of African-American women. An all-white jury convicted Daniel Holtzclaw last week of rape and other crimes against eight of the 13 women who accused him. All 13 victims testified during the trial, each with similar stories of rape, sexual assault, and threats if they did not comply with Holtzclaw’s demands. Holtzclaw targeted them during traffic stops and interrogations, forcing them into sexual acts in his police car or in their homes. Prosecutors say he deliberately preyed on vulnerable black women from low-income neighborhoods. He was reportedly under investigation by the Oklahoma City police sex crimes unit six weeks before his final crime. That means Holtzclaw assaulted half of the women he was convicted of attacking while under investigation. While Holtzclaw’s conviction may bring his victims some relief, the case has raised questions about whether it’s part of a wider problem of devaluing African-American lives, in this case African-American women. Despite the charges and ultimate convictions of serial rape, the Holtzclaw prosecution got far less corporate media attention than other criminal trials. We hear from some of his victims and speak with three guests: Kimberlé Crenshaw, law professor at UCLA and Columbia University and the founder of the African American Policy Forum; and Candace Liger and Grace Franklin, co-founders of OKC Artists for Justice, an Oklahoma City-based advocacy group founded around the Holtzclaw case.

To see Part 2 of our conversation, click here.