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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  September 28, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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cc1 test message cc1 test message cc1 test message cc1 test message cc1 test message cc1 test message cc1 test message cc1 test message cc1 test message cc1 test message cc1 test message cc1 test message cc1 two decades. we will speak with dream hampton
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, executive producer of the documentary series "surviving r. kelly" that first help give a platform to kelly's accusers. then we go inside the cia's secret plan to kill or kidnap julian assange. >> ithe early months of 2017, the cia mounted all-out war of wikileaks that included plans to duct -- so discord among his associates to monitor tir mutations and steal electronic devices. also discussions inside the cia about possibly even assassinating him. amy: would go to chicago where workers at el milagro pretty a plant staged a walkout to protest low pay and abusive working conditions. >> we're doing -- we have rights as workers. i packed the tortilla packages
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per minute, load a case and put it on a pallet and come right back because if i don't keep up the pace, tori t fall off the machine and they will blame me. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. senate republicans have voted unanimously monday to block a house-approved bill that would fund the federal government and raise the ceiling on the national debt. the vote came just days before a september 30 deadline to avert a government shutdown. senate majority leader chuck schumer said republicans actions were threatening to plunge the u.s. into recession. >> our country staring down the barrel of two totally republican manufactured disasters, government shutdown and a first-ever default on the national debt. the impacts of both would
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greatly harm every single american in this country. amy: treasury secretary janet yellen has notified congress that unless it acts before mid-october to raise the debt ceiling, the u.s. government will default on its debts. arizona democratic senator kyrsten sinema is scheduled to hold a fundraiser today with five business lobbying groups that oppose a massive spending bill containing some of the biden administration's top legislative priorities. that's according to "the new york times," which reports those in attendance are being asked to write checks for up to $5800 to senator sinema's campaign. she says she opposes spending bil's pre tag of $3.5 trillion over 10 years. the legislation would increase taxes on wealthy individuals and corporations in order to expand the social safety net, improve worker rights, and combat the climate crisis.
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her support is critical to democrats plans to use of budget reconciliation bill to pass the legislation in the evenly divided senate. jurors in the federal trial against accused sexual predator and trafficker r. kelly, a famed r&b singer, found him guilty monday of charges of charges including racketeering based on sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor, and sex trafficking. nearly a dozen survivors and over 30 other witnesses detailed r. kelly's pattern of sexual and other abuse against dozens of women and underage girls for nearly two decades. it's a landmark verdict for the #metoo movement. after headlines, we'll speak with dream hampton, executive producer of the six-part documentary series "surviving r. kelly." she broke open the case. the united states reported nearly 2400 new covid-19 deaths on monday, even as hospitalizations continued to decline from a peak in early september.
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president biden publicly received a booster shot of pfizer's covid-19 vaccine monday, just days after federal regulators authorized third doses for immunocompromised people, front-line workers, and people aged 65 and older. biden, who is 78, received his third injection in a white house event where he called on tens of millions of eligible u.s. residents to get vaccinated. pres. biden: over 77% of adult have gotten at least one shot. about 23% have not gotten any shots. and that distinct nouri is causing an awful lot of us -- enough a lot of damage for the rest of the country. amy: here in new york, thousands of hospital and nursing home workers rushed to get their first covid-19 vaccinations ahead of a midnight deadline monday. new york health officials say the late surge means at least
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92% of healthcare workers have received at least one dose. those who've refused face unpaid leaves of absence or termination. new york governor kathy hochul said she's prepared to deploy the national guard to help fill any staffing shortages. >> today is a significant deadline. it reflects my priority to stop this virus dead in its tracks. we are over it. we are done. we want to move on. the only way we can do that is to ensure everyone is vaccinated, but particularly individuals who are taking care of the people who are sick. amy: on monday, a three-judge federal appeals court panel ruled that new york city may proceed with a vaccine mandate for nearly all public schools workers. top officials in the trump administration central intelligence agency discussed kidnapping and assassinating with helix founder julian assange while he took refuge in the ecuadoran embassy in london in 2017. that is according to enact was
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of new exposé which cites over 30 former officials. they describe how then cia director mike pompeo sought revenge over wikileaks publication of sensitive cia hacking tools called ball 7, which the agency considered the largest data loss in cia history. later in the broadcast, we will speak with mike isikoff and jennifer robinson. the international criminal court's lead prosecutor said monday he is seeking approval to resume his investigation into war crimes committed in afghanistan by the taliban and the militant group isis-k. notably absent from the icc's statement was any mention of alleged war crimes committed by the united states, its allies, and the former u.s.-backed government in kabul. patricia gossman of human rights watch tweeted in response -- "it seems there is no end to the
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betrayal of afghans -- now so many victims of torture and other abuses by u.s. and former afghan government forces have been told there is no justice for you." meanwhile, the taliban-appointed chancellor for kabul university said monday that all women would be indefinitely barred from attending courses, either as professors or students. and afghanistan's first-of-its-kind women's driving school reports business has ground to a halt since the taliban takeover in august. >> since the previous government collapsed, we have not registered a single new student. and also, no one
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they can between classes, but they're worried about their security. amy: in tunisia, over 100 senior officials with the country's largest political party have resigned, protesting president kais saied's ousting of the tunisian prime minister and his suspension of parliament in july. opponents are decrying an attempted coup after saied gave himself executive authority. on sunday, thousands of protesters gathered in the capital tunis demanding saied step down. >> he is acting like he is the sun rising the country, general prosecutor, the president, parliament, government -- like he is everything. even his authority. it is like you say "i'm your god almighty." the tunisian people deserve better than this. amy: in immigration news, the biden administration has issued a new rule that seeks to modify daca, deferred action for childhood arrivals, in an effort to preserve and protect the temporary relief program from future legal challenges. this comes after a texas federal judge in july struck down daca, arguing the program exceeded president obama's authority when it was created through executive
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action in 2012. july's ruling blocked new daca applications. daca has provided temporary protection from deportation and work authorization to over 800,000 undocumented people who were brought to the u.s. as children. filmmaker melvin van peebles, praised as the godfather of modern black cinema, died in new york last week at the age of 89. peebles is best known for his iconic 1971 film "sweet sweetback's baadasssss song," which is credited with launching the blaxploitation movie genre. peebles was also an actor, novelist, a playwright, and composer. and prominent native american filmmaker, journalist and teacher myron dewey died sunday in a car crash in nevada. he was 49 years old. dewey was the founder of the media production company digital smoke signals, which shared live footage from the frontlines of the resistance to the dakota access pipeline in standing
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rock. democracy now! met dewey in north dakota in 2016 as he faced a misdemeanor stalking charge for using a drone to take video of unlicensed private pipeline security workers. those charges would ultimately be dropped. >> there is an arrest warrant for me stalking the dakota access pipeline. these are guys who had no names, no badges come no license plate. it is intimidating we see these guys, near documenting -- you know, i came as a filmmaker and digital storyteller and i'm leaving now as an environmental justice willmaker, journalist. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, 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 views from around the country and around the world.
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amy: a warning to our viewers and listeners, today's top segment contains graphic descriptions of sexual abuse. jurors in the federal trial against accused sexual predator and trafficker r. kelly, the famous r&b singer, found him guilty monday of a series of charges, including racketeering based on sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor, and transporting people across state lines for sex. kelly's sentencing is scheduled for may next year. he faces decades in prison. nearly a dozen survivors and over 30 other witnesses detailed kelly's pattern of sexual and other abuse against dozens of women and underaged girls for nearly two decades. this is acting u.s. attorney jacquelyn kasulis speaking outside the brooklyn federal court house. >> today's guilty verdict forever brands r. kelly is a predator who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young,
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the vulnerable, and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification. a predator who used his inner circle to ensnare underaged girls and young men and women for decades on a sorted web of sex abuse, exploitation, and humiliation. to the victims in this case, your voices were heard and justice was finally served. this conviction would not have been possible without the bravery and resilience of r. kelly's victims. i applaud their courage in revealing in open court the painful, intimate, and horrific details of their lives with him. amy: monday's guilty verdict comes after years of allegations r. kelly had abused minors, including as far back as 1994
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when he married then 15-year-old r&b singer, the late aaliyah. she died in a plane crash. he was arrested in 2002 and accused of making a recording of himself sexually abusing and urinating on a 14-year-old girl. it was the remarkable docuseries "surviving r. kelly" that helped give a platform to his accusers -- black women and girls. the first witness to testify in r. kelly's latest trial was jerhonda pace, who described how she was sexually and physically abused by kelly when she was 16 years old. in this clip from "surviving r. kelly," she says she was 15 when she met kelly in 2008, outside his child pornography trial. >> i went to his trial because i was a superfan at the time. i did not believe he was guilty and i did not want to believe he was guilty. i was freshmann high schoo heas old for me to le him,
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t i felln love wh his musi afterober's trl, hisriend nt me a ssage aninvitede to. kelly' party in t middlof mtexting m backhe callemy pho and he was tellg me remembeyou." sai"you cam to my tal. thk youor your support. was ocked. i felt le i was on p of t wod. am thawas survor jerhoa ce, who ys s was lat seally, meallyand physicly ased whilliving a cult-like aosphere r.elly's he whenhe was 16. ce ttified - "hwanted mto put my hairp in ptails and dreslike a rl scout and sa -- "he corded uhavi sexual intercoue." pace ao testifd thatelly gave h herpes d never told r he had sexuall transmted diase. she respond to theerdict monday, writing in part -- "i'm thankful to stand with those who were brave enough to speak up.
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i'm happy to finally close this chapter of my life. i testified and the jury found him guilty. no matter what you think of me or how you feel about things. today, i made history. i wanna see you be brave." meanwhile, cases against r. kelly have also been filed in illinois and minnesota. for more, we go to chicago to speak with dream hampton, executive producer of the six part lifetime documentary series "surviving r. kelly." it won a peabody award and was nominated for an emmy post dream, welcome back to democracy now! you blew this case wide open. you are the reason this trial was held. others found him not guilty. can you respond to the guilty verdict on charge after charge? >> i agree with toronto pace. i look back at her story, like you said in your recap, she was
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a high school student going to the courtroom in 2008 to support him during a trial where he is accused of child pornography other things. r. kelly cruises attend greater. that is the hubris that this man had during his first trial, a trial he was able to immediately first by putting it off for years, secondly mos importantly by keeping the victims close to him. she was a teenager who thought she was in love with him. by delaying that first trial for so many years come he made se that should she decide to stand by him, she would appear as a 20-yr-old. there were times i was making "surviving r. kelly" that i did do with his own biography, which rooted incredibly painful sexual trauma he himself was a
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victim of sexual abuse. i also had to look at how deeply manipulative he was after008, after that trial he took to forcing and coercing women to write false confessions. l of these things added up and escalated, quite frankly. just became more egregious, more bold with the kinds of crimes that he was committing against black girls and women. it was time for it to end. i'm so proud let girls like jerhonda pace, now bla women, found the courage to sit for us underneath these hot ligts for hours at a time and share her story, to reopennd live that trauma -- which is so hard. i hope this does begin a healing journey for them all. i talked to dozens of women to corroborate the women who stories were on camera who did
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not want to come on camera. juan: dream, i'm wondering if you could talk a little about the resistance that you encountered in terms of developing this series that you made and also if you could talk about the reaction to the african-american community over the years, if there has been a difference in how folks in the african-american community viewed the allegations had charges against r. kelly versus the general population? >> i will take the second question first. black women are in the black community and black women have led this fight for justice r decades. i think abo someone who had heroically stayed on his feet and he dependent on black women coming forward, onpening up and sharing this incredibly painful abuse with him. i think about the founders of
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#muterkelly. i think about -- you know, that is what i have to hold in my heart. i have been black my whole life. i am from detroit. i know what race culture is in my community and i know it it is in the larger country. quite frankly, in a global context. it is about disbelieving testimony after testimony over decades, quite frankly, a black girls and women. it means protecting -- if it means protecting a black man, quite friendly, from an unjust criminal system. it is complicated when it comes to our community was not it is incredibly complicated. now i can't rememberhe first question. juan: the other issue was the
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resistance that you encountered in the making of your series. >> we were working for lifetime and they have a particar audience. i think these women's testimo -- they were trying to do something different with this documentary and i hope to bring in some of the systemic resistance, but i cannot get the president of dark records to co on,. i could not get people who work at r. kelly's record label who worked with him after this tape that amy described in her opening of r. kelly sexually abusing, raping a 14-year-old, his r&b protégé sinr mt of her carr to step forward testifd ainst r. lly i 2008.
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i want -hile theomen's stimoniewere imptant, it was alsomportantor me ve conte. we did gethe culral contex in the b i thinkt was portant r me at we taed about the industry. and we never got around that. not just the industry. we did talk about some of the systemic support that he had on the ground in chicago, which included off-duty police officers -- many of whom were still active on the force -- buzzfeed just wrote an incredible article about the cop who testified, trying to defend r. kelly on the stand but s testimony ends up helping the prosecutor's. i had evidence of this as we were making the documentary. where a parent would call the cpd to get a wellness check and
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we had testimony from people who have been in the studio that the police called r. kelly to give him a heads up that the police were coming to do a wellness check and he was able to shuttl the girls out of the studio. or the police would show up for a on this check, meone at the front door at the group --sk some at the front dooof the girls were ok and leave. this is true for all victims of sexual and gender crimes. it is not going to the police and going to the system for justice is not some clear path. the police are also abusers in our community. andrew ritchie is angry work on this -- andrea ritchie is done great work on this. amy: dream hampton if you could talk about what happened to aaliyah. he produced her first film, r. kelly did come "age eight
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nothing but a number." he would end up marrying her . she would die in a plane crash years later. talk about her experience. when did he start with aaliyah? >> like with sparkle, he began grming aalah possibly at , which is really hard to take. you talk about age ain't nothing but a number, r. kelly author that. a lot of what he has been doing for decades has been in the public. he calls himself the pied piper. when asked if you likeeenage girls, he replied, what you mean by teenage, he mopped us --
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mocked us. that it was his brother on camera and not him. in so many ways, we opened r. kelly- "surviving r. kelly" with the facebook post. our entire tm, we realized, you know, the hubris was staggering. i did not think this would lead to charges. have to be honest. when charges began being announced in february, just a month after our documentary aired, i did not think it would lead to this. what i had hoped it would the two was a reckoning that the public, that my community, might reconsider their support of him
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and might look me deeply at rape culture overall in our community. amy: i said the song -- the film of aaliyah, i met the song. also if you could talk about the first time young men comin forward who were abused as boys. >> yeah, i mean, i can't say i was surprised given the reporting and the research we did for "surviving r. lly." i would hope the gender of his victims, r. kelly, a young male victim himself of sexual abuse and rape. i would hope the gender of the victims would not have an effect on whether or not r. kelly supporters and fans continue to support him. i would want to believe that black girls matter and black
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women matter, but i know that sometimes homophobia trumps our care for black children. and this just isn't a black issue. i just happened to be a black woman who lives in a black community, writing about a genre artist who performs r&b mostly r black people. so that who i am caring about what i do this work. juan: dream, there are still trials he must face in illinois and minnesota as well and sentencing on this federal case -- conviction won't be until may. what do you expect will happen in illinois, minnesota? are the charges different from the ones he has faced -- that he just recently faced?
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>> i have not been keeping up with trial. i did not travel to new york to witness. but when i thinkbout the reporting we didor "surviving r. kelly," i think someone like susan lawson, an attorney in chicago who settled case after case or i don't to say for r. kelly, but had victim after victim, black women in chicago mostly signing nondisclosure agreements and receiving a pittance f restitution. restitution is owed. these are wen who need support and only money can begin to solve and help with. but i look at the people wh weren't called to the stand, who enabled him, these people who are part of the system of abuse. i am hoping in chicago, there
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will be some consequences for the enablers. amy: dream hampton, thank you so much for your work, for your films, for your documentary series on showtime called -- on lifetime, called "surviving r. kelly." dream hampton is a filmmaker, writer, and the executive producer of that series. when we come back, we go inside the cia's secret plans to kill or kidnap julian assange. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "a thousand eyes" by fka twigs. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. did the cia under the trump
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-- under president trump plan to kidnap and assassinate wikileaks founder julian assange during a shootout in london? that is one of the explosive findings in a new exposé by yahoo! news. the report details how the cia considered abducting and possibly murdering assange while he took refuge in the ecuadorean embassy in london to avoid being extradited to sweden. charges that were dropped in 20 in sweden. more than 30 former officials describe how then-cia director mike pompeo was apparently motivated to get even with wikileaks following its publication of sensitive cia hacking tools, called "vault 7," which the agency considered "the largest data loss in cia history." one official said pompeo and others "were completely detached from reality because they were so embarrassed about vault 7. they were seeing blood." for more, we we're joined in washington, d.c., by one of the three reporters on this sty. mike isikoff is chief inveigative correspondent for
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yahoo! news, where he is also editor at large for reporting and investigations. mike isikoff, welcome back to democracy now! this is an explosive story. can you lay out your findings? you spoke with scores, your team, a people in intelligence. lay out the scene from before 2017 on. >> right. this is one of the most contentious come intelligence debates of the entire trump era and it really starts with that vault 7 leak. as is well-known, wikileaks has been on the radar screen of u.s. intelligence for years going back to its publications in 2010 of the state department cables, the afghan war logs, iraq war logs provided by chelsea manning, and of course assange's
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role in publishing the russian purloined d&c emails and podesta emails during the 2016 election. what really set mike pompeo, the new cia director off, was that vault 7 leak. this was on his watch, his agency. while pompeo have been somewhat dismissive of the russia allegations and assange's role in that, the vault 7 leak focused his energies on getting back at wikileaks and assange, at dismantling the organization. i was in the room when pompeo gave that speech in early april 2017 where he described for the first time wikileaks as a nonstate hostile intelligence service. i assumed, like many, it was some kind of rhetorical talking point, a line that pompeo had
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came up with. in fact, that designation internally open the door for the cia -- wasn't going to be briefed to capitol hill. these were offensive counterintelligence activities. the abduction plans come to basically snatch operation to take assange from the ecuadorian embassy. there was talk of assassination, although, we want to be clear that never was forwarded to the white house. that was internally within the cia. the abduction plans were. as part of a much broader multi prong cia attack on wikileaks that included stealing computers, surveillance of wikileaks associates, so i discord among members, and white
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house lawyers raised concern that pompeo had gone further than was legally authorized. for one thing at the time, the cia was developing these plans, there was still no indictment by the justice department of assange sort raised the question, if you rendered him, where would you take him come on what grounds could you hold him in custody without an indictment? this spurs the white house to get on the justice department's back and try to get them to accelerate an indictment of assange, which finally comes late 2017. juan: mike, talk about the differences between the justice department and the ca on this. clearly, as you mentioned, this port-a-let the scenarios -- the
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plans never got a go ahead, certainly not from the trump white house because trump had been praising wikileaks -- helping in his election campaign with the release of documents. >> absolutely. we all remember "i loved wikileaks" from the 2016 campaign. one note i should point out, in our peace, we got a statement from trump because we had a source who said when trump was finally briefed on his come he raised the question of, "can you assassinate assange?" trump in into yahoo! news in a statement last week denied that, within said something really interesting. he said, "assange is being treated very badly." basically reverted to the 2016 position of "i love wikileaks."
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amy: let's go to that famous comment of president trump dearing how he loved wikileaks. >> this just came out. this just came out. wikileaks. i love wikileaks. amy: but then we go back to 2017 when mike pompeo was director of the central intelligence agency. >> like a hostile intelligence service. encouraged his followers to find jobs at the cia in order to obtain intelligence. it directed chelsea manning and her theft of specific secret information, overwhelmingly focuses on the united states while seeking support from any democratic countries and organizations. it is time to call at wikileaks for what it really is, a nonstate hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like russia. amy: julian assange later responded in an
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interview with jeremy scahill. >> stated wikileaks instructed chelsea manning to go after certain information. interesting revelation. then there is his statements that this wikileaks and its publications end now. how does he propose to conduct this ending? he did not say. but the cia is only in the business of collecting information, connecting people, and assassinating people. so it is quite a menacing statement that he does need to clarify. amy: that is julian assange and he is laying it out right there, if the cia is in the business of assassinating or connecting people and pompeo started by saying open week exceed -- wikileaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks
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like a hostile intelligence service." i want to ask you about the scene you lay out outside a place we have been to a number of times interviewing julian massage before he was in belmarsh the prison where he is held right now awaiting extradition case, the british government will determine whether they will send him to the united states. we have interviewed him a number of times in the ecuadorian and b&c. you describe the actual people -- it is right next to harrods in london. but at one point, the number of intelligence agencies basically make up all of the people opposing whoever outside the embassy. >> everybody within a three block radius we were told was likely working for one intelligence service or another. there is sort of a second phase of all of this in which that
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comes up, and that is -- i should point out, the abduction, rendition plans never got the approval from the trump white house. trump white house lawyers raised objections and even raised concerns about what pompeo was up to. but some of what pompeo was nine and the cia were planning to go through, and that includes audio and visual surveillance of assange from inside the a gregorian embassy -- ecuadorian embassy and monitoring troubles of assange associates. -- travels of assange associates. that is confirmed for the first time in our peace. later in 2017, u.s. intelligence community gets information, it views is credible that russian operatives are on the ground
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preparing to spirit assange out of the and busy and onto a plane and fly him to moscow. this is when things really get ramped up. the trump white house at the highest levels get involved in planning and overseeing all sorts of plans and scenarios to thwart the feared russian escape of assange from the embassy. there were discussions about potential gunbattle on the streets of london. this was done in consultation with british authorities who made it clear that if there was going to be any shooting, they would do it. there was also plans for stopping the russian aircraft from taking off from the united kingdom, plans to shoot the tires on the airplane, have helicopters station to hover over to prevent the airplane from taking off. there was a lot of wild jason
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bourne stuff going on to prevent what u.s. officials feared was going to be a russian escape from the embassy. juan: the revelations in your article are shocking, but they should not be surprising given the history of e cia the weather it is patrice lumumba -- the cia is always been in the business of these assassinations and renditions. but doesn't really lay to rest any doubts that what has been happening to julian assange all of these years from the original swedish charges was really being engineered by the united states's effort to get him as a result of the wikileaks disclosures? >> well, they're certainly lots of questions raised by this. whether the swedish charges can be put on the cia, i don't have
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any information to back that up. but certainly, i think there's going to be calls for an investigation into this, certainly questions for the cia. but i think most immediately, there is this extradition case for the british courts. every indication there are folks including assange legal team that want to bring some of this to the attention of british courts as grounds for blocking the extradition of assange to a country, some of whose officials were talking about kidnapping and assassinating him not too many years ago. whether that works or not, i don't know. the british courts have a very narrow brief on this, and that is the ruling by the british judge blocking the extradition was over the risk of suicide that assange would face where he sent to prison. so whether the appeal by the
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merrick garland-joe biden justice department of the adverse ruling can be expanded to include some of these allegations, we're gng to find out very soon. amy: let me ask you about jeff sessions, who is the attorney general at the time. to say the least, had extreme the anti-julian assange bavaria posted the cia because he thought they would mess up the ability to extradite him and compared it to daniel ellsberg. >> sure. listen, some of this is sort of situational bureaucratic turf protections. the justice department does not want the intelligence agencies mucking around on their cases in ways that could jeopardize the prosecution. you mentioned daniel ellsberg. when i spoke to barry pollack, the u.s. lawyer for assange over
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the weekend, that is one of the first things he raised that this could be -- if assange is extradited and brought to an american courtroom, his american lawyers would raise the government misconduct as grounds for ms. -- dismissal and is very pollack pointed out, daniel ellsberg's lawyer seceded on that very ground -- succeeded on that very ground. en evidence came out about some of withhe nixon white house was planning and did come in one case breaking into the psychiatrist office, that was grounds for tossing the indictment. whether the assange -- whether that parallel work for a stage, we will have to wait and see. clearly, some of the more extreme measures weren't implement it, but some, including surveillance inside assange and it embassy when he may have bn talking to privileged conversations, that could factor into a government
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misconduct. amy: we want to bring in one of julian assange's legal advisers, jennifer robinson. the first have a respond to al jazeera english white house correspondent kimberly halkett questioning white house press secretary jen psaki about the charges against wikileaks founder julian assange. >> why is president biden keeping the trump era charges against julian assange? yc allowing the prosecution from publishing the truth about human rights abuses in iraq, afghanistan, guantánamo? does the presently the ongoing detention of assange is reasonable, even moral? >> i don't have anything new to say on julian assange. i would say we think of ourselves and we are approaching this from an entirely different approach of the last few years as it relates to freedom of the press and i think the department
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of justice's actions as it relates to the prosecution of journalists are how we are going to look at her go after records, something the attorney general made an announcement about, the president has spoken to come is clear evidence of exactly that. >> is is a freedom of press issue? >> i have nothing to speak to on julian assange. >> this is something i have emailed about months ago. there's been time. >> i understand. i do not have a new comment from your. amy: that is the white house press spokesman responding to chamoli halkett. jennifer robinson is with us. can you talk about the new information we are getting from yahoo!, this explosive information about the possibility of kidnapping or assassinating him, something julian talked about himself, and what this means for his case right now as he sits in the belmarsh maximum-security
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prison? >> thank you. of course the revelations are important what a great piece of journalism, but this is just the latest shocking revelation. this is the cia talking about conspiracy to kidnap and murder an australian citizen, award-winning journalist and editor, vista nothing but published truthful information about war crimes, human rights abuses. any american or journalist to be very concerned about these revelations come about the conduct of the cia and their proposals with respect to wikileaks. this is something that was warned in 2017 as soon as mike pompeo made this announcement that wikileaks was going to be considered by the cia as a hostile nonstate intelligence agency. we were concerned and i warned immediately this would lay the groundwork for unprecedented and unlawful actions by the cia
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against wikileaks. that is precisely what we have seen a what yahoos it is revelations show that this is nothing new. unlawful spine inside the ecuadorian missy on julian, his doctors, lawyers, and were materials gathered, video materials as having confidential conversations with our client, legally privileged material which has been shared with u.s. intelligence agencies. this is clearly unlawful activity. as barry pollackas said, should be sure of his rent -- sufficient to shut this down. there's a principled reason to close his investigation down because of the first amendment consequences but this is also evidence of unlawful conduct in this investigation which gives further grounds for the biden administration to close this
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down and that is what they should do. amy: thank you for being with us, jennifer robinson, attorney advising julian assange and wikileaks and also mike isikoff , chief investigative correspondent for yahoo news, the new exposé "kidnapping, assassination and a london shoot-out: inside the cia's secret war plans against wikileaks." coming up, find out why workers staged a walkout. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "exactly what nobody wanted" by jeffrey lewis and the voltage. this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. we end today's show in chicago, where workers at el milagro tortilla plants staged a temporary walkout last week to protest low pay, staff shortages, and abusive working conditions, including intimidation and sexual harassment. when they returned to work, they discovered management had locked them out in retaliation. this is el milagro worker irma gonzalez. >> they did not let us go back to work. we had our personal belongings inside the plant. in my case, i'm pregnant. my medicine was in and they denied as injury. -- us entry. we are simply fighting for our rights. we're not trying to harm the company. amy: el milagro claims an ongoing tortilla shortage is due to supply chain issues, but
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organizers say the company has lost staff due to their poor treatment of workers, including their mishandling of the pandemic. last year, dozens of employees got sick during a covid outbreak and five died. this is another el milagro worker, martin salas. >> i pack 80 tortilla packages per minute. if i do not keep up the pace, tortillas will fall off the machine and they will blame me. amy: workers have given el milagro management until this -- and of day to respond to wednesday their demands. the company was founded in chicago in 1950 by raul lopez, a mexican immigrant, and sells tortillas around the country. for more, we go to chicago to speak with jorge mújica, strategic campaigns organizer at arise chicago. you have been working closely with the workers for several years. can you talk about the demands and at will happen on wednesday? >> yes. good morning.
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on wednesday nothing yet because the gate or the workers gave the company a deadline to the end of the day. but on thursday, surely the workers are going to come back and demand answers from the company. their main demands are a fair wage scale because the company is paying only $.40 above minimum wage. at the same time, advertising new jobs. $16. so that is the most important demand. they say el milagro needs to attract new workers and that is only going t happen if they increase wages. the other one is deftly to reduce the speed of the chines. what workers areelling us is the company stand up operating better wages and hiring more people, it is cranking the machines. so they have to pack 80 packages per minute.
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less than one second to pack 12 tortillas, put it in a paper envelope, and stack them in the boxes. that is insane. ey say, ok, they increase the speed of the machines but they cannot increase our speeds. we a not machines. they want to put a stop on that. juan: for people who are not familiar with el milagro, could you talk about the importance of this facility and the plant that it has ended the mexican-american community? el milagro tortillas are famous throughout chicago and the midwest and the fact it is largely mexican ownership as well? >> yes, that the largest rtilla maker in the midwest. if you go buy one of the plant they have five and three restaurants. if you go to one of thplanes at 4:00 in the morning, will see trucks lining up from ohio,
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iowa, wisconsin, michig. millions of tortillas every day. they are good. they're good because the workers really put their best effort. this is family owned. just one family controls the whole consortium. th are still with practices belonging in e 1970's and 1980's. they only buy a couple of new machines every year. the conditions are really awful. this is a sweatshop. juan: last year, over 80 of the employees ca down with covid and five died? what kind of health and safety protocols were ty using there? >> none at all. we have a couple of -- they
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rbade workers to where face masks. they told them the workforce was goin to feel unstable if th saw anody wearina face mask, so they did not allow anyone to do it for a while until, of course, the disease sprd and people started dying d then they shut down one of the five plants to clean it out. but as we told the workers last year, machines don't sneeze. this is people to people, person-to-person ctagion. so the workers got together and post some basic precautions that they down the line, the company decided to respect social distancing,tc. but this is a crowded space. the design -- it is designed for production, not as any other
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health. it is designed to produce merchandise and get money. amy: can you -- juan: what about theexual hassment allegations as well? >> therere several sexual harassment accusations that workers complained they have denounced this -- announced this to management and what management does is move the supervisor from one plant to a next one instead of solving the problems, instead of training the supervisors come instead of raising good standards. amy: can you talk about what happened to the workers after they had their rally last week? we just played irma gonzalez talking about being pregnant and being locked out of the plant. she could not get her medication. what the plans a for wednesday? >> well, we d called the police and the police came and open up the plant tallow the workers to get the personal belongings. the next day we with the workers
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to report to human resources and human resources simply gave off saying, we will pay you for the hours you lost yesterday. so it was a round victory for workers. what workers are demanding is that management to sit down with them. the management just hired a union buster to go and talk to him about how bad unions are posted workers say, we a not talking about unions. we're talking about decency. we are talking about wages. we're talking about heat and in thworkplace. they work in 95 degrees, including mealtime andhe nchroom, 95 degrees. that is what we want to talk about management, not to a uniousting company. amy: jorge mújica, thank you for being with us, strategic campaigns organizer at arise chicago. working closely with the el milagro workers. democracy now! is currently accepting applications for two positions, a director of finance
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and administration and a human resources manager. learn more and apply at democracynow.org. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!] #
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we need to putogether all of our streng ths. evyone nee to contribute. hello there, and welcome to nhk "newsline." i'm catherine kobayashi in new york. north korean media are revealing more about the latest missile launch. the newspaper of the ruling workers party announced that the projectile was a new type. it's known as hypersonic. "rodon shinmun" reported on it. the paper carried a photo of the missile going up earlysd

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