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Family of Jailed Saudi Feminist Loujain Al-Hathloul: She Was Waterboarded, Flogged & Electrocuted
Tue, 21 May 2019 08:42:13 -0400
It's been a year since women's right activist Loujain Al-Hathloul was detained and jailed in Saudi Arabia for leading a movement to lift the kingdom's ban on female drivers and overhaul its male "guardianship" system. Despite international outcry, she's been imprisoned ever since. During that time, her family says, she's been held in solitary confinement and faced abuse, including electric shocks, flogging and threats of sexual violence. The Saudi government has resisted calls from human rights groups and lawmakers from around the world to release Loujain and the other jailed activists. We speak with two of Loujain's siblings, Walid and Lina Al-Hathloul.

Jennifer Harbury: Deaths of Guatemalan Children at Border Have Roots in Decades of U.S.-Backed Genocide
Tue, 21 May 2019 08:30:49 -0400
Five Guatemalan children have died after being apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol since December. We look at the humanitarian crisis unfolding on the border and its ties to decades of bloody U.S. intervention in Latin America with human rights attorney Jennifer Harbury. Her husband, Efraín Bámaca Velásquez, was a Mayan comandante and guerrilla who was disappeared after he was captured by the Guatemalan army in the 1980s. After a long campaign, she found there was U.S. involvement in the cover-up of her husband's murder and torture. "We trained them. We taught them torture techniques. We funded them, and we armed them," Harbury says of the Guatemalan military. "They're devouring the country using the same techniques of torture and the terror that they used before. Once again, everyone is roaring north." We also speak with Fernando Garcia, the founding director of the Border Network for Human Rights, an advocacy organization based in El Paso.

Detained, Abused & Denied Medical Care: How Trump Immigration Policies Led to Child Deaths at Border
Tue, 21 May 2019 08:16:11 -0400
A 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died in U.S. custody Monday after spending a week in immigration jail. Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez was found dead at a Border Patrol station at Weslaco, Texas, just one day after being diagnosed with the flu. He was not hospitalized. This marks the fifth death of a Guatemalan child apprehended by Border Patrol since December. Before last year, it had been more than a decade since a child died in the custody of U.S. immigration officials. We speak with Fernando Garcia, the founding director of the Border Network for Human Rights, an advocacy organization based in El Paso, and Jennifer Harbury, a longtime human rights lawyer based in the Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

Headlines for May 21, 2019
Tue, 21 May 2019 08:00:00 -0400
Iran Responds to Trump Threat While U.N. Urges All Parties to De-escalate Rhetoric, Houthis Launch Drone Attack on Saudi Airport, U.N. Warns Yemen Food Aid May Be Suspended Due to Instability, Guatemalan Teen Becomes 5th Migrant Child to Die in U.S. Custody Since December, Trump Orders McGahn to Defy Congressional Subpoena, D.C. Judge Orders Accounting Firm to Hand Over Trump Financial Docs, NY Prosecutors Examining Financial Records from Trump's Inauguration, New Zealand Police Charge Christchurch Massacre Suspect with Terrorism, Defeated Prabowo Challenges Re-election of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, New Boeing Lawsuit Alleges Company Hid Design Flaws in 737 MAX Planes, San Francisco Journalist Who Was Raided by SF Police to Appear in Court, Muhlaysia Booker, a Black Transgender Woman, Is Found Dead a Month After Mob Attack, Intense Storms and Floods Hit Central U.S., Report: Climate Change-Induced Sea Level Rise Could Displace Over 180 Million, Guardian Updates Language, Replacing "Climate Change" with "Climate Crisis", EPA to Introduce New Counting Model That Downplays Projected Death Toll from Trump Coal Plan, Mayor Pete Buttigieg Blasts Fox News Stars During Fox News Town Hall, Sen. Kamala Harris Proposes Penalizing Companies with Gender Pay Gap, Gov. Inslee Rolls Out 2020 Climate Proposal, Sybrina Fulton, Mother of Trayvon Martin, Running for Public Office in Miami

Bottle of Lies: How Poor FDA Oversight & Fraud in Generic Drug Industry Threaten Patients' Health
Mon, 20 May 2019 08:30:00 -0400
Generic drugs amount to 90% of all prescriptions filled in the U.S., most of them made in plants in India and China. Generic drugs can be more affordable, but in her new explosive book "Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom," investigative journalist Katherine Eban works with two industry whistleblowers to expose how some manufacturers are cutting corners at the cost of quality and safety. This comes as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration just issued its own update on the state of pharmaceutical quality that found the drug quality of factories in India and China scored below the world average. FDA officials say that's because more robust inspections have uncovered problems and that "the quality of the drug supply has never been higher."

Headlines for May 20, 2019
Mon, 20 May 2019 08:00:00 -0400
Trump Threatens "Official End of Iran" Via Tweet If It Provokes the U.S., First Phase of Kushner's Middle East Peace Plan to Focus on Palestinian Economy, Sweden Requests Detention of Assange as WikiLeaks Accuses U.S. of Illegally Seizing His Property, Australian Voters Choose Conservative PM Morrison Over Opponent Who Vowed to Tackle Climate Change, Austria Calls Snap Election After Far-Right Leader Caught in Corruption Scandal, Protesters Take to the Streets Ahead of European Parliament Elections, Narendra Modi on Track for Second Term as Prime Minister as Voting Ends in India, Taiwan Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage in Historic First for Asian Continent, Protesters in Alabama, Missouri Defend Reproductive Rights from Recent Abortion Bans, Trump Considering Memorial Day Pardons for War Criminals, Deutsche Bank Ignored Internal Warnings About "Suspicious" Trump & Kushner-Related Transactions, Rep. Justin Amash Becomes First Republican Congressmember to Suggest Impeachment, NYT: Industry Leaders Helped Bury NYC Taxi Drivers Under Mountains of Debt, Billionaire Robert F. Smith Will Pay Student Debt of Entire Graduating Class of Morehouse College, Boeing Admits Flight Simulators for Faulty 737 MAX Jets Did Not Adequately Prepare Pilots, Protesters Call on Whitney Museum to Remove Tear Gas Manufacturer's CEO from Board

Immigrant Activists Maru Mora-Villalpando & Ravi Ragbir Keep Speaking Out Despite Deportation Threat
Fri, 17 May 2019 08:45:56 -0400
President Trump has unveiled plans for a new, so-called "merit-based" immigration system that would prioritize "highly-skilled" and English-speaking workers, while further restricting asylum seekers and immigrants who have family living in the United States. Although no legislative details for the plan have been revealed, Trump's proposal is likely to hit a wall in Congress, where the Democratically-led House has repeatedly clashed with the Trump administration over immigration policy. Trump's immigration policies have led to dire conditions for asylum seekers to the U.S. On Wednesday, a two-and-a-half year-old migrant boy died in U.S. custody, three days after he and his family were detained by Customs and Border Protection. Immigrant communities already established in the U.S. are also being targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with activists claiming they have been targeted for speaking out against the Trump administration. We speak with two prominent and outspoken immigration activists who are fighting their own deportation and have been targeted for their activism: Maru Mora-Villalpando and Ravi Ragbir. Mora-Villalpando is an activist with La Resistencia and Mijente and Ragbir is executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition. Last month, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of Ragbir in a free speech case, saying the First Amendment bars ICE from targeting activists for deportation based on their political speech.

What Does a Post-Roe America Look Like? As Anti-Choice Laws Multiply, Many Already Are Living In It
Fri, 17 May 2019 08:37:10 -0400
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer issued what many considered a dire warning from the bench this week, implying that Roe v. Wade — the landmark ruling that recognizes the constitutional right to an abortion — is in danger. He wrote the comments in a dissent for an unrelated case in which the court voted to overturn a 40 year-old precedent. Breyer wrote "Today's decision can only cause one to wonder which cases the Court will overrule next." We speak to journalist Robin Marty about what a post-Roe America would look like, and how many people are already cut off from abortion access across the country.

Meet The Alabama Doctor Who Could Face 99 Years In Prison For Providing Abortions Under New Law
Fri, 17 May 2019 08:11:45 -0400
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed the nation's most restrictive abortion ban into law on Wednesday, effectively banning the procedure except in cases where a pregnant person's life is at serious risk. The law does not make exceptions in cases of rape or incest and doctors could face 99 years in prison for performing abortions. We speak with Dr. Yashica Robinson, the medical director of the Alabama Women's Center for Reproductive Alternatives, one of only three clinics left in the state that offer patients abortion services. She is one of only two abortion providers living and working in Alabama. Under the new Alabama law, she could spend the rest of her life in prison for doing her job.

Headlines for May 17, 2019
Fri, 17 May 2019 08:00:00 -0400
Trump Immigration Plan Favors Job Skills Over Asylum Claims and Family Ties, Trump Officials Reportedly Clash Over U.S. Sabre-Rattling With Iran, UNICEF Chief Calls Yemen War "a Test of Our Humanity" That "We Are Badly Failing", Venezuelan Government Blasts U.S. Seizure of Embassy as Vienna Convention Violation, Brazilian Teachers and Students March Against Education Cuts, Mexican Journalist Francisco Romero Killed in Playa del Carmen, Lawyer Says Tennessee Prisoner "Suffered Excruciating Pain" During Execution, Alabama Prisoner Put to Death After "Pro-Life" Governor Denies Reprieve, Senate Confirms Anti-Choice Activist Wendy Vitter as a Federal Judge, NYPD Commander Called Killing of Eric Garner "Not a Big Deal", Father of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Buys $91 Million Sculpture, Trump Administration Plan to Redefine Poverty Would Cut Benefits to Millions, New York Blocks Construction of Fracked Gas Pipeline, Defiant Chelsea Manning Sent Back to Jail For Refusing to Testify About WikiLeaks

The World Just Took a Major Step To Curb Plastic Pollution, But the U.S. Refused to Join Effort
Thu, 16 May 2019 08:49:22 -0400
Nearly every country in the world except the United States took a historic step to curb plastic waste last week, when more than 180 nations agreed to add plastic to the Basel Convention, a treaty that regulates the movement of hazardous materials between countries. The U.S. is one of just two countries that has not ratified the 30 year-old treaty. During negotiations last week in Geneva, the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department joined the plastics industry in trying to thwart the landmark, legally-binding agreement. Despite this, the United States will still be affected by the agreement, because countries will be able to block the dumping of mixed or unrecyclable plastic wastes from other nations. The amended treaty will make it much more difficult for wealthy countries to send their plastic waste to poorer nations by prohibiting countries from exporting plastic waste that is not ready for recycling. The U.N. estimates there are 100 million tons of plastic waste in the world's oceans. We speak with Pam Miller, co-chair of the International Pollutants Elimination Network and executive director of Alaska Community Action on Toxics.

As EPA Insists Weed Killer Roundup is Safe, a Jury Orders Monsanto to Pay $2B to Couple With Cancer
Thu, 16 May 2019 08:40:06 -0400
U.S. agribusiness giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay its highest damages yet in a massive lawsuit over the popular weedkiller Roundup. A jury ordered Monsanto to pay more than $2 billion in punitive damages to Alva and Alberta Pilliod, a couple who were both diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer after using Roundup on their properties for decades. Monsanto is owned by German pharmaceutical giant Bayer. The main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, glyphosate, is said to cause the cancer. Attorneys estimate that there are thousands of similar cases against Roundup pending in courts around the country. Last year, a jury in California ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a school groundskeeper who developed cancer after regularly using Roundup. The 46-year-old man, Dewayne Johnson, also has non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The EPA says that glyphosate is not carcinogenic, but other scientific studies and the World Health Organization have found that human exposure can in fact lead to cancer. We speak with attorney Brent Wisner, co-lead trial counsel for Alva and Alberta Pilliod.

"Inside Syria's Secret Prisons": A Harrowing Account of How Assad's Torture Machine Crushed Dissent
Thu, 16 May 2019 08:14:19 -0400
A shocking exposé by the New York Times looks at how Bashar al-Assad's government has jailed and tortured tens of thousands of Syrians since the uprising began in 2011. According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, nearly 128,000 people have disappeared. They are presumed to be either dead or still in custody. The group estimates almost 14,000 individuals have died under torture. The detentions are continuing even as the fighting winds down. More than 5,600 Syrians were reportedly arbitrarily detained last year in a 25 percent jump from the previous year. While the Syrian government has denied running a secret torture and detention program, more evidence — including internal Syrian government documents — has emerged showing the extent of the torture program. A United Nations panel has said the conditions in the prison —including the paucity of toilet facilities, rampant illness, minimal and rotten food, and the absence of medical treatment — are tantamount to "extermination." We speak with the report's author Anne Barnard. She's a reporter at _The New York Times_ and a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Headlines for May 16, 2019
Thu, 16 May 2019 08:00:00 -0400
Alabama Governor Signs Nation's Most Restrictive Anti-Choice Law, Missouri Senate Votes to Ban Most Abortions After 8 Weeks, Trump Declares National Emergency, Blacklisting Chinese Telecom Huawei, Trump Delays Plans for Tariffs on Foreign Cars and Auto Parts, Trump to Announce "Merit-Based" Immigration Plan to Limit Asylum Cases, Family Reunifications, White House Refuses House Judiciary Committee Request for Documents, U.S. Won't Join "Christchurch Call" Against Online Extremism, Six Civilians Killed in Yemen as Saudi-Led Coalition Bombs Fall on Sana'a, Sudanese Troops Fire on Pro-Democracy Protesters as Military Rulers Suspend Talks, Israeli Forces Fire on Gaza Protesters Marking Nakba Day, Trump Officials Claim Photos of Iranian Missile Boats Sparked Tensions, Top British Commander Denies U.S. Claims of Increased Threat Posed by Iran, DOT Orders a Halt to Flights Between the U.S. and Venezuela, Arctic Ocean Temperatures Soar as Nearly All Old Arctic Sea Ice Has Vanished, California Investigators Find PG&E Sparked Worst Wildfire in State History, NYC's Met and Natural History Museum Sever Sackler Family Ties Over Opioid Epidemic, Trump Pardons Media Baron Conrad Black, Who Authored Glowing Biography of Trump, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Joins 2020 Race Pledging to Fight for Working Families

After End of Dictatorship, Sudan's Protest Movement Demands Transition From Military to Civilian Rule
Wed, 15 May 2019 08:48:06 -0400
Mass protests in Sudan continue to call for civilian rule following last month's military coup. On Monday, the Transitional Military Council says it has reached an agreement with protest leaders on a transitional power structure. Demonstrators have been demanding a transfer from military to civilian rule following last month's military coup that ousted longtime leader Omar al-Bashir. The announcement comes after at least six protesters and a member of security forces were killed when security and paramilitary troops opened fire on crowds outside military headquarters in the capital Khartoum on Monday. Dozens more were injured. The same day, deposed President Omar al-Bashir was charged in the killing of protesters during the popular uprising that led to his overthrow. The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors says 90 people were killed during the protests. Demonstrators have vowed to continue to sit-in and march until the government is transitioned to 100 percent civilian rule. We speak with Marine Alneel, a Sudanese activist based in New York City.

Medea Benjamin: We Need to Build Up the Antiwar Movement to Oppose War Against Iran
Wed, 15 May 2019 08:41:37 -0400
The State Department has ordered all non-emergency personnel to evacuate the U.S. embassy and consulate in Iraq, in response to what the White House says is a threat linked to Iran. No further details were given. Iraqi officials expressed skepticism about any purported threats, as did a senior British official who is the deputy commander of the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State. Tensions between the U.S. and Iran are continuing to mount, despite both parties saying they are not seeking war. The New York Times reports the Pentagon has drawn up a plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East if President Trump decides to take military action against Iran. The U.S. also recently deployed a carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the region claiming there was a "credible threat by Iranian regime forces." We speak with CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin about the growing threat of war with Iran and the role of National Security Advisor John Bolton, who Benjamin says has been pushing for war with Iran for years.

Despite Threats & No Electricity, Anti-Coup Activists Remain Inside Venezuelan Embassy in D.C.
Wed, 15 May 2019 08:32:55 -0400
In Washington, D.C., four activists remain in the Venezuelan embassy after police raided the building Monday night. Activists with CodePink, ANSWER Coalition and Popular Resistance have been inside the embassy since late April at the invitation of Venezuela's government in order to prevent it from being taken over by Venezuela's U.S.-backed opposition, led by Juan Guaidó. Last week, authorities cut off water and electricity to the embassy. We speak with CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin about the ongoing stand-off at the embassy.

Alabama Passes Near Total Ban on Abortion as Part of "Stealth Campaign" to Overturn Roe v. Wade
Wed, 15 May 2019 08:12:42 -0400
Alabama lawmakers voted to effectively ban abortion Tuesday, passing the most restrictive anti-choice law in the country in a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade. The bill approved by the Senate Tuesday and the Alabama House last month bans abortions at all phases. Doctors could face up to 99 years in prison for performing abortions. The bill's only exception is grave risk to the mother's life — not cases of rape and incest. The legislation is now heading to the desk of anti-choice Republican Governor Kay Ivey, and many expect she'll sign it. Opponents say they'll challenge the bill in court should it become law, but this is precisely the point. Architects behind the legislation want to use it to challenge Roe v. Wade, which recognizes the constitutional right to an abortion. We speak with Jessica Mason Pieklo of Rewire.News and Monica Simpson of Sister Song.

Headlines for May 15, 2019
Wed, 15 May 2019 08:00:00 -0400
Alabama Legislature Passes Near-Complete Abortion Ban, U.S. Evacuates Non-Emergency State Dept. Personnel from Iraq, Houthis Launch Drone Attack on Saudi Oil Facilities, Pompeo Meets With Lavrov & Putin Over Iran, Venezuela, 2020 Elections, CNN: Migrant Children Sleeping Outside on the Ground at Texas Border Patrol, Pennsylvania Sues Purdue Pharma Over Oxycontin, Reports: Donald Trump Jr. Agrees to Conditional Senate Hearing, San Francisco Bans Facial Recognition Technology, Pilots' Union Confronted Boeing Over Faulty 737 Max Jets After First Fatal Crash, NYC Activists Stage Hunger Strike To Call for Halt to Williams Oil Pipeline , Video Shows Texas Officer Tasing, Then Shooting Black Woman After She Yelled "I'm Pregnant", "Black Mama's Bail Out Day" Frees Over 100 Women for Mother's Day, New Yorkers Protest Gala Honoring Brazilian Pres. Bolsonaro and Mike Pompeo

The Apology: Eve Ensler's New Book Is the Letter She Wishes Her Abusive Father Had Written
Tue, 14 May 2019 08:38:08 -0400
"I am done waiting." Those are the first words in Eve Ensler's groundbreaking new book _The Apology_, in which the world-renowned playwright and activist imagines what it would mean for a survivor of abuse to hear the words she's been waiting for her entire life: I'm sorry. Eve Ensler's father sexually and physically abused her throughout her childhood, beginning when she was just five years old. His abuse caused immeasurable physical and emotional damage, but he never apologized for his actions. So Eve Ensler decided to write an apology for him, decades after his death. The result is a stunning new book in which Ensler writes to herself from her father's perspective. In the book's introduction she writes: "My father is long dead. He will never say the words to me. He will not make the apology. So it must be imagined. For it is in our imagination that we can dream across boundaries, deepen the narrative, and design alternative outcomes." Ensler says that she hopes the book will be a blueprint for an "age of reckoning." Eve Ensler is the author of _The Vagina Monologues_ and the founder of V-Day, an international movement to stop violence against women and girls. Ensler dedicates her new book to every woman still waiting for an apology.

Will John Bolton's Dream to Bomb Iran Come True? Ex-Iranian Ambassador Warns About U.S. Escalation
Tue, 14 May 2019 08:13:16 -0400
The Pentagon has reportedly drawn up a plan to send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East if President Trump decides to take military action against Iran. The New York Times reports the Pentagon presented the proposal on Thursday after National Security Advisor John Bolton requested a revision to an earlier plan. Bolton has long advocated for attacking Iran. According to the Pentagon, far more than 120,000 troops would be needed if a ground invasion was ordered. This comes as tension continues to escalate between the United States and Iran. The United States recently deployed the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the region claiming there was a "credible threat by Iranian regime forces." Iran has announced it will stop complying with parts of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal and resume high-level enrichment of uranium in 60 days if other signatories of the deal do not take action to shield Iran's oil and banking sectors from U.S. sanctions. The U.S. has attempted to cut Iran off from the global economy, even though Iran has remained in compliance with the nuclear deal. We speak with Ambassador Seyed Hossein Mousavian, a Middle East Security and Nuclear Policy Specialist at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He served as spokesperson for Iran in its nuclear negotiations with the European Union from 2003 to 2005.

Headlines for May 14, 2019
Tue, 14 May 2019 08:00:00 -0400
NYT: Pentagon Readies Plan to Deploy 120,000 Troops as U.S.-Iran Tensions Mount, Trump and Far-Right Hungarian PM Orbán Celebrate "Similar Approaches" at WH Meeting, U.S.-China Trade War Ramps Up as China Retaliates with Raised Tariffs, Philippines Midterms Bolster Authoritarian President Rodrigo Duterte, Sudan: At Least 6 Protesters Killed in Clashes with Security Forces, Sri Lanka: Mounting Anti-Muslim Violence Leads to Curfew, Social Media Ban, SCOTUS Rules Users Can Sue Apple For Allegedly Monopolizing Apps Market, Reports: Israeli Security Firm NSO Group Hacked Whatsapp, AG Barr Assigns Federal Prosecutor to Look Into Russia Probe, CA Jury Orders Monsanto to Pay Over $2 Billion in Roundup Cancer Lawsuit, Carbon Levels in Atmosphere Reach Highest Ever in Human History, NYPD Holds Disciplinary Hearing for White Officer Who Killed Eric Garner in 2014, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock Enters 2020 Democratic Race, Police Raid Activists Occupying Venezuelan Embassy in D.C.

Arundhati Roy on the Power of Fiction: Literature is "The Simplest Way of Saying a Complicated Thing"
Mon, 13 May 2019 08:54:26 -0400
We speak with world-renowned author Arundhati Roy on the importance of reading and writing literature, even in the most dire of political times. On Sunday night, Roy delivered the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write lecture at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, invoking James Baldwin to argue that literature can tell the truth when all other avenues fail. Roy told her audience, "I very much like the idea of literature that is needed. Literature that provides shelter. Shelter of all kinds."

Arundhati Roy: A U.S. Attack on Iran Would Be "Biggest Mistake It Has Ever Made"
Mon, 13 May 2019 08:50:44 -0400
On Sunday night Arundhati Roy delivered the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write lecture at the Apollo Theater in Harlem as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. She reads an excerpt of the lecture. "Over these last few years, given the wars it has waged, and the international treaties it has arbitrarily reneged on, the U.S. Government perfectly fits its own definition of a rogue state," Roy said. "And now, resorting to the same old scare tactics, the same tired falsehoods and the same old fake news about nuclear weapons, it is gearing up to bomb Iran. That will be the biggest mistake it has ever made."

Arundhati Roy: Capitalism Is "a Form of Religion" Stopping Solutions to Climate Change & Inequality
Mon, 13 May 2019 08:42:20 -0400
As one million species face extinction due to human activity and the globe faces a growing climate crisis, we speak with world-renowned author Arundhati Roy about the threat capitalism poses to the future of life on earth. Roy says that those most responsible for creating the climate crisis "will see to it that they profit from the solution that they propose."

Arundhati Roy on Why She Admires WikiLeaks & Opposes Assange's Extradition to the U.S.
Mon, 13 May 2019 08:37:29 -0400
In Sweden, prosecutors are reopening an investigation into sexual assault allegations against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and are seeking his extradition to face charges in Sweden. Prosecutors had dropped the investigation in 2017 because they said the case could not proceed while Assange was holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he lived for seven years before being forcibly removed by British police last month. Assange has since been sentenced to 50 weeks in jail in Britain for skipping bail in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden. Assange has denied the sexual assault accusations. Assange previously faced another sexual misconduct allegation but its statute of limitations expired in 2015. The United States is also seeking Assange's extradition over the publication of leaked documents by Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, which showed evidence of U.S. war crimes in Iraq. We speak with award-winning writer Arundhati Roy, who has criticized the arrest of WikiLeaks founder and Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange. Roy and other public intellectuals in India called for Assange's immediate release, writing in a statement, "The journalism WikiLeaks and its Editor-in-Chief stand for is a journalism of outrage — outrage against the injustices and atrocities that take place round the world — but always with an eye to factuality, substantiation, and precision... If the U.S. had charged Assange and Wikileaks for publishing classified material, the legal case would have been no different from charging The New York Times with publishing the Pentagon Papers".

Arundhati Roy on the Indian Election and Narendra Modi's "Far-Right, Hindu Nationalist" Agenda
Mon, 13 May 2019 08:15:59 -0400
In India, the sixth phase of voting has concluded in a highly anticipated parliamentary election that is widely seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is seeking a second term in office. India is the world's largest democracy with 900 million eligible voters. The final phase of voting will take place on May 19 and vote counting will begin on May 23. Modi's Hindu nationalist BJP won a landslide victory in 2014. His government has been criticized for a crackdown on civil society, targeting political opponents, journalists, human rights activists, lawyers and writers. Human rights groups have also raised the alarm on attacks against vulnerable populations, especially Dalits and Muslims. We speak with world-renowned, award-winning Indian writer Arundhati Roy. She is the author of _The God of Small Things_ and _The Ministry of Utmost Happiness_. Her new book _My Seditious Heart_, a collection of her nonfiction writing, will be out next month.

Headlines for May 13, 2019
Mon, 13 May 2019 08:00:00 -0400
Sweden Reopens Julian Assange Sexual Assault Case, Seeks His Extradition, Pompeo to Discuss Iranian "Threats" in Europe as U.S. Ramps Up Military Presence, Saudi Oil Tankers Damaged in "Sabotage Attack" off UAE Coast, 187 Countries, Not Including the U.S., Agree to Landmark Deal Curbing Plastic Waste, U.S.-China Trade Talks End Without Deal, Increased Sanctions, Pentagon Redirects $1.5 Billion To Fund Border Wall, Afghanistan: Gunmen Kill Ex-Broadcast Journalist and Gov't Adviser Mina Mangal, Pakistan: Attack on Hotel Kills at Least 5, Burkina Faso: Gunmen Kill 6 People, Incl. Priest and Burn Down Church, At Least 65 Migrants Drown After Boat Sinks in Mediterranean, U.N. Reports, 1 Killed, Dozens Injured in Weekly Gaza Great March of Return Protests, U.N.: 1,700 Injured Palestinians May Have to Get Amputated Due to Lack of Funding, Biden Under Fire for Seeking "Middle Ground" on Climate Change Policies, Bernie Sanders & AOC Introduce Legislation to Cap Credit Card Interest Rates, Democrats Subpoena Trump's Taxes, House Passes Relief Bill Despite Ongoing Battle Over Funds for Puerto Rico, Hollywood Threatens Georgia Boycott After State Passes Draconian Abortion Law, Tulsa Officials to Oversee Search for Mass Graves Nearly 100 Years After 1921 Race Massacre

Explosive Investigation Uncovers Greed & Infighting at NRA, Shattering "Myth" of the Group's Power
Fri, 10 May 2019 08:50:52 -0400
Is the National Rifle Association imploding? As the nation grieves over another deadly school shooting, we turn to look at how internal turmoil inside the NRA threatens the future of the gun lobbying group. A major new report published by The Trace in partnership with The New Yorker finds that while the NRA has blamed its recent financial woes on left-wing attacks on the Second Amendment, the real damage to the organization comes from within. Chief among the NRA's problems is its three-decade-old relationship with Oklahoma-based public relations firm Ackerman McQueen. The firm, which is behind the NRA's imaging, messaging and most of its initiatives, was paid more than $40 million dollars in 2017. We speak to Mike Spies, staff writer at The Trace.

"We Have No Reason to Trust the Police": Sandra Bland Arrest Video Reignites Anger Over Her Death
Fri, 10 May 2019 08:44:48 -0400
The family of Sandra Bland is calling for authorities to reopen the investigation into her death. The 28-year-old African-American woman died in a Texas jail cell in 2015, three days after she was arrested for allegedly failing to signal a lane change. Authorities have claimed Sandra Bland committed suicide while in jail by hanging herself with a garbage bag, but her family has long rejected this claim. On Monday, the Dallas TV station WFAA aired cellphone video filmed by Bland capturing the moment when she was pulled over. In the 39-second video you can see the officer — Brian Encinia — drawing his stun gun and saying, "I will light you up."

"Black Mama's Bail Out Day": Movement Grows to Free Black Women From Jail for Mother's Day
Fri, 10 May 2019 08:38:59 -0400
Racial justice groups around the country are bailing black women out of jail so they can spend Mother's Day with their families. For the third year in a row, "Black Mama's Bail Out Day" is raising money to bail out as many black women from jail as possible. The effort is taking place in dozens of cities to call attention to the injustice of cash bail. We speak to Mary Hooks, the co-director of Southerners On New Ground, which is part of the National Bail Out Collective.

Trump Steps up War on Whistleblowers: Air Force Vet Daniel Hale Arrested For Leaking Drone War Info
Fri, 10 May 2019 08:11:50 -0400
A former U.S. intelligence analyst was arrested Thursday and charged with violating the Espionage Act for allegedly leaking documents about the secretive U.S. drone program. Daniel Hale, 31, was arrested in Nashville. He faces up to 50 years in prison. Hale is accused of disclosing 11 top secret or secret documents to a reporter. The indictment does not name the reporter but unnamed government sources have told media outlets that the reporter is investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept. In 2015, The Intercept published a special report called the Drone Papers exposing the inner workings of the U.S. military's assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. We air excerpts of the documentary "National Bird" that features Daniel Hale and speak to The Intercept's James Risen, director of First Look Media's Press Freedom Defense Fund.

Headlines for May 10, 2019
Fri, 10 May 2019 08:00:00 -0400
Trump Increases Tariffs on $200 Billion of Chinese Goods, Trump Nominates Patrick Shanahan as Pentagon Chief, Former U.S. Intel Analyst Charged Over Whistleblowing About Drone Program, Chelsea Manning Freed from Jail After 62 Days as WikiLeaks Grand Jury Expires, Dozens of Civilians Die as Syrian and Russian Warplanes Pound Idlib, Baghdad Suicide Bomb Claimed by ISIS Kills 8, French Activists Contest Saudi Arms Shipment, Citing Civilian Deaths in Yemen, U.S. Seizes North Korean Ship, Accusing it of Violating Sanctions, Water and Power Cut to Venezuelan Embassy in D.C. as Activists Continue Occupation, Alabama Senate Delays Vote on Abortion Ban After Rancorous Debate, Colorado Mother Warned of "Repeat of Columbine" Ahead of High School Shooting, Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes: It's Time to Break Up Facebook

Shocking UN Report Warns up to a Million Species are at Risk of Extinction Due to Human Activity
Thu, 09 May 2019 08:45:17 -0400
An alarming new report by a panel of leading scientists warns that human activity is causing the disappearance and deterioration of wildlife at a rate that could represent an existential threat to humanity within our lifetimes. The United Nations' Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services released its conclusions earlier this week, and found that one million plant and animal species could go extinct in the foreseeable future unless current trends are reversed. The study estimates the global extinction rate is "already at least tens to hundreds of times higher than it averaged over the past 10 million years." It is the largest and most comprehensive global study of biodiversity ever. It took three years to complete and is based on 15,000 scientific papers. The landmark report singled out industrial farming and fishing as major drivers of the crisis and called for "transformative change" to arrest present trends of biodiversity loss and species extinction. We speak with Kate Brauman, one of the coordinating lead authors of the UN report. She is an environmental scientist at the University of Minnesota. And we speak with Ashley Dawson, a professor of post-colonial studies at the City University of New York Graduate Center and College of Staten Island. His books include "Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change" and "Extinction: A Radical History."

Gig Economy Drivers Strike: Uber Has Built Its $90 Billion Empire on an Anti-Worker Model
Thu, 09 May 2019 08:36:45 -0400
The New York Taxi Workers Alliance helped organize the Uber and Lyft strike in New York City on Wednesday. We speak to the group's executive director Bhairavi Desai.

Striking Driver Speaks Out: Uber & Lyft Are "Slave Systems" That Exploit Workers
Thu, 09 May 2019 08:31:50 -0400
Uber and Lyft drivers in cities around the world went on strike Wednesday to protest low wages and poor treatment of workers just days before Uber's initial public offering, which could value the company at up to $90 billion dollars. But while Uber prepares for what could be one of the biggest IPOs in history and executives plan to take home millions, drivers say their conditions are worse than ever. Drivers in Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, São Paulo, New York and other cities temporarily halted work Wednesday to demand Uber and other rideshare companies like Lyft treat drivers like full-time employees rather than independent contractors, guarantee a livable income and end deactivations for drivers without explanation, among other demands. On Wednesday, striking Uber and Lyft drivers gathered on Wall Street to call out the practices of the ride-sharing companies. Democracy Now! producer Libby Rainey spoke with Inder Parmar, an Uber driver who says he has lost two-thirds of his income as the company has slashed compensation.

The Gig Is Up: Rep. Deb Haaland Introduces Bill to Make Uber & Lyft Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes
Thu, 09 May 2019 08:25:33 -0400
As Uber and Lyft drivers staged a strike on Wednesday, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) announced legislation that would require Uber and Lyft to pay for drivers' Social Security and Medicare costs. Because drivers are considered "independent contractors," they are currently required to pay Social Security & Medicare costs themselves. Haaland's legislation would place that burden entirely on Lyft, Uber, and other multinational corporations employing large numbers of so-called independent contractors in the gig economy. Rep. Deb Haaland said in a statement "The gig is up." She joins us from Capitol Hill.

A Constitutional Crisis? House Panel Holds AG Barr in Contempt as Trump Claims Executive Privilege
Thu, 09 May 2019 08:10:50 -0400
The House Judiciary Committee has voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress over his refusal to turn over the unredacted Mueller report and the underlying evidence to lawmakers. Meanwhile, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has issued a subpoena to the Justice Department for the unredacted report. This all came after the White House invoked executive privilege to prevent the full report's release to Congress and to bar former White House counsel Don McGahn from providing documents to Congress related to the Mueller probe. We speak with Ian Millhiser, a columnist for ThinkProgress whose recent piece is headlined "Trump's claim that the Mueller report is protected by executive privilege is hot garbage."

Headlines for May 9, 2019
Thu, 09 May 2019 08:00:00 -0400
House Judiciary Votes to Hold Attorney General Barr in Contempt of Congress, Senate Panel Subpoenas Donald Trump Jr. to Testify About Russia, Trump Administration Announces New Sanctions on Iranian Metal Exports, Bodies of 4 Migrants Found in Arizona as Trial of Humanitarian Aid Volunteer Wraps Up, New York Bill Would Allow Congress to Obtain Trump's State Tax Records, Trump Laughs and Jokes as a Supporter Suggests Shooting Migrants, Maryland Judge Approves Supervised Release for White Nationalist Accused of Terror Plot, Five Killed in Kabul, Afghanistan as Taliban Attack U.S. Nonprofit, Pakistani Taliban Claims Attack on Sufi Shrine in Lahore that Killed 10, North Korea Tests Short-Range Missiles, South Africa Polls Close with African National Congress Poised to Retain Majority, Denver to Decriminalize Use of Psychedelic Mushrooms, Police Raid Johns Hopkins Student Occupation, Arresting 7, "Gig Economy" Drivers Strike Worldwide Ahead of $90 Billion Uber IPO

New Era for the ERA? 35 Years Later, Will Equal Rights Amendment Finally be Ratified?
Wed, 08 May 2019 08:45:53 -0400
Activists and lawmakers testified last week before a House Judiciary subcommittee in the first congressional hearings on the Equal Rights Amendment in more than 35 years. The constitutional amendment was approved by Congress in 1972, and was ratified by 35 states over the next decade — three states short of the required total needed by a 1982 deadline. Nevada and Illinois have since ratified the amendment. A bill by Rep. Jackie Spear would eliminate the 1982 deadline, leaving the ERA just one state away from becoming a part of the U.S. Constitution. We speak with co-presidents and CEOs of the ERA Coalition/Fund for Women's Equality: Carol Jenkins and Jessica Neuwirth. Neuwirth is also the author of the book "Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for an Equal Rights Amendment is Now."

Cecile Richards: Georgia's New "Fetal Heartbeat" Bill Criminalizes Women Who Seek Abortions
Wed, 08 May 2019 08:35:03 -0400
Georgia's Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed into law Tuesday a six-week abortion ban, or so-called "fetal heartbeat law" that bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected—something that typically happens just six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women realize they're pregnant. It is now one of the country's most restrictive abortion laws. "It doesn't just make abortion illegal," says Cecile Richards, former head of Planned Parenthood. "It basically would allow women to be convicted and either sentenced to death or to life imprisonment in Georgia." She notes the real medical crisis for women in Georgia and nationwide is maternal mortality.

Supermajority: Cecile Richards Teams With Alicia Garza & Ai-jen Poo to Mobilize Women Voters in 2020
Wed, 08 May 2019 08:25:10 -0400
As the 2020 primary and general election season heats up, we speak with former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards about Supermajority, the new political action group she helped launch that aims to train a new generation of women activists to take on grassroots campaigns and electoral politics. "Women are the majority of voters ... the volunteers, we're increasingly the donors, increasingly the candidates, and it's time for political equity," says Richards. "We want to build a multi-racial, intergenerational movement to increase women's power." Supermajority was co-founded by Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza and Ai-jen Poo, the executive director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Richards says since their launch a week ago, more than 80,000 people have signed up, and adds: "There's a real need and interest in the country."

Billion Dollar Loser: NYT Report on Trump's Taxes & Massive Losses May Prompt Fraud Investigation
Wed, 08 May 2019 08:13:10 -0400
We look at a major exposé from _The New York Times_, which obtained tax information on Donald Trump that shows his businesses lost $1.17 billion from 1985 to 1994. While Trump continues to refuse to release his tax returns, printouts from his official IRS tax transcripts for a 10 year period ending in 1994 show that in multiple years during that stretch, Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual taxpayer in the country and paid no federal income taxes for eight of the 10 years. "Almost every two cents of every dollar reported as losses one year, by everyone in the United States, were recorded by Donald Trump," notes our guest, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, an investigative reporter previously with the _Times_, now founder and editor of "DC Report.org.":https://www.dcreport.org/. He has been reporting on Donald Trump since the 1980s and his new piece for the _Daily Beast_ is headlined "Trump's Tax Leak Hints at Potential Fraud Investigations."

Headlines for May 8, 2019
Wed, 08 May 2019 08:00:00 -0400
Iran to Suspend Part of Nuclear Deal Citing U.S. Sanctions, Pompeo Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq As U.S.-Iran Tensions Mount, U.N. Rapporteur Slams U.S. for Using Sanctions to Precipitate Humanitarian Disasters, 1 Dead, 8 Injured in Colorado School Shooting Near Columbine, NYT: Trump's Tax Records Show He Lost Over $1 Billion Between 1985 and 1994, House Prepares to Hold Barr in Contempt as Justice Dept. Advises Trump to Invoke Executive Privilege, Georgia Enacts One of Nation's Most Restrictive Abortion Bans, Uber & Lyft Drivers Strike Ahead of Uber's Wall Street Debut, Tens of Thousands of Teachers in Oregon to Walk Out of Classes, Sandra Bland's Family Calls For Probe of Her Death to be Reopened After Cell Phone Footage is Aired, Pamela Anderson Visits Julian Assange in London Prison as He Fights Possible Extradition to U.S., Trump Pardons Soldier Who Murdered Naked Unarmed Iraqi Prisoner

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