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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  May 30, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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05/30/19 05/30/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democry now! >> we ll run a sharp, clear ecection cpaign which will bring us victory. we will win. we will win in the public will win. amy: for the first time in israeli history, the prime minister has failed to form a new government, forcing an election. could this help kill the trump's administstration's so-called middle east peacace plan? we will l speak to longtime palestinian n diplomat hanana ashrawi, who was recently denied
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a visa to come to the united states. then we go to oklahoma, the site of a landmark opiod trial. the state is accusing johnson & johnson of being the "kingpin behind this public health emergency.y." >> the pain, angsh, and arart break that falies, bunesses, commities and individual oklahons is almost impossible to comprehend. how did this hapn?n? at t end of e day, yr hor, of ahort oneord answer -- greed. amy: and the trump administration is facing cruises of after scuttling plans to replace andrew jackson's portrait on the $20 bill with abolitionist leader harriet tubman by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women being the right -- granted the right to vote. >> the american people
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understood. do you support harriet tubman being on the $20 bill? >> i have made no decision as it relates to that and that decision will not be made -- >> there was a national -- there was a community process. is a decision of the secretary of the treasury. right now my decision is focused on security features. amy: we will speak to kate clifford larson, author of "bound for the promised land: harriet tubman, portrait of an american hero." all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. special counsel robert mueller wednesday broke more than two years of silence over his investigation into russian influence in the 2016 election, contradicting attorney general bill barr's claims of trump's total exoneration and saying he could not state that the president is innocent of a crime.
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namely, , obstruction of jusust. mueller's remarks came at a surprise appearance at the justice department, where he was announcing he had wrapped up his work and was resigigning as special counsel. mueller repeated his finding that there was insufficient evidence to chararge trumpmp wia broader conspiracy between his conspiracy with russia, but he pointedly contradicted attorney general barr's assertion that mueller had decided not to charge the president with obstruction of justice. >> a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. that is unconstitutional, even if it is kept hidden from public view, that, too, is prohibited. the special counsel's office is part of the department of justice. and by regulation, it was bound by that department policy. charging the president with a crime was, therefore, not an option we could consider. if we had had confidence that
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the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. we did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime. amy: mueller's public remarks prompted fresh calls for impeachment proceedings against the president. this is house judiciary chair jerrold nadler. >> all options are on the table and nonothing should be rolled out. amy: eight democrats vying for the 2020 presidential nomination are now calling for the house to open impeachment proceedings. cory booker, kirsten gillibrand, and pete buttigieg joined the call for the first time on wednesday. they join senators kamala harris and elizabeth warren, congressmember seth moulton, former congressmember beto o'rourke, and former secretary of housing and urban development julian castro. senator bernie sanders said wednesday he would support the house judiciary committee if it opens impeachment proceedings. in israel, new elections have been called after prime minister benjamin netanyahu failed to form a coalition government after six weeks of negotiations following the april 9 election.
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the news comes as the united states is promoting a controversial middle east peace plan drawn up by president trump's son-in-law jared kushner. kushner is in israel today along with special envoy jason greenblatt but the israeli newspaper haaretz reports the political crisis in israel could kill the u.s. plan. the u.s. has scheduled a conference in bahrain next month to unveil part of the plan. palestinian officials have already vowed to boycott the conference and have dismissed any attempts to tackle peace talks in the region without addressing human rights and the israeli occupation. we'll have more on israeli politics and jared kushner's so-called "deal of the century" after headlines. we will l speak with palestinian diplomat hanan ashrawi. president trump special security blamed iran for mines s that damaged oil tankers in the persian gulf as well as a recent drone attack on a saudi oil pipeline. john bolton offered no evidence of iranian involvement, instead asking who else would you think is doing it, so many from nepal?
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noton also said iran had reason to walk away from the iranian nuclear deal. his comments coming exactly a year after the u.s. did exactly that. this comes as the u.s. deployeyd in additional 900 troops to saudi arabia and qatar. in louisiana, lawmakers approved a bill wednesday that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, becoming the latest state to challenge the supreme court's landmark 1973 ruling in roe v. wade. louisiana house lawmakers voted 79 to 23 for the bill, which outlaws abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, while providing no exemptions to people who become pregnant by rape or incest. the state's democratic governor, john bel edwards, has promised to sign the bill into law. walt disney's chief executive officer robert eiger saidd wednesday his s company wawas prepared to halt filming in th ststate of georgia, a major hub for film and television production, if a recently-passed ban on most abortions takes effect..
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> i think it is also likely o be challenged in the courts and that could delay it and we're being careful and cautious about law, i if it b becomes don't see how it is practical for us to continue to shoot there. amy: disney'y's threat to boycot georgia over to antitrust law follows a similar move by netflix earlier this year. in geneva, switzerland four , , young women from latin amera who o were raped as children and dedenied abortions brougught lawsuits w wedsday a against t r governments before the u.n. human rights committee. the e women, who are now b betwn 1818 and 23 3 years old, were 1r younger when they were raped in nicaragua, ecuador, and guatemala. all four dropped out of school after discovering they were pregnant, and their rapists were never brought to justice. in argentina, a nationwide general strike against government austerity measures brought much of the south american nation to a standstill wednesday. argentina's unions called the 24-hour-strike to protest against high inflation and deep cuts to social welfare benefits, in exchange for a $56-billion loan from the international
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monetary fund. wednesday's strike came one day after protesters gathered at the national congress building in buenos aires in support of new legislation to decriminalize abortion. this is argentine high school student abril gonzalez. hing for thing i' is lisislato vote well and withth her consciencthis time, th t they think oththe lis of the girls atat have dieded fm siid abortns in suuman nditionsand thathey let legalization become law. amy: in honduras, tens of thousands of protesters joined striking educators in the streets of the capital tegucigalpa and other major cities in recent days, protesting plans by president juan orlando hernandez's government to privatize health care, pensions, and education. the reforms would also expedite budget cuts and ignite mass layoffs. the government said tuesday it would enforce sanctions and criminal charges against teachers and medical personnel involved in any of the demonstrations. dozens of protesters were injured monday, as roadblocks and other mobilizations throughout honduras were m met
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with teargas and violent repression from the honduran police and military. in the central u.s., officials in sevenen states issued tornado warnings on wednesday, making it the 14th straight day of severe weather that's shshattered prprevious records for the monoh of mayay. in just the last w week alonone, tornadoes haveve been n linked t least seven deaths and scores of injuries. over the past 30 days, meteorologists have logged more than 500 tornadoes across the united states, a record total that's consistent with models predicting more extreme weather due to climate change. the trump admininistration has branded methane, a major source of greenhouse gas emissions driving the global climate crisis, as "freedom gas." the rebranding came as part of a department of energy news release on tuesday, hailing increased exports from the freeport liquefied natural gas terminal in texas. u.s. undersecretary of energy mark menezes said of the project, "increasing export capacity from the freeport lng project is critical to spreading
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freedom gas throughout the world." he was joined by assistant secretary for fossil energy steven winberg, who said, "i am pleased that the department of energy is doing what it can to promote an efficient regulatory system that allows for molecules of u.s. freedom to be exported to the world." the white house attempted to cover up a all references to the late republican sesenator john mccain at a u.s. naval base in japan ahead of president trump's arrival there on a state visit earlier this week. that's according to "the wall street journal," which published a photograph showing a gray tarp covering the name "uss john mccain" on the side of the massive naval destroyer bearing mccain's name. "the journal" reports that sailors aboard the ship, who normally wear caps with john mccain's name on them were given the day off during trump's visit. at the last minute, officials appeared to reverse course and removed the tarp for trump's visit, though a barge was moved closer to the uss john mccain to obscure trump's view of the ship.
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wikileaks is warning that its founder julian assange is in deteriorating health and has dramatically lost weight since he was jailed last month in london's belmarsh prison. in a statement, wikileaks said assange had been transferred to the prison's health ward, and his lawyer per samuelson told reporters, "assange's health situation on friday was such that it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him." assange was due to appear by video link before a magistrates court today, but failed to appear, reportedly due to health problems. the trump administration is seeking assange's extradition to the united states to face 17 counts of violating the world era espionage act, which could see assange jailed for at least 170 years. press freedom advocates have denounced the charges as a direct assault on the first amendment aimed at chilling investigative reporting. vice president joe biden is facing a backlash on social media over his comments to --
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and physical contact with -- a young girl at a campaign event in houston, texas. on tuesday, biden joined a town hall meeting held by the american federation of teachers, where he promoted his education plan, the first major policy announcement of his 2020 presidential campaign. asked by a 10-year-old about political divisions within the united states, biden concluded his answer with this exchange. >> i tell you what, honey, what i'm going to do is if you give me an address, i will write you a longer answer and tell l you e exact things are would do, ok? ok? promise? i bet you are as bright as you are good looking. amy: joe biden then n put both hands on the girl's shoulders and marched her over to assembled reporters, at one point leaning in close to her head. last month, biden n said he woud be more mindful of people's personal space after two women stepped forward to accuse him of inappropriate touching. biden has not apologized for the incidents. and in new york city, the winners of the 2018 pulitzer prize awards gathered for a lunchtime ceremony wednesday with one conspicuous absence --
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yemeni journalist maad al-zikri, who was barred from entering the united states to receive his prize after the trump administration denied him a visa. al-zikri was part of an investigative team of associated press journalists who uncovered torture at secret prisons run by the united arab emirates in southern yemen. in a statement, the associated press said it was terribly disappointed that al-zikri was unable to attend the ceremony. yemen is one of six majority-muslim countries whose citizens are barred from entering the united states under an executive order signed by trump and upheld by the supreme court in a 5-to-4 ruling. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. nermeen: and i'm nermeen shaikh. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. new elections have been called in israel after prime minister benjamin netanyahu failed to form a coalition government after six weeks of negotiations following the april 9 election.
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thisis marks the firsrst time is realally history o of prime minr designgnathas faililed to formra coalition government. the news comes as the united states is promoting a controversial middle east peace plan drawn up by president trump's son-in-law jared kushner. kushner is in israel today along with special envoy jason greenblatttt but the israeli newspaper haaretz reports the political crisis in israel could kill thehe u.s. plan. ththe u.s. has s scheduled a coconference in bahrain next moh to unveil papart of the planan. palestinian officials have already vowed to boycott the confnference and have dismissed any attempts to tackle peace talks in the region without addressing human rights and thee israeli occupation. amy: we go now to the west bank city of ramallah where we are joined by the longtime palestinian diplomat h hanan ashrawi, who is a member of the palestine liberation organization's executive committee. recently in the news after the united states denied her a visa to enter the united states.
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it is great to have you with us, dr. shortly. if you could start off by talking about this historic development for the first time since israel became a state, a prime minister after election was not able to form a government. what is the significance of this for israel and for the israeli occupied territories were you are right now? >> basically, the main conflict within the israeli political system is between the right and illogicalght and the right. the confrontation has been between the religious extremists in the political right wing on armys pertaining to the and the recruitment of religious people to the army. this is one reason why the government was informed because nonone yahoo! could not -- and cannot muster majority.
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once, by anytainly means possible, to avoid being legally pursued and prosecuted. immunity for the on corruption and abuse of power and so on, and therefore he was willing to resolve the parliament to preempmpt the president's righto choose somebody else tried as kim or her to form a new government. so this way he prereempted to dissolve parliament and call for elections, which are to be held in september. the internal domestic issues and all the different contradictions within israel and to the extreme right into the ideological and racist -- have led to this impasse. i think you're going to see even more of that because this cap has all but disappeared.
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there is no left opposition to speak of. the palestinian israelis are being totally marginalizezed and excluded. and the palestinians in the onupied territories are only the receiving end of what happened. now, when you talk about the so-called peace plan, the american timetable, in addition to the american taxes chilling with the peace plan, has been formed on the basis of israeli politics. therefore, every time something happens in israel, this u.s. administration sort of mobilizes either to campaign for netanyahu or to help them put together a coalition. at the same time, the wall has been kicked down the road on this peace plan in order to give israel or time to create more facts and for the u.s. also to create more facts. outat the same time, carry
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diversionary tactics to say the issue is only an economic issue for all we need to do is give the palestinians a handful or a fistful of dollars and they will accept the captivity, make it less unpleasant, so to speak. thississue now is that relationship between the u.s. a administration and israel has subjected international law, the will of the international communities. the impasse is requirement for peace as well as palestinian rights. to this partnership in crime. how dodo w we maintain this exte is coalitition in israeael? how do we serve virgininia whose inteterest? -- netanyahu's interest? nermeen: i want to turn to remarks that prime minister benjamin netanyahu made wednesday after the results were announced. he railed against former defense minister and far right
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politician avigdor lieberman for refusing to back him, accusing him, right-wing, of being part of the left. >> it is just unbeliabable, st unlievevab. avigdor lieberman is nopapart o thleft.. he is part of the left. he is fr t the lt block. you give him votes for the right and hehe does not giveis vote eo the right-wing government. this is what we see. nermeen: dr. ashrawi, that is netanyahu speaking wednesday, lieberman part lieberman o of the left. >> that is ridiculous. you could not dignify that with a response because lieberman is known as one of the most racist politicians in israel and has been one of the mainstays of netanyahu's coalition. as usual, the israeli government
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is like the american administration, deal with manufactured fax. anyway, the thing is lieberman stands for the secular extreme right and therefore, when netanyahu sites with the religious exextreme right, netanyahu accused lieberman of being a left-wing politician when we know very well there are several polls within the extreme right inin the racist right in e illogical right, he represents the racist right. he is in competition with netanyahu and has been and relations have not been well between n them. anybody you can label the way you want if it suits your purposes. this has been a constant trick ofof netanyahu. and go i want to turn to jared
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kushner having his assssessmentf the situauation in palestine and the trump admdministration's pee planan. he was speaking earlier this month at the washington institute. in gaza, whichas has driven that place and the ground, and i think the people are hostages to a terror organization and that is an unfortunate situation. and the west bank, i think you people who are pretty repressed. i think they question whether the leadershship is looking aftr their interest or not. palestinians,e the political aspirations are important. we know what is in the plan. we believe it is virtuous. we believe it is something that is beneficial to both sides. it has been very disheartening for us to see the palestinian leadership basically has been attacking a a plan that they d't knknow what it is as opposed to reaching out -- if they truly
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cared about making the lives of the palestiniaian people betteri think they would havave taken different decisions over the last year, maybe over the last 20 years. amy: that is jared kushner giving his assessment of the situation of palestine, criticizing the leadership saying if they cared about palestinians, they would have taken a different approach. jared kushner in israel today along with the middle east envoy greenblatt who is the former real estate lawyer for donald trump -- of course, the israeli- u.s. ambassador friedman is trump's former bankruptcy lawyer. , if you can talk about this plan and what cheered kushner said about the palestinian leadership in the plans of the leadership not to participate in the bahrain talks, with a color workshop. a workshop. this is quite a large topic has in many ways it encapsulates everything that is wrong with
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this administration and the and for the rights of palestinian people. it is ironic that someone like jared kushner is talking about it being more concerned about the palestinian people's well-being than the palestinian leadership. they want a regime change. it is been said before. if you're looking for collaborators, i know they're trying to get collaborators to go to this conference or to this workshop. but it is the american administration that is severed the, that has closed down office in washington, has closed down the consulate general in jerusalem, which was open in 1844 and now turned us into a palestinian affairs unit illegally placed in jerusalem. they have decided to accept the illegal annexation of jerusalem.
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they have attempted to destroy, theefund and redefined poston in refugees. these are the core issues. they have refused to it knowledge the 1967 borders or the two state solution, i.e., palestinian sovereignty and freedom and independence. now what they are trying to say, palestinedefunded completely, cling our hospitals, our schools, our infrastructure, including scholarships given to students to study in the states. in a sense, what they have done is then backed the palestinians. they think we have to submit, that we have to surrender and we have to declare we are defeated. as they said, they have to get it into our heads that we are defeated people. ouour response is that we are nt defeated. we may be under occupation, we may be constantly subject to all
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measures andtive illegal steps by israel and the u.s., but our spirit has not been defeated. we have resisted and we are a resilient people. we will continue because we have rights and our political agenda is firmly based on total respect for human rights, for international law, for international humanitarian law. and of course for -- after the second world war were theweak and vulnerable are supposed to be protecteded. we know what our rights are. our rightforemost is to freedom and dignity on our own land. by trying to tell us you have to submit, yet to accept defeat as we will force you to turn the palestinian -- into an issue of dollars and handout to
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palestinian people when we can andd the best, most vibrant robust economy if we are in control of our own lives in our ,and, ouour own resources territorial waters. we are capable of having a robust economy. we do not want any handouts. what we want is our freedom and ability to control our own lives and resources in order to give the palestinian people the prosperity they deserve. there can be no development or prososperity under occupation. lead toty does not peace. this has been tried before and it has failed. nermeen: dr. ashrawi, i would like to turn to one of chomsky ,dvisers on the middle east trump's middle east envoy jason greeeenblatt, who was also tru's former real estate lawyer. this is greenblatt addressing ththe u.n. security council earlier this month. >> it is t truly shameful in the
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halls -- in these halls, there been nearlyy 700 resolutions condemnining actions of israel, the r region's only real democracy, yet not o one condemnining h hamas'atattacks n israelis or the abuse and neglect of the very people it purports to govern. forgrget about israel fofor a moment. how does that help palestinians, especially palestinians in gaza? forgive me for pointing o out te elephant in the e room, icich is and palestinian islamic jihad, not israel, are the problem here. nermeen: that is jason greenblatt speaking of this year to give -- security council. you responded by tweeting, google claims not only to know what is good for the palestinians, but also claims he knows them better than they know themselves. patronizing, condescending, you tweeted. so could you talk about the kinds of people who are advising
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president trump and what you actually expect will happen at the so-called workshop next month in bahrain? my tweet was not in response to this statement. as usual, blame the victim or look the other way, avoid the fact of the occupation itself, avoid the fact israel has permitted hundreds and thousands of human rights violations and refused to comply with all u.n. resolutions from every single one. and the sense of condescending arrogance that we know what is good for the palestinians. we know the domestic issues we have. we need to ensure the occupation not becomee u.s. is complicit partners and the crime of occupation. right-wing --me
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trump has put together a team, as you rightfully pointed out, real estate lawyers and his son-in-law -- nepotism. and all of them are committed to israel. they are committed geological he to israel. toreligious terms, israel them is the gift of god, therefore, some of you like friedman can speak openly and say israel is on the side of god. i wonder what god will do without israel being on its side? this is ridiculous. this is the first time i've heard of such a statement for support even someone like pompeo is said god sent trtrump to save israel from iraq? i mean, is this how you may 21 century politics? is this how you deal with
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geopolitics? bardi you start invoking biblical text and the old testament and so on in order to justify contemporary injustices? like greenblatt and others keep saying, this is an outdated argument. these are archaic arguments. you don't go back to your old arguments. they're going back and reciting the bible to us, at 3000 year old text, as being the basis of 21st century decisions, and yet we're not supposed to talk about freedom, human rights, dignity. ofre is a certain degree blind commitment emanating from very strong fundamentalists say that has dominated the decision-making. and that is why we feel this is extremely dangerous. whenever you bring god into a
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conflict, you turn it into a religious conflict. becomes absolute right versus absolute wrong, therefore you can justify whatever you do because you negate the very humanity and all the rights of the others. -- kind of team amy: can you respond to the u.s. denying you a visa to come to the united states? i'm sorry, i keep smiling whenever you ask you question it ise, i mean, absolutely ridiculous. there is no reason to deny me a visa. i exercise my right to freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and i thought this is something the american system totally respects. i don't see any justification. i have not been given any justification. i have not even been given a denial in writing. i was just told washington rejected the visa application. i have been to the states
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scores, if not hundreds, of times. i have studied there. i family there. there.andchildren this i is another way in which they punish people who stand up to them, who disagree with them, who persist in defending palestinian rights. i'm not going to change my positions, my principles, and my total commitment to palestinian rights in order to avoid being bashed by the american administration. tweeted ashrawi, you after you u were denied the visa by the trump administration, " i've met and even negotiated with every secretary of state since schulz and evevery presidt since george h.w. bush." i want to ask you also about your recent meeting with the
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foreign-policy advisor to senator bernie sanders. can you talk about where you met and what you discussed? well, i did i issue a statement. i have known matt for some time since he was the head of the foundation for middle east peace and now he is senior advisor to bernie sanders on international affairs. he is a very knowledgeable person. -- he does his homework in the sense that he studies the issues, meets the people, and he is a very thoughtful person. rarity these days. you need people who have knowledge who do not move on the basis of ignorance. we talked about bernie sanders. we were saying how ironic it is palestinians were pushing for a jewish president for the u.s. when the israelis were pushing
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for extreme evangelical president for the u.s. anyway, we feel that the position of bernie sanders come among others, not signaling them out as being the one person -- there is a whole spectrum now, fortunately, in congress and the senate and the house, people who have the courage to speak out, people who have the courage to call the occupation by its name, and have the foresight to try to address the real issues and to see how to end the occupation, how to bring justice to the palestinian people, how to make this narrative acceptable instead of people trying to silence and distort the palestinian narrative and voice. fortunately now within the american public opinion and the universities among groups, minorities, and so on, we see an liberation of of
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the ability to speak out, to address justice for the palestinians without being labeled anti-semitic and without having the law distorted like bds and so one them at to criminalize anybody who tries to work in ways that are consistent with conscience and defending palestinian people and seeking a just peace in the region. among them is bernie sanders and we have listened carefully and we have seen a progression, as and we had ates, good meeting at the headquarters. we s sent messages to bernie sanders as well as drug we also to others because we believe we can have a real engagement, genuine contact and discussion and conversation on the issues.
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because the strident language of hate and distortion and so on is really counterproductive and dangerous to both sides will stop that is why i think the more conversations we have, the more discussions, the more candid talks that we have, the more we clarify the issues, the better we will be and the more informed with the decision-making of the u.s. if you: dr. ashrawi, could say what you think will happen next month at the june meeting in bahrain. are there air countries who are participating? , thealestinians leadership, are they boycotting the secret kushner plan? plan is not kushner much secret when it comes to the real issues. everything to distort the real issues. now they're talking about
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economic issues, as they said come and try to get the arabs to put the bill in order to give the palestinians a handout and in order to o integrate israel economically within the region. so asking the arabs to normalize with israel while israel is still an occupying power, annexing palestinian land, occupying -- and so on. this is really rewarding the aggressor and try to normalize -- number two, i think this whole workshop is much a do about nothing. there is a lot of talk trying to persuade people the u.s. has something to say, something to do. they are trying to persuade arabs. i don't think this will have any significance. also given the fact the ally and best friend israel is in deep political trouble, and netanyahu
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is still seeking the election. so i would say they managed to get some arab countries, convinced bahrain to host this, for heavens sake. convinced saudi arabia and the united emirates does even qatar announced they are attending. the u.s. can use desperate means to threaten, cajole, broad, whatever they want, other countries. this administration has used these tactics, sanctions, very cruel measures, they can punish the sick in terms of defining hospitals in jerusalem or they can punish students by suspending scholarships, or
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whatever. so they have done this. we'reen they are saying holding an international workshop to see how to make a palestinian lives better how to give them more quality of life while carrying out and economic integration of the region. we are not stupid. our own insults intelligence, it is an insult to the requirement of peace and to the international community and to the people who are attending and to the people who are e tryg to justify b by saying let the leadership do something good for its own people. get the israeli boot off ournecks. stop the american threats to defund all of palestine. get israel to give us our money that it is stealing and withholding our customs. and that is what we need. then deal with the real issues. the real issues ourselves a termination, freedom, sovereignty, dignity, rights on
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their own land. that is what we need. if you avoid the real issues and start devising distractions and diversionary tactics, they're not going to get you anywhere. , we want torawi thank you for being with us, palestinian diplomat and scholar, elected executive committee member of the palestine liberation organization in 2009, becoming the first woman to hold a seat in the highest executive body in palestine. she was just a night of these of by the united states government to come into this country. when we come back, we go to alahoma with the first time pharmaceutical company johnson & johnson is on trial for its role in the opioid crisis. the attorney general of oklahoma calls them a drug "kingpin." ♪ [music break]
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amy: a lawyer representing the state of oklahoma quoted this on the landmark trial accusing johnson & johnson a feeling the
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opioid crisis. he said the company computer with purdue pharma using aggressive marketing. this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman wiwith nermeen shaikh. nermeen: we turn now to oklahoma, where for the first time a pharmaceutical company is on trial for its role in the opioid crisis. johnson & johnson, the corporate giant better known for its baby products, produces a fentanyl patch and previously also manufactured an opioid pill. in opening statements tuesday, lawyers made a sweeping case against the company, accusing it of driving demand for opioids while the drug ravaged the state of oklahoma. the state says johnson & johnson targeted children and veterans to sell opioids. in court filings, attorney general mike hunter likened johnson & johnson to a "kingpin" that has been targeting an unsuspecting public since the 1990's. this is hunter speaking at the trial tuesday. >> the pain, anguish, and heart break that oklahoma families, businesses, communities and
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individual oklahomans is almost impossible to comprehend. how did this happen? at the end of the day, your honor, of a short, one word answer -- greed. defendants ande their corporate collaborators rushed to fill the need the medical community created to .ddress the fifth vital sign our evidence will show, your honor, that in their zeal to provide a magic drug, they ignored centuries of experience, well-documented scientific histories of deadly addiction epidemics and embarked on a cynical, deceitful, multimillion dollar brainwashing campaign to establish opioid analgesics is a magic drug. amy: purdue pharma settled with oklahoma in march for $270 million and teva pharmaceuticals reached an $85 million settlement deal sunday, just
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ahead of the landmark trial. this leaves johnson & johnson as the only defendant in the first civil trial of its kind. the trial is expected to last two months, and will set the stage for the nearly 1900 federal and state lawsuits targeting drug makers and distributors pending around the country. well, for more, we're joined by jan hoffman, a reporter for "the new york times" who is covering this landmark opioid trial. welcome to democracy now! talk about the significance of this trial in oklahoma and why specifically we are talking, not purdue pharma, but johnson & johnson. >> this is the first trial of mamany that are on the nationwie runway. whatone is watching to see formally s sealed and rectcted documents s will now come into e public that t will tell a mumuch broader and deeper storory than the one wewe have known abouout already. everyone i is watching to see hw certain legal arguments will play and if the with the pushback from one of the biggest
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manunufacturers in the world, nt necessarily the u.s. -- johnson & johnson wilill use as a defef. this wl l affect not onlnly the forthcoming federal trials slated for october 21 in clcleveland, ohio, iroronicallys is taking g place in cleveland county, oklahoma, but wiwill alo veryry much affect settlemenent discussions that are o ongoing t the state level and the federal levevel. everyone will be watching oklahoma to see how is this going to play out, will this tip my head of the table or will it not? nermeen: teva pharmaceutical settled with oklahoma, but the company actually said in a statement "this settlement does not establish any wrongdoing on the price of the company. teva is not contributed to the abuse of opioids in oklahoma in any way." could you talk about the fact h hasoth purdue and teva
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settled with oklahoma? how is it only jojohnson & johnn has not? >> those are two separate ququestions. actually, three. subtle --ror his new pretty settled, teva settle, and why is johnson & johnson still on t trial. prproduce settled because they d a terrifific winning hand. that the threat and still do a bankruptcy. oklahoma had a a very y difficut decision to make. could they take p purdue to tri, possibibly get a big settlement, have it be attttacked at ththe appellatcourts come in and haveve a bankruptcy judge turn o oklahoma and say, i'm sorry, we are protecting oklahoma -- i mean, we're predicting purdue right now from any claimss a and therefore oklahoma would get nothing. or they could say,y, let's sesee this now, take whahat w we can , and call it a day.
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i think that was very much the thinking behind oklahoma instantly behind purdue as a settled this case. one of the big challenges for purdue is to let it be known that this case is singular, t ty don't t want it to be set as a precedence of what else the were be paying in other cases. that is a very tricky position for purdue. tevava makes generics. the question is, didteva promote these gen x as opioids and make certain claims of them? teva never promoted as far as it says the drugs. so the case -- the state's s cae against teva was weaker. tevan, an enormous corporation, also got out for chump change. remember they pay less than half of what purdue paid. this leaves jojohnson & johnsos, 2017 or 2018 sales were
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$81.6 billion worldwide. johnson & johnson has the deepest pockets of all of the three defendants so far. johnson & johnson is known as being a companyny that likes too to trial -- well, nobobody likes to go to trial. but t when they are e accused of somemething, they willll fight, particularly if they feel they have a stronong case. johnson n & johnson is woworried about setting precedent, worried about shohowing they could loset trial -- frankly, worried about losing a at the appellate e cou. at the they prevail statee c court judge, yoyou fige that when outpost of they basically said, let's s show thm our hand, shohow them our defen, let's fight this case,e, let's bring it through the couourts. we will lose in terms of damage to our reputation, but in thee long run, we may win further down the road. saidonly attorney general that thereo 2018
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were 18 million prescriptions oklahoma,s written in which has a population of just under 4 million. years, overdose deaths increased by 91%. these are extraordinary figures. you have johnson & johnson lawyer saying, these drugs have fda approval. can you respond to both? >> sure. this is why the johnson & johnson lawyer -- i don't want to be seen as carrying water for johnson & johnson -- but their lawyer said, and this is the are of theirir defense, fafacts stubborn things. when you statart to drill dodown y you'reahat data, you see not particulararly using those overdosed deaths from one drug to another. here went across
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the border, pill mills that were shut down because they were either illegal or criminal? we don't know. that is the problem in terms of establishing liability to johnson & johnson. there is no queststion the couny has beenn staggered by the opiod crisis or the opioid emergency, but the real legal question is, how do you apporortion blame fairly? and that is a very high legal huhurdle. let me just sasay briefly, a ane thing o oklahoma is missising tt other cases hahave come is othtr cases s have chaharged not onlye manufacturers, b but they have charged the distributorors who were the direct salespeople to the pharmacies and did have an obligation to report to the dea how many kills they were deliberate -- pills there were delivering to these pharmacies that were out of bounds. they have named pharmacy chains like cvs and named individual
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doctors. so there are a lot of reportedly bad actors in this long chain of causality. nermeen: could you talalk about the broader impact ofof this opioid crisis? oklahoma is largely a rural state and is been completely ravaged by this crisis. is it the case most of the states in the u.s. that are most affected are also principally rural? talk about your own reporting specifically about the opioid epidemic amongst the cherokee nation. will is true that -- i advocate that. itit is true that certainly rurl areas have been terribly hard hit, but youou go to the bronx d opioid crisis thehe has devastated the bronx. it has gone from pills to hehern and fentanyl. it has hit urban areas a as
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powerfulully as rural areas. time ina fairly longng the er inin a hospital in paterson, new jersey, which was jujust assaulted witith opioid overdodoses. new jersey has been pumummeled y this crisis,s, thank you, johnsn ajojohnson, which happens to be new jersey-based company. i should not have said that. we do not know yet to which degree johnson & & johnson has liability for this.. i was separately to the cherokee nation because t they, among all the tribes in the united states, chose to bring their own case against this cluster mamanufacturers, distributors, d pharmacies in tribal court. this was a novel and bold legal approach. and i wanted to see why they chose to take it to tribal court rarather than j join the state f oklahoma or even j join the federal litigation.
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and certainly come the cherokee nation is arguably even harder the stateklahoma as has been. they certaininly had cause t tot to bringng justice to theieir pe and their own courts. ultimamately they did nonot prel in keeping the case in trouble court. amy: jan hoffman, thank you for being with us. we will continue to cover this landmark trial. jan hoffman is a reporter for "the new york times" who is covering the landmark opioid trial in oklahoma. when we come back, we look at what has happened for the plan for harriet tubman to replace andrew jackson on the $20 bill. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: the trump administration is facing criticism after scuttling plans to replace andrew jackson's portrait on the $20 bill with abolitionist leader harriet tubman are on hold until at leasast 2026. ayanna pressley questioned secretary mnuchin last week. >> do you support harriet tubman being on the $20 bill? >> i have made a decision as it relates to that and that decision will not be made -- communityas a pri process. amy: we go to boston where we are joined by kate clifford larson, author of "bound for the promised land: harriet tubman, portrait of an american hero." talk about who harriet tubman is and what happened.
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april 2016, then secretary of the treasury jacob lew announced that the five dollar, $10, and $20 notes would be redesigned to incorporate women into those design onto our currency. n note, hee $20 announunced harriet tubman w wod replplace andrew jackson. we were all thrilled because there had been a process -- people had voted across the country. a group of women had gotten totogether and startrted the won on $20 campaign. overwhelmingly, americans voted for harriet tubman to be the face of the $20 bill. and the desisign was started. we were thrilled the process was moving ahead. and once president trump was brought into office in the process seemed to sloww down, ad now this recent announcement from secretary mnuchin that thtt
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decision won't be made now and will be put often at the fututu. the decision w was made and the process was statarted and the desisign is a ailable. so we're all very, very frustrated because it is time a woman is on our currency. amy: explain who harriet tubman is. >> harriet tubman is a remarkable human being and an american hero. she was born in slate on the eastern shore of maryland in 1822. of a horrific childhood being separated from her family and being hired out to other slaveholders. she was brutally beaten and neglected and start. if she survived and she grew up to be -- but she survived and grew up to be a remarkably strong, brilliant woman who took her own liberties escaped from slavery, and then she returned
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about 13 times to rescue her family and friends. i mean, nobody did that. it wasas so dangerous. during the civil war, she was a spy and a scout and a soldier. she brought her battle against slavavery to the south. she helped win. later in her life, she was a civivil rights a activist, an activist fighting for the right to vote. she deserved to vote. it was denied her. she was a humanitarian. just a remarkakae human being. her legacy lives on. people never forgot who o she w. she was a mr. her lifetimime and she is even more famous today. herink that people see in what we as americans hold d so dearly, and that is the fight for freedom, that we represent freedom to people around the world who are oppppressed. she represents that in so many
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different ways. it i is about time that ourur hs are represented across gender onnrace,e, not just white men our currency. we need to have wowomen there ad bestet tubman is truly t the representation. amy: and she would be replacing andrew jackson, the president who president trump has called his favorite, a slaveholder who in 1830 signed the indian removal act which forced 16,000 native americans from their lands in what became known as the trail of tears. yourur response?e? that t he very coconfusing would feel andrew jackckson deserved tbe o on e $2$20 bill, especialally when we have an opportunity y to have someone le harriet tubman who a actually fought for the freedom foror all people, n not to subjugate e thm and rip them from their homes. i do find it very telling about president trump and his
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administration. i feel a decision they have made up with this on hold is rooted in misogyny and racism. amy: kate clifford larson, we will do part two and put it online at democracynow.org. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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hello, a very warm welcome to "nhk newsline." it's a.m. on friday in tokyo. i'm miki yamamoto. we begin in japan with the latest on a police investigation into the stabbing rampage near tokyo. nhk has l learned that police he seized two magazines featuring mass killings frorom thehe susps home. investigators say ryuichi iwasaki was the attack reporter. s in a photo of him as a teenager. although

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