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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  February 2, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PST

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>> from pacifica this is democracy now! >> my message is, for the fat -- last five years, living for the next [indiscernible] as i said, we have reasonable drug addicts craving the next dose. with a>> the leftist parties finance minister has begun a
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tour of europe to push an anti-austerity message. we will speak with costas panayotakis who's is just back from voting in the election. he is the author of "remaking scarcity." then after 400 days in prison, egypt releases al jazeera reporter peter greste. >> i can't you how relieved we are that peter has left egypt and is on his way to be reunited with his family. it is a day of mixed emotions. we have to focus on the fact that baher mohamed and mohamed fahmy are still behind bars, 400 days after being taken into detention. and that injustice needs to come to an end. there guilty of nothing, apart from great journalism. >> in the middle of the biggest football game and the biggest television event of the year the nfl teams up with the no more campaign to run an
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anti-domestic violence psa. >> is everything ok? given emergency are not? >> yes. >> and you're unable to talk? >> right. >> is someone in the room with you? just say yes or no. >> yes. >> ok, it looks like of an officer about one mile from your location. >> more than half of the nfl players who have been accused of domestic violence during roger goodell's tenure as nfl commissioner have gone without punishment from the league. he will stick with sports journalist dave zirin. all of that and more coming up. this is democracy now!, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the u.s. is reportedly considering arming ukraine's military amidst renewed fighting with russian backed separatists. according to "the new york
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times" cap administration officials are leaning towards sending defensive weapons to help kiev fight a new rebel offensive that shattered a five-month truce. the white house has held off in favor of economic sanctions against rebels chief backer, russia. violence has spiked in recent days with heavy attacks across all parts of the eastern ukrainian front. at least 13 government soldiers and as many civilians were killed in 124 hour period over the weekend as talks over a new truce broke down. mediators say the rebels have refused to discuss implementing a cease-fire and instead want to revise the terms of the september truce to reflect their territorial gains. the militant group isis has released a video showing the beheading of japanese journalist kenji goto. goto is the second japanese hostage to killed by isis in a week, following the expiration of the 72 hour ultimatum.
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isis had demanded a ransom of $200 million -- the same amount japan recently pledged in nonmilitary aid to the anti-isis coalition. a freelance journalist, goto has been held since his kidnapping in syria last year. on sunday, his mother remembered him as someone who sought a world without war. >> i cannot find the words in the face of such a heartbreaking death. i can only express his grief with tears. i wish to continue to believe in kenji goto' is world without war and to save the children from poverty and war. >> jordan, meanwhile, says it's making every effort to obtain the release of a fighter pilot also in isis captivity. isis wants to swap the pilot for a prisoner accused of involvement in a 2005 hotel bombing that killed 60 people. jordan has signaled it would consider the exchange if it's given proof the pilot is still alive. the united nations has at least
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1003 under the 75 people were killed in iraq last month making it one of the country's deadliest in years. the january toll follows more than 12,000 deaths in 2014. iraq's most deadly year since 2008. the militant group boko haram has launched a major new attack in northern nigeria. fighters hit the city of maiduguri from four different fronts after earlier offensives last week. the nigerian government says it's repelled the assault and inflicted massive casualties on the boko haram. this comes as african leaders have approved a new force of at least 7,500 troops to confront boko haram's rise. the group's recent attacks include the reported massacre of hundreds of people in the northern town of baga last month. nigeria is due to hold national elections in two weeks. al jazeera journalist peter greste has been released from an egyptian prison after 400 days behind bars. greste and two of his al jazeera colleagues, mohamed fahmy and baher mohamed, were convicted on
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terrorism charges widely denounced as a sham. they were arrested as part of a crackdown on al jazeera while covering the aftermath of the coup that overthrew president mohammed morsi in 2013. greste flew to cyprus on sunday following his release, but fahmy and mohamed remain behind bars. al jazeera english managing director al anstey said the network continues to seek the remaining pair's freedom. >> we spoke to peter earlier on this afternoon, just after he was released from detention. i can't tell you how relieved we are that peter has left egypt and is on his way to be reunited with his family. it is a day a very mixed emotions. we have to focus on the fact that baher and mohamed are still behind bars, 400 days after being taken into detention. and that injustice needs to come to an end.
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there guilty of nothing, apart from great journalism. >> we'll have more on peter greste's release and the continued imprisoned of mohamed fahmy and baher mohamed later in the broadcast. in other news from egypt, an egyptian court has confirmed the mass death sentences of nearly 200 supporters of the banned muslim brotherhood. the defendants were convicted in december of involvement in the 2013 killings of police officers. defense attorneys say the accused were excluded from the courtroom and that no effort was made to prove anyone's individual guilt. it was the third such mass sentencing of alleged muslim brotherhood supporters last year, as part of a crackdown on the group by egypt's military regime. former intelligence officials have confirmed the cia and its israeli counterpart, the mossad, assassinated a senior hezbollah leader seven years ago this month. imad mughniyah was killed in a 2008 car bombing in the syrian capital of damascus. according to the washington post, cia and mossad operatives
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worked closely together to carry out the attack. the bomb was built and tested in the united states. israeli agents in tel aviv then triggered it while coordinating with cia colleagues on the ground in damascus. as the head of hezbollah's international operations mughniyah was accused of involvement in attacks on u.s. and israeli targets in lebanon and around the world as part of the group's effort to end the two-decade israeli occupation of southern lebanon. u.s. officials also accused him of involvement in the 1983 bombing of the u.s. embassy in beirut and of arming shiite fighters targeting the u.s. occupation in iraq. the killing raises a number of legal and political issues. its approval required a presidential finding by president george w. bush and the endorsement of several top cabinet officials, including the attorney general. of the use of a car bomb to kill a target, mary ellen o'connell, a professor of international law at the university of notre dame, said -- "it is a killing method used by
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terrorists and gangsters. it violates one of the oldest battlefield rules." with cia involvement confirmed the disclosure could also set off retaliatory strikes by hezbollah against u.s. targets around the world. it comes just days after hezbollah and israel exchanged fire in one of their most violent clashes since the 2006 war. the israeli government has announced a new round of settlement construction in the occupied west bank, approving 450 homes in several palestinian areas. on friday, white house spokesperson josh earnest criticized the move. >> our position is we believe settlements are illegitimate and counter productive to achieving a two state outcome. we have deep concerns about these highly contentious settlement construction announcements, that they will have detrimental impact on the ground, inflame already heightened tensions with the palestinians, and further isolate the israelis internationally. >> the new settlement building comes amid reports that ties
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between israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu and president obama are at their lowest point. white house officials have criticized netanyahu for a planned trip to the u.s. next month to address a joint session of congress on iran. netanyahu has backed new sanctions on iran, despite obama's vow to veto them as he pursues a nuclear deal with tehran. an unnamed administration official told the israeli newspaper haaretz -- "there are things you simply don't do. [netanyahu] spat in our face publicly and that's no way to behave. netanyahu ought to remember that president obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price." according to "the new york times," a senior administration said the israeli ambassador to the u.s. -- "had repeatedly placed netanyahu's political fortunes above the relationship between israel and the united states." thousands of pro-democracy protesters have returned to the streets of hong kong to protest china's rejection of a free vote. sunday's action was the first since a pro-democracy encampment
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was dismantled late last year. the protests erupted in september after the chinese government said it would only allow beijing-approved candidates to run for hong kong's next chief executive. rally organizer daisy chan said protesters are prepared the -- to resume the civil disobedience that shut down key roads for over two months. >> we tried to use peaceful methods to given opportunity -- give them an opportunity to respond to our ideas. if the government rejects our sincere opportunity, then the government faces more pressure from more and more civil disobedience actions. >> in yemen, houthi rebels have set a three-day deadline. the announcement came as talks continue on the resignation of
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president hadi. guatemala has marked the 35th anniversary of the spanish embassy massacre just weeks after a historic verdict in the case. thirty-seven peasant activists and student organizers burnt to death in 1980 after the spanish embassy in guatemala city was set on fire. the activists had been occupying the embassy to protest guatemalan government repression. last month, former police chief pedro garcía arredondo was found guilty of ordering the attack and sentenced to 90 years in prison. a memorial was held to mark the 35th anniversary on saturday. rigoberta menchú, whose father indigenous peasant leader don vicente menchú, died in the massacre, said a copy of arredondo's guilty sentence will be stored at the memorial. >> well, first of all, it was the truth. i think we have been drawn out from the dark, from the abandonment of the truth of the massacre at the spanish embassy.
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the sentence is huge. to read it completely takes six hours. we will place it in a box yet the foundation and you can go by in a little while to see where it will always be those who want to ask questions about the sentence. >> nobel peace prize winner roberto menchú. dozens of people have rallied outside the white house to oppose president obama's plans to upgrade the nation's nuclear weaponry. obama has called for a nuke-free world, but has reportedly put the u.s. on pace to spend as much as $1 trillion over the next three decades to rebuild its nuclear arsenal and facilities. on sunday, activists held up a full-size inflatable missile while calling for the verified elimination of all nuclear stock piles by the year 2030. and the family of slain new york city teenager ramarley graham will receive $3.9 million to settle a lawsuit over his fatal shooting two years ago today. -- three years ago today. graham, 18 years old, was unarmed when a police officer shot him dead inside his own home.
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the officer, richard haste, was initially charged with manslaughter, but a judge later threw out the indictment on procedural grounds. a second grand jury elected not to indict. graham's killing sparked a series of protests in the bronx and across new york city led by his family. the settlements come as federal prosecutors continue a probe of possible civil rights violations in the case. and those are some of the headlines, this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. after an historic victory in greece one week ago, the leftist party has begun a tour of europe division and to austerity message. the former economist, yanis varoufakis, has promised radical change as his government seeks to renegotiate greece's huge debt obligations and to roll back key parts of its international bailout. after talks in france this weekend, he is set to meet with his counterparts in london today and in rome later this week.
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on saturday, varoufakis said he wanted to wean his country off of loans. >> do i believe [indiscernible] no. it is not that we don't need the money, we are desperate because of certain commitments and liabilities we have. in my message to our european partners is, for the last five years, has been living for the next loan. as i said earlier, we have resembled drug addicts craving the next dose. what this government is all about is ending their diction. >> varoufakis said greece was "desperate" for money. but he insisted it would not seek a 7 billion euro installment on its 240 billion euro bailout package because that would require the country to adhere to austerity measures. this comes as the new greek prime minister alexis tsipras
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said he was confident that greece could reach a deal with creditors. meanwhile, on sunday, president obama made his first comments on greece's election outcome during an interview on cnn. >> you cannot keep on squeezing countries that are in the midst of depression. at some point, there has to be a growth strategy in order for them to pay off their debts, to eliminate some of their deficits. >> well for more, we are joined by costas panayotakis, associate professor of sociology at the new york city college of technology at cuny. he returned to greece last week to vote in the election. he is the author of, "remaking scarcity: from capitalist inefficiency to economic democracy." welcome back to democracy now! can you talk about this election? u.n. back to greece to vote? >> yes, i was there for the winter before the election date
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had been set and i extended my stay because it was a historic moment in greece, party of the left -- in greece, this is a big deal because after world war ii, the fact many mainstream people who traditionally have nothing to do with the left actually voted for the first time for the left shows how dire the situation has become and how desperate the people have become or change. >> you think it is a clear-cut vote against austerity? >> yeah, i think so. i think these people have had enough. people said enough is enough. the policies that have been followed made very conservative party and the socialist party lose the people in the middle class, which has been decimated by these policies. so they lost much of their base. >> can you explain what the syriza party is, what that word
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means? >> syriza is a neck him which in greek means coalition of the radical left. as a coalition that grew out of the anti-globalization movement in the late 1990's. the most important component of the party goes back to the euro communist movement of the 1970's. over the time, it has become the voice against austerity in greece. in a matter of just three years it rose from a small party that barely made it into parliament to getting 36% of the vote in the recent election. >> is this their first victory? >> the european elections last may, but this is the first parliamentary -- victory in parliamentary elections, the
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first time -- >> explain what they have promised to do. >> what they want to do is basically stop the austerity program that was imposed on greece in 2010, and to roll back many of the structural changes that came with that. because this program is not just about budget cuts and eliminating the budget deficit it is also about restructuring greek society in greek economy. free market, near a liberal model that basically has led to the crashes of 2008 around the world, and that has led to increasing inequality around the world and in greece. >> greases to finance minister alexis tsipras has promised -- once described the eu-imposed austerity measures as fiscal waterboarding. during a recent interview on channel 4 in britain, he vowed to destroy the greek oligarchy.
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>> jeopardized by this unholy alliance between bankrupt bankers, developers, and media owners who have become the voice of those who want to sponge and scrounge off everyone else's efforts. >> what we do to the oligarchy? >> we're going to destroy the bases upon which they have built for decade after decade, a system and network that sucks the energy and economic power from everybody else. >> well, back in 2012, yanis varoufakis appeared on democracy now! and commented on the political situation in greece at the time. >> great depression, something akin to what the united states went through in the 1930's.
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this is a social economy in a deep coma, a country effectively virgin to the status of a failed state. greece is going through a crisis. just look at the numbers. the socialist party had 44% of the vote only two short years ago. it went down to 13%. the opposition, conservatives they were at the low tide mark of 35% in 2009. they should be picking up votes. they went down below 20%. the political class of greece effectively has been thrown out by the electorate. this is very exciting and worrying at the same time, the eyes of th is something to bee nazi lamented. s.
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>> costas panayotakis, if you could respond. >>'s interpretation of what happened in may 2012 election -- people had expressed their anger with austerity post up at what happened in election that followed immediately in june, basically, the conservative party managed to get power booster tactics by threatening people -- by basically using scare tactics by training people. they tried the same tactics in the recent election, but it didn't work as well for them this time around. clocks greece's new prime minister has promised radical change as his government begins to roll back key parts of greece's international bailout. the government has put off the planned sale of the country's biggest power utility while pledging to raise pensions for those on low incomes and reinstate some fired public sector workers. this is george katrougalos, the new deputy minister of public administration.
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>> the reforms the country needs, not dictated from outside its borders. we must restart the economy. it is a big challenge, but i think we're up to it. >> can you tell us who the new prime minister is? >> his name is alexis tsipras. is a young, charismatic politician. he has been able to unite the party. this was a party that in the past had sort of suffered from a lot of infighting. it has managed to basically steer the party towards incredible alternative to the policies of austerity that has devastated greek society. >> i want to go back to president obama's comments on greece during his interview sunday on cnn.
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>> there's no doubt the greek economy was in dire need of reform. tax collection in greece was famously terrible. i think in order for greece to compete in the world markets that they had to initiate a series of changes. it is very hard to initiate those changes if people are serious standard of living is dropping by 25%. over time, eventually, the political system, the society can't sustain it. my hope is that greece can remain in the euro zone. i think that will require compromise on all sides. when the financial crisis in greece first flared up several years ago we were very active in trying to arrive at some sort of accommodation.
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i think there's a recognition on the part of germany and others that it would be better for greece to stay in the euro zone than be outside of it. >> that is president obama. costas panayotakis, your response? >> i think this was a welcome intervention, and it signifies greece that has existed developing in europe and between europe and outside partners, there's a growing recognition within europe and the u.s. that austerity strategy preferred by the german political class is not working. in fact, is threatening to drag down the global economy. so their growing rifts within europe between germany and france and italy, which are also trying to resist the prioritization of deficit reduction above all else.
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and of course, there's the rift between the political elites and people around europe who are getting inspiration from the rise of the left in spain, in ireland. so i think there is an opening that has been created. and it is up to the european left in the social movements there to take it manage of it. >> let's go to greece's new prime minister. >> we did not come here to enjoy the trappings of power. we have come to radically change the way in which politics and governments is carried out in this country. >> costas, if you could respond to what the prime minister said? >> i think his main point, basically, is that austerity in a way has to be attempted. i did not hear the whole thing -- >> he basically said, we did not
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come in to take over institutions and to enjoy the trappings of power, we've come to radically change the way in which politics and government is carried out in this country. >> the rise of syriza signifies the bankruptcy of the political class in greece, which has been for very long, it has been very close to the greek oligarchy which has concluded the crisis by basically not paying its fair share when it comes to taxes. what he wants to signify is he wants to do things differently and to counter the cynicism that exists among many greek voters who have seen progressive parties in the past when elections are for example, the socialist party in 1981, then they saw the parties basically disappoint, become corrupt corrupted by power. >> last week, the new prime minister visitor world war ii national resistance memorial in his first outing as the country's new leader. the memorial is located at the site where the nazis executed
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200 greek communist resistance fighters in may 1944. during the recent campaign , tsipras called on germany to pay greece reparations for damages incurred during the nazi occupation. a 2013 governmental study determined germany owed greece an estimated $200 billion. what is the significance of this? >> i think this is a way of signifying that germany does to greece in many ways as much as greece owes to germany. i think it is part of the strategy. one of the proposals that alexis tsipras and syriza is made is what is needed is a conference european-wide conference, that would deal with european wide debt. and allow countries to basically stand on their feet by basically writing off debt, much has europe and the u.s. did to
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germany in the past. i think it is a way of signaling, pointing to the history that exists behind the rise of germany and the way germany was able to stand on its feet after world war ii by basically the rest of the world being generous towards it. i think the feeling in greece and syriza, you know, something similar has to be done on a european-widescale if the ongoing crisis is to be overcome. >> professor costas panayotakis talk about the creditors and what they will do now. who are they? >> at the beginning of the crisis, the creditors were mainly the private sector, european banks. in many ways, the bailout, even as presented at the time as a bailout, it was really a bailout of european banks.
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now there has already been a restructuring. by now, most of the debt is held by the different european countries, the european central bank, and the international monetary fund. so basically, one of the complications is, there is a lot of resistance to writing up the greek debt because the governments of european countries would have to deal with the discontent by their voters if money was to be lost. but at the same time, basically, what syriza and other rising powers in europe are saying is, ultimately, we you have debt that is not sustainable, this will hobble your economic performance forever and you will not be a will to grow. and if you don't grow, you will not be able to repay your debt. >> the media coverage of the election? >> well, the media coverage in
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greece was interesting because there was a lot of fear mongering by the media that was controlled by the oligarchs. there was a lot of fear mongering in the 2012 election. the financial times at the time had an article in its first page in greek to try to dissuade voters from voting for syriza. this time around, i think i was some fear mongering and international media, but it was a little more balanced. i think people had come to accept the fact that syriza was going to probably win. and syriza and alexis tsipras try to tone down his rhetoric as a way of reassuring people outside greece that he was not an enemy of europe, but was trying different strategy that would be more effective than the strategies that have been attempted so far. >> costas panayotakis, thank you so much for being with us, professor of sociology at the new york city college of technology at cuny. he's the author of, "remaking scarcity: from capitalist
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inefficiency to economic democracy." when we come back, peter greste the al jazeera journalist, one of three al jazeera journalists in jail in egypt, has been freed. we will talk to reporters without borders. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn now to egypt where al jazeera journalist peter greste was released sunday from a cairo jail. he was quickly deported. he and two of his al jazeera colleagues, mohamed fahmy and baher mohamed, were convicted on terrorism charges including "spreading false news" in support of the muslim brotherhood, deemed by the government a terrorist group.
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canadian-egyptian fahmy and egyptian national mohamed are still imprisoned. the three were initially sentenced to seven to 10 years but earlier this month, an , egyptian court ordered a retrial. egypt's court of -- the managing director of al jazeera english, al anstey spoke in doha after greste's release. >> we spoke to peter earlier on this afternoon, just after he was released from detention. i can't tell you how relieved we are that peter has left egypt and is on his way to be reunited with his family. it is a day of mixed emotions. we have to focus on the fact that baher and mohamed are still behind bars for hundred days after being taken into detention. that injustice needs to come to an end. there guilty of nothing apart from great journalism. >> egyptian authorities accuse
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al jazeera of being a mouthpiece of the muslim brotherhood. the three journalists absolutely deny this and all the charges against them. the timing of greste's release came as a surprise, just days after egypt suffered one of the bloodiest militant attacks in years. more than 30 members of the security forces were killed on last thursday in sinai. australian foreign minister said greste flew to cyprus from cairo. >> shortly after his release and before he departed egypt, he was immensely relieved and he was desperate to come home to australia and reunite with his family, his parents, and his brothers -- his brother michael was with him and his other brother andrew. >> to talk more about the implications of greste's release and the fate of his two colleagues still in jail we go , to washington, d.c. to talk to delphine halgand is the u.s. director of reporters without borders. welcome to democracy now!
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talk about the significance of peter greste's release and why you think it happened now. >> of course we're all relieved by this great news but we have a lot of work to do still because we have to continue to work to assure the release of all the journalists in egypt who are detained on the first charges, including josh there are more detained -- there are more detained on these charges. it seems international pressure worked and we have to continue to do so, but i just want to highlight once again that the new egyptian constitution adopted under president morsi guarantees freedom of expression, freedom of opinion immediate independence. once again, we urge the egyptian authorities to implement their own constitution. >> he was deported to australia.
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the fiancée of mohamed fahmy says deport mohammed after canada. what is happening in his case? >> we are actually really looking at the news because we hope after peter greste was released yesterday, there would be the release of the two other journalists in the coming days, and the coming hours. we know the canadian government has been very active on this case and we are really hopeful there could be -- could end at least the al jazeera case. but we don't have to forget the dozens of journalists who are detained on these charges and done have the same support from the international community. >> in the case of these three men, now two still in prison, why were the al jazeera reporters targeted? >> is important to understand
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the perspective. first, you have to remember all government in place after [indiscernible] have tried to control the media and control information as much as possible. in a sense, we've seen a more sophistication of the media [indiscernible] it is important to keep in mind the media freedom really declined since the army seized power and sisi is an powerful stuff dozens of journalists have been arrested the last two years. six journalist have been killed even during a pro-morsi demonstration. right now what we're seeing is all media considered to be linked to the muslim brotherhood are persecuted. al jazeera is one of the main targets of this witchhunt. >> delphine halgand, i want to turn to other news about reporters.
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i want to turn to kenji goto the japanese journalist beheaded by islamic state militants. video of his execution emerged over the weekend. junko ishido, goto's mother, led tributes to her son in tokyo. >> i cannot find the words and the space of such a heartbreaking death. i can only express this grief with tears. i wish to continue to believe in kenji goto's world without war and in his words, to save the children from poverty and war. >> meanwhile on monday, japanese prime minister shinzo abe re-ignited the debate on changes to the extent its military can operate overseas by saying the country would look into ways of rescuing its citizens if another hostage crisis happens. >> currently come at the moment if it japanese citizen or summoned with an ngo is an
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endangered situation, it is necessary to have permission from the country therein. they can really be transported out by japan. but not rescued. we would like to start a discussion so that it will be possible for japanese citizens to be rescued as well. >> that is the japanese prime minister shinzo abe. delphine halgand, if you could talk about what happened? >> i think there is no word as the mother of the journalist said, i would like to highlight again that 2013 the beginning of 2015 have been marked by jim level of violence -- an extreme level of violence from syria to france. what we've seen is the murders are more and more barbaric. we have also seen barbaric propaganda. we have -- they have carefully staged beheadings of western journalists and also persecution
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of local journalists like in iraq and barbaric propaganda. one other comment i would like to make is that in the last two years, we've seen in increase in explosion in the number of journalists kidnapped all around the world, especially in syria libya, but also ukraine. again, i want to highlight one point. 10% of the journalists kidnapped right now are westerners, the 90% of the journalists kidnapped right now the locals. again, we don't have to forget that isis, by example, his kidnapping and executing more local journalists than foreigners. we have to keep that in mind to understand how the islamic state is killing journalists, but at the end, their main target is really the information and
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offered them to all of us in syria and iraq and all over the world to be informed. >> delphine halgand, thank you for being with us. i want to end by going to comments from mohamed fahmy who has criticized the canadian government, saying they haven't done enough to free him. he is a canadian egyptian. canada has refused to even directly call for his release, saying only they have deep insurgents about his case -- deep concerns about his case. last month, mohamed fahmy said -- delphine halgand, thank you for being with us from washington d.c. coming us director of reporters without borders. and happy birthday. this is democracy now!, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, with television it was nfl's biggest day, the super bowl.
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but we're going to talk about sexual abuse, domestic violence, and what its links are to the super bowl. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn now to the biggest football game and the biggest television show of the year -- the super bowl. on sunday, the new england patriots' scored a dramatic 28-24 comeback victory over the seattle seahawks. an estimated million americans 113 were expected to tune in to the game, making it among the most watched super bowls in history. advertisers spent around per $150,000 second of air-time, which comes out to $4.5 million
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for an average 30-second commercial. last season, the national football league, or nfl, earned at least $1 billion in profits. the super bowl comes as the nfl is embroiled in a number of controversies, including its poor handling of domestic violence cases. more than half of players who have been accused of domestic violence during roger goodell's tenure as nfl commissioner have gone without punishment from the league. during sunday's game, the nfl teamed up with the "no more campaign" to run an anti-domestic violence psa. it features an abused woman dialing 911. she is ostensibly trying to order a pizza, but the police dispatcher listens carefully and realizes the woman is actually speaking in code because there's someone threatening in the room with her. during the call, startling images of the inside of a wrecked home are shown. let's go to that psa. [phone rings] >> 911, what is the emergency?
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what is going on? >> i would like to order a pizza for delivery. >> yet reached 911. >> large with cap pepperoni, has mushroomed. >> you know you called 911. >> do you know how long it will be? >> is everything ok? to have an emergency? >> yes. >> and you're unable to talk because -- >> right, right. >> is someone in the room with you? just say yes or no. >> yes. >> it looks like i have an officer about one mile from your location. are there any weapons? >> no. >> can you stay on the phone with me? >> know. see you soon. thank you. >> the psa ends with the words "when it's hard to talk, it's up to us to listen." the psa was based on a true 911 call taken by a dispatcher named keith weisinger. meanwhile, the nfl is also under
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fire for it's handling of player safety, and concussions in particular. while fans still turn out for the super bowl in record numbers, 4 in 10 parents now say they would think twice about letting their own child play football. the nfl is also dealing with a scandal over the alleged under-inflating of footballs used by the new england patriots in the afc championship game. journalists have raised questions about the league's handling of what is commonly known as "deflate-gate." well, for mower, we go now to washington d.c. where we're joined by dave zirin, sports editor for the nation magazine and host of edge of sports radio on siriusxm. he and etan thomas have a show on pacifica radio called, "the collision," where sports collide with politics. dave zirin, welcome to democracy now! before we go to the issues i just addressed, let's go to those last seconds of the game with less than one yard why did the seahawks give the ball to marshawn lynch? can you explain who he is, for people who don't watch sports, and why this matters?
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what we are talking sports? >> i'm very aware that may be a lot of democracy now! chose to join the two thirds of americans who did not watch the super bowl last night but this will probably be discussed to run your water cooler. the seattle seahawks were down four points from the one yard line with under 30 seconds to go. it was second down. they had one of the most punishing running backs in the history of the national football league, marshawn lynch, ready to give the ball to score the running touchdown. it seemed like it was party written. people were celebrating. the tweets were flying fast and fierce at the seahawks were going to win the super bowl. tom brady's head was in his hands. but unexpectedly -- inextricably, the seattle seahawks quarterback russell wilson was told to throw a crossing pattern across the middle of the field from the one yard line, a play that honestly is never called and the game under any situation. the patriots picked the ball off
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in the game was over. already, you are seeing a rebellion in the locker room. the very authoritarian structure -- this is rick, questioning why the coaches made that call questioning why marshawn lynch was not handed the bulk of even and spiritual of political questions about whether there were some kind of vested interest on the sidelines and making the clean-cut was russell wilson the hero instead of the rough-and-tumble marshawn lynch. >> talk about more why you think that happened. >> first of all, let me say this is not a conspiracy theory. a player set it off the record and i spoke to someone who is inside that locker room. granted, they were in a state of shock, but all they kept saying over and over was they did not want marshawn to be the hero. they didn't want marshawn to be the hero.
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without judging the for a city of this there he, it is worth explaining why. russell wilson is young, clean-cut, 26 years old. he is about to get a new contract. him being the face of this billion dollar into the that is the seattle seahawks going forward is something the people of the nfl would absolutely love. are shown lynch is going to be 29 years old this summer. that is quite old for running back. he is also do a new contract. if you haven't paid attention the last two weeks you might not know but marshawn lynch is very very interesting and rebellious. the best way to put it, marshawn lynch is someone who believes in season control of his own labor. meaning he won't talk to reporters, even though it is in his contract to talk to reporters. meaning, he refuses to do anything the nfl wants them to do. he refuses to dance. instead, he is himself. he is marshawn lynch. he just says it over and over,
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i'm just talking so i won't get a fine. he said that 29 times at the super bowl media day. "i'm just talking so i won't get find." saul williams describe it is poetry, "i'm just talking so i won't get find." there's a way that connected with a lot of people who don't like being told what to do by authoritarian top-down corporate structures. so lynch became somewhat of a folk hero and also somewhat of a bête noire for the people in the higher offices of the national football league. so hence the theory goes, ok, we're going to win this game anyway, who is going to be the person's says, "i'm going to disney world! and gets to be the big start the end of the day? that it be russell wilson who is like deer feeder 2.0. don't let a be marshawn lynch. >> i want to turn to the issue of domestic violence. the wife of dolphins cornerback brent grimes took to twitter last week to excoriate the nfl.
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in a series of fiery tweets she said -- so talk about what she says and also talk about the psa that went out to this 100 million or so people who were watching the super bowl last night dave. >> absolutely. the argument that miko grimes is expressing is one i've certainly heard from a lot of people who are connected to the nfl from nfl families and from people who work on the issue of domestic violence try to partner with the national football league, that it is all optics, all public relations, that the national football league has spent decades covering up issues of domestic violence and that if ray rice not been caught on
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videotape punching his then fiancée janay palmer, that would have been just another time when it was brushed under the carpet. yet it went viral in the nfl has had to respond by doing these kinds of psa's. maybe psa's will do some good. as we know, raising awareness does have its benefits on this issue. it cuts against the shame that too often a company's issues of intimate partner violence. yet at the same time, the folks who actually do the work are very concerned that the national football league is far more concerned with the public relations of this and far too concerned with operating as a model of punitive measures to actually punish players, suspended players, expel players from the leach were caught and acting in domestic violence and art tried to reach out to families and the fear is that if you are in a -- in a nfl wife or girlfriend or child in the situation, you're less likely to come forward if you think the entire financial future of your family would be imperiled.
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>> i want to turn to the president of the national organization for women, terry o'neill, who has called the nfl commissioner roger goodell -- she is called on him to resign. >> she is absolutely correct. >> i want to go to terry o'neill. >> roger goodell has done some things right. he reached out to the national network to end domestic violence. he established a new policy, the policy is not perfect, but a step in the right direction. but the problem is, he is continuing to treat this as an image problem. he is trying to diminish it, deflect, evade it is just about ray rice. we believe it is not just about ray rice. roger goodell cannot credibly commit to making the kinds of changes throughout the organization we believe needs to be made, and that is why we
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think he needs to go. >> that is terry o'neill. you have also called for roger goodell to go. talk about her views and your views. >> she is absolutely right. there is a legal term fruit from a poison tree. that is who roger goodell's, a poison tree. so matter what he does, given the fact the first 55 players who were accused of domestic violence under his tenure, roger goodell effectively sat on his hands. everything is going to look shady this way forward. you need a new commissioner who is willing to work with the players association to figure out how to have a sensible policy on this issue, how to do something that doesn't just show the league cares, but actually does care and is trying to do something to reach out to families. roger goodell is not seen as an honest broker. you saw this in his press conference where decibel for the super bowl. the person you try to teach us all that global warming was really just suntan day, if you rebrand things, everything will be fine, frank was there in the press conference practically
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mouthing words to roger goodell as he said the word "integrity" like 21 times in did not use the phrase "the mastic violence" until 21 minutes in. the one-time he slipped was when he threw syria shade on rachel nichols, one of the few women revealed asking a question in this press conference, and she asked about the conflict of interest around the fact the nfl is basically hiring its own independent investigators, that is the problem. the bc roger goodell snap and all you can think is, how sincere really is this? >> for years, the nfl has disputed evidence that its players suffer a high rate of severe brain damage. however, according to september article in the new york times the league stated in federal court documents expects nearly one third of retired players to develop long-term cognitive problems. traumatic brain injuries at a far higher rate than the general
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population. last week, nfl commissioner roger goodell praised the league for its recent efforts to protect its players. >> we're doing more to protect our players from unnecessary risks. hits to defenseless players this season were down 68%. and there were similar decreases in other areas pertaining to the safety of the game. we reported yesterday that concussions were down 25% this past regular season. continuing a three-year trend. and we are establishing the position of a chief medical officer. this individual, who we expect to have in place very soon, all over's to our medical related policies. -- will oversee our medical-related policies. >> you tweeted last i that the wide receiver should be checked for concussion, but he stayed in the game. >> not only did he stand again,
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he caught the winning touchdown in the game, which is just going to be more incentive to cover these things up. those percentages the roger goodell just put forward, those numbers are more massaged and the police numbers on the tv show "the wire." it is put for to say the nfl is doing something about these injuries, yet we still have a commissioner in roger goodell who took the als i spec a challenge while still denying publicly there's any connection between head injuries and als. that is the sort of person we're dealing with here. that is the fruit from a poison tree and that is why -- no one should believe anything coming out of his mouth about the game being any safer. football is like smoking. if you want to smoke, that is your business. a do not kid yourself to think just because you're smoking and a mac and sigrid and not unfiltered camel, it is somehow healthier for you. >> dave zirin, thank you for being with us.
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