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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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President Obama has rejected the Keystone XL oil pipeline in one of the environmental movement’s biggest victories to date. After years of review and one of the largest grassroots campaigns in decades, Obama announced Friday he will not allow Keystone on his watch.
President Obama: “America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change. And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership. And that’s the biggest risk we face: not acting.”
The Keystone pipeline would have sent 830,000 barrels of crude oil every day from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. We’ll have more on the pipeline’s defeat later in the broadcast.
The World Bank is warning climate change could force more than 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030. The new report predicts upheaval from drought, extreme weather and the spread of diseases like malaria.
The warnings about climate change and extreme weather come as Yemen has been battered by a second, extremely rare cyclone. At least one person was killed, and thousands fled. The storm came less than a week after an earlier cyclone killed 11 people and dumped almost a decade’s worth of rain in two days.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is meeting with President Obama at the White House today, marking the first talks between the two leaders since Netanyahu failed to block the nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu is seeking a major increase in U.S. military aid to Israel over the coming decade, beyond the $3 billion annually the U.S. already provides. The meeting comes as Israeli forces shot dead a young Palestinian woman at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank, accusing her of drawing a knife.
A group of bipartisan House lawmakers are calling for Congress to vote on the escalating U.S. wars in Iraq and Syria. More than a year after the United States launched airstrikes against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, Congress has yet to vote on authorizing force. The Obama administration has controversially claimed their actions are covered by the 2001 congressional vote authorizing force against al-Qaeda. The open letter calling for a vote was signed by members of both parties, including Democratic Congressmembers Barbara Lee, Jim McGovern and John Lewis, and members of the right-wing Freedom Caucus. The lawmakers said they “do not share the same policy prescriptions” but do share the belief it’s “past time” for a vote on the wars.
In Egypt, the leading investigative journalist and human rights activist Hossam Bahgat has been detained by Egyptian military intelligence. Bahgat’s most recent investigation examined the convictions of 26 military officers accused of plotting to topple the government. Bahgat was ordered to spend the night in detention after being interrogated for hours Sunday on charges of publishing false news harmful to national security. Click here to see our past interviews with Hossam Bahgat.
In news from Jordan, a Jordanian police officer has killed two American instructors and a South African at a police training center near Amman. Officials said the policeman also wounded six people before he was killed by fellow officers.
In Burma, the opposition party led by Aung San Suu Kyi appears poised for a sweeping victory in the first openly contested national elections in 25 years. The National League for Democracy party said it expects to win about 70 percent of seats. Aung San Suu Kyi herself is barred from the presidency under a military-drafted constitution.
In Haiti, meanwhile, protests have erupted over alleged fraud after initial results from last month’s elections pointed toward a presidential runoff.
Update: After our morning broadcast, University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe resigned.
African-American players on the University of Missouri’s football team have gone on strike, refusing to participate in team activities or games until the university president resigns over his handling of racism on the heavily white campus. In a tweet Saturday, the players wrote: “The athletes of color on the University of Missouri football team truly believe 'Injustice Anywhere is a threat to Justice Everywhere.' We will no longer participate in any football related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students’ experience.” The move comes amid increasing protest over racial slurs and the appearance of a swastika drawn in feces in a dormitory. For a week, an African-American graduate student, Jonathan Butler, has been on hunger strike, and protesters have been camping out to support his call for Wolfe’s resignation. The coach and athletic department have supported the football players. Coach Gary Pinkel tweeted: “We are united. We are behind our players.” Athletic director Mack Rhoades released a statement saying there would be no practice or formal team activities until Butler ends his hunger strike.
Students across the country are also calling attention to racism on campus. At Berkeley High School in California last Thursday, a racist message on a computer sparked thousands of students to walk out. That same day, hundreds of students at Yale University confronted the college’s first African-American dean over what they say is a pattern of discrimination at Yale.
Republican presidential front-runner and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has called for the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico to become the 51st state. His comments come as Carson is under fire after news outlets questioned the accuracy of his autobiography, “Gifted Hands.” In the book, Carson describes dining with General William Westmoreland after a Memorial Day parade and later being offered a “full scholarship” to West Point military academy. But after an investigation by Politico, Carson’s campaign acknowledged he never applied to West Point. Since all West Point students attend without cost, there is no such thing as a “full scholarship” to West Point. Speaking on Meet the Press, Carson acknowledged his story about General Westmoreland may not have been entirely accurate.
Ben Carson: “I know he was there in Detroit. And I know it was—there were Congressional Medal of Honor—you know, it may not have been Memorial Day, but it was sometime during the time when I was the city executive officer.”
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal has raised questions about Carson’s account of a class he took at Yale called Perceptions 301—it appears there was no such class. And CNN has interviewed a number of Carson’s friends in a bid to verify his claim he tried to stab a friend during what he describes as a violent youth; none of them remembered the incident.
Carson’s rival Donald Trump hosted “Saturday Night Live” amid protests over his comments calling Mexican immigrants rapists. Nearly 150,000 people signed a petition calling on NBC to “dump Trump.” Brent Wilkes of the League of United Latin American Citizens was among those protesting outside NBC’s studios Saturday.
Brent Wilkes: “We believe he’s a racist and a bigot. He said some very hurtful words against the Latino community, calling us killers, rapists, criminals and drug dealers. And he’s also called for the mass deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants, building up a wall bigger than China’s Great Wall along the Mexican border and the end of birthright citizenship. We believe that Donald Trump’s opinions of Latinos are hateful and his actions toward Latinos would be extremely harmful to millions of Latino families in this country.”
The Department of Justice has announced no border agents will be prosecuted for their role in the killing of a Mexican immigrant near San Diego even though eyewitness video showed agents beating and tasering the man. The incident occurred in May 2010 when 32-year-old Anastasio Hernández Rojas was caught trying to enter the United States from Mexico. He had previously lived in the United States for 25 years and was the father of five U.S.-born children. We’ll have more on his killing later in the broadcast.
And in Louisiana, two police officers have been arrested on murder charges after a six-year-old boy was shot to death while sitting in the passenger seat of his father’s car. The officers, Lt. Derrick Stafford and Norris Greenhouse Jr., were working secondary jobs as city marshals. Authorities say the marshals were chasing the father, Chris Few, to serve him a warrant, when Few reached a dead end and allegedly began to back into the marshals’ car. The officers then opened fire, killing first-grader Jeremy Mardis and critically wounding his father.