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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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Iran has reached a historic nuclear deal with the United States and five other world powers, capping more than a decade of negotiations. Under the deal, sanctions imposed on Iran would be lifted in return for Iran agreeing to long-term curbs on its nuclear program. We’ll go to Vienna for the latest on the nuclear deal after headlines.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is facing protests from members of his own Syriza party after accepting harsh austerity measures in exchange for an international bailout. In order for the deal to move forward, the Greek Parliament must accept pension cuts and other reforms by Wednesday, 10 days after voters rejected similar reforms in a referendum. Hundreds gathered in Athens Monday to protest the deal.
Dimitris Mitropoulos, teacher: “[Greek Prime Minister Alexis] Tsipras and his government betrayed the Greek people. He asked them a question, the Greek people answered, so what we have today is a betrayal. It’s bordering on a coup, if not actually a coup, and this coup was not brought about solely by Brussels, which said, 'We don't care about your referendum or your mandate against austerity.’ The coup was also brought about by the government.”
Members of New York’s Puerto Rican community rallied Monday to protest a meeting between Puerto Rican officials and creditors over possible austerity measures to address the island’s financial crisis. Among those at the meeting was former International Monetary Fund official Anne Krueger, who has backed cutting the minimum wage below $7.25 an hour and slashing subsidies for the University of Puerto Rico. Protesters gathered outside the Manhattan offices of financial giant Citigroup, where the meeting took place.
David Galarza: “My name is David Galarza, and I live here in New York City. I’m puertorriqueño, and my parents and my family live in Puerto Rico. I’m here with a bunch of other puertorriqueños from the diaspora, from all over the city and different parts, in solidarity with the people in Puerto Rico, who are saying in one clear voice 'no' to the austerity plans being proposed by a former IMF official by the name of Anne Krueger. And we’re also saying 'no' to the austerity plans being pushed by the hedge fund owners and the managers and the banksters that created similar situations in Greece, in Spain and even in this country.”
The Saudi-led bombing campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen has continued to claim civilian lives despite a U.N.-brokered truce. On Monday, an airstrike killed 25 civilians in the capital Sana’a. Oxfam, meanwhile, is warning that fuel shortages caused by the Saudi-led blockade of Yemen could claim even more lives than the bombing itself.
In Nigeria, newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari has fired all of the top military leaders and appointed replacements after a series attacks by the militant group Boko Haram. Two of the fired officials had been accused by Amnesty International of presiding over war crimes.
Two alleged senior leaders of the self-proclaimed Islamic State were reportedly killed Monday in an airstrike in northern Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it believed the attack was carried out by U.S.-led coalition forces.
President Obama has granted clemency to 46 prisoners, including 14 who faced life without parole, more than doubling the number of sentences he’s commuted since taking office. Many of the commutations went to crack offenders. We’ll have more on Obama’s push for prison reform later in the broadcast.
The Pentagon is taking steps to allow transgender people to serve openly in the military by early next year. Calling the ban “outdated,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he would appoint a working group to examine the impact of lifting it.
The executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America has unanimously backed a resolution to end a blanket ban on gay adult leaders. The measure still needs to be ratified by the National Executive Board later this month.
Filmmaker Laura Poitras, who won an Oscar for her film “Citizenfour” about Edward Snowden, is suing the U.S. government to find out why she has been detained, searched and interrogated more than 50 times at airports. The interrogations took place over six years, beginning in 2006 when Poitras finished her documentary “My Country, My Country” about post-invasion Iraq. Poitras said she was suing “in support of the countless other less high-profile people who have also been subjected to years of Kafkaesque harassment at the borders.”
New York City has reached a deal to pay the family of Eric Garner $5.9 million, avoiding a potential lawsuit, almost exactly one year after Garner died following a police chokehold. On July 17, 2014, New York City police accused Garner of selling loose cigarettes in Staten Island. Officer Daniel Pantaleo pulled him down by the neck, then officers piled on top of Garner, who said “I can’t breathe” at least 11 times before he died. A grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo.
Meanwhile, a Staten Island woman has filed a lawsuit saying police assaulted and falsely arrested her in retaliation for filming Garner’s arrest. According to the New York Daily News, Taisha Allen says police threw half her body over a fence and twisted her arms after calling her “that [b-word] that filmed the Eric Garner video.” Ramsey Orta, who also filmed Garner’s arrest, has been arrested multiple times and claims police have harassed him.
In Stonewall, Mississippi, another unarmed African-American man was allegedly strangled to death by a white police officer in a case being compared to Eric Garner’s. Attorneys for the family of 39-year-old Jonathan Sanders told the Jackson Free Press Sanders was driving a horse-drawn buggy Wednesday night when he was pursued by officer Kevin Herrington. After Sanders was knocked from his startled horse during the pursuit, Herrington chased Sanders, grabbed a headlamp around Sanders’ neck and put him in a headlock. Witnesses said Sanders repeatedly told the officer he couldn’t breathe, but Herrington kept him in the headlock until medical help arrived up to 30 minutes later. Mississippi authorities are investigating Sanders’ death.
And the civil rights activist, actor, author and judge, D’Army Bailey, has died at the age of 73. Bailey joined with fellow African Americans to buy the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and turn it into the National Civil Rights Museum. In 2007, I interviewed D’Army Bailey on the balcony outside room 306, where Dr. King last stood.
D’Army Bailey: “So it’s not a museum that celebrates Dr. King; it’s a museum that celebrates the spirit of a movement. And so, we had the exhibits on Selma and on Montgomery, and on the Freedom Summer of 1954, and we had the exhibit on the courage of the nine black children at Central High School in Little Rock, who braved the mobs to desegregate that school, and James Meredith’s singular courage to desegregate the University of Mississippi, and, of course, finally this tragic event that occurred here on April 4th of 1968.”
D’Army Bailey died Sunday in Memphis after a battle with cancer. He was 73. To see the full interview with him at the Lorraine Motel in 2007, you can go to democracynow.org.