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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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Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has doubled down on his call for a “total and complete” ban on Muslims entering the United States, despite condemnation from around the world and within his own party. In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Trump defended his proposal by comparing it to the detention of Japanese Americans, Germans and Italians under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during World War II.
Donald Trump: “What I’m doing is no different than what FDR—FDR’s solution for Germans, Italians, Japanese, you know, many years ago.”
George Stephanopoulos: “So you’re for internment camps?”
Donald Trump: “This is a president who was highly respected by all. He did the same thing. If you look at what he was doing, it was far worse.”
Donald Trump said his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States would not apply to U.S. citizens. His remarks were condemned across the political spectrum, including by his fellow Republican candidates. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson called it unconstitutional; South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham called it “downright dangerous”; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called it “ridiculous”; and Florida Governor Jeb Bush called Trump “unhinged.” Florida Senator Marco Rubio tweeted that Trump’s “habit of making offensive and outlandish statements will not bring Americans together.” Texas Senator Ted Cruz rejected the proposed ban but praised Trump for “focusing America’s attention on the need to secure our borders.” Trump also faced criticism from Democrats, including White House spokesperson Josh Earnest.
Josh Earnest: “The fact is that what Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president. And for Republican candidates for president to stand by their pledge to
support Mr. Trump, that in and of itself is disqualifying.”
In a series of interviews Tuesday, Donald Trump also falsely claimed there are areas of London and Paris that have become so “radicalized” that police are afraid for their lives. He made the claim in an interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
Donald Trump: “Paris is no longer the same city it was. They have sections in Paris that are radicalized, where the police refuse to go there. They’re petrified. The police refuse to go in there. We have places in London and other places that are so radicalized that the police are afraid for their own lives.”
Here in France, where the far-right, anti-immigrant National Front led by Marine Le Pen surged in Sunday’s regional elections, Prime Minister Manuel Valls tweeted, “Trump, like others, stokes hatred and conflations: our enemy is radical Islamism.” Meanwhile, London Mayor Boris Johnson rejected Trump’s claims about radicalization in London, saying, “The only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.”
Trump’s comments about Muslims come amid increasing incidents of Islamophobia in the United States. In Philadelphia, the FBI and police have opened an investigation after a bloody pig’s head was left at the entrance of a mosque. The pig’s head was found Monday morning at the Al-Aqsa Islamic Society. Pork is considered forbidden, or “haram,” in Islam.
In Afghanistan, Taliban militants have attacked the Kandahar airport, killing dozens of people. At least 46 people reportedly died in the attack, including civilians, security personnel and Taliban fighters, after suicide bombers penetrated a security gate. The attack comes as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani attends a key conference on Afghan security in neighboring Pakistan.
Canada has vowed to set up an inquiry into the disappearances and murders of nearly 1,200 indigenous women and girls over the last three decades, a demand made by First Nations activists for years. Speaking Tuesday, newly elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he hoped the inquiry would help restore trust between the Canadian government and First Nations.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “I know that renewing our relationship is an ambitious goal, but I am equally certain that it is one that we can and will achieve if we work together.”
Meanwhile, the Canadian government is preparing for the arrival of thousands of Syrian refugees. One hundred fifty Syrians are expected to arrive in Toronto on Thursday. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees by the end of this month and another 15,000 by March 1. The refugees will immediately become legal Canadian residents upon arrival.
Greenpeace has revealed that two prominent climate skeptics made themselves available for hire by the hour to write reports that cast doubt on man-made climate change and the impacts of global warming. Members of Greenpeace posed as consultants for fossil fuel companies and asked William Happer, a professor at Princeton University, and Frank Clemente, a retired professor from Penn State University, to write the reports. Both professors said the reports would cost thousands of dollars to write and discussed ways to obscure the funding source.
Two of the world’s largest chemical companies, Dow Chemical and DuPont, are considering merging into what could become the second-largest chemical company in the world. Combined, Dow Chemical and DuPont are worth $120 billion. This year has been one of the biggest years for massive corporate mergers, which include the $150 billion merger of pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Allergan, the $106 billion merger of beer companies Anheuser-Busch and SABMiller, and the $55 billion merger between telecommunications giants Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable.
In Canada, three activists have been arrested after they forced pipeline giant Enbridge to shut down one of its major oil pipelines by locking themselves to equipment at a valve site on Monday. The pipeline transports more than 12 million gallons of Alberta tar sands and Bakken crude oil to refineries in the east coast every day. The pipeline has long been opposed by First Nations and environmental activists, who are concerned about spills and the impact of continued fossil fuel extraction on climate change.
In Burkina Faso, authorities have charged a general with complicity in the assassination of President Thomas Sankara nearly three decades ago. Dubbed “Africa’s Che Guevara,” Sankara was killed in a military coup in 1987. General Gilbert Diendéré has now become the most senior official charged in Sankara’s death. He is already in prison after leading another coup which failed in September.
And indigenous activist, poet and actor John Trudell has died in California at the age of 69. Trudell was the spokesman of the American Indian Movement during the 1969 occupation of Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay, where he set up a radio broadcast called Radio Free Alcatraz. He later served as the head of the American Indian Movement for most of the 1970s. Trudell was also a poet and musician. This is John Trudell speaking in New York City in 1979 from the 2005 documentary “Trudell.”
John Trudell: “I’m a member of the American Indian Movement, and I’m from the indigenous nations of the Western Hemisphere. As the indigenous people, we have watched. We have watched this thing happen on our hemisphere. We have seen what has happened. We have seen the community confused and attacked. We understand that the issue is the land, the issue is the earth. We cannot change the political system, we cannot change the economic system, we cannot change the social system, until the people control the land, and then we take it out of the hands of that sick minority that chooses to pervert the meaning and the intention of humanity.”