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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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Tuesday was another big night for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. In the Republican primary race, Trump won all five states up for grabs: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware. He won at least 54 percent in every state, capturing most of the delegates at stake. Ohio Governor John Kasich placed second in four of the contests. Ted Cruz placed second in one. Earlier this week, Kasich and Cruz announced plans to coordinate their campaigns in an effort to block Trump from reaching the 1,237 delegates needed to win the nomination and prevent a contested convention.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Connecticut. Sanders took Rhode Island. During her victory speech, Clinton reached out to Sanders supporters.
Hillary Clinton: “Because whether you support Senator Sanders or you support me, there’s much more that unites us than divides us. We all agree that wages are too low and inequality is too high, that Wall Street can never again be allowed to threaten Main Street, and we should expand Social Security, not cut or privatize it. We Democrats agree that college should be affordable to all, and student debt shouldn’t hold anyone back.”
We’ll have more on Tuesday’s results after headlines.
In what’s been described as a dual victory for the Democratic establishment, candidates backed by party leadership won the Senate primaries in Maryland and Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania, Katie McGinty defeated former Pennsylvania Congressmember Joe Sestak, to face Republican Senator Pat Toomey in November. Vice President Joe Biden had stumped for McGinty while the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spent more than $2 million on TV ads to support her. In Maryland, Congressmember Chris Van Hollen defeated progressive Congressmember Donna Edwards for the Democratic Senate nomination. He’ll run to replace retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski in November. Edwards would have been Maryland’s first black senator and the second black woman ever to serve in the U.S. Senate. And Maryland State Senator Catherine Pugh won Baltimore’s Democratic mayoral primary, defeating 11 other candidates, including Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson.
In Yemen, a suspected U.S. drone strike killed six people identified by residents as a local al-Qaeda leader and five of his aides. The strike hit their moving car in the village of Amoudiya.
In Spain, voters are expected to head to the polls again in June after last-ditch talks failed to form a left-wing coalition government. Spain has been in a political deadlock after December elections, which resulted in a Parliament deeply divided between the ruling People’s Party, the Socialist party and Podemos, which grew out of the indignados protest movement. Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias said the Socialists rejected a last attempt to form a coalition government.
Pablo Iglesias: “I think the deal was a good effort, an effort we would have liked to have seen as a reality, the reality of a left-wing coalition government. But unfortunately, when I finished my meeting with King Felipe, I looked at my phone and saw the 'no' from the Socialist party.”
In Venezuela, electoral authorities have allowed the right-wing opposition to launch an effort to recall President Nicolás Maduro. Maduro and fellow leftist President Dilma Rousseff in neighboring Brazil both face attempts by right-wing opponents to oust them from power in what both leaders have denounced as attempted coups. In Venezuela, Maduro’s opponents will seek to collect signatures from 1 percent of eligible voters to initiate a recall. This comes as Venezuela faces an energy crisis stemming from a severe drought that has crippled its main hydroelectric dam. On Tuesday, Venezuela announced a two-day work week for government workers, adding to power cuts and other measures aimed at addressing the crisis.
Thousands of people marched in Mexico City Tuesday to mark 19 months since the disappearance of 43 students in the southern state of Guerrero. The protest came after an international panel of experts released its final report casting doubt on the Mexican government’s account of what happened to the students, and accusing the government of stonewalling and retaliating against investigators. Speaking in Geneva Tuesday, U.N. human rights spokesperson Rupert Colville expressed concern.
Rupert Colville: “We are, however, concerned about the many challenges and obstacles reported by the experts that may have prevented certain lines of inquiries from being further explored, including regarding the roles and responsibilities of the military and other official authorities.”
Meanwhile, a Mexican journalist has been shot to death in front of his home in Guerrero state—the same state where the students disappeared. Francisco Pacheco Beltrán worked as a correspondent for the daily newspaper El Sol de Acapulco, edited a weekly magazine, contributed to a local radio broadcaster and ran a website with articles on crime. News reports said Pacheco’s work was critical of local authorities, including the mayor of his city, Taxco.
In Luxembourg, two former PricewaterhouseCoopers employees and a journalist have gone on trial over a massive leak that exposed corporate tax dodging. The so-called Luxembourg Leaks revealed how some of the world’s largest companies, including Pepsi, IKEA, AIG, Coach and Deutsche Bank, have channeled hundreds of billions of dollars through Luxembourg—a small country in Western Europe known as a “magical fairyland” for corporate tax dodgers. Some firms have secured effective tax rates of less than 1 percent. The documents were published by news organizations around the world. But now the whistleblowers and journalist Edouard Perrin are on trial and could reportedly face up to 10 years in prison.
In San Francisco, a group of protesters has been on hunger strike for nearly a week to protest police killings of unarmed African-American and Latino men. The activists have been occupying the sidewalk in front of the Mission police station, responsible for a number of the recent killings. They want San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to fire San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr or to resign himself. To see our coverage of the San Francisco police killings of Alex Nieto and Luis Gongora, go to democracynow.org.
A columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal has resigned after being told he couldn’t write about the newspaper’s new owner, billionaire casino magnate and Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson. John Smith had been barred from writing about Adelson and another casino magnate, Steve Wynn. Both Adelson and Wynn had sued Smith over books he wrote, although neither lawsuit succeeded. Las Vegas Review-Journal editor J. Keith Moyer said publicly at a journalism conference over the weekend he believed it was a “conflict” for Smith to write about Adelson. Smith announced his resignation Tuesday after three decades, writing, “If a Las Vegas columnist is considered 'conflicted' because he’s been unsuccessfully sued by two of the most powerful and outspoken players in the gaming industry, then it’s time to move on. If the Strip’s thin-skinned casino bosses aren’t grist for commentary, who is?”
And a Florida Republican Senate candidate has suggested anyone from the Middle East should be banned from entering the United States. Questioned by a reporter about the comments, Carlos Beruff said he would allow in people from Israel. This is audio from the Sun Sentinel.
Reporter: “What countries would you apply that to?”
Carlos Beruff: “Pretty much anybody that’s got a terrorist organization in it, which is pretty much all the Middle East.”
Reporter: “Would you include Israel in that?”
Carlos Beruff: “I think Israel’s security measures are pretty strong. Anybody coming out of Israel—well, OK, but, you know, Israel is an exception. Their sophisticated security system allows people to be safe when they leave Israel. We don’t have to worry about it.”