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#CancelRent: Tenants Demand Rent Relief & Organize Strikes as Unemployment Surges Due to COVID-19
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 08:48:15 -0400
Today is April 1, and millions across the country don't have the money to pay rent. But despite eviction moratoriums and relief on mortgage payments in hard-hit states like California, Washington and New York, no rent freeze has been ordered. In response, tenants around the country are calling for immediate rent cancellation. Some are planning to "rent strike." Meanwhile, many workers who lost their income due to the pandemic haven't even been able to file for unemployment in New York state, with the unemployment website continually crashing and phone lines jammed. Seven-point-eight million people called the New York state Labor Department hotline last week, compared to the average 50,000. We get an update from Cea Weaver, campaign coordinator for Housing Justice for All, which is organizing to cancel rent during the coronavirus.

With Hospitals Reaching Breaking Point, Pregnant People Face Additional Uncertainty During Pandemic
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 08:32:16 -0400
New York hospitals cannot force pregnant people to give birth without a chosen support person. That's what an executive order released by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Sunday revealed. The order comes in response to a move by the NewYork-Presbyterian and the Mount Sinai hospital systems to bar partners from labor and delivery rooms, causing widespread outrage. But how are pregnant people coping with new hospital guidelines and uncertain conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic? We speak with freelance journalist Amy Littlefield, who focuses on the intersection of religion and healthcare, about what she is confronting now at the end of her pregnancy. Her piece for Insider is "I'm nine months pregnant, and I'm bringing my baby into a world I no longer understand. I have to remain hopeful anyway."

"Profit Over People": UPS Workers Say Company Not Prioritizing Safety as Workers Test Positive
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 08:16:29 -0400
The White House is now estimating 100,000 to a quarter of a million people could die from the coronavirus pandemic. Some of those most concerned about exposure to the highly infectious virus are workers on the frontlines of grocery stores and delivery services. On Monday, Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island walked off the job, and the company fired one of them in response. At least three employees at a large UPS facility near Boston have tested positive, and two dozen more have been quarantined. Details about the infections were shared by the workers' union because they said the company refused to provide the critical information to its employees. We speak with Richard Hooker, secretary-treasurer of the Philadelphia Teamsters Local 623, and David Levin, lead organizer with Teamsters for a Democratic Union and the coordinator of the UPS Teamsters United campaign.

Headlines for April 1, 2020
Wed, 01 Apr 2020 08:00:00 -0400
No Longer Downplaying Virus, Trump Says Up to 240,000 Will Die in U.S. from COVID-19, FEMA Sends 85 Refrigerated Trucks to NYC as Makeshift Morgues as COVID-19 Deaths Grow, As Confirmed U.S. Cases Top 188,000, Unhoused People Forced to Sleep in Las Vegas Parking Lot, Chicago COVID-19 Nurse Quits over Critical Lack of Personal Protective Equipment, Fed Economists: U.S. Unemployment Could Reach Record 32% in June, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Demands Release of All Jailed Immigrants Amid Pandemic, Captain Calls for Evacuation of Infected U.S. Aircraft Carrier: "Sailors Do Not Need to Die", Governor Won't Allow Sickened Cruise Ship Passengers to Be "Dumped" in Florida, Italy Holds Moment of Silence as COVID-19 Deaths Reach 12,000, Spain Records Highest COVID-19 Death Toll Yet, as Medical Workers Warn of "Inferno", Asylum Seeker Gets COVID-19 in Greece; Brazilians Continue to Protest from Home, Nigerians Fear Starvation as Africa's Largest City Enters Lockdown, Ugandan Police Arrest Homeless LGBTQ Youth for Alleged Quarantine Violation, Indonesian Drones Spray Clouds of Disinfectant, Raising Fears of Poisonings, CNN's Chris Cuomo Tests Positive for COVID-19 as Fox News Fears Lawsuits over Coverage, Federal Appeals Court Will Allow Texas Abortion Ban to Remain in Effect for Now, Trump Finalizes Rollback of Mileage Standards, Gutting Efforts to Stem Climate Crisis, U.S. Shifts Policy on Venezuela, Suggesting "Power Sharing" Interim Government

"It Shattered My Life": Former Joe Biden Staffer Tara Reade Says He Sexually Assaulted Her in 1993
Tue, 31 Mar 2020 08:41:40 -0400
In an exclusive Democracy Now! TV/radio broadcast, we speak with Tara Reade, the former staffer in Joe Biden's Senate office who has come forward with allegations that Biden sexually assaulted her in 1993. Last week, The Intercept reported that the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, set up to help survivors of rape and sexual assault, refused to fund a #MeToo investigation into allegations against Biden. Reade told journalist Katie Halper in an interview published Tuesday that Biden repeatedly touched her without her consent and sexually assaulted her. Reade approached the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund in January looking for assistance, but was reportedly told the fund could not help her because Biden is a candidate for federal office, and pursuing a case could jeopardize the fund's nonprofit status. Reade says she learned from The Intercept report that the public relations firm representing Time's Up Legal Defense Fund is SKDKnickerbocker, whose managing director, Anita Dunn, is top adviser to Biden's presidential campaign.

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Communities Enduring Racism & Poverty Will Suffer Most Due to COVID-19
Tue, 31 Mar 2020 08:23:06 -0400
As the number of coronavirus deaths in the United States tops 3,100, states are demanding ventilators and medical supplies. Michigan is a growing hot spot and struggling to prepare for a surge in cases, but President Trump has repeatedly attacked Michigan's governor, calling her "that woman." We speak with the former director of the Detroit Health Department, Abdul El-Sayed. He's a physician and epidemiologist, and his new book is just out today, "Healing Politics: A Doctor's Journey into the Heart of Our Political Epidemic." His recent piece for The Guardian is headlined "Coronavirus is exploiting an underlying condition: our epidemic of insecurity."

Headlines for March 31, 2020
Tue, 31 Mar 2020 08:00:00 -0400
U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Top 3,100 as Three-Quarters of the Population Are Told to Stay Home , Trump Alleges Lack of COVID-19 Tests No Longer an Issue as Governors Denounce Shortage of Medical Supplies, NJ Nursing Home on Lockdown After a COVID-19 Outbreak Killed 8 People , NYC Transit Passengers Call Out Dangerously Crowded Subways, Buses , NY Rep. Velázquez Diagnosed with Presumed Coronavirus Infection , Amazon Fires Organizer of Staten Island Strike Action , Beloved NYC Transgender Advocate Lorena Borjas Dies After Contracting COVID-19 , Renowned Neurosurgeon Dr. James Goodrich Dies of COVID-19 Complications , Protesters in Philadelphia, New Jersey Demand Release of Nonviolent & Immigrant Prisoners , GE and Ford to Produce 50,000 Ventilators as GE Workers in MA Demand Company Rehire Fired Workers , Florida Pastor Arrested for Violating Public Gathering Rules , Judges Strike Down Abortion Bans in Texas and Ohio , Fired Peace Corps Volunteers Face Unemployment, Confusion Around Benefits , U.S. Military Reports First COVID-19 Death , DOJ Investigates Lawmaker Stock Transaction Before Market Crash, Scientists and Medical Experts Develop New Theories About Spread of Coronavirus , Spain Reports 800+ New COVID-19 Deaths; Anti-Fascist Activist José María Galante Dies, Hungary Passes New Law Granting Sweeping Power to Authoritarian PM Viktor Orbán, Italy Reports Lowest Daily Coronavirus Case Count in 2 Weeks as Death Toll Tops 11,000 , Israel PM Netanyahu Enters Quarantine After Aide Tests Positive for COVID-19 , Afghanistan Releases Hundreds of Prisoners to Limit Coronavirus Outbreaks , 1000s Gather in San Salvador to Demand Coronavirus Aid , Indian Health Workers Hose Migrant Workers with Disinfectant , China, Hong Kong, Singapore Impose Travel Restrictions to Prevent 2nd Outbreak of COVID-19, South African Police Officer Arrested for Allegedly Killing Man Who Violated Nat'l Lockdown, Despite Coronavirus Pandemic, Biden Continues to Reject Single-Payer Healthcare, Several States Pass Laws to Criminalize Protests Against Fossil Fuel Industry , Gannett Will Cut Pay, Furlough Employees Amid Economic Loss From Coronavirus Pandemic, Idaho Signs Two Anti-Trans Bills on the Eve of Transgender Day of Visibility , Trump Admin Revokes Federal Protected Status of Mashpee Tribe Land

"Housing Is Health": Calls Grow for California to Give Vacant Homes to Unhoused People Amid Pandemic
Mon, 30 Mar 2020 08:49:47 -0400
We look at the crisis of homelessness during the coronavirus pandemic in California, where the number of cases has passed 6,000 with 132 deaths. The entire state has been ordered to shelter in place, leaving the state's massive unhoused population extremely vulnerable. As the state braces for a surge in cases, tens of thousands of people are living on the streets. A recent study estimates that nearly 2,600 unhoused people will need to be hospitalized for the virus in Los Angeles alone — and nearly 1,000 will need intensive care. We speak with Martha Escudero, a member of a group of unhoused mothers, elders and families who have moved into vacant houses, and Carroll Fife, director of the Oakland office for Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE).

Housing Not Shelters: Amid Pandemic, Homeless New Yorkers Demand Refuge in Vacant Apartments, Hotels
Mon, 30 Mar 2020 08:41:11 -0400
More than 100 million people across the United States have been ordered to stay home to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but what about people who are homeless? Tens of thousands of homeless people in New York City shelters and on the streets have been left with no way to safely shelter in place. We hear from people who are homeless, and speak with Kiana Davis, advocate and policy analyst with the Safety Net Project at the Urban Justice Center.

We Need a Public Health New Deal: Neoliberal Austerity & Private Healthcare Worsened U.S. Pandemic
Mon, 30 Mar 2020 08:21:01 -0400
It's been described as the public health failure of the century. As the United States leads the world in coronavirus infections, a record number of Americans file for unemployment. Gasping for air, gasping for care; what does global health justice look like? We speak with two Yale professors who say decades of neoliberal austerity make it harder to fight the pandemic. They propose a New Deal for public health. Gregg Gonsalves is assistant professor in epidemiology of microbial diseases at Yale School of Public Health; Amy Kapczynski is professor of law at Yale Law School and co-founder of the Law and Political Economy blog. They are co-directors of the Global Health Justice Partnership.

Headlines for March 30, 2020
Mon, 30 Mar 2020 08:00:00 -0400
Trump Extends Social Distancing, Says U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Could Reach 100,000 , States Mandate Quarantines, Set Up Checkpoints to Limit Cross-State COVID-19 Infections , ER Doctor Who Blasted Lack of Worker & Patient Protections at WA Hospital Removed from Post, Coronavirus Cases Mount in Prisons and Among Law Enforcement Workers , 9-Month-Old Is First Known Infant to Die from the Coronavirus in U.S. , Cigna and Humana to Waive Copays for Coronavirus Treatment , CBS News Executive and Cancer Survivor Maria Mercader Dies from Coronavirus , New York Scrambles to Build Hospitals, Imposes Fines for Violating Social Distancing Rules , NYC Nurses Protest Lack of Critical Equipment, New York Bars Hospitals from Banning Support People During Labor and Delivery, CA Gov. Newsom Says State Received 170 Broken Ventilators from Nat'l Stockpile , President Trump Signs $2 Trillion Coronavirus Stimulus Package , Millions of Undocumented Workers Left Out of Coronavirus Stimulus Plan; Dozens of Immigrants on Hunger Strike at Northwest Detention Center , Staten Island Amazon Employees to Walk Out as Workers for Grocery Delivery App Instacart Go on Strike, Death Toll Nearing 11,000 in Italy as Nations Hardest Hit by Coronavirus Pandemic Demand Aid from EU, Popular Japanese Comedian Ken Shimura Dies of COVID-19 , Police in Philippines Reportedly Are Locking People Who Violate Nat'l Lockdown in Dog Cages , First COVID-19 Death Reported in Syria as Libya Announces It'll Free 450 Prisoners to Stem Spread of Coronavirus, Brazilian Govs. to Promote Social Distancing; Guatemalan Man Deported from U.S. Tests Positive for COVID-19 , Coronavirus Cases Mount in Africa as Governments Turn to Repressive Measures, U.S. Pulls Out of Third Iraqi Base, Civil Rights Icon Rev. Joseph E. Lowery Dies at 98

When Home Isn't Safe: Shelter-in-Place Is Putting Domestic Violence Survivors in a "Dire Situation"
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 08:51:20 -0400
As schools shut, public spaces close, and all but essential workers are ordered to stay indoors under shelter-in-place orders across the U.S. and globe, domestic violence services are scrambling to help vulnerable people navigate home lives that they say are increasingly unsafe during the pandemic. What happens when you're trapped at home with your abuser? "This is really a dire situation for a lot of victims across the country," says Katie Ray-Jones, chief executive officer of the National Domestic Violence Hotline and loveisrespect.

"Total System Failure": Congress Pushes $2 Trillion Pandemic Bill. Will Dems Allow "Corporate Coup"?
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 08:39:15 -0400
We continue our look at the massive $2 trillion coronavirus relief package — the largest stimulus bill in U.S. history — with author Matt Stoller, who argues the country will be unrecognizable after this pandemic if big corporations walk away with trillions of dollars and no strings attached. Stoller is research director at the American Economic Liberties Project and author of the book "Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy." His recent column for The Guardian is headlined "The coronavirus relief bill could turn into a corporate coup if we aren't careful."

U.S. Is #1 in Pandemic: Rep. Omar Blasts Trump for "Wrong Kind of American Exceptionalism"
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 08:16:50 -0400
As much of the United States is under lockdown, the House votes today on a $2 trillion emergency relief package to address the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. It will generate payments to most Americans and includes protections for workers, but it is also a massive bailout for a number of industries and corporations, and the vote comes as a record 3.28 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits. We speak with Congressmember Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, the first Somali American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and one of the first Muslim women in Congress, about the bill, Trump's response to the pandemic, how she has joined calls for student debt relief and to release immigrants and prisoners facing infection, and the challenges African countries face in responding to the coronavirus.

Headlines for March 27, 2020
Fri, 27 Mar 2020 08:00:00 -0400
U.S. Leads World in Reported COVID-19 Cases as Hospitalizations Surge, Trump Doubts New York City's Need for 30,000 Life-Saving Ventilators, Politico: President Trump Failed to Follow Pandemic Playbook, Squandering Precious Time, Detroit and Chicago Join New Orleans as U.S. Coronavirus Hot Spots, House to Vote on Record-Shattering $2.2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package, Three Unaccompanied Migrant Children Test Positive for COVID-19, Jailed Asylum Seekers Stage Hunger Strike, Demanding Release During Pandemic, Activists Demand Release of Aging Prisoners as Coronavirus Spreads, Hospitals in Spain and Italy on the Brink of Collapse as COVID-19 Deaths Mount, British PM Boris Johnson Sickened with COVID-19; Ireland to Nationalize Hospitals, Tokyo Streets Remain Crowded as Japanese PM Resists Calls for Lockdown, Health Official Fears 100,000 Deaths If Coronavirus Hits Camps for Displaced Syrians, Ethiopia to Release Prisoners over COVID-19 Fears, as South Africa Locks Down, Brazil's President Exempts Churches from Lockdown as COVID-19 Surges, EPA Indefinitely Suspends Enforcement of Environmental Laws, Climate Change Pushes Australia's Great Barrier Reef to the Brink, Supreme Court Raises Bar to Prove Racial Discrimination in Lawsuits, U.S. Indicts Venezuelan President, Alleging Plot to "Flood the United States with Cocaine", Liyna Anwar, Whose Battle with Cancer Inspired Bone Marrow Donors, Dies Aged 30

"Chaotic Situation": India Begins Lockdown of 1.3 Billion Residents as Coronavirus Pandemic Spreads
Thu, 26 Mar 2020 08:43:04 -0400
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads around the world, we look at India, which is now under the largest lockdown in human history, with 1.3 billion people ordered to shelter in place. As the country's economy and daily life come to an abrupt halt, hundreds of millions of Indians who live hand to mouth have been left without the means to support their families. We speak with Amitav Ghosh, whose books include "Gun Island" and "The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable."

Bernie Sanders Fights for Laid-off Worker Protections in $2 Trillion Stimulus with Corporate Bailout
Thu, 26 Mar 2020 08:36:27 -0400
The Senate unanimously approved a historic $2.2 trillion emergency relief package late Wednesday night to battle the unprecedented economic shock of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The House will consider the bill Friday before it goes to President Trump's desk to be signed into law. 

The bill would massively expand unemployment benefits, providing laid-off workers up to 100% of their salary and health insurance benefits for four months. Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders successfully fought to strengthen the bill's assistance to laid-off workers, and voted "yes" even as he warned about the bill's corporate bailout fund. "We do not need, at this moment in history, to provide a massive amount of corporate welfare to large profitable corporations," Sanders said in a video explaining his vote.

"In a Week We Will Be Italy": NYC ER Doctor Says the U.S. Pandemic Will Only Get Worse
Thu, 26 Mar 2020 08:17:01 -0400
As New York hospitals see a surge in coronavirus cases, medical workers report growing shortages of protective gear, and a nurse who tested positive after treating patients with the highly contagious disease has died. "It's pretty dire inside New York City hospitals right now," says New York City emergency room doctor Craig Spencer. "We have a growing number of patients coming in every day with coronavirus. We have people young and old, with complications, without complications, who get put on mechanical ventilators, who get put on life support to help their breathing, who have cardiac arrest. It's a daily reality for many of my colleagues on the frontline." Spencer is also a survivor of Ebola, which he contracted while fighting its outbreak in Africa.

Headlines for March 26, 2020
Thu, 26 Mar 2020 08:00:00 -0400
Senate Approves Historic $2.2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package, Republican Sen. John Thune Misses Vote on Coronavirus Bailout Due to Illness, New York City Hospitals Set Up Makeshift Morgues as COVID-19 Deaths Multiply, U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Top 1,000 as Louisiana Cases Soar, Pittsburgh Sanitation Workers Hold Wildcat Strike, Demanding Safety Gear, COVID-19 Claims Playwright Terrence McNally, Chef Floyd Cardoz and Fashionista Jenny Polanco, World Health Organization Urges Dramatic Action as Global Coronavirus Cases Near 500,000, Italy's COVID-19 Infection Rate Slows as Spain's Death Toll Surpasses China's, Indian Police Beat Curfew Violators on First Day of Lockdown for 1.3 Billion People, Kosovo Prime Minister Ousted over Coronavirus Response as Santiago, Chile Locks Down, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern: Act Like You Have COVID-19 and Stay Home, Joe Biden Dismisses Bernie Sanders Challenge for April Presidential Debate, The Intercept: Time's Up Legal Defense Fund Refused to Support #MeToo Sex Assault Allegation Against Joe Biden, Trump Repeats Call to Reopen U.S. Economy on Easter Sunday Despite Dire Warnings from Health Officials, Federal Judge Orders Environmental Review of Dakota Access Pipeline

Calls Grow for Sen. Burr to Resign After He Sold $1.7 Million in Stocks & Downplayed COVID-19 Risks
Wed, 25 Mar 2020 08:52:09 -0400
Calls are growing for Republican Senator Richard Burr to resign after he reportedly sold up to $1.7 million worth of stocks after receiving privileged briefings about the coronavirus's threat to the global economy. ProPublica reports Burr, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, unloaded his holdings on February 13 in 33 separate transactions. At the time, he had access to classified information about the coronavirus and was receiving daily intelligence briefings. The stock market began plummeting a week after Burr's sales and has since lost about 30% of its value. We speak with Derek Willis of ProPublica, one of the reporters who broke the story.

"People Go Before Money. This Is About Saving Lives," Says San Juan Mayor on Pandemic in Puerto Rico
Wed, 25 Mar 2020 08:45:51 -0400
Puerto Rico announced a record $787 million financial package to fight the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic Monday, as the island's death toll hits two with 39 cases reported. The pandemic follows a series of devastating earthquakes in Puerto Rico earlier this year and comes as the island continues to deal with fallout from Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico's infrastructure and killed at least 3,000. "One of the things that I think is evident is that with the Trump administration and FEMA, we have to continue to remind them, time and time again, that we are people and that we deserve to be treated with the same sense of justice, urgency and dignity as anybody else," says our guest, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

Madrid's Ice Rink Turned to Morgue as Spain Exceeds China in Coronavirus Deaths
Wed, 25 Mar 2020 08:35:01 -0400
We go to Madrid, Spain, one of the epicenters of the pandemic in Europe, where health workers account for nearly 14% of the country's infections. Many face limited availability of protective equipment. So many people have died that Madrid's municipal funeral home has stopped collecting bodies. A large ice rink is now being used as a makeshift morgue, and the government plans to extend the state of emergency by another 15 days in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. "If Madrid was a country, it would actually be fifth in terms of death rate in the entire world," says María Carrión, journalist and former Democracy Now! news producer.

Frontline NY Nurses Lack Protective Masks & Ventilators, Say Worst Yet to Come as COVID-19 Spreads
Wed, 25 Mar 2020 08:14:39 -0400
As the New York metro area has 60% of all the new coronavirus cases in the United States and is responsible for half the cases all over the country, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday the number of hospitalizations is expected to peak in the next 40 days as hospitals are already encountering shortages of equipment needed to protect medical workers and to keep patients alive when the city's COVID-19 cases peak in the coming weeks. We're joined by two people on the frontlines of the pandemic: Sean Petty, a registered nurse in the pediatric emergency room of a public hospital in the Bronx and member of the New York State Nurses Association board of directors, and Kelley Cabrera, an emergency room nurse at a public hospital in the Bronx.

Headlines for March 25, 2020
Wed, 25 Mar 2020 08:00:00 -0400
Senate and White House Reach Agreement on $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill, NY Governor Blasts Trump's Coronavirus Response, Asking "Where Are the Ventilators?", Two Georgia Medical Workers Die of COVID-19 Amid Critical Shortage of Protective Gear, California Seeks to Add 50,000 Hospital Beds Ahead of COVID-19 Peak, Washington to Inspect Nursing Homes After 37 Die of Coronavirus at Life Care Center, Minnesota Lt. Gov.'s Brother Dies of COVID-19; Sen. Klobuchar's Husband Hospitalized, Defying Medical Advice, Trump Calls for Return to Normal and "Packed Churches" on Easter Sunday, U.S. Immigration Agencies Quarantine Asylum Seekers, Rikers Island Jail to Release 300 Nonviolent Prisoners Amid COVID-19 Outbreak, U.S. Becoming Global Epicenter of Pandemic, as India Orders Lockdown for 1.3 Billion People, COVID-19 Deaths Accelerating Across Europe as Prince Charles Tests Positive, Brazilian President Bolsonaro Blasts Coronavirus "Hysteria" as São Paulo Locks Down, Locust Swarms in South Sudan Further Threaten Food Supply as COVID-19 Fears Mount

"Top Priority Is Release": Will Rikers Island Free More Prisoners as 60+ Test Positive for COVID-19?
Tue, 24 Mar 2020 08:53:57 -0400
As COVID-19 begins to spread in the U.S. prison system, calls are growing in the New York City epicenter of the pandemic to release people from Rikers Island, the second-largest jail system in the country. At least 39 prisoners and 21 staff at Rikers Island have tested positive. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday the city had released 75 people, but advocates are calling for the release of thousands more. We speak with Dr. Homer Venters, former chief medical officer for New York City's Correctional Health Services and author of "Life and Death in Rikers Island." His piece for The Hill is headlined "Coronavirus behind bars: 4 priorities to save the lives of prisoners."

"Humanitarian Solidarity": Even Under U.S. Sanctions, Cuba Sends Doctor Brigade to Italy and More
Tue, 24 Mar 2020 08:42:27 -0400
As Italy's death toll soars past 6,000, Cuba has sent medical brigades to combat COVID-19. Cuba has also deployed doctors to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Suriname and Grenada. "The arrival of a medical brigade from Cuba to Italy is pretty historic. You have a leading European nation accepting support in the form of a medical team from a small Caribbean island," says our guest, Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University. "It just goes to the history of Cuba's deep and long-lasting commitment to humanitarian solidarity with other countries." Kornbluh covers Cuba for The Nation magazine.

Economist Jeffrey Sachs: Trump "Understands Nothing, Listens to Nothing" as Pandemic Surges in U.S.
Tue, 24 Mar 2020 08:19:41 -0400
As #NotDying4WallStreet trends on Twitter, President Trump defies his top scientists and soaring infection rate, saying he will ease restrictions soon to jumpstart the economy. We speak with economist Jeffrey Sachs about the stimulus package that failed to pass again Monday, as Democrats called the measure a slush fund for corporations. Sachs also led the WHO's Commission on Macroeconomics and Health from 2000 to 2001 and played a key role in conceiving and establishing the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which helped distribute new medicines to fight infectious diseases.

Headlines for March 24, 2020
Tue, 24 Mar 2020 08:00:00 -0400
U.N. Calls for Global Ceasefire So Countries Can Unite in Fight Against Coronavirus Pandemic, Italy's COVID-19 Death Toll Tops 6,000 as Spain Officials Say Nearly 4,000 Health Workers Are Infected , Trump Says Country Will Be "Open for Business Very Soon" Despite Skyrocketing COVID-19 Infections , 16 U.S. States Enforce Stay-at-Home Orders Amid Coronavirus Pandemic Affecting Over 40% of Population, Texas Orders Abortion Providers to Stop Performing Procedures, Texas Lt. Gov.: Elderly Should "Sacrifice" for U.S. Economy Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, Man in AZ Dies, Wife in Critical Condition, After Couple Took Chloroquine to Prevent Coronavirus Infection, ORR Refuses to Free Migrant Kids from NY Facilities Where 3 Staff Tested Positive for COVID-19, NJ Plans to Release Some 1,000 Prisoners from County Jails to Limit Spread of Coronavirus, New York Now Accounts for Around 5% of All COVID-19 Cases in the World, Puerto Rico Passes $787 Million Financial Package as Coronavirus Pandemic Further Cripples Economy, U.S. Senate, Treasury Sec. Could Soon Agree to a $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package , Federal Reserve Says It'll Buy Unlimited Amount of Bonds as U.S. Unemployment Skyrockets, Coronavirus Death Toll in Iran Approaches 2,000 with Almost 25,000 Confirmed Cases, Pakistan's COVID-19 Cases Top 900, Prompting Gov't Ban on All Int'l Flights; Saudi Arabia Imposes Curfew, South Africa Enacts Nat'l Lockdown; Prominent Zimbabwe Journalist Zororo Makamba Dies of COVID-19, Tokyo Olympics to Be Postponed Until 2021, Indonesia Reports Over 100 COVID-19 Cases as China to Lift Lockdown on Wuhan , U.S. Cuts $1 Billion for Afghanistan After Political Stalemate Stalls Peace Deal , Mexican Man Is the 10th Death in ICE Custody Since October , PG&E Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter for 2018 Camp Fire That Killed 85 People, Colorado Abolishes Death Penalty

"Hope Is Not a Strategy": Emergency Doctor Asks, Where Are COVID-19 Tests? Where Is Protective Gear?
Mon, 23 Mar 2020 08:45:47 -0400
As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. rises to more than 35,000, doctors are facing a desperate lack of supplies, and tests continue to lag. We speak with Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University. She previously served as Baltimore's health commissioner. She says healthcare workers are "putting their lives on the line every day" as they work in hazardous conditions with inadequate supplies, including N95 respirator masks. "First we're going to run out of masks, and then we're going to run out of doctors and nurses, because they'll become sick," Dr. Wen warns.

Former ICE Director: Release Immigrants from Detention or COVID-19 Will Spread Like Wildfire Inside
Mon, 23 Mar 2020 08:21:17 -0400
Alarm is growing about the safety of more than 37,000 people held in immigrant detention centers and private jails that contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, where it is nearly impossible for them to avoid close contact to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Nearly half of those detained by ICE are accused of no crime other than civil immigration violations. Immigrants at three jails in New Jersey are now on hunger strikes over unsanitary conditions that put them at high risk during the pandemic.

 We hear from a detained person on hunger strike and speak with John Sandweg, former acting director of ICE during the Obama administration, who is calling for ICE to release thousands from detention, and Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, or CHIRLA, which just led a national effort to stop immigration enforcement actions.

Headlines for March 23, 2020
Mon, 23 Mar 2020 08:00:00 -0400
Global COVID-19 Death Toll Passes 15,000 as Italy Drafts Military to Enforce Lockdown, Angela Merkel to Self-Quarantine After Her Doctor Tests Positive for COVID-19, First COVID-19 Cases Reported in Occupied Gaza, War-Stricken Syria and Afghanistan , Coronavirus Cases Mount Across Africa, Two Nigerians Overdose Self-Medicating with Chloroquine After Trump Praised Anti-Malaria Drug as Possible COVID-19 Treatment, Coronavirus Leads to Lockdowns, Travel Bans in Latin America, as a Colombian Prison Riot Turns Deadly , Fate of Tokyo Olympics Still Unknown as Canada, Australia Refuse to Send Athletes , India Locks Down Major Cities in Effort to Contain Coronavirus Spread , 1 in 3 People in U.S. Under Lockdown as Cases Soar and Critical Supplies Dwindle , New York Hospital Network Bans All Visitors During Birth, Including Partners, Harvey Weinstein Reportedly Tests Positive for COVID-19 in Prison; 38+ Test Positive at Rikers, Coronavirus Cases Grow Across U.S., Trump Activates Nat'l Guard as Lawmakers Fail to Pass Coronavirus Stimulus Package , Doctor Rand Paul is First U.S. Senator to Test Positive for Coronavirus, New Evidence of Trump's Botched Response to Coronavirus , Mike Pompeo in Afghanistan in Attempt to Revive Flailing U.S.-Taliban Deal

Solidarity Not Charity: Mutual Aid & How to Organize in the Age of Coronavirus
Fri, 20 Mar 2020 08:46:14 -0400
As lockdowns and layoffs sweep the U.S., mutual aid groups are forming to protect and provide for the vulnerable, including the elderly, incarcerated, undocumented and unhoused. We look at the incredible community networks across the country that are coming together to protect their neighbors during the coronavirus pandemic — and how you can get involved. From Washington state to the Bay Area, Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota and New York City, thousands of mutual aid efforts are aimed at building solidarity, not charity. We speak with two longtime mutual aid organizers and activists in two hot spots of the pandemic. In New York City, Mariame Kaba is a longtime organizer, abolitionist, educator and the founder of the grassroots organization Project NIA, which works to end the incarceration of children and young adults. She has raised tens of thousands of dollars and redistributed it to groups across the country in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and she just did a public conference call with Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on mutual aid. In Seattle, Washington, Dean Spade is an associate professor at Seattle University School of Law and founder of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. He is the creator of mutual aid resource website "Big Door Brigade":http://bigdoorbrigade.com/.

Doctor: As Coronavirus Cases Spike Worldwide, We Need Global Cooperation to Halt Spread
Fri, 20 Mar 2020 08:17:47 -0400
As the worldwide death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has topped 10,000, with over 250,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, we speak with Stanford University's global health expert Dr. Michele Barry, an infectious disease doctor. Italy has surpassed China in coronavirus deaths, and cases are rising in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, as the governor of California has ordered all 40 million residents to shelter in place.

Headlines for March 20, 2020
Fri, 20 Mar 2020 08:00:00 -0400
Worldwide COVID-19 Death Toll Tops 10,000 as Italian Nurses "Stop Counting the Dead", Refugee Groups Warn of COVID-19 "Carnage" in Camps Housing Millions, Coronavirus Multiplies Across Australia, Latin America, Africa and Middle East, California Gov. Gavin Newsom Issues Statewide "Stay at Home" Order for 40 Million, New York Mayor Calls on Trump to Mobilize Military to Aid Overwhelmed Hospitals, Georgia State Legislators Urged to Self-Quarantine; Spring Break Revelers Party On in Florida, Demands Grow to Empty ICE Jails as NJ Detention Center Worker Tests Positive, Trump Blasts "Corrupt" Media at Rambling Coronavirus Press Conference, At Least Five U.S. Senators, Briefed on Coronavirus, Sold Stocks Before Market Crash, Unemployment Skyrockets as Estimated 2.5 million U.S. Workers Apply for Benefits in One Week , New York City Workers Revolt over Lack of Coronavirus Safety Protections, India Hangs Four Men Convicted of Brutal 2012 Gang Rape in Delhi, Greenland Lost Record 600 Billion Tons of Ice in 2019, Indigenous People Left Homeless by Flooding in Ecuador's Amazon Region Blame Climate Change, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Drops 2020 Presidential Bid, Endorses Joe Biden

Trump Continues Calling the Coronavirus "Chinese" Despite Reports of Anti-Asian Hate Crimes
Thu, 19 Mar 2020 08:51:14 -0400
"I would like to begin by announcing some important developments in our war against the Chinese virus. I will be invoking the Defense Production Act just in case we need it." That was the opening line of President Trump's news conference Wednesday afternoon. Later in the news conference, Trump was questioned by ABC News reporter Cecilia Vega on continuously referring to the coronavirus as the "Chinese virus." A member of the administration also reportedly referred to the coronavirus as the "kung-flu." Meanwhile, racist incidents and threats of hate crimes against Asian Americans have emerged across the United States, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. We get response from Elizabeth OuYang, the former president of OCA-New York, a civil rights organization where she advocated for victims of hate crimes and fair media representation of Asian Americans. She is a civil rights attorney and community advocate who teaches at Columbia and New York University.

Joseph Stiglitz: Trump's "Trickle-Down" Economic Plans Are Not Enough to Meet Coronavirus Challenge
Thu, 19 Mar 2020 08:27:40 -0400
The coronavirus relief package signed by President Trump Wednesday provides unemployment benefits and free coronavirus testing to millions of Americans suddenly out of a job, but guarantees paid sick leave to less than 20% of American workers. Earlier this month, Trump signed into law an $8 billion coronavirus response package and has laid out the first details of a third, $1 trillion economic package and invoked the Korean War-era Defense Production Act to allow the government to direct industrial production. For more on those bailouts and who benefits, we speak with Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning economist, Columbia University professor and chief economist for the Roosevelt Institute. He served as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton and as chief economist of the World Bank. His latest book is "People, Power and Profits: Progressive Capitalism for an Age of Discontent."

"Coronavirus Capitalism": Naomi Klein's Case for Transformative Change Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Thu, 19 Mar 2020 08:16:26 -0400
Author, activist and journalist Naomi Klein says the coronavirus crisis, like earlier ones, could be a catalyst to shower aid on the wealthiest interests in society, including those most responsible for our current vulnerabilities, while offering next to nothing to most workers and small businesses. In 2007, Klein wrote "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism." Now she argues President Trump's plan is a pandemic shock doctrine. In a new video for The Intercept, where she is a senior correspondent, Klein argues it's vital for people to fight for the kind of transformative change that can not only curb the worst effects of the current crisis but also set society on a more just path.

Headlines for March 19, 2020
Thu, 19 Mar 2020 08:00:00 -0400
Italy Records Record 475 Coronavirus Deaths as Infections Continue Climbing, British PM Boris Johnson Closes Schools After Reversing Lax Virus Containment Plan, Millions of Brazilians Protest from Windows and Balconies Demanding President's Ouster, World Health Organization Warns Critical Lack of Testing Is Costing Lives, Egypt Arrests Protesters Calling for Release of Prisoners at Risk of COVID-19, Yemen, Already Wracked by U.S.-Supported, Saudi-Led War, Braces for Coronavirus, Trump Admin Tightens Sanctions That Have Devastated Iran's Public Health System, Trump Signs Coronavirus Relief Bill Providing Paid Leave to Small Fraction of U.S. Workers, 150,000 Auto Workers Idled as Ford, GM and Fiat Chrysler Halt Production, White House Invokes Defense Production Act to Order Manufacture of Life-Saving Equipment, Two U.S. Congressmembers Test Positive for COVID-19, White House Warns Millennials at Substantial Risk of Illness and Death from COVID-19, Hospital Workers Produce DIY Masks as Medical Supplies Dwindle, Celebrities Get Coronavirus Tests as Critically Ill Patients Struggle to Learn Status, Trump Doubles Down on Racist "Chinese Virus" Label, Air Pollution Plummeted as Coronavirus Crisis Idled Much of China's Economy, U.S.-Canada Border Partially Closed as ICE Says It Will Suspend Most Immigration Raids, Georgia Department of Driver Services Shared Data with ICE, Asked About Campaign Plans, Bernie Sanders Says "I'm Dealing with a F——— Global Crisis"

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