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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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In news from Ferguson, Missouri, authorities have declared a state of emergency for St. Louis County amid continuing protests marking the first anniversary of Michael Brown’s death and the shooting Sunday of another African-American teenager. Nearly 150 people were arrested Monday as protesters blocked rush-hour traffic on Interstate 70. Authorities also filed charges Monday against 18-year-old African American Tyrone Harris, who was critically injured Sunday night in what police describe as a shootout with officers. Tyrone Harris’ father said his son and Michael Brown were “very close.” The two attended Normandy High School together. During Monday night’s protests, heavily armed men from the militia group the Oath Keepers were also in Ferguson’s streets. The militia largely consists of active and former military members and police officers who claim to uphold the U.S. Constitution.
Meanwhile, St. Louis County has filed charges against two reporters who were arrested last year covering the protests. Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Ryan Reilly of The Huffington Post were charged Monday with trespassing and interfering with a police officer after officers alleged they did not leave a McDonald’s fast enough during an incident one year ago. We’ll have more from Ferguson later in the broadcast.
In news from Colorado, the governor has declared a state of emergency following the spill of at least three million gallons of toxic wastewater into the Animas River. A team of EPA workers accidentally triggered the spill during an attempted cleanup Wednesday of an old gold mine. Water samples show high levels of arsenic, lead and mercury in the river.
Meanwhile, four people have been arrested in the neighboring state of Utah after protesters erected tripods Monday to temporarily shut down the construction of the first commercial tar sands mine in the United States.
The European Commission has allocated 2.4 billion euros to help countries address the hundreds of thousands of migrants making their way to Europe from Africa, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Human rights groups have called this the worst migration crisis since World War II. The Italian coast guard said it rescued more than 1,500 migrants on Monday alone. A Nigerian migrant spoke out on why he was forced to migrate to Europe.
Nigerian migrant: “I left Nigeria because of the crisis of Boko Haram. People, everybody knows about Boko Haram and their preys. I lost my family. My house was burning to ashes. So that is the reason that makes me ship to Libya. From Libya. I decided to ship to Italy.”
In news from Japan, the Kyushu Electric Power Company has restarted Japan’s first nuclear reactor following the 2011 Fukushima disaster. This morning, the company restarted one of the reactors at the Sendai plant in southwest Japan, as people protested outside. Thousands of people marched Monday in opposition of the plant’s reopening. The restart comes just days after the 70th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on April 6 and April 9, 1945.
The Iraqi Parliament passed a sweeping anti-corruption package this morning in response to popular demonstrations that have swept the country in recent weeks. The laws are aimed at opening corruption probes and removing top officials. Meanwhile, ISIL has claimed responsibility for two car bombings that killed nearly 60 people in the eastern Iraqi province of Diyala on Monday.
In Turkey, a leftist group known as the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army-Front has claimed responsibility for the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul. Two women from the group opened fire at the consulate on Monday. No one was killed in the attack. Meanwhile, the United States has sent six F-16 jets and 300 U.S. military personnel to Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base. Turkey opened up the airbase to the United States last month.
In Germany, federal prosecutors have dropped the treason investigation against two bloggers who reported on plans to expand online surveillance. The journalists wrote for the independent news outlet Netzpolitik.org. The move to drop the charges followed intense protests over what would have been the first time journalists faced treason charges in Germany in over 50 years.
The Justice Department has filed documents opposing a federal judge’s ruling that women and children being held at family detention centers be released. In late July, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee condemned the mass detention as “deplorable” and ruled it was in violation of previous court decisions. The ruling gave the Obama administration 90 days to either release the more than 2,000 women and children being held in two Texas facilities or to show just cause to continue holding them. The Justice Department filed documents Thursday saying that changes have been made at the facilities that Gee’s ruling applies to practices no longer in place. Meanwhile, five mothers and their children have filed a $10 million complaint against the Department of Homeland Security, arguing they suffered abuse, neglect and trauma in family detention centers.
In news from the campaign trail, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has spoken out against Republican candidate Donald Trump’s comments that Fox News debate moderator Megyn Kelly was asking him tough questions because she was menstruating.
Hillary Clinton: “And while what Donald Trump said about Megyn Kelly is outrageous, what the rest of the Republicans are saying about all women is also outrageous. They brag about slashing women’s healthcare funding. They say they would force women who have been raped to carry their rapist’s child. And we don’t hear any of them supporting raising the minimum wage, paid leave for new parents, access to quality child care, equal pay for women or anything else that will help to give women a chance to get ahead.”
Clinton has also proposed a $350 billion plan to allow students to attend public universities without taking out tuition loans. The plan echoes calls made by her challenger, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Meanwhile, Sanders has received his first national labor endorsement from National Nurses United as he continues to turn out record crowds. Twenty-eight thousand people attended his event in Portland, Oregon, Sunday. Meanwhile, fellow Democratic candidate and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley is criticizing the Democratic National Committee for limiting the number of presidential debates to six.
And Amalgamated Bank has become the first bank in the country to establish a $15 minimum wage for its workers. Amalgamated is the nation’s largest union-owned bank. CEO Keith Mestrich encouraged other banks to join the fight for 15, telling CBS, “We didn’t make $5 billion last quarter like Bank of America did. But we are a profitable industry, and … if there is any industry that can join this call, it’s the banking industry.”