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You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines, or for in-depth stories that expose government and corporate abuses of power. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation, all without ads, government funding or corporate underwriting? This is only possible with your support. Right now every donation to Democracy Now! will be doubled by a generous supporter. This means if you give $25 today, Democracy Now! will get $50 to support our daily news hour. Please do your part. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in the coming year. Thanks so much. -Amy Goodman
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Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai and Indian child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize. The chair of the Nobel committee, Thorbjørn Jagland, made the announcement this morning.
Thorbjørn Jagland: “Ladies and gentleman, good morning. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 is to be awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai for their struggle against oppression of young people and children, and children’s right to education. Children must go to school, not be financially exploited.”
At age 17, Yousafzai is the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Prize. In 2012, she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman who boarded her school bus. She survived and continued to campaign for the right of girls to go to school. Satyarthi, age 60, has been a leader for decades in the international movement against child slavery and the exploitation of child workers. In a statement, the Nobel committee said it “regards it as an important point for a Hindu and a Muslim, an Indian and a Pakistani, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism.”
Leaders from West African countries ravaged by an outbreak of Ebola have pleaded for more international aid. Speaking by video conference at a meeting of the World Bank, Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma said help was needed on the ground, not just on paper.
President Ernest Bai Koroma: “The last few weeks have indeed been weeks of massive concerns and commitments to fight the outbreak. However, the general international response has up to this moment been slower than the rate of transmission of the disease.”
Liberia has postponed next week’s Senate elections over fears they could fuel the virus’s spread, and a fourth doctor has died of Ebola there. A round of 100 U.S. marines have arrived in Liberia, bringing the total number of troops there to 300.
U.S.-led warplanes have strengthened their assault on Islamic State militants near the Syrian border town of Kobani. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports the militants have been shelling a border crossing with Turkey. If Kobani falls, ISIS will control more than half of the Syria-Turkey border.
In Yemen, at least 47 people were killed Thursday when a suicide bomber targeted members of the Shiite Houthi rebel group who were gathering for a protest in the capital Sana’a. It was the deadliest blast to hit the city in over two years.
Central African Republic is seeing its worst spate of violence in months. The country has faced a crisis since last year when Muslim Séléka rebels seized power, sparking a backlash from Christian militias. In the past few days, at least nine people have been killed, including a U.N. peacekeeper from Pakistan.
Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong are gathering for a major rally after the government canceled talks planned for today. The protests had previously wound down after tens of thousands flooded the streets to demand free elections in 2017.
In a double victory for voting rights in the United States, voter ID laws have been blocked in both Wisconsin and Texas less than a month before the November election. In the Wisconsin case, the Supreme Court granted an emergency appeal to prevent the state from implementing its voter ID law. An estimated 300,000 Wisconsin voters lack adequate ID. Separately, in Texas, a federal judge struck down that state’s voter ID law, calling it an “unconstitutional poll tax” that discriminated against voters of color. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor, has vowed to appeal. This week a nonpartisan congressional study found states that implemented voter ID laws saw a drop in voter turnout that disproportionately kept young people and African Americans from the polls.
In the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, protests continued for a second night over the fatal police shooting of an 18-year-old black man. Police have claimed Vonderrit Myers fired at them, but Myers’ relatives say he was holding a sandwich which police mistook for a gun. The officer fired 17 shots, hitting Myers seven or eight times. The renewed protests come ahead of a weekend of action in the suburb of Ferguson over the police killing of Michael Brown two months ago. People from around the country are expected to descend on Ferguson to call for justice and an end to police brutality.
Mexican authorities have arrested drug lord Vicente Carrillo, the head of the Juárez Cartel, just days after the capture of another drug lord, Héctor Beltrán Leyva. The arrests come as Mexico faces protests over the disappearance of 43 students near Iguala in Guerrero state. Police are accused of ambushing the students, killing six people and turning survivors over to a drug gang with ties to the city’s mayor, who has since fled. On Thursday, Mexican Attorney General Jesús Murillo said four more mass graves had been found.
Jesús Murillo: “We have four new detainees whose identities are being confirmed, which is why I will not give names yet. But the most important is that with this arrest they were able to take us to a place where we found four mass graves, which these detainees said were also where the remains of the murdered students were deposited.”
This week, protests against the students’ disappearance were held across the country and around the world. Protesters have continued to call for the students to be released alive.
Former Haitan dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier, known as “Baby Doc,” will reportedly not be getting a state funeral. Duvalier died Saturday just months after a Haitian court ruled that he could be charged with crimes against humanity. His rule of Haiti, from 1971 to 1986, was marked by the jailing, torture and deaths of journalists and political prisoners. Duvalier’s attorney said the Haitian government had reversed its decision to give Duvalier a state funeral, following protests.
Estonia has legalized same-sex unions, becoming the first former Soviet state to do so. A law passed by Parliament grants couples in civil unions rights close to those of married couples.
The CEO of Microsoft has sparked controversy by suggesting women should not ask for pay raises. Speaking at a gathering of women in computing, Satya Nadella responded to a question about how he would advise women who are uncomfortable asking for a raise.
Satya Nadella: “It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along. And that, I think, might be one of the additional superpowers that, quite frankly, women who don’t ask for a raise have, because that’s good karma: It’ll come back, because somebody’s going to know that’s the kind of person that I want to trust.”
Following an outcry over his remarks, Nadella tweeted that he had been “inarticulate.” Women make up just 17 percent of Microsoft’s technical, engineering and management staff, roughly equivalent to other big tech firms. Nadella earns an estimated $18 million a year as CEO.
Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $5 million to settle claims it discriminated against women who were pregnant or had recently given birth. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said the company denied home loans to recent mothers or forced them to sacrifice their maternity leave and return to work before it would close on their loans. The settlement is a tiny fraction of Wells Fargo’s net income, which was $5.7 billion in the last quarter alone.
Workers who clean airplane cabins at New York City’s La Guardia Airport have agreed to return to work following a strike over unsafe working conditions. The workers, who are employed by a Delta Air Lines contractor, say they have been provided with inadequate protections against feces, vomit and other bodily fluids, a concern that has strengthened amidst fears of Ebola.