tv Democracy Now LINKTV September 28, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
09/28/17 09/28/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from the unesco headquarters in paris, this is democracy now! told that been democracy doesn't happen in the streets. mr. presidentnt, you will need o take a look at frerench historyo see that it was the street that brought on a king, that brought down the nazis. amy: french protesters take to the streets to oppose the government's move to rewrite france's labor law. it comes as france is about to
make a permanent state of emergency enacted two years ago. we will get the latest. then to africa. pres. trump: africa has tremendous businesess potenntia. i have so many friends going to your countriries, trying to gett rich. i congratulate you. they are spending a lot of money. amy: as president trump brags about his friends going to africa to get rich, he praises the fictional country of nambia. he meant to say mibia. we will speak with a leading journalist from namibia who was jailed and had her office firebombed. plus, we will speak to tarja halonen, the first female president of finland. alall that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report.
i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from paris, france. in puerto rico, hospitals report they're at capacity and struggling to maintain operations, part of a growing humanitarian catastrophe more than a week after hurricane maria devasteded theslanand. the pentagonays the jority of pueo riric's s hospitals do not have enough fuel p power electr g generors,s, athe island's enrere elericacal id has collapse at s j jorgehildldr'ss spital in san juan, manarsrs ve repeptedly pleaded for diesel fuel as medalal tea hahaveaced b bckouts of up t ree e urs. at the whiteououse, repoport asked presidt t trumwedndnesy why he's s deni reqeques to waive shippi r restrtionons under the nenes ac which would allow more f food, wat, fuel and medicine to reach the island. >> why not lift ththe jones act likeke you did in texas?
thinkingmp: we are about that, but we have a lot of shipments of people that work in the shipping industry that don't want the jones act lifted. have a lot of ships out there right now. amy: the president's comment came as members of congress said the trump administration is blocking their attempts to visit puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands. "the washington post" reports that since monday evening, the white house and pentagon have denied lawmakers permission to use military aircraft to make the trips. among those affected are at least 10 members of the house and senate who were planning a trip for friday. on capitol hill, climamate activists frfrom texas and flora -- two states hard hit by this year's record hurricane season -- occupied the offices of the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell wednesday, denouncing his track record of denying climate change.
this is activist nancy metayer of the group new florida majority. 150,000 petitions to uplift our message that climate ange is real l and what have percent or noble energy is a must. i can n affordrd a resident, std in solidarity y with my texas sisters and brotherss and sistes from t the caribbean.. are notot victims. we are resilient and we deserve better. amy: president trump unveiled a tax plan wednesday that would overwhelmingly favor corporations and the wealthiest americans, while adding trillions of dollars to the national debt. the plan would end the estate tax on inherited wealth for the richest 0.2% of americans and slash the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 20%. it would also abolish the alternative minimum tax, a move that would also benefit the wealthiest americans, including
president trump himself. a leaked 2005 tax return shows trump paid out nearly $37 million in federal income taxes that year, most of it due to the alternative minimum tax. speaking in indianapolis on wednesday, president trump falsely stated his tax plan would favor low- and middddle-class houseseholds. pres. trump: our framework includes our explicit commitment that tax reform will reject low-income and middle income households, not the wealthy and well-connected. they can call me all they want. it is not going to help. i'm doing the right thing. and it is not good for me, believe me. amy: according to americans for tax fairness, trump's plan would provide a modest middle-class tax cut by doubling the standard deduction, but those gains might be largely offset by other changes to the tax code. the group says the plan would starve the federal budget of about $5 trillion in tax revenue
over the next 10 years. the trump administration detail plans too cap the number of refugees allowed annually into the u.s. at just 45,000, the lowest level in over three decades. the total is less s than half te 110,000 cap issued by president obama in 2016. the decision comes as the trump administration says it won't extent in october 5 deadline for undocumented immigrants to apply for renewals of their daca status under the deferred action for child arrivals immigration program, which shields 800,000 young immigrants from deportation. on tuesday, u.s. district judge nicholas garaufis blasted trump's decision to end the program next march, telling justice department lawyers -- "this is a democracy, these people have thrived in america, and you can't just come into
court and espouse a position that is so heartless. it's unacceptable, quite frankly, to me, as a human being and as an american." in the mediterranean, a libyan coast guard vessel fired warning shots wednesday at a humanitarian aid ship that was assisting migrants trying to cross from libya to italy, boarding the ship and demanding the refugees on board be handed over. members of the aid group mission lifeline say they refused to comply with the request, which came in international waters. italy has largely financed, equipped and trarained libya's coast guard in an effort to turn migrants bacack to libya, where theyey face apappalling cocondis in migrant c camps, as well as e threreat of torture, sexual l ae , and forced labor. in northern iraq, residents have voted overwhelmingly to form an independenent kurdish ststate. results of the non-binding referendum released wednesday
showed the measure passed by nearly 93%, with 3.3 million people voting. the independence bid is fiercely opposed by turkey and iran, which h have spent decades suppressssing kurdish nationala, and by iraq's central government i i baghdad. the speaker of iraq's parliament asked prime minister haider al-abadi to send troops to iraq's kurdish region. >> the commander-in-chief of the armed forces should abide by adopting all legal and constitutional measures to maintain and protect iraq's unity and its people by issuing his orders to the security troops to redeployed in all disputed areas, including kirk cook, as it was before june 10, 2014. amy: iraq's government has also threatened to seize oil fields in kurdish areas and is planning to end intnternational flightsto and from the region. spain's government has ordered police to seize control of
polling places and ballot boxes ahead of a planned independence referendum i in the country's catalonia region. on thursday, barcelona police sealed off a warehouse intending 10 million paper ballots. independence activists say they've had election materials seized up in the spanish government has shut down pro-independence websites in a move that has drawn comparisons to the former egyptian dictator member wreck. -- posting mubarak. spain's top prosecutor has said he won't rule out the posossible arrest of catalonia's regional president. in afghanistan, the u.s. military says a missile malfunction killed at least one civilian and left an unspecified number of others wounded, as the u.s. called in airstrikes follllowing an taliban rocket attack targeting the plane of u.s. secretary of defense james mattis. the violence came just hours after mattis arrived at kabul international airport for a meeting with afghan president ashrhraf ghani.
speaking to reporters, mattis said the trump administration will add to the number of u.s. troops in afghanistan. >> i prefer not to go into the specific numbers right now. we are bringing in more coalition forces, non-americans who arere coming in. i don't want to tell the enemy exactly what we are doing, but the whole point is to make certain that we haha a compelling batattlefield advante over anything the taliban tries to mask against her forces. amy: in uganda, presidential guards and special command soldiers forcibly ejected lawmakers from the chambers of parliament when they tried to vote against a change to the country's constitution that would let long-ruling president yoweri museveni run for reelection after age 75. after a fight broke out in the chambers, ugandan opposition mp
was taken to the hospital. the proposal stirred widespread resistance and protests around uganda. on wednesday, the uganda communications commission barred radio and television stations from broadcasting live coverage of any events that "are inciting the public." three journalists in the city of lira were arrested as they covered protests there. in israel, the country's military chief said wednesday he'll shave four months off an 18-month manslaughter sentence given to an israeli soldier who was caught on video executing a wounded palestinian man last year. idf sergeant elor azaria became a hero to many israelis -- with prime minister benjamin netanyahu joining calls for a pardon -- despite video showing azaria firing a single shot into the head of the palestinian man abdel fattah al-sharif as he lay immobilized on the ground. meanwhile, the international
police organization interpol said wednesday it will add the state of palestine as a member nation. the move came despite fierce opposition from israel and the united states. palestinian foreign ministry spokesperson omar awadallah welcomed the move. >> this is a great victory for posted in diplomacy, one thahat assureres the polititical leadep arare working to put palesestinn the international stage and to be a member of the international organizations. bangladesh, aid groups say the number of rohingya muslim refugees who fled ethnic cleansing in neighboring burma over the last month is nearing 500,000. on wednesday, boats carrying hundreds of refugees arrived at bangladesh's coast. refugees say they fled a natural board -- to avoid vigilantes and travel by boat to avoid landmines planted by the burmese military along the border. village is surrounded by
buddddhist peoplple. they want to kill us. that is why we came at nighttime. we can go hidden and d avoid the mililitary. amy:y: in west africa, human rights groups say ththe governmt of cameroooon has foforced at lt 100,000 refugees to return to nigeria, where they've fled violence between nigeria's army and the boko haram insurgency. this is gerry simpmpson of human rights watch. >> you found the cameroonian military has been aggressively intercepting and screening nigerian asylum-seekers as they inch remote border areasas cameroon, torturing people, accusing them of being members of the boko haram. otherwise, saltiting them. makiking the lives miserablehile they t trap them in these remote border areas and then violently to porting them back to nigeria. amy: a at least 20,00000 peoplee beenen killed in the 8-year-r-od conflict with boko haram, and the fighting has exacerbated a
food shortage that the u.n. warns has millions of people still at risk of famine. back in the united states, cbs says it will include the playing of the national anthem in its live coverage of tonight's nfl match between the chicago bears and green bay packerers, as players from both teams are expected to demonstrate during the anthem by linking arms or taking a knee. the planned protests come after president trump spent most of the last week attacking the racial justice protests led by afrirican-american athleletes. among those joining the protest is tennessee titans wide receiver rishard matthews, whose brother was a u.s. marine who died in afghanistan. matthews spoke tuesday with espn. >> i plan to kneel until the president t apologizes for thee cocomments he made becacae i fel like it was a disisrespectful comments thahat he made. the leaeague is made upup of i k
you are 70 or over 70% african-americans, so the people that will be kneeling for this cause would be african-americans. to keep it honest, he is calling a lot of us, and i feel, he was calling myself an sob and that is that ok. amy: and hugh hefner, creator of playboy magazine, died wednesday in his mansion at the age of 91. hefner considered himself an advocate for free speech and sexual freedoms. but critics say he degraded women as objects. in a 1963 article, gloria steinem went undercover as at a playboy nightclub where waitresses dressed in skimpy bunny outfits and exposed harsh hoururs, painful uniforms s and crass customers.s. anotheher feminist critic challenged h hefner to "come out here with a cocottontail a attad toto your rerear end." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report.
i'm amy goodman. unescobroadcasting from headquarters in paris, france. we begin today's show looking at the political turmoil here in france. it has been less than five months since the centrist political figure emmanuel macron defeated marine le pen of the -- to become france's youngest president ever. while macron won in a landslide, opinion polls show most french voters now oppose how he has governed. on saturday, leftist opposition leader jean-luc melenchon led up to 150,000 people in a protest against macron and his attempt to rewrite france's labor law. >> we have now been told that democracy doesn't happen in the ststet. mr. president, you will need to look at french history to learn that it was the street that brought down a king, it was the street that brought down the nazis. amy: meanwhile, human rights groups are criticizing macron for pushing a new anti-terror
law that would make pepermanent key parts of france's state of emergency which went into effect two years ago. critics of the legislation include the u.n.'s human rights office, which has warned the bill could affect people's "right to liberty and security, the right to access to court, freedom of movement, freedom of peaceful assembly and association, freedom of expression and freedom of religion or belief." well, to talk more about these issues, we are joined by yasser louati, a french human rights and civil rights activist. welcome back to democracy now! back to paris. amy: it is good to see you here in paris. talk about what is happening in france. >> you summarized everything. the situation in france is highly volatile socially, economically, and politically. you spoke about jean-luc melenchon. for his own political
party and not beyond that. the most worrying part, we're entering a police state where extreme measures of the state of emergency have been passed to the common law. -- we spoke about it two years ago. as the series continues, measures presenting people -- defending themselves in a court of law because all of the extreme measures are being issued. that happepens after things s ae being dedecided. when the measure was pasasd yesterday, it is giving the right to police officers to demand you hand over your passport or electronic devices. and that for a journalist like yourself are lawyers, researchers, etc., that shows france no longnger cares about human rights. early it blalatantly and 2016 when the government
withdrew from the european human rights. the dismantling in the name of fighting terrorism has not worked. amy: we last talked to you when we were here at the paris climate u.n. summit. that was right after the terror attack here. remind people what happened then. state sponsored retaliation against muslims and the november attacks. hundreds of muslim homes had been raided, mosques had been ransacked by the police. ,uslims were shouting to say protect us, no one was listening. were blacklisted from french media. we had to find a voice in international media. it continue because the government did not back down from these measures. even our domestic intelligence is saying r repression does not
work a against terrorirism. today come we have a polarization of french society and security measureres being passed against -- on the back of these muslim minorities, the enemy within "the prprime minister," and the end result is firste have seen muslimsms lose their basic humuman rights. thosose measasures havave been extended to peoplele opposing te labor r reform, forr example, environmentalists are even anarchchists in france or abroa. amy: the european union has just come out with a report on islamophobia here in france. can you talk about what they found? >> the findings actually contradicted and show that muslims do have a sense of belonging and they feel it home in any other european country. but the most worrying part is they do not trust the police because of the mishandling of
their cases of discrimination. when you have 39% of muslims who say they have in discriminated against in the past five years, so the european union is just highlighting what everybody has been calling for for the past -- not amy: the european union, to be clear, was looking at all of europe. >> all of your. i don't believe the french government is taking islamaphobic seriously. amy: what about president macron? how does he fit into the picture or how has he changed things in france or not changed things? >> macron is only a younger a ad prettier face for an ugly vicious system. he is only called for dismantling the welfare states one rick at a time, just as francois hollande id. before. he is tried to apply trickle-down economics. it did not work.
he called for a more freedom of entrepreneurship, but that is acactually granted to o the big corporationsns. we don't have an economy that works on the side of small and medium businesses. the list goes on. he has shown such arrogance while accessing power, that he is dismissing any criticism of his policies. in my humble opinion, he is a clclear example t that idedeolos are in power i instead of facts. people keep telling him, these measures do not work. the labor reform will not bring in more employment, only expose people to job insecurity. it does not matter because what he has is only a neoliberal ideology. amy: jean-luc melenchon just had major rally in the wellll over 100,000 people turned out?
can you explain who he is, is significance? the unitedple in states to understand, would you say he is the bernie sanders of france? >> absolutely not. he is a person who managed to build a far less political party around his own person, who did not actually look to reach out beyond his own immediate circle. he is been accused both will times of degrading women. he sided with women demonizing muslim women. he definitely refused to grant the right of muslim women to where the headscarf. in his ideology, it is only a class struggle. the racial question does not exist. there is a question of race and a question of class. jean-luc melenchon feels to knowledge it. -- fails to acacknowledge itit. his limitsts are b being reached because he is not managed to be around or people from, let's say, the of net --
amy: talk more about the labor legislation that macron is pushing through. >> it is a complete reversal of our labor code, which actually granted protection to employees which actually gave the possibility for employees to sue there unfairlyse dismissed. what is calling for is, for example, to cap compensation when you are in fairly terminated -- unfairly terminated. he is to bypass unions by making people negotiate directly with their employers. how strong can you be when you employees? al there is no protection whatsoever for the people who earn less money. what is good for
the corporations is good for everybody else. it feels and america. it again will fail in france. amy: when we were here for the u.n. climate summit, we went to refugeesth to what even in the cap called the jungle. the place where thousands of refugees -- well, it looked like the refugee camp where people were from, from afghanistan, iraq, looked like a map of the places where the united states have bombed over the years. can you talk about what has happened with it? >> since then, they dismantled the so-called jungle, but they have dispersed people throughout the country and have given flower -- power to the police. they can no longer a symbol or unite and be more than five people.
when the people try to get some sick, they get together. the sidewalk is no longer accessible because in paris, the city has put huge rocks to keep on the curb.eping the other point is,s, there has been notot only a a criminalizao of refugees, but also a criminalization ofof those supporting tm anand giving them, for example, the case of civil activists being slaughtered by the state for giving them water, shelter, actually helping them with their paperwork. that is the problem because france has a huge responsibility of the influx of refugees and supporting repressive regimes. but when those people come to us seeking help, there not only criminalized, but dehumanized. amy: can you talk about the effect that president trump has people,rance, both the
the presidenent -- of course, he .ame herere on bastille day he held the the still day military celebrations. you just reference them when he met with macron again in new york at the un's general assembly. and he said he wants to bring out the u.s. military for a similar military parade on july 4 in the united states. what effect has truck had? i think there is a sense of hypocrisy in the french public opinion, and of course, politicians because, of course, whatever trump says i is appallg in terms of racial discourse -- everybody knows what he said and what he stands for. the problem is that people feel a sense of outrage when trump expresses white supremacist expresses when macron
the same views in a more sophisticated, more subtle way, they look away and don't condemn. donald trump raises questions because emmanuel macron has to show some sort of friendship with him and actually has given him some kind of international stature. i think it was a mistake to invite him here. he should be boycotted by so-called peopop standing g for so-callewestern liberal values. unfortunately, people are still looking up to donald trump when they should be boycotting him and tuturning away from him. amy: as we wrap up, what do you think is most important for people to understand about the situation in france right now? >> the situation is catastrophic. an comparable share of responsibility. it is coming f from those being victims. people looking at their own self
intererest. the government will continue to do what it is doing, which means destroying our environment and keeping us from living in a safe and equal society and continue to put -- amy: yasser louati him a thank you so much for being with us, french human rights and civil liberties activist and head of the justice and liberties for all committee. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. we're broadcasting from unesco headquarters here in paris, france, a conference going on today on the importance of the freedom of information. people frorom around the world have come to speak about it. coming up, we will be speaking with a former finnish president. at first, well, what is that country that president trump and whatto in africa? about what president trump said to african leaders when they gathered for the u.n.n. general assembly, that my friends are going to africa to get rich?
democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from the headquarters of unesco in paris, france, where a conference is goining on about the importancef the free flow of information around the world. the african nation of namibia found itself in the news last week after president trump mispronounced its name during a speech at the united nations. preses. trump: uganda a has made incrededible strides in the bate againsnst hiv/aids. in guinea and nigeria, you fought a horrifying ebola outbreak. s health system is increasinglyly self-sufficieien. amy: president trump's reference to the nonexistent nambia left many observers confused as to whether he was referring to the gambia or zambia or namibia. white house officials later
clarified to say trump meant to say namibia. during that same speech, trump congratulated african leaders for helping make his friends rich. pres. trump: africa has tremendous busininess potential. i have so o many friends going o yourountries t trying g to get rich. i congratulate you. they are spending a lot of money. " well, that was president trump atat the united nations. we are joined now by one of namibia's best known journalists, gwen lister, who is in paris to speak today here at the unesco talks. founding editor of the independent newspaper the namibian, which reported critically on the apartheid south africa, to say the least. during the 1980's, she was jailed twice and her newspaper's office was destroyed by arson. the building was later firebombed in the 1990's after namibia became independent.. gwen lister has since become a
leading advocate for press freedom. she is a founding member of the international consortium of investigative journalists, which gained fame for publishing the panama papers, which exposed how the world's rich used tax havens to hide their wealth. gwen lister is speaking here today at unesco to mark international day for the universal access to information. it is great to have you here a t democr let's talk about your country, about, well why don't you share with the world how exactly you pronounce namibia. >> namibia. amy: i won't say this is big news in the united states, which gives very little coverage to africa, what president trump said. a talk about what he said about your country. >> i think the news of the nambia mispronunciation was received with some laughter. unfortunately, i was of the view
there was trump with all of the afafrican leaders and not one of them bothered to correct him. corrected later. according to our president, later, trump put namibia on the map. simply by the mispronunciation. amy: talk about what he was referring to, the health care system. >> he referred to the health care system and i wasn't quite sure exactly why he referenced our healthth care system as onef the best in africa. it probably is decent by african standards, but i think it had more to do with the fact that probably all he knows about our health care system is the fact of the pepfar involvement in fighting the scourge of aids. amy: explain. >> pepfar, george w w. bush started it, giving fairly substantial nds to figighting aids in namibia.
amy: talk about what trump said about his friends getting rich. you tweeted "there's no question about trump's colonial get rich quick mentality." wished leadersst have the guts to call them out on it. >> africa needs andnd wants investment, but the one good, ethical investment and not just people who are coming out as the preview colonial regimes did and simply fleeced african countries of the wealth and, you know, allowing all of the money to leave the continent has happened so often with a lot of these investors. so-called. amy: you are here in paris at unesco headquarters at the ibc detox to talk about press freedom. .ive us your own story share your stories about you as a journalist taking place thus
taking on apartheid south africa and what it meant for you. >> it seems like a very long time ago, really. i felt it was very important back in the 1970's and 1980's to really show there was resistance within namibia, in my case, to the policy of apartheid. as you are probably aware, at that time, very few so-called whites objected to those policies. i felt it was very important in the first placace to do ththat. to bely, for a newspaper the voice of the voiceless people. obviously, and that is relevant to access to information today, we're totally dominated by south afafrican propaganda at the tim. but further afield in africa wasn't in great, either. there were a number of draconian governments in power in africa, and they continued to control the means of information and the media.
probably one of the more significant things in my journalistic career was having the honor to chair -- and i will reference it today -- the 1991 unesco conference, which ended up -- it was a conference of african journalists, some of whom had been released from jails, cameron and elsewhere, to attetend the conference. that is fofor african j journals really affirmed t the importance of an independent, pluralistic, and free press for the continent. i think of brought about a lot of changes -- at least in perceptions, and more acceptance of press freedom. i think that was definitely a milestone moment. namibia was really chosen as the v new for this because namibia had finally attended independent and 1990 with the constitution which provided for all of those fundamental human rights and freedoms. amy: talk about your own experience in jail. >> with jail. why you were jailed.
>> investigations, it had to do it secret documents. the one case, which was probably the most vittorio's, famous, whatever you like, was when i went to collect my mail one day -- amy: what year was this? >> 1984. and go which was six years before nelson mandela was released, 10 years before the multiracial elections in south africa. >> it was the year when i was namibia andt up the find funding.. amy:y: just fofor people who a't aware, explain namibia's relationship with south africa. namibia is to be called southwest africa. >> namibia was seen as the colony of south africa and governed as such. as you mentioned, southwest africa -- which we, even at the time prior to independence, regarded more as a geographical
direction than the name of a country. just before we started the namibia, we do started -- in fact, we were ththe first to use that n name -- inside the count, even the liberation movement at the time fighting against south african occupation were known as southwest after, people's organization. we used the name for the newspaper and, honestly, that called -- caused huge controversy at the time. to jump back a little bit, my arrest was mainly because i had been to my po box one day to collect mail and thought i would come back for it later. when i came back, the mailbox was indeed. i called the postmaster general is that there is something very strange happening. he said he would inquire and it wasn't a matter of two or three days where i got a registered , top-secretthe post all over it, and had been sent to me in error. it was actually for the interception of all of my forming and outgoing mail
reasons of state security. so i released this document to the media. i was immediately arrested under the official secrets act. i spent about a week in jail. i was warned of charges in terms of the act, but they were later dropped. i think mainly because it was going to be quite a big embarrassment to the south african government at the time. amy: and the second time that you were arrested? >> the second time was also about a secret documents, which during the transition phase, south africa put in place in namibia a kind of an alternative government, if you like, of local namibians to try and keep the possibility of a swath of government at bay and to keep resolution 435, the u.n. resolution providing for elecections for africa's colonyo stop that from happening. so they installed a government
of their choice, and the government had advised of sweeping new powers for the police. i got a hold of this document, published it, and was subsequently arrested under the detention without trial legislslation. thisi want to ask you -- is a story from a few months ago. but in new york, a second hearing was scheduled in the case of two indigenous namibian tribes that are suing the german governrnment to demand compensation for germany's genocide of 100,000 people and andnamibia between 1904 1908. the killings carried out by general -- german imperial troops. that goes to a little more history for viewers and listeners around the world will stop explain. >> basically, it has been something that is only really
come up in the last couple of years. it may or may not have to do with the fact primarily that obviously, namibia's economy is .epressed fairly large-scale unemployment. figures are not terribly reliable. about over 40%. the herero speaking group in namibia, which was the tribe most decimated under german colonial rule, also the nama people, are not pleased with the german government -- which h i think is our hugest development aid partner. they have given massive amounts of money in lieu of that genocide, i think. but now the local inhabitants really feel that is not enough and they want, obviously, a very formal apology plus they are demanding millions. their chosen to go to court in the u.s. at the same time that bilateral negotiations are happening with the namibian
government and the german government about the genocide issue. amy: gwen lister, as people here at unesco are talking about internet freedom and the free flow of information, namibia is currently holding an internet governance forum. talk about the goals that you feel namibia should have going forward and what the challenges are around internet and digital freedom. who has access and whoho doesn'? , it namibiaostly also, the access to information by the internet is mainly by mobile phone. internet, actual computer, laptop penetration, is very little indeed. most people have a mobile phone. namibia, it must be said, kind of tops the rankings of press freedom in africa. that has been acknowledgment reporters from frontier and otother groups.
we are in a fairly good position. i think that has a lot to do with the fact that we have this kind of advocacy activism all the time. we need to closely guard those freedoms. democracy is a very fragile thing. but are very special to us, there are threats. namibia,a, for the m moment, is looking at implementing or putting before parliament a cyber security law. as we all know, cyber security is a very real issue in the world today. but often disguised and hidden in a law like that are possiblbe infringements on access to the internet and monitoring of social media and so on. so through the namibia media trust, which i had, we monitor these kinds of laws on an ongoing basis. access to information is another law that has been promised to the namibian government. we actually work together with a group of research is to to
shins, media, developmental organizations to draft an ideal aggressive ati law. but a partially, the government is sitting on that. there's a lot of good intent, but also behind that are indefinitely political machinations to take away those freedoms. i think even though people say we are free, we're not going to be free forever unless we really guard those freedoms jealously. amy: i want to thank you very much, gwen lister, for joining us. gwen lister, the founder and editor of the namibian newspaper from 1 1985 to 2011. the woman newspaper editor in first southern africa. we go, a quick question about climate change. you know that our president, the one who mispronounced your country's name, is a proud climate changed and i are the affects of climate change in namibia? >> of course, we have the extremes of terrible drought.
we have come out of a three-year period of really debilitatating drouought. even before i cacame here todayi mean, the temperatures in namibia right now -- it is september, which is really spring. 40 degrees. i have lived there for decades and i've never -- amy: [indiscernible] >> i've never felt a that hot. on the other extreme, and we finally do get rain, often it is a question of haviving floods. namibia, the climate change issue is very real indeed. amy: gwen lister, thank you for joining us. she is the first woman newspaper editor in southern africa. when we come back, the first woman president off finland. this is democracy now! we will be back with her in a moment. ♪ [music break]
amy: a malian singer who now lives here in france. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. from unescocasting headquarters in paris, france, and ending today show with the former president of finland, tarja halonen. she was elected in 2000, becoming finland's first female president.
she served until 2012. the most that a president can serve there. her election can 100 years after finland became the first european country to be given the right to vote to women. named her amongs the 100 most powerful women in the world. since leaving office, she is become a prominent advocate for gender equality as well as transparency. earlier today, she spoke here at unesco at the ipcd talks to mark international day for access to information. president tarja halonen, welcome to democracy now! in the united states, until election day, many thought in that last few months in the general election that the united states would have elected their first woman, hillary clinton. that did not happen. president trump was elected. a man who a number of women said had sexually assaulted them.
he said that he would sue them after the election. that hasn't happened. but your thoughts on president trump and also the importance of women being in positions of power? >> i have never met president trump. my thinking about him is from the media and from his own twittering and all that. but i always say when my friends in the usa say trump won, say, yeah, yeah, won. is a funny system. hillary clinton got most of the votes. in our country, she would win. but that is another point and i know it is a verery, very difficult -- but i think -- killing himself hillary clinton got almost 3 million more votes but he won the electoral college. women havenow the
been in power in many countries h haveit as though women been takaken seriously now. so also the contradictions have come much stronger. humanat speech is against rights and activists. i want to see something positive in that, now they take us seriously. earlier than thought, ok, you can have choice. it is not dangerous. it nowadays, it is a different situation. in foreigninland service some 20 years ago, we got more and more women ambassadors, i was said to the men, don't worry, smart in will survive. so that is it. i think also the system but
between the genders has become harder because it is more possibilities for boys and girls, men and women. we have to continue that way. amy:y: i want to talk about heah care. in the u.s., president trump tried to repeal obamacare. it looks like the last effort was made this past week --- though, it is being revealed in a sense in other ways, by starving it. but bernie sanders has introduced a medicare for all, the idea of health care for all. finland has a lower infant mortality rate, better maternity care than the united states, highly cost-effective health care. can you talk about how finland implements health care, ensuring the health -- >> i cannot do it briefly, but i will say at harvard university in boston at a time when obamacare was passed, at the
time of the previous president. it was so difficult thinking -- it was important reform, but compared to the nonexistence, and even with minority countries, [indiscernible] it is for a modest. i think one of the issues is, if you can, the coverage of the public health service for all people. the factenefit also that you do it for all and you don't -- and the financing system is important. i think one of the problems in the usa is that the financing system of the health care, that you have so many actors. to put this together is very difficult. alsonly health care, but
other public services, would well-being. in the long run, they will save money, of course. welcome torybody is come and see the nordic system. there are differences between the countries, but we are well-known for we make it was -- less expensive. amy: you're also known for your education system, you ranking among the world's s best. no standardized test. students spend less time in school physically and students and other western countries. explain the finish approach to education. >> this is difficult to explain. we have full confidence with teachers. it is not only the question that we have -- the goals of education, but the local authorities have the possibility
[indiscernible] themselves, they are pretty independent. they have the school boards, the and experts and someone and the representatives of the pupils. i think this independency -- that is the secret. they get the cost of university degree and institutions can choose so that only 10% of the candidates will be accepted. so they get the best of the best. the last point is, this is not highly paid. mediumbout the media -- compared to others.
amy: can you talk about the rise of the right in the last minute that we have together come in europe right now? yet the far right party in germany, alternatives for germany, and during the parliament -- partyhave the so-called -- amy: what about this and the attitude for refugees? >> one of the reasons was that politics had become discussions -- i would to professionals. even the language was something different than people used in everyday life. those political parties understood the voices of the people have been successful, but i i would say that when you listen, you can not just be an echo. yet to give good, smart, true
answers for the very often difficult issues. all is why i think political parties have to start listening more carefully but also give them more responsible responses to people, that they understand that this is not like a miracle. and i think this is also true. the highest weight of populist parties is now coming down. but it doesn't automatically become better if we don't work modernrd in order -- society. amy: i want to thank you so much for being with us, tarja halonen , former president of finland, first woman president of finland. >> once is not enough. amy: she says once is not enough. served until 2012. forbes named her among the 100 most powerful women in the world. i will be speaking friday night in winnipeg. saturday, and halifax.
♪ harvey y on harvey. at this week, marxist geographer david harvey weighs in on natural and not so natural disasters and how we might organizeze our cities that are o avoid them. and than yakupitiyagerom 350.orgg explains what climatete justice reququires that we make movements that will reverse our policicies on refugees. it's coming up on the laura flanders show where people e who say it can't be done take a backseat to the people who are doing it. welcome. ♪