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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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Update: After this broadcast, Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland announced her support for the nuclear deal, making her the 34th senator to do so and ensuring the deal’s implementation.
Two more Democratic senators have backed the Iran nuclear deal, meaning the agreement is all but certain to gain passage through Congress. On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey and Delaware Senator Chris Coons came out in support of the historic accord between Iran and six world powers. Obama has said he will veto any resolution by Congress to block the deal. The White House is now only one vote short of the 34 required to uphold the veto.
In a major victory for prisoners’ rights, California is expected to dramatically reduce the number of prisoners held in solitary confinement, following a landmark legal settlement with a group of prisoners at the Pelican Bay State Prison reached Tuesday. We’ll go to California for more after headlines.
President Obama continues his trip to the Arctic just weeks after his administration permitted oil giant Shell to begin oil drilling in the remote Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska. On Tuesday, Obama toured a glacier and spoke about the already visible impacts of climate change.
President Obama: “So you guys have been seeing these signs as we’ve walked that mark where the glacier used to be, 1917, 1951. This glacier has lost about a mile and a half over the last couple hundred years, but the pace of the reductions of the glacier are accelerating rapidly each and every year. And this is as good of a sign post of what we’re dealing with when it comes to climate change as just about anything.”
Obama’s remarks come as the environmental group 350.org and the European Green Party launch the “Divest for Paris” challenge, calling on institutions, individuals and governments to divest from fossil fuels ahead of the climate summit in Paris later this year.
In Guatemala, authorities are barring President Otto Pérez Molina from leaving the country, after Congress decided to strip him of immunity from prosecution. Pérez Molina has faced months of massive demonstrations over a corruption scandal that has led to the resignation of the majority of his Cabinet and the arrest of top officials. We’ll go to Guatemala to speak with journalist and activist Allan Nairn later in the broadcast.
In Lebanon, riot police have forcibly removed more than two dozen protesters from the Environment Ministry building in the capital Beirut, after the demonstrators occupied the building Tuesday to demand the minister’s resignation over the heaps of trash piling up in the streets. The occupation was part of the growing “You Stink!” campaign protesting government ineptitude.
Pakistani officials say a U.S. drone strike has killed at least six people after it struck a house in North Waziristan Tuesday. Officials say the compound belonged to suspected militants. The identities of the victims have not been determined.
In news from Europe, hundreds of people are protesting outside a Budapest train station over Hungary’s decision to prevent people fleeing violence in their home countries from boarding westbound trains headed toward Germany. The move has left thousands of people stranded outside the station in 104-degree heat. Meanwhile, at least 11 people have died and five more are missing after two boats headed to Greece sank off the coast of Turkey on Tuesday. Among the dead were a woman and her three children.
Meanwhile, in the United States, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has arrested nearly 250 people during four days of raids targeting undocumented immigrants across Southern California. The agency says that 56 percent of those arrested had past felony convictions and that the rest had past misdemeanors.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has acknowledged anti-choice lawmakers do not have enough votes to defund Planned Parenthood, despite a renewed push following the release of heavily edited anti-choice videos. McConnell told local news station WYMT defunding Planned Parenthood would have to wait until Obama is out of office.
Sen. Mitch McConnell: “We just don’t have the votes to get the outcome that we’d like. … The president has made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood. So that’s another issue that awaits a new president, hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood.”
Senator McConnell’s remarks come after Planned Parenthood gave lawmakers a detailed analysis debunking the heavily edited videos that had renewed lawmakers’ calls to defund the organization. The secretly recorded videos, released by an anti-choice group, show Planned Parenthood employees discussing the sharing of fetal tissue with researchers, a practice Planned Parenthood has maintained is performed legally and never for profit. An analysis commissioned by Planned Parenthood confirmed the videos contain intentionally deceptive edits and missing footage, including 30-minute-long gaps. Researchers also found “substantive omissions” in transcripts of the videos provided by the anti-choice Center for Medical Progress. The analysis concluded the videos “have no evidentiary value in a legal context and cannot be relied upon for any official inquiries.” On Tuesday, the Center for Medical Progress released its latest secretly recorded video, targeting a tissue procurement company that has worked with a Planned Parenthood clinic; as in the other videos, none of what’s discussed appears to be illegal. Planned Parenthood noted, “Multiple times in this video, staff from independent health care firms appear to say that Planned Parenthood is not interested in any financial gain and adheres to ethical standards.”
In Illinois, a massive hunt is underway after the fatal shooting of a Fox Lake police officer. Lieutenant Charles Joseph Gliniewicz was found shot after telling colleagues he was responding to “suspicious activity.” The suspects have been described as three men, one African-American and two white.
In Texas, the FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the fatal shooting by sheriff’s deputies of a man who appeared to have his hands in the air. Gilbert Flores was shot by Bexar County sheriff’s deputies responding to a report of domestic violence. The full version of a bystander’s video released by a local ABC station appears to show deputies opening fire after Gilbert raised his hands; Gilbert’s left hand is obscured by a utility pole, but his right hand is in the air.
In Georgia, police who entered the wrong home while responding to a burglary call shot and injured one of their colleagues and the innocent homeowner, and killed the homeowner’s dog. Investigators say three DeKalb County officers entered the wrong home through an unlocked back door. Initial reports suggested the homeowner shot and wounded the officer, Travis Jones, who is African-American. But authorities now say he was shot accidentally by another officer.
In New York, newly released video shows the final hours of the life of a diabetic prisoner at Rikers Island jail who was reportedly deprived of his insulin medication and left to slowly die. Carlos Mercado was arrested two years ago for attempting to sell a small amount of heroin to an undercover officer. He died in jail 15 hours later after guards reportedly ignored his pleas for medical help. Surveillance video released by The New York Times shows corrections officers left him on the floor for three minutes after he collapsed. He is also seen reeling and carrying around bags of his own vomit before his death.
And in Kentucky, a county clerk has continued to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of the Supreme Court. Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis stopped issuing all marriage licenses following the landmark Supreme Court decision in June which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. On Monday, the Supreme Court denied Davis’s appeal that the court grant her “asylum for her conscience.” On Tuesday, same-sex couples confronted Davis at her office.
Kim Davis: “We’re not issuing marriage licenses today.”
David Moore: “The Supreme Court denied your stay.”
Kim Davis: “We are not issuing marriage licenses today. So I would…”
David Moore: “Based on what?”
Kim Davis: “I would ask you all to go ahead and leave.”
David Moore: “Why are you not issuing marriage licenses today?”
Kim Davis: “Because I’m not.”
David Moore: “Under whose authority are you not issuing licenses?”
Kim Davis: “Under God’s authority.”
David Moore: “Did God tell you to do this? Did God tell you to treat us like this?”
Kim Davis: “I’ve asked you all to leave. You are interrupting my business.”
County Clerk Kim Davis risks jail time and fines if she continues to refuse to provide marriage licenses.