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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 21, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PST

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01/21/22 01/21/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> he dav man for decades has proceeded in putting of antrust enforcement, labor mobilization by essentially saying "i've got this, we don't needediment to invasion like liver union and penl necked bureaucrats in washington or
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brussels or whatever telling us how to r our countries. you just leave it to me to run my company officially. i will return profits." something that in reality has zero tax. amy: as the virtual world economic forum wraps up, we will speak to peter goodman, author of the new book "davos m: how the billionaires devoured the world." then to afghanistan. pres. biden: there is no way to get out of afghanistan after 20 years easy. not possible, no matter when you did it. and, no apologies for what i did. amy: as president biden defends withdrawing u.s. troops from afghanistan,e ignorethe devastating role u.s. sanctions are now playing in the country. we will speak to jane ferguson. her latest piece "afghanistan , has become the world's largest
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humanitarian crisis." and we will look at how the biden administration was in court this week defending its use of title 42, the trump-era policy which allows the u.s. to expel recently arrived migrants without due process. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. secretary of state antony blinken met with russian foreign minister sergei lavrov in geneva today. it's the highest level talks between the u.s. and russia since president biden warned that a russian invasion of ukraine appears likely and that it would prompt a "a severe and coordinated economic response." the u.s. says 100,000 russian troops have massed near the ukrainian border. russia denies it's planning an invasion but wants guarantees nato will not expand to include ukraine or any other former soviet nations. ahead of the 90-minute meeting, lavrov said he did not expect a breakthrough.
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blinken also spoke ahead of the talks. >> this is a critical moment. you're right, we don't expect to resolve our differences here today, but i do hope and expect we can test whether the past -- pastor policy, dialogue remains open. amy: washington give approval this week to three baltic nato members to send american-made arms to ukraine. the house select committee investigating the january 6 capitol insurrection has asked ivanka trump to voluntarily cooperate with its probe. the committee says ivanka was present in the oval office when her father was trying to convince vice president pence not to ratify results of the 2020 election. meanwhile, in georgia, fulton county district attorney fani willis has requested a special grand jury to probe whether donald trump or his allies committed a crime when they pressured georgia election
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officials to overturn joe biden's win. in washington, d.c., police arrested 28 nonviolent demonstrators thursday after they held a sit-in protest outside the capitol. among those arrested was progressive new york congressmember jamaal bowman. the activists had been holding a hunger strike for democracy, demanding senate passage of voting rights legislation. the measure appears doomed after conservative democrats kyrsten sinema and joe manchin rejected a change to senate rules that would have allowed its passage with a simple majority. meanwhile, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell has sparked outrage over comments he made reporters wednesday just before republicans successfully filibustered voting rights legislation for the fifth time in six months. >> what is her message for voters of color? >> the concern is misplaced because if you look at the statistics, african-american voters are voting in just as
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high a percentage as americans. amy: kentucky democrat charles booker, who unsuccessfully ran for mcconnell's senate seat in the 2020 election, tweeted, "i am no less american than mitch mcconnell." in florida, republican governor ron desantis has proposed a special police force to monitor elections. desantis first floated the idea during his state of the union address in tallahassee last week. >> to ensure elections are conducted in accordance with the rule of law, proposed an election integrity unit whose sole focus will be the enforcement of florida's election laws. amy: governor desantis has asked florida's gop-controlled state legislature to approve some $6 million to hire 52 people to "investigate, detect, apprehend, and arrest anyone for an alleged violation" of election laws. currently, no state allows for such a police force. in texas, the fbi entered and searched the home and campaign
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office of democratic congressmember henry cuellar this week. details about the federal investigation, which involves the justice's department's public integrity unit, are not yet known. several news outlets report the rate may be part of a federal probe into a group of u.s. businessmen with ties to the former soviet republic of azerbaijan. this comes less than four weeks before texas' primary elections. voters will decide between cuellar and jessica cisneros, who narrowly lost a primary challenge in 2020. cisneros has been endorsed by the afl-cio and senators bernie sanders and elizabeth warren and is a supporter of medicare for all and the green new deal. cuellar is pro-gun, anti-choice, and has backed private prisons, drone surveillance, and increased border militarization. the u.s. military bombed a massive euphrates river dam in syria in 2017 despite a military report warning such an attack
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could lead to a flood that would kill tens of thousands of civilians. that is according to "the new york times," which reports the attack on the 18-story tabqa dam led to critical equipment failure, causing a reservoir to rise and prompting panicked evacuations downstream. at the time the commander of the u.s. offensive dismissed reports that the u.s. was responsible as "crazy reporting." in fact, the u.s. was responsible and even selected at least one concrete-penetrating bunker-buster bomb for the attack. a follow-up u.s. airstrike reportedly killed three workers who rushed to the dam to prevent a disaster. in pakistan, a powerful bomb blast tore through a crowded market in lahore thursday, killing three people and injuring another 20. the newly formed separatist group baloch nationalist army claimed responsibility for the attack. in ghana, at least 17 people were killed after a collision between a motorcycle and a truck
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carrying explosives triggered a massive blast, leveling homes and businesses in the southwestern town of apiate. dozens more were injured and the death toll could dramatically increase as rescue operations continue. the truck was headed to a gold mine operated by the toronto-based can ross gold corporation. in colombia, advocates are demanding justice for breiner david cucuñame, a 14-year-old indigenous nasa environmentalist shot dead in the cauca region last friday. at the time of the attack, cucuñame and his father were on patrol with the indigenous guard, an unarmed collective of land defenders in colombia. two other guard members were also killed in the ambush. indigenous leaders blamed the murders on dissident members of the now-demobilized revolutionary armed forces of colombia, or farc. colombia is one of the deadliest countries in the world for environmentalists. in germany, a damning new report finds former pope benedict failed to act in at least four cases of sexual abuse by priests when he was the archbishop of
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munich. the report, which spans the period of 1945 to 2019, also accuses other senior figures in the diocese of mishandling sexual abuse cases and identifies at least 235 sexual predators, along with around 500 survivors. the majority of them were young boys under the age of 14 when the abuse occurred. the u.s. supreme court has rejected another attempt by abortion rights advocates and providers to block texas' six-week abortion ban. in their dissent, justices sonja soto mayor, stephen breyer and elena kagan, wrote -- "this case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in texas, who have a right to control their own bodies." the law known as s.b. 8, went into effect last september. saturday marks the 49th anniversary of the landmark supreme court decision in roe v. wade that legalized abortions
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nationwide. the court is yet to rule on a mississippi law that bans abortions starting at just 15 weeks of pregnancy, a case that traits to overturn roe v. wade. in minnesota, jury selection wrapped up thursday in the federal trial of three former minneapolis police officers charged with federal civil rights violations in george floyd's murder. the jury of 18 is made up of 10 women and eight men. most of them appeared to be white and none are black. thomas lane, j. alexander kueng, and tou thao stood by and watched as derek chauvin murdered floyd, pressing his knee into floyd's neck for over nine minutes. the three face charges of aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter in a separate trial set to begin in a hennepin county court in march. the justice department dropped its case against mit professor gang chen, who was accused of hiding research linked to the chinese government. prosecutors say they lacked evidence against chen. the case has sparked renewed criticism of the china initiative, launched in 2018,
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which has targeted some 20 academics, mostly of chinese descent, for prosecution. democrats from the congressional asian pacific american caucus have called for an end to the program and the aclu said -- "the justice department must end racial profiling in the name of national security." antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections killed more than 1.2 million people in 2019, becoming a leading cause of death worldwide. that's according to a new study published in the british medical journal the lancet, which warns bacteria are mutating to evade antibiotics at a much faster rate than previously known. antibiotics are most widely used in the united states to promote the growth of pigs and cattle rather than to treat infections in humans. scientis have long warned that the overuse and misuse of antibiotics is pushing bacteria to evolve defenses against life-saving medications. and a warning to our audience, our last story contains graphic
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descriptions of violence. in mexico, feminist and lgbtq+ rights advocates took to the streets of juárez thursday denouncing rising femicides in the border city and the recent killing of a same-sex couple. the remains of yulisa ramírez and nohemí medina martínez were found sunday. they were tortured, shot, dismembered, and dumped in plastic trash bags along a highway. the couple was in juárez visiting family but reports say they lived in el paso, texas. protesters thursday demanded justice for all. >> unfortunately, whereas is known for fms sideand also for murders by criminal groups. i think people sometimes want to minimize the fact it was a gay couple that was killed because there are so many murders, but there's a pattern of violence and document cases against lgbt people. amy: at least 11 women have been
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killed in juárez in the first three weeks of 2022. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the world economic forum is wrapping up today. many of the world's wealthiest people and world leaders have been gathering virtually this week for the annual event that normally takes place in davos, switzerland. the forum was held online for the second consecutive year due to the pandemic. earlier this week, dr. michael ryan of the world health organization warned participants of the growing vaccine inequity crisis. >> if we look at the population of the world in total, afterwards population has received two doses of vaccine. you look in africa and the african region, only 7%. the reality is that the world is moving toward 7% goal, but the problem is we are leaving huge swaths of the worlbehind. amy: john nkengasong, the director of the africa centers
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for sease control and prevention, al spoke at the virtual world economic forum. >> what we have seen over the last two years is related to the collapse of global cooperation and solidarity. absolutely no reason why the continent of africa should be lagging behind, having 7% of the population fully immunized. the continent of 1.2 billion people. amy: this comes as oxfam reports that the world's 10 richest men saw their wealth double during the pandemic from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion, while the incomes of 99% of the world's population dropped. oxfam declared -- "widening economic, gender, and racial inequalities -- as well as the inequality that exists between countries -- are tearing our world apart." this has led to growing calls for a wealth tax on the world's billionaires.
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well, to look at some of the billionaires taking part in the world economic forum, we are joined by "new york times" correspondent peter goodman, author of the new book "davos man: how the billionaires devoured the world." talk about what inspired this book, peter, and talk about who was in davos and the effect they have on the world. >> thank you for having me. what inspired the book is the reality, as you correctly report, we are in the middle of a global emergency and it is an emergey -- i'm referring to the pandemic -- that has been extended, worsened, intensified by the reality tt a handful of people -- the billionaire class, people are referred to in the book as davos and which comes from attendees of the world economic forum, the most powerful wealthy people on earth most of these are the people who have rigged our system so most of the well flows in their
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direction, at the direct expense of everyone else. vaccines were a perfect example. it is well and good in davos, they're talking about vaccine inequity just like they talk about climate change and gender balance in systematic racism and voting rights. all sorts of other super important issues about which they not only do very little -- i mean, they put out reports -- but then they go home, these participants, and they commence the battle to protect their privileges, to prevent actl redistribution of wealth. the forum convenes under the mantra "committed to improving the state of the worl" which is a handy phrase that connotes change. these are the ultimate beneficiaries of the status quo. if you look at the fact we have frontline medical workers going to treat covid patients in plac like sout-- a -south asia and africa while we are boosting children in the united states, that sort of tells you everything we need to know because we accepted one of the key talking points of davos man,
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we either affirm the system we have where pharmaceutical executives get to sell their vaccines to the highest bidder, monopolize the gains of publicly financed research for their own benefits, and the result is this gaping, lopsided distribution that is not only humanitarian catastrophe, it is a catastrophe evenor people in wealthy countries because it is an ope invitation to the omicro variant. we are paying the monopoly royalties are vaccines to companies like pfizer through our closed schools and disruptions to our children's education, through death, fear, hits to economic livelihood. that is why i wrote the book. amy: why don't you lay out who these men are. >> so my book focuses on five key davos man, but i could at the 20 others and ended up with the same story. i focus on the ceo of salesforce, the silicon valley software company. he is a member of the board of
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trustees at davos and and calculates the davos man view. the last time they can be last year the forum, he said the ceos are the real heroes of the pandemic. ceos because they gave us vaccines, financiers kept credit flowing preventing bankruptcy. he talks about how he personally pulls strings in china to locate 15 lee pieces of ppe and distribute them to frontline medical workers. that is good. that probably saved people's lives. it is fair to ask, where we depended upon a tech pro in silicon valley, the richest most powerful country on earth, to outfit front line medical workers? part of the explanation is people like marc benioff, who does give to philanthropic pursuits, kicked in $10 million of his own money to fund a
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ballot initiative in san francisco to increase services for homeless people -- his company salesforce has paved the modest sum of zero and federal taxes a couple of times on billions in revenue. that makes everything else are rounding error. how are we supposed to feel with homelessness, the lack of affordable housing -- how do we pay for the infrastructure that allows entrepreneurs like marc benioff to run their companies if people don't pay their taxes? amy: let me go to marc benioff of salesforce speaking at the world economic forum virtually lastear. >> in the pandemic, it was ceo all over the world who were the heroes. ey are the ones who stepped forward with their financial resources, corporate resources, their factories and poted rapidly not-for-profit, but to ve the world. look at the many examples we have. the aggration of p, building of contact tracing systems,
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the developing of the quiddity the system keep the financiasystems floating, development of mental health systems to let people have mental health capabilities at critical times. amy: that is marc benioff, the ceo of salesforce. according to your book "office men," between late march and the middle of august 2020, salesforce doubled in value, making the business worth more than $225 billion. >> that's right. it is great that ceos are talking about doing good. and some are doing good. that is terrific. this idea that marc benioff along with another guy i profile, the world's largest asset manager, controls $10 million investments worldwide, that his pension funds, university endowments -- both of these guys shaping this idea that milton freedomism is
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overcome this idea that we just maximize shareholder value and the wealth trickles down throughout the economy and erything is rosy. it has been replaced, they tell us, by this thing they call stakeholder capitalism. we are catering to labor, local communities come to societin general, the environment. that is all well and good but it is always unilateral. there is no labor unions in stakeholder capitalism. government does not ally exist in stakeholder capitalism. it is l about us depending upon the goodness of people like marc benioff and the other ceos to run their companies so that everybody wins. central to that is this idea that is pervasive in davos that all solutions to problems can be found if people just earnestly debate them and find win/win solutions. they love that because that obviates sacrifice. it is all an elaborate
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prophylactic again the actual exercise of democracy for the redistribution of wealth so we can tax wealthy people and finance things we actually want like expanded health care and affordable housing. i fos on stephen schwarzman, world's largest private equity magnate worth about $35 billion, made a fortune on the foreclosure crisis in the u.s. and around the world. he is vacuuming up homes again at distressed prices. he is buying heavily in florida. he is turning homeowners into renters. davos man style commit thing about these guys, they prevent -- present themselves like they are saviors. they wanted to give them adulation for being the good guys and taking care of our problems again, preventative against policies that will hold them to account. schwartzman invested heavily in health care in the run-up to the
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pandemic. he owns a huge staffing, that puts people in emergency rooms where there is just an epidemic of surprise billing. patients wheeled in not knowing the terms of their insurance policies, later finding out they have been treated by an out-of-network provider with huge bills, and schwartzman is taking the opportunity of the pandemic to buy more health care assets. amy: according to "the vented natural times," in november 2020, blackstone defender defended donald trump's response to the u.s. poll results during emergency meeting of senior business leaders, alarmed by the president's claims election is being stolen. financial times scrubs him as one of trump's most energetic supporters on wall street. peter? >> he funneled tens of nines of dollars into the campaigns of trump, mitch mcconnell, the republican party in general. he saw in trump the ultimate vessel or what davos man cares
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about, which is tax cuts and he regulation. amy: let's go to the world's richest man who completed a 10 minute sub-orbital flight aboard his blue origin space summer, jeff bezos, who spoke at a news conference after his crew related. >> i want to thank every amazon employee and every amazon customer, because you guys paid for all of this. [laughter] seriously, for every amazon customer out there and every amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart very much. amy: very reveing as jeff bezos thanks them for paying the flight from the unforgettable image of the richest man on earth aving earth as the pandemic was at its height that we saw last year. >> yeah. some people point to quotes like that or what marc benioff said about ceos being the heroes,,
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this is a gaff. these are direct insights into the worldviews of richest people in the world who are writing the rules for all of . it was especially interesting that bezos singled out or thanks his employees because it would be a problem but a smaller problem, if jeff bezos was work $200 billion and is workers at the same time were not doing -- were doing nearly as well. his wealth is coming because his workers are not doing well. you did have a lot to thank them for post he them in harm's way during the first wave of the pandemic knowingly without ppe, without protection as covid, we nownow, was working its way through amazon warehouse is when christian smalls, who i know you covered quite a bit on your program, led a labor strike in staten island at a major amazon warehouse to protest the lack of protection and lack of paid sick leave, something that did not happen by accident.
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he was fired. christian smalls was fired and accused of violating quarantine -- incredible irony given he wanted everyone to be quarantined with pay. bezos doubles down and sends out this letter, "your amazonian's" where he thanks them for their sacrifice, the warehouse workers, a plaza for saving other people's grandmothers, says amazon is prioritizing the shipment of all the things his workers don't have like ppe. christian smalls tells me this is just made up. they know what is going in the boxes. what he said it to me, it is gaming consoles, sex toys come all the stuff people are buying while stuck in their houses. and we are to jeff bezos' fortune while his workers have to choose between their lives or their paychecks. amy: as these ceos talk about their workers as stakeholders, maybe they are redefining the term "stakeholders" as in they
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are driving stakes into the workers and unions hearts. the effect they have had on organizing in this country, for example, you have the horror that happened in illinois in december, and amazon warehouse partially collapsing the killing at least six people. labor and rights advocates blasting amazon following the news. union leader sort of about said requiring workers to work your such a major tornado warning event as this was inexcusable. >> that's right. there is a lot of focus now on the supposed increase and labor power through the great resiation, the fact that our labor shortages. most of the shortages are not really shortages, they are just workers deciding they do not accept the terms any longer. the shortages of nurses, shortages of truck drivers. if you dig deep, there plenty of people who can be nurses and drive trucks, we have just run
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out of people are willing to fall for the cons these companies employ to try to draw people in to these impossible circumstances. we need to remember this current shift in the balance of power between labor and manament, it could disappear as quickly as it has materialized. because unless it turns into collective bargaining, unless it turns into rules that workers can use to actually get their fair share of the bounty of global capitalism, you know, the next crisis very easily takes it away. amy: peter goodman, jamie dimon. explain his significance. >> he is the ceo of j.p. morgan chase, america's largest bank. he heads the business roundtable at a time when it plays a critical role in engineering trump's tax cuts lavished on people like jamie dimon. he is also running the business roundtable as they trot out this
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statement of purpose of corporation, which embraces stakeholder capitalism. this pledge is signed by jeff bezos. it does not seem to have stopped him from mistreating his warehouse workers. amy: one of your chapters in your book "davos man," taxes, taxes, taxes, the rest is b.s. where did the quote come from? >> this young dutch academic showing up at davos first first time, horrified everyone is talking about philanthropy, talking about when/when solutions, talking about how workers have to train themselves to realist opportunities. these are the supposed solutions to inequality. everythi except for the most obvious thing and he says it is like i met a firefighters conference and no one is allowed to talk about water. the remarkable thing, that moment when viral, the remarkable thing, the guy was running that panel, guy ne
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edward who is tt editor of "time magazine" recently purchased by marc benioff, he turns to gene goodall and says, what is it about us as a species that we cannot solve these problems? as if it is some sort of deficiency without species, while letting off the hook all of the people in the room who know well and good why this is. it is because they don't want to sacrifice. they don't want to give up their money was not amy: peter goodman, thank you for being with us "the new york times" , global economics correspondent -- my final question, do you think billionaires and now trillion years have prolonged the pandemic? >> i don't think there's any question they haverolonged the pandemic post of the fact we have omicron is a direct result of our unwillingness to challenge patents, to challenge the monopoly profits of companies like pfizer and moderna. we have effectily subdize those profits through the tune of our own suffering.
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that has extended this pandemic. amy: thank you for being with us. peter goodman, no relation, "new york times" global economics correspondent. his new book "davos man: how the billionaires , devoured the world." next up, jane ferguson. her piece, "afghanistan has become the world's largest humanitarian crisis." back in 30 seconds. ♪♪ [music break] amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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the world food program is warning afghanistan is facing "tsunami of hunger." the group estimates 23 million afghans face acute food shortages, including early 9 million who were close to starvation. afghanistan's economy collapsed after the u.s. and iernational nancial organizations froze afghan assets after the fall of kabul. earlier this week, bernie sanders urged president biden to take immediate action. he wrote -- we're joined now by jane ferguson. she is a special correspondent for pbs newshour and contributor to "the new yorker." she has reported extensively from afghanistan over the years and was in kabul as it fell to the taliban in august last year.
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she returned to taliban-controlled afghanistan in november to report on the humanitarian crisis. her latest piece for "the new york or," "afghanistan has become the world's largest humanitarian crisis." welcome back. in your piece, right, "exhausted mothers stood next to the beds and stared wide-eyed at their babies. one leaned over, saying lullabies, and gently kissed her child's cheek. about a third of the children who arrived at the unit do not survive. the new unit struggling to feed the 9 million people at a chance and afghan baby will go hungry and die is the highest in 20 years. can you describe the suffering you saw in this neonatal unit and not only in this one hospital, but what you found -- i mean, the worst it has been in 20 years since he was invaded
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afghanistan you are saying. >> yes. what we are really seeing is the collapse of not only any kind of economic means for those mothers and their husbands to be able to make enough money to feed the children or to feed themselves and lactate, but we have seen a compounding crisis because the medical institutions and the medical facilities across the country have also been collapsing. once the flow of money, once the economic institutions just froze across the country, then you could not see anybody who worked in these facilities getting paid or any of the flow of money coming in. so you have families across the country with no income. and then when they take their children to the hospital because there malnourished because they're such high cases of nonurgent babies, many of them had to go whatever units are open. in that story, i was describing a unit in kabul, which was one
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of the few still operating. those beds with babies were sometimes three and four babies in a bedpost of the hospital staff, many had not been paid in months. they were basically trying to keep them alive. infections were running riot through the units because they just don't have the medicines, they're completely overwhelmed with malnourished babies come and massively understaffed. many of those mothers i described will have had to have come from rural areas or local clinics, many of them have complete collapsed. a recent statistic by save the children and afghanistan said as little as 17% of medical facilities across the country are fully operational. amy: can you talk about exactly what the u.s. has frozen in terms of assets and how that you so that directly translating to hunger and poverty on the ground in afghanistan? >> and we look at the economic
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collapse and afghanistan, we broadly need to look at two major factors -- although, it is more complex. on the one hand, with the afghan government assets of about close to $10 billion that were being held overseas. many in the united states. those were frozen instantly when the kabul -- taliban swept into kabul in august 2021. there were frozen because the international community and the white house did not want that money falling directly into the hands of the taliban and the leadership that had marched into kabul that day posted effectively by freezing that money, we have also seen sanctions that have come with it, also seen the economic system and afghanistan collapse. it became either and legal or extremely risky legally to send money in and out of afghanistan stop as a result, there were basically financial constraints on every bank in afghanistan.
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i do believe this is still the case now but it might be even worse because it changes day-to-day, families and banking cupholders were told they could get $200 a month of their own money out of the banks. so the banking system as a result of the collapse and much of that money would have been used by a governmenof afghanistan to pay their workers. as with many countries around the world, the governments are the main employer whether you are a road sweeper or schoolteacher or an economist in the ba. typically woulbe getting a salary from the government. once that stops, just have an absolutely cataclysmic cash flow stop in the economy, as well as the banking crisis. on top of that, you saw an ngo community, the charities and international charities that have been working and afghanistan for 20 years or more leave the country. and freight to become incredibly difficult for them to send money
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into the country because of sanctions and legal problems. afghanistan's economy was completely reliant on international aid. it is these issues that have basically caused income and afghanistan to collapse. there is empty of food, but nobody has any money -- there is plenty of food, but nothing has any money. amy: i moderated a panel over a decade ago. this is far before it was clear the taliban would take over a decade later. and they said it is very clear we are here because the u.s. soldiers are here. when the war ends, they will stop funding these aid organizations. talk about what i donor economy means and what afghanistan has been left to cope with now. >> basically, fundamentally, structurally, one of the biggest failures -- in fact, i would argue maybe the biggest failure and afghanistan over the last 20
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years of u.s.-let efforts there has not just been the collapse of the afghan security forces. there was so much discussion following the fall of kabul as to how it is possible we could have invested so much money and time and effort in the afghan security forces and then they collapsed. but underlying all of this has been a failure to build a functioning even remotely independent, self-sustaining economy in afghanistan. what we had was ingrained aid dependency and corruption. and those two things really undermined, essentially, any real development of industry, entrepreneurialism. there are young educated afghans who wanted to try to build businesses, but would have created some revenue streams back to the government but corruption made that externally difficult and the instability of the war. so anybody who was running a business in afghanistan, even if that was a legitimate, authentic
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business that was not funded by the international community, and i talk about this in the article, very often those profits were siphoned out of the country and put elsewhere for safekeeping -- partly because of these stability in the country and corruption. the government was never really able to bring in tax revenue. i spoke also with the acting finance minister who is their right up until the collapse of the government. who also talked about how d8 economy can sometimes ingrained level of dysfunction within the country. sometimes we think aid is much more coordinated than it is. over the last 20 years and afghanistan, we have seen examples of how aid can be patchy, can be politicized. one country might give aid only for education. you don't necessarily have an empowered government, central government, that can then plan and organize its economy in
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running its country. in many ways, the international community was financially running afghanistan. and when you add that in with the level of corruption and politics and finance in kabul, and a war and violence that was undermining any attempts to build a really sustaining economy, then you just did not have revenues to the government. amy: you say that more afghans may die from u.s. sanctions then died at the hands of the taliban . if you can elaborate on that and also how much does the biden administration respond, understand of what is going on right now? you president biden contently asked should he have pulled -- continuously asked if he should've pulled out of afghanistan. is that the right question to ask them rather than what should be happening right now looks what happens a lot, and we heard from the biden administration a couple of days ago when asked
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about competency and the government when it comes to afghanistan, that it doesn't matter whether you asked was their strategy, he answers the question should we have stayed. and that is been the policy from the beginning, from the collapse of the government in afghanistan, from the chtic and deadly last and withdrawal and exodus from the country -- the white house won't answer the question, what is the strategy? what was a strategy? what will the going forward? more details on what they plan to do to prevent the current reality getting any worse. instead what we hear repeatedly and have heard for months now is come it was right to leave. and that is very much so the case in august of 2021 as things were playing out at kabul airport and still today. the white house policy is to answer the question they wish they have been asked, which is
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should have stayed in afghanistan? the answer is always, we left because it was costing too many american lives and we left because it was costing too much in american dollars. the problem is that the white house is under massive pressure to respond to the situation as it is come as a reality today, which is that afghanistan could face a devastating famine. the crisis is unfolding at such a pace that the reaction by the white house, which has often been to respond in time once pressure builds just enough and that sort of slow piecemeal almost at how policymaking to afghanistan is unlikely to keep the pace with the level of the crisis because the freefall is so fast most of princeton's, we saw some carveouts being announced by the treasury department to the sanctions to make it slightly easier to send money to afghanistan so the money -- you can send money to
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afghanistan and it can technically go through the hands of the taliban are the hub, network so long as they can only end up there on the ground and used for humanitarian efforts. great difficult to ensure but again, that is in response to the pressure being put on not just domestically in the united states, but the white house also has to make sure it is dent on the defensive against retort from the -- rhetoric from the taliban. the taliban will find it easy to turn around and say this is joe biden famine, or america critter this famine. they're very much when use it for their own pr purposes as well. going forward, the white house continues to be under pressure to actually respond with some sort of strategy rather than continue to simply go over the same talking points, which are it was right to leave, the time was right, it was a tough
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choice. amy: let me ask you more about taliban's treatment of women post on wednesday, the taliban raided the home of a woman rights activist in kabul just days after she took part in an anti-taliban protest. she posted this video online when the taliban arrived at her apartment. and because this is not translated, but you can hear the fear in the voice of the woman. she was arrested soon after, along with her three sisters. if we can end this issue and what you feel needs to happen now, jane. >> amy, i can relay with these women have been telling me when i was on the ground in november, i attended one of their street protests and they asked the media to,. they wanted the international
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press in particular to come and cover these issues and they say very clearly, we feel safer when you're here. there's a reason she put that video online. she knows the taliban would shoot those men dead in the street if there were not video cameras there and international press ready to cover it. the taliban are trying to do a dance between not looking like they have gone soft because they're at war with isis -- they don't want to lose fighters, they don't want to lose face, they don't to lose commanders, territory, resources, so they have to look like they have not gone soft as they have taken over the country are become westernized in some way. women's issues are an effective tool for them to display that. but at the same time, they're trying to get recognized internationally. so whenever i was in the street trying to cover a protest come they forced me in my cameraman back into the car at gunpoint and told us it was row security because there could be an isis attack and then
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surrounded a group of women calling for women's rights and threatened to take zoning equipment if we filmed them. going forward, what these women need is more eyes on their movement, more of them on air, more of their voices being put on television and in the newspapers. they are afraid the minute the world cameras are turned off from them, the taliban will continue to do what we saw in that video, which is come to their houses and disappear them. amy: jane ferguson, thank you for been with us, correspondent with pbs newshour and contributor to "the new yorker." we will link to your latest piece "afghanistan has become the world's largest humanitarian crisis." next up on how the biden administration was in court this week defending its use of title 42, trumpcare a policy which allowed the u.s. to expel recently arrived migrants without due process. back in 30 seconds. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we continue to look at president biden's first year in office, we turn to his ongoing defense of trump-era anti-immigration policies. on wednesday, lawyers for the bending were in court defending the urgency order known as title that's been used to expel 42 over a million migrants at the u.s.-mexico border without due process or screening them
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for asylum. the policy was touted as a way to control the spread of covid-19. this is sharon swingle, a justice department lawyer arguing before the d.c. circuit court of appeals wednesday. >> issuing the title 42 rule and order, see to sea of expertise to address a once in a century, highly dynamic public health emergency involving emerging variants of covid-19, rising transmission rates, and strained health care resources, in particular at remote areas near the southwest border. amy: she is arguing this just as last week public health experts issued an urgent call to end title 42, calling it "scientifically baseless? this is top biden medical adviser dr. anthony fauci on cnn. >> the problem is within our own country, certainly emigrants can get infected but they are not the driving force of this. let's face reality here. amy: since biden took office,
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human rights first has tracked over 8700 reports of kidnappings, rapes, tortures and other violent attacks against migrants blocked at u.s. ports of entry or expelled to mexico under title 42. this is an asylum seeker from honduras in an encampment in the mexican border city of reynosa. >> i have been here for four months with a migrant campus located. all we ask for his help. we want to leave and we have suffered a lot. there are many sick children. we are afraid because we feel unsafe here. amy: for more, we are joined by lee gelernt, deputy director of the aclu immigrants' rights project. he was in court this week as the aclu's lead attorney in the case challenging biden's use of title 42.
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welcome back to democracy now! i don't know if you are having trouble and a court infusing trump and biden's names, but can expend what you're doing in court under president biden, who is so critical of trump when it comes to immigration policy? >> amy, you're exactly right. so what happened was that the trumadministtion had been trying to d asylum throughout that admintration. finall it seized on code is a silver bullet. it wanted to block asum-seekers. so instituted title 42 using a statute from 1893 that it never had been used, never been thought to allow the expulsion of migrants. without the biden administration would come in and, to its credit , miners but left it for everyone else, including families. that is what we were back in
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court, for families trying to seek asylum are being summarily expelled. no asylum screening whatsoever. when i tried to the convey to the court on wednesday was the harm is just unimaginable. largely out of sight, out of mind for the american public. in some regions, 20% to 40% of all the families targeted for kidnapping, followed by sexual assault, and unimaginable brutal treatment. it is literally as though they're walking the plank most of the u.s. government is pushing them back over the border, mothers and fathers holding their little children's hand walking back into mexico. the u.s. government knows what is going to happen to them. the cartels are sitting there at the end of their bridge waiting for them, and yet we continue to push them over. we claim, the biden administration is now claiming what we need to do is for covid. what i came out of the court hearing, however it comes out illegally, all of the questio just judges question was this
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necessary? what is the biden administration doing this when the whole countris open given there are vaccines, testing, masks, other ppe equipment, mitigation steps -- wire asylum-seekers being singled out for this treatment? i think the subtext for the court is this is politics. the biden administration does not want to open the border. as dr. fauci said, they know immigrants are not the problem with covid and yet they continue to do it. amy: can you talk about what is going to happen now and why this is in the biden administration's interest to be following through on trump's policies? >> se. the court of appeals will decide the case and it will turn on technical legal issues. the biden administration does not need to wait for the court. i think there were clear signals they ought to be reconsidering this policy. i ink the biden administration
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thinks it is in their political interest to keep the policy so they can ward off attacks saying the border is open. i do not see it that way. politically, think the biden administration is making a huge mistake. they're getting attacked on border issues no matter what the policy is. but right now they're doing a lot of harm to a lot of people. i think they just need to stand up and -- they made a promise to say we're going have a more humane border asylum process. we are violating our asylum law , violating our international commitments. as you know, amy, we said after world war ii we would never again send people back to danger. that is exactly what we're doing. we have not had a functioning asylum system now for two years. one critical point is the biden administration is trying to hide behind the cdc. you go to the cdc and ask them why this is happening come they said you to dhs. you look at the cdc actual order, it is clear the cdc
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things we can safely process asylum-seekers. all th have been saying now is for months and months is dhs needs to put its basic mitigation steps and here's the blueprint to how to do it. dhs is not doing it and that is why the lord court finally just said enough is enough, dhs needs to allocate resources and dhs is nothing they could -- i mean, cdc is not saying they can't do it. just take the basic steps most of them had so long to do little things, buildout or processing centers, put in a testing regime, start vaccine protocol and their refusing to do it. dhs is trying to hide behind cdc. the cdc has been we're, consistent with every public health expert in the country, you can safely process asylum-seekers, just take basic steps. we are doing that for the whole country. one thing i mentioned, people are going to basketball games from 18,000 people in these congregant settings. one third of nba arenas do not
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have testing requirements. people are flying, going to restaurants. just take basic steps most of asylum-seekers are being singled out for political reasons, and the harm is unthinkable. amy: lee, you're also a part of the negotiations to financially compensate my grandparents separated from their children under trump. but suddenly, the biden administration cut off talks around these operations once republicans started to criticize. explain what happened. start off by saying how many families are so separated. >> thanks for asking about that. we believe in excess of 1000 families are still separated -- more than 5500 children that we know of were separated originally. we think 1000 remain separad. so there are two parallel negotiations. there were two parallel
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negotiations going on. what is the aclu and the government, and that is for everything except monetary compensation. that is for continuing to find the families, reunite them, hopefully get them services. most important, get them a pathway to remain here so they are never separated and children sent back to danger. those negotiations are still ongoing. hopefuy, those will remain constructive. the other set of negotiations which they said were a part of is compensation, monary compensation comto settle these tort suits. those were going fine up until meone in the government leaked it. there was political blowback. rather than standing strong and saying, as he did in the second presidential debate, this was criminal activity an i will do everything i can to make these families hold, the biden administration buckled for some reason and ended the talks, walked away.
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they sd we walked away. that is not true. now we are back and forth and the biden administration will be defending the family sepation practice in these tort suits. not only that, many of these tort suits, but in the aclu class action tort suit, not only did we sue the united states, but individual federal officials like stephen miller,ormer attorn general sessions. the biden doj will bwalking into court not only defending the united states in this horrendous, unprecedented kroll practice, but also defending stephen miller, sessions, down the line for their individual roles. i would have thoug it would be available for the biden doj to walk into court and do that, but that is what we are. amy: it was dr. joe biden put in charge of bringinvalleys together, isn'that right? close we're not really sure exactly what is going on.
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there is a task force there but how much dr. jill biden -- joe biden is there working on it day by day, it is a little unclear. amy: legal earned, thank you
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