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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 unveiled his long-awaited climate change plan. Speaking at the White House, Obama announced plans to cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
President Obama: “I am convinced that no challenge poses a greater threat to our future and future generations than a changing climate. And that’s what brings us here today.”
Obama’s announcement comes as scientists warn 2015 is on pace to become the hottest year on record. We’ll have more on Obama’s climate plan with Naomi Klein after headlines.
In news from Yemen, a military brigade from the United Arab Emirates has arrived in the southern port city of Aden. The brigade marks the first time a large number of foreign ground troops have entered the conflict. The UAE soldiers are part of the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition that is fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels.
A report by the independent monitoring group Airwars estimates that U.S.-led airstrikes targeting ISIL in Iraq and Syria have killed at least 459 civilians since the bombings began about a year ago. The U.S.-led coalition has launched nearly 6,000 airstrikes in the two countries. Thus far, the U.S. has acknowledged its airstrikes have killed only two civilians.
In New Hampshire, Republican presidential candidates participated in a candidate forum Monday ahead of the first debate this Thursday. Republican frontrunner Donald Trump refused to attend after the event’s co-sponsor, the New Hampshire Union Leader, published an editorial critical of him. Trump continues to lead in polls, despite calling Mexican immigrants “rapists,” and despite the latest revelations he once erupted in rage at a female attorney who requested a break in a deposition to pump breast milk. Trump told her, “You’re disgusting,” before storming out of the room.
Meanwhile, polling organizations are protesting Fox News’ decision to use an average of recent polls to select the top 10 candidates for this Thursday’s debate. The Marist Institute for Public Opinion temporarily suspended its polling, saying Fox’s debate criteria ignores the margin of error. Another top pollster, Monmouth University, said, “Based on current polling, there’s no good rationale for arbitrarily selecting a top ten.”
A Republican bid to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood has failed in the Senate. The vote was 53 to 46, seven votes short of the 60 needed to advance the defunding bill. The bid came after an anti-choice group released secretly recorded, highly edited videos of Planned Parenthood employees discussing how they share fetal tissue with researchers, a practice Planned Parenthood says is performed legally and never for profit. Hawaii Senator Mazie Hirono was among those to defend Planned Parenthood.
Sen. Mazie Hirono: “Indiana at one point defunded Planned Parenthood. In one of the counties, Scott County, that Planned Parenthood clinic performed most of the STD examinations. That county is in the midst of an HIV crisis. So they had to actually put up a pop-up clinic to deal with that crisis and to provide those services that had previously been performed by the Planned Parenthood entity in that county.”
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has ended the state’s Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood, citing the undercover videos. This comes despite the fact the only two Planned Parenthood clinics in Louisiana do not actually provide abortions. A third clinic under construction in New Orleans will provide abortions, but Planned Parenthood says the clinic will not participate in tissue donation. Over the weekend, an unidentified vandal poured gasoline on the newly laid foundation at the New Orleans Planned Parenthood site and set fire to a security guard’s car.
A federal judge has overturned a ban on undercover filming at Idaho factory farms, ruling the so-called “ag gag” law violates the right to free speech. The agricultural industry had successfully lobbied for the law in 2012 after animal rights activists filmed animal cruelty inside Idaho’s dairy farms, including workers kicking cows and dragging them with chains attached to their necks. Activists say they hope the ruling will lead to similar laws being overturned in states like Iowa, Utah and North Carolina.
A jury has ruled that James Holmes, the gunman in the Colorado movie theater massacre, could face the death penalty. The jurors decided Monday that the shooting, which killed 12 people, was carried out in a particularly cruel, depraved or heinous manner. To the jury, this counted more than mitigating factors like Holmes’ mental illness, which could have kept the death penalty off the table.
In news from Ohio, the coroner for Hamilton County has determined that the bottle in the car of Sam DuBose, who was fatally shot by University of Cincinnati officer Ray Tensing, contained air freshener, not alcohol. Tensing, who is white, stopped DuBose, who is African-American, on July 19 for not having a front license plate. Police body cam video showed Tensing asked to see the bottle during the traffic stop, which was labeled “gin” but which DuBose said contained air freshener. Minutes later, Tensing fatally shot DuBose in the head after DuBose objected to removing his seat belt. Tensing has been charged with murder and is currently free on a $1 million bail.
In Kentucky, a deputy sheriff handcuffed two elementary schoolchildren with disabilities, according to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The eight- and nine-year-old children were so small the deputy sheriff, who was working as the school’s resource officer, cuffed their biceps because the handcuffs did not fit their wrists. One of the children is black, and the other is Latino.
In news from London, a former UBS and Citigroup trader has been sentenced to 14 years in jail. Tom Hayes is the first person to be convicted by a jury of rigging Libor, the interest rate which underpins trillions in global transactions. As he delivered the sentence, British Judge Jeremy Cooke said, “A message needs to be sent to the world of banking.”
And a new report by Amnesty International finds military police in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, have killed more than 1,500 people in the past five years. Amnesty said nearly one in six homicides in Rio were carried out by on-duty police as part of a “strategy of fear” in favela communities. The vast majority of the police victims were young black men. Rio de Janeiro is set to host the Summer Olympics in 2016.