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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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Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton squared off at the third and final debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Wednesday night. In one of the most extreme statements of the night, Donald Trump said he might not accept the results of the November election, instead saying, “I will keep you in suspense.” This comes as Trump is continuing to claim the election has been rigged. Throughout the debate, the two faced off on topics ranging from sexual assault to social security to Russia.
Donald Trump: “Look, Putin—”
Chris Wallace: “Wait, but—”
Donald Trump: “—from everything I see, has no respect for this person.”
Hillary Clinton: “Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.”
Donald Trump: “No puppet. No puppet.”
Hillary Clinton: “And it’s pretty clear—”
Donald Trump: “You’re the puppet!”
Hillary Clinton: “It’s pretty clear you won’t admit—”
Donald Trump: “No, you’re the puppet.”
The debate frequently veered from political discussion into personal attacks.
Hillary Clinton: “That’s part of my commitment to raise taxes on the wealthy. My Social Security payroll contribution will go up, as will Donald’s, assuming he can’t figure out how to get out of it. But what we want to do is to replenish the Social Security Trust Fund—”
Donald Trump: “Such a nasty woman.”
That was Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. We’ll air more excerpts from last night’s third and final presidential debate after headlines.
Hundreds protested at the University of Nevada outside the presidential debate last night. Hundreds more rallied outside Donald Trump’s Las Vegas hotel, where some vendors used their carts to build a “wall of taco trucks” to protest Trump’s calls to increase the massive border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. This is Adelina Catota, who works in housekeeping at the Trump Hotel.
Adelina Catota: “I’ve been working here at Trump’s hotel for nine years, and all I want to say is that we should all be equal, because we came to this country to work and not to ask things of the government. So, here we are, united.”
California Attorney General Kamala Harris has launched an investigation into whether Wells Fargo engaged in criminal identity theft by creating 2 million fake accounts, which employees opened in order to meet grueling sales targets. Wells Fargo is currently embroiled in a massive scandal over the creation of the fake bank accounts, which led to the resignation of former CEO John Stumpf.
Turkish state media is reporting the Turkish military killed as many as 200 Syrian Kurdish fighters Wednesday night, although this figure is being disputed by the Syrian Kurdish forces. The Syrian Kurdish fighters, known as the YPG, were killed after Turkish jets attacked their bases north of Aleppo. A YPG leader says only 10 Syrian Kurdish fighters were killed in the attacks. The United States is militarily backing both Turkey and the Syrian Kurds.
In Honduras, two campesino leaders have been assassinated. José Ángel Flores was the president of MUCA, that’s the Aguán Unified Campesino Movement. Silmer Dionisio George was one of the group’s lead organizers. Both were killed by gunmen Tuesday night after leaving the MUCA office in the community of La Confianza in northern Honduras in the valley of Aguán. Flores had repeatedly reported facing death threats as a result of his land defense work, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights had ordered the Honduran government to provide both him and Silmer protection. MUCA members have cooperative land holdings, and the group is under pressure to sell off their land so private corporations can build massive palm oil plantations. Tuesday’s assassinations were in a region of Honduras where a special development zone, also known as a model city, is currently being developed, which would create a special free trade zone operating outside the law of the Honduran government. Many of the companies pushing for special development zones in Honduras are supported by the World Bank.
In Egypt, American citizen Aya Hijazi has now been imprisoned without trial for more than 900 days. Hijazi, who grew up in Virginia and is a dual citizen of Egypt, was arrested on May 2, 2014, along with her husband and others, while running a nonprofit seeking to help homeless children in Cairo. She and her husband were accused of paying the children to participate in anti-government protests.
In Flint, Michigan, the ACLU has filed a class action lawsuit arguing the public school system has not done enough to provide children exposed to lead with sufficient educational services. Flint’s lead poisoning began when an unelected emergency manager appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder switched the source of the city’s drinking water to the corrosive Flint River in 2014. Lead is a known neurotoxin, which can cause significant developmental delays, especially in children. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Michigan, argues the school system is not adequately screening lead-exposed children for disabilities and providing educational interventions, and that the Michigan Department of Education has not sufficiently funded the Flint school district.
Meanwhile, in Iowa, landowner Cyndy Coppola was arrested protesting against the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline on her family’s farm in Calhoun County, Iowa, over the weekend. Coppola’s land is one of multiple properties where the Dakota Access pipeline company used eminent domain to secure easements to build the pipeline, despite the objection of the landowners. Coppola and her friend were arrested blockading Dakota Access pipeline company trucks Saturday.
Meanwhile, also in Iowa, authorities say an excavator and three bulldozers being used to construct the Dakota Access pipeline were burned over the weekend, destroying up to $2 million worth of equipment. It’s the second suspected case of arson against Dakota Access pipeline company equipment. All the groups in Iowa fighting the pipeline have condemned the alleged arson. Christine Nobiss of Indigenous Iowa said, “We promote only peaceful and prayerful action.”
In New York City, residents are protesting the fatal police shooting of 66-year-old African American Deborah Danner, who was killed by a New York Police Department sergeant Tuesday. Danner had mental health issues, including schizophrenia. Police say she was shot and killed in her own home in the Bronx after a neighbor called 911. When police arrived, they found Danner naked in her bedroom holding a pair of scissors. Authorities say Sergeant Hugh Barry fatally shot her after she picked up a baseball bat. This is New York Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Mayor Bill de Blasio: “Deborah Danner, 66 years old, and known to the NYPD as someone who suffered from mental illness. And the shooting of Deborah Danner is tragic, and it is unacceptable. It should never have happened. It’s as simple as that. It should never have happened.”
Sergeant Hugh Barry has been sued twice in recent years for brutality. Deborah Danner has previously expressed concern about police violence against those living with mental illnesses. In a 2012 essay, Danner wrote, “We are all aware of the all too frequent news stories about the mentally ill who come up against law enforcement instead of mental health professionals and end up dead.” On Tuesday night, dozens rallied in the Bronx to demand justice for Deborah Danner.
Meanwhile, also in New York City, dozens of people rallied outside a Manhattan courthouse Wednesday amid the beginning of the federal trial for “The Bronx 120”—120 young men from the Bronx who were arrested en masse on April 27 in what’s being described as the largest police raid in New York City history. The massive operation included at least 700 law enforcement agents, including SWAT teams, police helicopters, and federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency, the U.S. Marshals and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Police say those arrested are part of two gangs that are linked to a number of murders. The young men have been charged with racketeering, as well as drug and firearm offenses. But family members and residents say the raids racially targeted young black men, many of whom, they say, were not part of the gangs.
A new report finds law enforcement databases nationwide have collected facial recognition information for 117 million Americans—meaning about half of all adults in the United States now have their faces and other biometrics information recorded in these databases. The report was released Tuesday by the Center for Privacy & Technology at the Georgetown University Law Center.
In technology news, a new lawsuit accuses another Samsung smartphone of being explosive. The suit claims a Samsung Galaxy S6 Active exploded, burst into flames five inches high and melted the flesh of its owner. This comes after Samsung ended the production of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, because the device is prone to catching on fire, and recalled 2.5 million phones after complaints the batteries were exploding.
And in Argentina, thousands of women walked out of work on Wednesday for a women’s strike, protesting gender violence and the brutal rape and murder of a 16-year-old Argentine girl named Lucía Pérez earlier this month. Protesters held signs reading “If you touch one of us, we all react.” Solidarity protests were also held in Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and the United States. This is Argentine protester Andrea Vázquez.
Andrea Vázquez: “Because I don’t want to be the next woman in plastic [meaning a body bag]. The clock is ticking, and there is scarcely 30 hours until another body appears. So we all have to be here—men, women, boys, girls, teenagers. And here we are representing society, shouting, “Not one less!” because I was a victim, too, and they also are victims.”