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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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The Canadian capital, Ottawa, went into lockdown Wednesday after a shooter opened fire at the National War Memorial. The gunman shot and killed Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was guarding the tomb of the unknown soldier, then entered the nearby Parliament, where he was shot dead. The gunman was identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a convert to Islam with a history of drug and robbery offenses. The attack came two days after a man identified as a “radicalized” Muslim convert drove a car into two Canadian soldiers, killing one of them. The incidents have sparked fears of blowback after Canada joined the U.S.-led war against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the nation.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper: “Canada will never be intimidated. In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts, and those of our national security agencies, to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home, just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with a hope of bringing their savagery to our shores.”
U.S.-led airstrikes have killed more than 500 people in Syria since they began one month ago. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, most of those killed were Islamic State fighters; 32 were civilians, including six children.
The Pentagon has confirmed Islamic State militants got one of the bundles of arms it attempted to airdrop to Kurdish forces. The bundle included small arms and hand grenades. The Pentagon said the wind caused it to shift off course.
A federal jury has returned guilty verdicts against four Blackwater operatives involved in the 2007 massacre of 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square. Nicholas Slatten was found guilty of first-degree murder, while three other guards were convicted of voluntary manslaughter. We’ll have more on the Blackwater trial with Jeremy Scahill later in the broadcast.
The record outbreak of Ebola has officially killed nearly 4,900 people, but the death toll could actually be about three times that. The World Health Organization says cases continue to go vastly undercounted in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The World Health Organization has also released new data on a disease that kills far more people each year than Ebola. Nine million people developed tuberculosis last year, and 1.5 million of them died, even though the disease is curable. About 3.5 percent of cases were drug-resistant.
Mexican authorities have ordered the arrest of the fugitive mayor of Iguala and his wife, accusing them of ordering last month’s police attack on students from a rural teachers college. Six people were killed in the initial attacks, and 43 students have been missing for almost a month. On Wednesday, protesters set fire to Iguala’s city hall, as tens of thousands gathered in Mexico City, including fellow students from the teachers college.
Diego, student at Ayotzinapa Normal School: “Who is the most guilty person here for the extrajudicial massacre of our fallen comrades on the 26th of September and the forced disappearances of our comrades is the executive-in-chief, Enrique Peña Nieto, because he should ensure that the Mexican society is safe.”
Family members of the missing students traveled to Mexico City to attend the protest. Bernabé Abraham Gaspar’s son is among the missing.
Bernabé Abraham Gaspar, father of Adán Abraham de la Cruz: “I don’t understand what is happening with the authorities. Why do they kill students who are just starting to build their lives, to have a life and a dignified career and work?”
The White House went into temporary lockdown Wednesday when a man jumped over the fence. Unlike last month’s incident where an intruder ran through the East Room, the man was unarmed and quickly detained.
The Justice Department has condemned the “selective” leaking of information on the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. In a statement, the department said “there seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.” The statement came after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published Brown’s official autopsy report, which appears to show Brown was shot in the hand at close range. That could support Officer Darren Wilson’s claim Brown struggled for his gun inside a police vehicle, but does not explain why Wilson later fired more shots, killing Brown.
Protests against police brutality were held Wednesday in Ferguson, Missouri, and more than 80 other cities across the country. New York City residents joined the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation.
Danette Chavis: “My name is Danette Chavis. I’m the mother of Gregory Chavis, who lost his life at the hands of NYPD in October 2004. I am convinced that nothing will change concerning this action until it is brought to the highest levels in government. We need nationwide action. We need the U.S. attorney general of the Department of Justice to deal with the issue of police brutality once and for all. Thousands of people are being murdered whose cases we know nothing about because they don’t have the ability to have their tragedy highlighted in the media.”