Democracy Now!

"The World's Most Dangerous Man": Mary Trump on Her Uncle, President Trump, & Why He Must Be Ousted

“In my family, being kind was considered being weak,” says Mary Trump, President Trump’s niece, a clinical psychologist and author of “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man.” We spend the hour with Mary Trump, discussing her book the president doesn’t want people to read, in which she describes his upbringing in a dysfunctional family that fostered his greed, cruelty and racist and sexist behaviors — which he is now inflicting on the world. Mary Trump also discusses the president’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, his long history of lies and misrepresentations, and the dangers of his reelection. “I believe that this country is on the knife’s edge, and I don’t want anybody going to cast their vote in November being able to claim that they just don’t know who they’re voting for,” she says.

Headlines for August 7, 2020

Revealed: How U.S. Gov't & Hollywood Secretly Worked Together to Justify Atomic Bombings of Japan

On the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, when the United States became the only country ever to use nuclear weapons in warfare, we look at how the U.S. government sought to manipulate the narrative about what it had done — especially by controlling how it was portrayed by Hollywood. Journalist Greg Mitchell’s new book, “The Beginning or the End: How Hollywood — and America — Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” documents how the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki triggered a race between Hollywood movie studios to tell a sanitized version of the story in a major motion picture. “There’s all sorts of evidence that has emerged that the use of the bomb was not necessary, it could have been delayed or not used at all,” says Mitchell. “But what was important was to set this narrative of justification, and it was set right at the beginning by Truman and his allies, with a very willing media.”

"The Beginning of Our End": On 75th Anniversary, Hiroshima Survivor Warns Against Nuclear Weapons

On the 75th anniversary of when the United States dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing some 140,000 people, we speak with Hideko Tamura Snider, who was 10 years old when she survived the attack. “The shaking was so huge,” she recalls. “I remember the sensation, the color and the smell like yesterday.” Tamura Snider describes her harrowing journey through a shattered city, suffering radiation sickness following the attack, and her message to President Trump.

Headlines for August 6, 2020

The End of Big Tech? Calls Grow to Break Up Facebook, Amazon for "Mob-Like" Behavior, Monopoly Power

Calls are growing to break up the Big Tech giants, with a handful of companies controlling more and more of the technology industry, crowding out or acquiring would-be competitors and exercising vast power over the U.S. economy. Lawmakers grilled the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook during a hearing last week on whether their companies are guilty of stifling competition, in a scene reminiscent of the 1994 hearing of tobacco executives who claimed cigarettes were not addictive. This came just days after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos reportedly made $13 billion in a single day, even as the coronavirus pandemic has left millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet. We speak with Scott Galloway, professor of Marketing at NYU Stern, who says we may be seeing “the beginning of the end” of the tech monopolies.

Journalist Rami Khouri: Beirut Explosion Follows Years of Lebanese Gov't Incompetence & Corruption

The explosion in the port of Beirut, which killed at least 100 people and injured about 4,000 others, is the latest blow to Lebanon, which already faces an economic, political and public health crisis amid the coronavirus pandemic. The blast is believed to have been triggered by 2,700 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate inexplicably left unattended in a warehouse for six years. Journalist Rami Khouri says it’s further proof of “the cumulative incompetence, corruption, lassitude, amateurism and uncaring attitude by successive Lebanese governments” that have failed the country. “It’s the ruling political elite that is responsible for this,” he says.

"Despair and Destruction": Doctor in Beirut Describes Harrowing Scenes After Massive Port Explosion

As Beirut reels from a massive explosion that killed at least 100 people and injured thousands, we get an on-the-ground update from pediatrician and writer Dr. Seema Jilani, who treated her own daughter for injuries after the blast. “It was extremely packed because we’re just coming out of a four-day lockdown,” says Jilani. “Everybody was out.” Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab called the explosion a “national catastrophe.”

Headlines for August 5, 2020

Militarized BORTAC Border Patrol Raids & Ransacks Medical Camp on U.S. Border, Arrests 30 Migrants

In Arizona, heavily armed Border Patrol officers raided the medical camp of humanitarian group No More Deaths and detained 30 migrants whose whereabouts are now unknown. It was the second raid in just two days on the camp, which provides water, food and medical attention to refugees crossing into the United States through the scorching Sonoran Desert. “Immediately after they entered the camp, the first thing they did was round up all of the No More Deaths aid workers and zip-tie them, remove their phones,” says Montana Thames, a humanitarian aid worker with No More Deaths. “It was very clear they didn’t want any witnesses.” No More Deaths also recently published documents revealing the Border Patrol Union, a pro-Trump and anti-immigrant extremist group, had instigated a 2017 raid of the same camp.

"It's Basically a Death Sentence": Hunger Strikers Demand Release as Virus Surges in ICE Jails

People being held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement jails are holding work strikes and hunger strikes over the lack of access to personal protective equipment or quality medical care, and to demand their release. We speak with Joe Mejia, an asylum seeker who was among a group of prisoners at Yuba County Jail in California who led a hunger strike while he was held there for nearly 11 months. “That place is dangerous,” Mejia says. “It is a death sentence to detainees, especially right now with the coronavirus.”

"Release Them All": Calls Grow to Stop Jailing Immigrants as Transfers & Deportations Spread COVID

The U.S. government continues to hold tens of thousands of asylum seekers and immigrants in detention centers and jails, ignoring the advice of medical experts as the coronavirus continues to spread. ICE has also continued to transfer and deport people — including those who are infected — making it a global superspreader. We speak with Luis Angel Reyes Savalza, an immigration attorney and co-director of Pangea Legal Services in San Francisco, who himself is undocumented and recently got arrested at a protest outside the mansion of California Governor Gavin Newsom demanding the release of people in state prisons and immigration jails, calling the situation “really alarming.”

Public Health vs. Politics: White House Scrapped Nationwide COVID-19 Testing Plan to Hurt Blue States

As the U.S. coronavirus death toll passes 155,000, there is still no national testing program, with widespread shortages and delays hampering efforts to contain the pandemic. This continues months after President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner launched a White House task force with the goal of establishing a national testing plan. We speak to investigative reporter Katherine Eban, whose explosive Vanity Fair report chronicles Kushner’s fumbling efforts and the sudden decision to abandon the project on political grounds. “The participants expected that at any moment in early April, the plan would be announced,” says Eban. “It vanished into thin air.”

Headlines for August 4, 2020

"They Have No Evidence": Moroccan Journalist Omar Radi Jailed, Surveilled After Criticizing Gov't

Award-winning journalist and human rights activist Omar Radi spoke to us from Casablanca on July 16. Two weeks later, on July 29, last Wednesday, Moroccan authorities arrested him on what press freedom advocates call “retaliatory charges.” Now a court has charged Radi with undermining state security by receiving foreign funding and collaborating with foreign intelligence, and also charged him with rape. He is reportedly being held in a prison that is a COVID hot spot, and has not been allowed to have visits from his lawyer or his parents. We feature our interview with Radi, which focuses in part on an Amnesty International report, published about one month before his arrest, that alleges Moroccan authorities hacked his phone using Pegasus spyware from the Israeli company NSO Group.

Voting Rights Activist LaTosha Brown: Trump Is Hellbent on Undermining Democracy to Win Reelection

With President Trump trailing in most polls, he tweeted recently that he was floating the idea of delaying the November election — something he cannot legally do — and continued his attacks on mail-in voting. “We have a president who is probably the most fascist president that we’ve ever had in this country,” responds LaTosha Brown, co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund and the BVM Capacity Building Institute. “He is hellbent on pushing the boundaries, whatever he needs to do, to undermine and undercut democracy.”

What If Trump Refuses to Accept a Biden Victory? A Look at How Electoral Chaos Could Divide Nation

As President Trump floats the idea of delaying the election, we speak with Nils Gilman, historian and co-founder of Transition Integrity Project, which organized a bipartisan group of experts to game out what a contested November election might look like. “In every scenario except for the one where Biden won in a landslide, we ended up with severe electoral contestation, protests in the streets, crazy stories happening on social media, and the challenges went down to Inauguration Day,” Gilman says.

Headlines for August 3, 2020

Barack Obama: Honor John Lewis by Renewing Voting Rights Act & Ballot Access in the U.S.

In his stirring eulogy at the funeral service for Congressmember John Lewis, President Barack Obama said expanded voting rights would be the greatest way to honor the civil rights icon’s legacy. In a speech that condemned the status of American democracy without ever naming the sitting president, Obama called for election day to be declared a national holiday, full Congressional representation for Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, and the end of the filibuster, which he called a “Jim Crow relic.” “You want to honor John? Let’s honor him by revitalizing the law he was willing to die for,” Obama said in reference to the Voting Rights Act. We feature an extended excerpt from Obama’s remarks at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

Rev. James Lawson: John Lewis's Life Is Call to Action Against U.S. Violence & Plantation Capitalism

As mourners gathered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta to honor the life of Georgia Congressmember John Lewis, among those who spoke was civil rights icon Rev. James Lawson, who helped to train John Lewis in nonviolence when Lewis was a student in Nashville. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once described Rev. Lawson as “the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world.” Lawson invoked John Lewis’s life as a call to action. “We will not be quiet as long as our nation continues to be the most violent culture in the history of humankind,” Lawson said. We feature his extended remarks.

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