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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: 22 min 22 sec ago

"Are You Muslim?": Muhammad Ali's Son & Former Wife on their Detention & Interrogation at FL Airport

3 hours 4 min ago

Are you Muslim? Where did you get your name from? Those were the questions posed by immigration officials to the son of the late boxing legend Muhammad Ali earlier this month when he flew into Florida from Jamaica after attending a Black History Month event. When Muhammad Ali Jr. said he was a Muslim, authorities reportedly held him and questioned him for over two hours. Ali was traveling with his mother, Khalilah Camacho-Ali, the boxing great’s second wife and mother of his four oldest children. She was also detained. We speak to them and their attorney, Chris Mancini.

"Decade of Betrayal": How the U.S. Expelled Over a Half Million U.S. Citizens to Mexico in 1930s

3 hours 24 min ago

President Donald Trump is slated to give his first presidential address to Congress today. Democratic lawmakers have begun giving their tickets away to immigrants as a protest against Trump’s push to increase deportations and to block residents from some Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Well, this is not the first time people of Mexican descent have been demonized, accused of stealing jobs, and forced to leave the country. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, more than a million people residing in the United States were deported to Mexico—about 60 percent of them were U.S. citizens of Mexican descent. We speak to the preeminent scholar on this often overlooked chapter of American history: Francisco Balderrama, professor of American history and Chicano studies at California State University, Los Angeles. He is co-author of "Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s."

As Trump Pushes for Historic $54B Military Spending Hike, Which Programs Will He Cut to Pay for War?

3 hours 39 min ago

President Trump is heading to Capitol Hill tonight and is expected to outline part of his budget plan before a joint session of Congress. On Monday, Trump proposed increasing the military budget to just over $600 billion—a 10 percent increase—while deeply slashing the budgets of other agencies, likely including the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department. Trump said he wanted a historic increase in military spending. Democratic Congressmember Barbara Lee of California responded on Twitter by writing, "[President] Trump’s morally bankrupt budget will funnel more money to the Pentagon at the expense of the poor [and] our planet. This is an awful idea." We speak to Neta Crawford, co-director of the Costs of War Project and a professor of political science at Boston University. In September, she released a report that found the United States has spent nearly $5 trillion since the September 11, 2001, attacks on homeland security and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan.

Keith Ellison Loses DNC Chair Race After Smear Campaign over His Support for Palestinian Rights

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 8:52am

Former Labor Secretary Tom Perez has been elected to lead the Democratic National Committee, beating out Minnesota Congressmember Keith Ellison in a contentious second-round vote that is seen as determining the future of the Democratic Party. Congressmember Ellison is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the first Muslim elected to Congress. He was widely backed by supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders and the Democratic Party’s more progressive wing. Perez was backed by the party’s establishment, including President Obama. He becomes the first Latino head of the Democratic Party. After Saturday’s contentious vote—which marked the first time in more than 30 years that the outcome was not known ahead of balloting—Ellison’s supporters erupted in protest, chanting "Party for the people, not big money." We speak to Zaid Jilani, staff reporter at The Intercept. His latest article is "Keith Ellison Loses DNC Race After Heated Campaign Targeting Him for His Views on Palestine."

Rev. William Barber on the "Season of Hate & Political Violence" Under Trump

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 8:44am

The Southern Poverty Law Center recently revealed the number of hate groups in the United States has tripled in the past year in part due to Donald Trump’s candidacy and election. Rev. William Barber of the NAACP in North Carolina responds to the rising hate across the country.

We Will Not Be Intimidated: Philly Rabbi Decries Desecration of Over 500 Graves at Jewish Cemetery

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 8:40am

In Philadelphia, some 500 headstones at a Jewish cemetery were toppled or damaged in the second apparent incident of vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in about a week. On Sunday, in a show of solidarity, members from the local Muslim and Quaker community joined Jewish Philadelphians at the Mount Carmel Cemetery to restore the burial grounds. The apparent vandalism in Philadelphia and at a Jewish cemetery last week in St. Louis comes after a surge of bomb threats against Jewish community centers across the country. We speak to Rabbi Ari Lev Fornari of Kol Tzedek Synagogue in West Philadelphia.

Rev. William Barber: The NAACP Will Boycott North Carolina over HB2 & Voter Suppression

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 8:27am

The NAACP has announced it would not hold its convention in North Carolina and urged an international boycott of the state to protest North Carolina’s anti-trans bathroom bill and a series of anti-democratic actions taken by the state’s Republican Legislature. The civil rights group described the move as the first step in an economic boycott that could be expanded in North Carolina and replicated in other states that enact laws limiting voting rights and protections for gay and transgender people. North Carolina’s House Bill 2, known as the "bathroom bill," bars transgender people from using the bathrooms that match their gender identity. The NAACP has also accused Republican legislators of committing voter suppression and racial gerrymandering. We are joined in Raleigh, North Carolina, by the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP. He’s the author of "Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement."

Committee to Protect Journalists: Trump's Attacks on Media Will Be Felt by Journalists Around World

Mon, 02/27/2017 - 8:14am

On Friday, the White House took the unprecedented act of barring The New York Times, CNN, Politico, the Los Angeles Times, the BBC and several other news organizations from an off-camera briefing known as a gaggle. Meanwhile, several right-wing news outlets were allowed to attend, including Breitbart, The Washington Times and One America News Network. Just hours earlier, Trump repeatedly attacked the media, describing it as an "enemy of the people." Then, on Saturday, Donald Trump announced he would not attend this year’s White House correspondents’ dinner. The last president to skip the dinner was Ronald Reagan in 1981. At the time, Reagan was recovering from an assassination attempt. We speak to Robert Mahoney, deputy executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

NFL Star Michael Bennett on Refusing to Go to Israel, Black Lives Matter & His Love for Angela Davis

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 8:36am

In a Democracy Now! exclusive, we speak with Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, who made headlines when he pulled out of an Israeli government-sponsored trip to Israel for NFL players. We are also joined by Dave Zirin, sports editor for The Nation magazine. The two discuss the role of sports in politics, including Olympian John Carlos, as well as Colin Kaepernick’s support for the Black Lives Matter movement that inspired players throughout the country at all levels to take similar actions.

John Dean: The Difference Between Trump & Nixon is Trump Says Publicly What Nixon Said on Wiretap

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 8:27am

We compare President Donald Trump’s attitude toward the media to that of President Richard Nixon with Nixon’s former counsel, John Dean. "The big difference is, Trump is doing this right out and challenging the First Amendment, one of our most important because it involves freedom of the press and freedom of speech," Dean says. "Anything that he doesn’t like, any reporting, he calls being an enemy of the people … It’s just ludicrous. And it’s troublesome that he would try to sway the press by using the bully pulpit of his office to intimidate them."

As Calls Grow to Impeach Trump, Former Nixon Counsel John Dean Sees "Echoes of Watergate"

Fri, 02/24/2017 - 8:12am

President Trump has been in office for only 36 days, and there is already a growing chorus of voices calling for his impeachment. This comes as CNN and The New York Times report White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus sought unsuccessfully to have the FBI refute news reports that Donald Trump’s campaign advisers were in frequent contact with Russian intelligence agents ahead of November’s election. The allegations have drawn comparisons to former President Richard Nixon’s 1972 discussion with aides who used the CIA to push the FBI away from investigating the Watergate burglary that later led to his resignation. We speak to someone who has been at the center of the unraveling of a presidency and a vote for impeachment: President Richard Nixon’s White House counsel, John Dean. He is the author of several books, including "The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It," "Conservatives Without Conscience" and "Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches."

Madison, Wisc. to Pay $3.3M to Family of Tony Robinson, a Black Teenager Shot by Police

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 8:57am

In Madison, Wisconsin, attorneys for the family of an American-American teenager who was shot dead by a city police officer have reached a $3.35 million settlement. Nineteen-year-old Tony Robinson was unarmed when officer Matt Kenny forced his way into an apartment following a "disturbance" in 2015. He was shot seven times. Prosecutors declined to charge Kenny, and he was cleared by the Madison Police Department’s Internal Affairs unit. This week’s settlement is the largest ever for an officer-involved killing in Wisconsin.

Days After Pruitt Becomes EPA Head, Newly Released Emails Show His Ties to Koch Bros. & Energy Firms

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 8:46am

Thousands of pages of newly released emails reveal how EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt closely collaborated with oil, coal and gas companies backed by the Koch brothers to roll back environmental regulations during his time as Oklahoma attorney general. The documents were released just days after Pruitt was sworn in as the new head of the EPA, the agency tasked with curtailing pollution and safeguarding public health. Last week, Senate Democrats unsuccessfully attempted to postpone Pruitt’s final confirmation until the emails were released, but Republicans pressed forward and confirmed him in a 52-46 vote, largely along party lines. As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt sued the EPA 14 times. The trove of new documents shows how energy companies drafted language for Pruitt’s Attorney General’s Office to use to sue the EPA over environmental regulations. We speak to Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, which successfully sued for the emails to be released.

We Have to Keep Fighting: Water Protectors Vow Continued Resistance to #DAPL as Main Camp Is Evicted

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 8:31am

In North Dakota, the main resistance camp set up by Lakota water protectors fighting the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline has been largely vacated after protesters were ordered to leave the camp on Wednesday. Police arrested around 10 people. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the North Dakota governor had imposed a noon eviction deadline for the hundreds of water protectors still living at the resistance camp. Prayers ceremonies were held on Wednesday, and part of the camp was set on fire before the eviction began. Water protectors say the resistance camp sits on unceded Sioux territory under the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie and that they have a right to remain on their ancestral land. A couple dozen people remain at the camp. The ongoing encampments in North Dakota were the largest gathering of Native Americans in decades. At its peak, more than 10,000 people were at the resistance camp. Earlier this month, construction crews resumed work on the final section of the pipeline, after the Trump administration granted an easement to allow Energy Transfer Partners to drill beneath the Missouri River. We go to Standing Rock to speak with LaDonna Brave Bull Allard and Linda Black Elk.

"Kids Will Be Harmed by This": Trump Admin Rolls Back Protections for Transgender Students

Thu, 02/23/2017 - 8:16am

The Trump administration has rescinded key protections for transgender students in public schools. The move reverses President Obama’s landmark decision last May to order public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms matching their chosen gender identity. The Obama administration had threatened to withhold funding for schools that did not comply. According to press accounts, there was a split in the Trump administration over the issue between Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The New York Times reports Devos initially resisted signing off and told Trump that she was uncomfortable because of the potential harm that rescinding the protections could cause transgender students. At a meeting on Tuesday in the White House, the president sided with Sessions and pushed DeVos to drop her opposition, which she did. We speak to Chase Strangio, staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT & AIDS Project.

FDR Rejected Anne Frank Twice as a Refugee, Advocate Urges Trump Not to Close U.S. Borders Again

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 8:56am

As President Trump prepares to issue a new executive order barring all refugees and visitors from seven majority-Muslim nations, we speak to Steven Goldstein, the executive director of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect. He reflects back on how FDR twice denied permission for the Frank family to come to the United States as refugees to escape Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.

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