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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  September 8, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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09/08/21 09/08/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> thank god our country regain its freedom from occupation. all the causes of the wars were destroyed. our compatriots enjoyed security anfor the first time the crowd is prepared for the coming of the strong islamic government. amy: as the received email -- taliban takes a major step in establishing islamic emirates
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financing its acting government, we will look at some of the key figures and get an update on protests that continue to grow across the country. then we will go to the gulf coast in the united states to speak with the 2020 one goldman environment a prizewinner also known as the green nobel peace prize in the heart of louisiana's cancer alley, home to more than 150 chemical facilities. now she is documenting the aftermath of hurricane ida. >> good afternoon. my name is sharon lavigne. i would like to report off-highway thinking, west bank, st. james, louisiana. as you can see behind me, there is a oilfield bend me. you can see the oil coming off the side of the tanks.
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amy: we will also stick with investigative reporter antonia juhasz who says the extent of damage from leaks, seals, chemicals released after ida could be among the worst ever recorded. and we will talk to nobel prize-winning economist joseph stiglitz about how unemployment benefits for millions of u.s. workers expired on labor day, even as many states suffered the worst surge of the pandemic. and we will talk with him about faxing equity in the world. -- vaccine equity in the world. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in afghanistan, the taliban has announced its acting government in kabul. the cabinet does not include any women or any members of the former afghan government. mohammad hassan akhund, a close aide to the deceased taliban founder mohammad omar, was named acting prime minister. abdul ghani baradar, a talan co-founder, will be his deputy.
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sirajuddin haqqani, the interior minister, is on the fbi's most wanted list for a 2008 attack in kabul that killed six people. this comes as protests grow across afghanistan. hundreds of men and women rallied in kabul tuesday, with demonstrators calling on pakistan to stop intervening to aid the taliban. two people reportedly died tuesday during another protest in herat. this all comes as aid organizations warn of the looming humanitarian crisis in afghanistan, with the country's fragile healthcare system potentially facing collapse. we'll have the latest on after headlines. the centers for disease control said tuesday 75% of u.s. adults have received at least one dose of a covid-19 vaccine. the milestone was announced as the u.s. soared past 40 million reported cased of covid-19 since
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the start of the pandemic, with the delta variant continuing to fuel this summer's surge. children currently make up more than a quarter of new cases nationwide. in florida, 13 school employees of public schools in miami-dade have died from covid since -- in the last few weeks. the district enacted a mask mandate, despite efforts to ban the requirement by republican governor ron desantis. all 13 covid victims were african american. elsewhere, new zealand has eased its strict lockdown outside of its largest city auckland after cases started to go down from august highs. cuba has become the first country to start rolling out vaccines for children two years and older. the two domestically produced vaccines, abdala and soberana, have not been approved by the world health organization but local trials have shown an efficacy rate of more than 90%. in brazil, massive crowds rallied in support of far-right president jair bolsonaro tuesday, brazil's independence day. "only god will take me out of
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brasilia," bolsonaro told his supporters. the right-wing populist has been sowing doubt about the country's voting system ahead of next year's election. counter-protesters also took to the streets to condemn bolsonaro's attacks on the environment, education, and his mishandling of the pandemic. >> cannot wait for this genocidal government to keep on killing people. everywhere in the world, there are vaccines and here we have over 500,000 deaths. we don't have to wait until 2022 for the elections. we need to kick bolsonaro out now. amy: in texas, republican governor greg abbott signed into law the state's sweeping new voter suppression bill, sb1, tuesday. the law bars drive-thru and 24-hour voting sites, adds new identification requirements for absentee ballots, bans unsolicited mail-in ballot applications, and gives new authority to partisan poll watchers. voting rights groups have vowed to keep fighting the law, which already faces at least five
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challenges in state and federal courts. meanwhile, governor abbott has come under renewed fire over comments he made during the sb1 signing ceremony. referring to texas' recently enacted, near total ban on abortion, a reporter asked abbot, "why force a rape or incest victim to carry a pregnancy to term?" >> it provides at lst six weeks for a person to be able to get an abortion. one, it does not provide that. that said, however, let's make something clear. rape is a crime and texas will work tirelessly to make sure that we eliminate all rapists from the streets of texas by aggressively going out and arresting them and prosecuting them and getting them off the streets. amy: new york congressmember alexandria ocasio-cortez blasted abbott after the comments for his "deep ignorance?
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-- "deep ignorance." president biden visited parts of new jersey and new york tuesday that were hard hit by the remnants of hurricane ida last week. he spoke from queens, flanked by new york's top elected officials. pres. biden: climate threat is here and not going to get any better. the nation and the world are in peril and that is not hyperbole. that is a fact. amy: climate groups urged president biden to take decisive action after his comments tuesday. sunrise movement said -- "if biden does not deliver on at least a $3.5 trillion investment through budget reconciliation, while he has a potentially fleeting democratic majority, future generations will ask why he didn't do more when we still had the chance." west virginia senator joe manchin has said he won't back more than $1.5 trillion in spending. mewhile, the u.s. coast guard is currently investigating reports of 350 oil spills in the
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gulf of mexico in the aftermath of hurricane ida. in related news, louisiana officials revoked the licenses of seven nursing homes that sent their residents to a warehouse in the town of independence ahead of hurricane ida. seven people died and 800 people faced squalid, inhumane conditions there before being rescued. a coalition of over 1500 environmental and rights groups around the world is calling for the united nations to postpone its annual climate talks, cop26, scheduled for november in scotland because of entrenched vaccine inequality. climate action network says the countries most affected by the climate crisis are likely to be shut out of talks because of lack of access to vaccines, as well as prohibitive travel and quarantine costs. the coalition said in a statement -- "there has always been an inherent power imbalance within the u.n. climate talks and this is now compounded by the health crisis. it is difficult to imagine there
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can be fair participation from the global south under safe conditions." meanwhile, the world health organization blasted wealthy countries tuesday for refusing to share excess vaccines and other covitreatments. >> it is the hoarding of the materials. we saw it with an end to beginning of the pandemic. this is not just unfair. it is not just immoral. it is prolonging the pandemic and it is resulting in people dying. amy: we will have more on the story later in the broadcast. the mexican supreme court has unanimously ruled that criminalizing abortion is unconstitutional, a historic decision which paves the way to legalizing the procedure across mexico. this is the president of the mexican supreme court arturo zaldívar. >> from now on, there's a new path to freedom, clarity, and
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dignity, which respects all those who are pregnant, especially women stop today is one more step in this historic struggle for equality, for dignity, and for fully exercising the right. amy: abortion has been severely restricted and penalized in all but four mexican states. this comes after years of resistance and organizing by reproductive justice advocates. in other news from mexico, at least one person is dead after a powerful earthquake struck near the coastal town of acapulco triggering a tsunami warning for the region. about 1.6 million people lost power. the 7.0 magnitude quake was also felt over 230 miles away in mexico city. bitcoin crashed to its lowest value in nearly a month tuesday as el salvador officially rolled out the cryptocurrency as legal tender. for months, critics have warned the adoption of bitcoin as an
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official currency in el salvador could trigger an economic catastrophe, particularly impacting poorer communities that don't have access to bank accounts, computers, or smartphones. the controversial move, spearheaded by president nayib bukele and approved by lawmakers earlier th year, has led to ongoing protests. a warning to our audience, the next story has descriptions of torture and sexual violence. a harrowing new report by amnesty international details the brutal violence faced by syrian refugees who have been returned to the war-torn country. the group documented tortures, rapes, illegal detentions and other serious human rights violations committed by the syrian government and intelligence officers against over 60 people, including children. in one testimony, a mother described how syrian authorities undressed her daughter, handcuffed, and hung her on a wall while she was repeatedly beaten and sexually assaulted. and the five men accused of plotting the september 11 attacks appeared in a guantanamo bay military court tuesday for the first time in over a year.
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the resumption of pre-trial hearings comes just days ahead of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. the case against the five men, which includes suspected mastermind khalid sheikh mohammed, has been riddled with procedural problems, including the admissibility of evidence that was obtained by cia agents under torture. the pre-trial hearings, which have been prolonged for at least nine years, were suspended in february 2020 due to the pandemic. the selection of a military jury will likely not begin until at least 2022. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by my co-host juan gonzález in new brunswick, new jersey. hi, juan. juan: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: we begin today's show in kabul, where the talibanas taken a major step in
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reestablishing the islamic emirate of afghanistan by announcing its acting government. the new cabinet does not include any women or any members of the former afghan government. the new acting prime minister is mohammad hassan akhund, who was a close aide to the taliban founding leader mohammad omar. his dety will be taliban co-founder, abdul ghani baradar. the new interior minister, sirajuddin haqqani, is on th fbi's most wanted list for a 2008 attack in kabul that killed six people. this comes as protests grow across afghanistan. hundreds of people rallied in kabul tuesday, with demonstrators calling on pakistan to stop intervening to aid the taliban. witnesses reported taliban fighters beat protesters, and the crowd scattered after gunmen fired in the air. one protester condemned the taliban's response.
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>> the islam governmen is shooting at our people. he taliban members are very unst and theare not hun at all. they do not give us the right to demonstre. they're not muslim, but infidels. as you can see fromhe situatn we are in. amy: many of the people were women saying women's rights are human rights. this comes as two people reportedly died tuesday during another protest in herat. meanwhile, aid organizations warn of the looming humanitarian crisis in afghanistan, with the country's fragile healthcare system potentially facing collapse. for more, we are joined by danish-afghan journalist nagieb khaja, who we recently spoke to when he was in was in kabul for the last three weeks reporting for the danish television channel tv 2. he is now joining us from copenhagen. in 2008, he was kidnapped by the taliban. he later embedded with the taliban while making a documentary for al jazeera. welcome back to democracy now! it is great to have you with us.
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can you talk about who is this new government of afghanistan? >> it is actually a surprising outcome because all of us observers, we expected the taliban to give abdul ghani baradar the position as the new prime minister. but instead of him, they gave the position to one of the old school numbers, one of the more highly members of the taliban, akhund. it was unexpected. this outcome was probably result of the pakistani intelligence leader traveling to kabul and trying to sort things out
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between the different factions in the taliban the difficulties agreeing on who was going to be appointed for this post. it ended up with a kind of compromise because akhund is somebody who does not have a strong bench unlike some of the other top numbers. not astrong as that power base, so he is kind of a solution that probably the isi leaders suggested so they could get on with their plans, the taliban. and the other surprises in this new government, negative surprises come is there almost no minorities represented. there are only a couple -- the
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second-biggest ethnic in afghanistan and only one with the fourth biggest ethnic group background. you don't have any of the third biggest ethnic group which are -- they're not only an ethnic minority, but a religious minority. they don't have anybody in the new government. the obvious, of course, lack of presence is also the women, which is half the population. the taliban said it before the announced government, there would not be any women in the government. it is disappointing for the people who have been looking for a glimpse of hope. juan: you mentioned the role of the isi in sorting out the differences between the groups. could you talk a little more about the role of pakistan and the isi in what is going on now
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and what will occur in the future in afghanistan? >> the isi, they have assisted the taliban since they took power in the mid-1990's. they have been helping them with logistical support. they have been helping them with arms. they have been helping them with strategy. of course, pakistan has never admitted they have engaged that much with the taliban, but several journalists, analysts, a lot of clear proofs have been forwarded throughout the year that shows this is the case. the thing is, the problem for the isi has been the u.s. has officially -- u.s. and pakistan have officlly a strateg partner in the region.
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at the same time, they have different interests. u.s. interest, they wanted the government to consolidate themselves and the pakistani government interest was they wanted april pakistani, anti-indian government in afghanistan post of former afghan government was very pro-indian. so the pakistan, it's intelligence branch isi, which sometimes operates some of the missions independently and also against the pakistani government, have the size also, they been assisting and supporting the tele-band so they could change the tides. what happened after the taliban toppled the afghan government, the sources i have been talking to, they have been telling me
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and other journalists also about this agreement between the eastern tele-band, the lower area, other the haqqanis in the southern -- it is not as simple as i tell it. one of the founders of the taliban is one of the moderate guys. he was the one the easterners wanted as prime minister, but ended up being sidelined now. it was after a compromise most of the director of the isi showed up in a hotel, by coincidence a couple of journasts saw him and saw a picture that was not supposed to be revealed most officially he was there to just work on relations between the new government, the taliban and
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pakistan. but a lot of people, experts, they bank he was there to negotie between the different factions. after he arrived, the government was forthright weekly. amy: can you talk about the women's protests in kabul of several hundred people cracked down on by the taliban, holding signs that say things like "women's rights are human rights" and also in the fourth largest city, of the women marching and them in herat as well? >> i actually attended one of these demonstrations not so long ago. i think it was five or six days ago. i filmed one of the demonstrations and interviewed the women. it was basically, women going out into the streets because
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they wanted to keep some of the rights they had been given during the former government's reign. they were really disappointed with no women being represented in the upcoming government will stop government had not been announced at the time, but the taliban had already said it would be without women. and also in other spheres of society, the taliban said it would be impossible to have women. so, basically, the women were out there saying they wanted to fight for the rights, were part of islam that women also had some of these positions that the taliban out was wrong for women to have. when i joined the demonstration, nothing happened. nobody harassed them. but i found out an hour before i joined the demonstration, a couple of -- they had been
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physical and pushed the journalists away and try to take his camera from him. the day after, one of the women were hit by a taliban. one of the demonstrators i also saw at the previous demo and she was bleeding from her eye. basically, onlthe starof wh would happen, what we were going to see. today, a really hard crackdown in the demonstrations. not only on the women demonstrations, but the other anti-taliban demonstrations. you have a lot of people also going out now and chanting slogans against the taliban, basically calling them agents of pakistan. and shouting slogans for some of the insurgents in the region that was still fighting against the taliban until a few days earlier where the taliban say
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they defeated them. but our indications, therare some small pockets in the mountains. basically, it is a movement that anti-taliban. at the same time, parallel with this anti-taliban movement, of women being pro-women, pro-human rights as they are saying. they're not talking about they have any opinions abt which political party has ruled t cotry. they just want t new leaers of afghanistan to know the women should have alace in socie, that theomen should ve a placin all spheres of society. totally come independently from what kind of a government afghanistan is going to have. juan: i am wondering whether there have been any indication there is support for the taliban coming to power, especially in
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the rural areas where people were weary from more than 20 years of warfare and whether there is any indication that the taliban are actually beginning to administer the basic services that a government -- so important to a population from its government? >> so afghanistan is a very complicated story. and at the same time, it is not that complicated at all. you have two different narratives in afghanistan and both are true. you have a narrative of the cities where there were a slight progress during the former government and you had more freedom in these parts of society. women were getting more rights. people were getting much more educated. you had a bigger middle-class. he still had the so-called third
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world problems come economical crisis, poverty, crime. but at the same time you had segments of six side where gressive -- were progressing and had much better times. at the same time, you had the rural area where people were suffering a lot because they were the ones who were experiencing aerial bombings from the u.s. airplanes, drone strikes from the u.s. military post military offensives. you have the battles in the rural areas, the tele-band puttingmines and assassinations. the villagers had a tough time. at the same time, had people in the bigger cities actually taking advantage of the
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international presence and also suffering from suicide bombings, for example, but not at all at the same level as people living in the rural areas. so in the rural areas, people are relieved because the war has stopped. they are not facing the same threat from different elected groups. they are not scared of going out sending their children to school because they are afraid of sudden battles, sudden bombing. at the same time, had people in the bigger cities getting the rights rolled back, the new government is cracking down on the personal freedom, freedom of speech. so we had the clash of two narratives happening right now. basically, people in rural areas saw the taliban is the lesser of two evils. they did not see thealiban as someone who'd provide a lot of services. they saw the talan as someone
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whcould help them avoid a lot of the negative consequences of the war, the afghan government was representing -- they call themselves police officers. it was organized criminal groups actually just taking advantage of their uniformed positions. but in the cities right now, now they are paying the price -- earlier, was the villagers paying the price for the progress in the city and now the cities are paying the price for the security in the rural area. this is the big contradiction of the reality in afghanistan. amy: nagieb khaja, thank you for being with us award-winning , danish-afghan journalist and documentarian who has covered the wars in afghanistan and syria. he was in kabul for the last three weeks reporting for the danish television channel tv 2. joining us from denmark. this is democracy now! when we come back, we go to the gulf. stay with us.
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♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we turn now to our ongoing coverage of the damage caused by hurricane ida, one of the strongest storms to ever hit the united states. on tuesday, president biden visited storm-ravaged areas of new york and new jersey. pres. biden: folks, it is clear, climate change poses an existential threat to our lives, to our economy. the threat is here. it is not going to get any better. the question can't get worse. we can stop it from getting worse. amy: hurricane ida caused widespread damage in the gulf coast, leaving much of louisiana underwater and more than half a million electricity customers in louisiana still have no power. u.s. coast guard is curly investigating reports of 350 oil spills in the gulf of mexico in the aftermath of the storm. this is how reporter antonia juhasz describes what happened to our next guest in her new
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piece for "rolling stone" -- "in the eight days since category 4 hurricane ida roared through her home and community in st. james parish, louisiana, 69-year-old sharon lavigne has watched crude oil spill out of a holding tank, seen flares shoot fire out of a petrochemical plant, and smelled a foul chemical stench from a fertilizer manufacturer. st. james parish is locatein the heart of louisiana's 'cancer alley,' an 85-mile stretch of communities along the banks of the mississippi river between baton rouge and new orleans where some 150 fossil fuel and petrochemical facilities operate." this is a video clip of sharon lavigne as she documented the aftermath of hurricane ida in her community of st. james parish last weekend. >> good afternoon. my name is sharon lavigne.
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i'm the director and founder of rise st. james in st. james, louisiana. i would like to report off-highway 18 west bank. as you can see behind me, there is an oilfield over here. you can see the oil coming off the side of the tanks. on the other side of the fence, you can see also. amy: well, for more, sharon lavigne joins us now from st. james parish, louisiana, where she and her family have lived for generations. her home was heavily damaged by hurricane ida. she is the founder and director of rise st. james, which works to stop the industry's pollution and expansion and implement a just transition to renewable energy. she is a retired special ed teacher who taught in new orleans schools for over 38 years, the mother of six
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children, a grandmother of 12. earlier this year, sharon was awarded the 2021 goldman environmental prize, also known as the "green nobel peace prize." i'm sure, sharon, that is not something you're thinking about at this moment as you rode out the storm in your community. describe how it has affected your community, but the people who live there and looking out at cancer alley at the scores of petrochemical plants and how they have affected you. >> well, good morning, amy. thank you for having me. our community is badly damaged. they have homes with roofs off. the mobile homes are totally demolished. some of them have oil in their yards come on driveways. have no power at all. we are trying to survive. public officials are not bringing necessities that we need like ice, water. we don't have ice in a daily
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basis. we have to go out and find ice after standing in long lines to get gas. we have to have people bring us food good generators. -- food who have generators. i did not have a generator. i have one now, but it only cools one room in my house. it is really bad over here. juan: in termsf what artificial same as to when they will be able to restore electricity and water for the residents there? also, you mentioned generators. it is hard to believe a lot of these petrochemical plants do not have alternative energy, emergency energy to be able to at least keep the power on for some of their basic needs, even if they were shut down.
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could you talk about what the government has required of these companies, local louisiana authorities in terms of resilience for these kinds of storms? >> industry -- have backup whenever we have a strong. the residents, some have generators and a lot of us don't have generators. my water was off because in hurricane, needed a pipeline or the trees fell on my pipeline. i did not have water. they came to fix the pipe. they said it was not on their side. i have to pay someone to fix it myself. i brother had a tree that fell on his driveway, knocked it out and he is handicapped. i called -- he called the parish also and they said they don't go on private property.
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this is a disaster. he is sick and cannot get out. [indiscernible] he was stuck until a citizen from new orleans came and cut the tree so he could get out of his driveway. amy: antonia juhasz, i went to bring you into this conversation. oil and energy investigative journalist bertha fellow whose , new article the for "rolling stone" is headlined "hurricane ida pounded louisiana's 'cancer alley.' its residents need help, and demand change.'" you tweeted yesterday -- "i believe that the extent of damage done from the fossil fuel and petrochemical industry here from leaks, spills, flaring, ruptures, chemicals releases, etc. as a result of #hurricaneida may be ultimately among the worst of such events ever recorded." put this in context for us as you head that come to new orleans and the significance as
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sharing environmental leader, leading the struggle. the contaminants that affect the community she and others are in. >> another storm is heading our way and our way. basically, several compounding problems happening right now. there is not power to almost all of cancer alley where sharon lives. some of the refinery and chemical facilities have power. shockingly, a lot do not. because they do not, they are releasing the horrible flares, dirty flares. they have been flooded. there are chemicals. -- there are chemicals they are spelling. they are not expected to have power for another two weeks.
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you have the residents who do not have power in the have the petrochemical industry that might spin two weeks unable to repair itself and so you have compounding problems on top of each other and that it shows the onshore problem. sure, there's a whole host of dropship platforms infrastructure that we know has been damaged, but they can get out there. so we still do not know the extent of the damage offshore. part of that is the power outage problems plaguing the state. that said, already know of at least 350 reports of spills in the gulf. i think the impact will be devastating. juan: can you talk about what
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has been marathon's response after sharon lavigne's video documentation of the september 5 oil spill? >> yes. marathon said to me that they noticed the spell had happened with the crew pouring over the edges, that it had not been contaminated, but then i saw they had filed with the state department, department of environmental quality, that there was impact to both water and land so i think t full extent of the damage is yet to be known because we have right now is what sharon was able to report and what the company is telling us. this is the problem throughout the state because the environmental regulator, department of environmental quality, also having problems getting out. also, there air monitoring station, 15 of them,ere out [indiscernible]
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by the refineries, the petrochemical plants monitor the air quality are not there. the absence of information, also because of the ongoing storm damage, making it difficult to get two areas. amy: you even have shell come up short oil site preventing -- not picking up 100 other offshore oil workers on the platform as the storm hit? they were stranded? >> yes. there are two platforms. one is a drill ship. yes, they left 100 workers [indiscernible] which -- standard procedure. we know from the videos these workers [indiscernible] the ship took on extensive
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water. they are finally moving the rig. they have been out on the water since the storm. that is only one of shall's platform's. one of the facilities that takes on 200 barrels of oil a day natural gas a day is -- has also been damaged during the storm. we do not know the extent of the damage. there is oil sheen on the wate the commodity markets are reporting this is the worst arm to the oil sector in the gulf coast since katrina and rita. that is a sign of what we are going to see because of the extent of the period of damage not having electricity, the high winds that we are going to see
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more more evidence of extensive spills, leases, damages onshore and offshore. juan: sharon, i would like to ask you, those who argue that the petrochemical industry is vital to jobs in louisiana, what is your response to them? especially after crises like this? >> our response is what is more important, human life or -- it is not that we are against industry. we want to live and breathe clean air. they're not allowing us to breathe clean air or drink clean water.
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amy: entergy, i remember seeing all of the vans after hurricane katrina. now million customers lost power after ida, still hundreds of thousands in darkness with no electricity. the private company and what should be done about it? >> yes, is only about 50% of louisiana that has lost power has had power restored. all of the lower lying areas where sharon is located, the southeast of the state, or almost all still without power and expected to be for weeks. basically, the problem with entergy is it is highly centralized fossil fuel-intensive electricity company -- coal, natural gas particular are its baseline. he would need to have decentralized community-based renewable energy system where you have power provided closer
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-- that can be separated out. have power here and everywhere else. that is something to mitigate the climate crisis, not contribute to it. amy: outlines for portable energy analysis compared new orleans to thnation a louisiana as a whole and found the city not only has excessively high duration and frequency of power outages, but there also unequal. it's majority people of color and low income experience the greatest proportion of damage, clear form of environmental racism. the analysis says. new orleans also is the second highest percentage of household income spent on energy bills in the country. that reading from an chinese national geographic article. we want to thank you both for being with us. we will continue to report on the golf.
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antonia juhasz and sharon lavigne. sharon lavigne is the founder and director of rise st. james, recipient of the 2021 goldman environmental prize also known as the "green nobel peace prize." good luck, antonia is you had back home. when we come back, the nobel prize-winning economist joe stiglitz on unemployment benefits ending on labor day, on vaccine and equity, and the federal reserve board -- why aoc and others are demanding replacement of jerome powell. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. unemployment benefits for millions of u.s. workers expired on labor day after president biden declined to press the democratic-led congress to extend assistance, even as many states suffered their worst surge of the pandemic. an estimated 9.3 million jobless workers lost benefits, along with 26 million members of their households who relied on the income. the cutoff of aid came after the labor department reported the u.s. economy added just 235,000 jobs in august, a significant slowdown due largely to the spread of the delta coronavirus variant. the unemployment rate for
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african americans rose .6 of a percentage point in august to 8.8%. for more, we're joined by joseph stiglitz, nobel prize winning economist, columbia university professor, and former chairman of the council of economic advisers. we want to discuss a number of issues. first, let's begin with these unemployment benefits ending. the signifance of this? >> this is extraordinarily disturbing. we should have passed a l that says so long as the unapplied rate remained elevated in particular places it is very serious, we should have continued those unemployment benefits. the numbers, three force of those on unemployment comes going to see their benefits cut or most of those eliminated.
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we are not back to normal. it is not as if this is going to feed into the problems posed by the delta variant. that itself has slowed economy down. as you mentioned, the unemployment numbers were not good last month. on top of that, and sufficiency demand because these problem are going to lose their benefits won't be able to spend. juan: what do you say to those -- there been lots of the reports in recent weeks and many republicans like senator ted cruz saying that emplors are not able to find employees because people prefer to stay on unemployment rather than get jobs. what is your response to this point of view? >> well, actually, this is an
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area where we have been able to get real data in real time because we have done you might say an experiment. different states reduced their benefits, cut off their benefits. a large number of conservative states have already done that. so we have been able to see what happens to employment when you cut off benefits. do people rush back to get jobs? were those states that cut off the benefits, didn't solve the problem of the labor shortage? the answer, no. it is clear the reason people are not going back to work is, one, they don't want to get to get the disease in the workplace. secondly, we don't have adequate
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childcare. that means with schools being shut down, they don't want to leave their children alone. the important provisions of president biden's program in the reconciliation bill, it is actually to address that issue. you might say it is a real supply-side issue that will help the labor supply. by cutting off unemployment benefits as a minuscule -- estimating something like 7% of those [indiscernible] cut off from benefits actually wound up with jobs. juan: joseph stiglitz, i want to turn to another topic, the federal reserve board president biden will soon have to decide on the new chair for the federal reserve board.
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there have been some congressmembers, progressive members of congress like alexandria ocasio-cortez, rashida tlaib, ayanna pressley who work on provide to replace the current chair jerome powell for neglecting to take on the climate crisis and weakening financial regulations. would like to get your perspective on this. not just on the issue of powell's track record on climate change, but also the fact he has continued to pursue this cheap money policy that allows corporations and wall street to get money at low interest rates and they are invested in the stock market and continue to drive the stock market a brother that the production or capitalist expenditures. your sense of whether jerome powell deserves to stay? >> this is one of the really difficult decisions because no one wants to disturb the economy
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as we are in the process of getting a healing in the economy. it was a kind of decision that i was involved in more than 20 years ago when alan greenspan came up for reappointment under president clinton. now, powell has done you might say a reasonable job in responding to the pandemic. has not gone the way you might say hard money person worried about inflation, but that is a low bar. almost anybody reasonable would have taken the kinds of measures that the federal reserve took. the hard questions on the macro economic side are, what happens when we get starting to recover?
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how soon do you increase interest rates? how do you see that trade-off? one of the things that we know is that the only time that we bring into the labor market minorities, disadvantaged people, and the only time we get wage compression is when we have a really tight labor market. to me, it is worth risking a little inflation in order to address some of the grave inequalities in our society. i wonder whether he will be the right percent in the right person and at a critical moment. moreover, one of the critical issues going forward is, are we going to have another financial crisis like we had back in 2008? memories are short and a lot of people think that is ancient history, but it is not.
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you can come back again. and that is where his proclivity to side with wall street and engage in deregulation is very troublesome. the dodd-frank bill did not adequately deal with regulating the financial system. and since then, -- regulations we have had. what we really need is strengthening regulations to deal with encouraging capital to move as you said into productive activities and dealing with the real risk -- not only of the financial risk-taking that we saw in 2008, but a new set of risks on the horizon, climate risks.
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he says those are issues that congress ought to do with. but they are not issues of -- but they are issues of financial stability. we have also bill assets, other assets that will be affected by climate change. it will make what happened with the subprime mortgage market look like a picnic and what they did to our financial system is an important lesson of what we have to include climate risk in any stress testing. amy: we want to get to the cost of war. you wrote a book on this. the world health africa -- third dose covid vaccine booster shots were only 2% of africa's 1.3 billion people have been fully vaccinated. saying the u.s. should have given priority and must do it now to poorer nations.
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this is what he said. >> some countries globally to introduce booster shots, threaten the promise of a brighter tomorrow for africa. some richer countries for vaccines, they become agreed of vaccine equity -- they make a mockery of vaccine equity. amy: i am wondering if you can talk about vaccine equity? >> sure. it is very clear you're not gointo be sa until t whole world is say. as long as the disease is festering someplace in the world, they're going to be mutations. we know that. we know tse mutatio can be more contagious, more dangerous, and even more vaccine-resistant. it is in our own self interest get the disease controlled everywhere. but right now there are two problems. this issue of vaccine equity,
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who gets the vaccine and who doesn't. and disproptionately, the united states is getting a real access to the vaccine and the developing country simply are not. to me, the real issue is lack of supply. there iso excuse well more than a year after the covid-19 started, well after we discovered the vaccines work, that the should be this kind of supply shortage. market ecomy has the ability to produce these vaccines. i am afraid they are limiting the production to keep the price up. the head of pfizer was hoping he could sell each doseor $175, something that cost far, far less than that. so to me, the first priority but to be revving up production so
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that there is a supply for everybody in the world. amy: finally, the cost of war? you wrote a book on the subject as biden pulls.s. troops out of afghanistan? >> t title of my bk i wrote more than decade ago was "the $3 trillion war." pointing out the high cost of thear in afghanistan and iraq. we knew our numbers were conservative, but as time moted on the cost mount up, what we discovered is thathe cost just ofaring for our -- amy: 20 sends. >>s in therillions of dolls. the worst have been little benefit with enormous cost to our society. amy: thank you for being with
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us, joe stiglitz, nobel prize-winning economist, columbia university professor, and former chairman of the council of economic advisers. among his book, "people, power, and profits: progressive capitalism for any age of
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(sophie fouron) not having a boat here is unthinkable. it's because here, everything happens on the water. it's their main way of transportation. people travel on boats, construction materials, food supplies, water, students in the morning. when you first get to bocas, the diversity in the population strikes you. the ngäbe people, the indigenous people of panama, live side by side with the afro-caribbean community of bocas. they're descendants of panama canal workers and they're established here. i guess it's that mix of cultures that makes this place so unique and so charming.


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