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Birmingham Civil Rights Group Reoffers Award to Angela Davis—But She Says Community Should Decide
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 08:42:50 -0500
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute sparked international outrage in January when it rescinded the Fred L. Shuttlesworth award for civil rights icon Angela Davis, soon after the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center sent a letter urging the board to reconsider honoring her due to her support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Facing swift and widespread outcry, the institute then reversed its decision and reinstated the award, but Davis has yet to accept it. Democracy Now! spoke with the president and CEO of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Andrea Taylor, on Saturday, before an alternate event celebrating Angela Davis hosted by the Birmingham Committee for Truth and Reconciliation. We also spoke with DeJuana Thompson, founder of Woke Vote and a chair of the Birmingham Committee for Truth and Reconciliation.

Angela Davis Returns to Birmingham, Reflecting on Palestinian Rights & Fight for Freedom Everywhere
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 08:26:00 -0500
Civil rights icon and scholar Angela Davis returned to her hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, over the weekend. She originally planned the visit to receive the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, but the institute withdrew the award last month, soon after the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center sent a letter urging the board to reconsider honoring Davis due to her support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting the Israeli government and Israeli institutions. Facing swift and widespread outcry, the institute then reversed its decision and reinstated the award. But Angela Davis has yet to say if she will accept it. More than 3,000 people gathered Saturday evening for an alternative event to honor Davis hosted by the Birmingham Committee for Truth and Reconciliation. The event featured a conversation between Davis and Princeton professor Imani Perry, who is also from Birmingham.

Jewish Activists Hold Solidarity Shabbat Defending Angela Davis in Birmingham & Across U.S.
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 08:11:28 -0500
Jewish supporters of Angela Davis across the nation held solidarity Shabbat on Friday evening, the night before the civil rights icon had been expected to receive the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The institute rescinded the honor in January due to Davis' support of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting the Israeli government and Israeli institutions. The institute later reversed this decision after international outcry, but Davis has yet to accept the award. Democracy Now! was in Birmingham on Friday and attended a Shabbat in support of Angela Davis.

Headlines for February 18, 2019
Mon, 18 Feb 2019 08:00:00 -0500
Trump Faces Legal & Political Challenges After Calling Nat'l Emergency, NYC: Protesters Take to Streets After Nat'l Emergency Declaration, Aurora, IL Gunman Kills 5, Injures 6 After Being Terminated, Venezuela Ejects European Lawmakers as Aid Standoff Ratchets Up, Sen. Rubio Steps Up Attacks on Cuba While in Colombia, Iran Says Israel and U.S. Escalating Chance of War in Middle East, Haitian Gov't Announces Spending Cuts in Attempt to Quell Unrest, Nigeria: Bomb Kills At Least 8, Hours Before Gov't Postpones Elections, Pope Francis Defrocks Cardinal McCarrick over Sexual Abuse Crimes, SCOTUS to Hear Trump Admin's Census Citizenship Question, Heather Nauert Withdraws from U.N. Ambassadorship Consideration, Judge Sentences Man to 10 Years in Racist Hurricane Katrina Shooting, Kaepernick and Reid Settle Grievances with NFL

Ibram X. Kendi on Surviving Cancer & His Anti-Racist Reading List for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 08:48:40 -0500
As we celebrate the remarkable life and legacy of Frederick Douglass on his 201st birthday, we are joined by Ibram X. Kendi, a professor of history and international relations and founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. Kendi spoke Thursday night at the Library of Congress at an event honoring Frederick Douglass. He is the National Book Award-winning author of "Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America" and a contributing editor at The Atlantic.

"Agitate, Agitate, Agitate!": Great-Great-Great-Grandson Echoes Frederick Douglass on 201st Birthday
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 08:37:00 -0500
This month marks the 201st birthday of the renowned abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass was born into slavery around 1818. He died a free man in 1895. Thursday night, leaders from around the country gathered at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., to honor the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass as part of a ceremony culminating a year of events marking the bicentennial of the birth of the celebrated abolitionist, politician, writer, feminist, educator, entrepreneur and diplomat. We are joined by Kenneth Morris Jr., Frederick Douglass's great-great-great-grandson, president of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, and also the great-great-grandson of Booker T. Washington. He says the lesson he hopes young activists will take from his great-great-great-grandfather Frederick Douglass is: "Agitate. Agitate. Agitate. ... It's really important that activists and young people understand that they can lift their voices and agitate."

Asylum Seekers Are Being Imprisoned in an Abandoned Factory in Mexico Under Trump Admin Policy
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 08:32:44 -0500
As Trump plans to declare a national emergency, we look at what some have called the real humanitarian crisis at the border. Riot police in northern Mexico blocked hundreds of desperate Central American migrants Wednesday as they tried to escape an abandoned factory complex where they've been imprisoned while waiting for the U.S. to process their asylum claims. More than 1,700 migrants have been held in the maquiladora in the Mexican border town of Piedras Negras since February 5, after they arrived in a caravan of people seeking asylum in the U.S. The vast majority have remained prisoners at the site, after the Trump administration adopted a "Remain in Mexico" policy for asylum seekers—processing just 15 asylum applications per day at the nearby Eagle Pass border crossing. We hear from a migrant adult and child who spoke with the Texas-based immigrant rights group RAICES, and get an update from Erika Andiola, chief advocacy officer for RAICES, the Texas-based Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.

Immigrant Activists: Democrats Are Capitulating to Trump by Approving Border, DHS Funding
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 08:29:29 -0500
President Trump is expected to declare a national emergency today to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border despite opposition from Congress, after he signs the latest spending bill, which includes nearly $1.4 billion to build 55 miles of new border barriers out of steel, far less than the $5.7 billion he requested. Congressmembers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib issued a statement that they voted against the bill because it gives more funding to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "That is the right thing to do. We've been pushing for Democrats to do the right thing, to stop playing [Trump's] games," says our guest Erika Andiola, chief advocacy officer for RAICES, the Texas-based Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services.

New Interior Sec. David Bernhardt May Violate Trump's Ethics Rule on Lobbyists in His Administration
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 08:24:57 -0500
According to an ethics complaint Public Citizen filed recently with the Interior Department's ethics official and inspector general, President Trump's selection of David Bernhardt as secretary of the Interior Department appears to have violated Trump's executive order barring officials from working on any issues they had lobbied on in the two years prior to joining the administration. The complaint notes Bernhardt lobbied extensively on the Endangered Species Act, most recently on behalf of the Westlands Water District in 2016, when he reported lobbying on "potential legislation regarding the Bureau of Reclamation and the Endangered Species Act." We speak with Public Citizen President Robert Weissman.

Public Citizen: Trump's National Emergency Declaration Paves Way for Sweeping Authoritarianism
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 08:16:05 -0500
With one day left to pass a government spending bill before today's midnight deadline to avert another government shutdown, both the House and Senate passed the measure Thursday that came out of the bipartisan conference committee earlier this week. The bill includes nearly $1.4 billion to build 55 miles of new border barriers out of steel, far less than the $5.7 billion requested by President Trump. Democrats quickly condemned the news, and consumer rights nonprofit Public Citizen vowed legal action against him. We speak with Public Citizen President Robert Weissman.

Headlines for February 15, 2019
Fri, 15 Feb 2019 08:00:00 -0500
Trump to Use National Emergency Declaration to Build Border Wall, "It's Incredible": Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on Amazon Scrapping NYC Project After Grassroots Protests, Report: Amazon to Pay No Federal Taxes Despite Making $11 Billion in Reported Profits, Denver Teachers Declare Victory After 3-Day Strike, More U.S. Workers Went on Strike in 2018 Than in Any Year in Three Decades, Parkland Shooting Survivor Emma González: "We Fight Our Trauma by Fighting Against Gun Violence", William Barr Sworn In as Attorney General After Senate Confirmation, Former Deputy FBI Director Speaks Out on Launching Counterintelligence Probe of Trump, Pence Urges Europe to Pull Out of Iran Nuke Deal, Venezuela Accuses Elliott Abrams of Threatening to Deploy U.S. Troops, Cuba Claims U.S. Has Begun Moving Special Forces into Caribbean to Get Closer to Venezuela, India Blames Pakistan After Dozens of Indian Soldiers Killed in Kashmir, Egyptian Parliament Clears Way for el-Sisi to Rule Until 2034, U.S. Indian Health Service Faces Probe After Pedophile Doctor Allowed to Keep Working for Decades, Ex-Trump Officials Ryan Zinke & Corey Lewandowski Join D.C. Lobbying Firm, ACLU Sues over New U.S. Asylum Policy, Probe Begins into Disappearance of Saudi Students in U.S. Facing Criminal Charges, DNC Announces First Presidential Primary Debates Will Be Held in June

One Year After Parkland, 1,200 More Kids Are Dead by Gunfire—But Students Still Fight for Gun Safety
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 08:45:23 -0500
It's been one year since the devastating massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School—the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that galvanized the nation to take action against gun violence and turned a generation of young people into activists. On February 14, 2018, a former student armed with a semiautomatic AR-15 entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and opened fire, gunning down 17 students, staff and teachers in just three minutes. It was one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. Students who survived the massacre quickly came to national prominence as leading activists for gun control. We speak with Lois Beckett, senior reporter at The Guardian covering gun policy. Her latest piece is titled "'We can't let fear consume us': why Parkland activists won't give up."

Roberto Lovato: Elliott Abrams Is Bringing Violence of 1980s U.S. Latin America Policy to Venezuela
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 08:24:49 -0500
President Trump met with Colombian President Iván Duque at the White House Wednesday to discuss ongoing efforts to topple the Venezuelan government, the same day that U.S. special envoy to Venezuela Elliott Abrams faced questioning from Congress about his role in atrocities carried out in Latin America in the 1980s. This includes defending Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt's campaign of mass murder and torture of indigenous people. We speak with Roberto Lovato, independent journalist working out of the San Francisco Writers' Grotto, about the violent history of Elliott Abrams and the U.S.-backed opposition in Venezuela.

Ilhan Omar Grills Trump's Venezuela Envoy Elliott Abrams on His Role in US-Backed Genocide in 1980s
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 08:16:15 -0500
The new U.S. special envoy to Venezuela, Elliott Abrams, testified on Capitol Hill Wednesday on U.S. efforts to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Abrams spoke three weeks after the U.S. recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's new president. Since then, the U.S. has placed sweeping sanctions on Venezuela's state-run oil company and rejected calls for an international dialogue to resolve the crisis. Elliott Abrams is a right-wing hawk who was convicted in 1991 for lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal, but he was later pardoned by President George H.W. Bush. Abrams defended Guatemalan dictator General Efraín Ríos Montt as he oversaw a campaign of mass murder and torture of indigenous people in Guatemala in the 1980s. Ríos Montt was later convicted of genocide. Abrams was also linked to the 2002 coup in Venezuela that attempted to topple Hugo Chávez. Democratic Congressmember Ilhan Omar of Minnesota questioned Abrams about his record on Wednesday during his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Headlines for February 14, 2019
Thu, 14 Feb 2019 08:00:00 -0500
Congress to Vote on Spending Bill with $1.4 Billion for Border Wall, Mexico: Migrant Asylum Seekers Imprisoned in Abandoned Factory, House Votes to End U.S. Support for Saudi-Led War in Yemen, EU Adds Saudi Arabia, U.S. Territories to "Dirty Money" Blacklist, Afghan Taliban to Meet U.S. Envoys in Pakistan for Peace Talks, U.S. Bombings in Afghanistan Approached Record Levels in 2018, Iran: Suicide Bomber Kills 27 Revolutionary Guard Members, Trump Administration Convenes Anti-Iran Summit in Warsaw, Giuliani Calls for Regime Change in Iran at Rally Hosted by Terrorist-Linked Group, NYT: Trump Admin Expanded Program to Sabotage Iran's Rockets, Rep. Ilhan Omar Grills U.S. Venezuela Envoy over Role in U.S.-Backed Massacres, House Committee Advances First Gun Control Legislation Since 2007, FEMA Administrator Brock Long Resigns, Judge Rules Paul Manafort Intentionally Lied, Breaking Plea Deal, Top Democrat Suggests Acting AG Matthew Whitaker Lied to Congress, A Record 7 Million Americans At Least 90 Days Behind on Car Payments, Argentina: Tens of Thousands March Against IMF-Imposed Austerity, Philippines Journalist Maria Ressa Released on Bail

Atlanta School Cheating Scandal: The Untold Story of Corporate Greed & Criminalization of Teachers
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 08:30:14 -0500
As teacher strikes in Denver and Los Angeles join a wave of recent labor actions bringing attention to the plight of the American public school system, we take a fresh look at one of the largest public school scandals in U.S. history. Public schools in Atlanta, Georgia, were thrown into chaos in 2015 when 11 former educators were convicted in 2015 of racketeering and other charges for allegedly facilitating a massive cheating operation on standardized tests. Prosecutors said the teachers were forced to modify incorrect answers and students were even allowed to fix their responses during exams. The case has fueled criticism of the education system's reliance on standardized testing, and elicited calls of racism. Thirty-four of the 35 educators indicted in the scandal were African-American. We speak with Shani Robinson, one of the 11 convicted teachers, who has written a new book on the cheating scandal with journalist Anna Simonton. It's titled "None of the Above: The Untold Story of the Atlanta Public Schools Cheating Scandal, Corporate Greed, and the Criminalization of Educators."

Venezuela Accuses U.S. of Secretly Shipping Arms After Weapons Found on Plane with Possible CIA Ties
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 08:14:39 -0500
A North Carolina-based air freight company has halted flights to Venezuela following a report by McClatchy linking it to possible arms smuggling. Last week, Venezuelan authorities claimed they had uncovered 19 assault weapons, 118 ammunition cartridges and 90 military-grade radio antennas on board a U.S.-owned plane that had flown from Miami into Valencia, Venezuela's third-largest city. The Boeing 767 is owned by a company called 21 Air based in Greensboro, North Carolina. The plane had made nearly 40 round-trip flights between Miami and spots in Venezuela and Colombia since January 11, the day after Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was sworn in to a second term. The flights ended after McClatchy first reported on them. Venezuela accused the U.S. government of sending the arms as part of its attempt to topple the Maduro government. While no definitive links between 21 Air and the U.S. government have been established, McClatchy reports the chairman of 21 Air, Adolfo Moreno, as well as another employee at the company have ties to Gemini Air Cargo, which was involved in the CIA's rendition program during the administration of George W. Bush. We speak to McClatchy reporter Tim Johnson, who broke the story. Johnson was part of a team that shared a 2017 Pulitzer Prize for its investigation of the Panama Papers.

Headlines for February 13, 2019
Wed, 13 Feb 2019 08:00:00 -0500
Trump Remains Evasive on Funding Deal as Shutdown Deadline Approaches, Venezuelans Take to the Streets as Guaidó Sets Deadline for Aid to Enter Country, Venezuela's Guaidó Says He's in Talks to Restore Ties with Israel, Venezuelan President Maduro Says Trump Admin Run by KKK, Philippines: Journalist and Rappler Founder Maria Ressa Arrested, Spain: Catalan Leaders Stand Trial for 2017 Independence Bid, Turkey Issues 1,100 Arrest Warrants in Opposition Crackdown, Acting Defense Secretary Makes Surprise Trip to Iraq, Senate Passes Bill Protecting 1 Million Acres of Public Lands, NYC Jury Finds El Chapo Guilty on All Charges, Report Uncovers 20 Years of Sexual Abuse in Southern Baptist Church, Families Sue Gov't over Family Separation Policy, Measles Outbreak Attributed to Refusal to Vaccinate, CA Police Officers Fatally Shoot Rapper Who Was Sleeping in His Car, Nehanda Abiodun, Black Revolutionary and "Godmother of Cuban Hip-Hop," Dies at 86

The End of Ice: Dahr Jamail on Climate Disruption from the Melting Himalayas to Insect Extinction
Tue, 12 Feb 2019 08:32:52 -0500
A new report finds at least a third of the Himalayan ice cap will melt by the end of the century due to climate change, even if the world's most ambitious environmental reforms are implemented. The report, released by the Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment earlier this month, is the culmination of half a decade's work by over 200 scientists, with an additional 125 experts peer reviewing their work. It warns rising temperatures in the Himalayas could lead to mass population displacement, as well as catastrophic food and water insecurity. The glaciers are a vital water source for the 250 million people who live in the Hindu Kush Himalaya range, which spans from Afghanistan to Burma. More than 1.5 billion people depend on the rivers that flow from the Himalayan peaks. We speak with Dahr Jamail, independent journalist and Truthout staff reporter. He is the author of the new book "The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption."

Wright State Faculty Ends One of the Longest Strikes at a Public University in U.S. History
Tue, 12 Feb 2019 08:21:30 -0500
In Dayton, Ohio, faculty members at Wright State University have just concluded one of the longest public university strikes in U.S. history. On Sunday, the university's administration reached a tentative contract agreement with the faculty union's executive committee, which union members will vote to ratify in coming days. The strike began late last month, when the university imposed a contract on faculty members that worsened working conditions and decreased benefits. When the administration refused to negotiate, 85 percent of Wright State University's union members voted to authorize a strike. We speak with Rudy Fichtenbaum, president of the American Association of University Professors. He is the chief negotiator for the association's chapter at Wright State University, where he is professor emeritus of economics.

Denver Teachers Strike over Bonus-Based Pay System, Demanding Reliable Salary Plan & Better Wages
Tue, 12 Feb 2019 08:09:48 -0500
Public school teachers in Denver, Colorado, are striking for the second day, after negotiations between the teachers' union and the school district failed to reach a contract over the weekend. The Denver Classroom Teachers Association is demanding an increase in teachers' base salaries rather than putting money in incentives and bonuses. The Denver teachers walked out Monday following 15 months of negotiations over a controversial bonus-based pay system that educators say leaves them unable to predict their salaries and guarantee financial security. The starting salary for a Denver teacher for the 2019-2020 school year is $43,255, according to The Denver Post. This is the district's first teacher strike in 25 years. We speak with Henry Román, a Denver elementary school teacher and president of the Denver Classroom Teachers Association.

Headlines for February 12, 2019
Tue, 12 Feb 2019 08:00:00 -0500
Negotiators Reach Tentative Border Funding Deal as Shutdown Looms, Trump and Beto O'Rourke Hold Rival Rallies in El Paso, Rep. Ilhan Omar Apologizes for Critical AIPAC Tweet, Report: 40% of Insects May Go Extinct in Near Future, Yemen: Grain Supplies at Risk of Rotting as Millions Face Famine Risk, Syria: Airstrikes in ISIS Stronghold Kill Scores of Civilians, Mexico: Veteran Radio Reporter Jesús Ramos Rodríguez Murdered, Mexico: LGBT Activist Óscar Cazorla Found Dead, Cameroon: Hospital Arson Kills At Least 4 Amid Mounting Violence, Honduran and Nepali TPS Holders Sue Trump Administration, WSJ: Nat'l Enquirer Asked DOJ If It Should Register as Foreign Agent, Faculty at Wright State University End 20-Day Strike, Hartford Courant Journalists to Unionize

Greenwald: How Can Democrats Support Trump's Push for Regime Change to Seize Venezuela's Oil?
Mon, 11 Feb 2019 08:54:32 -0500
The U.S. and Russia have proposed opposing draft resolutions at the U.N. Security Council as the leadership crisis in Venezuela deepens. The U.S. is calling for elections in Venezuela and for international aid deliveries to be allowed to enter the country. The Russians called out international intervention in the affairs of Venezuela and the threat of foreign military action. The Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro is accusing the United States of attempting to stage a coup. We speak to The Intercept's Glenn Greenwald about the actions of Washington and of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

"This Is Just the Beginning": Greenwald on Rising State Violence & Homophobia in Bolsonaro's Brazil
Mon, 11 Feb 2019 08:47:30 -0500
On Friday, an operation by Brazilian military police in Rio de Janeiro left at least 13 people dead after a shootout in the neighborhood of Santa Teresa. Police say they were there to investigate suspected drug traffickers but encountered gunfire when they entered the area. Last month, Rio's new governor, Wilson Witzel, said that city security forces were authorized to shoot to kill suspects. He also said Rio should have its own Guantánamo Bay to house criminals, whom he labeled "terrorists." Brazil's new president, Jair Bolsonaro, has vowed to intensify the war on drugs. While running for president, Bolsonaro said a "good criminal is a dead criminal." In other news from Brazil, Brazil's first elected openly gay federal lawmaker, Jean Wyllys, recently left his post and fled Brazil, amid growing homophobic violence coinciding with the rise of Bolsonaro. He was replaced in Brazil's Congress by David Miranda, a Rio city councilmember and husband of our guest, Glenn Greenwald.

Glenn Greenwald Defends Rep. Ilhan Omar: Criticizing Israeli Lobby & AIPAC Is Not Anti-Semitic
Mon, 11 Feb 2019 08:41:55 -0500
Democratic Congressmember Ilhan Omar of Minnesota is facing criticism today after commenting on a tweet by Glenn Greenwald. On Sunday, Greenwald tweeted, "GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy threatens punishment for @IlhanMN and @RashidaTlaib over their criticisms of Israel. It's stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans." Rep. Omar retweeted his post and added the line: "It's all about the Benjamins baby." She later named AIPAC as the organization paying American politicians to be pro-Israel.

Glenn Greenwald: As Bezos Protests Invasion of His Privacy, Amazon Builds Global Surveillance State
Mon, 11 Feb 2019 08:14:45 -0500
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is publicly accusing the owner of the National Enquirer of "extortion and blackmail," weeks after the paper revealed details about his extramarital affair. Bezos had recently hired a private investigator to determine how the tabloid newspaper obtained private text messages between him and his lover, and whether the paper's actions were politically motivated. The National Enquirer's parent company, American Media, Inc., responded to Bezos's investigation by threatening to publish revealing photos of Bezos if he did not agree to publicly state that the Enquirer's coverage was not politically motivated or influenced by political forces. We speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald about the dispute and Amazon's role in building the surveillance state.

Headlines for February 11, 2019
Mon, 11 Feb 2019 08:00:00 -0500
Shutdown Talks Stall as Friday Deadline Looms, Virginia: Gov. Northam Refuses to Step Down Amid Racism Crisis, Second Woman Accuses Virginia Lt. Gov. Fairfax of Rape, Venezuela: U.S. and Russia Dig In at U.N. with Rival Resolutions, Venezuela: Standoff over Aid Pits Military Against Guaidó Supporters, Rio: At Least 13 Dead in Shootout, Haiti: At Least 2 Killed in Anti-Government Protests, Gaza: Israeli Forces Kill 2 Teenage Protesters, Acting Pentagon Chief: No Orders to Withdraw U.S. Troops from Afghanistan, AMI, Saudi Official Respond After Bezos Accuses Nat'l Enquirer of Blackmail, Denver Public School Teachers Go on Strike, Keystone Likely Responsible for MO Oil Spill, NYC: Protesters Blast Guggenheim's Ties to Sackler Family, WaPo: Amazon May Reconsider NYC HQ2 Deal, Sen. Amy Klobuchar Enters 2020 Presidential Race, Sen. Elizabeth Warren Formally Launches 2020 Presidential Run, Grammys Celebrates Firsts, Highlighting Women and Rap, GOP Rep. Walter Jones, Who Shifted Position on Iraq War, Dies at 76

Dems Accuse Trump Admin of "State-Sponsored Child Abuse" as Separated Migrant Children Scandal Grows
Fri, 08 Feb 2019 08:48:48 -0500
Trump administration officials are acknowledging that there may be thousands more missing immigrant children who were separated from their parents than originally reported. This was the focus of a hearing on Thursday of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. We speak to Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project. He is the lead lawyer on the ACLU's national challenge to the Trump administration's family separation practice. He testified at the hearing yesterday.

Ocasio-Cortez & Markey Unveil Sweeping "Green New Deal" to Radically Shift U.S. Off Fossil Fuels
Fri, 08 Feb 2019 08:39:28 -0500
After months of anticipation, Democratic New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey introduced a resolution for the Green New Deal Thursday, presenting a sweeping plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, make major investments in public transit and federal jobs, fully transition the U.S. electricity off fossil fuels and codify indigenous peoples' rights to prior consent and approval for decisions that affect them. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi seemed to mock the proposal on Wednesday, referring to it as a "green dream, or whatever they call it." We speak to journalist Kate Aronoff, a fellow at the Type Media Center and a contributing writer to The Intercept and Jacobin.

Planned Parenthood: SCOTUS Halts Louisiana Abortion Law for Now, But Roe v. Wade Fate Uncertain
Fri, 08 Feb 2019 08:12:46 -0500
The Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a restrictive Louisiana anti-choice law from going into effect Thursday, in a major victory for reproductive rights advocates. The case was seen as a litmus test for determining whether millions of women across the nation will continue to have access to abortions. The divided court ruled 5 to 4 in favor of an emergency appeal by a Louisiana-based abortion provider, Hope Medical Group for Women, to temporarily block a Republican-backed law that could have left the state with just a single doctor legally allowed to perform abortions. The law requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinics. Pro-choice groups call such statutes TRAP laws, or "targeted regulation of abortion providers." We speak to Dr. Leana Wen, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Headlines for February 8, 2019
Fri, 08 Feb 2019 08:00:00 -0500
Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Louisiana Abortion Law, Green New Deal: Rep. Ocasio-Cortez & Sen. Markey Introduce Landmark Resolution, U.S. Spy Agencies: Saudi Crown Prince Said He Would Go After Khashoggi "With a Bullet", Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Accuses National Enquirer of "Extortion and Blackmail", Report: U.S.-Based Plane Caught Bringing Arms into Venezuela, U.S. Special Envoy Elliott Abrams Rules Out Negotiations with Maduro, Senate Judiciary Committee Narrowly Backs William Barr to Become Attorney General, Acting AG Matthew Whitaker to Testify on Capitol Hill, Arizona Prisoner Dies Weeks After Warning "I Am Being Killed" Due to Medical Neglect, Protesters Rally Outside Brooklyn Jail Where Prisoners Were Held Without Heat, Video Shows Penn. School Officer Attacking Black Teenage Girl, Frank Robinson, Major League Baseball's First Black Manager, Dies at 83, John Dingell, Longest-Serving Member of Congress, Dies at 92

Meet Victorina Morales, an Undocumented Immigrant Who Spent Five Years as Trump's Housekeeper
Thu, 07 Feb 2019 08:34:25 -0500
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey is calling on the FBI and Department of Homeland Security to investigate whether employees at Trump National Golf Club broke the law by helping undocumented employees obtain fake work papers amid news reports that the Trump company has fired at least 18 undocumented workers from five golf courses in New York and New Jersey in the past two months. On Monday, Menendez called on the federal government to allow former undocumented employees of the Trump properties to remain in the country while the investigation proceeds. We speak with an undocumented housekeeper from Guatemala named Victorina Morales, who helped expose what was happening on the Trump properties by speaking on the record to The New York Times. Morales spent years making Donald Trump's bed and performing other duties at his New Jersey club, even though she was undocumented. She attended the State of the Union as a guest of Democratic Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey. We speak with Morales, Watson Coleman and Morales's lawyer, Anibal Romero.

Political Scientist: Blackface Is a National Problem & Virginia's Top Officials Must Step Down
Thu, 07 Feb 2019 08:13:36 -0500
A reckoning about racism and sexual assault has left Virginia's government in disarray, with the state's top three elected officials—all Democrats—facing political crises that threaten to upend their careers and the state's leadership. The controversy that has enveloped Virginia since Governor Ralph Northam admitted last week to wearing blackface took a shocking turn Wednesday, when Attorney General Mark Herring also admitted to wearing blackface at a college party. Just days prior, Herring—who is second in line for Virginia's governorship—had called for Governor Northam to resign. The first in line, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, is also embroiled in scandal after a woman who's accused him of sexual assault came forward Wednesday with details of the encounter. Governor Northam has refused to step down since a racist photo from his 1984 medical school yearbook page emerged featuring a man wearing blackface posing next to a man wearing a Ku Klux Klan outfit. If all three of the Democratic politicians resign, Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox is next in line to become governor. We speak with Khalilah Brown-Dean, an associate professor of political science at Quinnipiac University, who is from Lynchburg, Virginia, and a graduate of the University of Virginia. Her forthcoming book is titled "Identity Politics in the United States."

Headlines for February 7, 2019
Thu, 07 Feb 2019 08:00:00 -0500
Professor Details Sexual Assault Allegations Against Virginia Lt. Gov., Virginia AG Mark Herring Says He Wore Blackface at 1980 College Party, NASA and NOAA Data Show 2018 Was Among Hottest Years on Record, House Democrats Hold Hearing on Bill to Expand Gun Background Checks, House Advances Bill to End U.S. Support for Saudi-Led War in Yemen, Taliban Says U.S. Has Agreed to Halve Its Afghanistan Troop Presence, Honduran Prosecutors: Energy Executive Masterminded Berta Cáceres Murder, New Mexico Governor Withdraws National Guard from U.S.-Mexico Border, Pentagon Deploys 3,750 Additional Troops to U.S.-Mexico Border, Supreme Court to Rule on Restrictive Louisiana Anti-Choice Law, Civil Rights Groups Challenge Texas Voter Purge Targeting Immigrants, Trump Administration to Roll Back Payday Loan Regulations, Teachers in Chicago and Oakland Take Labor Action, Izzy Young, Who Led American Folk Music Revival, Dies at 90

Puerto Rico: Vulture Funds to Make a Killing as Judge Approves Deal to Restructure Island's Debt
Wed, 06 Feb 2019 08:53:49 -0500
A federal judge has approved a plan for Puerto Rico to restructure a portion of its debt which would require Puerto Rico to pay $32 billion over 40 years. Critics say the deal will allow vulture funds to make huge profits by buying up those debts. Several of those vulture funds include public employee pension funds and the investment funds of Harvard, Princeton and Yale. Judge Laura Taylor Swain, who held a hearing on the proposed deal last month, echoed critics' concerns about Puerto Rico's ability to make the payments and the likely effects on public services. However, she said in her decision, "[T]he Court is not free to impose its own view of what the optimal resolution of the dispute could have been."

Ana María Archila: Brett Kavanaugh's Presence at SOTU Represented Failure of U.S. Democracy
Wed, 06 Feb 2019 08:46:03 -0500
As we continue to discuss President Trump's State of the Union, we are joined by Ana María Archila, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy. She attended the address as a guest of New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In September, Archila made headlines when she, along with another woman, Maria Gallagher, confronted Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona in an elevator after he announced his support for Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. Shortly after the confrontation, Sen. Flake called for a delay of the Senate vote pending a limited FBI investigation.

"Liar-in-Chief": Rep. Ilhan Omar Slams Trump's SOTU Remarks on Border, Venezuela, Israel & More
Wed, 06 Feb 2019 08:14:44 -0500
In his State of the Union address on Tuesday night, President Trump called for bipartisan unity while he attacked Democrats and the Robert Mueller investigation, denounced efforts to expand abortion rights in Virginia and New York, attacked immigrants and reiterated his demand for a border wall—with no mention of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, which delayed his address by a week. Women in Congress wore all white to the speech in a nod to the movement for women's suffrage. After the address, former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams made history, becoming the first African-American woman to give the Democratic response. We're joined by Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, the first Somali American elected to the House of Representatives and one of the first Muslim women in Congress. Her guest at last night's presidential address was a Liberian woman who fled to Minnesota in 2000 due to civil war and is now facing the threat of deportation from the United States.

Headlines for February 6, 2019
Wed, 06 Feb 2019 08:00:00 -0500
Trump Attacks Immigrants, Abortion Rights, Democratic Investigations in SOTU, Stacey Abrams Slams Gov't Shutdown, Voter Suppression in SOTU Response, School Apologizes for Racist Yearbook Photos as VA Gov. Northam Resists Resignation, Pope Francis Acknowledges Priests Sexually Abused Nuns, Ex-President of Costa Rica Accused of Sexual Assault, At Least 29 Haitian Migrants Killed in Shipwreck, Taliban Attacks Kill 50 in Afghanistan, CNN: Saudis Gave U.S. Weapons to al-Qaeda, Other Militants in Yemen, CENTCOM Head Was Not Notified of U.S. Troop Withdrawal from Syria, Anti-BDS Lawsuit Against Salaita & American Studies Association Dismissed, Senate Passes Anti-BDS Bill, Dems Grill Trump Judicial Pick Rao on Past Sexual Assault Victim Blaming, Ex-Koch Official Overseeing EPA Water Regulations, The Intercept: Pelosi Aide Told Health Insurance Reps Dems Will Oppose Single Payer, Judge Approves Major Debt Restructuring Plan for Puerto Rico, Alabama AG Clears Officer for Killing Man Wrongly Believed to Be Mall Shooter, NYC Judge Visits Jail Where Inmates Suffered Freezing Conditions with No Power, Grammy-Nominated Artist 21 Savage Detained by ICE

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