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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  July 17, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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07/17/17 07/17/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! pres. trump: we are not here to lecture. we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. instead, we are here to offer partnership based on shared interests and values, to pursue a better future for all of us. amy: as president trump vows not to let human rights concerns interfere with u.s. relations with saudi arabia, the country is set to execute 14 men, including mujtaba'a al-sweikat, who was only 17 when he was sentenced to death five years ago.
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he had planned to visit western michigan university, but was detained by airport authorities in saudi arabia for allegedly attending a pro-democracy rally earlier the same year. we'll speak with maya foa, director of reprieve and randi weingarten, president, american federation of teachers who are speaking out against the execution. we'll also speak with weingarten about billionaire education secretary betsy devos, who has said she considers education an industry and called the public school system a dead-end. then to arizona, where a hearing is underway that will decide whether a ban on ethnic studies in tucson schools is unconstitutional. >> we found these classes were promoting ethnic resentment. there were promoting it in ways that were intolerab. amy: then tobacco, a deadly business.
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the vice president to tom price, a new report exposes how tobacco companies have gained unprecedented influence in washington under trump. lobbying thatof tobacco companies are doing does not necessarily correspond with theymount of influence have with the trump administration and in washington, d.c. in fact, across the world, especially in places like africa where developing nations are trained to implement health regulations to stop people from smoking and to save lives. amy: we will speak with reporter jessica glenza. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the u.s. led war against isis is reportedly killing at least a dozen science every single day as president trump took office six months ago. that is according to a new investigation by the journalistic monitoring group airwars, which has since president trump took office,
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coalition officer -- operations have reportedly killed more than 2200 civilians, a far higher rate of reported civilian the obama than under administration. the investigation comes as the u.s. led coalition continues to launch dozens of airstrikes a day against the syrian city of raqqa, worth tens of thousands of residents are trapped without access to water or electricity. over the weekend, the latest round of u.n.-backed peace talks about the syrian war ended in geneva without any plans to resolve the ongoing conflict. in saudi arabia 14 men accused of taking part in protests are reportedly facing imminent execution. the group includes munir al-adam, who is half-deaf and partially blind, and mujtaba'a al-sweikat, who was only 17 when he was sentenced to death five years ago. in 2012, he was arrested at the airport in saudi arabia while en route to visit western michigan
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university where he was later accepted. he's now facing execution for allegedly attending a pro-democracy rally in 2012. after president trump's visit earlier this year, a saudi criminal court upheld several death sentences handed down to the protesters. we'll have more the saudi executions after headlines. back in the united states, on capitol hill, senate republicans mitch mcconnell has delayed a vote as arizona republican senator john mccain is unable to vote while he's home recovering from surgery to remove a blood clot above his left eye. the congressional budget office has not yet finished their review of the republicans' latest healthcare bill, unveiled thursday, but it's similar to the previous bill, which would have caused 22 million americans to lose their health insurance over the next 10 years. er the weekend, republican governors confronted vice president mike pence and health and human services secretary tom price over the healthcare plan during a closed-door session at the national governors association conference.
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the trump administration is continuing to face criticism and scrutiny over revelations that trump's own son, donald trump, jr., embraced an apparent effort by the russian government to peddle information incriminating hillary clinton in an attempt to help trump win the presidency. over the weekend, new information surfaced showing as many as eight people were in the room during trump jr.'s meeting with the kremlin-linked lawyer natalia veselnitskaya. among them were trump's son-in-law jared kushner, then -campaign manager paul manafort, a russian-american lobbyist named rinat akhmetshin, publicist rob goldstone, who helped set up the meeting, at least one translator, and a representative of the russian family who had asked for the meeting. on sunday, president trump's lawyer attempted to blame the secret service for allowing the participants into trump tower for the meeting, causing the secret service to issue a rare statement saying donald trump, jr. was not under secret service protection at the time and "thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at
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that time." top democrats continue to call the meeting evidence of collusion between the trump campaign and russia. this is california democratic congressman adam schiff, speaking sunday on abc's "this week." >> it is certainly tied in the since this is about as clear evidence you can find of intent by the campaign to collude with the russians to get useful information from the russians. quick and willingness to accept from the president's son. >> not only to accept, but indicate a russia what the best timing was. amy: the trump administration also faced criticism from fox news host sam shepard on friday over the donald trump, jr. 's meeting. >> they tell us that nothing came of it, did not write it down, did not tell you about it because it wasn't anything, so i did not even remember it, with the russian internet or in the
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room at trump tower. if all that, why all of these lies? amy: that was shepard smith of fox news. on sunday, president trump attacked the media and hillary clinton and defended his son, writing -- "hillary clinton can illegally get the questions to the debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son don is being scorned by the fake news media?" and "with all of its phony unnamed sources & highly slanted & even fraudulent reporting, #fake news is distorting democracy in our country." trump faced protests while attending the united states women's open saturday, which was held at the trump national golf club in bedminster, new jersey. more than 100,000 people had signed on to a petition calling on the lpga to move the venue. on saturday, activists gathered outside the venue to protest trump and his history of making sexist comments and bragging about sexual assault. president trump's approval rating has plummeted to a mere 36% as he nears the six-month mark of his presidency. it's the lowest six-month
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approval rating of a u.s. president in 70 years. the washington post/abc news news poll also showed only 24% of people support the republicans' plan to repeal and replace the affordable care act. meanwhile, the white house has declared this week "made in america" week, despite the fact that trump's own companies outsource the vast majority of manufacturing to factories overseas. trump's daughter, ivanka trump, exclusively outsources the manufacturing of her clothing and accessory lines to overseas factories, mostly in bangladesh, indonesia, and china. turkish president recep tayyip erdogan is asking the turkish parliament to extend the state of emergency for another three months. over the weekend, president erdogan gave a series of speeches and vowed to continue the brutal crackdown against activists, journalists and teachers and opposition lawmakers. he also called for the reinstatement of the death penalty in turkey. in the dominican republic, tens of thousands of protesters flooded the streets of the
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capital santo domingo on sunday to demand the resignation of the president and top officials currently embroiled in a corruption scandal. many of the protesters dressed in green to show support for the environmental justice movement. solidarity marches were also held sunday in new york city, miami, and madrid, spain. in venezuela millions of people , took part in an unofficial referendum called for by the opposition. the opposition says the referendum showed strong opposition to maduro's plans to form a new constituent assembly, which critics say is an effort for maduro to consolidate power. at least one woman was shot in the capital caracas while waiting to vote in sunday's referendum. to see our recent debate about the ongoing protests in venezuela, go to in puerto rico, recently freed political prisoner oscar rivera lopez has joined the fight against the dumping of toxic coal ash in peñuelas, calling on fellow puerto ricans to join the growing civil disobedience protests. in recent days, hundreds of police have raided and
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dismantled a resistance camp near the dumping site, arresting longtime community leaders, many of whom are senior citizens. coal ash is a highly toxic mix of arsenic, mercury, lead and other heavy metals, which can contaminate nearby air and drinking water, causing cancer, lung disease, developmental delays, birth defects, impaired bone growth. oscar lopez rivera has joined this protests. in arizona, where court hearings continue in a case that will decide whether a ban on ethnic studies in public schools is unconstitutional. in 2010, arizona passed a controversial law banning the teaching of any class designed for a particular ethnic group that would "promote resentment toward a race or class of people." the law ended up eliminating tucson's ethnic studies program and banned seven books from public school classrooms, including "rethinking columbus: the next 500 years," shakespeare's play "the tempest," "pedagogy of the oppressed" by paolo freire, and "chicano!: the history of the mexican civil rights movement." we'll go to arizona for more on
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the trial over the ban on ethnic studies later in the broadcast. hundreds of protesters rallied outside the headquarters of the national rifle association in virginia friday and then marched 18 miles to the justice department to protest against the nra. the march was led by the organizers against the women's march in washington, d.c., after trump's inauguration. this is sarah dachos of the group moms demand action for gun sense in america. mother, i have a son, and i would like him to grow up in a world where he feels safe walking down the street to go to the playground. that when he goes to school, he does not have to do lockdown drills because we now live in a climate where someone who is not safe with a gun, has access to guns, can go into a school and shoot people. amy: and groundbreaking iranian mathematician maryam mirzakhani has died. a professor at stanford university, she is only woman and only iranian to have ever won mathematics' highest award, the fields medal. she died saturday at the age of 40 from breast cancer.
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multiple iranian newspapers broke social taboos by publishing photos of her without hijab to the arena president posted a picture of her on instagram without her head covered. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. we begin today's show in saudi arabia, where 14 men accused of taking part in protests are reportedly facing imminent execution. the group includes munir al-adam, who is half-deaf and partially blind, and mujtaba'a al-sweikat, who was only 17 when he was sentenced to death five years ago in 2012. majtaba'a had planned to visit western michigan university, where he had applied for admission, but was detained by airport authorities in saudi
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arabia for allegedly attending a pro-democracy rally earlier the same year. he was accepted by the university as a student in 2013, but was not able to attend. following president trump's visit earlier this year, a saudi criminal court upheld several death sentences handed down to protestors. during trump's visit to saudi arabia in may -- his first trip abroad as president -- he suggested human rights concerns would not interfere with u.s.-saudi relations. pres. trump: we are not here to lecture. we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, worship., or how to instead, we are here to offer partnership based on shared interests and values, to pursue a better future for all of us. amy: saudi arabia has one of the highest execution rates in the world. human rights organizations say prisoners are often tortured into making false confessions and convicted in secret trials.
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rights groups have urged the trump administration to use its ties to the kingdom to prevent further abuses and stay the executions. to talk more about the death penalty in saudi arabia and the possible execution of these 14 men, we're joined by two guests. in london, maya foa is with us, director of the international legal charity reprieve. and here in new york, we are joined by randi weingarten is president of the american federation of teachers. we welcome you both to democracy now! in's begin with maya foa london. talk about who these men are and what you believe that their execution is imminent. well, these 14 -- thank you. these 14 men, many of them very young, some of them under 18 when they were arrested by saudi forces, are all alleged to have protest-related offenses. now, to give you a couple of examples of what that means, we
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had another case of a young man who was facing imminent execution last year. he is still in danger. he is not among the 14, but his charge sheet explained that among the offenses that had rendered him -- made him death-eligible were inviting people to the protest on his blackberry, administering first aid on his blackberry -- not on his blackberry, administering first aid to protesters at the protest. there were cases, you mentioned mujtaba'a al-sweikat, he was andsed of attending inviting others to the protest. these are clearly not offenses that we would -- we would not deem them offensive at all, let alone worthy of sentencing people to death. fewaba'a al-sweikat, mention in the intro, was 17 years old when he was allegedly at this protest. he had a future in america.
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he had been admitted to two universities. he was due to travel over to the u.s. he was in the airport on his way there to go and look at the two campuses and decide where he wanted to go when he was arrested by saudi forces, brutally tortured. so much so, they broke his shoulder and a night him first aid. the torture was intended to get him to confess to this so-called crime of attending the protest. he gave a confession after torture. it is not admissible under international law or saudi's unlawful stuff you is later sentenced to death. now he and 13 others look to be executed at any moment. juan: i want to ask you about a report that you issued recently -- the organization recently said as many as 40% of the people executed in saudi arabia are executed for nonviolent
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offenses like participating in protests? >> that is absolutely right. we have seen a massive uptake in executions and death sentences for nonviolent protest offenses. it looks very much to us like an ll and freedom of assembly being entirely eradicated in saudi arabia. on january 2 last year, there were 47 people executed in a mass execution on one day. among those were numerous so-called protesters and a couple of juveniles as well -- at least six of them. one of them was dragged out of school by the police. he was then brutally tortured, thend to confess, and executed without anyone knowing so that his family only found out about the x accused in of their son -- execution of their
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son after the execution itself from this paper reports. to date, they still have not been told where his body is. they never got to give him a burial. was don't know even how he executed. and that young man, that child, was executed for apparently attending a protest. juan: randi weingarten, the afg weighing in on this issue, the importance and why you were union is involved in this? --irst of all, reprieve we are the largest states. juan, with what we did in terms of students at rutgers, fighting for them, we have this reputation out of making sure that we fight for our students and have multinational, multi-ethnic universities.
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so reprieve got in touch with our locals out first in the university of michigan, because we thought he was going to the university of michigan and found out later it was western michigan. on saturday, we just went into motion and tried to figure out that is kind of funny with the trump administration, ironic -- but how to engage the state department, department of defense, department of homeland security, and do it in every way we could in terms of shining the light because if we don't do said, this gets done in absolute secrecy to .uppress freedom of speech so our union is on it. we have tried to find ways to make sure the saudi government knows that the american government is watching this and is fighting this. and that is what we are to do in every way we can.
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obviously, this is suppression of speech. thes are our values. these should be values internationally. an equally, if not more important, how does anyone -- how does in the country be in the community of countries and behead people? ultimately, i would say if anyone in saudi arabia is watching, how do you fight terrorism? how do you fight isis? how do you fight all of this if you are beheading people? there is a moral issue here as well as just us wanting to fight .or this child, this child he is 17. when he got into university, he was 17 years old. .e has been in jail what reprieve has found, historically what they know, is the moment that people are moved riyadh, we don't know if
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their death is imminent. amy: maya foa, what are you calling for now, and, randi reacheden, have you anyone of the trump administration says they have close ties to saudi arabia? >> we reached people. maya, we are try to see if we can get someone to visit this youngster. we did actually reach people over the weekend. as i said, maya and reprieve, we are working closely with them. amy: what you're calling for now and the indications to you the execution is imminent with the removal of the men and specifically mujtaba'a al-sweikat, a sign of imminent execution? >> that is right. we are extremely concerned about mujtaba'a al-sweikat and the 13 other young men who are not potentially facing imminent beheading and execution. we are calling on the international community to raise
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these cases, to raise them with prince in saudi arabia, to raise them with the american government -- all of saudi arabia's allies need to be saying that it is not acceptable to be beheading and killing children, killing people who crimeimply -- their only is to have attended a protest, to have expressed a view about democracy, to have exercise the democratic right to free speech. that it is not acceptable to quell in this way and carry out these secretions in secret without informing the family in a manner that the yuan is says is tantamount to torture. we need to hear from the allies. donald trump, you quoted him saying that we share values. well, i would very much hope that the execution of children for attending protests, the execution of disabled people, people who have been disabled through torture they have received at the hands of the saudi authority, that americans
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i use are not in killing those people, that america still stands for democracy, for freedom of speech, for freedom of assembly, and that we do not support the executions -- the unlawful executions of children, of peaceful protesters, of vul nerable people like disabled munir al-adam. i hope we can all call on the saudi authorities to halt these imminent executions of these 14 individuals immediately and give them a permanent stay of execution. amy: maya foa, thank you for being with us director of the , international legal charity reprieve. randi weingarten, we want to talk to about your assessment of the devos administration, the secretary of education. randi weingarten, president of the american federation of teachers. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "screaming a whisper" by dani mari, i am snow angel & claire london. thiss decracnow!,, the r an peace repo. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we turn now to look at
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billionaire education secretary betsy devos, a longtime backer of charter schools and vouchers for private and religious schools. she has said she considers education an "industry," and called the public school system a dead-end. a recent study by stanford university's center for research on education outcomes found that students attendi for-profit charter schools have significantly lower academic gains than those attending non-profit charters. amy: devos is back in the news this month after she said she wanted to return the education department's office for civil rights "to its role as a neutral, impartial, investigative agency." an official with the office came under fire last week after she said that most campus rape claims amount to two young people who are both drunk. meanwhile, the attorneys general of 18 states and the district of columbia are suing devos and the department of education over a rule to protect student loan borrowers that was set to go
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into effect on july 1, until devos announced a reset of the rule known as "borrower defense to repayment." to discuss all of this and more, we're joined by randi weingarten, president of the american federation of teachers. can you assess, starting with today in the latest that is happening in the department of education? >> it is a disaster. what we said -- we spent a lot of time, as we talked about before, in michigan. we watched betsy devos when she was an advocate for privatization and charters and for busting up public schools in michigan. and we said she was the most anti-education secretary who had ever gotten that position. and i think everything she has done since and has proven that. doing. what she's number one, it is not just promoting for profit charters and vouchers, but it is also federatemeat ax to the
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dish federal budget that goes to education and health care. that is number one. that is part of the budget. number two, she is cutting reinforcement. and number three, probably more important than anything, even though thinkhe budget cuts are really important, is that an agency that is supposed to be about equity, that is supposed to fight for the vulnerable, she is squarely on the side of lenders instead of borrowers. you see that with the borrower just talked you about. she is squarely on the side of the you know, the powerful and not the lawn rubble. she stripped away the trench gender roles, the stuff going on with campus violence in campus rape and what candace jackson said saying essentially, even the she apologize, that 90% of these cases are because summit is drunk. and now the entity that is
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supposed to be there to protect against discrimination, protect and ensure that people have a shot at education, she is saying is now going to be neutral. juan: and the importance of her hiring, as one of her deputy assistant secretary's, adam kissel, who comes out of the koch foundation of her have education? >> it is not just the fox guarding the hen house, this is an active undermining of the equity and discrimination roles re embedded since johnson. so it is cutting the money for public schools. it is preferring lenders over and for-profit colleges over students, and now it is actively ocr, the office
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of civil rights, a supposed to do for the vulnerable. the health care bill comes into this as well. of school districts in america use medicaid. 70%. so if you take the health care bill that basically takes a huge whack at a medicare, ins it as we know it, that then hugely hurts every child, at least 70% of districts, wheelchairs, feeding tubes, the screening and these kinds of things, so this is taking a whack at of the most vulnerable, taking away funding who are poor and needs opportunities like afterschool programs and things like that, and then on top of it, basically, not just undermining the enforcement, but basically saying, we are no longer going to be the agency that makes sure that there is to discrimination for america's
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schoolchildren. amy: explain the latest news on ocr, the office of civil rights, the implications of this. from allhe moment -- of the civil rights laws back to the 1960's, one of them was the education law. there was public access. there was voting, there was education. what was created was the office of civil rights. and so there was a presumption that that office was going to fight against discrimination and fight for equity. this was not just something that barack obama did. this goes act to every president -- republican and democrat alike . so when she says she's going to make that agency neutral, she is taking a step away from the enforcement of civil rights laws. juan: neutral between the perpetrators and victims.
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>> how do you make a law that -- union. represent a i represent people. i believe people should have due process. i believe there are false accusations. frankly, as a survivor, as a rate survivor, how do you not create some kind of climate to actually help people tell their stories and get redress? it is not just in terms of title ix, but it is every other law. think about what happened after brown versus board of education. think about how the so-called choice movement was used by segregationists to stop people from having -- to stop black and brown kids from having opportunity. the ocr, that entity is the one that people go to in order to enforce discrimination laws. juan: what alternative is there
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the state level to beat back some of these things that are happening? >> the great thing is, we went to -- we went to the attorney general's. it is fantastic the attorney generals, 18 or 21 of them, are thesuing to enforce borrower defense law or regulation. those are code words. what it essentially means is corinthian college went bankrupt . all of these kids were left old in the back with their student debts. what the borrower rule means is that just like corinthian gets its debt discharged in bankruptcy, these kids should not be holding them back. that is what it means. so the 80's are suing them. look, thankfully, we were able in a bipartisan way to get the k-12ederal laws covering
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passed last year in congress. even lamar alexander just said to betsy devos, you're misreading the law. amy: i want to ask about the -- npr is reporting wayne johnson will be the new head of office of federal student aid. this is according to the department of education. in agency responsible for administering one point virtually no snow standing student loans from 42 million borrowers, plus aid programs for millions of college students, not mentioned in the press release and first reported by buzzfeed, johnson is currently the ceo of the union financial services corporation, a private student loan company. >> right. i don't think saying the fox guarding the hen house is enough to describe what is going on. you basically have people from bilkdustry that built --
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ed kids that have had predatory practices now running the student aid programs. and it is -- again, it is this preference, this out and out preference for the lenders, for the for-profit colleges that we have fought for the last several years. the two can't give worthless degrees and leave kids holding the bag with unsustainable debt. basically, we are winding back the clock on this as well as on rights. amy: randi weingarten, thank you for being with us president of , the american federation of teachers. as we move on to other education news. juan: we turn now to arizona, where hearing is underway that will decide whether a ban on ethnic studies which eliminated the mexican american studies program in tucson schools is unconstitutional.
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in 2010, arizona passed a controversial law banning the teaching of any class designed for a particular ethnic group that would "promote resentment toward a race or class of people." following the passage of the bill, then-arizona superintendent of public instruction john huppenthal ruled in 2011 that the mexican-american studies program violated the state law, despite an independent auditor's finding that showed otherwise. this is huppenthal speaking on democracy now! in january 2012. >> in our determination, we found these classes were .romoting ethnic resentment the promoting ethnic solidarity in ways that are really intolerable in an education environment. amy: the tucson unified school district ultimately suspended the acclaimed mexican american studies program in 2012 under the threat of losing up to $14 million of funding if they allowed it to continue. the program's suspension also included banning seven books that can no longer be used in
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the classrooms. they include "rethinking columbus: the next 500 years," shakespeare's play "the tempest," "pedagogy of the oppressed" by paolo freire, and "chicano!: the history of the mexican civil rights movement." for more, we go to tucson, arizona, where we are joined by richard martinez. he's an attorney representing the families challenging the arizona law. welcome back to democracy now! we spoke to you when you were bringing this case. you are in court now. what is happening, richard martinez? >> thank you for the invitation. today, we start the second week of the trial, which is expected to last through probably at least tuesday of next week stop this is a port -- this is a trial to the court to the judge, a sitting by designation night circuit judge, and we are challenging the constitutionality of the statute and the enforcement of the statute under the equal protection clause and under the first amendment. part ofchard martinez,
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your argument, as i understand it, you are trying to prove the law was racially and politically partisan in motivation. you are presenting evidence about the involvement of the famous leader of the farm workers union and how that triggered the decision by -- the decision by some of the officials and volunteer to begin work on this law. can you talk about that for people who are not aware of the background to how this law came into being? >> sure. the mexican-american studies program had existed for about a decade in the tucson unified school district. in 2016 the cesar chavez a speech wase, given to the student body. during that speech, she made reference to dust from her
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perspective, republicans hated latinos. she was questioning why they had come to that position. during that period, there was, as it exists now, significant amount of anti-immigrant, anti-mexican sentiment in arizona. been secretaryis of education, hears about the comment, reacts negatively. insists his deputy have the opportunity to speak to the student body of tucson high school. that was margaret dugan. several weeks later, she addresses the student test student body at the high school and does not provide opportunities for students to ask questions. students in protest placed tape over their mouths and turned their backs on her during the speech. this further enrages mr. horne, who embarks on the sustained effort to have the mexican-american studies program band. ultimately, in 2010, as a
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companion legislation to sb 1070, he is successful that year in -- and jan brewer signs it. and priorving office, to the statute being in effect, he issues a violation finding with respect to the program. mr. huppenthal takes office within days, adopts the finding, and then hires subsequent to that an independent group to investigate called champion. of thenducted an audit mexican-american say's program and found it to be fully compliant. in fact, recommended that the program be expanded within the school district. rejected that finding and issued his own finding, which essentially mirrored that of mr. horne, ultimately, in january 2012, the school board was forced -- they were compelled to ban the
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program. amy: can you talk about what is happening in court and the significance not only for arizona, but for the country? thisis court, you know, challenge to the statute has significance in different ways. the eagle protection challenge focuses on -- the equal protection challenge focuses on the motivation of the state actors, but the legislature and the role in enacting the statute , with respect to the racial motivations. with respect to probably the more novel and important aspect of the case is the first amendment claims. they were challenging the motivations of these state actors with respect to not only big racial motives, but their partisan and their political viewpoints. essentially, it is a viewpoint discrimination claim against the from the state's
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long these viewpoints. the mexican-american studies program was innovative, cutting-edge, based on very solid research, and it was found to be -- having significant progress with the students who were attending. we were closing the achievement gap in tucson, arizona, for mexican-american studies. we were graduating more students. we were taking students at risk and keeping them in school and helping them develop academic identities. it was significant in terms of not only what the program was accomplishing, but the's reaction to then shutting it down. successful. certainly, we come into this litigation very positive about the potential outcome, that i believe it will be significant seterms of the precedent that the states cannot act in a manner which occurred here in arizona. juan: and the importance in
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terms of arizona changing demographics of arizona, increasingly latino and native thesean state, and yet centers of reaction continuing to try to hold back the growing population their? quipped certainly, arizona is one of those battleground states where demographics are in conflict. this is a state that has a significant mexican-american population, latino population. it is a segment of the community predicted to be over 50% by the middle of the century, if not sooner. it is certainly part of the both national and local efforts to try and curb or hold that back. we've had such characters as joe arpaio, russell pearce, and certainly within that group of
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individuals, that kind of leadership from the right, you know, you have tom horne and john huppenthal. amy: richard martinez, thank you for being with us attorney , representing the families challenging an arizona law that resulted in the closing of a mexican american studies program in a tucson high school. we will continue to follow it comes out of court. when we come back, tobacco -- a deadly business. what is its role in the trump administration? stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "whispers in the deep" by south africa's stimela. member ray "just now" phiri passed away last week at the age of 70. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we end today's show with a stunning new investigation by the guardian that reveals how tobacco companies have gained unprecedented influence in washington since the trump administration came to power.
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the guardian reports politicians with deep ties to the tobacco industry now head much of trump's cabinet. even as tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death. vice-president mike pence has reportedly received $39,000 in donations from tobacco giant rj reynolds and more than $60,000 from the tobacco company-aligned national association of convenience stores, both among his top donors. trump's nominee for solicitor general, noel francisco, reportedly represented both rj reynolds and its parent company, reynolds american inc. and secretary of health and human services tom price reportedly owned at least $37,000 in shares in philip morris international and altria. amy: the guardian series also looks at how u.s. and british tobacco giants are trying to expand their global market, especially across africa. according to the guardian, british american tobacco, or
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bat, and others have resorted to legal intimidation when uganda and kenya attempted to pass health warnings and regulations on tobacco products sold within their countries. this is clip from a video accompanying the guardian report. >> tobacco is a deadly business. cigarettes kill half of all of those who smoke. at this is not a story of an industry in decline. the tobacco industry is thriving. there are now an estimated 77 million smokers in africa, and those tempers are predicted to soar. it african governments are not standing by. many are bringing in regulations like those that saved millions of lives in the west list of bat another multinational tobacco firms do not seem to like that. and they are fighting in the court. amy: meanwhile, reuters obtained documents revealing philip morris' campaign to subvert the world's anti-smoking treaty. reuters reviewed internal emails in which philip morris executives took credit for watering down anti-smoking measures at the biennial meeting of the tobacco control treaty. all this comes as a proposed $49
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billion merger between reynolds and british american tobacco, or bat, is currently underway. well, we are joined now by jessica glenza, health journalist for the guardian and one of the lead reporters on the new series, "tobacco: a deadly business." welcome to democracy now! talk about the tobacco industry and its connections to the trump administration and members of the cabinet. quick i like to start off with something that surprised me, which was the amount of lobbying going on in d.c. and how the numbers -- the dollar figures do not reflect the influence that these companies have. as a lot of people may know, there isn't as much lobbying in tobacco companies as there used to be. but you would be unfair to say that the amount of influence is reduced. as some people may know, mike tobacco companies as
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there used to be. pence, for example, infamously set in 2001 smoking does not kill. he also -- amy: what do you mean, he said it doesn't kill? >> p literally said that smoking does not kill. you put out a press release that said "smoking doesn't kill." amy: let's go more into that. in 2001, pence wrote -- "time for a quick reality check. despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn't kill. a government big enough to go after smokers is big enough to go after you." so you got that 2001 gmail in which tobacco lobbyistss pence -- donating to "after my meeting with mike pence, i'd recommend that we cut him a check in the near future." they are talking about what
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increments of cash today give mike pence for his support for his perceived support of the tobacco industry. as part of his family business, a chain of 210 convenience stores called tobacco road. he is not the only person in the administration who has these kinds of ties. has similary also ties. he owns $37,000 worth of tobacco stock and earned a similar amount in donations from tobacco company, and voted against important laws that were passed in 2009 that increased the price of cigarettes and that provided over desperate literary oversight over the fda for tobacco products. that $.62 tobacco hike was to pay for health care for impoverished children.
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tom price voted against is saying $.62 tobacco tax hike was a blow to working families. meanwhile, the money went straight to pay for impoverished children. juan: your series focuses a lot on the growth area of tobacco in the world, which is always leave the third world will stop increasingly, as american companies have increasingly had their sales from the third world polluting industries, have increasingly moved to the third world. talk about tobacco's role in africa and the developing world. >> as you mentioned in the lead up, tobacco companies and predominately the big five tobacco companies, but here we are focusing on phillip morris international and british american tobacco am a have created a campaign to try to push regulation of this treaty in a way that is favorable for them. as you mentioned the reuters investigation found philip
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morris international has created a campaign to get administration of this treaty pushed toward andnce and tax ministers away from health ministers, people who might be more interested in getting these kind of health regulations put in place. our investigation found in africa, tobacco companies in a wide association resending letters to government saying, we noticed you proposed this set of smoking regulations and by the way, we think it culture brings your constitution and we think it could be against world trade treaties. it follows a pattern that tobacco companies have set out over many years of trying to delay implementation of life-saving regulation. amy: let's talk about this. according to your report, africa has a lowest number of tobacco deaths among world health organization regions in the 2010. world health organization predicts nearly half the population of congo-brazzaville will smoke by 2025 and smoking
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rates will increase in 17 other countries. you also look at kenya as a case study. >> in kenya, the supreme court is hearing arguments between the government and tobacco companies. the government wants to pass a set of anti-tobacco regulations. tobacco companies are fighting that. the reason that is important is because especially in developing nations, you have a limited budget in which to fight these kinds of fights in which to get these sorts of regulations enacted. it is a very closely watched case on the continent. other governments are watching it. if, for example, the kenya government fails, it could act as a deterrent for other governments to enact these regulations because they know it will be pricey and potentially it won't pay off, you won't protect their citizens the way it is intended to. the: in other words,
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regulations we hear in the u.s. take for granted, like warning signs on packs of tobacco or restrictions against selling to minors -- these are the kinds of things tobacco companies are doing here, while they are fighting everyone of these and other countries? >> i would argue they are fighting in here as well. what you said at the beginning, how are they increasing the hold on developing nations? is,ink the broader answer they are increasing the hold on impoverished populations. in the u.s. and in developing countries. to me, one of the best examples is west virginia. everybody knows that smoking is the number one leading preventable cause of death, right? we have heard it over many decades. but i think it is the figures that really are shocking. if you only have a ged, high school equivalency degree, you're almost 10 times more likely to smoke than someone who is a graduate degree. same goes for someone who makes less money. areas.who live in rural
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why i bring up west virginia, as will talk about the opioid epidemic on a regular basis, many know that was virginia is the heart of that epidemic. the way public health officials measure impact of populations is through rate per 100,000. 41 people overdose for every 100,000 who live in west virginia every year. that is how they measure that rate. if you look at a southwestern county in west virginia, impoverished place, lung and throat cancer lung killed 100 23 people per 100,000. that is triple the rate of the opioid the. -- epidemic. amy: can you talk about the solicitor be the general of u.s. in the trump administration who reportedly represented both rj reynolds and its parent company reynolds american inc.? a high-profile partner
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at jones day come the same law from that represented the trump campaign. no francisco has been nominated for solicitor g u.s. he also represented rj reynolds in a challenge to the federal drug ministrations graphic warnings on cigarette packs. so any american who has been to the convenience store in the last couple of days will know it warning.the same which is amazing given every other western nation has graphic warnings now. we don't in the u.s. part of the reason for the hangup is a cousin of no francisco successfully argued in appeals court the graphic warnings proposed by the fda should not have a quick line on quit line on them. the fda has been saying, well, we're at the drawing board coming up with a new graphic warning system. that still has not happened several years later and public
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health advocates are suing the fda to force their hand. that is something we will look for the outcome of. juan: in generally, health and human services nominee tom price was questioned by minnesota senator al franken about his tobacco stock holdings. this is a clip of what he said. reapingo you square personal financial gain from the sales of the addictive product that kills millions of americans every decade with also voted against measures to reduce the death toll inflicted by tobacco? >> it is an interesting question cure is observation. i have no idea what stocks i 2000's the 1990's or the or even now. all of these decisions for all of us, i suspect through mutual funds and pension plans -- i well,bet, and i don't -- i ought not bet here. i would suspect in your pension
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plan that there are components of that that are held that may have something to do in some in your history with tobacco. >> i would find it very hard to believe that you did not know that you had tobacco stocks. price'sur response to equivocation on the question? >> well, i've always thought that was a bit of a bizarre answer from tom price, especially given he talked about how his father was -- how his father was a lucky strike smoker and was killed by those cigarettes. price's mean, tom record speaks for itself. he voted against a 62 since tax hike and giving the authority to regulate cigarettes. at the same time, he called out a blood working families. that is difficult to reckon if you actually want to control tobacco use. amy: the fda commissioner scott gottlieb? >> he started his career at an
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investment bank for he is helped raise money for e-cigarette company called kure. editorials, when he was working as a pundit, said that he thought e-cigarettes might be a good alternative to smokers. that is something that is really up for debate and the research is still coming in on that. scott gottlieb is now in charge of those e-cigarette regulations and we will have to wait and see what he does to further or hinder them. amy: how does the trump at administration compared to the obama administration? >> the obama in is to ration the ability000 law to relate tobacco, so i would say to this point, there have been absolutely no legislative fromfor health advocates the trump administration. amy: we want to thank you for being with us, jessica glenza, health reporter for the guardian. we will link to your series called "tobacco: a deadly business." democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning.
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-today on "america's test kitchen," julia makes bridget the best shrimp and vegetable kebabs on the grill, jack challenges bridget to a tasting of whole-milk greek yogurt, and dan shows julia the secrets to making authentic persian-style rice. it's all coming up right here on "america's test kitchen." "america's test kitchen" is brought to you by the following -- fisher & paykel. since 1934, fisher & paykel has been designing


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