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.
A damning new report shows that one of the leading COVID-19 vaccine makers appears to have played a role in restricting access to those very vaccines. The report, "Pfizer's Power," published this week by the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, examines Pfizer's contracts with the United States, United Kingdom, European Commission, Albania, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Dominican Republic and Peru. They offer a rare glimpse into the power Pfizer has to silence governments, throttle supply, shift risk and maximize profits in the middle of a public health crisis. We speak with Public Citizen researcher Zain Rizvi, author of the new report.
Posted: October 22, 2021, 12:53 pm
As President Biden negotiates the final size and scope of the Build Back Better Act with fellow Democrats, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has emerged as a major hurdle to his agenda. The conservative Democrat and his family would potentially profit from his opposition to the key planks of the bill, including green energy investment and raising corporate taxes to pay for the package. Stephen Smith, co-chair of West Virginia Can't Wait, says Manchin fits into a long history of state lawmakers working for corporate interests. "Senator Manchin and the rest of our congressional delegation has never represented the people of our state," says Smith, who ran for governor in 2020, placing second in the Democratic primary. "Politics in West Virginia has never been left versus right, red team versus blue team. It's the people who are suffering and dying and surviving versus the people who are trying to profit off of that pain."
Posted: October 22, 2021, 12:44 pm
President Biden acknowledged Thursday his Build Back Better agenda is in jeopardy due to two Senate Democrats: Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. Both senators have pushed Biden to slash in half his $3.5 trillion proposal that would be spent over 10 years to vastly expand the safety net and combat the climate crisis. We take an in-depth look at the two lawmakers, starting with Sinema. "Unfortunately, Sinema really reads as a cautionary tale of what happens when political ambition becomes a be-all and end-all," says Branko Marcetic, Jacobin staff writer, who describes the political evolution of Sinema, who ran in her early career as a socialist and has moved "rightward and rightward every step of the way."
Posted: October 22, 2021, 12:33 pm
We go to Brunswick, Georgia, for an update as jury selection began this week in the trial of three white men who fatally shot 25-year-old unarmed man Ahmaud Arbery while he was out for a jog last year. Gregory McMichael and his son Travis McMichael claim they were attempting a "citizen's arrest" of Arbery last February when they pursued him in their pickup truck. Their neighbor, William "Roddie" Bryan, joined the pursuit in his own truck and recorded a cellphone video that would later be released as evidence and spark nationwide outcry. Travis McMichael fired two shots, killing Arbery. Theawanza Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery's aunt, remembers Arbery as "an amazing young man … they took away from us," and discusses ongoing protests outside the courthouse and racial dynamics in the case. "It's impossible to find anyone in that small community who has not heard about what happened to Ahmaud," adds Lee Merritt, civil rights attorney representing the Arbery family, who also addresses key aspects of the defense’s argument, including the citizen arrest law the McMichaels used as an excuse to stop Arbery.
Posted: October 22, 2021, 12:12 pm
Report Reveals U.S. Immigration Officers' Violent and Sexual Abuse of Asylum Seekers , National Guard Troops Helped Texas Law Enforcement Arrest Over 70,000 Asylum Seekers, Haiti Gang Threatens to Kill Missionary Hostages Amid Dire Security & Economic Conditions , Just 14% of Vaccines Pledged to Poorer Nations Have Been Delivered as Rich Countries Hoard Doses, Climate Crisis Set to Drive Public Health Crisis and Threaten National Security , Wealthy Nations Tried to Dilute U.N. Climate Report Ahead of COP26 Global Summit, House Votes to Hold Steve Bannon in Contempt for Defying Capitol Insurrection Subpoena, J&J Spinoff Company Files for Bankruptcy to Stem Damage from Talcum Powder Cancer Lawsuits, Alec Baldwin Fires Prop Gun on Set, Killing Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and Injuring Director, Sen. Chuck Schumer Endorses India Walton for Buffalo Mayor Ahead of Nov. Election
Posted: October 22, 2021, 12:00 pm
The Biden administration says it is withholding about 10% of its annual military aid to Egypt because of concerns over human rights abuses by the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Egypt will still get nearly $1.2 billion in military assistance, even as a new report by Human Rights Watch finds Egyptian authorities have killed perhaps hundreds of secretly held dissidents in extrajudicial executions in recent years. Egypt holds an estimated 60,000 political prisoners, including the prominent activist and blogger Alaa Abd El-Fattah, who appeared in court this week to face charges of spreading "false news" on social media. He has been imprisoned since his arrest in September 2019, just six months after he was released following a five-year prison term for his role in the peaceful demonstrations of 2011. El-Fattah's mother Laila Soueif, a mathematics professor at Cairo University, says he is under severe restrictions, with no exercise time or even reading materials permitted in jail. "He's been in jail on pretrial remand for more than two years, which is completely illegal," says Soueif. The case against the activist is part of a wider crackdown on civil society, says Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous, a reporter for the independent Egyptian news outlet Mada Masr. "The vast majority of political prisoners in Egypt have not been convicted of a crime," he says.
Posted: October 21, 2021, 12:42 pm
As Senator Joe Manchin demands Democrats drop critical climate funding to replace coal- and gas-fired power plants with renewable energy sources, investigative reporting into the financial dealings of Manchin reveals that he has profited over $4.5 million from investments in West Virginia coal companies since he became a U.S. senator. Investigative journalist Daniel Boguslaw, who looked into the network of coal companies that Manchin and his family has owned and held stock in over the decades, says Manchin's voting record in Washington shows him "prioritizing a dying industry that he's making millions of dollars off of." The report also finds that Manchin's family coal businesses have grim records of pollution, safety violations and death.
Posted: October 21, 2021, 12:35 pm
For weeks, conservative Democrats in Congress have prevented the passage of the Build Back Better Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. Congressmember Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has been a vocal critic of Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who have stalled the bills and forced President Biden to radically scale back the price tag of his agenda. "All Democrats are essentially on board," Omar says, "except for these two, who are essentially doing the bidding of Big Pharma, Big Oil and Wall Street." The Build Back Better Act, which began at $3.5 trillion when Biden introduced the bill, has reportedly been lowered to half the original amount due to resistance in Congress. Progressive initiatives that are in danger of being dropped include free community college, extended paid family leave and lower prescription drug prices.
Posted: October 21, 2021, 12:11 pm
Republican Senators Use Filibuster to Block Federal Voting Rights Bill, Biden Touts Compromise Deal After Sens. Manchin and Sinema Reject Build Back Better Agenda, White House Prepares for Mass Vaccinations of Children Aged 5 to 11 in November, Police Unions Oppose COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates, Senate Questions Rahm Emanual on Police Murder of Laquan McDonald in Ambassadorship Hearing, Syrian Civilians Killed in Idlib Shelling; HRW Warns of Abuses Against Returning Refugees, Ethiopian Gov't Continues Airstrikes in Tigray Amid Mounting Humanitarian Crisis, U.S. Court Rules in Favor of Guantánamo Prisoner Held for 14 Years Without Charge or Trial, Nigerian Protesters Demand Justice One Year After Deadly "End SARS" Protests, NE GOP Rep. Jeff Fortenberry Resigns from Cmte. Assignments Amid Probe into Campaign Contributions, Netflix Workers Walk Out, Issue Demands to Mgmt. over Transphobic Dave Chappelle Special
Posted: October 21, 2021, 12:00 pm
As early voting kicks off Saturday in a nationally watched mayoral race in Buffalo, New York, we speak with India Walton, who shocked the Democratic establishment when she defeated four-term Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown in the Democratic primary. Since then, the self-described socialist has faced stiff opposition from within her party, with many top Democrats in the state, including Governor Kathy Hochul and Senator Chuck Schumer, refusing to endorse her. State Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs even compared Walton to former KKK leader David Duke in an interview, for which he later apologized. Walton is a Black single mother, a registered nurse and longtime community activist. If elected on November 2, she will be the first mayor of a major American city in decades who identifies as a socialist. Walton says she is "hyper-focused" on her campaign and does not want to take part in the vitriol of her opponents. "I am running for mayor of Buffalo as an expression of love," Walton adds.
Posted: October 20, 2021, 12:42 pm
A group of New York City taxi drivers launched a hunger strike Wednesday demanding the city provide debt relief from their taxi medallion loans. Since 9/11, thousands of taxi drivers have accrued massive debt largely due to the city artificially inflating the cost of taxi medallions, the permits required to drive a taxi. Drivers have also denounced the mental health impacts triggered by the financial ruin. At least nine have died by suicide. "At this point, drivers have an average debt of $550,000, [and] the city has basically no solution. They've come out with what's really just a cash bailout to the banks with no relief for the drivers," says Bhairavi Desai, executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance. "Thousands of families are going to be left in a debt that will be beyond their lifetime, and they'll be earning below minimum wage just to pay it off." Despite popular congressional support for a solution being put forth by the union, Desai says Mayor Bill de Blasio hasn't been willing to discuss the proposal.
Posted: October 20, 2021, 12:32 pm
We go to the picket line in Iowa, where thousands of workers are on strike at John Deere after the United Auto Workers failed to reach an agreement with the company to improve wages. Despite reporting record profits in 2021, John Deere forced employees to work overtime and announced significant cuts to raises and benefits. Chris Laursen, 19-year John Deere worker on strike in Ottumwa, Iowa, says profit margins went to shareholders and a 160% salary increase for the CEO. "We came into work every day. We worked overtime, not only exposing ourselves, but our family, our friends," says Laursen. "At the end of the day, we feel that the offer brought up is very arrogant and ... is not going to cut it."
Posted: October 20, 2021, 12:24 pm
We begin our coverage of what some are calling "Striketober" with a look at how the union of 60,000 television and film production workers averted a strike just hours before a midnight deadline on Saturday, when it reached a tentative agreement with an association of Hollywood producers representing companies like Walt Disney, Netflix and Amazon. The tentative deal brings members of IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, higher pay, longer breaks, better healthcare and pension benefits. Some members say the deal doesn't go far enough, and about 40,000 members from 13 Hollywood locals must still approve the pact. Jacobin writer Alex Press says the averted strike is part of a "broader moment" of labor militancy across the United States, including workers at Amazon, Kellogg's and elsewhere. "Workers are willing to fight back," she says. "They understand they have more leverage right now."
Posted: October 20, 2021, 12:12 pm
Brazil Senate Report Accuses Bolsonaro of Multiple Crimes for Mishandling COVID-19 Pandemic
, House Jan. 6 Committee Recommends Contempt Charges Against Steve Bannon, Climate and Social Provisions at Risk in Reconciliation Plan in Attempt to Appease Corporate Dems, Senate Panel Ups Pentagon Budget as Social & Climate Plans Get Sacrificed in Build Back Better Act, Climate Activists Start Hunger Strike in Front of White House, Water Protectors Shut Down Enbridge Line 5 Pipeline in Michigan, NYC Communities and Local Officials Condemn National Grid Pipeline and Price Hikes, Africa's Last Mountain Glaciers Could Melt Away in Next 20 Years, Exacerbating Climate Disaster, Over 10,000 Children Have Been Killed or Injured in Yemen Conflict; U.N. Calls for Marib Ceasefire, 14 Refugees Have Died, Dozens Missing in Mediterranean Sea, Thousands Protest in Streets of Chile 2 Years After Historic Uprising and 1 Month Ahead of Elections, Central American Mothers Travel to U.S. to Demand Action on Missing Children, Parkland Massacre Victims' Families Reach Settlement with School District Ahead of Gunman Guilty Plea, Texas Poised to Enact Gerrymandered Electoral Map Favoring White and GOP Voters, Family of Elijah McClain Reaches Tentative Deal with the City of Aurora over 2019 Killing, New York City Hall Will Take Down Racist Statue of Thomas Jefferson
Posted: October 20, 2021, 12:00 pm
In an exclusive interview, we speak with Jean Montrevil, an immigrant rights leader who was deported to Haiti in 2018. He returned home to New York and reunited with his family Monday on a special 90-day parole. He hopes to stay longer. Montrevil was a founding member of the New Sanctuary Coalition, which worked with Families for Freedom to engage churches in immigrant defense. ICE targeted him for his activism, using a decades-old conviction as pretext to deport him. In his first interview since landing, Montrevil tells Democracy Now! he will continue to speak out and implore the current administration to "take a second look at their policies and to stop deportations to Haiti." His longtime lawyer Alina Das says, "We don't believe that anyone should be targeted for deportation, to be jailed, to be taken away from their family, to be expelled from this country because they've chosen to speak out."
Posted: October 19, 2021, 12:43 pm
We look at the life and legacy of Colin Powell, who is best known for giving false testimony to the U.N. Security Council in 2003 about nonexistent weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, paving the way for the U.S. invasion and occupation that would kill over 1 million Iraqis. Powell, who was the first Black secretary of state, the first Black and youngest chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the first Black national security adviser, died on Monday due to blood cancer and Parkinson's disease that left him vulnerable to infection from COVID-19. Tributes poured in from top U.S. leaders in both Republican and Democratic circles on Monday, but in other parts of the world Powell is remembered very differently. We speak with journalist and author Roberto Lovato, and Clarence Lusane, activist, journalist and political science professor at Howard University. Lusane describes Powell as "a complicated political figure who leaves a complicated legacy" whose public image was "in conflict with many of the policies of the party he supported and the administration in which he was involved." Assessing Powell's role in U.S. invasions around the world, from Vietnam to Central America, Lovato says "he's made a career out of being a good soldier and supporting U.S. mass murder around the world, but evading the credit for it."
Posted: October 19, 2021, 12:14 pm
Trump Sues to Block Release of Documents to Congressional Committee on Jan. 6 Riots, FDA Panel Recommends Third Shot of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine for Certain Groups, Colin Powell Died of COVID-19 Complications After Blood Cancer Left Him Immunocompromised, Sen. Joe Manchin Wants Strict Limits and Work Requirements for Child Tax Credit, Justice Department Asks Supreme Court to Halt Texas's Near-Total Ban on Abortions, SCOTUS Decisions Bolster Doctrine of Qualified Immunity for Police Officers, Kenosha, WI Police Accused of "Deputizing" White Nationalists Ahead of Shooting Deaths, Venezuelan President Maduro Says U.S. "Kidnapped" Diplomat Alex Saab, Biden Administration Plans to Spy on Caravans of Asylum Seekers in Latin America, Protesters Block Miami Port to Demand End to Haiti Deportation Flights, Indigenous Amazonians Sue Ecuador to Halt Oil Drilling and Mining Plans , Tens of Thousands of Italian Anti-Fascist Protesters Rally in Rome, New York City Taxi Drivers Will Go on Hunger Strike to Demand Debt Relief
Posted: October 19, 2021, 12:00 pm
We speak with Ethan Paul, a former reporter with the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong who is now with the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. China's military revealed last week that it had conducted beach landing and assault drills in the province across from Taiwan. This comes as the CIA has set up a new mission center focused solely on China. CIA Director William Burns has described China as "the most important geopolitical threat facing the United States." Paul says there has been almost no "meaningful dissent among Democrats" in Congress about "the need to make sure that we don't let this beast run out of control."
Posted: October 18, 2021, 12:41 pm
The Biden administration is launching a national vaccination campaign for about 28 million children between the ages of 5 and 11. The vaccine will be two doses and one-third as potent as the one being given to people over the age of 12. An independent panel is set to offer a recommendation to the FDA that evaluates the safety and efficacy of the vaccines in late October. We're joined by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, pediatrician and co-chair of the Protect Michigan Commission, to speak more about the rollout of the vaccine for kids. "It's really important, if we want to go back to normal, for our kids to get this vaccine," says Dr. Hanna-Attisha. "We need all hands on deck to improve our vaccination rates."
Posted: October 18, 2021, 12:31 pm
Residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan, are calling for immediate action on replacing the city's lead pipes, which have endangered their drinking water. Since 2018, tap water in the predominantly Black city has contained lead levels up to 60 times the federal limit. Yet government officials have only addressed the toxic contamination as an urgent crisis in recent days. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician who exposed a similar water crisis in the neighboring city of Flint, sees parallels between the two emergencies. "Every day that goes by when there is lead in the water is one day too long for the children of Benton Harbor," she says. Reverend Edward Pinkney, president of the Benton Harbor Community Water Council, emphasizes that racism plays a major role in the government's slow response. He says, "Since it's Benton Harbor, a Black city, they figure this can continue."
Posted: October 18, 2021, 12:17 pm
Gutting Democrats' Climate Plans, Manchin Opposes Renewable Energy Program in Reconciliation Bill, Manchin Wants Strict Conditions on Child Tax Credit, Which Has Lifted Millions of Kids from Poverty, FDA Panel Unanimously Recommends Booster Shots of J&J COVID-19 Vaccine, Bronx Man Dies of COVID-19 One Hour After Release from Rikers Jail, COVID Cases on the Rise in the U.K, Russia; Melbourne Ends World's Longest Lockdown, U.S. to Compensate Afghan Families over August Drone Strike That Killed 10 Civilians, Death Toll in ISIS-K Mosque Attack in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Rises to 47, British Lawmaker David Amess Fatally Stabbed, 17 Missionaries and Children Kidnapped in Haiti, IATSE Reaches Tentative Deal with Hollywood Producers, Averting TV and Film Crew Strike, Advocates Walk Out of Virtual Meeting with White House over "Remain in Mexico" Policy, China Denies Report It Tested Nuclear-Capable Hypersonic Missile, Chinese Authorities Sentence More Hong Kong Democracy Campaigners to Prison, Heavy Monsoon Rains Bring Floods and Landslides to India's Kerala State, Argentine Judge Indicts Franco-Era Spanish Minister Martín Villa on Homicide Charges, Two Indigenous Children in Brazil Killed in Mining Dredge Used by Illegal Gold Miners, Puerto Ricans March to Protest Ongoing Power Outages After Privatization of Electric Grid, Texas Republicans Pass Bill Banning Trans Youth from School Sports, Donald Trump to Give Video Deposition over Guards' Assault of Protesters in 2015, Jury Selection Begins in Trial of Three White Men Charged with Killing Ahmaud Arbery, Colin Powell, Whose False 2003 Testimony at U.N. Helped Launch U.S. Invasion of Iraq, Dies of COVID-19
Posted: October 18, 2021, 12:00 pm
We get an update from New Jersey, where the People's Organization for Progress is leading a 67-mile march to demand the state Legislature pass legislation to hold police accountable. The nine-day march wraps up Saturday, and activists are demanding passage of a state policy that would give police review boards subpoena power, ban and criminalize chokeholds, establish requirements for use of deadly force and end qualified immunity in New Jersey. At the national level, they are calling for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. "We know that electoral politics alone is not enough," says Larry Hamm, chair of the People's Organization for Progress, when asked about his activism following his run for the U.S. Senate this past year. "The primary antidote to police brutality is the organized and mobilized people."
Posted: October 15, 2021, 12:53 pm
We take an in-depth look at the growing humanitarian crisis at the world's largest jail complex, Rikers Island in New York City. After touring the jail, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams describes it as "a disaster." In response to mounting public pressure, most of the women and transgender people at Rikers are being transferred to two prisons, including a maximum-security facility, even as most are still awaiting trial. "It's like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound," says Anisah Sabur, who was formerly incarcerated at Rikers and one of the prisons and is now a leader with the HALT Solitary Campaign. Prosecutors and judges "hold the keys to Rikers," notes Jullian Harris-Calvin, director of the Greater Justice New York program at the Vera Institute of Justice, who says they must be pressured to continue bail reform and not fall prey to misconceptions about crime rates, and instead adopt measures to adequately address public safety. "We need to make bail affordable or just release them," Harris-Calvin says.
Posted: October 15, 2021, 12:31 pm
This week over 530 climate activists were arrested during Indigenous-led civil disobedience actions in Washington, D.C., calling on President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency and stop approving fossil fuel projects. Indigenous leaders have issued a series of demands, including the abolition of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, whose offices they occupied on Thursday for the first time since the 1970s. The protests come just weeks before the start of the critical U.N. climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, which President Biden and senior Cabinet members are expected to attend. "We're not going anywhere," says Siqiñiq Maupin, with Sovereign Iñupiat for a Living Arctic, who traveled from Alaska to D.C. and was among those arrested during the BIA occupation. "We do not have time for negotiations, for compromises. We need to take this serious and take action now." We also speak with Joye Braun, with the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Indigenous Environmental Network, who was deeply involved in the Standing Rock protests to stop the Dakota Access pipeline. "The United States government brought the frontlines to us, to the Indigenous people, to our doorsteps," says Braun. "And we wanted to bring the frontlines to his doorstep to let him see that we are very serious about climate change and declaring a climate emergency."
Posted: October 15, 2021, 12:14 pm
Bomb Attack on Mosque in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province Kills at Least 32, Lebanon Holds Day of Mourning After Beirut Violence Leaves Seven Dead, U.K. and EU Nations Block COVID Vaccine Patent Waiver at World Trade Organization, FDA Panel Recommends Moderna Vaccine Boosters for Some Groups, Biden Welcomes Kenyan President Kenyatta Amid Pandora Papers Scandal, Chilean Lawmakers Move to Impeach President Piñera over Pandora Papers Revelations, African Asylum Seekers File Civil Rights Complaint Against ICE Over "Cruel, Inhumane" Restraints, House Memo Shines Spotlight on Police Use of Tear Gas, a Chemical Banned in Wars, Appeals Court Keeps Texas Abortion Ban in Place, Texas School Official Instructs Educators to Teach Students "Opposing" Views on Holocaust, Actor Lili Bernard Sues Bill Cosby, Says He Drugged and Raped Her, Kenyan Police Arrest Husband of Murdered, Record-Breaking Runner Agnes Tirop, Jan. 6 Committee to Recommend Criminal Charges Against Steve Bannon, President Biden to Attend COP26 in November with Team of Cabinet Members and Top Officials, Climate Activist Confronts Shell CEO: "You Are Directly Responsible for Climate Deaths"
Posted: October 15, 2021, 12:00 pm
As the House committee probing the January 6 attack on the Capitol ramps up its investigation, new details continue to emerge about former President Donald Trump's efforts to stay in the White House despite losing the 2020 election. The Senate Judiciary Committee recently revealed Trump directly asked the Justice Department nine times for help overturning the election. One of Trump's lawyers also wrote a memo detailing how Trump could stage a coup by getting electors from seven states thrown out, thus denying Biden's victory. The House select committee may also file charges against top Trump adviser Steve Bannon if he refuses to testify and hand over documents. John Nichols, national affairs correspondent for The Nation, says Trump's continued grip on the Republican Party and his likely run for president in 2024 make the investigations vital to safeguarding democracy. "We really are looking at the prospect that Trump will seek to implement exactly the strategy that he was trying to implement before January 6 again in 2024," says Nichols.
Posted: October 14, 2021, 12:50 pm
After weeks of pleading for help, an Afghan interpreter, who helped rescue then-Senator Joe Biden when he was stranded 13 years ago in Afghanistan, has finally escaped Afghanistan. Aman Khalili describes his journey out of the country, and we speak with the reporter who broke the story. "I was in the safehouse for 15 days," Khalili tells Democracy Now! Khalili is "representative of a group of people that are still appealing for help from America and anyone else that can help them," says Dion Nissenbaum, with The Wall Street Journal.
Posted: October 14, 2021, 12:34 pm
At least five people were shot today in Beirut after snipers opened fire on a protest as Lebanon faces a growing economic and political emergency amid widespread corruption. Over the weekend, Lebanon fell into darkness for 24 hours after the nation's electric grid collapsed. Within the past year, the Lebanese currency has fully collapsed as it continues to grapple with the aftermath of last year's deadly port explosion. This comes as the country's political class is expected to accelerate even harsher austerity and privatization efforts in exchange for international support, says Lara Bitar, editor-in-chief of The Public Source, a Beirut-based independent media organization, adding, "The international community holds huge responsibility in constantly allowing the political class to reproduce itself, of throwing it a lifeline whenever it is in crisis."
Posted: October 14, 2021, 12:11 pm
Biden Says Port of Los Angeles Will Operate 24/7 to Ease Logjam That's Fueling Inflation, WHO Advisory Team to Investigate Origins of COVID-19 Pandemic, Pressure Grows to Waive Patent Rights for COVID Vaccines and for U.S. to Release Moderna Recipe, Florida Health Department Fines County That Defied Ban on Vaccine Mandates, Biden Admin to Massively Expand Wind Farms Along U.S. Coastlines, IAE Says Governments Must Do Far More to Avert Climate Catastrophe, Police Arrest Another 90 Activists as Climate Protests Continue in Front of White House, Texas Approves Heavily Gerrymandered Redistricting Map in Favor of GOP, White Voters, DOJ Asks SCOTUS to Reinstate Death Penalty for Boston Marathon Bomber, Heavy Gunfights in Beirut Follow Shooting at Protest Which Killed at Least 5 People, Czechs Vote Out Populist Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Man Armed with Bow and Arrow Kills 5 People in Norway Attack, "Striketober": 10,000 John Deere Workers Go on Strike; Kaiser Permanente & IATSE Workers Could Be Next
Posted: October 14, 2021, 12:00 pm
We continue to look at the humanitarian crisis along the border, where more people are dying trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border than ever before, as President Biden has increased funding for border enforcement and militarization even as he vowed not to expand Trump's border wall. We go to Brooks County in South Texas, which has recorded at least 98 migrant deaths so far this year, nearly triple the number from 2020. "People are being expelled without any due process regarding their asylum claim," says Eddie Canales, director of the South Texas Human Rights Center. "There really hasn't been a change in policy," said Canales, when asked about Biden’s approach to asylum seekers. We also speak with filmmaker Lisa Molomot, co-director of the new documentary "Missing in Brooks County," which follows the story of two families searching for lost loved ones who went missing there after crossing the border, driven further into the desert by inland checkpoints and the policy in place since 1994 called "prevention through deterrence."
Posted: October 13, 2021, 12:42 pm
Armando Alejo Hernández went missing in the desert after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in May of 2021, but not before sending several last audio messages to his eldest son describing the difficult terrain and asking for help. "He wasn't feeling so good, and he was out of water and food," says Hernández's 17-year-old son Derek. "The group got ahead, and then he lost the group." Hernández was an undocumented worker in the United States for more than a decade before being deported in 2016. His wife and two sons, who are U.S citizens by birth, have pleaded with Border Patrol and the Mexican Consulate for help, without any luck so far. "This year we are going to break the record of migrants dying at the border," warns Fernando García of the El Paso-based Border Network for Human Rights, one of many organizations demanding that the Biden administration "fulfill their promise to change the inhumane policies at the border."
Posted: October 13, 2021, 12:16 pm
U.S. Reopens Borders with Canada and Mexico for Vaccinated Travelers; FDA Considers Moderna Booster, Southwest, American Airlines Rebuff TX Vaccine Mandate Ban; WI Moms Sue Schools for Endangering Kids, House Votes to Temporarily Raise Debt Ceiling, Progressive Dems Say Reconciliation Package Must Not Sacrifice Urgently Needed Social Programs, 155 Activists Arrested as Climate Actions Continue in D.C.; Indigenous Leaders March in Latin America, Nonprofit Pursues Jair Bolsonaro at ICC for "Crimes Against Humanity" for Destroying the Amazon, EU Pledges $1.15 Billion in Aid for Afghanistan as European and U.S. Delegates Meet with Taliban, Decaying Oil Tanker Off Yemen Coast Could Cut Off Access to Water and Food for 9 Million People, New Tunisan Gov't, First Woman Prime Minister Sworn In Amid Political Crisis, Ethiopia Launched Attacks Against Tigray Amid Mounting Humanitarian Disaster, Military and Police Crack Down on Student Protests in Eswatini, Michigan Officials Say Lead-Contaminated Water in City of Benton Harbor Not Safe to Consume, Consumer Protections Advocate Rohit Chopra Sworn In to Lead CFPB, DHS Orders ICE to Halt Massive Workplace Raids, Jury Finds Two Parents Guilty in "Varsity Blues" College Admissions Scandal, Amazon and Google Workers Condemn Project Nimbus Contract with Israeli Military, Novelist Sally Rooney Denies Translation Rights to Israeli Company in Show of Support for BDS
Posted: October 13, 2021, 12:00 pm
We look at growing tensions between China and Taiwan as China's military said Monday it had conducted beach landing and assault drills in the province across from Taiwan. Taiwan's president responded on Sunday saying Taiwan would not bow to pressure from China. This comes as The Wall Street Journal has revealed a small team of U.S. special operations forces and marines have been secretly operating in Taiwan for at least a year to help train Taiwanese military forces for a possible conflict with China. We speak with Ethan Paul of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, who warns U.S. interference could cause "a conflict that could engulf the entire region." His latest article is "Biden doesn't understand the 'new Cold War.'"
Posted: October 12, 2021, 12:49 pm
Voter turnout at the fifth parliamentary election in Iraq hit an all-time low, with many Iraqis refusing to vote as widespread faith in the democratic process and politics falters. Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who has been a vocal opponent of foreign invasion, won the most seats. He has also been accused of kidnapping and killing his critics. "The election has more to do with making this regime and this system look good than responding to the demands of the people," says Nabil Salih, Iraqi journalist and photographer, who also discusses protests that sped up the election and conditions in Iraq's hospitals. His latest piece for Middle East Eye is "Iraq's streets are littered with the memories of our dead."
Posted: October 12, 2021, 12:33 pm
Clifford Owensby says Dayton police violently arrested him last month even though he is paraplegic and repeatedly told them he could not use his legs to get out of the car during a traffic stop. New police bodycam video shows the officers dragging Owensby out of his car and yanking him by his hair as he shouted for help. Owensby had his 3-year-old child in the car at the time of arrest. He has now filed a complaint with Dayton's branch of the NAACP. "The officers should be placed at least on administrative leave," says Derrick Foward, president of the Dayon Unit NAACP. Foward says that Owensby is expected to bring a case against Dayton police once all the evidence is collected, and he attributes the quick release of the bodycam video to recent police reforms advocated for in the wake of the murder of George Floyd.
Posted: October 12, 2021, 12:13 pm
WHO: Climate Change Is "The Single Biggest Health Threat Facing Humanity", Heavy Flooding in China Kills 15, Destroys 20,000 Homes, 135 Arrested in Indigenous Peoples' Day Climate Action Outside White House, Greenpeace Installs Statue of Boris Johnson Splattered in Oil Outside 10 Downing St., Wealthy Nations Denounced for Hoarding COVID-19 Vaccines, Parliamentary Report: COVID-19 Response Was One of Biggest Public Health Failures in U.K. History, Gov. Greg Abbott Bans All Entities in Texas from Enforcing Vaccine Mandates, Iraqi Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr Sees Biggest Gains in Parliamentary Election, U.N. Urges World Leaders to Address Humanitarian Crisis in Afghanistan, Pandora Papers: Ecuador's President Faces Probe over Use of Tax Havens, Guatemalan Prosecutor in Landmark Ríos Montt Trial Is Transferred in Blow to Human Rights, Honduras: Mayoral Candidate & Daughter of Berta Cáceres Targeted Ahead of November Elections, Trump Pays Tribute to Insurrectionist Shot Dead on Jan. 6, Raiders Football Coach Resigns over Racist, Sexist and Homophobic Emails, GLAAD Criticizes Dave Chappelle Special on Netflix over Anti-Trans Jokes, Sister Megan Rice, Nun Who Broke into Nuclear Weapons Facility, Dies at 91
Posted: October 12, 2021, 12:00 pm
The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Russian independent journalist Dmitry Muratov and Filipina journalist Maria Ressa for "their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression." Muratov runs the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta, which has lost more journalists to murder than any other Russian news outlet. Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor-in-chief of The Nation and reporter on Russia for the last 30 years, recounts the trajectory of Muratov's career, noting his newspaper's humble beginnings and his unexpected rise to becoming an advocate for freedom of the press. "Investigative journalism in Russia today is very dangerous," says vanden Heuvel. Despite the danger, van Heuvel says that Novaya readership is skyrocketing with younger journalists lining up to work at the newspaper.
Posted: October 11, 2021, 12:53 pm
In response to the completion of the contested Line 3 pipeline, which is now reportedly operational, thousands of Indigenous leaders and climate justice advocates are kicking off the "People vs. Fossil Fuels'' mobilization, an Indigenous-led five-day action of civil disobedience at the White House to demand President Biden declare a climate emergency, divest from fossil fuels and launch a "just renewable energy revolution." "This pipeline doesn't respect treaty rights," says Winona LaDuke, longtime Indigenous activist and founder of Honor the Earth, a platform to raise awareness of and money for Indigenous struggles for environmental justice. "They're just trying to continue their egregious behavior. It's so tragic that, on the one hand, the Biden administration is like, 'We're going to have Indigenous Peoples' Day, but we're still going to smash you in northern Minnesota and smash the rest of the country.'" LaDuke faces criminal charges linked to her protest of pipelines in three different counties.
Posted: October 11, 2021, 12:41 pm
We continue our look at Indigenous Peoples' Day with Jennifer Marley, a citizen of San Ildefonso Pueblo and a member of the grassroots Indigenous liberation organization The Red Nation, which helped lead a campaign in 2015 to officially recognize Indigenous Peoples' Day in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Marley slams President Biden's formal recognition of Indigenous Peoples' Day as a federal holiday and discusses how Native lands are disproportionately used for resource extraction and how The Red Nation connects their local struggles to international decolonization campaigns, as well.
Posted: October 11, 2021, 12:32 pm
President Biden has formally recognized Indigenous Peoples' Day as a federal holiday, following a growing movement to debunk the myth of Christopher Columbus as a beneficent discoverer and replace it with recognition that the arrival of Columbus in the Bahamas unleashed a brutal genocide that massacred tens of millions of Native people across the hemisphere. But the holiday will continue to be shared with Columbus Day, which many argue glorifies the nation's dark history of colonial genocide that killed millions of Native people. "It's just not appropriate to celebrate Columbus and Indigenous peoples on the same day. It's a contradiction," says author and historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. "Genocidal enslavement is what Columbus represents."
Posted: October 11, 2021, 12:12 pm
Merck Seeks FDA Approval for Antiviral COVID-19 Pill, COVID-19 Death Toll in Brazil Tops 600,000, "Shameful and Dangerous": Oxfam Slams New Deal on Global Minimum Corporate Tax, Up to 72 Die in Suicide Blast at Shiite Mosque in Afghanistan, Record Low Turnout Reported for Iraq's Parliamentary Elections, Lights Go Out in Lebanon After Electrical Grid Collapses, Taiwan Vows Not to Bow to Pressure from China as Tension Escalates, Libya: Six Refugees Shot Dead at Overcrowded Prison Camp, 70,000 March in Brussels Demanding Action on Climate Emergency, Report: Sen. Sinema Wants to Cut $100B in Climate Funds, Abortion Ban Reinstated in Texas After Federal Appeals Court Ruling, Police in Dayton, Ohio, Denounced for Dragging Paraplegic Black Man Out of Car, Justice Department: No Federal Charges in Police Shooting of Jacob Blake, Biden Administration Urged to Halt Efforts to Expand Immigration Detention, 126 People, Mostly Haitians, Found Locked in Shipping Container in Guatemala, Jan. 6 Committee Considers Charges Against Steve Bannon for Defying Subpoena, AQ Khan, Who Admitted to Role in Global Nuclear Proliferation Scandal, Dies at 85
Posted: October 11, 2021, 12:00 pm