Democracy Now! - December 7, 2015

Negotiators from 195 countries at the United Nations climate summit have approved draft text for what they hope will form an accord to curb global carbon emissions by the end of this week. Among the issues still under discussion is whether the deal will mention indigenous rights. On Sunday, indigenous people from around the world took to the waters here in Paris to defend their rights and the environment. "We’re very, very concerned about the fact that reference to indigenous rights and human rights have been moved into an annex in the Paris text," Cree activist Clayton Thomas-Muller says. "It means that they’ve been put aside to be discussed after the weekend."

The U.N. climate summit has come under scrutiny for its unprecedented level of corporate sponsorship—more than 50 companies, with some of them counted by climate activists as being among the world’s worst industrial polluters. On Friday, climate activists gathered at the Grand Palais in Paris protesting the COP21 "Solutions" exhibition, where businesses were pushing for corporate and privatized responses to climate change. Several protesters were evicted from the premises by the large security presence at the event.

In a rare televised Oval Office address on Sunday, President Obama laid out a defense of the U.S. war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, which he said has evolved into a new phase. He described the recent shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., which killed 14 people, as "an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people," called on Congress to authorize the continued use of military force and outlined his plan to continue bombing Iraq and Syria areas held by the self-proclaimed Islamic State. We speak with French journalist Nicolas Hénin, who was held hostage by ISISinside Syria for 10 months, spending much of the time locked up in a dungeon. He was held alongside U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, who were later beheaded. Their deaths were videotaped and aired across the world. While he was held hostage, Hénin also briefly met American aid worker Kayla Mueller, who also died in captivity, possibly from a U.S.-led coalition airstrike. Hénin, who was released in April 2014 along with three other French journalists, makes an impassioned plea against bombing Syria. "All these bombings have a terrible effect," says Hénin. "We are pushing the Syrian people into the hands of ISIS."

French journalist and author Nicolas Hénin spent 10 months as an ISIS hostage where he was held by Mohammed Emwazi. We spoke with him about the growing move among Western countries to close their doors to refugees. "Welcoming refugees is not a terror threat to our country; it is like a vaccine to protect us from terrorism because the more interactions we have between societies, between communities, the less tensions," Hénin says. "The Islamic State believes in a global confrontation. What they want eventually is civil wars in our countries, or at least large unrest; in the Middle East, a large-scale war. This is what they look for. This is what they struggle for. So we have two kill the narrative and actually to welcome refugees, totally destroy the narrative."

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