Democracy Now

  • Thu, 05 Dec 2019 13:52:21 +0000: Sweden Provides Free Higher Education, Universal Healthcare, Free Daycare — Why Can’t the U.S.? - Democracy Now!
    Medicare for All and tuition-free universities have been at the core of the 2020 Democratic presidential campaigns, creating a stark division between progressive candidates and their centrist counterparts. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have proposed to make Medicare for All and public universities cost-free by taxing massive corporations and the super wealthy, and earlier this year, Sanders introduced legislation that would cancel student loan debt. His plan would be paid for with a new tax on Wall Street, he says. It would also make public universities and community colleges free — a key pillar of Sanders’s 2020 education platform. These proposals are not radical ideas in Sweden, a country that has built one of the world’s most extensive social welfare systems. In Sweden, healthcare costs are largely subsided by the state. Daycare and preschool programs are mostly free. College and university are free. Public transportation is subsidized for many users. To explain how Sweden does it, we speak with Mikael Törnwall, Swedish author and journalist focusing on economic issues at Svenska Dagbladet, a Stockholm daily newspaper. His most recent book is titled "Who Should Pay for Welfare?"
  • Thu, 05 Dec 2019 13:26:05 +0000: Aminatou Haidar Honored For Decades of Peaceful Resistance in Western Sahara, Africa’s Last Colony - Democracy Now!
    In Stockholm, Democracy Now! sat down with one of the winners of this year's Right Livelihood Award: Sahrawi human rights leader Aminatou Haidar. For over three decades, Haidar has led a peaceful campaign to resist the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara, which is often called Africa’s last colony. Morocco has occupied Western Sahara — a small region just south of Morocco in northwest Africa — since 1975. Thousands have been tortured, imprisoned, killed and disappeared while resisting the occupation. Peaceful protesters, led by women, are routinely beaten in the streets. Despite this violent repression, Haidar has led countless hunger strikes and demonstrations, and unflinchingly documented the abuses against the Saharawi people for more than 30 years. She is a former political prisoner who was jailed for four years in a secret prison. In granting her the award, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation cited her "steadfast nonviolent action, despite imprisonment and torture, in pursuit of justice and self-determination for the people of Western Sahara." Haidar says it's time for the international community to push for an end to the Morrocan occupation of Western Sahara. "My message is: Let's put an end to our suffering. Let's put an end to this injustice. Let's give a voice to Sahrawi people, let them choose their future."
  • Thu, 05 Dec 2019 13:11:48 +0000: Edward Snowden: If I Came Back to the U.S., I Would Likely Die in Prison for Telling the Truth - Democracy Now!
    The Right Livelihood Awards celebrated their 40th anniversary Wednesday at the historic Cirkus Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, where more than a thousand people gathered to celebrate this year's four laureates: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg; Chinese women's rights lawyer Guo Jianmei, Brazilian indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa and the organization he co-founded, the Yanomami Hutukara Association; and Sahrawi human rights leader Aminatou Haidar, who has challenged the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara for decades. The Right Livelihood Award is known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize." Over the past four decades, it's been given to grassroots leaders and activists around the globe — among them the world-famous NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. At Wednesday's gala, Amy Goodman interviewed Snowden in front of the award ceremony's live audience via video link from Moscow, where he has lived in exile since leaking a trove of secret documents revealing the U.S. government's had built an unprecedented mass surveillance system to spy on Americans and people around the world. After sharing the documents with reporters in 2013, Snowden was charged in the U.S. for violating the Espionage Act and other laws. As he attempted to flee from Hong Kong to Latin America, Snowden was stranded in Russia after the U.S. revoked his passport, and he has lived there ever since. Edward Snowden won the Right Livelihood Award in 2014, and accepted the award from Moscow.
  • Thu, 05 Dec 2019 13:00:00 +0000: Headlines for December 5, 2019 - Democracy Now!
    Constitutional Experts Debate Impeachment at House Judiciary Committee Hearing, GOP Rep. Devin Nunes Sues CNN over Story about Nunes’ Ukraine Meeting, Trump Departs NATO Early after Video of Other World Leaders Mocking Him, Report: Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Hit Record High in 2019, Colombia Holds Third National Strike in Two Weeks, Workers Strike Across France Today over Macron’s Pensions Plan, Hand Grenade Thrown over Wall of Migrant Shelter in Madrid, India: Rape Survivor Attacked on Her Way to Court in Latest Assault on Women, Head of Japanese Aid Agency Killed in Afghanistan, AG Barr Threatens Communities Critical of Police Brutality, George Zimmerman Sues Trayvon Martin’s Family for $100 Million, Tucson Joins Pima County in Lawsuit over Trump’s Border Wall, Harvard Students Protest University Decision to Deny Tenure to Popular Latina Professor
  • Wed, 04 Dec 2019 13:48:28 +0000: U.N. Report Finds Over 7 Million Children Worldwide Are Being Held in Various Kinds of Detention - Democracy Now!
    A damning United Nations report says that 7 million children are deprived of their liberty worldwide, from children imprisoned on the U.S.-Mexico border to the missing children of ISIS fighters. The Global Study on Children Deprived of Liberty says that at least 410,000 of those children are detained in jails and prisons, where violence is “endemic.” The study also found that the number of children detained in the context of armed conflict has dramatically risen. The global study was published in November, on the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the landmark international treaty affirming the world's commitment to protecting children. It is the most ratified U.N. Treaty in history — the United States is one of the only countries that hasn’t ratified the convention. We’re joined by Manfred Nowak, lead author of the U.N. Global Study on Children Deprived of liberty. Nowak is also a human rights lawyer and U.N. independent expert. He served as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture from 2004 to 2010.