This week, Democracy Now! is celebrating our 22nd birthday. Since our first ever show in February 1996, our daily news hour has brought you fearless journalism and hard-hitting news you can trust. Maybe you rely on our daily headlines. Maybe you come looking for the in-depth stories that expose government and corporate abuses of power. One thing you know you can count on is that Democracy Now! is always free—you'll never hit a paywall. How is this possible? Only with your support. In fact, if everyone reading this gave just $4, it would cover our operating expenses for the whole year. Right now, a generous donor will TRIPLE every donation, meaning your gift today will go three times as far. Pretty amazing, right? Please do your part. Take a moment to give right now for our 22nd birthday.
This week, Democracy Now! is celebrating our 22nd birthday. Since our first show in February 1996, our daily news hour has brought you fearless journalism and hard-hitting news you can trust--all without ads or corporate underwriting. How is this possible? Only with your support. In fact, if everyone reading this gave just $4, it would cover our operating expenses for the whole year. Right now, a generous donor will TRIPLE every donation, meaning your gift today will go three times as far. Pretty amazing, right? Please do your part. Take a moment to give right now for our 22nd birthday.
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Authorities in Chicago, Illinois, have released police dashboard camera video showing a Chicago police officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. It was more than a year ago when Officer Jason Van Dyke shot the teenager 16 times. But it was only yesterday that Van Dyke was indicted for murder, one day before the city faced a court-ordered deadline to release the shooting video. Police had claimed Laquan McDonald lunged at Van Dyke with a small knife. But the newly released footage appears to show Van Dyke jumping out of a police car, pointing his gun at McDonald and opening fire when McDonald is many feet away. The video shows police bullets continually hitting McDonald’s body, even after he falls to the ground. We’ll go to Chicago for more on the case after headlines.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, nearly 1,000 Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets Tuesday night after alleged white supremacists opened fire on demonstrators the night before, injuring five people. Police have now arrested three people in connection with the mass shooting, which took place outside a police precinct as activists protested the earlier police shooting of unarmed African American, Jamar Clark. Black Lives Matter organizer Miski Noor denounced the attack by alleged white supremacists as an act of terrorism and said police had responded by macing the protesters.
Miski Noor: “Despite earlier statements from police about the impending threat from white supremacists, the police instead maced citizen journalists and peaceful protesters. They made disparaging comments to those at the protest, instead of taking the threat seriously. We reiterate that we have zero faith in this police department’s desire to keep our community safe. We reiterate that we have zero faith in this police department’s desire to keep our community safe.”
We’ll go to Minneapolis for more on the shooting with eyewitness Leslie Redmond and Minnesota Congressmember Keith Ellison later in the broadcast.
In Washington state, Western Washington University suspended all classes Tuesday after racist threats targeting students of color were posted on social media. The threats mentioned individual female students who say they were rebuffed in their initial attempts to seek aid from campus law enforcement.
Tunisia has declared a 30-day state of emergency after at least 12 people were killed by an explosion on a bus carrying members of the presidential guard. The capital Tunis is under a 9 p.m. curfew. The attacks come amid security crackdowns in Belgium and France following the Paris attacks that killed 130 people on November 13. Schools and metro stations reopened today in Brussels after being shut down for four days.
President Obama and French President François Hollande have agreed to ramp up airstrikes against the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria following the Paris attacks. As Hollande visited Washington, D.C., for talks with Obama, French warplanes bombed ISIS targets near the Iraqi city of Mosul.
Emerging from the meeting with Obama, Hollande pledged to press ahead with United Nations climate talks opening Monday in Paris, saying they are a “beautiful symbol” after the Paris attacks.
President François Hollande: “No one has asked us to suspend, delay it (climate talks), because in fact it is the most beautiful symbol we can imagine after the tragedy in Paris and Saint-Denis. This meeting is where the world decides for itself in favor of life—always life—the lives of our children, the small children of the planet.”
In the wake of the Paris attacks, French authorities canceled a mass march against climate change scheduled for this Sunday; 200,000 people were expected to take to the streets to call for a global deal to avert climate catastrophe. On Tuesday night in Paris, hundreds gathered at an emergency meeting to oppose France’s state of emergency, which prohibits demonstrations for three months. The attendees vowed to protest during the U.N. climate talks — known as the conference of the parties, or COP. One of the organizers, Christine Poupin, spoke to Democracy Now!
Christine Poupin: “My name is Christine Poupin, and I am spokesperson for the New Anticapitalist Party. The reason for this meeting tonight was to give a first response to the state of emergency, in particular to assert our capacity to resist and reflect, a response to the heavy weight imposed both by terrorism and the state of emergency. Talking about COP, this COP will have no positive outcome on the climate, because it will make no positive decision to limit the use of fossil fuels. But worse, it will also promote false solutions that will heavily burden the people.”
Tune in Monday as Democracy Now! begins our two weeks of live coverage from the Paris climate talks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has condemned Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane near the Syrian border, saying it was “like a stab in the back delivered by the accomplices of terrorists.” Turkey said it shot down the plane after warning the Russian pilots they were in Turkish airspace. But Russia says the plane did not stray from Syrian airspace. The incident marks one of the most serious publicly acknowledged clashes between a NATO member country and Russia in half a century.
In Liberia, a 15-year-old boy has died of Ebola, months after the country was declared Ebola-free. The news comes after a panel of global health experts condemned the World Health Organization for its sluggish response to the Ebola outbreak last year, saying “thousands” of deaths could have been prevented if not for the agency’s failures and delays.
The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned the murder convictions of death row prisoner Reggie Clemons, whose supporters say he is innocent. Clemons was one of three African-American men convicted for the rape and murder of two white sisters on the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge in 1991. On Tuesday, the court vacated his convictions, saying the state suppressed evidence Clemons was beaten by police and coerced into confessing. Missouri now has 60 days to decide whether to pursue a retrial.
A group of 14 human rights activists from Witness Against Torture are setting up a protest encampment outside the U.S. naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Tomorrow, Thanksgiving Day, the activists plan to fast in solidarity with Guantánamo prisoners. They are demanding the Obama administration deliver on its promise to finally close the prison.
The U.S. military is set to announce today that a series of errors led to the U.S. bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital that killed at least 30 people in Afghanistan last month. On October 3, a U.S. gunship passed five times over the hospital, bombing it repeatedly over more than an hour and continuing to bomb despite multiple frantic calls by staff to U.S. officials telling them they were hitting a hospital. Doctors Without Borders has said the attack was an apparent war crime “conducted with a purpose to kill and destroy.” The group had repeatedly told the U.S. military the hospital’s exact coordinates. But a military investigation has reportedly concluded the gunship crew intended to target another compound and hit the hospital by mistake, after relying on verbal descriptions from U.S. and Afghan forces on the ground. It remains unclear why those forces didn’t tell the gunship crew they were mistakenly bombing a hospital. Doctors Without Borders has demanded an independent investigation.
Media activist and community Internet pioneer Wally Bowen has died at the age of 63. Bowen was the founder of Mountain Area Information Network, a nonprofit community Internet service provider. He also founded WPVM, “The Progressive Voice in the Mountains,” a low-power FM community radio station in Asheville, North Carolina. Bowen challenged the broadcast license of Sinclair Media, the corporation that controlled Asheville’s only over-the-air television station, which Bowen and others accused of partisan political programming during the 2004 election season. Here is Wally Bowen speaking on Democracy Now! in 2009.
Wally Bowen: “My background is journalism, so I always—you know, I was wanting to bridge the digital divide but also create sustaining revenue for journalism. And so, that’s what we’ve been moving toward all these years. And five years ago, we launched WPVM, a low-power FM radio station, and brought Democracy Now! for the first time to Asheville public access TV. So we’ve been concentrating our efforts on creating media infrastructure that is grounded in our community and beholden to our community and not beholden to Wall Street.”
Wally Bowen died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, last Tuesday in Asheville, North Carolina.