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Democracy Now! - November 27, 2015

Today we spend the hour with Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of the explosive book about white supremacy and being black in America. Titled "Between the World and Me," it is written as a letter to his teenage son, Samori. In July, Ta-Nehisi Coates launched the book in his hometown of Baltimore. He spoke at the historic Union Baptist Church. "It seems like there’s a kind of national conversation going on right now about those who are paid to protect us, who sometimes end up inflicting lethal harm upon us," Coates said. "But for me, this conversation is old, and I’m sure for many of you the conversation is quite old. It’s the cameras that are new. It’s not the violence that’s new."

Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, "Between the World and Me," has been called "required reading" by Toni Morrison. "I’ve been wondering who might fill the intellectual void that plagued me after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates," Morrison said. "Between the World and Me" is written as a letter to Coates’ 15-year-old son, Samori, and has been compared to "the talk" parents have with their children to prepare them for facing police harassment and brutality. The book is a combination of memoir, history and analysis. In July, Coates came to the Democracy Now! studio to talk about the book and his upbringing in Baltimore.

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Democracy Now! - November 26, 2015

Could Puerto Rico become America’s Greece? That’s a question many are asking as the island faces a devastating financial crisis and a rapidly crumbling healthcare system. Puerto Rico owes $72 billion in debt. $355 million in debt payments are due December 1, but it increasingly looks like the U.S. territory may default on at least some of the debt. Congress has so far failed to act on an Obama administration proposal that includes extending bankruptcy protection to Puerto Rico and allocating more equitable Medicaid and Medicare funding for the island. Meanwhile, Puerto Rican leaders in the United States are planning a massive lobbying day in Washington in early December to spur congressional action. In a holiday special, we feature a major speech by Democracy Now! co-host Juan González on "Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis: Economic Collapse in America’s Biggest Colony and What Can Be Done About It." Click the link to continue watching full episodes of Democracy Now!

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Democracy Now! - November 25, 2015

For the first time in three decades, a Chicago police officer faces charges of first-degree murder for an on-duty shooting. White police officer Jason Van Dyke was arrested on Tuesday and is being held without bail for the killing of African-American 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. It was more than a year ago, on October 20, 2014, when officer Van Dyke shot the teenager 16 times, including multiple times in the back. Police claimed McDonald lunged at the officer with a small knife. But newly released dashcam footage showed the teenager walking away from the police officers’ cars when another police car pulls up to the scene. The video, which has no sound, then appears to show Officer Jason Van Dyke jumping out of the car, pointing his gun at McDonald and opening fire. The teenager’s body spins as he is hit with the barrage of bullets and then falls to the pavement, where he continues to be struck by bullets. Officer Van Dyke remained on paid desk duty after the shooting until he was taken into custody on Tuesday. In addition to the fatal shooting last October, Officer Van Dyke had at least 18 civilian complaints against him, which included excessive use of force, illegal arrest and use of racial slurs. None of these complaints led to any disciplinary action. This week Chicago police announced they will also move to fire officer Dante Servin, who killed 22-year-old African-American woman Rekia Boyd in 2012. We discuss the developments in Chicago with Barbara Ransby, professor of African American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies and History at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Nearly a thousand Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets of Minneapolis, Minnesota Tuesday after alleged white supremacists opened fire on a demonstration the night before, injuring five people. Police have now arrested three people in connection with the mass shooting, which took place at a protest outside a police precinct. At least one of the gunmen was reportedly wearing a mask. All three suspects are white. Authorities may treat the shooting as a hate crime. Witnesses of the shooting say police took an unusually long time to respond to the attack, and then proceeded to use mace on the protesters. At the time of Monday’s attack, the Black Lives Matter protesters were gathered at an encampment outside a police precinct to protest the police killing of unarmed 24-year-old African-American Jamar Clark, which the Justice Department is now investigating. Authorities say Clark was shot in the head Sunday after a scuffle with officers who responded to a report of an assault. But multiple witnesses say Clark was shot while handcuffed. We speak with eyewitness to Monday evening’s shooting Leslie Redmond, who is a student at The University of St. Thomas School of Law and president of the Black Law Student Association.

Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison has joined the chorus of people demanding transparency and the release of the video of the police killing of 24-year-old African-American Jamar Clark ten days ago. Authorities say police shot Clark in the head after a scuffle with officers who responded to a report of an assault. But multiple witnesses say Clark was shot while handcuffed. Minneapolis police officers Mark Ringgenberg and Dustin Schwarze have been placed on administrative leave during the investigation. Ellison has also called for a Department of Justice investigation into Clark’s death, which has now begun. During a police raid last Wednesday, a police officer dressed in fatigues and carrying what appeared to be a gas-launching gun pointed his weapon at Ellison’s own son, Jeremiah. “It is a violation of decency,” Ellison says. “Shouldering a weapon against nonviolent protesters is aggressive… and it did not help de-escalate the situation at all.”

In our extended interview with Congressmember Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim member of Congress, he dismisses legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week to restrict Iraqi and Syrian refugees from resettling in the United States after the attacks in France. The Republican-backed measures would require top federal officials to sign off on every person from Iraq and Syria seeking refugee status. “We’ve had 750,000 refugees come into this country since the year 2001. None of them – not one – has been engaged in terrorism,” Ellison says. “Why then are we going to revamp our whole refugee resettlement program simply because of intimidation by Daesh?”

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Democracy Now! - November 24, 2015

Chicago is bracing for several new developments in the police-involved death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was shot and killed over a year ago. Officer Jason Van Dyke will reportedly be charged with first-degree murder on Tuesday, and the city has until Wednesday to release the video footage of the shooting, ordered last week by Cook County Judge Franklin Valderrama. An autopsy report shows McDonald was shot 16 times on October 20, 2014, including multiple times in the back. Police have said that the teenager lunged at the officer with a small knife. But people who have seen the video from police dashcam footage say it contradicts the police account, instead showing Van Dyke opening fire on the teenager while he was walking away, and continuing to shoot him even after the teenager was lying on the pavement. Despite the fact that McDonald’s family did not file a lawsuit, the city paid them $5 million in April and fought to conceal the video, even after the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune and a freelance journalist all filedFOIA requests for its release. Van Dyke remains on paid desk duty, as the shooting is investigated by the FBI and the United States attorney’s office in Chicago. For more we are joined by Jamie Kalven, founder of the Invisible Institute, a nonprofit journalism outlet that recently released tens of thousands of pages of civilian complaints filed against the Chicago Police Department — 97 percent of which resulted in absolutely no disciplinary action. Kalven is also the freelance journalist who uncovered Laquan McDonald’s autopsy report.

As Chicago braces for protests ahead of the release of video footage of the police shooting of Laquan McDonald, we speak with Charlene Carruthers, the National Director of the Black Youth Project 100. Her organization declined a meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office on Monday as the city tries to quell impending protests. "For us, it was important not to take a meeting with the mayor where it was clear to us that this series of meetings was about how are we going to quell our fears — being the mayor’s office’s fears — about what young, black people are going to do once this video is released," Carruthers said. "They’re very concerned with the city remaining peaceful, but unfortunately, the community, or the target, that is being told to remain peaceful is not the Chicago Police Department."

The firestorm of controversy that erupted over whether the United States should continue to accept Syrian refugees after the deadly attacks in Paris includes a bill by House Republican lawmakers to restrict Iraqi and Syrian refugees from resettling here. At least 31 U.S. states have said they will not accept the refugees, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said, "We can’t have them. They are going back." Others are drawing historical parallels with a different refugee crisis the country faced in the 1930s, when Jewish refugees sought refuge here. Case Western Reserve University history professor Peter Schulman recently tweeted a Fortune Magazine poll question from 1939 that asked, "Should the U.S. government permit 10,000 mostly Jewish refugee children to come in from Germany?" The results showed 61 percent of respondents at the time said no. Among those seeking refuge and denied entry were Anne Frank and her family. "The nativist response then has very clear echos now," says Ishaan Tharoor, foreign affairs reporter for The Washington Post, whose recent article is headlined, "Yes, the comparison between Jewish and Syrian refugees matters." We also speak with Ilya Lozovsky, an editor at Foreign Policy and author of the article, "I’m a Russian-born American Jew. My people’s rejection of Syrian refugees breaks my heart." He says he decided to speak out because "[e]ven if Donald Trump never becomes president, this type of discourse has become legitimized."

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Democracy Now! - November 23, 2015

Belgium’s capital city of Brussels is on its highest alert as residents remain on lockdown. People are being told to stay away from their windows, and schools remain closed as police and soldiers carry out raids in the search for suspects in the Paris attacks ten days ago that killed 130 people. Overnight raids resulted in 16 arrests. No guns or explosives were found, and Salah Abdeslam, the main suspect in the Paris attacks who drove to Brussels afterward, remains at large. Meanwhile, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel says Brussels will remain under the country’s highest level of security threat, meaning the threat of an attack is "serious and imminent." We speak with Belgian-born human rights activist Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch’s emergencies director, who has spent the last few months interviewing refugees coming to Europe mostly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. He also examines what he calls the "marginalized ghettos" in European cities where many migrants live, including the Brussels suburb called Molenbeek, where some of the Paris attackers lived. "Europe really should be focusing more on the marginalized Muslim communities at home and try to better meet their needs, make sure that young people are educated and have jobs available, because the reality is that the majority of these people who carried out the Paris attacks were French citizens — some of them resident in Molenbeek — who have been living in France all of their lives," Bouckaert says. He also notes Belgium has been a center for the illegal weapons trade for decades.

While 130 people died in the Paris attacks, an average of 100 Americans are killed in gun violence every day, prompting many to question whether "another Paris is taking place in America this very day." We speak with one of the mayors leading the charge for stricter federal gun laws. Ras Baraka is mayor of Newark, New Jersey, where one in four residents live in poverty, schools are under state control and the city has one of the highest murder rates in the country. "The shootings in these cities where I am the mayor and all over the country are growing higher and higher because of access to guns," Baraka said. "In New Jersey, fortunately, we have some stricter gun laws. But unfortunately, they bring guns across I-78 and I-95, guns come from the southern part of the country and into hands of 14- and 15-year-old kids who are using them to solve disputes and creating murder and mayhem in our community. We have to have universal kind of gun laws that affect every state and every city, not just a few."

The education system of Newark, New Jersey has faced years of crisis, with high dropout rates, low-performing schools and a state takeover dating back two decades. In 2010, Republican Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, former Democratic Mayor Cory Booker of Newark and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg joined forces to revamp Newark schools. But despite trumpeting their plan as a model for national school reform, millions of dollars initially flowed not to the schools but to outside consultants, most of them white and with no ties to Newark’s majority African-American community. "A lot of [the money] went to consultants," says Baraka. "Not much went toward teacher training, toward teachers and classrooms to give them better resources and opportunities for kids in the schools. I think now because there has been a lot of uproar and a lot of discussion and because we have a new person in charge of that when I became mayor, we began to talk about the last bit of money and how we get to spend that. Hopefully, use it for the benefits of the children."

When Ras Baraka was elected mayor of Newark, New Jersey in May 2014, he entered office as the well-known son of noted global activist and poet Amiri Baraka, with similar radical politics. In his inaugural address, Baraka said, "We need … a mayor that puts his city first. A mayor that never forgets how he got here. We need a mayor that’s radical." He calls for an "urban Marshall Plan" to invest in cities. "My family has been in Newark almost 100 years," Baraka said. "Nothing has been given to those folks — job training, job development, infrastructure redevelopment, roads, bridges, highways, hospitals, schools, putting people to work, giving people jobs and decent education. All of that is necessary in a democracy and to move America forward."

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Democracy Now! - November 20, 2015

A hostage crisis is underway in Mali, where suspected Islamist militants have stormed a luxury hotel in the capital Bamako and taken over 180 people hostage. Malian special forces have launched a rescue operation and exchanged fire with the militants inside. Dozens of people have reportedly been freed, while at least three deaths have been confirmed. Mali has faced a radical insurgency since 2012, when Islamist militants seized northern areas. A French-led intervention ousted them the following year, but violence continues across the country. For context on the hostage crisis in Mali, we turn to Nick Turse, whose book "Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa" explores the expanding American battlefield in Africa, where the U.S. military is now involved in more than 90 percent of Africa’s 54 nations. Turse discusses how the U.S.-backed intervention in Libya helped fuel the ongoing militant violence in nearby Mali. Watch the original interview here, plus Part 2, and Part 3.

Has the U.S. drone war "fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like ISIS"? That’s the conclusion of four former Air Force servicemembers who are speaking out together for the first time. They’ve issued a letter to President Obama warning the U.S. drone program is one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism. They accuse the administration of lying about the effectiveness of the drone program, saying it is good at killing people—just not the right ones. The four drone war veterans risk prosecution by an administration that has been unprecedented in its targeting of government whistleblowers. In a Democracy Now! exclusive, they join us in their first extended broadcast interview.

Former Air Force pilot Brandon Bryant is one of the the first U.S. drone operators to speak out against President Obama’s global assassination program. Bryant served as a sensor operator for the Predator program from 2007 to 2011, manning the camera on the unmanned aerial vehicles that carried out attacks overseas. After he left active duty in the Air Force, he was presented with a certificate that credited his squadron for 1,626 kills. We hear Bryant’s recounting of his first-ever lethal drone strike and the impact it continues to have on him today.

In an unprecedented open letter to President Obama, four U.S. Air Force servicemembers who took part in the drone war say targeted killings and remote-control bombings fuel the very terrorism the government says it’s trying to destroy. Two of the signatories, former sensor operator Stephen Lewis and former Air Force technician Cian Westmoreland, tell us why they are speaking out for the first time about what they did. “Anybody in the Air Force knows that an air strike has collateral damage a significant amount of the time,” Westmoreland says. “I’m saying it wasn’t all enemies. It was civilians as well.”

Among the issues tackled in the new documentary film "Drone" is the connection between video games and military recruitment. We air a clip from the film and speak to its director, Tonje Hessen Schei, as well as drone war whistleblower Brandon Bryant. "I think gamers should be offended that the military and the government are using [video games] to manipulate and recruit," Bryant says. "We’re more interconnected now than at any time in human history — and that’s being exploited to help people kill one another."

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Democracy Now! - November 19, 2015

As France and Belgium move to expand state power in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, top U.S. officials have renewed a push to defend mass surveillance and dismiss those who challenge it. On Wednesday, FBIDirector James Comey said intelligence and law enforcement officials need to have access to encrypted information on smartphones, despite no evidence that the Paris attackers used encryption. Meanwhile, others have used the Paris attacks to criticize NSAwhistleblower Edward Snowden. In recent days, CIADirector John Brennan has suggested revelations about mass spying have made it harder to find terrorists, while former CIA Director James Woolsey has said Snowden has blood on his hands. "We have not heard such blatant, shameless lying from intelligence and military officials since 2002 and 2003 when they propagandized the country into invading Iraq based on utterly false pretenses," says The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald, the Pulitzer-winning journalist who exposedNSA mass surveillance based on Snowden’s leaks. "It is actually shocking to listen to."

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, media coverage has seen familiar patterns: uncritically repeat government claims, defend expansive state power, and blame the Muslim community for the acts of a few. We discuss media fearmongering, anti-Muslim scapegoating, ISIL’s roots, and war profiteering with Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and co-founder of The Intercept. "Every time there’s a terrorist attack, Western leaders exploit that attack to do more wars," Greenwald says. "Which in turn means they transfer huge amounts of taxpayer money to these corporations that sell arms. And so investors are fully aware that the main people who are going to benefit from this escalation as a result of Paris are not the American people or the people of the West — and certainly not the people of Syria — it is essentially the military-industrial complex."

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Democracy Now! - November 18, 2015

Friday’s deadly attacks in Paris have set off a storm of calls to close borders and reject refugees fleeing Syria, where over 4 million people have already left the war-torn country. President Obama said any attempts to block entry of Syrian refugees to the United States is "offensive and contrary to American values." "When individuals say that we should have a religious test and that only Christians—proven Christians—should be admitted, that’s offensive and contrary to American values," Obama said. "I cannot think of a more potent recruitment tool for ISIL than some of the rhetoric that’s been coming out of here during the course of this debate." We speak to Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch’s emergencies director. He has spent the last few months in the Balkans and Greece speaking to refugees coming mostly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

 House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have called for a "pause" in the U.S. program accepting Syrian refugees. Meanwhile, governors of at least 27 U.S. states have said they will not accept Syrian refugees. We speak to California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee.

Fourteen years ago, California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee Barbara Lee cast the sole dissenting vote against the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Three days after the Sept. 11 attacks, she took to the floor of the House and said: "Our country is in a state of mourning. Some of us must say let’s step back for a moment. Let’s just pause just for a minute and think through the implications of our actions today so that this does not spiral out of control." Rep. Lee is now calling on Congress to repeal the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for military force, saying they have been used as blank checks for endless war.

A new study has found at least 100,000 and as many as 240,000 women in Texas have attempted to self-induce an abortion. The study comes after about half the abortion clinics in Texas closed under a harsh anti-choice law passed in 2013. On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a challenge by abortion providers to the Texas law, marking what could be the most significant abortion case since Roe v. Wade. We speak with California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee, who introduced a bill in July to expand abortion access by dismantling the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funding for abortion. "The right wing is trying to take away women’s rights, there is a war on women, and we’re not going to let that happen, and so we have to fight back," Lee says. "We’re on the offense, and we’re going to one day — and I think it’s going to be sooner than later — we’re going to make sure that low-income women have full access to reproductive health services."

In the wake of the Paris attacks, climate activists and the French government are at odds over plans for a massive protest march on Nov. 29 ahead of the U.N. climate talks. French authorities are threatening to curtail public demonstrations and marches, but climate activists insist the right to protest and freedom of speech must be upheld even during a state of emergency. We speak to Alix Mazounie, the international policies coordinator at Climate Action Network France.

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Democracy Now! - November 17, 2015

France and Russia have staged a series of new airstrikes on the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Russia announced earlier today it would intensify strikes in Syria after the Russian intelligence service said it had found conclusive proof that a bomb had brought down the Metrojet airliner in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, killing 224 people on board last month. The United States has also vowed to intensify strikes in Syria and to step up their exchange of intelligence on potential targets with France. We speak with longtime journalist Abdel Bari Atwan about how the bombings could backfire and help grow the Islamic State.

Two days after the Paris attacks, President Obama met Saudi Arabia’s King Salman for a bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Turkey on Sunday. The following day, the Pentagon revealed the U.S. State Department has approved the sale of $1.29 billion in smart bombs to Saudi Arabia for its attack on Yemen. We speak to Abdel Bari Atwan about how the U.S. invasion of Iraq and the Saudi funding of jihadist movements helped the Islamic State grow.

Oxford researcher Lydia Wilson discusses interviewing members of ISIS held prisoner at a police station of Kirkuk, Iraq. "They are children of the occupation, many with missing fathers at crucial periods (through jail, death from execution, or fighting in the insurgency), filled with rage against America and their own government," Wilson wrote in a recent piece for The Nation. "They are not fueled by the idea of an Islamic caliphate without borders; rather, ISIS is the first group since the crushed Al Qaeda to offer these humiliated and enraged young men a way to defend their dignity, family, and tribe."

On Sunday more than 1,000 people overflowed a ballroom at California State University, Long Beach to honor Nohemí González, the 23-year-old student who was shot dead on Friday during the Paris attacks. González was a senior at the school. She was studying for a semester at Strate College of Design in suburban Paris. On Friday she was eating at a restaurant fired upon by gunmen. Nohemí González has been described as a proud first-generation Mexican American. We speak with her cousin, Miriam Padilla. "We are angry that my cousin is dead, but we are also angry that there are hundreds of children and families that are dying in Syria, in Iraq and in other parts of the world," Padilla says.

In the wake of Friday’s attacks in Paris, governors of at least 27 U.S. states have said they will not accept Syrian refugees. A Syrian passport which appears to be fake was found near the body of one of the Paris attackers, whose fingerprints matched someone who passed through Greece and the Balkans. But all the attackers identified so far are European nationals. The Obama administration has said it still plans to accept Syrian refugees, noting they are intensely vetted. We get reaction from Roula Allouch, national board chair of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

There are growing reports of Islamophobic attacks since Friday’s massacre in Paris. Just hours after the Paris assault, a caller left a voicemail laced with racial slurs for the Islamic Society of Pinellas County in St. Petersburg, Florida. The caller left his full name and threatened to "firebomb you, shoot whoever’s there on sight in the head." Meanwhile in Pflugerville, Texas, residents found a torn Qur’an covered in feces left in front of the local mosque. In Canada, a mosque in Peterborough, Ontario, was set on fire in what authorities have called a hate crime. We discuss the attacks with Roula Allouch, national board chair of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

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Democracy Now! - November 16, 2015

France has entered a third day of mourning after a string of suicide bombings and shootings targeted restaurants, a concert hall and the national soccer stadium on Friday night. The simultaneous attacks killed 129 people and injured hundreds more. It was the deadliest attack on French soil in decades. The worst carnage was unleashed as three gunmen killed at least 89 people at a rock concert at the Bataclan theater before detonating explosive belts. Thousands of Parisians have been gathering to mourn at the Place de la République despite a ban on demonstrations and public gatherings until November 19. Democracy Now! producer Sam Alcoff spoke to people in the square on Saturday.

Authorities said they believed the Paris attacks were carried out by eight assailants, several of whom were French nationals, working in three teams. Seven of the men died in the attacks. A massive manhunt is underway for the eighth—Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian-born French national. Two of his brothers were said to have died in the attack. Authorities also said one of the suicide bombers who blew himself up outside the national stadium was carrying a Syrian passport and his fingerprints matched someone who passed through Greece in October. French authorities carried out 168 raids overnight, making 23 arrests, as part of the investigation. Police in the Belgian city of Molenbeek also carried out a series of raids this morning. We speak with Mira Kamdar, Paris-based member of The International New York Times editorial board, for more on the investigation and aftermath of the attacks.

In retaliation for Friday’s attacks in Paris, France launched its heaviest airstrikes yet against the Syrian city of Raqqa, which has long served as the de facto capital of the so-called Islamic State. Friday’s attacks came just a day after the Islamic State claimed credit for a double attack in southern Beirut that killed at least 43 people, and two weeks after the group claimed responsibility for bringing down a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board. Over the weekend, French President François Hollande described Friday’s attack as an act of war. Speaking in Turkey at the G20 summit, President Obama described the events in Paris as "an attack on the civilized world." We speak with Vijay Prashad, professor of international studies at Trinity College and columnist for the Indian magazine Frontline, for more on the response to the attacks.

At Saturday’s debate, Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders sparred over the U.S. role in the rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. "I would argue that the disastrous invasion of Iraq, something that I strongly opposed, has unraveled the region completely and led to the rise of al-Qaeda and to ISIS," Sanders said. Clinton admitted her vote for the Iraq War was a mistake but rejected the U.S. role in the rise of ISIS. "I think that there are many other reasons why it has, in addition to what happened in the region, but I don’t think that the United States has the bulk of the responsibility," Clinton said. "I really put that on Assad and on the Iraqis and on the region itself."

Reports of Islamophobia have already emerged following the Paris attacks, and fears of attacks on Muslims in Paris have risen. After al-Qaeda-linked gunmen attacked the magazine Charlie Hebdo in January, there were nearly as many anti-Muslim incidents in the two weeks following the attacks as there were in all of the previous year. More than 220 anti-Muslim acts were recorded in the first quarter of 2015, a sixfold increase over the same period the previous year. The incidents included violent assaults and destruction of Muslim places of worship. For more, we speak with Yasser Louati, spokesperson and head of the International Relations Desk for the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF).

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