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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 23, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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06/23/22 06/23/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: fronew york, this is democracy now! >> it was midnight when the quake struck. we screamed. one of our rooms was destroyed. our neighbors screamed and we saw everyone's rooms. amy: a massive earthquake hits afghistan, kling morehan 1000eople wi the death tl expected to rise as no major
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responses have been seen and half of afghanistan already faces acute hunger. we will get an update. we will also look at the looming global food shortage amidsthe war in ukrne, one of the top eat supplies. we will go to somalia where as many as 13 million people are already facing severe hunger amidst an ongoing drought. >> 1.5 million children under the age of five are already malnourished. we expect 366,000 not to survive to the end of september. amy: we will look at the world trade organizion's decision on covid vaccines. >> afr 18 months of negotiations, last week we learned this countries pharmautical indtry are going to get the world at the
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world trade organization. there was a window of opportunity for them to temporarily share their intellectual property so the world could have access to medicine and they refused. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. aid workers and afghan authorities are struggling to reach areas devastated by an earthquake wednesday that killed more than 1000 people and injured over 1600 near the city of khost. it was the deadliest quake in afghanistan in 20 years. there are reports entire villages have been destroyed. survivors are using their bare hands to rescue people trapped under the rubble. communication lines are down in parts of the area and torrential rain has washed away roads making many areas impossible to reach. recent flooding has killed at least 400 afghans. the taliban has called for more international aid while saying sanctions have hampered the
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government's ability to respond to the multiple crises facing the country. on wednesday, the u.n. office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs pledged to help afghanistan. >> it is a country already on the brinkwe know that. food secretive situation where were close to aamine-like situation. people are already hanging on by a thread. so when this disaster comes, the de facto authorities in afghanistan did ach out d asked the u.n.or help. of course we stand ready to help anybody in afghanistan. amy: the house select committee investigating the january 6 insurrection is holding its fifth public hearing today. democracy now! will livestream it beginning at 3:00 p.m. eastern at the focus will be on donald trump's efforts to pressure the department of justice to overturn the 2020 election.
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witnesses will include former acting attorney general jeffrey rosen who took the post following the resignation of william barr. the committee has pushed its next hearing back to july in order to give committee members more time to review a flood of new evidence into trump's coup attempt, including previously unknown video of the president trump and his family and his associates recorded by a documentary filmmaker before and after january 6. the filmmaker, alex holder, recently complied with a subpoena from the committee for his footage. he will be properly deposed by the committee today. -- privately deposed by the committee today. "the new york times" reports the video includes an interview on december 10, 2020, with ivanka trump defending her father's decision to challenge the election results saying, "he has to take on this fight. look, you fight for what you love the most and he loves this country." it appears to contradict her
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previous statement that there was no widespread election fraud. in related news, the justice department has subpoenaed the chair of the georgia republican party for information related to trump's plot to submit fake electors to be counted in the electoral college. subpoenas have also been issued to individuals involved in fake elector plots in arizona, michigan, and georgia. meanwhile, the seditious conspiracy trial of enrique tarrio and other members of the far-right proud boys has been pushed back to at least december due to the ongoing house january 6 hearings. in news from uvalde, texas, the head of the school district's police force pete arredondo has been placed on administrative leave as criticism mounts over the police response to last month's school massacre when an 18-year-old gunman shot dead 19 fourth graders and two teachers. on tuesday, texas' department of public safety director steve mccraw described the local
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police handling of the shooting as an abject failure. he said there was a sufficient number of armed officers wearing body armor to confront the gunman three minutes after the gunman entered the school. however, officers waited over an hour in the hallway. meanwhile, the mayor of uvalde has accused mccraw of continuing to "lie, leak, mislead, or misstate information" to cover up mistakes made by the state police. on tuesday, mccraw revealed 91 state troopers responded to the school shooting, many of the officers were from operation lone star, a joint mission of the texas department of public safety and the texas military department. mccraw haslso reveal both local and state police faced a probm with police dios not working inside the school. on wednesday, texas state senator roland gutierrez sued texas' department of public safety for withholding documents
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related to the shooting. the lawsuit states -- "in the wake of the senseless tragedy, the people of uvalde and texas have demanded answers from their government. to date, they have been met with lies, misstatements, and shifts of blame." an advisor to ukraine's president has said the fight for severodonetsk and lysychansk in eastern ukraine is "entering a sort of fearsome climax." if russia succeeds in fully capturing the two cities, it would give russia control of the entire luhansk region. meanwhile, two drones reportedly struck an oil refinery in southwestern russia, sparking a large fire. russia has accused ukraine of carrying out the attack. in other news from the war, reporters without borders has accused russian forces of executing ukrainian photojournalist maks levin in march. levin's work had appeared in bbc, reuters, and other international outlets. president biden has called on
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congress to suspend the federal gas tax for three months in a bid to lower gas prices. gas prices have top five months a gallon following the invasion of ukraine by russia. pres. biden: am calling for state gas tax holiday for the equivalent relief to customers. while companies use their profits to increase refining capacity rather than by vector own stock. gas stations pass along the decree -- excuse me, not decree, but decrease in oil prices to loyal prices at the pump. together these actions could help drop the price at the pump by up to one dollar a gallon or more. amy: many economists and progressive lawmakers have criticized biden's proposal. congressmember pramila jayapal tweeted wednesday -- "gas tax holiday won't make it down to consumers or stop the profiteering of oil and gas companies. it also robs the highway trust fund of necessary infrastructure funds.
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an excess profits tax on oil companies with a rebate to consumers is a better solution." while the price of gas has soared in recent months, oil and gas companies are making record profits, taking in over $41 billion in profits during the first three months of the year. saudi crown prince mohammed bin salman met with turkish president tayyip erdogan in ankara wednesday in a move to fully normalize relations between the two nations. the visit marked mohammed bin salman's first trip to turkey since the saudi journalist jamal khashoggi was assassinated inside the saudi consulate in istanbul in 2018. khashoggi's fiancée criticized mohammed bin salman's visit to turkey, saying it "doesn't change the fact that he is a murderer." president biden is scheduled to travel to saudi arabia next month, in part to push saudi arabia to pump more oil. federal reserve chair jerome
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powell testified before the senate banking committee last wednesday. week, the fed ordered the largest interest rate increase since 1994. powell acknowledged the rate hike could lead to a recession and would not lead to lower gas and food prices. he was questioned by democratic senator elizabeth warren. >> will gas prices go down as a result of your interest rate increase? >> no. >> and that matters because gas prices are one of the single biggest drivers of inflation. chair powell, will the fed interest rate increases bring food prices down for families? >> i would not say so, no. >> the reason i raise this and am so concerned about this is rate increases make it more likely that companies will fire people and/hours to shrink wage costs. it also makes it more expensive for families to do things like borrow money for a house and so
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far the cost of a mortgage this year has already doubled. amy: the city of brooklyn center, minnesota, has agreed to pay $3.25 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit brought by daunte wright's family. wright was a 20-year-old black man who was fatally shot by police last year after he was pulled over for having an air freshener hanging from his car mirror. the officer, kim potter, who was white, was recently sentenced to two years in prison. as part of the settlement, the minneapolis suburb also agreed to change its policies and training related to traffic stops. here in new york city, three men who were recently held at the city-run rikers island jail complex have died in less than a week. the deaths are leading to new calls for control of the jail to be handed over to an outside body. dr. robert cohen who serves on the board of correction which oversees rikers said -- "the city of new york, despite their best efforts, is not capable of maintaining a minimally safe environment for
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people in custody." at least nine people have died so far this year after being heldt rikers. a federal appeals court has upheld a law in arkansas that requires all state contractors to sign a pledge declaring that they will not boycott israel. arkansas is one of numerous u.s. states to have passed legislation to criminalize the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. the council on american-islamic relations and other groups criticized the ruling. cair's lena masri said -- "by declaring arkansas' anti-bds law to be constitutional, the court has tacitly endorsed a palestine-exception to the first amendment." and in australia, the head of the foundation which distributes one of the country's most prestigious journalism awards has denounced the united kingdom's decision to extradite wikileaks founder julian assange to the united states.
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adele ferguson, the chair of the walkley foundation, has called on australia to intervene to help assange who is an australian citizen. ferguson said -- "assange has been languishing for years and it is high time he is brought home. press freedom and human rights are vital to our society and what is happening sets a very dangerous precedent at a time when press freedom in this country is being chipped away. this is the time for the government to stand up for press freedom." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman, joined by my co-host nermeen shaikh. hi, nermeen. nermeen: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: officials in southeastern afghanistan say a massive earthquake early wednesday has killed more than 1000 people. afghans described the moment the
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5.9-magnitude earthquake struck their homes in paktika province. >> it was midnight when the quake struck. the kids and i screamed. one of our rooms was destroyed. our neighbors screamed and we saw everyone's rooms. >> it was about midnight when the quake struck. it destroyed the houses of our neighbors. when we arrived, there were many dead and did. they sent us to the hospital. i also saw many dead bodies. amy: the death toll from the earthquake is expected to rise. thousands have been injured and lost their homes and everything they owned. the earthquake comes as the united nations reports nearly half of afghanistan's population already faces acute hunger. some a groups like the norwegian
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refugee say there are groups on the ground working to support affected communities with funds and emergency shelter. for more, we are joined by jan egeland, secretary general of the norwegian refugee council. he is in somalia, which we are going to talk about in a minute. but first, jan, if you can talk about the situation in afghanistan after this devastating earthquake and what kind of human attorney work is underway, what needs to get to the affected area? >> the situation in eastern afghanistan ,khot a patkia, is truly desperate. it is like all of the -- falling down these poor people at the same time. we have been operational in afghanistan for decades. we had 1400 aid workers on the ground. we did not leave when the taliban took over nor did we
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leave -- from khost, the city, we sent teams immediately. i just got some images of the devastation from our people on the ground. these are very poor houses. they have weak structures and very poor mountainous communits. the number of people kled will go up. the 1000 you just mentioned is too low. many more will be dead. we are now rushing with aid. we will build shelter for the people who lost everything and also will try to have cash distributions to those two cannot afford anything at the moment. amy: and your comment on the taliban saying this thanks has our hurting eight efforts? -- eight efforts? >> of course. if you're in a country where the
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aid organizations cannot even do normal bankransfers, the banking system is paralyzed, the regime that ok over is under heavy sanctions. it is much more difficult, much more costly to do aid work but it is not stopping us. we're continuing to work. we understand that people are angry as we are, that the taliban are preventing goods -- girls from getting secondary education but it is the ultimate insult to these girls that they started death and parish in an earthquake because of our opposition to the education policies of the taliban. of course, we have to -- the sanctions must have aextension to humanitarian work. we need to do international transactions normally.
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amy: speaking of hunger, we are going to now look at the global food shortage as experts warn of a pending global food shortage, not to mention the one that exists now. the united states and european union have blamed russia for preventing grain exports from ukraine, which is one of the world's top wheat suppliers. on wednesday, russia pushed back and blamed the food crisis on sanctions imposed on russia by the united states and european union over its invasion of ukraine. this comes as the u.k. is offering to help escort ukraine's grain from its ports under a plan designed by the united nations that is designed to prevent a mass famine across africa, where the ukraine war has led to sharp increases in food prices. africacounies imrt nearly half their wat from ruia and ukraine. almost all of the wheat in somalia comes from ukraine and russia, and the united nations says as many as 13 million people there are already facing severe hunger amid an ongoing
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drought. on monday, the u.n. humanitarian coordinator for somalia made an urgent call to drastically increase humanitarian in the region. >> 1.5 million children under the age of five are already malnourished. we expec that 366,000 of them may not survi to the end of september of this year. their eight districts already in what is known as ibc five, that is catastrophic. that is famine tuation step thatumber is going to incase unless we are able to scale up our response plan in a very major way. amy: for more, we continue with jan egeland in mogadishu,
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somalia. jan egeland, secretary general of the norwegian refugee council. again, welcome back to democracy now! you arrived earlier this week. what have you seen? how devastatinis the problem? how much of it relates to the war in ukraine? >> i am now in mogadishu, but i have been in one of the hardest hit areas in central somalia. what i sawhere was heart wrenching, amy. mothers and fathers having walked for 250 kilometers, many of them, to save one child from dying from acute malnutrition, bringing them to the therapeutic feeding stations. they told us they had more children at home that had not been able to escape these
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drought stricken areas. it is devastating, really. it is increasing devastating drought which is coming off a rainy season. so it is climate change. it is the climate change that we in the industrial world caused, and who are dying from this? the children of somalia, for people who did nothing to cause climate change. and again, we are underfunded. we have hundreds of aid workers on the ground, but very little funding for these lifesaving efforts. nermeen: jan, could you speak specifically, first of all, obviously, climate change is a massive factor, but do you think the war in ukraine has exacerbated the situation because so much of somalia's wheat came from one of the --
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both the countries together? >> it has. the food prices have more than doubled in some areas. 90% of the wheat came from ukraine, number one, and russia, never to. -- number two. that is gone. the somali traders now need to compete for grain with norwegians and sweats and others who can afford high prices. so it is two external factors, climate change that leads to the drought, and the war in europe that has ledo exploding prices for food that is causing this massive famine. and none of these factors were caused by the people. that is why we are hoping the g-7 nations, including the u.s. now and germany this weekend,
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will stand by their pledge to not allow biblical famine in this century. at the moment, the famine is coming. nermeen: in addition to that, another contributor perhaps is the fact farmers across africa have been reporting in addition to the increase prices of wheat , also as high as 300% increase in the price of imported fertilizer. could you talk about that? >> and that is curbing food production on the continent of africa that could increase its food production and need to increase food production. in somalia, the people i met are living from hand to mth. they are living from goats and
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sheep and camels that have died from thirst and drought. these are farmers that did not -- here it is the lack of aid and drought in the food price increase that is the enormous killer. nermeen: on the question of ukraine, you were in the eastern part of the country earlier this year. what do you know of what has happened since? you have your organization, the norwegian refee council, that working there and millions and millions of refugees who have fled. >> we at the regent rescue council, our headquarters are in the east of ukraine in severodonetsk that you have reported on repeatedly. it was a vibrant city.
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it was a city where we had 68 aid workers. it is in ruins now. it is completely destroyed. 90% of all the buildings are destroyed and it is fighting house by house and basement by basement in the remaining parts of the city. it is crossfire for the civilians there. we have been able to reposition troops and someone that people are surviving on at the time being. remember, the people that have not fled that are left behind, many of them are elderly and disabled. they are in a desperate situation. amy: jan egeland, thank you for being with us secretary general , of the norwegian refugee council, speaking to us from a good issue, somalia. next step, as experts warn of a looming global food shortage, we look at what led to the crisis and what to do about it. stay with us.
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♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "patron saint of the dollar store" sg goodman. no relation. that i know of. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. as experts warn of a looming global food shortage, we are joined by two guests to look at what led to the crisis and what to do about it. in heidelberg, germany, sofía monsalve suárez is secretary general of fian international, a human rights organization working for the right to food and nutrition. in france, rachel bezner kerr is the coordinating lead author for the chapteon climate change impacts and adaptation of food systems for the intergovernmental panel on climate change, or ipcc, report titled "impacts, adaptation and vulnerability that --
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vulnerability" that was published in february. she's also a professor of global development at cornell university. we welcome you both to democracy now! sofía monsalve suárez, some say the food crisis was triggered by the pandemic and made worse by the war in ukraine. what do you think of how it started so we can talk about how it can be dealt with? >> thank you very much, amy. first of all, i want to say this is not a food shortage crisis. not yet. not now. it may turn to it in a couple of months or next year, but not now. the problem is that people don't have mon to pay for food, that people are jobless. as you know, we live in marketing economy so we have to have money data access to food. this is not new. this is the fourth crisis in 50 years. this very fragile system, food
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system that we have in place, are failing. they are extremely fragile to the climate crisis come to the economic shocks, to conflict. and this is a problem. this crisis has been long in the make. it is due to the dismantling of public and communal institutions taking care of providing food, keeping support to peasant farming, so we put all of our eggs into this corporate food system where countries have to rely on long food supply chains, you know, global trade. and when the disruptions, with one example, then people and a very vulnerable situation, like in semi for instance, are in a terrible mess because they rely on imports. the other thing is the financial station. there's a lot of speculation
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already in 2007, speculation on financial investors running -- this is a very important factor in the current crisis. nermeen: you co-authored an article in the guardian earlier this month headlined "ukraine helped feed the world but it's farmers, seeds, and future are in danger." you point out in addition to farms and fields in ukraine being destroyed by russian forces, ukraine's national seed bank has been partly destroyed. could you talk about the importance of seed banks and why they are so important and the fact, would you also raise, that four companies control 60% of the global seed market? >> yes. unfortunately, the war in ukraine and this war russia has
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been destroyin cultural structures. as you know, according to international humanitarian law, this is forbidden to destroy this important infrastructure and seed banks are part of this agricultural infrastructure. what we see in ukraine is actually that peasant farming, which has been completely neglected for years by the government in ukraine because it was totally focused on the agribusiness sector, is the one which is currently feeding the population in ukraine. because it is resilient, even in times of war. what is very important is to keephe peasant seesystem in place in the fields. seed banks are important, but it is even more important to protect the peasant system because they are resilient, they are able to adapt to climate
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change much quicker as let's say -- therefore, i think the important thing that we discover when looking at the example in ukraine is how resilient peasant farming is even in times of war and even despite discrimination and total neglect by the government over the years. nermeen: i would like to bring in rachel bezner kerr. you are the lead author on the food aspects of the latest ipcc report, the climate report. could you speak about the impact of the climate crisis on food production and access? >> certainly. just to clarify, i was one of the coordinating lead authors. it was a team of scientists that worked othat chapter. that is important because there
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are many different dimensions to the climate crisis. what ourssessment showed and emphasized is the way the increasing number of exeme events can lead to acute food insecurity experiences come as we are seeing in places like somalia and ethiopia. and they often interact with non-climactic factors to really lead to these acute food crisis situations. so conflict is a very common non-climactic factor that is really leading to these acute food crises. i also want to agree wit sofia in ter of the points you raised, we highlighted in the report the vulnerability of smallholder producers to climactic events in part because they depend on rain fed
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agriculture for their livelihoods as well as for food production. they also play a really important role in providing these first food sources to communities and to the globe. there often neglected from a policy perspective. so when you have these extreme events, yooften get this lethal comnation where you have a drought, so you have reduced food production or you have flooding and then you may have infrastructure disruptions. you get a loss of local diverse food types and a spike in food prices. then pourer households cannot afford to get access to that anymore. this lethal combination, combined with something like conflict, can lead to acute food insecurity experiences. and what we documented in the report is increasing scientific evidence of the temperature rise
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from greenhouse gas emissions being directly linked to increased numbers of acute food insecurity events. i would also agree with sofia that it is not a crisis that is short-term. this is something that very much has been long-term in the making and our food system really needs to transform fundamentally to serve the needs of allnd to be regnizing th underlying ecostem that we depend on for our food. amy: you have said, rachel -- >> i could talk about go ahead. amy: rachel bezner kerr, you said poor nations in africa and other regions of the world have increasingly become dependent on food imports. why is that? particularly looking at the horn of africa, ethiopia, kenya,
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somalia. oxfam and save the children just did a report saying a child is dying every 48 seconds in just those three countries. >> the reliance on food imports have been a long-term structural process that was really brought about starting in the 1980's under structural adjustment programshroughout africa where countries that were indebted were obliged to carry out programs that reduced their own food production and they became ineasingly riant on food imports. so it has been a long-term process and much of what sofia raised in terms of structural problems with the food systems led to what the current circumstance in the horn of africa. of course you also have this combination of conflict and drought in the current moment
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that has led to is acute food insecurity crisis. nermeen: rachel, have also pointed out the current food production system is healy reliant on fossil fuels. could you talk about the impact of that on the climate crisis and how the climate crisis also impacts food production that is reliant on fossil fuels? >> yes. this is one of the bitter ironies of our current industrial food production system. it is deeply reliant on fossil fuels, so it is a major contributor to greenhouse mass emissions -- which also makes it vulnerable to shock and creating vulnerability to the way produces food. fertilizer requires a lot of fossil fuel to produce and also has to have fossil fuels to distribute and tapply. there are many other components of the way we produce food using
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this industrial model that leads to considerable greenhouse gas emissions. in order to have a long-term reduction in the number of crises, we really need to transform our systems cannot be reliant on fossil fuels. our report, we highlight ecosystem-based approaches that rely on ecological processes and reduce this reliance on fossil fuels-based input. as really the way forward, we're going to have a food system that is stable, resilient, and that is supporting out ecosystem that we depend on. so things like pollinators and watequality -- all of those ecosystem services that we depend on a also unrmined wi the indtrial mode so the key solution for getting out of the crisis that we will
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be continually experiencing unless we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions is transforming the food system to being much more ecological in the way that we grow and distribute food. amy: sofía monsalve suárez, if you can comment on what you think are the most critical ways to deal with the hunger crisis in the world today and who should be makinthese decisions. >> i think we have to move away finally from this world food's credit he -- strategy based on global trade. it is simply not working and it is putting out an enormous peril of these famines we are facing. therefore we need to transform the food system, industrial food system like rachel is saying to transition out of fossil fuels-based food systems for
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agricola g. strengthening the and after suffering most from malnutrition but quit asking them what they need. who is asking semi-what they want to have? body. the g7 is making the decisions the g7 want to continue th global trade -- no changes at all in the architecture of trade , investment, and finances and this is a problem. we really urgentlyeed to tackle this and speak and listen to the population in the countries that are suffering the most now. amy: sofía monsalve suárez, thank you for being with us, secretary general of fian international. and rachel bezner kerr. professor of global development at cornell university and -- one of the coordinating lead author for the chapter on climate change impacts and
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icc report. a major decision about covid vaccines. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: "sante" by stromae. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. hundreds of public health and civil society organizations have denounced the world trade organization for approving a test last week that they say leaves in place intellectual property barriers that will continue to limit global access to covid-19 vaccines, tests, and treatment. in cape town, south africa, fatima hassan is the founder and director of health justice
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initiative in south africa whose recent op-ed is headlined "new wto deal is a slap in the face to poorer countries." and in new york city, we are joined by mihir mankad, a senior advisor for global health advocacy and policy for doctors without borders or msf. he was at the wto meeting. welcome to both of you to democracy now! mihir mankad, if you can lay out what happened at the meeting? i think part of why decisions like these can happen is because it is so hard to understand for the rest of the world the kind of bureaucratic language that is used. >> sure. thank you, a. in fact, it seems like nothing much happened, unfortunately, as you just sted. we were disappointed in the outcome reached in the negotiations fothis particular cision, having taken plac
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since may, but for the last 18 months, the wto has been discussing to completely spent into literal property rights on the full range of covid-19 medical tools. that was not discussed at a in geneva last week. in fact, 8:00 coverage countries the e.u. and the united states and u.k. and switzerland amongst others, led the charge in essence to arrive at this watered-down decision which in fact, does not waive into intellectual property rights and in our opinion, may ultimately cause more damage than good. nermeen: fatima hassan, you wrote a piece following the wto decision headlined "the new wto deal is a slap in the face for poor countries." could you explain why you think that is the case and what role you believe the director general
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of the wto made in enabling this decision? she is of course the first african and the first woman to head the organization. >> thank you. we have argued it is a weak deal because it is not the waer that was proposed by south africa and india. it only afcts vaccines and -- entire deal is more about summary of what to do if you decide to manufacture vaccines and export them. it deals quite signicantly with export rights and who should be opting in and who should be opting out of the deal. itoes not deal with the other element of intellectual prerty like cyrights or the recipes in the knowledge to scale up manucturing. it doesn't do with diagnostics. [indiscernible]
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what we need is believe countries were bullied into ience, countries were bullied into submission in the last 2.5 months, and forwa by the wto was based on what the eu and u. wanted. [inaudible] basically ensuring -- [inaudible] institution that is supposed to prioritize everyone's lives and rights in the middle of a pandemic. we have argued the wto -- the
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trips agreement that deals with aspects of lifesaving medical supplies -- [indiscernible] nermeen: could you get in just about the details of what precisely this agreement entailed, the issue also if you could explain of compulsory licensing? and finally, the fact the u.s. last year in may, the biden administration expressed its support for temporarily waving intellectual property rights for covid vaccines. what was the position that u.s. delegates took at this meeting? close sure. i think fatima put it perfectly well. this current agreent doesn't waive any intellectual property rights and iect simply as a clarification of some existing procedure with a small waiver, as it were, concerning the exportation of gds produced
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through the use of a compulsory license. a compulsory -- under normal circumstances -- and that is for only covid-19 and for a limited period, just fiveears. under normal circumstances, a compulsory license is something that allowsomeone else to produce or make use of a good or patent that the patent holder holds. in general, the trips agreement allows for the use of compulsory licenses. however, the products produced through those licenses are meant to be primary for domestic purposes. this decision expands that slightly to allow for the products to be exported as well to certain eligible countries. those eligible countries are primarily or only developing countries in this case and even then, the agreement encourages those countries that have vaccine production amongst developing countries to opt out. for exame, china has opt out
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and china happens to be one of the world's largest vaccine producers. in some sense, it is completely counteroductive. along with that, as mentioned, this decision does not include immediate treatment for diagnostics in scope and that is usually problematic considering where we are in this pandemic. insofar as the u.s. role and position, you're right, the biden administration agreed to a waiver last year or at least commitment to pursuing that. what we found in geneva last week and the course of the last few month, the administration has been hesitant to say the public position. as we have learned over the course of the last week or so, has been effectively pushing back on the immediate inclusion of treatments and diagnostics in this decision and also pushing back on ensuring the full scope of intellectual properties is covered by this particular agreement.
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know-how, industrial design, copyright, the things that may be critical as fatima said ensuring there is adequate global scale up of the necessary covid-19 medical tools. amy: the pharmaceutical research and manufacturers of america president condemned the final deal reached by the wto same pharmaceutical companies have produced more than 13 billion vaccines and had the capacity to vaccinate everyone in the world and the problems countries have encountered in vaccinating their populations have more to do with distribution issues rather than access. he said, rather than focus on real issues affecting publ health like solving supply chain bottlenecks or reducing border tariffs on medicines, they approved any intellectual property waiver on covid-19 vaccines that won't help detect people against the virus -- protect people against the virus was to be said despite vaccines have been made available "last
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now distribution challenges are causing countries around the world to destroy unused vaccine and turn away donations rather than resolving these issues, diplomats spent the last year and have arguing at the wto over ways to undermine the very intellectual property right that enables hundreds of collaborations to produce the cover 19 vaccines on a global scale." i went to put this question to fatima hassan. you are in south africa. if you can put in lay terms what we are really talking about here, and what pharma, the major corporations that have made more money than they have ever made in their history off these vaccines, what he is sayg? >> i think [discernible] what we have is a track record in the past two years that
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timely access to theight vaccines at the ritime, paicularly for the african continent, was not possible because the single largest barrier facing at that time when we needed those vaccines was intellectual property areas. sohe irony is the industry is yielding a set of circumstances -- to justify the practices of both the industry as well as the eu and the u.s. for the past few months. 100 countries, 65 [indiscernible] the issue is not so much what -- october 2020. the invocation of patents, copyrights, of trade secrets [inaudible]
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this argument cometh industry, in my view, has been taken for the last few months is a convenient distraction from the real barrier that it faces not just for the new generation vaccines we will need in the next few months, but also the treatments and diagnostics currently [inaudible] enabling countries to be able to use a generic version of the treatment that is widely available. for us, it boils down to the fact exactly what the u.s. and eu wanted all along, which w to limit to only vaccines patents, only talk about [inaudible] exactly what the wto is delivered in the form of this deal. bacally, ty got exactly what they wanted. really enabled by an industry that has been claiminthe waiver will --
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amy, we have spoken about whose ip was it -- jn amy: ip means intellectual property. >> yes. amy: keep going. >> just to sum up, the ip, the intellectual property, the patent, the knowledge generated of t back of public funding and public scientists, i think really was -- has to take a long rd look at how to let realism at the wto is failing as. also that trips is no longer -- the trips agement on intellectual property, medical technology [inaudible] this is e way we are interpreting it and dealing with it in the middle of a pandemic. it does not bode well for what is to come next. nermeen: mihir mankad, can you
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respond to the problem of distribution and enabling vaccinations to be administered in the developing world, that there are doses but there are problems with distribution and actual exit nation? -- vaccination? and is the main issue, as fatima said, the main issue at the moment is enabling access to treatment and diagnosti for the developing world? >> yes, so, i would agree the industry is crying crocodile tears by raising the fear concerning this particular decision, which i am sure they are aware will do -- will not do what they claim will do. insofar as the supply distributi concerns are
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concerned, i think fatima is right that it is a question of timing and adequacy and the capability of rapid deployment, some ofhich perha has to do th distrutional ncerns b arstill at the core a question of whether we have enough and whether that can be moved around adequaly -- mu of which is taken or prented, ihould say,ight eleoral prorty barriers. what we ha seeover the coursef thlast 15 mont is these barriers haveompani in e globalouth who perfetly wiing and capab of procing thes vcinationto actuay do so. rlr on in e first ar or sowe sawassi shortfas thatave now -- huge obal eqty. ineneral, i think this is still an ongoi questio and the fact it is likely we will be
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needing boosts on an going basis makes it even more urgent. at the moment, it is correct to say treatments are one of the most pressing issues with respect to aess. that is because most of the effective treatments are under intellectual pperty control by just few corporations. for the time being, at least this year, tre is no major supply available through anyone besides the originator companies. aneven that which available to those companies is in very limited stock and purchased by mostly high income countries. unfortunately, we are making the same mistakes over and over we made with vaccines and access to vaccines early on in the pandemic, the same mistake right now. amy: let me ask fatima hassan in south africa, is the panmic ending? >> not from where we are
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sitting, no. amy: mihir mankad, with doctors without borderers, yet is global perspective. what do you see right now? >> no, i don't think we are in a position to claim the pandemic is ending and the wto is not indicated the pandemic is ending anytime soon. amy: finally, fatima, what you think would be the single most important action that could be taken right now to deal with this ongoing pandemic? >> so, unfortunately, because we have this weak deal, ever civil country in the global south has to start issuing compulsory licenses but treatment on -- if we don't have strong domeic action or strong -- amy: 10 seconds. >> we won't be able to get out
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of this pandemic. amy: fatima hassan, thank you for being with us, health justice initiative, speaking to us from south africa and mihir mankad with doctors without borders, speaking to us from new york city. that does it for our broadcast. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to
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