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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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European Union officials are holding emergency meetings in Brussels today on the influx of refugees, following Germany’s unprecedented decision to institute temporary controls on its border with Austria Sunday. Germany shut down trains between Germany and Austria and instituted a spot check on cars after as many as 20,000 people fleeing violence in their home countries arrived in Munich over the weekend. Other countries have taken similar steps, including Austria, which has announced it is dispatching more than 2,000 troops to its borders, and Hungary, which is expected to introduce new laws on Tuesday criminalizing border crossing. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière spoke about Germany’s temporary border controls Sunday.
Thomas de Maizière: “This step became necessary. The great willingness to help that Germany has shown in recent weeks, by full-time employees and especially by the many thousands of volunteers, must not be overstrained. The measures taken are also a signal to Europe. Germany is taking on its humanitarian responsibility, but the burden caused by the huge number of refugees must be distributed with solidarity in Europe.”
The tightening of borders comes as the U.N. refugee agency says a record 8,500 people entered Macedonia between Saturday night and Sunday morning. Meanwhile, at least 34 refugees — nearly half of them babies and children — drowned when their boat sank off the coast of Greece on Sunday.
Conditions at a Hungarian refugee camp in Roszke have sparked outrage after videos showing officers throwing food to people detained in pens went viral over the weekend. One Syrian woman detained at the camp told Human Rights Watch it was “only fit for animals.” Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron is visiting refugee camps in Lebanon today, where he is pledging an additional $150 million in aid to help Syrian refugees hosted in the region. More than 1 million Syrian refugees live in Lebanon — making up a full quarter of Lebanon’s population. Cameron’s visit comes as the United Nations warns the conditions for refugees in Lebanon and Jordan are so dire that some are considering returning to Syria.
Ahead of Cameron’s visit to Lebanon, tens of thousands of people marched in London Saturday to demand Britain do more to help refugees. Longtime anti-austerity, antiwar lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn spoke at the rally just after he was elected leader of the opposition Labour Party.
Jeremy Corbyn: “We, as ordinary, decent people, stand up and say to our government, 'Recognize your obligations in law — that would be good. Recognize your obligations to help people, which you're required to do by law — that would be good. But above all, open your hearts and open your minds and open your attitude toward supporting people who are desperate, who need somewhere safe to live, want to contribute to our society, and are human beings just like all of us.’”
When Corbyn first announced his candidacy three months ago, oddsmakers initially put his odds of winning at 200 to one. But on Saturday, Corbyn won in a landslide, receiving 59 percent of the vote to succeed Ed Miliband, who quit after the Conservatives retained power in May’s election. We’ll have more on Corbyn’s victory later in the broadcast. Meanwhile, tens of thousands more people rallied across Europe over the weekend to take part in what organizers were calling a “European Day of Action for Refugees.” Danish police say as many as 30,000 people had gathered in Copenhagen, shouting “Refugees are welcome.” In Italy, hundreds of people gathered at the Venice waterfront, removed their shoes and marched barefoot, as the Venice Film Festival was underway. Crowds also rallied in Spain, Ireland, Austria, Greece, Finland, Norway, Turkey, France and Iceland.
Hundreds of people also gathered in New York City to demand that the United States commit to accepting significantly more refugees from Syria and elsewhere. Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, spoke out.
Linda Sarsour: “We shouldn’t be asking whether we welcome these people into our country, we should be demanding for the U.S. government, one of the world’s superpowers. We have enough resources in this country not only to help our own here, the homeless on our streets, but also to welcome in at least 100,000 Syrian refugees. And we need to be able to tell the U.S. government how to use our money. I would rather use my money to shelter a Syrian family than to kill an Iraqi family.”
In Texas, a mother is facing deportation after arriving at a healthcare clinic for her annual gynecological exam. The Houston Press reports clinic staffers at the Northeast Women’s Healthcare clinic in Atascocita called authorities on Blanca Borrego, an undocumented mother. After waiting two hours, Borrego was led into an examination room, where she was arrested by Harris County Sheriff’s deputies for allegedly using a false form of identification.
At least 107 people have died in Saudi Arabia after a crane collapsed onto one of the holiest shrines in Mecca. Two hundred people people were wounded. Authorities say the crane was knocked over by strong winds and heavy rain.
In Egypt, at least a dozen people visiting from Mexico have died after Egyptian security forces mistakenly fired on a group of tourists and guides. Egypt’s Interior Ministry said security forces were “chasing terrorist elements” in the western desert when they “accidentally engaged four four-wheel drives belonging to a Mexican tourist group.” Meanwhile, Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and his Cabinet resigned over the weekend, days after the agriculture minister was arrested over corruption.
In Yemen, tribal officials say a U.S. drone killed four people when it struck a car in northern Yemen on Saturday. Officials say the dead are suspected members of al-Qaeda.
In Afghanistan, Taliban militants reportedly stormed a mud hut being used as a prison, freeing more than 400 prisoners and killing four members of the security forces. Officials said 80 prisoners were recaptured, but most remain at large.
In Barcelona, Spain, more than half a million people marched in favor of Catalan independence on Catalonia’s National Day. The rally Friday also marked the launch of a campaign by separatist leaders to secure a majority in Catalonia’s regional Parliament during elections on September 27.
In Northern California, rapidly burning wildfires have consumed multiple towns, killing at least one person, destroying hundreds of homes and forcing thousands of people to flee. California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Lake and Napa counties Sunday, two days after declaring a state of emergency for two other counties, as fires burn across the state. The fires have spread rapidly amid the worst drought in California’s recorded history. This comes as California lawmakers sent a weakened version of a bill to address climate change to California Governor Jerry Brown. The bill requires utilities to provide half of their electricity from renewable sources in 15 years. Following industry pressure, lawmakers omitted a key provision to cut oil use in half by 2030.
California lawmakers also approved a bill Friday to allow doctors to prescribe drugs to help terminally ill patients die. It’s unclear whether Governor Brown will sign the assisted suicide bill, which is modeled on a similar law in Oregon.
The Justice Department has dropped charges against a Chinese-American professor accused of sharing technology with China, after officials misidentified key evidence in the case. In May, FBI agents stormed the home of Temple University physics professor Xi Xiaoxing — an American citizen — and arrested him on accusations of sending protected blueprints for a device called a pocket heater to scientists in China. But after Xi had been placed on administrative leave, lost his chairmanship of the physics department and faced what he described to The New York Times as a “nightmare,” it turned out the blueprints didn’t actually show a pocket heater. The case is seen as part of a widening crackdown on U.S. citizens of Chinese descent.
In New York, police have released security camera footage showing an undercover officer slamming retired tennis star James Blake to the ground. The footage shows Blake, who is biracial, standing outside his Manhattan hotel when Officer James Frascatore approaches him, wraps an arm around his neck, tackles him down, digs his knee into his back and handcuffs him. Police say they mistakenly identified Blake as a suspect in a credit card fraud probe. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Chief William Bratton have personally apologized to Blake. Officer Frascatore has a pattern of excessive force complaints against him. He has been accused of punching and pummeling a man in his own driveway; punching a man in the face after stopping him for a broken tail light; punching a man outside a bodega and calling him a racial epithet; and manhandling a woman who told The New York Times, “He was really rough … It was akin to a kidnapping.” James Blake has called for Officer Frascatore to be fired.
In news from Alabama, prosecutors say they plan to seek a retrial after a jury deadlocked in the trial of a Madison police officer in a case that left an Indian grandfather partially paralyzed. In February, Officer Eric Parker and other officers approached Sureshbhai Patel as he was taking a walk, after a neighbor called to report a “skinny black guy” in the neighborhood. Dash camera footage shows police slamming Patel from a standing position face-first into the ground. On Friday, a judge declared a mistrial after a jury deadlocked on a single charge against Officer Parker of violating Patel’s civil rights.
In news from the campaign trail, former Texas Governor Rick Perry has become the first candidate to drop out of the 2016 presidential race. Perry suspended his bid for the Republican nomination Friday, just days before the second Republican debate. As he announced his departure, Perry took aim at Republican candidate Donald Trump’s remarks calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” – although Perry did not mention Trump by name.
Rick Perry: “Our obligation, after loving God with all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul, is to love our neighbors as ourselves, regardless of where they come from. Demeaning people of Hispanic heritage is not just ignorant, it betrays the example of Christ. We can enforce our laws and borders, and we can love all who live within our borders, without betraying our values.”
On the campaign trail for the Democratic nomination, a new poll shows Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders leading Hillary Clinton in the key primary and caucus states of New Hampshire and Iowa. A YouGov/CBS News poll shows Sanders with 52 percent support among Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire, 22 points ahead of Clinton. In Iowa, Sanders leads Clinton by 10 points, with 43 percent support.
In Puerto Rico, thousands of public sector workers protested Friday against an austerity plan proposed to address the commonwealth’s debt crisis. The plan would raise the tuition at University of Puerto Rico, contract for-profit companies to run public roads and ports, and freeze collective bargaining agreements. In return, the plan calls for debt restructuring that would require hedge funds and other creditors to voluntarily accept reduced payments.
In Florida, a man has been accused of plotting to detonate a pressure-cooker bomb at a memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, on the 14th anniversary of September 11. Twenty-year-old Joshua Ryne Goldberg was arrested on Thursday morning after authorities stormed his house. He is charged with distributing information related to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
And in Kentucky, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is returning to work this morning, where she will have to decide whether to comply with a court order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Davis had stopped issuing all marriage licenses rather than comply with the Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. She was briefly jailed after a federal judge ruled her in contempt of court.