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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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Turkish military officials say they have shot down a Russian military aircraft on the Syrian border after warning its pilots they were violating Turkish airspace. Russia denies the plane violated Turkish airspace. Syrian rebels say at least one of the pilots is dead after both ejected before the crash.
The Belgian capital Brussels remains shut down as soldiers and tanks patrol the streets. Belgian authorities continue to search for Salah Abdeslam, a suspect in the Paris attacks that killed 130 people on November 13. While subways and schools are set to reopen Wednesday, Brussels is expected to remain on the highest level of alert through the end of the week. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said the threat continues, although he did not say exactly what the threat was.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel: “We are still confronted with the same type of threat we were facing yesterday. The potential targets are the same as yesterday, too. I remind you, these are highly frequented places, such as shopping areas, shopping streets, shopping centers and public transport.”
In neighboring France, police have continued a wide-ranging crackdown, carrying out more than 1,000 searches and detaining more than 100 people. The New York Times reports officers broke down the door of a restaurant selling halal burgers and Tex-Mex food in the Paris suburbs over the weekend—but found nothing. On Monday, police said they found a suicide belt in the Paris suburb of Montrouge which may have been discarded by the fugitive suspect Salah Abdeslam.
French President François Hollande meets with President Obama in Washington today, where he is expected to push for an intensified campaign against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, which authorities say is behind the Paris attacks. France has tripled its capacity to conduct strikes against ISIS by deploying an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean.
Both France and Russia have heavily bombed the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State, which is also home to hundreds of thousands of civilians. Activists in Raqqa report the chemical weapon white phosphorus has been used. The United States meanwhile has struck an ISIS revenue source, hitting nearly 300 tanker trucks used to transport oil out of eastern Syria. Russian officials, meanwhile, said their forces killed 14 people accused of smuggling fighters out of the North Caucasus to join the Islamic State in Syria.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, five Black Lives Matter protesters have been shot and wounded. They say the shooters were white supremacists, at least one of whom was wearing a mask. The protesters were gathered at an encampment outside a police precinct where they have been protesting the police killing of unarmed African American Jamar Clark. Activists say the white supremacists opened fire after a group of protesters attempted to herd them away from the encampment. Jie Wronski-Riley described the shooting to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Jie Wronski-Riley: “Then it was like they turned around, and then they just like started shooting. And at first, I wasn’t sure—like, I was like, 'Are they shooting firecrackers?' because it was so loud, and it was like all this, like, sulfur, whatever. And then it was like—then it was like the person like right next to me on my left went down, the person on my right went down, and I was like, '[expletive], they're actually shooting at us. They’re shooting bullets at us.’”
Activists said police took a long time to respond to the shooting and then used mace on bystanders.
In Oregon, authorities say they are treating the assault of a black college student by three white students as a possible hate crime. Lewis & Clark College student Tanguy Muvuna said he was beaten by three white men who used racial slurs, threatened his life and forced him to drink an unknown liquid.
In Chicago, Illinois, a white police officer who shot an African-American teenager 16 times last year, killing him, will reportedly be charged with murder today. Last October, Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shot and killed 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. Police have claimed McDonald lunged at the officer with a small knife. But people who have seen police dash cam video say it contradicts the police account, instead showing Officer Van Dyke opening fire on McDonald while he was walking away, and continuing to shoot him even after the teenager was lying on the pavement. Last week a county judge ordered the city to release the footage of the shooting by this Wednesday. We’ll go to Chicago for more after headlines.
The California city of Fullerton has agreed to pay $4.9 million to settle a civil case over the police beating death of a mentally ill homeless man in 2011. Officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli were acquitted last year in the death of Kelly Thomas, whose injuries included a compressed trachea and broken facial bones. Over the course of nearly 10 minutes, Thomas was tackled, hit with a baton, pinned down, punched repeatedly in the ribs, kneed in the head, stunned four times with a Taser, and then struck in the face with the Taser itself eight times. Footage shows him pleading for help. He died days later.
Republican presidential contender Donald Trump has doubled down on his false claim “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the 9/11 attacks. Trump claimed there were “tailgate-style celebrations” after 9/11. Republican rival Ben Carson has dialed back his initial support for Trump’s comments, claiming he saw video of people celebrating, but “I don’t know where they were.” Speaking at a rally Monday, Trump also doubled down on his support for using torture techniques against ISIS, saying he would “approve more than [waterboarding].”
Donald Trump: “Would I approve waterboarding? And I said, 'Well, let me ask you a question. On the other side, they chop off our young people's heads, and they put them on a stick. On the other side, they build these iron cages, and they’ll put 20 people in them, and they drop them in the ocean for 15 minutes and pull them up 15 minutes later. Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I’d approve it. You bet your ass. In a heartbeat.’”
And Doctors Without Borders has identified 14 staff members killed in a U.S. airstrike on its hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, on October 3. In a statement, Doctors Without Borders said the hospital was hit by “precise and repeated airstrikes for more than an hour. Even as the attack continued, our colleagues fought for their lives and for the lives of their patients with extraordinary determination and courage.” The Obama administration still has not released its review of the strike, which killed at least 30 people.