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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: 9 min 43 sec ago

Austerity & Neglect Blamed as 79 Die in U.K. Apartment Fire Housing Immigrants & Low-Income Workers

9 hours 38 min ago

Protests are continuing in London over last week’s devastating apartment fire that killed 79 people. On Wednesday, around 200 protesters, including survivors of the fire, marched from West London to Parliament to protest the government’s handling of the fire. Last week’s fire occurred at a 24-story apartment building called Grenfell Tower located in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of West London. Many of the residents of the building are low-income workers and recent immigrants. The company that recently renovated the building admitted over the weekend it used highly flammable—and less expensive—cladding during construction. The cladding is banned from use in the U.S. and European Union, but allowed in Britain. The building’s residents say the renovation was largely aimed at making aesthetic improvements to the exterior of the building in order to make it blend in with the new luxury high-rises in the area. We speak to Mustafa Almansur, the principal organizer of the Grenfell protests. He began organizing after learning a family friend died in the blaze.

U.S. Tied to Torture in Network of Secret Yemen Prisons Run by UAE

9 hours 47 min ago

Human Rights Watch and the Associated Press have just published explosive new reports on a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates and Yemeni forces. Dozens of people, including children, have been "arbitrarily detained, forcibly disappeared, tortured, and abused" in these prisons, according to Human Rights Watch. American forces reportedly participated in interrogations of detainees who were abused, a potential violation of international law. For more, we speak to Kristine Beckerle of Human Rights Watch.

From War to Cholera, Yemen Is Facing World's Largest Humanitarian Crisis

9 hours 51 min ago

More than 10,000 people have died amid the ongoing U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen, which has also destroyed the country’s health, water and sanitation systems, sparking a deadly cholera outbreak. The cholera death toll has risen to 1,054. The United Nations warns some 19 million of Yemen’s 28 million people need some form of aid, with many of them at risk of famine. We speak to Kristine Beckerle of Human Rights Watch.

As Yemen War Rages On, Saudi King Elevates the War's Architect—His Own Son—to Be Crown Prince

9 hours 57 min ago

As the U.S. moves ahead with a massive arms deal with Saudi Arabia, Saudi’s king has deposed his nephew as crown prince and has replaced him with his son—the same man presiding over the devastating U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen. The move comes a month after President Donald Trump signed a series of arms deals with Saudi Arabia totaling a record $110 billion during a visit to Riyadh. The arms deal includes tanks, artillery, ships, helicopters, missile defense systems and cybersecurity technology. We speak to Kristine Beckerle of Human Rights Watch.

Can Brooklyn's Little Pakistan Survive Trump? Inside One Family's Fight to Stop Their Deportation

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 8:53am

A new piece in The New Yorker titled "Fighting for the Immigrants of Little Pakistan" looks at how a predominantly Muslim neighborhood in Brooklyn is coping with the presidency of Donald Trump, who, just seven days after taking office, issued a controversial travel ban targeting predominantly Muslim countries. Trump’s presidency also ushered in a rise in immigrant deportations and arrests. We speak with the author of the piece, Jennifer Gonnerman, who looks in part at the story of Shahid Ali Khan and his family, who are facing possible deportation. We also speak with Mohammad Razvi, founding executive director of Council of Peoples Organization (COPO), a community group serving Muslims, Arabs and South Asians.

Media Malpractice? As GOP Moves to Strip Healthcare from Millions, Press Remains Focused on Russia

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 8:42am

As Senate Republicans draft their repeal of Obamacare behind closed doors, we speak to The Nation’s Katrina vanden Heuvel about secret bills, single-payer healthcare and the media’s coverage. Her latest article is titled "On Trump, the Media’s Malpractice Continues." In it, she critiques what she calls the mainstream media’s "prevailing focus on palace intrigue and White House scandals," which comes at the expense of substantive policy coverage. Vanden Heuvel points to the Republican healthcare bill, drafted entirely in secret, as a prime example of important issues that have been overlooked.

Katrina vanden Heuvel Cautions Against Overreading into Ossoff's Loss in Georgia Special Election

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 8:38am

As we continue to look at Tuesday’s special election in Georgia, we speak to Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation and columnist for The Washington Post.

As Jon Ossoff Loses Georgia Special Election, Where Do Democrats Go from Here in Challenging GOP?

Wed, 06/21/2017 - 8:14am

In the most expensive congressional race in history, Republican Karen Handel has defeated Democrat Jon Ossoff in a special election in Georgia. We go to Atlanta for response and look at the role of gerrymandering in shaping the outcome of the race. We speak to Georgia state Senator Nan Orrock and Rev. Raphael Warnock, the chair of the New Georgia Project, which conducts voter registration and outreach to the state’s growing population of color. He is also the senior pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, which was the spiritual home of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Arundhati Roy on Upcoming Meeting Between Indian PM Modi & Trump at White House

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 8:50am

Next week, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to the United States and meet with President Trump. Modi was once banned from the United States on charges he did not intervene in a massacre against Muslims in 2002 in the Indian state of Gujarat. Trump has praised Prime Minister Modi, while Hindu nationalists have been big supporters of Trump, even throwing him a birthday party celebration earlier this month. For more on Modi’s visit to Washington, D.C., we speak with award-winning Indian novelist, journalist and writer Arundhati Roy, whose new novel, "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness," has just been published. While critics often compare Modi to Trump, Roy says there are important distinctions between the two, referring to Modi as the "opposite of an outlier."

Acclaimed Novelist Arundhati Roy on Telling the Truth of the Atrocities in Kashmir Through Fiction

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 8:34am

For decades, Kashmir has been one of the most militarized zones in the world. It’s also a territory that, according to acclaimed Indian writer Arundhati Roy, is nearly impossible to capture in nonfiction writing. But Roy has not shied away from writing about Kashmir in her second novel, "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness," which has just been published.

Arundhati Roy Reads from Her Acclaimed New Novel, "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness"

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 8:23am

Twenty years ago, Indian writer Arundhati Roy published the groundbreaking novel "The God of Small Things." It won the Booker Prize and catapulted Roy to international fame. But her readers have had to wait 20 years to read Roy’s next novel, "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness," which was just published. This is Arundhati Roy reading an excerpt from her acclaimed new novel.

Arundhati Roy on Returning to Fiction, Redefining Happiness & Writing About Worlds Ripped Apart

Tue, 06/20/2017 - 8:13am

Today we spend the hour with the acclaimed Indian writer Arundhati Roy. It has been 20 years since her debut novel, "The God of Small Things," made her a literary sensation. While the book won the Booker Prize and became an international best-seller, selling over 6 million copies, Roy soon turned away from fiction. Now, two decades later, Roy has returned to fiction and has just published her second novel, "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness."

Egyptian Writer Omar Robert Hamilton: Saudi's Bankrolling of Egypt Is Tied to Internal Crackdown

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 8:53am

In Egypt, dozens of activists have been arrested in a series of sweeping raids in recent days. The arrests came as Egyptians took to the streets to protest an agreement to hand over control of two islands to Saudi Arabia. Critics say the islands belong to Egypt and that their transfer is linked to the billions of dollars the Saudis have given to support Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government. The arrests and raids come amid a nationwide crackdown against human rights activists and press freedom advocates. We speak with Egyptian filmmaker and writer Omar Robert Hamilton, who says Saudi Arabia’s strategy is to counteract democratic movements in countries surrounding it.

Crackdown in Egypt: Seven Men Tortured in State Custody Face Execution; 90 News Websites Blocked

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 8:48am

In Egypt, seven men are facing imminent execution based on confessions that human rights activists say were extracted under torture. Six of the men are recent college graduates who were arrested in 2014 along with more than a dozen others. While their testimony was captured on camera, the men say they were beaten, shocked with electricity and hung in painful positions and then provided with written testimonies they were forced to read. They were sentenced to death last month on terrorism charges after a military trial. In other news from Egypt, dozens of activists have been arrested in a series of sweeping raids in recent days. The arrests and raids come amid a nationwide crackdown against human rights activists and press freedom advocates. Over the past few weeks, the Egyptian government has blocked access to at least 93 news sites, including Al Jazeera, Huffington Post’s Arabic website, the self-publishing platform Medium and the local independent news site Mada Masr. We speak to the Egyptian film director and writer, Omar Robert Hamilton. In 2011, he co-founded the Cairo-based Mosireen media collective, which worked to film and document the Egyptian revolution. Hamilton’s debut novel is just out, titled "The City Always Wins."

Advisers Resign En Masse from Trump's HIV/AIDS Council: Trump "Simply Does Not Care" About HIV

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 8:35am

Six members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS have resigned over President Donald Trump’s handling of the HIV epidemic. In a joint article published in Newsweek, the six advocates say they no longer feel they can effectively do their jobs under a president "who simply does not care." Trump took down the Office of National AIDS Policy website when he took office, and has not appointed anyone to lead the White House Office of National AIDS Policy. The resignations come as the Trump administration is seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a move which advocates say will especially hurt those affected by HIV/AIDS. We speak to one of the six individuals who resigned, Scott Schoettes. He is the HIV project director at Lambda Legal, a national legal organization serving people living with HIV.

Civil Rights Lawyer: Philando Castile's Skin Color Ended Up Being a Death Sentence

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 8:22am

Black Lives Matter protests are continuing in the Twin Cities after a Minnesota police officer was acquitted Friday in the killing of Philando Castile, an African-American man who was shot five times during a traffic stop last year. His girlfriend filmed the aftermath and streamed it live on Facebook. We speak to civil rights lawyer Nekima Levy-Pounds, the former president of the Minneapolis chapter of the NAACP, who is now running for mayor of Minneapolis.

"Philando Can Be Any of Us": Black Lives Matter Protests Acquittal of Officer in Minnesota Killing

Mon, 06/19/2017 - 8:13am

In Minnesota, protesters took to the streets Sunday for a third straight day after a St. Anthony police officer was acquitted Friday in the killing of a black motorist he shot five times during a traffic stop last year. Officer Jeronimo Yanez was acquitted on charges of manslaughter for killing Philando Castile, an African American who worked as a school nutrition services supervisor for the Saint Paul Public Schools. The shooting made international headlines after Castile’s girlfriend documented the aftermath of the shooting by broadcasting live on Facebook from the car moments after Castile was shot. In the video, Officer Yanez is seen pointing a gun at her and her 4-year-old daughter. About 2,000 demonstrators gathered outside Minnesota’s state Capitol in St. Paul on Friday evening, and a series of speakers demanded justice for people of color in the judicial system and police accountability. Several protesters blocked a main interstate between St. Paul and Minneapolis Friday night, resulting in 18 arrests. Peaceful demonstrations continued throughout the weekend. Protesters also gathered in New York on Saturday. Democracy Now!’s Sam Alcoff filed this report.

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