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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  January 14, 2016 8:00am-9:01am PST

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01/14/16 01/14/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i want to thank the iranian authorities for their cooperation and quick response. these are oh situations, as everyone knows, have an ability if not properly guided, to get out of control. i am appreciative for the quick and appropriate response of the irian authities. amy: this week is not looking
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kind to opponents of the obama administration's diplomacy with iran. on wednesday, iran freed 10 u.s. sailors less than 24 hours after theitwo shipentered anian terrorial wars in th persian lf. this comes just days before the iran nuclear deal is set to take effect, easing sanctions and freeing up billions in frozen iranian money. is this a new era for u.s.-iran ties? we'll speak to trita parsi of the national iranian american council. then today is day 84 of a runaway natural gas leak above los angeles that's emitted more than 150 million pounds of methane. some call it the nation's biggest environmental disaster since the bp oil spill. >> it is just like in hell. i don't know if i can work, if i can breathe. amy: then, health and environmental experts are cusing t obama ministraon of cang to th meatndustry its newietary guidelin. whe the guelines rommend consing lessugar, th do not recommend eating less meat.
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this comes after an intensive lobbying campaign by the meat industry and despite recent findings by the world health organization that processed meat can cause cancer. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the islamic state has claimed responsibility for a series of explosions that ripped through the indonesian capital jakarta. at least seven people, including five alleged attackers, have died and people were injured in 20 the blasts and ensuing gun battles between police and militants. four other suspects were arrested. the attack included at least five expsions in downtown jakarta. a police traffic post and a starbucks cafe were hit. indonesian president joko widodo called it an act of terror. >> we condemn these attacks that of disturbed the peace of society when what to spread his message to the nation and society.
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i ordered the authorities to catch those responsible for the attacks and even those out there that are involved in this. we as a country, we should not be frightened by what has happened. this act of terror. we should stay calm because anything will stay under control. amy: in turkey, a car bomb blast has killed at least six people and wounded 39 after hitting a southeastern police headquarters. no one has taken responsibility fothe atta, but thturkish gornment is blaming kurdistan worker's party, known as the pkk. meanwhile, more than 1000 academics, including noam chomsky, have signed a letter calling for the end to the turkish government's widespread crackdown on kurdish communies amid renewed fighting between the turkish occurred he forces and the pkk. under the banner academics for peace, the letr states- "has attacked these settlements with heavy weapons and equipment that would only be mobilized in wartime. this deliberate and planned massacre is in serious violation of turkey's own laws and international treaties to which turkey is a party." in china, authorities have formally arrested one of the
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country's most prominent female human rights lawyers. wang yu has been held by authorities since july 2015, when china initiated a national crackdown against human rights attorneys. her family received a notice of her formal arrest this week. she is accused of inciting subversion and "causing a disturbance." in egypt, three journalists and one press freedom activist have been sentenced to prison on charges of belonging to the muslim brotherhood and "publishing false news." mohamed adly with the independent newspaper tahrir, hamdy mokhtar with the website el-shaab el-jadeed, freelance journalist sherif ashraf, and press freedom activist aboubakr khallaf have all been sentenced to three years behind bars. the committee to protect journalists reports egypt is among the world's worst jailers of journalists. meanwhile, in argentina, the renowned radio host victor hugo morales has been ousted from his long-running morning program on radio continental amid a crackdown on press freedom under the new right-wing president mauricio macri. executives ordered morales off the air monday, saying his
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contract had been terminated. speaking on a colleagues' program minutes later, morales said -- "this takes place amid a suffocating, terrible situation for democracy and for freedom of expression in argentina." morales' firing comes amid massive protests against president macri's proposed media reforms, which include repealing a law outlawing monopolies by media companies. tens of thousands of people demonstrated in buenos aires on tuesday in opposition to macri's reforms and in defense of radio host morales. in more media news, al jazeera america has announced it will terminate broadcast and digital operations in the united states by the end of april. the u.s.-focused branch of the qatar-based network began in 2012, when al jazeera purchased current tv in 2012 from former vice president al gore. the tv chann has suffered from loratings nce its unch. al jazeera says it will continue al jazeera english and expand digital operations in the u.s. pentagon officials have confirmed a new force of u.s. special operations troops has
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arrived in iraq. speaking at fort campbell, kentucky, wednesday, defense secretary ash carter said the new troops are working with iraqi forces to kill and capture members of the self-proclaimed islamic state. pentagon officials first announced this new deployment of special operations troops in december, saying they would likely number around 100 soldiers. in pakistan, at least five people have been killed in this year's first reported cia drone strike. the attack hit a house in north waziristan saturday. akistani officials say pakistan taliban commander was among the dead. the council on american-islamic relations is demanding an fbi hate crime investigation into an attack and desecration at a mosque in nebraska. security footage shows two masked men threw rocks at the glass doors of the islamic center of omaha and left bacon wrapped around its doors. pork is considered forbidden or "haram" in islam. it's the fourth attack on this omaha mosque within the last
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year. a recent study finds hate crimes against muslim americans and u.s. mosques have tripled since the attacks in paris and san bernardino. in news from the campaign trail, republican presidential candidate ted cruz is under fire for failing to disclose a goldman sachs loan used to finance his 2012 senate bid in texas. the "new york times" reports cruz's personal financial records show that in 2012, cruz took out loans from goldman sachs and citibank totaling $1 million. cruz's senate campaign did not report either of the loans in its filings with the federal election commission. candidates are required to disclose the source of money they borrow to finance their campaigns. cruz's wife, heidi cruz, is currently on leave as a managing director at goldman sachs. the revelations come ahead of tonight's republican presidential campaign debaten north charleston, south carolina. in other campaign news, the nation magazine has endorsed
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bernie sanders for president. this marks on the third time in the nation's 150 year history it has endorsed a candidate in the democratic primary. in flint, michigan, officials confirm at least ten people have died from legionnaires' disease amid a surge in infections caused by the water-borne bacteria. the announcement of the uptick in infections and deaths over the last two years comes as flint is already under a state of emergency over lead-poisoned water. the poisoning began after an unelected emergency manager appointed by governor snyder switched the city's water source to the corrosive flint river in a bid to save money. residents have reported lasting health impacts, including cognitive impairment. governor snyder, who is responsible for appointing flint's emergency manager, announced the increase in legionnaires disease wednesday. andver the course of 2014 2015, we saw a spike in legionnaires disease with
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genesee county. if you go back to the prior years, i believe the numbers for the preceding years before 2014, we had six cases, 11 cases, 13 cases, and eight cases. in 2014, we had 45 cases. and then in 2015, there were 42 cases. amy: officials have stopped short of tying the uptick in legionires cas to the water poisonin citing lack of evence. this ces as the national guard arrived in flint to distribute clean water and filters. flint residents are calling for governor snyder's resignation and a number of calling for his arrest over the water crisis. and in new york, governor andrew cuomo's state of the state was disrupted wednesday by new york city assemblyman charles barron, who criticized cuomo for failing to address high levels of poverty. barron represents east new york, a low-income neighborhood in brooklyn. in a grainy cell phone video shot by an audience member, barron can be heard saying, "this is not real. come to the neighborhoods."
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>> this is not real. come to the neighborhoods. >> ok -- amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. between the quick release of 10 detained u.s. service-members and a nuclear deal set to take effect, this week is not looking kind to opponents of the obama administration's diplomacy with iran. on wednesday, iran freed 10 u.s. sailors less than 24 hours after their two ships entered iranian territorial waters in the persian gulf. the u.s. initially blamed mechanical error, but have now walkedack thatlaim. the boats were able to leave iran under their own power. speaking to iranian state television shortly before they we freed, sailor sd the crew made a mistake.
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>> it was a mistake. that was our fault, and we apologize for our mistake. uranium behavior was fantastic while we were here. we thank you for your hospitality and your assistance. >> [indiscernible] >> we had no problems, sir. amy: the sailor made that statement while still in custody. whatever the reason for the crew's entering iranian waters, iran said it's accepted the u.s. explanation. its quick cooperation came in stark contrast to a storm of panic and outrage among politicians, pundits, and the corporate media. after the sailors were detained, republican senator and presidential candidate marco rubio said iran is "testing the boundaries of this administration's resolve" while later, frontrunner donald trump posted on twitter, "we want our hostages back now!" -- even though the sailors had by then been released. some pundits accused iran of acting "hostile," while others wondered if the u.s. and iran were on the verge of a new hostage crisis.
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but speaking wednesday, secretary of state john kerry thanked iran for the sailors' swift release, and said the two countries' recent diplomacy has paid off. >> i think the iranian authorities for their cooperation and quick response. these are always situations, which is everybody here knows, have an ability, if not properly guided, to get out of control. and i am appreciative for the quick and appropriate response of the iranian authorities. all indications suggest or tell us that our sailors were well taken care of, provided with blankets and food and assisted with their return to the fleet earlier today. and i think we can all imagine how a similar situation might have played out three or four years ago. clear that today,
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this kind of issue was able to be peacefully resolved and officially resolved, and that is a testament to the critical role that diplomacy plays in keeping our country's safe, secure, and strong. nermeen: kerry and his iranian counterpart, mohammad javad zarif, spoke by phone for hours to resolve the sailors' detention. the quick resolution also stands in contrast to iran's detention of 15 british marines under similar circumstances in 2007. the arrests sparked a 13-day international standoff that saw heightened tensions between iran and the west. the u.s. incident comes just days before a landmark nuclear deal between iran, the u.s. and other world powers is set to take effect. the international atomic energy agency is expected to report as early as friday that iran has met its initial obligations. that will potentially mean the lifting of sanctions and the unfreezing of at least $50
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billion in iranian funds cut off by western governments overseas. amy: taken together, these two developments may signal a new era for u.s.-iran relations, much to the chagrin of those who have favored the path of hostility and war. for more, we are joined by trita parsi, founder and president of the national iranian american council. the author of the forthcoming, "losing an enemy: obama, iran, and the legacy of diplomacy." welcome back to democracy now! can you explain what actually happened? the u.s. immediately said, yes, they had entered iranian waters, the two u.s. ships. they said because of mechanical problems. but now they seem to be walking that back. can you explain how it is the sailors ended up in iranian custody? >> we don't know exactly, but with a sailor said in an interview with the iranian tv was that they actually knew they were entering iranian waters, their instruments did indicate that, but they didn't get out in time, i guess.
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but the bottom line is, though, it is really fascinating the u.s. from the very outset made clear they had gone into iranian waters by mistake. this is a big difference between what happened this time around and what happened with the british sailors. the british sailors denied they'd entered into iranian waters, and later on a british from injury inquiry established the iranian narrative was correct, they had entered iranian waters. and that took 13 days to resolve and thankfully, resolved peacefully. amy: in 2007. >> correct. but what happened here was record time. there were not help her more than 16 hours. the fact the critics of the administration think of anything to stand on to criticize is astonishing. nermeen: could you expect how the incident was resolved so quickly? >> everything that happened between the u.s. in a rent in the last 35 years has happened in the context of, honest documentation between the two sides and almost no trust
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between the two sides. what happened this time around is quite a different context. there is a little bit of trust between the two sides because of the nuclear deal and because of the diplomatic engagement that has taken place in the last two years. and because there was intense communication. the spoke five times during 16 hours to get this resolved. the result is, it was resolved in record time. it is clear indication that engagement works and those who said the nuclear deal would lead to iran becoming more aggressive their face.f egg on we assume the opposite, that things were diffused quickly. nermeen: some republicans have criticized the obama administration for the nuclear deal in light of the incident. republican presidential candidate donald trump described the detention of the sailors as "an indication of where the hell we're going." he was speaking at a campaign rally in iowa. >> you heard what happened, iran
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took over two of our boats. they said their going to release them. isn't that nice. this is in the same country. when i hear -- that just happen. just happened. it literally just happened and i think it is not so good. it is just an indication of where the hell we're going. hopefully, they get released and fast, but it seems to be an indication of where were going. that iran is the dumbest deal i've seen. nermeen: even after the sailors were released, trump tweeted -- "iran toys with u.s. days before we pay them, ridiculously, billions of dollars. don't release money. we want our hostages back now!" trita parsi, could you respond to the comments made by republican presidential candidate donald trump? >> i think what we saw here is the administration did not panic and they did not enter into any bluster. as a result, the issue was resolved peacefully within 16 hours. if the next president of the united states approaches these issues -- not just with iran but
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other countries as well -- in the manner that some of the gop candidates have said him a desk said they would, most likely would the sailors nodded and releases quickly, potentially could have escalated into an actual conflict. with the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff was leaving his post, he did a tour around the u.s. and was asked what he is most worried about. he said one of the things he is worried about is the were be some sort of incident in the persian gulf between the united states and iran, an accident, but because of the lack of communication, there would be no ability to de-escalate matters. and the lack of medication would lead to misjudgments and miscalculations and a small incident would lead to a major escalation in the conflict. now we have communication and instead of getting into that nine or scenario that might well and was talking about, we got into the opposite. it was quickly resolved. it is astonishing that opponents of the administration say they have something to criticize.
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adon't think there's been situation of this kind of which it got resolved so quickly between two countries that otherwise still do not have particularly good relations. amy: msnbc's joe scarborough tweeted tuesday -- "hey iran, you have exactly 300 days left to push a u.s. president around. enjoy it while you can. after that, there will be hell to pay." if you could respond to that, aboutparsi, and also talk what is about to happen, the $50 billion in iranian assets that have been seized will be unfrozen, often referred to come as you heard trump saying, we are paying them this money. tweet,d to scarborough's he goes back to the idea that by being tough in speaking with all this bluster, we are going to have an effective foreign-policy. we tried that during the bush years and we saw what happened with the iranian nuclear program, it accelerated very, very quickly. doing george bush's term, the
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iranians went from 164 to 8000 centrifuge. for the first time, their cutting that back extensively. there also giving up a lot of their lower enriched uranium and giving the international community much greater access into what is happening in the program. that is thanks to diplomacy, not thanks to bluster. that is due to making compromises rather than just making threats. it is easy to sit down and tweet, but if you want to have a responsible foreign policy, it could not be based on these types of principles. that leads to no solution or actually a military confrontation. as to the question of what will happen in the next couple of days, the assets that belong to iran that were frozen as part of the effort of the administration to put pressure on iran will be released, whether it is $50 billion or less, i'm not entirely sure. whether it will be released in batches are the same time, i'm not entirely clear on, either. the bottom line is, the iranians
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are going to get some things in the next couple of days as a result of the fact they have put cement into the core of the iraq reactor, which means they cannot use that react her to reduce plutonium that can be used for nuclear weapon. they have given access to the international atomic energy agency to make sure that program is fully transparent. they have cut down the number of centrifuge with almost two thirds, given up on is the entire stockpile of leu. as a result of these measures, some sanctions will be lifted on iran and some of their assets will be returned to iran. that is what diplomacy looks like. it has to be a compromise. both sides have to give something. if we think we can conduct foreign policy by dictating to other countries what they have to do and never give anything from our ownend, we're going to end up with the same time before post a result that george bush produced. nermeen: i would like to ask about iran's position in the region. earlier this month, saudi arabia executed 47 people including
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, shiite cleric nimr al-nimr, marking its largest mass execution in decades. in response, protesters in the iranian capital tehran torched part of the saudi embassy. saudi arabia responded by severing diplomatic ties with iran. the sunni-led nations of bahrain and sudan soon followed suit. the united arab emirates downgraded ties with iran, while kuwait recalled its ambassador there. last week, saudi foreign minister adel al-jubeir said saudi arabia would also end air traffic and trade relations with iran. >> we decided to cut off all diplomatic relations with iran and will be cutting off all air traffic to and from iran. we will be cutting off all commercial relations with iran and we will have a travel ban against people traveling to iran . youeen: trita parsi, could comment on the severing of ties between iran and saudi arabia? >> it is significant, very problematic because as long as the saudi-iranian tensions
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increase and continue in the manner they have, it is going to be very difficult to get a peaceful solution to what is happening in syria right now, yemen, and elsewhere. the competition between saudi arabia and iran is having a destabilizing effect on the entire region, particularly, where there is a ready conflict. the iranians and huge mistake -- this was completely unacceptable when they attacked the saudi embassy and they're paying a price for because the saudis have the greater ability to try to isolate iran in the region and get a lot of arab countries and others to side with saudi arabia. the real reason behind the saudi conduct, though, the saudis are very worried about the potential for improved relations between the united states and iran. they're very worried iran will be able to be rehabilitated with the lifting of sanctions and the improved lyrical relations with washington and europe. as a result, iran will gain standing in the region at the expense of saudi arabia.
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amy: trita parsi, the significance of the execution of al-nimr, and was he beheaded? did saudi arabia behead him as they did so many in that mass execution? >> as i understand it, he was not beheaded. nothing is quite clear the saudi government knew very well if it nimr, and many countries, could in the western countries, have pleaded with saudi arabia not to do this. they knew it would spark some form of a crisis. it does appear as if the saudis wanted some form a crisis, precisely in order to complicate matters in the region, particularly between the u.s. and around. items on theny saudi side to slow down or completely halt what seemed to be a trend of improved u.s.-are iran relations, precisely because they're fearful of that leading to greater -- lesser
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significance for saudi arabia in the region and the united states having new options, not being so dependent on saudi arabia as it has been in the past decades. amy: on friday, executives from 25 news agencies sent a letter to secretary of state john kerry urging him to press iran to release the jailed washington post reporter jayson resign. what is the latest on this and why does iran continue to hold him? >> what the iranians are doing not just with jason but with many other iranian americans and others is unacceptable and is a complete violation of the human rights of these individuals have not been able to have access to lawyers and be able to actually even know what the charges against them are. jason is one of many examples in which the iranian government are violating human rights. there seems to be some pretty extensive negotiations + dust behind the scenes.
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we may see some outcome of this and the next couple of weeks. but the point is, jason and many of these others should never have been arrested in the first place. if they can be released soon, of course, that is the best that can happen, particularly for the families who have been suffering tremendously throughout all of this. amy: trita parsi, thank you for being with us founder and , president of the national iranian american council. he's the author of, "a single roll of the dice: obama's diplomacy with iran." his new book will be called "losing an enemy: obama, iran, , and the legacy of diplomacy." when we come back, we're going to the state of emergency, that is, the massive methane leak in california will stop stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "apeman" by the kinks. health and environmental experts administratione of changing guidelines.
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does it have something to do with the massive lobbying campaign by the meat industry? that is coming up in the next segment, something to chew on. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. turn to the latest in what is being called the nation's biggest environmental disaster since the bp oil spill. today is day 84 of a runaway natural gas leak above los angeles that's emitted more than 150 million pounds of methane. nearly 3000 families in the community of porter ranch have been relocated into temporary housing. two schools have been closed. the exact cause is unknown, but it's believed that well casing was breached deep below the ground. adding to the confusion, the methane is invisible to the eye, so residents can't see the fumes causing them headaches, nausea, dizziness, and nosebleeds. this is matt pakucko, co-founder of save porter ranch. >> it is just like in hell. i don't know what is going to happen day-to-day, if i can work, if i can breathe.
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when i'm sick, and my getting a cold or my dying from this crap? it is anxiety and every engine all day long. can i go home? should i leave? stack ofd see the bills and unopened mail. i can't pay them right now. stuff is being missed. nermeen: the company responsible, southern california gas company, is digging a new well into the ground so it can pour in mud and cement to contain the old one. new figures from the california air resources board show methane levels have declined since their peak in late november. but socal gas says it could take two to three months to stop the breach. california governor jerry brown declared a state of emergency in the area last week. on wednesday, california senators dianne feinstein and barbara boxer asked federal officials to investigate the leak and see if there's a faster way to contain it. the los angeles city attorney and los angeles county have filed a lawsuit against socal gas. amy: methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that accelerates
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climate change 86 times more than carbon dioxide. at its peak, the leak has spewed the equivalent pollution of 4.5 million cars each day. on top of impact to surrounding communities, the porter ranch leak has raised concns about similar incidents across the state and around the country. there are 14 such natural gas storage facilities in california and more than 400 across the u.s. critics say they are plagued by ailing infrastructure and a lack of adequate regulation. for more we are joined by two guests. tim o'connor is director, california oil and gas, at the environmental defense fund. and david balen is president of the renaissance homeowners association, located just outside of the well site. he's also a member of the porter ranch neighborhood council and board member of the porter ranch neighborhood school. let's start with tim o'connor. layout the scope of what has taken place so far. ,hen we last talked about this
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the governor had not declared a state of emergency. so talk about what has happened since. >> of course we know this leak has resulted in a state of emergency, really since day one. and since the order by the governor, the pollution has continued to spew out of the well like a volcano up above the community. even after being reduced by over 60%, this still has the climate change relevance and moreficance of having pollution than all of california's oil and gas production emissions combined. it is really quite phenomenal. nermeen: tim o'connor, could you talk about what some of the health effects of an of this week -- leak? >> thousands upon thousands of people throughout porter ranch in the san fernando valley have been feeling the effects of this leak for many months. and will continue to do so for many months more. in addition to having a cute
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impacts -- nosebleeds and headaches and really bad problems right now -- there's a real worry about amy: is seems like we just took a hit on our los angeles satellite. we're talking to tim o'connor of the environment will defense fund and we will also turn in just a moment to david balen, one of the residents of the area. let me turn to what state senator of california fran pavley said in a news conference during which she announced a new legislative package to tighten regulations on california's natural gas industry in the wake of the methane leak. >> one of our goals is civil words, "never again to go how can we make sure this kind of tragedy doesn't happen again. today we will be proposing an urgency legislation to impose a moratorium on new gas injections and restrictions on vintage wells into the storage facility
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until state agencies, by that i the cdc, dockers, an outside independent experts, determining site can be safely operated and especially those older 1950's wells, make sure they don't pose a risk to public health and safety. amy: that is california state senator fran pavley. tim o'connor, can you respond? >> if the facility is safe and it is going to intended to be used. we know it is only one of 400 -- it is one of over 400 in the u.s. the business model has been to not regulate these effectively until catastrophe strikes. we have a huge catastrophe in california and we can't let these things leak methane and pollutants into the air. , talk aboutalen what has happened since you were last on. describe the scene on the ground with you and your neighbors.
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>> just recently, just last week, we were finally approved for relocation. my family and i are looking forward to moving into a new home and getting out of the contaminated area. it has been quite trying for my family, as well as the other families throughout the community. the neighborhoods are decreasing in numbers of people residing in the community, but on the other hand, we have a large police patrolling the area to keep the community safe. amy: in response to the proposed legislation, socal gas issued the following statement -- "the initiative announced today by senator pavley and other legislators represents the start of a legislative process. socal gas appreciates the legislators' interest in the topic and looks forward to participating in the public discussion. as we have since this incident began, socal gas stands willing and ready to cooperate with the governor's office, all state and local officials, and regulatory agencies." david balen, do you think -- do
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you believe them? >> i hope that it is true. i really do. havel that -- they overcome to this issue. they are caught in a turmoil. they need to get out of the situation as fast as possible. this is definitely causing the community grief. so i do believe that. nermeen: tim o'connor, could you respond to how socal has responded to the leak? >> i think it is amazing and quite telling that when we look at this company and this facility more broadly, we see things that are quite troubling and really systematic of the oil and gas industry across the united states. we have a major infrastructure problem. over time we left it up to oil and gas companies to take care leaks andprevent integrity problems from rising. this leak is one example of what happenshen infrtructure
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starts tfail. wh inspectors went out on the site, they found 15 other wells that were leaking methane, and that was after this started, after the facility was under the microscope. manyctor still found many, more leaks. we think this is a problem in california and across our nation, and we need much tighter regulation and standards of companies like socal. tim o'connor and david balen, thank you for being with us. we will continue to follow what has been described as the worst terminal disaster since the bp oil spill. when we come back from the break, we will talk about the , whatetary guidelines they are recommending, what they have remained silent about. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "eat the menu" by the sugarcubes. a shout out to the students at
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park slope's collegiate school will come to watch democracy now! today. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: health and environmental experts are accusing the obama administration of caving to the meat industry in its new dietary guidelines the federal nutrition , standards for public programs, school lunches, food labels, and more. while the guidelines recommend consuming less sugar, they do not recommend eating less meat. this comes despite recent findings by the world health organization that processed meat causes cancer. advocates are also condemning the government for dropping a proposed recommendation from the federal advisory committee that people eat an environmentally sustainable diet. this, too, would have led to recommendations to curb meat consumption, since meat production uses far more water than other forms of food production. amy: but their proposal came up against heavy lobbying from the meat industry. groups including the national cattlemen's beef association, the national pork producers council, and the north american meat institute spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to remove
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the committee's call to eat less meat. and their victory has a shelf life at least five years, with the next set of dietary guidelines not due until 2021. for more, we are joined by lawrence gostin, university professor and faculty director at the o'neill institute for national and global health law at georgetown university. he is also the director of the world health organization collaborating center on public health law. welcome to democracy now!, professor. can you start off by saying, what is the world health organization and scientific communities -- community's opinion about consumption of meat? >> well, certainly, processed , coldike ham, hot dogs cuts that are cured and smoked, they are thought to be carcinogenic. there is good evidence that they are carcinogenic and cause various cancers like colon cancer and possibly stomach
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cancer. and so the world health organization recommends that we should significantly limit our intake of those kinds of processed meats. nermeen: so does this only a process to process meat, not red meat more generally? >> in terms of the cancer-causing properties, processed meats, there is stronger evidence that processed meats cause cancers. but also from other kinds of meats, other red meats -- these, pork -- also not very good for you in terms of cardiovascular health and there is some evidence that they can cause cancer, particularly when americans were others go into their barbecue or other places and really cook them so that they are burnt, which may have
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cancer-causing properties to them as well. but in any case, we know that a healthy diet doesn't include a or of either processed meats red meats. you should be getting your ,tofu, from beans poultry, and particularly fish. amy: dr. richard wender, chief cancer control officer of the american cancer society recently commented on the new dietary guidelines saying -- "the science on the link between cancer and diet is extensive. by omitting specific diet recommendations, such as eating less red and processed meat, these guidelines miss a critical and significant opportunity to reduce suffering and death from cancer." professor, talk about how the usda arrived at its dietary guidelines. they said eat less sugar, but they did not comment on meat. what is the significance of these guidelines?
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how do they affect the american diet? >> let me first talk about the sugar, because i would not give them a free pass on sugar. ouruse what the scientists scientific advisory committee recommended, a specific recommendation for americans to drinks andgar added beverages. completely omitted. there was just a vague reference to eat less sugar, but not specifically don't strength sugar-sweetened drinks like colas and other kinds of sodas. so don't give them a free pass. i think the beverage industry also put a lot of pressure, as well as the need industry, but allcertainly can see that of the science -- the vast majority of nutritional scientists believe that red meat consumption should be significantly limited.
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the government's own dietary advisory panel recommended that that recommendation appear in the final guidelines, and yet they were absent. and it was very clear why they were absent because there is a lot of political pressure put by special interest, in this case, the meat producers, that really just sits in government recommendations. and that is very sad because there's nothing more important than the health of americans. nermeen: so how powerful would you say these lobbying groups are, the meat industry and beverages? >> you know, i would say this -- we think of tobacco as an evil industry, and there is -- it unquestionably is, and we call a big tobacco, but we also need to start to recognize something called big food.
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of course, all food isn't bad. we need to eat. i love to eat, heaven knows. -- there is all kinds of political influence of the food industry, particularly meat and the beverage industry, i could also mention alcohol and other industries, are very powerful. we tend to think of them as good guys, but they're not always good guys. eatthe diets that americans , we think it is a pure choice, but the kinds of labeling, marketing, producing of unhealthy processed foods of a wide variety -- here we're talking about meat, quite rightly -- very imrtant, but if you go to a supermarket cafeteria in the morning, you're going to see all kinds of sausages and bacons and
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people putting lox on their plate. that is really bad for them. we ought to tell people that. nermeen: lawrence gostin, can you talk about whether other countries advise their citizens differently on red meat consumption and the consumption of processed meat? >> a lot of it depends on whether or not the country has a strong industry in that area. so if you have got -- if you have a country like the united states or brazil or argentina that have a large cattle and beef industry, you're going to see a lot more pressure put on then you do in other countries. say the u.k. has some beef, but much less, they in the european guidelines recommend eating less red meat. upon how depends powerful the industry is asked
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to what happens. and you did ask me the question, does it matter what the government recommends? it does., biggest the public the message, but it also influences school meals that we feed ourhildren. these thgs are rlly imrtant conseences f the and hlth of our nation, we shouldn't take them lightly. amy: the major purchases made by schools, for example. on the issue of the trade agreements, like the tpp, many are concerned about the issue of meat labeling, with the tpp, for example, get in the way of talking about origins, country origins of the meat you might be eating, professor? >> they might. we don't have the details of the transpacific partnership but there are lots of concerns, concerns about tobacco, alcohol, food labeling,
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and certainly, meat. we just don't know what protectionism is going to be put in to protect large special interests. but i can take this, we ought to look at trade agreements, the atlantic and pacific trade agreements, through the eye assigns of public health. thatour mothers told us nothing is more important than your health is really true. and we need to make our representatives abide by that mantra. , thank youce gostin for being with us university , professor and faculty director at the o'neill institute for national and global health law at georgetown university. he is also the director of the world health organization collaborating center on public health law. as we wrap up today, we turn to a renowned scientists, one of the world's leading voices on the issue of climate change and protecting the environment.
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jane goodall primatologist, best , known for her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees and baboons. i had a chance to speak with her at the un's climate change summit in paris. >> i am here really to talk about the importance of saving the rain forest as a way of mitigating climate change because i know more about that than many of the other issues, although, i talk about all of them. amy: why is it important to save the rain forest? >> because they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. and as we cut them down and burn them, that co2 is released back from the trees, the leaves, and also from the forest. about 50% of our tropical rain profits have gone. there are going at a tremendously fast rate. even when they are protected in many countries because of corruption, the powerful corporations, the worship of money and profit, the protection
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isn't always saving the forest. amy: you have recently been in the united states. you know there's a presidential election going on. especiallyk about, in the republican party, the presidential candidates like a leading candidate donald trump's denial that climate change is caused by human beings, overwhelmingly? >> well, i listen to donald trump saying he doesn't believe that we have caused or are causing climate change and some of the other right-wing leaders, and i just ask myself, do they really believe what they are saying? because it seem so very obvious. if you read the facts, i don't see i you can come to any other is our misuse it of fossil fuels, the emissions, from agriculture, from industry, from households. the vast impact being made by
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this intensive farming of animals. and in order to feed the billions and billions of cows and pigs and chickens -- even if you don't care about the cruelty, even if you refuse to admit that these are individuals with feelings, who feel pain and have emotions, even if you don't admit that, you have to admit huge areas of forests cut down to grosgrain to be them, inensive cattle grazing woodlands and scrub lands, fruit and one in, gas out both ends, that is methane and that is an even more potent greenhouse gas than co2. it is about 36% of all methane emissions come from this intensive farming. amy: couch? >> cows, pigs, the whole thing. amy: can you talk about how diet fuels climate change and why you
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are a vegetarian? because,vegetarian partly because, you know, i respect animals. i know they're all individuals and i would not eat a cow anymore than i would eat my dog. that is the truth. pigs are more intelligent the many dogs. but in addition, when you know the impact on the environment of eatingtensive, intensive of meat, it is also true that being a vegetarian is more healthy. and so everything combined, i would be a vegan if house in one place, the yet to be a bit careful if you are a vegan to get the right sorts of nutrients and so forth. road, vegetarian is sometimes hard, but i do stick to that. amy: what have you learned as a leading primatologist, expert in chimpanzees and baboons, what
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most of us don't know? really -- it's really started a long time ago. inent to study chimpanzees 1960. i had not even been a college. when i went to cambridge two years later -- amy: where did you go? >> i which a national park in tanzania. after i had been there for about , the late my mentor leslie he, told me i had to get a degree. ,ot me a place in cambridge straight into a phd because he said there was no time for a b.a. imagine my shock when these erudite professors of which i was a little nervous, told me i had done everything wrong, that i should have given the chimpanzees numbers are not names. i could not talk about them having personalities, minds capable of problem solving, surly not emotions.
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and in fact, back then, it was generally thought that there was a sharp line between us and the rest of the animals and it was a difference of kind, so clearly, a difference of degree -- the same building blocks of life that we traceroute evolution coming up from very primitive sort of creatures and ending up in our bodies. so basically, the chimpanzees opened the door for a new way of thinking about animals to admit that we are not the only beings withersonalies, mine and emotns. and that it makes us ask the question, that we are different, so what is the biggest difference? intellect. how is it possible that the most intellectual creature that is ever walked the planet is destroying its only home. >> as you spent time at the
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u.n., change summit 2015, the one that is being considered the most important after kyoto because it is supposed to be a binding agreement, then when the united states, president obama says it can't be called a binding treaty because then he would have to put it through congress, what have you been most struck by? >> i have been to four other cops, and i think the thing that is different is it is more of a sense of urgency, and there are far more people accepting the fact that climate change is for real. i mean, if you look around the world on the list any day, you see what is happening. flooding, people are dying in the brc from floods. you go down to namibia, getting drier and drier and drier. the new goodies terrible storms. i mean, even in the u.k. last week, a plan was diverted because thee wind was so strong, it could not land. yes, these things have always
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happened, but they are happening faster and faster. the permafrost under the tibetan plateau is melting way faster than science predicted. if that releases all of the methane into the atmosphere, it is going to -- climate change. it is happening in alaska and elsewhere. amy: we were talking to, scientist kevin anderson and he was criticizing climate scientists saying they're censoring themselves, that no matter what is said, it is actually much worse. >> they're not brave enough. they want to sort of be very cautious and say, "if" this and "if" that. if the ordinary person who cares, especially if you travel like i do, you feel it. i've lived long enough to see the change and to see how in the last 15 years or so, it has
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accelerated in a most terrifying way. amy: we're talking about the globe, the fate of the planet. how can one person make a difference? >> the thing is, it is not about one person, can they make a difference. does make aery day difference. if we think about the consequences of the choices we make, what we buy, what we eat, what we wear, and we start making the right ethical choices , then when that is multiplied 1000, 1 million, billion, several billion, we see the world moving toward change. so the most important thing is to give people hope. i have seen areas that have been destroyed that have come back to be beautiful again and support life. species on the brink of extinction, given -- amy: like where? >> i wrote a whole book.
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i picked -- the prime example, bir,ealand, was just two one maled one female posts them. amy: thank you so much, jane goodall. jane goodall, renowned primatologist best known for her , groundbreaking work with chimpanzees and baboons. i spoke to her last month in paris, france, at the u.n. climate summit. to see our two weeks of coverage there, you can go to democracynow.org. oscars just not go, the nominations have just been announced. the nominees for best " "the look are "amy "cartel land" and " on fire."
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jacques: everyone wants to be thin, it means beauty, success, desirability, and yet 60% of us are overweight. in the middle of an obesity crisis, the multibillion pound weight-loss business is bigger than ever. i'm jacques peretti, and in this series i'm going to investigate the men who made their fortunes out of our desire to be thin.

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