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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  June 16, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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06/16/15 06/16/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> the fighting has killed more than 2600 people, half of them civilians. they've just growing the schools -- this going desk destroyed schools and the very existence hangs in the balance. amy: as ban ki-moon calls for cease-fire in yemen in u.s. drone kills the leader of al qaeda in the arabian peninsula we will go to sanaa to speak with sharif kudos and then to the arctic where the u.s. navy is launching a massive war
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exercise or it will detonate tens of thousands of pounds of toxic munitions and one of the most pristine areas of the world . plus, we get the latest from the kayaktivists, group of kayaking activists in seattle who have attempted to block a shell oil drilling rig headed to the arctic. we will be joined my the cultural jamming activists the yes men. >> these are self-contained units that will allow someone to survive no matter what happens to climate. any kind of tornado, drought, fully equipped for anything. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. al qaeda has confirmed the death of its second most powerful leader in a u.s. drone strike in yemen. nashir al-wuhayshi was the leader of al qaeda in the
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arabian peninsula, the group's yemeni affiliate, and a former personal secretary of osama bi laden. the confirmation of his death comes as uncertainty remains over a u.s. attempt to kill militant leader mokhtar belmokhtar in libya. al qaeda released a list of people they say were killed in the u.s. airstrike over the weekend, but belmokhtar is not on it. a delegation of houthi rebels have arrived in geneva for the second day of u.n.-backed peace talks on the conflict in yemen. seif al-washli, an advisor to the delegation, said the expectations for the talks are low. >> expectations for these meetings are not great. at this point, saudi arabia seems determined to continue this war the desire to continue their aggression. there's no signs that any intentions to stop this aggression. amy: we'll have more on yemen with sharif abdel kouddous on the ground in sana'a after headlines.
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bahrain has sentenced a leading shiite opposition leader to four years in prison on charges of inciting unrest. sheikh ali salman's arrest in december sparked protests and international condemnation. bahrain is a close u.s. ally in the gulf, home to the u.s. navy's fifth fleet. in the central african nation of chad, attacks by suicide bombers have killed at least 27 people including four suspected fighters from the nigerian islamist group boko haram. it's believed the group may have carried out the attacks in retaliation for chad's leading role in the offensive against boko haram. it's the first attack of its kind to hit the chadian capital . the oil giant shell is on its way to the arctic but not before , a final showdown with environmental activists in kayaks. on tuesday, dozens of "kayak-tivists" were arrested after paddling up to a shell drilling rig and preventing it from leaving the port of seattle. we'll have more on the protest with one of the participants
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later in the broadcast. in central nicaragua, thousands of people gathered over the weekend for the latest protest against a chinese firm's construction of a canal linking the atlantic and pacific oceans. the $50 billion project will be larger than the panama canal and could displace up to 120,000 people. same-sex couples are tying the knot in mexico, where the mexican supreme court has quietly legalized marriage equality. the new york times reports a series of decisions made with little fanfare have effectively voided state same-sex marriage bans across mexico. in the dominican republic, people of haitian descent have been scrambling to meet today's deadline to register their status and avoid a possible mass deportation to haiti. the dominican republic has stripped more than 100,000 dominican-born descendants of haitian sugar plantation workers of their citizenship. it remains unclear if deportations will proceed this
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week but authorities have , reportedly prepared dozens of buses for the trips. former florida governor jeb bush has launched his candidacy for the republican presidential nomination. during his kickoff in miami, florida, he joked about his -- he is related to two former presidents. talks and our country, the most probable things can happen as well. take that from a guy who met his first president on the day he was born in his second on the day he was brought home in the hospital. amy: as jeb bush asked the crowd to welcome his mother, barbara bush, he was interrupted by 27 immigrant rights activists who stood up, removed their shirts and revealed neon green t-shirts spelling, "legal status is not enough." while the protesters' chants demanding equality for undocumented people were drowned out by chants of "jeb" and "usa," they forced bush to go off-script and mention immigration.
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>> the next president of the united states will pass meaningful immigration reform so that -- amy: another dozen immigrant rights activists, including seven children, were kicked out of the event before it started apparently over fears they would protest. meanwhile, human rights watch reports deportations for drug-possession have soared under the obama administration rising 43% from 2007 to 2012. in arizona, more than 200 immigrants inside the privately run eloy detention center have launched a hunger strike. they're protesting inhumane conditions and demanding an independent probe after they say two prisoners died following abuse by guards. the migrant justice group puente says the hunger strikers faced immediate retaliation saturday when they were locked out in the 100-degree yard without shade or water for six hours.
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in a victory for abortion rights, the supreme court has declined to hear a bid by north carolina to reinstate its law requiring medical providers to perform an ultrasound at least four hours before an abortion. the law required the provider to display the image of the fetus and describe it in detail, even if the patient objected or covered her eyes or ears. the colorado supreme court has ruled employers can fire workers for using medical marijuana - even if they do so outside of work hours. the case concerned a quadriplegic man who had a doctor's authorization to use medical marijuana, but was fired by dish network for failing a drug test. a federal judge has ordered the u.s. army to stop banning a sikh student from entering a reserve training program because of his beard and turban. the ruling allows iknoor singh to join the reserve officer training corps program at hofstra university without having to cut his hair or his beard.the former head of insurance
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giant aig has won a legal victory against the u.s. government over its 2008 taxpayer bailout. hank greenberg claimed the bailout shortchanged investors and violated their fifth amendment rights. and what "the new york times" called a stunning ruling a , federal judge sided with greenberg, but did not grant financial damages. she had sought $40 billion. greenberg has been criticized for running aig when it helped create many of the complex financial instruments which caused the economic collapse. and rachel dolezal has resigned as head of the local naacp after her parents said she is white, and has been faking an african-american identity for years. in a statement posted to facebook, dolezal said -- "in the eye of this current storm, i can see that a separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the naacp." earlier today she appeared on
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"the today show" where she said she has identified as black since a young age, drawing herself with a brown crayon. but host matt lauer asked her about how she sued the historically black howard university when she was a student there, accusing them of discriminating against her because she was white. >> your lawsuit against ford university were you claimed you were discriminated against because you are pregnant white woman. do you understand how people could hear that and say, here's another example? she said she identified herself as being african-american, a black from a young age, but here's a case where she identified herself as a white woman because it worked for her under the circumstances? >> the reasons for my tuition scholarship being removed from a teaching position as well, my ta position, were that other people needed opportunities and you probably have white relatives i can afford to help you with your
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tuition. i thought that was an injustice. amy: her case against howard university was dismissed. in a statement monday, the naacp said -- and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron maté. aaron: welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. we begin today's show in yemen where are there are two major developments. al qaeda in yemen has announced its leader, nasser al-wuhayshi has been killed in a u.s. bombing, likely a cia drone strike. al-wuhayshi is a former associate of osama bin laden. he became head of aqap in 2009. meanwhile, a delegation of houthi rebels have arrived in geneva for the second day of u.n.-backed peace talks. it has been nearly three months since saudi arabia launched its offensive against the houthis in yemen. on monday, u.n. secretary
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general ban ki-moon called for a two-week humanitarian ceasefire to coincide with the start of the holy month of ramadan. >> the fighting has killed more than 2600 people, half of them civilians. it has destroyed the schools hospitals, and precious culture heritage. today, yemen's very existence hangs in the balance while parties -- yemen burns. the parties have a responsibility to end the fighting and begin the real process of peace and reconciliation. amy: the united nations recently said 20 million people, 78% of the population, need urgent humanitarian aid in yemen. that's an increase of 4 million from just three months ago. we are joined by two guests. on the ground in yemen, we're joined by democracy now! correspondent sharif abdel
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kudos. and here in new york is joe lauria, u.n. correspondent for the wall street journal. i think what is most important what we felt to understand outside of yemen is what is happening on the ground. sharif, you did a very important piece for foreign policy. you described the scene on the ground. can you describe it for us? what is it like to be there? >> well, amy yemen is in a dire situation. yemenis are being strangled by the blockade that is being opposed by saudi arabia in air, sea, and land blockades that is really causing a great to military and crisis. the effects are seen everywhere on the ground. you cannot drive in sanaa without seeing cars lined up waiting for gas. there are lines three deep and stretched for miles. they can't even see the gas station. sometimes they wait three days
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for gas. we were at one of these lines the other day and a man had waited 26 hours just to get 60 liters at the pump. people push their cars forward, sleep and eat in their cars. sometimes, tempers flare as people wait this long and people have killed each other over fuel. the fuel powered pumps, they pump water for sanitation and cleaning, are mostly inoperable. water is hard to come by. this is a very parched country to begin with. the poorest have to wait in line for water. you see them lining up with their last five cans per family to collect water, and that is for cooking, washing cleaning and ranking as well as. there has really been any electricity and sanaa for the past three months. at night, the city really goes into blackness. there is a rise -- when you walk
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around sanaa, you can hear the rattle of generators. that is really build the way people have any electricity. people are selling solar panels on the street. the trash has not been picked up in weeks. you see rubbish piling up on the streets and sometimes being burned from the stench that walks into the air. prices has gone up on basic food items and staple items. there is no economic life. the private sector has completely gone down. you have x bankers driving taxis, day laborers waiting for hours on end on the corner and getting no work whatsoever. they have to send their families back home to the home villages were they live off of charity. hospitals have been severely affected, especially by the fuel crisis. they rely on fuel to power generators for electricity. health institutions have been attacked. people are relying heavily on international aid.
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the humanitarian crisis that it is facing and without even talking about the daily bombings that happened from the saudi led coalition in sanaa and other cities, especially vicious street battles between forces -- the houthis that has taken over large control of large parts of yemen, and forces loyal to the ex-president. it really is a very grave situation in yemen. aaron: on the issue of the saudi bombing, how intense is it? are they targeting residential areas? you spoke to some victims whose homes were destroyed. >> well, the bombing is a must always worse at night. you hear the jets fly over, the screech of missiles, the booms of the bombs falling down. and quickly followed by the dull thuds of antiaircraft fire that the houthis fireback in the air, very rarely hitting anything, if at all.
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a couple of days ago around 2:00 a.m. on saturday night four missiles rain down on an area in central sanaa, and hit the streets were a family was living. five of them were killed, two were children, four siblings. there was fire everywhere. they were trying to run outside of the building and an explosion blew a gate into four of them and killed them instantly. an aunt of one of the victims i spoke to said they buried pieces of them. the strike also killed five members of another family, three of them children. this missile strike killed 10 people, five of them children. their only crime was that they lived on a street where the brother and nephew of saleh lived. we have seen this trend increasing. people speak of a trend where the saudi forces are moving from
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targeting security installations and weapons depots to targeting the homes of their opponents. not war there are weapons, but bombing the homes of their opponents. people are moving away from these areas. it is causing a very heavy civilian casualty toll. the bombings also caused a heavy toll. speaking to the aunt of the victim host on you about, she was telling her story and really is one of civilians caught in this crossfire. in addition to losing five family members in this bombing she has an eight-year-old who was killed as the result of shelling by forces loyal to the houthis. she was wounded. she could not get of the hospital for one month because of the street. she succumbed to her injuries. she is another relative in the south who is mentally ill. he was walking the streets and was shot by a sniper. another relative of hers last week in the capital was kidnapped by the houthis. she doesn't know where to take her kids to protect them. she is tried sending them to
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villages, but they have all come under attack. she has tried to leave sanaa anyway that she can, but with the borders closed and very few outbound flights, she feels trapped. this is the kind of situation yemenis are facing every day. amy: we are showing your photos and for the radio listeners who can't see them, you can go to sharif abdel kouddous speaking to us in sanaa, yemen. as you describe this, and the core of the families who have lost so many loved ones, picking up their dismembered bodies from bombings and bearing a hand or a foot, what are their feelings about what is going on? who are they blaming sharif? >> well, without any difference, almost everyone blames saudi arabia for what is happening -- or the bombings and all must
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equally for the blockade -- almost equally for the blockade that is happening. there is a lot of anger as well against the houthis who have taken over sanaa in september and moved south, taking over much of the country. they have been accused of many violations, human rights activists and some lawyers i speak with a this is the worst era for human rights in yemen they have seen. houthi forces have arrested doctors, journalists activists and one of the worst cases, they kidnapped two journalists in late may and attain them in a building they knew would be targeted and the very next day the saudis bombed the building and killed both journalists. they turned the house of the exiled president -- the houses have been turned into detention centers. rights activists and lawyers talk about how there is no clear structures for the houthis. one lawyer tommy it is a bunch -- one lawyer tommy it is a
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bunch of gangs. there is no rule of law whatsoever. one of the biggest complaints the people have is from the antiaircraft fire. you hear this daily in sanaa. if a plane passes overhead, or even if it doesn't, you just hear this dull thud of antiaircraft fire all over the city. and these munitions have caused heavy, heavy civilian casualties will stop amnesty international put out a report last month that said it was a leading cause of casualties in yemen. we went to a hospital, the second-biggest hospital in yemen, and the director says he gets between three to five patients every day who are wounded by these munitions. it is really a case of being caught trapped between two sides by these external forces, which are raining bombs down, and forces on the ground, which are causing -- committing human rights abuses and causing injuries as well. aaron: we're also joined by joe
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lauria, you and correspondent at "the wall street journal." joe, you broke some news in april that did not get much attention but it is very important. right before the saudi campaign began in late march, there were talks like are going on today in geneva. back then, there was wrote progress toward a deal. there was dispute over power-sharing. the saudi bombing basically negated all of this. >> this was the previous envoy of the u.n. would work for two years to try to bring all the parties together and create power-sharing. that was his job and he took a neutral position. he says are close to a deal and remaining sticking point was the role of the presidency. at that point, as sharif said the houthis had taken over sanaa in september but they had agreed they would withdraw from the positions they held in the capital and elsewhere in the country in exchange for hadi taking a reduced role.
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the saudi's never had pressured hadi and he rejected that. the talks went on until march 23 the night the bombing began from saudi arabia, no as the end of that. now there is this attempt in geneva, of which there is for little optimism, to revive the talks again. aaron: the houthis had accepted a deal -- they also called for more representative government. >> they were going to get about 20% of the season parliament and cabinet. another point a diplomat made to me, this deal would have seen 30% women in the cabinet and 30% in the parliament. the suggestion is, the saudi's did not want to see some kind of progressive democracy in their backyard. if you look at the strategy they deployed throughout the entire so-called arab spring, it has been to undermine wherever popular democracy has broken up whether that be in egypt were bahrain and in syria.
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also iraq. they backed extremists who did not want to see democratically elected shia government survive. this was perhaps -- it is believable the saudis have intervened more so for this reason perhaps than for the iranian angle, which is a whole other story. even the united states department does not say iran has operational influence over the houthis. this is a country awash in weapons. they don't really need help from iran in terms of that. they have a good part of the army that has gone over to the houthis. we also have to talk about president saleh who was ousted in the uprisings. he was always in the background always trying to create instability so people would turn to him as a savior. he was the saudi's guide.
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this is a terrible mix. as far as geneva goes -- amy: the talks that are taking place. >> they are proximity talks. they're not going to be speaking face-to-face. h theadi site, saudi-backside, said after clement secure resolution from about a month ago that says the houthis have to withdraw and has to be restored to power, otherwise they won't even meet with the houthis. the u.n. says there should be no conditions. it is unlikely they will speak face-to-face. the best thing that could happen is a cease-fire during ramadan. amy: and the u.s. role? you say iran is not operational in yemen, but the u.s. support in saudi arabia? >> i think it is very weak. the nuclear talks with iran, maybe the united states will let them go ahead and blow off some steam there. there's also the question of, you know, saudi arabia is very angry at the united states because they did not intervene in syria when the chemical weapon issue came in and made a deal with russia.
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they are upset about the iranian talks. we have a new king and saudi arabia. there are taking a more independent stance. the u.s. is hurting because their interest, from what we know, in yemen, is to defeat al qaeda and al qaeda is actually gaining from the saudi intervention. the houthis are fighting al qaeda. here, the saudi's are fighting -- bombing the houthis. along with tribes in the north and the elements of the army still loyal to hadi. >> amy: the u.s. is hardly neutral. >> they have to give the saudis happy. they're complaining about too many people dying. they called it off about two month ago. it was the end of the bombing. a victory. in a few hours, the bombing started again and the story is, the us told him that a stop because people are dying. amy: sharif abdel kouddous, we reported at the top of the show al qaeda has confirmed the death
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of his second most powerful leader in a u.s. drone strike in yemen. nashir al-wuhayshi. former personal secretary of osama bin laden. can you talk overall about where aqap is on the ground? >> well, amy, since the war began, al qaeda in the arabian peninsula has seized more territory and has been emboldened and strengthened by this conflict. the houthis are amongst the biggest enemies of aqap. we have seen them take over cities and weapons depots, get more arms and really re-strengthen by this conflict. i think many analysts were pointing out this was a very strong possibility if this war was to begin, and we assume this happened on the ground. it is really having the opposite
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effect of what many are intending. i want to add one more thing about being here. it has been very, very difficult, including the saudis have really blocked a lot of journalists from accessing yemen, including using this blockade to block media access. this is almost three months now this war has gone on. there has been hardly any international correspondents on the ground. that is not for a lack of trying. they have tried to get in on boats, come in on the u.n. and unrated or commercial flights that happen once a day. -- and come in on commercial flights that happen once a day. they block the access. there is in some very brave journalist like iona craig and probably the worst hit place in yemen, real catastrophe, reports of people dying of starvation and there is really any media coverage. we were allowed on this one yemen air flight, there has to be more pressure to allow journalists in.
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justin give you an idea of how much control to have over the airspace, yemenis flying into yemen from the outside, the planes, before the was a direct flight from cairo to sanaa and now it stops in saudi arabia. all of the bags are taken off and checked and saudi arabia security officials come onto the plane and checked the passports. when i was there, when yemeni with me was humiliated that this was happening -- one yemeni with me was really humiliated this was happening. more importantly, probably humanitarian aid and the fuel and the siege must really be lifted is what many yemenis are calling for. amy: the response of the people you interview, the hospital personnel and directors, the survivors of loved ones who are dying in drone strikes -- the response to having international reporter there?
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>> well, i think most of them are surprised to see someone coming, you know, to interview them who is not yemeni. there is been very intrepid and brave yemeni journalists who have done amazing work over these past three months, but to see foreigners i think has been rare. they have been very welcoming and open to telling their stories. the first day i arrived here was the bombing of the old city which is very picturesque cultural -- protected cultural heritage site and a bomb fell there around 2:00 in the morning, killing five people. one of these doctors was under the ground, under the rubble, called his mother and told them where they were. i the time they dug him out, he was are ready dead. the people around were telling their stories inc. [indiscernible] u.s. dissipated, this is a crime that is happening. they are very willing to tell
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their stories, so we need to listen to them. amy: sharif, thank you for being with us, on the ground in sanaa yemen. please, be safe. we will link to your piece. i also want to thank joe lauria u.n. correspondent for the wall street journal. when we come back, we're headed west to seattle, washington, to learn about u.s. military exercises in the arctic. as well, what are the kayaktivists doing in seattle, trying to stop shell from drilling in the arctic? stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron maté. aaron: the u.s. navy's war games
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are set to begin this week in the gulf of alaska amid protests from local communities concerned about environmental damage. the navy is reportedly unleashing thousands of sailors, soldiers, airmen, marines and coast guard members along with several navy destroyers, hundreds of aircrafts, untold weaponry, and a submarine for naval exercises that will last -- naval exercises. the gulf of alaska is one of the most pristine places left on earth. the region includes critical habitat for all five wild alaskan salmon species and 377 other species of marine life. the navy's planned live bombing runs will entail the detonation of tens of thousands of pounds of toxic munitions, as well as the use of active sonar in fisheries. amy: the navy has conducted war games in the gulf of mexico -- the gulf of alaska, but these new exercises are the largest by far. they come at a time when scientists are increasingly worried about climate change causing arctic melting. meanwhile, the unprecedented melting has created an
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opportunity for the military to expand its operations into previously inaccessible terrain. well, for more, we're joined now by dahr jamail is staff reporter at truthout. he has just written a piece for truthout and tom dispatch called, "destroying what remains: how the u.s. navy plans to war game the arctic." dahr jamail, welcome to democracy now! what are its plans? what is it doing? >> the naval exercises actually began yesterday and are slated to continue for 12 days in total , and continue on an annual basis. they are basically permitted to conduct war games that involve very, very large number of ships, aircraft, and personnel as was just described. and they are permitted over the next five year permiod. they are permitted to use bombs,
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torpedoes, missiles, guns shells and this type of material, none of which is intended to be recovered. for example, some of the propellants used in the torpedoes and even contain cyanide. the epa so-called allowable limit for cyanide is one part per billion in the water. the navy's torpedoes -- this is according to their own environmental impact statement -- actually will release between 140 to 150 parts per billion of sinai. that is just one example of the type of toxics that are likely to be introduced into the environment. the exercises are also going to entail the use of over -- around 1600 exploitable five inch navy gun shells. 45 of which contained a .8 pounds of explosives that are set to detonate with a fuse, proximally three feet above the water. the type of marine acoustic impact of that is the equivalent of a 500 pound bomb.
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the navy environment and texted and also says the navy is permitted to generate 182,000 kegs, -- cake, which is a direct death of memory mammal or species or an indirect death which basically means the breeding, migratory patterns would be impacted, which would ultimately lead to death. that is a brief overview. in addition, all five alaska salmon species in the area, a prime breeding a migratory period, the prime time of salmon fishing season, so many species moving through this area in the prince william sound is as well as further north, including an endangered species of whale. in addition to the salmon hundreds of other marine species will be directly impacted. there is a lot of questions as
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to why this is happening right now in this particular area right in the middle of migratory season and right in the middle of salmon fishing season. aaron: i want to turn to the highest ranking commander in alaska. he told ktuu-tv that all naval activities will not harm fragile ecosystems. >> it has been carefully designed in court nation with the national marine fisheries service to avoid critical habitats and other areas for naval activities. the navy takes very seriously the environmental impacts and works very hard, as does the rest of the dod, to make sure that we don't cause any harm to the environment. aaron: dahr jamail, can you respond? have you reached out to the navy and what have they told you? >> first, to respond to the statement, which is a blame lie or he is completely ignorant of
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what the navy is actually done in regards to the national marine fisheries service, which he quotes, and i have aquote from the report right here in front of me and that report states that potential stressors to the area include aircraft overflights, fuels bills, ship discharge, explosive ordnance, sonar weapons firing nonexplosive ordnance used in extended materials. the report also goes on to say the navy at 70 -- navy activities could directly or indirectly cause impacts on species, modify their hive attack or modify the water quality. -- modify their habitat were modify the water quality. "may result in damage that could take years to decades from which to recover." it should also be pointed out that the national marine fisheries service requested the navy to do things like have independent scientific observers
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on board the ships during the exercises to monitor the impacts on fish and the navy has refused to allow that. there is no independent observers allowed in any capacity for these naval exercises. so we basically are in a position where we have to take the navy's word for their own reports on what is going to happen as result and during his exercises. i have contacted the navy directly and spoke with a captain and asked her why this area, why this time, and she said basically -- i basically got a lot of military propaganda from her stating that this is for national security, this is an important area for the navy to train them for battle preparedness, etc., etc. the same type of information as far as what is the navy doing to protect the areas for the same type of misinformation, i should state, misquoting from the national marine fisheries service report in their consultations with the navy which essentially, the navy blue
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off at least 50% of the recommendations from the national marine fisheries service is about what they need to do in order to provide better environmental protection steering their exercises. amy: last month, a group of cordova fishermen and their allies organized a protest against the military's plans to conduct northern edge training exercises in the gulf of alaska. this is emily stolarcyk of the eyak preservation council. >> this area they have picked to do these trainings and is the largest migratory path for salmon birds of wales -- i mean, there's a lot of life in this area. it is for a close to shore. the sonar the navy will use is very harmful. the navy's own empire mental assessment, they actually say this has not been studied. amy: that interview also from ktuu-tv. in a moment we're going to talk about the kayativist about the level of activism here, the level of awareness year, and the
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other pieces you have been writing like about the electromagnetic war games that are being conducted on the deliberate in his july -- olympic peninsula. let's start with this activism. >> there is a lot a popular furor and at the naval exercises. the city of cordova were emily is working out of passed a city resolution directly opposing the naval exercises, as to the city council of kodiak, alaska and fishermen across the coastal alaska region is going to be impacted by the exercise role in a furor over it. we have seen -- a few weeks ago about a week or two after that another large flotilla a fisherman out of kodiak did the same thing. fishermen everywhere, soon as they get word of this exercise, have risen up in opposition to
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it tried -- in kodiak, they filed for a government to government consultation with the government from dust federal government. they're angry about what is going on. but the hayden in kodiak told me , from their perception, a "direct frontal attack on the cultural identity" by the navy. there is a lot of popular uprising about this and how it ties into the bigger picture, we are seeing a very, very large domestic military expansion that is very worrisome, just across puget sound from where i'm speaking now, the navy is in preparation to try to begin electromagnetic warfare training right up against olympic national park, all over olympic national forest. again, with total disregard for the environmental and human impacts to these training, and we're seeing this similar with other training exercises all up and down the west coast as well as land exercises.
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it encompasses very large amounts of the connelly u.s. as well. it is a very worrisome thing to see. it is not getting much press. until it starts to infringe directly upon people's homes and her livelihood as we're seeing right now in alaska. aaron: the reason for this military expansion into the arctic is to get access to the oil? is that the primary motivation? >> the navy has not stated that explicitly, but if you connect the dots, that is clearly what is happening. i'm talking to you right here in seattle were there's a big giant shell oil rig not far from this studio. it doesn't take a genius to connect the dots. this massive uptick -- the single largest exercise the navy has ever conducted up in the gulf of alaska. the timing of it, these rigs are in position. if the oil companies get their way, they will be moved up north and the navy -- if you look at a lot of their own literature, in
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fact, they estimate by their own analysis that the arctic is when a star sing ice-free summer periods by next year and satellite data seems to be confirming this. clearly, if you look at the timing of this of when and where it is happening, certainly, it indicates there preparing for what is coming in the arctic as the race for what is left is continuing. amy: dahr jamail, thank you for being with us staff reporter at , truthout. has just written a piece for truthout and tom dispatch called, "destroying what remains: how the us navy plans to war game the arctic." when we come back, one of the kayativists, why they have taken to the port of seattle. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron maté. aaron: the oil giant shell is on its way to the arctic but not before a final showdown with environmental activists in kayaks. on tuesday, dozens of "kayaktivists" were arrested after paddling up to a shell drilling rig and preventing it from leaving the port of seattle. several dozen supporters lined up behind them. the activists set off at 4:00 a.m. after learning of shell's plans to leave later that morning. following a brief standoff shell's polar pioneer was able to depart after the coast guard pulled the activists from the water. monday's action marked the latest in a series of protests since shell arrived in seattle last month.
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shell is stationing its vessels in the puget sound while it drills for oil in pristine and highly remote waters in the chukchi sea off the coast of alaska. environmentalists warn arctic drilling will threaten wildlife and worsen climate change. they fear a drilling accident in the icy arctic ocean waters could prove far more devastating than the deadly 2010 gulf of mexico spill, since any rescue operations could be delayed for months by harsh weather conditions. amy: the obama administration has tentatively approved shell's plans to begin oil extraction off the alaskan coast this summer. federal scientists estimate the arctic region contains up to 15 billion barrels of oil, and shell has long fought to drill in the icy waters of the chukchi sea. in a statement after monday's arrests, shell said -- "we remain committed to operating in a safe, environmentally responsible manner and look forward to exploring our chukchi leases in the weeks to come." for more we are joined by john hocevar, ocean campaigns director of greenpeace. one of the activists, or "kayaktivists" detained by the coast guard during monday's action against shell oil
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drilling in the arctic. explain why you are protesting exactly what to place, what it means to be a kayativist to john. >> it is an exciting day. there were about 100 kayaks out there in the puget sound with people from all over seattle area there to try to delay shell as long as possible, to keep their rigged from moving to the arctic. there has been a norm is opposition to this very reckless plan, partly because of the damage and oil spill could do in the arctic, as you mentioned, it is a very pristine area with ice conditions up there with the lack of ports, no roads minimal air support. the nearest coast guard station is probably 1000 miles away. it is very, very difficult to even imagine how you would
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respond to a spill up their. we have indigenous communities that are dependent on this area for thousands of years. in a really unique special arena ecosystem of the arctic. all of that would be at risk if there is a spill. beyond that, there is the bigger climate change issue. as we all know him a we have moved well past the point where it makes sense to allow huge oil companies to risk our future the future of our planet and our communities. aaron: john, as we said, the administration gave shell approval last month. shell is on its way, it's true has left the port. i understand shell still has some regulatory steps to go through. after weeks of protest, is this battle over? >> it is definitely not over. in fact, after they finally managed to stay out of seattle -- which they tried to do under cover of darkness, but did not quite succeed -- they met more kayativists in bainbridge island and then even more important
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towns in, where there were more arrests in the were delays for shell. i think it was easily six hours after they finally escape seattle, they were still within sight of where they had been perched. i think they're in for protests for quite a while. this controversy is really going to be continuing. ultimately, attention is going to start shifting to the white house stop president obama has so far allowed this to move forward, but hasn't made clear that ultimately, you know, yes and decided. there are more permits you to come, more inspections. our hope is that the president will match his good words on climate change to policies that fit that. amy: john, in the minute that we have left with you, can you describe the action? what is it like to go out in kayaks?
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this trolling rig, the shell ship is enormous. your kayaks are tiny. >> that is true. it was like battling the death star. the thing is massive. it looms over top of you. especially, as shell was allowed to move the rigs, even with all of these kayaks moving around right in front of it. i think people did an amazing job of standing up to something like that and staying out there as long as we could. ultimately, there were about 24 people detained by the coast guard, but we definitely -- we ruined shell's day and caused them some new headaches. amy: i want to thank you for being with us. we will continue to follow the actions in this new battle of seattle. john hocevar with greenpeace ocean campaigns director, one of the "kayaktivists", who was detained by the coast guard during the action against shell oil drilling in the arctic.
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we end today's show around this issue. aaron: while kayativists took to the water, the culture jamming group the yes men staged a different kind of anti-shell protest last week. they took to the streets of new york posing as representatives of shell and handed out free shaved ice cones they claimed were "remnants of the last icebergs of the north pole." >> my name is alexander jordan and i'm here with shell oil. we're going to the arctic, the first two gillett there. we have brought back people's first taste of the last frontier. 10,000-year-old iceberg ice, directly from the arctic to the people in new york your suffering on a very hot day. -- who are suffering on a very hot day. >> delicious. >> [indiscernible] american capital is some an action. this is what the country is all about. >> eating the last iceberg?
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how does that feel? >> it felt kind of sad considering they tell us the more they melt, the more global warming. i was like, maybe i should not be eating it. >> [indiscernible] if cavemen have been afraid of risk come and nobody ever would have invented fire because it might set the cave on fire, you know? we have to take risks. we need to be able to profit from it. that is the american way of life. amy: yes, another action by the legendary anti-corporate pranksters, the yes men, this time posing as representatives of shell oil. joining us now are andy bichlbaum and mike bonanno of the yes men. they have just released their third movie, titled "the yes men , are revolting." andy, describes a lasting that you just participated in here in new york. >> this is a little action we did in the streets of new york to kind of go further in
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alerting people about this grotesque situation with shell and the arctic. we focus on it quite a bit in our film. there are two big scenes about shell's arctic drilling plans. but that was four years ago, and now it is happening again. it is really time for people to exert pressure on the obama administration. amy: let's go to a clip your describing from "the yes men are , revolting." posing as shell oil executives at an arctic drilling launch party at the space needle. >> climate change is scary. the end of civilization. that is bad. but in life as in business, pragmatism trumps all. drilling in the arctic? let's go. we are pumped. we are pumped. [applause] this is a scale model, which it as, means, "thumbs-up."
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it is designed to kick off the festive part of the evening by delivering another precious fluid that we may imbibe, so we are going to pour ceremonial glass. i would like to be joined by our special guest. the widow of the late great designer mrs. enid appleby. we would like it of the first glass. [applause] put your glass right over here. we will fill you up. >> [indiscernible] oh, my goodness1 amy: mike bonanno, explain what she was swimming about. >> what is happening inside the
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space to know, there is a big party, a fake iceberg and an oil slick. there is a drilling rig that is actually pumping permit to pump the drinks for the party. it goes wrong and it sprays this old woman, who happens to be an occupy activist. it was collaborating with us. she kind of goes nuts and the crowd is very shocked. amy: the crowd is -- quite a mixture of business people from the seattle area whoever we could invite to the space needle. amy: they don't know they are watching this comic scene. >> about half our collaborators, along for the right, and have that don't know. there are watching. the whole purpose is a to be to release a viral video of this accident at the party that shows what could really happen. the drill rig can malfunction. i mean, it will. there are always spills. this became a sort of viral media sensation before people realized it was a fake. and that the party was not a
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real shell party. aaron: mike, as andy said, the focus is climate change. we also see a very personal side of you guys. we follow you as you try to raise a family while still being an activist. we see the told activism takes on you and your love life. why did you decide to go so personal in your third film? >> for one thing it makes a more compelling film. people can engage more with it identify with the same problems they have in their lives. but also it is about activism in general. and what it means to be an activist and still have to deal with the pressures of everyday life and how you keep going, how you overcome it. ultimately, what we discover in the course of doing this is, you need to join the movement, be part of a thing that is bigger than yourself. amy: let's talk about this with another clip from "the yes men are revolting." you're seeing are self-contained
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units that will allows on to survive no matter what happens to climate. six months of drought, category four hurricanes, any kind of tornado. there fully equipped for anything. everybody ready with a turtle position in case of a terrorist attack. >> we're launching a flotilla of 100 surviveables to the united nations. we're singers you can't come to an agreement, this is what the future will look like. right now the current is just right to take these surviveables to the united nations. no one is expecting them, except for that coast guard and the police. there's probably nothing to worry about. amy: actually, a scene of a real-life launch. andy bichlbaum, what are they? >> they are these props, basically in the film, but the film is really ultimately about occupy.
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the reason you see us getting the press so that we can come out and get hope, once we see occupy, where a lot of people would come up and tell us they had gotten their start in activism by sing one of our movies. all of the things that we thought did not work, did not matter, do not have an impact, ultimately did through the bigger movement they were a part of. and that is the message of our film. yet to be part of the bigger movement. and that is were impacts happen. amy: i want to thank you for being with us, andy bichlbaum and mike bonanno, members of "yes men." democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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(music playing) ♪ here is a very unusual potato dish that we're serving at fleur. it's called pommes byron and you probably won't find it anywhere else in a restaurant. it comes from a very classic old dish. it's creamy and it's covered with gruyere cheese, and i can guarantee you it's probably one of the best potato dishes that you've ever tried. on today's show, i'm going to reveal the secrets for making a great pommes byron. then we'll prepare a dramac steak called a tomahawk, a wonderful way to surprise your guests. to go with the steak,
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i will show you how to make a great bearnaise, a classic french sauce that takes a steak to a whole new level. a steak and potato dish like you have never seenefore. so come with me in the kitchen and let get cooking! ♪


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