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

Democracy Now - 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?

Democracy Now - 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.

Will Prosecutors Charge Officers Who Lied to Protect Ray Tensing After He Fatally Shot Sam DuBose?

Democracy Now - Fri 07 49 AM

Former University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing has been released on a $1 million bail after pleading not guilty to the murder of Sam DuBose. Tensing, who is white, fatally shot the 43-year-old African-American man on July 19 after stopping him for not having a front license plate. Two additional officers, Phillip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt, have been placed on administrative leave. Meanwhile, new information shows that Officer Phillip Kidd and another officer on scene during the DuBose shooting were involved in the death of an unarmed African-American man five years earlier. According to documents revealed by The Guardian, Phillip Kidd and Officer Eric Weibel were part of a seven-officer team that tased and shackled a mentally ill man who was having a psychotic episode. We speak to Iris Roley, longtime police accountability activist with the Cincinnati Black United Front. She is the cousin of Kelly Brinson, who died after being tased and restrained by University of Cincinnati police officers in 2010. Two of the police officers involved in Roley’s cousin’s death were at the scene of Sam DuBose’s shooting and later lied to investigators to try to corroborate Officer Ray Tensing’s false claim about being dragged by DuBose’s car.

Exposed: The Faces and Fake Names of the People Behind Planned Parenthood Attack Videos

Democracy Now - Fri 07 33 AM

As the Senate prepares to vote to defund Planned Parenthood, we look at the Center for Medical Progress, the anti-choice group behind the attacks on Planned Parenthood. The group was founded by David Daleiden who is seen in the undercover sting videos using a fictional name. We speak to RH Reality Check’s Sharona Coutts, who wrote the piece, "Exclusive: The Faces and Fake Names of People Behind Planned Parenthood Attack Videos."

Are Undercover Attacks on Planned Parenthood Part of a Broader Effort to Outlaw Abortion?

Democracy Now - Fri 07 25 AM

The Senate is planning to vote as soon as Monday to strip Planned Parenthood of $500 million in federal funding. The vote comes as Planned Parenthood is coming under fire from anti-choice activists after the release of a series of undercover sting videos were published online. The heavily edited videos suggest the organization profits from supplying aborted fetal tissue for medical research. Planned Parenthood said it broke no laws, because abortion providers are allowed to charge costs to cover expenses associated with fetal tissue donation. We speak to Dr. Willie Parker, a physician, abortion provider and a board member of Physicians for Reproductive Health. He previously worked for Planned Parenthood.

Police Remove Greenpeace Activists from Portland Bridge After They Forced Shell Ship Back to Port

Democracy Now - Fri 07 12 AM

In Portland, Oregon, law enforcement officers have removed Greenpeace activists who spent 40 hours suspended from the St. Johns Bridge in order to block an icebreaking ship commissioned by oil giant Shell from leaving for the Arctic. Hundreds of activists have been gathering on the bridge and in kayaks since Tuesday night in efforts to stop Shell’s plans to drill in the remote Chukchi Sea. Early Thursday morning, the suspended Greenpeace activists successfully forced Shell’s ship to turn back to port in a showdown that grabbed international headlines. Joining us to discuss the action is Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA.

Alison Bechdel's "Fun Home": The Coming-Out Memoir That Became a Hit Broadway Musical

Democracy Now - Thu 07 10 AM

In a Democracy Now! special, we look at the acclaimed Broadway musical "Fun Home," which swept the Tony Awards last month. Composer Jeanine Tesori and lyricist Lisa Kron made history as the first female duo to win a Tony Award for Best Original Score. "Fun Home" is also the first-ever Broadway musical to feature a lesbian protagonist. The musical is based on the 2006 best-selling graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic." The memoir is a poignant exploration of family, memory, first love, coming out and a daughter’s relationship with her father. The title comes from the Bechdels’ nickname for their family business: a funeral parlor. Throughout the memoir, Bechdel — the artist and protagonist — sketches out her hazy memories of growing up in rural Pennsylvania and coming to terms with her sexuality as she tries to make sense of her father’s suicide. Her father was secretly gay and took his life shortly after Bechdel came out as a lesbian. We speak to Bechdel, Kron and Tesori, and air highlights from the Broadway musical.

Rappel Shell? Activists in Oregon Suspend Themselves from Bridge to Block Arctic-Bound Oil Ship

Democracy Now - Wed 07 55 AM

Climate justice activists — including a group of "kayaktivists" — are gathering in Portland to blockade a ship commissioned by oil giant Shell to break up Arctic ice in order to pave the way for Arctic drilling in the Chukchi Sea. Early this morning, activists with Greenpeace rappelled from the St. Johns Bridge in Portland to create an "aerial blockade" of the vessel. We speak to Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA, as she stands under the bridge.

This is Child Abuse: Social Worker Breaks Silence over Conditions Inside Immigrant Detention Center

Democracy Now - Wed 07 45 AM

Olivia López, a longtime social worker, began working at the Karnes County Residential Center in Texas last October but decided to leave her position in April after she says it was clear she had been hired to give the appearance of a well-supported medical unit. She says her efforts to improve documentation of the mothers’ care and concerns were repeatedly blocked. "Based on my experience there, I’ve come to that conclusion, that it was child abuse to separate a child from his or her mother," López says. She testified Tuesday at a hearing organized by the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Democrats from the House Judiciary Committee.

"Deplorable": Federal Judge Condemns For-Profit Texas Detention Centers for Immigrant Families

Democracy Now - Wed 07 31 AM

In what could be a major victory for human rights advocates here in the United States, a federal judge has issued a harsh condemnation of the mass detention of immigrant women and children, calling conditions in the privately run prisons "deplorable." The ruling by U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee gives the Obama administration 90 days either to release the more than 2,000 women and children being held in two Texas facilities or to show just cause to continue holding them. Immigration lawyers say the ruling has already had a "groundbreaking" impact as Texas judges have started ordering women and children’s release without bond, though many have been forced to wear electronic ankle monitors. Republicans are calling on the Obama administration to appeal the ruling. We speak to longtime immigration lawyer Barbara Hines, who represents many clients who are detained in the Karnes and Dilley detention centers in Texas.

Fighting Both Sides of the Same War: Is Turkey Using Attacks on ISIL as Cover for Assault on Kurds?

Democracy Now - Wed 07 15 AM

Turkish jets have reportedly launched their heaviest assault on Kurdish militants in northern Iraq since airstrikes began last week, effectively ending a two-year truce. Over the past week, the Turkish military has launched combat operations on two fronts: one against the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Syria and another against Kurds inside Turkey and in northern Iraq, where Kurdish groups have been fighting against the Islamic State. This means Turkey is now essentially bombing both sides of the same war. During an emergency session of NATO in Brussels Tuesday, the body offered support for Turkey’s military campaigns, although some member states expressed unease over the crackdown against the Kurds. Turkey’s attacks on the Kurds come just a month after the pro-Kurdish opposition People’s Democratic Party won 13 percent of the vote, helping to deprive President Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP party of a majority in the Parliament for the first time since 2002. Over the past week, Turkey has detained more than 1,000 people in a series of raids, many targeting members of Kurdish groups. We speak to Kani Xulam, director of the American Kurdish Information Network.

Clinton & the Coup: Amid Protests in Honduras, Ex-President on Hillary's Role in His 2009 Ouster

Democracy Now - Tue 07 44 AM

In Honduras, as many as 25,000 people marched Friday demanding the resignation of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández. The protests come six years after a coup ousted Honduras’s democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. In an exclusive interview, Zelaya talks about the new protest movement, the fallout from the 2009 coup, and Hillary Clinton’s role in his ouster. "On the one hand, [the Obama administration] condemned the coup, but on the other hand, they were negotiating with the leaders of the coup," Zelaya said. "And Secretary Clinton lent herself to that, maintaining that ambiguity of U.S. policy to Honduras, which has resulted in a process of distrust and instability of Latin American governments in relation to U.S. foreign policies." While the United States publicly supported Zelaya’s return to power, newly released emails show Clinton was attempting to set up a back channel of communication with Roberto Micheletti, who was installed as Honduran president after the coup. In one email, Clinton referenced lobbyist and former President Clinton adviser Lanny Davis. She wrote, "Can he help me talk w Micheletti?" At the time, Davis was working for the Honduran chapter of the Business Council of Latin America, which supported the coup. In another email, Thomas Shannon, the State Department’s lead negotiator for the Honduras talks, refers to Manuel Zelaya as a "failed" leader.

438 Days Imprisoned in Ethiopia: Journalist Recounts Facing Arrest, Mock Execution & Terror Charges

Democracy Now - Tue 07 23 AM

While President Obama visited Ethiopia on Monday, he made a passing reference to press freedom, calling on the Ethiopian government to "open additional space for journalists, for media, for opposition voices." The Committee to Protect Journalists has described Ethiopia as one of the leading jailers of journalists on the continent. At least 11 journalists and bloggers are currently in prison. Six others were released just before Obama’s visit. We look at the remarkable story of two Swedish journalists who traveled to Ethiopia in 2011 to report on the actions of the Swedish oil company Lundin Oil in the Ogaden region, where there has been a fight for independence since the 1970s. Five days after crossing the border from Somalia to Ethiopia, the journalists Martin Schibbye and Johan Persson were shot and captured by the Ethiopian army. "We were both shot during the arrest. We were kept in the desert,” Schibbye said. "They brought in some Steven Spielberg figure, who turned out to be the vice president of the region, who made a mockumentary about what happened when we were arrested. They brought in fake rebels, who they gave guns, and it was a total surreal episode where we, under gunpoint, had to participate in the movie that was supposed to be shown on Ethiopian state television and also used in court to sentence us for support of terrorism." Schibbye and Persson ended up spending over a year in prison, which they chronicle in their book, "438 Days: How Our Quest to Expose the Dirty Oil Business in the Horn of Africa Got Us Tortured, Sentenced as Terrorists and Put Away in Ethiopia’s Most Infamous Prison."

In Ethiopia, Obama Hails Democracy Despite Recent Election Where Ruling Party Won 100% of Seats

Democracy Now - Tue 07 10 AM

On Monday, President Obama made history by becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit Ethiopia. But he is facing criticism after twice describing Ethiopia as having a democratically elected government despite the fact human rights groups have denounced Ethiopia’s democracy as a "sham." In a recent election, for example, Ethiopia’s ruling party won 100 percent of the country’s 547 Parliament seats. Human Rights Watch criticized the government in a recent report, writing, "Authorities use arbitrary arrests and politically motivated prosecutions to silence journalists, bloggers, protesters, and perceived supporters of opposition political parties." We speak with Horace Campbell, professor of African-American studies and political science at Syracuse University. He has written extensively on African politics. His new piece for CounterPunch is called "Obama in Kenya."