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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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A car bomb has exploded in a crowded market in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, killing at least 64 people. Another 87 people were wounded. The blast hit the predominantly Shiite district of Sadr City during the morning rush hour. ISIS has claimed responsibility.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has won the Democratic primary in West Virginia. His victory comes a week after his surprise win in Indiana. While rival Hillary Clinton leads in the delegate count, Sanders has vowed to remain in the race. He spoke in Salem, Oregon.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “When the voter turnout is high, we do well, we win. Next Tuesday here in Oregon, let us have the highest voter turnout in Oregon Democratic primary history. And let the great state of Oregon, the progressive state of Oregon, go on record and say, 'Yes, we want a political revolution!'”
Sanders’ victory comes amid new signs he may be influencing Clinton’s rhetoric. After months of criticizing Sanders’ call for a single-payer healthcare system, Clinton appeared to shift her stance Monday, saying she would support allowing people as young as 50 to buy into the Medicare system. Sanders has called for “Medicare for All.” Last week more than 2,000 physicians signed onto a proposal backing single-payer healthcare.
President Obama will become the first serving U.S. president to visit Hiroshima in Japan later this month. The White House said Obama will not apologize for dropping an atomic bomb on the city toward the end of the Second World War. The attack on August 6, 1945, caused massive and widespread destruction. Shock waves, radiation and heat rays took the lives of some 140,000 people. Three days later, the U.S. dropped a second atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki, killing another 74,000 people. Obama is expected to tour the site of the world’s first nuclear attack with Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe. We’ll have more on the visit after headlines.
Brazil’s Senate is set to vote today on whether to suspend President Dilma Rousseff and put her on trial on accusations of tampering with accounts to hide a budget shortfall. On Tuesday, Brazil’s attorney general asked the country’s Supreme Court to suspend the impeachment process. If the Senate votes to suspend Rousseff today, Vice President Michel Temer would take over during her trial. He has been implicated in Brazil’s massive corruption scandal; several of his top advisers are under investigation, and just last week he was ordered to pay a fine for violating campaign finance limits. Speaking Tuesday, President Rousseff said Brazil faces a decisive moment.
President Dilma Rousseff: “Look, for me, it is a very important moment. It’s a decisive moment. It’s a decisive moment for Brazil’s democracy, a moment we’re going through today. Without a doubt, we are going through a time when the people feel that we’re making history, the history of this country.”
Tuesday marked Mother’s Day in parts of Latin America. Here in New York City, activists rallied in front of the Honduran Consulate to honor slain environmentalist Berta Cáceres. Cáceres was murdered in her home in La Esperanza, Honduras, in March. For a decade, she led the struggle against the Agua Zarca Dam, planned along a river sacred to the Lenca people. Honduran authorities have charged five people in connection with her death, including a Honduran army major and employees of DESA, the company behind the dam. But Cáceres’ family has called for an independent investigation. On Tuesday, protesters presented a Mother’s Day card honoring Cáceres to a representative from the Honduran Consulate in here New York.
Luz Guel: “My name is Luz Guel, and I’m originally from Mexico, but I’m working with WE ACT for Environmental Justice. And we’re here today outside of the Honduran Consulate to bring justice to Berta Cáceres for Mother’s Day. And she was fighting for the forest, for the water, for clean air, for all the environmental rights that everybody deserves. And today is the day to celebrate motherhood of all days outside the Honduran Consulate.”
Zelene Pineda Suchilt: “My name is Zelene Pineda Suchilt. We are gathered here today to demand an independent investigation of her murder, to end U.S. aid, military aid, to Honduras and to stand against the coup in 2009 that led to these events.”
In Mexico, mothers of children who have disappeared gathered in Mexico City to demand justice for their loved ones. Monica Orozco and Gregoria Ortiz, two mothers of missing sons, spoke out about why they do not celebrate Mother’s Day.
Monica Orozco: “No, we don’t celebrate. We search. We search for justice and look for our children, our children who were taken away, and the government does nothing to look for them.”
Gregoria Ortiz: “The authorities should make an effort to return our missing, who aren’t just the 43, but thousands of missing people. And this figure goes up every day.”
In Alberta, Canada, a massive wildfire continues to spread in the sprawling forest outside the city of Fort McMurray, after all 88,000 residents of the city fled last week. Two fires have merged and spread to more than 880 square miles. The fire in the heart of Canada’s oil sands region has shut down most of the oil sands industry. Scientists have long warned of the risks of climate change to forests in the region.
A Baltimore police officer has chosen to face trial before a judge rather than a jury over his role in the death of African American Freddie Gray. Gray died of spinal injuries last year after he was arrested and transported in a police van. His family attorney said his spine was “80 percent severed at his neck.” Officer Edward Nero faces trial for his role in arresting Gray after officers said Gray made eye contact and then ran away. He is the second officer to go on trial in the case; the first officer’s trial ended in a hung jury in December.
The Citadel Military College in South Carolina has refused to allow a prospective Muslim student to wear a hijab with her uniform. In a statement, the college president, Lt. Gen. John Rosa, said “uniformity is the cornerstone” of the Citadel’s educational model. The Council on American-Islamic Relations said it’s considering legal options to challenge the decision. In a statement, CAIR said: “We believe the desire to maintain an outdated 'tradition,' which was the same argument used to initially deny admittance to African-Americans and women, does not justify violating a student’s constitutional rights.”
And Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has presented former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger with the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Pentagon’s highest award for private citizens. Writing in The Nation magazine, author Greg Grandin said: “Carter himself deserves an award for understatement, calling the man who is responsible, directly or indirectly, for the deaths of millions of people in Southeast Asia, East Timor, Bangladesh, and southern Africa, among other places—’unique in the annals of American diplomacy.’” Kissinger has been drawn into the 2016 election after Hillary Clinton praised Kissinger, while Bernie Sanders blasted his role in the U.S. bombing of Cambodia and the U.S.-backed coup against Chilean President Salvador Allende in 1973.