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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 10, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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06/10/14 06/10/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! there is no doubt the suspects have some apparent ideology that is along the lines of militia and white supremacists. >> less than a week after attorney general eric holder revives a task force to look at domestic terrorists, america with the antigovernment retreat movement shoots dead two las vegas police officers, claiming it is the beginning of the revolution.
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the couple had recently spent time at the ranch of cliven bundy during his standoff with the federal government. we will speak with mark potok. then for the second time in 48 hours, pakistan's largest airport is forced to close to two an attack by taliban militants. we will go to pakistan for the latest. and then to the student debt. to get even more student borrowers a chance to save money requires action from congress. we will be signing an executive order that will make progress, but not enough. we need more. products president obama moves to cap student loan payments at a time when tuition is spiraling beyond reach and student loan $1 trillion.ed a new film "ivory tower" asks, is college worth the cost? all of that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now,
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democracy a war and peace report, i am amy goodman. five u.s. service members and at least one afghan soldier have been killed in what appears to be on of the deadliest instances of from the fire of the war in afghanistan. the soldiers were mistakenly killed by an airstrike that was called in by u.s. troops to beat back a taliban ambush. the incident occurred in zabul province where soldiers were conducting security operations ahead of saturday's presidential runoff. an earlier friendly fire strike killed five afghan soldiers in march. afghans have opposed the airstrikes for mistakenly killing civilians. afghan president karzai refused to sign a long-term security deal with united states until the air attacks stop. iraq, islamist militants reportedly have taken effective control of the second-largest city, capturing key buildings in mosul deliberate -- in liberating more than 1000 inmates from central prison.
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hundreds of fighters, believed to be part of the al qaeda splinter group the islamic state launchednd the levant, an assault overnight, causing police and soldiers to flee from their posts. the militants have overrun the provincial government headquarters, local tv stations, and the airport. an internal audit by the department of veterans affairs has found more than 57,000 veterans have been waiting at least three months for an initial appointment to see a dr., while about 43,000 have appointments more than three months away. across hundreds of the a medical s oflities, 13% of schedule and falsified on wait times. the audit was ordered by former veterans affairs secretary eric shinseki before he resigned last month. suspected members of bogart raum have kidnapped at least 20 women, loading them into vans at gunpoint. the abduction took lace in a nomadic settlement where boko
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haram abducted more than 300 schoolgirls in april. in pakistan, the taliban has attacked a training facility near the karachi airport. less than two days after their attack on the airport left at least 30 people dead. ofre were no media reports casualties. earlier today, the pakistani militant -- military said it constructed airstrikes in the northwest, killing at least 15 people they called militants. more on the situation in pakistan later in the broadcast. president obama has announced new steps to ease the 1.2 chilean dollar student debt, noting americans now owe more money on student loans than on credit cards. obama plus executive order will cap loan payments for millions of people at 10% of monthly income, a so-called "pay as you earn" model. >> announcing step so open that pay as you earn to nearly 5 million more americans.
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that is the first action we are taking. the second action is to read negotiate contracts for have a companies like sallie mae that service are student loans. we will make it clear, these companies are in the business of helping students come and not just collecting payments. and they owe young people the customer service and support and financial flexibility that they deserve. >> more on the student debt later in the broadcast. dealt aeme court has blow to young immigrants who turn 21 while their petitions for u.s. visas are still pending. each year, tens of thousands of young immigrants age out of the years long visa process after applying with their families. on monday, the court backed the obama administration's stance that most immigrants must restart their wait for a visa after they turn 21. only those with applications filed by parents who are permanent u.s. citizens -- residents can keep their place in line.
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case, the supreme court has barred a group of north carolina residents from suing the electronics company they say contaminated their drinking water, because a state deadline had lapsed. the deadline applies even though residents did not realize their water contained toxic in michael's until 2009, decades after the contamination by cts corporation. the ruling could also impact the case of thousands of marines and their families who are suing the obama administration over exposure to contaminated groundwater at camp lejeune. the government is using the same state law to shield itself from that lawsuit. a married couple who went on a shooting rampage in las vegas were reportedly known for the racist, antigovernment views and had spent time at the ranch of cliven bundy during his standoff a the federal government. clark county assistant sheriff kevin mcmahill described their actions on sunday, when they killed themselves after shooting
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dead three others, including two police officers. >> immediately upon the shooting pulledng, the suspects the officers out of the booth and on the ground where they placed a don't tread on the yellow flag on the body of officer beck and through a swastika on top of his body. at that point, mr. jerad miller pinned a note to officer soldo the basically stated this is the beginning of the revolution. >> virginia, democratic state senator has resigned in what critics call a plot by republicans to trade jobs for political control in their bid to thwart the expansion of medicaid. "the washington post" reports the resignation of state senator phillip puckett "paves the way to appoint his daughter to a judgeship and puckett to the job of deputy director of the state tobacco commission."
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republicanse gives control of the virginia senate, potentially quashing a plan to expand medicaid to hundreds of thousands of low-income state residents. of east haven, connecticut has agreed to pay $450,000 and adopt new limits on the role of police in immigration enforcement, in order to settle a civil rights lawsuit by latino residents. under the new limits, which an attorney for the plaintiffs called some of the strongest in the country, police will limit questioning without -- about status and decline to detain people at the behest of immigration authorities without a criminal warrant. alleged abuses by east haven police, including false arrests and illegal searches, led to a justice department consent decree and the criminal convictions of four police officers. in brazil, subway workers of suspended a five-day strike over wages, but warned it could resume in time for thursday's opening match of the world cup.
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on monday, meanwhile, striking teachers protested in rio de janeiro. and thee showing brazil world our country needs to invest in health care, education, outlook transportation, not in stadiums or airports. we need public goods they go to the people, not to fifa and tourists. we want an investment that stays here, stays for the people. >> in the philippines, a veteran radio journalist and anchor in the south has been shot dead in the western province of oriental mindoro. nilo baculo senior reportedly sought court protection in 2008, saying local officials were plotting to kill him for exposing their role in the illegal drug trade. according to the center for media freedom and responsibility , his the 25th journalist killed in the philippines since 2010 when president acquino took office. a walmart truck driver who collided with a limo in a fatal crash on the new jersey turnpike
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had not slept for more than 24 hours before the crash. the crash critically injured saturday night live comedian tracy morgan and two others and killed comedian james mcnair. prosecutors's filed a criminal complaint against the driver while walmart said in a statement it was profoundly sorry that one of our trucks was involved. the crash came just days after members of the senate moved to loosen regulations aimed at preventing truck driver fatigue. last week, senate committee passed a measure to suspend the requirement that truckers take extended breaks after reaching 70 hours on the road over an eight-day period. in washington, d.c., students from woodrow wilson high school gathered for a counterrally monday against the westboro baptist church, which came to protest the school celebration of lgbt pride. last week, the schools principal came out of the school assembly. a proud gay man that just
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happens to be the principle of wilson high school. [applause] out whilencipal spoke standing alongside d.c. mayor vincent gray. on monday, hundreds of students and community members gathered to show their support for lgbt equality and to condemn the westboro baptist church members whom they vastly outnumbered. >> we took it together to be proud of who we are and be happy , like what we're doing is making an impact that this group bills after protesters. you can learn a lot about the standing up for your rights. >> when people come to my town, i'm going to stand up and be counted. >> and those are the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron maté. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. a candlelight vigil was held outside of a las vegas pizza
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restaurant last night where two city police officers were shot dead on sunday. the shootings were carried out by husband and wife who had long spouted right-wing antigovernment views online. according to police, jerad and amanda miller shot the lease officers at point blank range, then took their weapons and ammunition and cover the bodies with a flag reading "don't tread on me." the flag dates back to the revolutionary war, but more recently has been associated with the american tea party movement and patriot groups. the millers also reportedly pinned a note on one of the officer's body saying "this is the beginning of the revolution." the couple fled to a walmart where they killed a third person. after a shootout with police, amanda miller reportedly shot dead her husband and then turned the gun on herself. kevin mcmahill is assistant sheriff in clark county, las vegas. >> trying to make a determination what it is that could have been the motive, what was the motivation behind their targeting police officers and walking in with no warning and
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executing our officers. i can tell you that there is no doubt the suspects have some apparent ideology that is along the lines of militia and white supremacist. >> on june 7, one day before the shooting, jerad miller wrote on facebook, "the dawn of a new day. may all of our coming sacrifices be worth it." five days earlier, he wrote on facebook, "we can hope for peace, we must, however, prepare for war. to stop this oppression. i fear, can only be a compost with bloodshed." both jerad and amanda had recently spent time at cliven bundy's nevada ranch during a recent standoff there between annual -- armed militia members and federal government agents. another was interviewed at the ranch. >> i. for any federal agents that want to come in here and tried to push us around or anything like that. i really don't want violence
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toward them, but if they're going to come bring balance to us, well, if that is land which they want to speak, we will learn it. >> the shooting in just two days after a man in georgia attempted to attack the courthouse. dennis marx, a former tsa employee with ties to the sovereign citizen movement, allegedly attacked the courthouse on friday, throwing smoke bombs and shooting a sheriff deputy who returned fire and killed him. authorities say dennis marx had homemade explosives and food and water, suggesting he planned to take hostages. to talk more about these cases, we're joined by mark potok the director of intelligence project at the southern poverty law center. use joining us from alabama. i'll come back to democracy now! -- welcome back to democracy now! first talk about what happened in las vegas, the killing of the police officers, laying a swastika on them and the "don't tread on me" flag. who are the millers? >> well, looking at their
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postings, i don't think there's much white supremacy there. i don't see that at all. the swastika i think clearly was saying the police are in nazis. quite a lot posted about liberty, freedom, the need to rise up, his willingness to become a martyr and so on. but he very rarely got into the details of his ideology. he was clearly part of the patriot movement. the one thing he really talked about a lot was guns. that of course is central concern for the patriot movement . at one point, he talked about, if you even disagree that the second amendment should be interpreted in such a way in a very liberal weight in terms of an ownership, that you should be hung from a lamppost if you don't leave the country. so that seemed to be really the central idea. standoff wasundy
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incredibly important in terms of the patriot movement and very likely for the millers as well. i think there are tens of thousands of people around the country associated generally with the patriot movement who saw this as a huge victory. after all, the federal law enforcement officials backed off. they simply backed away when all those people at the bundy ranch pointed their weapons at them, and that cliven bundy's cattle go. this was seen as a great victory and very possibly for the millers, it was a victory that signaled the beginning of the war. it seems to have encouraged them to go on and enjoy the battle, essentially. >> mark potok, they reportedly were kicked out of the cliven bundy ranch after fellow militia members learned of their past. do you think there might of been more people like the millers at the ranch? and did this whole standoff foster a culture that enabled
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militants to come and a symbol? thems, i think it enabled and encouraged them to come and assemble. i think despite what cliven bundy has said, the reality is, the bundy family welcomed people from the militias and other organizations like that, armed to the teeth. to me, the central moment in the bundy standoff was when you had a dozen or so of these militiamen literally pointing scope sniper weapons at the heads of law-enforcement officials. that is virtually unprecedented, at least without bloodshed immediately following. at the end of the day, i think the government to the right thing to back off, but my god, it came close to a real bloodbath. yes, answer the question, i think you're probably quite a lot of people at the bundy ranch who really are itching for a fight. revolution,talking
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talking bloodshed. they were very well armed. and so i think the millers perhaps were a little less atypical than is being suggested. >> talk about what happened with dennis marx in georgia. marx was a man unknown to us and tell he attacked the forsyth county courthouse. from what the police are saying, he's a self-described sovereign citizen, a subset within the patriot movement, people who believe the federal government has no right to impose its laws, it's tax laws and so on. i've not seen any of the documentation supporting the idea that he is a sovereign citizen. but certainly, yet some kind of political motive. he apparently intended to storm into the courthouse to take hostages. and from there we really don't know. he was killed. there's no real manifesto left behind to explain his actions.
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it does seem to be a part of his upsurge with -- this upsurge we're seeing by patriot groups or people on the radical right in general. there was another very similar case the day before. last thursday, in new brunswick, canada, of all places, where a canadian with very extreme ideas about gun ownership similar to the militias here in the united three actually murdered police officers before finally being captured there. is athink the movement least a bit on fire at the moment, and may get worse before it gets better. >> is is all in the context, mark potok, of the last few weeks, the decision to revive the domestic terror unit within the justice department. can you talk about what that is? >> this was a unit which was dedicated -- which brought people from different agencies together and was dedicated, really, to looking at
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non-islamic domestic terrorism. in other words, the kind of terrorism that very much was on the minds of law-enforcement after the oklahoma city bombing in 1995 and until 9/11. what actually happened was this committee, this executive committee, met regularly for quite a few years. apparently, was rather useful, at least in coordinating agency's response to the threat. and was scheduled to meet literally on the morning of 9/11 . of course that was canceled after the al qaeda attacks, and the committee never met again. a couple of weeks ago, my boss, the ceo of the southern poverty law center, wrote a column telling the story and it wasn't until after -- long after that that attorney general eric holder announced the reform nation of this committee, it may have even been a response to the
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column. in any case, it seems like a good thing. >> it is interesting holder said we must also concern ourselves with the continued danger we face from individuals within our own borders who may be motivated by a variety of other causes from antigovernment to racial prejudice. following the announcement, jerad miller wrote on his facebook page, "if you been waiting for the thought police, here they are." this is also interesting because when this domestic -- when the government was looking at domestic terrorism at the beginning of the obama administration, they were forced to withdraw report on domestic terror. i think we were talking to you about it back then because of the response of the right in congress. >> i'm not sure they were exactly forced to withdraw the report, but in my view, in an active role political cowardice, did withdraw the report, which said nothing untowards, which
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was very accurate in what is said about the research -- resurgence of the radical right in the united states. so, yeah, there has been a kind oftaking an eye off the ball domestic non-islamic terrorism. all of the studies by terrorism experts show that in the last few years, this kind of terrorism has become more of a threat than at least homegrown jihadist tourism and really in terms of numbers of people killed by various types of terrorist since 9/11, we have seen more of that domestic radical right. that is not to minimize jihadists. there a tally is of how many murders have been linked to white supremacist the last three years -- supremacists in the last three years? >> i'm not sure i could come up
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with a number like that. i don't know off the top of my head, but there are been quite a lot of killings. i think what played into holders announcement as well was the fairly recent killings of three inple at jewish institutions overland park, kansas, by very well known neo-nazi named glenn miller, whose last name is now cross. this has happened repeatedly, particularly since obama took office for not long after he took office. i'm sure many of our listeners remember that a holocaust museum guard was shot to death by yet another well-known neo-nazi. there was the attack on the sikh temple and the creek, wisconsin, which six people were murdered. the list keeps going on and on. as soon as one starts to forget about one incident, another mass murder comes up. >> let's turn to more comment from jerad miller made about cliven bundy earlier this year. on april 9, miller wrote --
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miller interviewed ryan bundy. >> we are in riverside, nevada. we are here to stand our ground against the federal government's tyranny. >> as anything specific happen to you that you would like to talk about real quick? >> me and my family are one and the same. we haven't had too many run-ins .eside snipers trained on me the whole issue isn't about the incidents here, it is about the reason we're here altogether. >> exactly. doingt exactly are they to our families cattle into the ranch itself?
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>> they are destroying the ranch. more importantly, they're destroying our rights, our freedoms, our liberties. >> that was jerad miller interviewing cliven bundy +. shortly after he said on facebook, there were asked to ranch.he all of this right wing media doozy as him die down after he was reportedly making racist comments. where do things stand now with the bundy ranch today? nowell, i think there's question at all. i know there's no question that federal authorities are looking at bringing charges, very serious charges, against many of the people involved. to no one surprise, turns out it is not legal to threaten law enforcement agents by pointing a scope sniper weapon at them. on the what is happening
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government side. i think very widely it will be -- likely the government will be a lot more careful about how they go in when they finally do on the other side of the equation, i think the militia movement is very much hoping, as miller discussed, that this will be another waco in the sense that waco was really ignition point for the first big wave of the militia movement in the 1990's. that is the event that brought hundreds of thousands of people into the movement, people who believed the government has had essentially murdered the davidians. that is the hope, that the and the standoff will somehow ignite the civil war. >> mark potok, you mentioned guns and even miller was kicked off of the bundy ranch they said because of his criminal past. he went on facebook and asked if he could get a gun because he could not buy it and ultimately he could.
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i want to go to this issue of guns and the nra and the laws, the indiana law that has become a major issue right now. i am looking at "the week." --ting the beginning president of the indiana state fraternal order of police said the law signed in march by governor mitch daniels but only now getting national attention might give people the impression they can shoot police with impunity. he says, it is a recipe for disaster, he tells bloomberg. can you talk about the significance of this? it is something the millers also celebrated, that if a police officer engages in an unlawful act, let's say trespassing on person can bethat
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shot. this was legislation that was supported by the nra, and when the governor signed off on it, governor daniels, he said he had some hesitation about doing it. certainly radical legislation and certainly part of a larger movement. it in effect nullifies the authority of federal law enforcement agencies operate within certain states. so there are proposals that say if a federal agent, law enforcement agent is going to come to our state or our county to arrest someone to carry out an investigation, whatever it may be, they must first obtain the permission of the county sheriff. unconstitutional, but also clearly connected to the county supremacy movement of which cliven bundy was a part. the idea that only the county
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sheriff is the highest legitimate law enforcement authority, that anyone above that level is not legitimate. tose ideas all go back racist groups of the 1970's and 1980's, in particular, the group -- when i say it is a racist group, it was a violently racist and anti-semitic group with many of its leaders talk about murdering millions of juice and so on. in any case, this is very much sweeping the country in various forms and probably pouring yet more fuel or fire on the patriot hopes for a final confrontation. i think when you look at the writings of jerad miller, the one thing he really does keep coming back to is weapons. he is angry at the government for various reasons having to do with that she had an arrest for marijuana, failed a drug screen was sent back to jail for seven
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weeks last year. was angry about that. really it all came down to his weapons and his inability to own one as a felon. >> mark potok, thank you for being with us. speaking to us from montgomery, alabama. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron maté. in 48 the second time hours, taliban militants have attacked part of karachi's international airport from the largest in pakistan. earlier today, group of gunmen on motorbikes opened fire on an academy run by the airport security force. no fatalities were reported. on sunday, an assault by taliban militants left at least 38 people dead, including the attackers. the attack began when 10 gunmen wearing military uniforms and armed with automatic rifles and rocket propelled grenades shot their way into the airport's old
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terminal. gun battles raged for hours until security forces gained control early on monday morning. according to government reports, most of the victims killed in the terminal were airport security forces and some airline staff. >> the pakistani taliban has claimed responsibility, saying it was avenging military operations in north waziristan and a u.s. drone strike that killed its leader, hakimullah mehsud, late last year. the pakistani government moved toward peace talks with the taliban earlier this year, but the process has faltered with a split inside the taliban over whether to take art. meanwhile, the pakistani military has carried out air strikes earlier today in tribal areas in the northwest of the country, killing at least 15 people. to find out more about implications of the assault, we're joined now by ayesha siddiqa, pakistani political and defense analyst. she is author of, "military inc.: inside pakistan's military economy." video joining us via
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stream from islamabad. welcome to democracy now! talk about the significance of these attacks. >> well, one significance definitely is right when we saw bad things were going down, things were calming down perhaps [indiscernible] we are reminded yet again the taliban are actually very active and we are probably daydreaming has comenk the taliban to an end. because karachi is the city center, has main been one of the largest air and sea hubs for the country, and since the 1980's, that is when the first war was -- the first afghanistan war was fought with isi.elp of the
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starting from then, different kinds of militants which have karachi and so it is daydreaming if you think they have little control over the city. >> ayesha siddiqa, and you talk about who the attackers are? i understand some of them were nationals from his pakistan. can you explain the complex array of militants inside pakistan right now and specifically, the presence of them in the taliban? >> there are militants set of come from all over the world. initially there were a lot of air of's in any have chinese militants who are also in the tribal areas. inn we say the tribal areas the seven territories or seven
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agencies, which historically were never controlled by the state. yet there is an interaction between the state formally considered part of the pakistani territory. anyway, the arabs, i think a couple of things we need to look into, one, these people were uzbeks. there are a lot of other people in karachi as well. burma as well. there are a lot of other national people that live there. they're not just in the tribal areas in waziristan, but in other parts of the pakistani heartland and punjab as well. these people are guests of the to for an taliban groups. i think what is important to recognize is after 9/11, this war was starting to be fought, the war on terror, the initial group between the american
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government and the pakistani government, and when i say agreement, i mean in informal arrangement, was that all al dutch all the arabs the will be handed over, they will be surrendered. the arabs largely were but the taliban, the americans kept their hands off them until it was realized much later the taliban were also part of the problem. and so this war has been fought. of the bordering areas, the tribal territories are adjacent were next to the afghan border, which then is connected with central asia, so you have all these different movements, insurgent movements, uzbekistan and chinese, etc., who have been coming, and you talked about bombing in the mornings. the air force has bombed -- a
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week ago it did two bombings in north waziristan. north waziristan, which is a site for thee haqqani network. the bombing was not the haqqani network. it is the chinese militants, which the chinese are unhappy with the chinese government is unhappy with. this assault by the air force is neither here nor there. we begin -- i don't see a policy as such right there in terms of fighting militancy. as long -- and taliban has links with different militant groups all over the region, so they will keep pouring in. allowed toese uzbeks stay around the pakistani territory, that is something
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which is worth been concerned about. >> last november, hakimullah mehsud and six others were killed when u.s. missiles hit their vehicle. he had a $5 million bounty on his head and was accused of being responsible for thousands of deaths. he attacks came just as the pakistani government had relaunched peace talks with the taliban. the pakistani interior ministry -- minister called the attack and attack on regional peace. can you talk about the significance of this? >> the significance of what was it? hakimullah mehsud was killed last year. >> talk about who he is. who he was. there are two different tribes. were part of the larger tribe, which is connected
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with tribes across the border in afghanistan as well. the mehsuds, because of the tension between the groups from with the state has done over the years, they have put were given support to the other groups so ds had become and hasn't antagonistic to the state. once the leader died in a drone attack, then issues were filled last one of his relatives year. >> hakimullah mehsud was a person cited as the reason for the attack on the airport, saying, i think attackers said, we attacked the airport to avenge the death of hakimullah mehsud, our late leader. there are many more to come as it is just the beginning. to itl, hakimullah mehsud
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is interesting they say that because hakimullah mehsud died after -- after hakimullah mehsud 's debt, there wasn't as this kind of reaction. i'm sure there's something else that is propelling it. one of the reasons i believe it is propelling them is the discomfort that, a, the government or the military is agency-- intelligence trying to make inroads into the [indiscernible] dividing them. death, another man, not amehsud, was made the head. are other groups which do not support recently the mehsud
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groups. there were breaks hemorrhaging. i think once they have reasserted themselves and sent a message amongst their followers that is still alive, still kicking, and they can still do some action. >> we just have a minute. do you see this as an escalation of violence, as the beginning of increased attacks and the effects of the drone strikes on these? >> i think there will be some attacks, but i'm not exceptionally worried. i think with the government needs to do is seriously think about its larger policy of supporting one group or the other. we cannot have this to all of the -- duality. ,> thank you, ayesha siddiqa for joining us, author of, "military inc.: inside pakistan's military economy." this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, the student debt in the united states has surpassed even credit card debt. it is over $1 chilean.
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we will speak with a filmmaker who has made the film "ivory tower." are there cracks in it? his college even worth it, he asks. ♪ [music break]
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>> this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron maté. president obama has unveiled new executive actions to address what some have called the nation's next financial crisis. the over $1.2 julian in student loans. the massive cost of u.s. college tuition has saddled millions with crushing debt and priced many out of the classroom. you order will expend a
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pay-as-you-go program capping loan in payments -- loan payments. obama spoke on monday. >> today i will take to reactions to help young people pay off their student loan debt. number one, i'm directing our secretary of education to give more americans who are already making their loan payments a chance to cap those payments at 10% of their income. we call it a as you earn. we know it works because we have already offered it to millions of young people. the second action is to renegotiate contracts with private companies like ellie mae that service are student loans. we will make it clear that these companies are in the business of helping students monotonous collecting payments. they owe young people the customer service and support and financial flexibility that they deserve. that is number two. number three, we are doing more to help every borrower know all the options out there so they can pick the one right for them.
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>> president obama went on to endorse a measure from democratic senator elizabeth warren that would let millions of students refinance or loans at lower interest rates. warren's measure would enact the buffet rule. the figures on student debt are staggering. the student loan debt exceeds all other forms of consumer debt , except for home mortgages. this is graduate class is the most indebted in u.s. is street, with bars owing an average of 33,000 dollars upon graduation. more than 70% of this year's class has taken on a student loan, up from less than half of graduates 20 years ago. >> the explosion in student debt has of course mirrored an unprecedented hike in tuition. the cost of a college degree has the yearover 1120% in surpassing as hikes for food, medical, gasoline and other basics. this points to a crisis that threatens not just the economy, but the nation's education system itself. where joined by andrew rossi,
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director producer of a new documentary called "ivory tower" which opens friday in new york and los angeles. we will play some clips in a moment. and we're joined by pamela brown, phd student in sociology at the new school in new york, leading activist on issue of student debt. she helped launch the occupy student debt campaign pledge of refusal and produced the debt resistors operations manual. pam, your reaction to what president obama announced? what is the significance? is a binding? >> first, thanks for having me on the show. the obama announcement is an important announcement, a good thing that students -- that many milliondents, about 5 or students will at least have access to this particular program. but it is really just putting a band-aid on a gapingwound. the problem is so much more enormous than reducing people's payment to 10% of household
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orome and forgiving so-called forgiving it after 20 years. if you pay taxes, it is forgiven -- >> can you explain, if you're part of this program? >> the program has pacific rules. there are several programs available. there's income based repayment which has been the most common one at 15% cap on income and 25 year forgiveness. this program is in distinction to that. you could not have borrowed prior to 2007, and he had to have borrowed after 2011 to qualify for the program. >> you have to have borrowed after 2011, not just before 2007? >> right. that is been a program in the past. the question is, how will it be expanded currently? i read several articles has said it would be expanded to people who had burrowed prior to 2007, but that is not stated and president obama's announcement. >> if you are setting the agenda
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for student debt movement today, what would be the main points? >> the first demand has to be to write off student debt. how that happens is up for discussion. i think it should all be right not because there are so many things that are profoundly unfair about the student debt system right now. one thing, if you're 18 years old, you should not be able to get into $100,000 of debt before you can even go to a bar and have a beer. that out of hand is ridiculous. it is the hallmark of her predatory system. >> senator elizabeth warren's bank on student emergency loan refinancing act would let student loan holders refinance at 3.68%. the measure would come before the senate this week. on monday, president obama took a shot at the bills republican opponents. >> it would be scandalous if we allowed those kinds of tax
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loopholes for the very, very fortunate to survive while students are having trouble just getting started in their lives. you have a pretty straightforward build your. and this week, congress will vote on that bill. i want americans to pay attention to see where their lawmakers party's life. lower tax bills for millionaires or lower student bills for the middle class? this should be a no-brainer. andrew rossi, the war and bill? peacehink it is important of relief or legislation for student debt holders. the idea those who hold student debt should not be afforded the same ability to refinance as those who hold auto loans and mortgages seems totally unfair.
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"ivory tower" looks at how the whole system itself as senator war says in the film is actually rotten or stinks, think it's her direct quote. as pam says, the entire system is really broken. we look in the film at historically how government has played a really important role in making higher education a public from the moral act that created the universities to fdr's g.i. bill and lyndon johnson's higher education act of 1965. i think we wish at this time the president obama could similarly be able to overhaul the whole system was such dramatic legislation, but unfortunately, i think as the president says, legislatively there is not that pathway to be able to do such a thing. i agree with pam that it would be great to really recall the entire system, but i do applaud this executive action because i think it will at least provide some relief. >> let's go to a clip or the
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trailer of your film called "ivory tower." film contrasts the struggle for quality, affordable education with a growing corporate atmosphere on college campuses where hundreds of millions of dollars go to football stadiums, lavish salaries, high-end perks. >> the very concept of the institution of higher learning is about to be broken. >> our nations combined student loan debt is now at $1 julian. it is like the subprime mortgage broker that ripped you off. >> the balances and of 20 thousands of dollars. kids, the loans will be passed to them. >> the government will make 184 billion of the back kids trying
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to get an education. >> colleges have turned into the large business. it is a feeding frenzy. >> it created a race. >> you've got to cater to out-of-state students who want to party. >> some of our presidents can be quite shameless and the size of their compensation. >> the older generations that criticized the millennials grew up in a time when you could go to a state university and pay your way through with a summer job. talks there is going to be a collapse. the newrailer for documentary "ivory tower," directed by our guest andrew rossi. is college worth it? >> we do see statistics that show those who have a college degree make one lane dollars more than those who have only a high school diploma. but what that very powerful statistic leaves out are all of those who don't complete, who don't finish their college
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experience and those who have student loan debt that is so paralyzing when they graduate, that they are not able to pursue life choices. >> or something humorous here, incredibly sad, but if you had a college degree, you have to ask, should i go to college because in assessing the cost, so what about those who will say and you interviewed many of the elite university presidents, you know, liberal arts education is priceless? >> absolutely. we celebrate the role of college as a bridge between adolescence hood, that you can find out what your good about and what you care about, but that is a luxury for many people who are unable to pay for education that is spiraling out of control in terms of its cost. >> you paint a picture in the film of colleges gone wild. can you talk about some of the lavish spending expenditures
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that are now a priority on campus for these schools? >> we see how the financial model of higher education really encourages universities to grow bigger and to attract the student loan dollar with amenities that would be exciting for 17-year-old or 18-year-old who is choosing between schools. we see in some cases laboratories, dormitories, in particular, cooper union, the school here in new york, that is been free for over 150 years, and took out a $175 million loan to build a new building at a cost of $1000 a square foot, which is akin to a luxury hotel. frenzy, as a feeding set in the film, to constantly build and make the school more prestigious in terms of rankings. it is a system that is structurally out of control. >> i want to turn to another clip from the film that looks at
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the rising cost of higher education. americar education in has been very successful for centuries, but now things are changing because the scale and the cost is enormous. we have a product that is so expensive that a lot of people can't pay for it, and they have to go into debt. and it just isn't viable. tuitionise in student is unsustainable. we cannot continue to charge significantly more year after year after year without running into some kind of a brick wall. >> college tuition has increased more than any other good or service in the entire u.s. economy since 1978. >> in this clip from the film, explains the challenges millennials face today. she's the author of "generation
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debt." >> a lot of the older generations that criticized the millennials grew up in a time when you could go to a state university and pay your way through with a summer job. these millennial children then got to college and realized, the money is not there to pay for me and i'm not going to build a graduate into a cushy job. in fact, every thing i was told about the way the world works turns out not to be the case. this, has been studying andrew rossi. >> anya the summit who has a lot of insight to provide along with the other commentators. i think she also supports the notion that some students may be should not be going to school and there is a stigma associated with not going to college -- >> you have a story of the paypal fee who was pain people not to go to college? founder of the paypal, summit who has been a maverick entrepreneur. he has been giving people
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$100,000 to drop out of college and participate in the till fellowship, the 20 under 20 program. program inned the san francisco which is trying to aggregate the college experience into different elements. >> explain. >> massive open online courses. moocs are driven by handful of companies, some of which are for-profit including -- there is one experiment that was tried on the campus of san jose state the governor brown supported to provide what are known as remedial classes for some students. but because the classes were delivered exclusively online with no human component, the pass rates were abysmal. the enthusiasm about moocs as
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potential solution to the future took a hit as a result. >> your comments and what solutions do you see? >> first of all, i think we have to change the story that we tell. obama's announcement was couched in the story of the american dream, how he and michelle made it by going to college. but in reality, we know that it is low-wage jobs that are expanding, the ones that don't require college and high wage jobs that do require college are actually shrinking. fundamentally, i think the idea that you'll earn an extra $1 million over the course of your lifetime is probably broken and probably doesn't hold true. we have to actually create a public education system in this country that is free. we're also going to have to address some of the inherent racialwhich crosses lines and really is a very racialized system and perpetuating an increasing all sorts of inequality.
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>> we have to leave it there, pam brown, thanks for being with us, phd student at the new school and thank you to our guest, andrew rossi, his film is, "ivory tower."
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