December 16, 2017
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Headlines: July 26, 2016

Philadelphia: Fractious DNC Opens Amid Party Turmoil

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The Democratic National Convention opened in the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia Monday amid an ongoing scandal over the released DNC emails and public divisions between Clinton and Sanders supporters. On Monday morning, protesters booed and heckled DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz at a Florida delegation breakfast, yelling "Shame! Shame! Shame!" and carrying signs reading "emails." Wasserman Schultz has resigned in the wake of WikiLeaks’ release of 20,000 emails, which show the DNC worked to discredit and defeat Bernie Sanders. The FBI has launched an investigation into whether Russian spy services were behind the hack. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake took over Wasserman Schultz’s role of gaveling in the opening of the convention Monday afternoon.

Bernie Supporters Boo Sanders for Endorsing Clinton

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Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders’s delegates booed Sanders himself at a delegate meeting Monday afternoon when he called for supporting Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: "We have got to defeat Donald Trump. And we have got to elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine."

Among those to try to quell the "Bernie or Bust" movement Monday was comedian Sarah Silverman, who appeared on stage at the DNC convention center alongside comedian and now Senator Al Franken. As the crowd shouted "Bernie! Bernie!" Silverman tried to shift the chant to "unity." She then chastised Sanders supporters.

Sarah Silverman: "Unity, unity, unity."

Sen. Al Franken: "Hillary, Hillary, Hillary."

Sarah Silverman: "The Bernie—can I just say, to the Bernie or Bust people, you’re being ridiculous."

Finally, following prime-time convention speeches by first lady Michelle Obama and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Sanders took to the stage, again endorsing Hillary Clinton.

Sen. Bernie Sanders: "Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president, and I am proud to stand with her tonight. Thank you all very much."

But on the convention floor, disunity was on full display. Sanders supporters sported shirts reading "Hill No." Others taped their mouths shut, with the word "silenced" written in marker on the duct tape. This is Oregon delegate Sandra Jafarzadeh.

Sandra Jafarzadeh: "I covered my mouth with a 'silenced' sign on it. And the reason why I said that is because superdelegates didn’t represent the voice of the people. They were supposed to represent the voice of the middle class, the voice of the 99 percent. And they failed. They didn’t do that."

We’ll host two debates on the choice for Sanders supporters later in the broadcast: first between Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein and former NAACPPresident Ben Jealous, then between Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich.

TeleSUR Journalist Arrested at Protests Outside DNC

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Outside the convention center, protests continued for a second day. At least 50 people were briefly taken into custody by police during a mass sit-in outside the convention center Monday. The demonstration dubbed "Democracy Spring" was protesting against the big influence of corporate money in politics. At least one journalist was arrested attempting to cover the protest. Police arrested TeleSUR journalist Abby Martin as she tried to access the blocked-off area. She says she was following the police’s instructions when an officer grabbed her, tore her dress and handcuffed her. She was released hours later.

DNC: Hundreds March to Demand Moratorium on Deportations

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Meanwhile, hundreds marched to demand a moratorium on deportations and the closure of the Berks Family Detention Center in Pennsylvania. This is one of the protesters.

Fernando Lopez: "What it means to be undocumented is the same crisis that people are facing here in the U.S.: citizens that have felonies. Basically, you don’t have any rights. You don’t have any voice. You don’t have a political voice. You don’t have the right to vote. The reality is that people that are coming to this country, it’s not because they want to live the American dream. It’s because, in many instances, people are fleeing poverty, people are fleeing violence, and then coming here and face more violence and face more trauma. It’s insane. It’s a cycle that never ends. So, like, it just doesn’t make sense. It’s immoral. And I think the right thing to do, because this is going to go down in history, is for them to dismantle this organization that is ICE and to stop all deportations and to end this crisis already."

Japan: Man Kills 19 at Home for People with Mental Disabilities

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In Japan, a knife-wielding man killed 19 people and wounded at least a dozen near Tokyo on Tuesday. Japanese police say the attack took place in the city of Sagamihara at a facility for people with mental disabilities. The man appeared to have been a former employee of the facility, and the victims were all patients there. The suspected attacker turned himself in at a local police station and was charged with murder. Police have not yet offered a possible motive for the attack.

German Police: Syrian Bomber Pledged Allegiance to ISIS

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In Germany, officials say a Syrian man who blew himself up outside a concert Sunday night had declared allegiance to ISIS. The 27-year-old man was killed and about a dozen people were wounded in the blast. Police say they found bomb-making materials in the man’s apartment, along with a video of the man pledging support to the group. Police described the alleged bomber as having legal and psychiatric troubles. They said he had arrived in Germany two years ago, but had been denied asylum.

Florida Rep. Alan Grayson's Ex-Wife Alleges Domestic Abuse

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Politico is reporting Florida Congressmember Alan Grayson’s ex-wife repeatedly went to police with accusations of domestic abuse over a two-decade period. The revelations come as Grayson enters the final weeks of his Democratic primary campaign for Senate. Politico reports Lolita Grayson called police at least two times in Virginia and two more times in Florida, and that she sought medical attention on at least two occasions. She says that Grayson threatened to kill her on at least one instance. Alan Grayson denies he engaged in any abuse during the couple’s 25-year marriage, which ended last year in a bitter annulment that she is now appealing.

Kashmir Curfew Lifted; General Strike Continues

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In Kashmir, Indian authorities announced the end of a 17-day curfew in the city of Srinagar today. The city has been under lockdown since Indian security forces killed an independence leader earlier this month, setting off massive demonstrations. Many of the city’s shops remained closed amid a general strike protesting Indian rule. More than 42 people have been killed since the protests began. At least three of the deaths occurred when Indian troops opened fire on protesters.

 

Philippines: Duterte Declares Ceasefire with Communist Rebels

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In the Philippines, newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte has declared a unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels who have fought the government since 1968. The insurgency began then and has claimed more than 40,000 lives.

President Rodrigo Duterte: "While we extol the bravery and heroism of our soldiers, you, the rebels, do the same for your members and fighters. What I see instead are the widows and the orphans, and I feel their pain and grief."

The group that will represent the rebels in the negotiations says it welcomes the ceasefire. Meanwhile, Former Filipino President Gloria Arroyo has returned to the country’s Congress after nearly five years in prison on corruption charges. The Supreme Court has now cleared her of the charges.

10,000 Sign Petition to Hold Tony Blair Accountable for Iraq War

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In Britain, more than 10,000 people have signed a petition demanding the British Parliament "hold Tony Blair to account" for the country’s participation in the 2003 Iraq War. British law requires the government issue a formal reply to the request. There have been renewed calls for Blair to face trial after the release of the Chilcot report earlier this month, which presented evidence Blair had misled the country in making the case for war.

South Koreans Demonstrate for 12th Day Against New U.S. Missile Base

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In South Korea, protests against the deployment of a U.S. missile system continued for a 12th straight day. Residents of Seongju, southeast of Seoul, have held daily demonstrations since their city was announced as the location for the missile base two weeks ago. The South Korean government says it needs the THAAD missile system to counter threats from North Korea. U.S. troops would be deployed along with the missiles. These are two of the protesters.

Protester: "To deploy THAAD in South Korea will not only further worsen the relations between the Republic of Korea and the DPRK, but also negatively affect the situation in Northeast Asia and push South Korea to the brink of war. Therefore, we must oppose it."

Protester: "If THAAD is deployed in Seongju, there will be U.S. forces. I have heard about the scandals involving U.S. troops in other countries, so as a mother with daughters, I am deeply worried and strongly oppose THAAD."

Russia has warned of "irreparable consequences" if the missiles are deployed. China has also said the missiles would threaten stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Tunisia: Hundreds Protest Amnesty Law for Officials Accused of Corruption

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And in Tunisia, hundreds of people protested against a proposed amnesty law for public officials and state employees charged with corruption. Parliamentary debate on the bill is expected to begin today. Many Tunisians fear laws like the one proposed would mean a return to the same kind of widespread corruption that helped spark the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Protesters successfully blocked the bill last year, the first time it was introduced.

Mississippi: Transgender Woman Dee Whigham Murdered

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In Mississippi, a U.S. Navy sailor has been charged in the murder of 25-year-old transgender woman Dee Whigham, who was found stabbed to death in a hotel room Saturday. The alleged killer is 20-year-old Dwanya Hickerson, who was in training at Mississippi’s Keesler Air Force Base. Police say they are investigating the murder as a possible hate crime. Dee Whigham had recently begun her medical career as a nurse at a medical center in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. At least 15 transgender people been murdered this year, following a record of more than 20 killings in 2015.

Chris DeLay, Who Posted Alton Sterling Video, Still Prevented from Returning to Work

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And Chris LeDay, the man who posted a Facebook video showing the police killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, says he still hasn’t been allowed to return to work. Three weeks ago, the day after posting the video, LeDay was arrested, shackled, jailed and ultimately charged for outstanding traffic fines. Now officials on the Dobbins Air Force Base, where LeDay has worked as a technician, are saying his arrest had led to issues with his security clearance that are preventing him from returning to work. This is Chris LeDay speaking on Democracy Now! after his arrest.

Amy Goodman: "So, are you sorry you posted the video of the police killing of Alton Sterling?"

Chris LeDay: "Not at all, because the main thing—the main thing I wanted to do was try to help the Sterling family get justice, and use my platform to put these cops on display. I think it was an atrocity, and they handled it wrong. It was a clear-cut case of murder, in my opinion, even though I’m not an expert. But I saw his kid crying, you know, his son crying on television, and that really broke my heart, because, you know, I have three children."