Democracy Now! - September 14, 2015

Longtime British socialist MP Jeremy Corbyn has just been elected leader of the opposition Labor Party after running on an antiwar, anti-austerity platform. When Corbyn first announced his candidacy three months ago, oddsmakers put his odds of winning at 200 to one. But on Saturday, Corbyn won in a landslide, receiving 59 percent of the vote. He will succeed Ed Miliband, who quit after the Conservatives retained power in May’s election. Corbyn addressed supporters at a victory celebration on Saturday. "Let us be a force for change in the world, a force for humanity in the world, a force for peace in the world, and a force that recognizes we cannot go on like this, with grotesque levels of global insecurity, grotesque threats to our environment all around the world, without the rich and powerful governments stepping up to the plate to make sure our world becomes safer and better," said Corbyn during his victory speech. Corbyn then left the celebration to attend the #RefugeesWelcome rally in London.

Jeremy Corbyn has been a member of the House of Commons since 1983 and has a long history of voting against his Labor Party, which had moved considerably to the right under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Corbyn’s victory presages the prospect of a return to the party’s socialist roots, championing the renationalization of public transportation, free university tuition, rent control, and a national maximum wage to cap the salaries of high earners. We speak to longtime British editor and writer Tariq Ali, who has known Corbyn for 40 years. He calls Corbyn the most left-wing leader in the history of the British Labor Party.

In Australia, conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been ousted during snap elections called for by his own Liberal Party. Public opinion of Tony Abbott had reached a record low amid controversial decisions to roll back climate change legislation, oppose same-sex marriage and turn back boats carrying refugees. Former Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull will become the new prime minister. For more, we speak with Tariq Ali, historian, activist and editor of the New Left Review.

Time is running out for Richard Glossip. The state of Oklahoma is scheduled to execute Glossip on Wednesday night, but his legal team is pushing for a new review of the case, saying the state is about to kill an innocent man. On the night of January 6, 1997, while Glossip was working as a manager at the Best Budget Inn in Oklahoma City, his boss, Barry Van Treese, was murdered at the motel. There has never been a question about who committed the murder: A maintenance worker named Justin Sneed admitted entering the boss’s room and striking him multiple times with a baseball bat. But Glossip was soon arrested, as well, for allegedly hiring Sneed to carry out the murder. The case rested almost solely on Sneed’s claims that Glossip had offered him money and job opportunities for the killing. Glossip’s attorneys say Sneed implicated their client in exchange for a deal to receive life in prison instead of the death penalty. Sneed’s own daughter has said she believes Glossip is innocent. In a letter, O’Ryan Justine Sneed told the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board her father has spoken to her about recanting his original testimony. No physical evidence has ever tied Richard Glossip to the crime, and he has maintained his innocence. We speak with the well-known anti-death-penalty activist and author Sister Helen Prejean; Kim Van Atta, who has corresponded with Richard Glossip for 16 years; and Liliana Segura, who wrote about Glossip’s case for The Intercept.

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