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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 election news, controversy continues to swirl over FBI Director James Comey’s announcement to congressional leaders that the agency is investigating more emails as part of its probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system. The emails were discovered as part of a probe into former Congressmember Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who is under investigation after he sent illicit sext messages to an underage girl. On Monday, the FBI says it began to load the emails into a computer program for analysis, although it’s still not clear whether the investigation will be finished by Election Day—exactly one week away. The Clinton campaign is attacking FBI Director James Comey, accusing him of a double standard after claims surfaced Monday that Comey argued earlier this month against naming Russia as meddling in the U.S. election and investigating a potential connection between Russia and the Trump campaign, because he thought it was too close to Election Day. Also on Monday, a spokesperson with the Office of Special Counsel indicated Comey himself may be under investigation for potentially violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits employees of the executive branch from engaging in political activity. Comey was first appointed to be deputy U.S. attorney general by President George W. Bush in 2003, then was appointed to be FBI director by President Obama. Click here to see Monday’s interview with Michael Isikoff of Yahoo News on the FBI’s “October surprise.”
A New York Times investigation based on newly obtained documents has revealed Donald Trump avoided paying tens of millions of dollars in federal income taxes in the late 1990s by using a tax maneuver that was later outlawed by Congress and was even at the time so legally questionable that his own lawyers cautioned him against using it. The maneuver included simply refusing to report hundreds of millions of dollars of canceled debt, which the IRS considers to be taxable income. Steven Rosenthal of the Tax Policy Center told the Times, “Whatever loophole existed was not ‘exploited’ here, but stretched beyond any recognition.” Donald Trump has continued to refuse to release his tax returns.
North Carolina Senator Richard Burr is under fire after audio surfaced of him joking about a picture of Hillary Clinton on the cover of a gun magazine and saying he was “shocked” it didn’t have a bullseye on it.
Sen. Richard Burr: “Nothing made me feel any better than I walked into a gunshop, I think, yesterday in Oxford, and there was a copy of Rifleman on the counter. It’s got a picture of Hillary Clinton on the front of it. I was a little bit shocked at that—didn’t have a bullseye on it.”
Senator Burr supports Donald Trump. Trump has also been accused of inciting violence, after he suggested “the Second Amendment people” could assassinate Hillary Clinton while speaking at a campaign rally in August in North Carolina.
The Guardian is reporting a U.S. airstrike in Iraq has killed eight civilians, including three children, after a family’s home outside Mosul was struck twice. The United States has confirmed it carried out airstrikes in that region on October 22, but it has not confirmed it killed civilians. This comes amid the U.S.-backed offensive aimed at retaking the city of Mosul from ISIS.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power has spoken out against the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in Yemen during a U.N. Security Council meeting, saying there is “absolutely no military solution to this conflict.” This comes after at least 60 people were killed Saturday when Saudi-led coalition warplanes bombed a security complex near the Red Sea. Despite Power’s condemnation, the U.S. continues to supply Saudi Arabia with intelligence, airborne fuel tankers and advanced weaponry in the ongoing war in Yemen. This is the U.N. special envoy of the secretary-general for Yemen.
Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed: “We all need to ask: How long will Yemenis remain hostage to personal and reckless political decisions? What are the parties waiting for to sign a political agreement? Have they not understood that there are no winners in wars?”
In Turkey, police raided the Istanbul office of the prominent Cumhuriyet newspaper, detaining at least 12 journalists and administrators on terrorism charges. The newspaper also reports its editor and one of its columnists were detained after their homes were raided by Turkish police. The Cumhuriyet newspaper won the 2016 Right Livelihood Award. This comes amid an ongoing crackdown in Turkey following the failed military coup in July. On Saturday, the Turkish government fired 10,000 civil servants and ordered 15 news outlets to shut down.
In China, at least 13 miners have died after an explosion at an underground coal mine in southwest China Monday night. At least 20 more miners are currently missing. This is the deputy mayor of the Chongqing municipality, where the explosion occurred.
Mu Huaping: “Rescuers found some collapsed tunnels and poisonous and harmful gas in some areas exceeding standards. After verification, we have found 13 trapped people that have no signs of life, and are still searching for other trapped people.”
In Alabama, at least one worker has died and five have been hospitalized after a section of the Colonial pipeline exploded in Shelby Monday. This comes after the same pipeline leaked nearly 340,000 gallons of gasoline in Central Alabama in September, forcing the line to shut down for 12 days and leading six governors to declare states of emergency as gas prices rose throughout the region. The Colonial pipeline carries 1.3 million barrels of gasoline a day down to refineries in Texas and Louisiana, accounting for a full 40 percent of the region’s gasoline.
In more pipeline-related news, the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services is requesting an additional $4 million in order to continue the police crackdown against the resistance to the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline. The Emergency Services Department has already received—and spent—$6 million to police the resistance movement led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and members of 200 other nations and tribes from across the Americas. This comes as a United Nations advisory group is investigating possible human rights abuses by law enforcement against Native American water protectors in North Dakota.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has sparked outrage over his proposal to impose a lifetime ban on all asylum seekers who attempt to reach Australia by boat. Turnbull has vowed to introduce the legislation into Parliament next week.
In Lebanon, the Parliament has elected a new president: former army commander Michel Aoun. Lebanon has been without a president for two-and-a-half years. In his inaugural speech, Michel Aoun announced he’d send some of the 1.5 million Syrian refugees living in Lebanon back to war-torn Syria.
The Free Alabama Movement is reporting that incarcerated organizer Kinetik Justice is being denied water by prison officials at the Kilby Correctional Facility. Justice was transferred to Kilby from Holman Correctional Facility, where he helped launch a nationwide work strike. He’s been on hunger strike since October 21 to protest his transfer. He now says prison officials have turned off the water in his cell. Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, the outside spokesperson for the Free Alabama Movement, said, “They are trying to kill him.” This is Kinetik Justice, speaking about the prison strike on Democracy Now! in September.
Kinetik Justice: “What a work strike looks like in prison is that, usually, around 12:30, 12:45 at night, they sent for the kitchen workers, those who will prepare the breakfast meal. And when those people don’t report to work, they initiate a prison lockdown to do an investigation to see what’s going on. … So, throughout a work strike, leadership is really required, because you have to try to keep a balance inside these dormitories to keep violence from erupting, because one sign of violence inside these dormitories, the administration will use that as an excuse to bring in a CERT team and try to assert violence, or they’re trying to say that we’re having a riot or, you know, something outside of the character of what we’re actually doing on the work strike.”