Feed aggregator

FBI Probes NAACP Office Bombing in Colorado as Act of Domestic Terrorism

Democracy Now - Fri 07 45 AM

The FBI says a deliberate explosion outside a Colorado office of the NAACP may have been an act of domestic terrorism. An improvised explosive device was detonated on the NAACP building’s wall in Colorado Springs Tuesday morning. A gasoline can was placed nearby, but did not ignite. An FBI spokesperson says a hate crime is among the potential motives. Police have announced a person of interest in the case, a white male around the age of 40. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the NAACP has been the target of eight bombings since 1965, including three in 1993, when the last attacks occurred. We speak to Rosemary Harris Lytle, president of the NAACP Colorado, Montana, Wyoming State Conference, and former head of the Colorado Springs branch of the NAACP.

French Muslims Fear Backlash, Increased Islamophobia After Charlie Hebdo Attack

Democracy Now - Fri 07 29 AM

Muslims across France are fearing a backlash after Wednesday’s attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine. Several mosques have been attacked. A bomb exploded at a kebab shop in Paris. We speak to Muhammad El Khaoua, a graduate student in international relations at the Paris Institute for Political Science. He grew up in the outskirts of Paris where he was involved with different grassroots associations, including Salaam, a student association dedicated to promoting interfaith dialogue and a better understanding of Islam. Also joining is Lebanese-French academic Gilbert Achcar, professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Gilbert Achcar on the Clash of Barbarisms from the Massacre in Paris to the U.S. Occupation of Iraq

Democracy Now - Fri 07 13 AM

French police have surrounded a building in a northern town near Charles de Gaulle Airport as part of a massive manhunt for the two men accused of carrying out the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Police say they believe the suspects, Said and Chérif Kouachi, are holed up in a small printing business where they have taken a hostage. Meanwhile, French officials are now saying there is a link between the two brothers accused of the Charlie Hebdo attack and the heavily armed man who shot dead a French policewoman on Thursday. That man is now holding five hostages, including women and children, at a kosher supermarket in Paris. Sources told Reuters the three men were all members of the same Paris cell that a decade ago sent young French volunteers to Iraq to fight U.S. forces. Chérif Kouachi served 18 months in prison for his role in the group. At the time, he told the court that he had been motivated to travel to Iraq by images of atrocities committed by U.S. troops in Abu Ghraib prison. We speak to Lebanese-French academic Gilbert Achcar, professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

"A Clash of Barbarisms": After Paris Attack, How U.S. Policy in Middle East Helps Fuel Extremism

Democracy Now - Thu 07 53 AM

We discuss the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris with the Lebanese-French academic Gilbert Achcar, professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. "We have to put all this in context," Achcar says. "The Western intervention, the Western action in the Middle East, has been creating the ground for all this. This is what I called previously the clash of barbarisms, with a major barbarism represented by Western intervention." Achcar also discusses the close relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which he calls "the ideological source of the most fanatical, most reactionary interpretation of Islam."

Tune in on Friday for our continued discussion with Gilbert Achcar.

Comics Legend Art Spiegelman & Scholar Tariq Ramadan on Charlie Hebdo & the Power Dynamic of Satire

Democracy Now - Thu 07 34 AM

We continue our coverage of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris by looking at the magazine’s background and its controversial history of satire. We are joined by two guests: Art Spiegelman, the renowned American cartoonist, editor and comics advocate whose Pulitzer Prize-winning "Maus" is considered one of the most important graphic novels ever published and one of the most influential works on the Nazi Holocaust; and Tariq Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford University and one of Europe’s most prominent Muslim intellectuals.

Scholar Tariq Ramadan, Harper's Rick MacArthur on Charlie Hebdo Attack & How the West Treats Muslims

Democracy Now - Thu 07 11 AM

France is in a state of mourning after the deadly attack on the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. A massive manhunt is underway for the suspected gunmen, two French-born brothers of Algerian descent. Charlie Hebdo had come under threat and was firebombed in 2011 after publishing controversial caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. We begin our coverage of the Paris attack with a discussion between two guests: Tariq Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford University and one of the most prominent Muslim intellectuals in Europe; and John R. MacArthur, publisher of Harper’s Magazine, which in 2006 became one of the first U.S. publications to reprint the controversial Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that sparked international protests.

Leading Muslim Scholar Tariq Ramadan: Attack on Paris Magazine "a Pure Betrayal of Our Religion"

Democracy Now - Wed 07 53 AM

We return to our top story of the day, the killing of at least 12 people in a shooting attack on a French satirical magazine in Paris. Witnesses say masked gunmen entered the offices of Charlie Hebdo and opened fire with automatic weapons. The dead reportedly include four cartoonists and two police officers. A major police operation is underway in the Paris area to catch the killers. Charlie Hebdo has faced attacks and threats for its caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, which helped spark protests across the Middle East in 2012. We are joined by Tariq Ramadan, a professor of contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford University who is considered one of the most prominent Muslim intellectuals in Europe. Responding to reports the attack was carried out by Islamist militants, Ramadan says: "This is just a pure betrayal of our religion and our principles."

Mario Cuomo (1932-2015): Late New York Gov. Remembered as Working-Class Champion

Democracy Now - Wed 07 48 AM

The late three-term Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo of New York was laid to rest on Tuesday following his death on January 1. Cuomo was known for supporting abortion rights, despite his Catholic faith, and opposing the death penalty, among other causes, although he also expanded the state’s prison system. Cuomo is the father of the current New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, who delivered the eulogy at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola. Mario Cuomo is often remembered for his speeches, including his 1984 address at the Democratic National Convention, when he challenged President Ronald Reagan’s description of the United States as a "shining city on a hill." Democracy Now! co-host and New York Daily News columnist Juan González discusses Cuomo’s life and legacy.

Fighting Gag Order, Ferguson Grand Juror Accuses Prosecutor of Mishandling Case & Misleading Public

Democracy Now - Wed 07 41 AM

A member of the grand jury that declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting unarmed African American Michael Brown is suing for the right to speak publicly about the case. The lawsuit accuses Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch of presenting possible charges to the grand jury in a "muddled and untimely manner," and notes the case had a "stronger focus on the victim" than other cases. It also challenges "the implication that all grand jurors believed that there was no support for any charges" against Wilson. The juror is challenging a lifetime ban preventing grand jury members from discussing cases. The grand juror has been identified only as a St. Louis County resident. We are joined by Tony Rothert, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, which is representing the unnamed juror.

Will James Risen Be Jailed? In Press Freedom Fight, NYT Reporter Tells Court He Won't Name Source

Democracy Now - Wed 07 25 AM

In a closely watched press freedom case, New York Times investigative reporter James Risen was called to the witness stand Monday after a seven-year legal battle against the government’s attempts to subpoena him and force him to reveal his source. The hearing in Virginia took place ahead of the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, who is accused of giving Risen classified information which revealed a botched CIA plot to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program. It is unclear yet if Risen will be called to testify at Sterling’s trial. Without more information from Risen, Sterling’s defense attorney argues the case should be dismissed. We are joined by Matt Apuzzo, a colleague of Risen’s at The New York Times who is covering the case. During his previous stint with the Associated Press, Apuzzo and Adam Goldman won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the NYPD’s Muslim surveillance program. The Department of Justice opened three separate investigations into leaks related to their reports.

Charlie Hebdo Shooting: 12 Killed in Attack on French Satirical Magazine Known for Muhammad Cartoons

Democracy Now - Wed 07 12 AM

At least 12 people have been killed in a shooting attack on a French satirical magazine in Paris. Witnesses say masked gunmen entered the offices of the magazine, Charlie Hebdo, and opened fire. The dead include four cartoonists and two police officers. The magazine Charlie Hebdo has drawn multiple threats for its caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad. In 2012, the magazine’s cartoon depicting Muhammad in pornographic poses helped spark protests across the Middle East. The outcry forced France to close embassies and other official sites in 20 countries. Charlie Hebdo has repeatedly claimed it publishes the cartoons as a defender of free expression and against religious extremism. We are joined by two guests: Robert Mahoney, deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists; and Tariq Ali, a British-Pakistani political commentator, historian, activist, filmmaker, novelist and an editor of the New Left Review.

As Obama Hosts Peña Nieto, Explosive Report Ties Mexican Federal Police to Students' Disappearance

Democracy Now - Tue 07 46 AM

As President Obama hosts Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at the White House today, human rights groups want Obama to press the Mexican government on its failure to investigate and prosecute abuses by state security forces. The meeting comes on the heels of an explosive new report that directly contradicts the Mexican government’s claims they were unaware of what happened the night 43 students went missing after an attack by local police in the state of Guerrero. According to the Mexican magazine Proceso, federal police played a role in the attack, and federal authorities likely tortured key witnesses. The case has ignited protests across Mexico and around the world. We are joined by the reporters who broke the story, Anabel Hernández and Steve Fisher. Hernández is a leading Mexican investigative journalist and author of "Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and Their Godfathers."

As Obama Hosts Peña Nieto, Explosive Report Ties Mexican Federal Police to Students' Disappearance

Democracy Now - Tue 07 46 AM

As President Obama hosts Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto at the White House today, human rights groups want Obama to press the Mexican government on its failure to investigate and prosecute abuses by state security forces. The meeting comes on the heels of an explosive new report that directly contradicts the Mexican government’s claims they were unaware of what happened the night 43 students went missing after an attack by local police in the state of Guerrero. According to the Mexican magazine Proceso, federal police played a role in the attack, and federal authorities likely tortured key witnesses. The case has ignited protests across Mexico and around the world. We are joined by the reporters who broke the story, Anabel Hernández and Steve Fisher. Hernández is a leading Mexican investigative journalist and author of "Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords and Their Godfathers."

"David Duke Without the Baggage": Will Top GOPer Steve Scalise Resign over Speech to Racist Group?

Democracy Now - Tue 07 29 AM

As Congress begins a new session today, one of its top Republicans has acknowledged he once addressed a gathering of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has confirmed reports he spoke at a 2002 convention of EURO — the European-American Unity and Rights Organization. EURO is founded by David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader and perhaps the country’s most notorious white supremacist. Scalise was serving as a Louisiana state representative at the time. "Mr. Scalise reportedly described himself as 'David Duke without the baggage,' so it’ll be up to Republicans to decide what that says about their conference," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday. We speak with Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, who says that Scalise’s denials are not believable.

"David Duke Without the Baggage": Will Top GOPer Steve Scalise Resign over Speech to Racist Group?

Democracy Now - Tue 07 29 AM

As Congress begins a new session today, one of its top Republicans has acknowledged he once addressed a gathering of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise has confirmed reports he spoke at a 2002 convention of EURO — the European-American Unity and Rights Organization. EURO is founded by David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader and perhaps the country’s most notorious white supremacist. Scalise was serving as a Louisiana state representative at the time. "Mr. Scalise reportedly described himself as 'David Duke without the baggage,' so it’ll be up to Republicans to decide what that says about their conference," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday. We speak with Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, who says that Scalise’s denials are not believable.

Justice or Vengeance?: ACLU Raises Concerns as Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Begins

Democracy Now - Tue 07 11 AM

Jury selection began Monday in the case of "The United States v. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev," one of the most high-profile federal trials in decades. The 21-year-old Tsarnaev is accused of planting bombs near the finish line at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and wounded more than 260. It was the nation’s worst bombing since the Oklahoma City attack of 1995. Tsarnaev faces 30 counts, more than half carrying the death penalty. Jury selection will take several weeks followed by a trial of up to five months. But as bombing victims and the wider Boston community search for closure, concerns around due process could prolong the case for years. Ahead of the trial, defense attorneys unsuccessfully tried to move the proceedings out of state, saying their client can’t receive a fair trial in the city where the bombing occurred. Federal prosecutors are also seeking the death penalty in a state where executions are barred. That will mean harsh constraints on the jury pool, ruling out anyone who opposes capital punishment. In a dissent to the First Circuit Appeals Court’s rejection of a trial delay, Judge Juan R. Torruella criticized the decision to proceed with the case, writing: "Such a rushed and frenetic process is the antithesis of due process.” We discuss the Boston Marathon bombing trial and its due process concerns with Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.

Justice or Vengeance?: ACLU Raises Concerns as Boston Marathon Bombing Trial Begins

Democracy Now - Tue 07 11 AM

Jury selection began Monday in the case of "The United States v. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev," one of the most high-profile federal trials in decades. The 21-year-old Tsarnaev is accused of planting bombs near the finish line at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and wounded more than 260. It was the nation’s worst bombing since the Oklahoma City attack of 1995. Tsarnaev faces 30 counts, more than half carrying the death penalty. Jury selection will take several weeks followed by a trial of up to five months. But as bombing victims and the wider Boston community search for closure, concerns around due process could prolong the case for years. Ahead of the trial, defense attorneys unsuccessfully tried to move the proceedings out of state, saying their client can’t receive a fair trial in the city where the bombing occurred. Federal prosecutors are also seeking the death penalty in a state where executions are barred. That will mean harsh constraints on the jury pool, ruling out anyone who opposes capital punishment. In a dissent to the First Circuit Appeals Court’s rejection of a trial delay, Judge Juan R. Torruella criticized the decision to proceed with the case, writing: "Such a rushed and frenetic process is the antithesis of due process.” We discuss the Boston Marathon bombing trial and its due process concerns with Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.