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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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Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has won the Democratic primary in Oregon, while Hillary Clinton has declared victory in Kentucky. With 99 percent of Kentucky precincts reporting, Clinton leads Sanders by 0.5 percent. Sanders thanked his supporters in both states.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “Let me also take this opportunity to say a word of thanks to the people of Kentucky. In a closed primary, something I am not all that enthusiastic about, where independents are not allowed to vote, where Secretary Clinton defeated Barack Obama by 250,000 votes in 2008, it appears tonight that we’re going to end up with about half of the delegates from Kentucky.”
Meanwhile, Donald Trump has moved a step closer to cementing the Republican nomination. He is projected to have won 70 percent of the vote in Oregon, where Ted Cruz and John Kasich appeared on the ballot even though they have dropped out of the race. We’ll have more on Trump and the results later in the broadcast.
Bernie Sanders’ victory in Oregon comes amid tensions with the Democratic Party after Sanders supporters erupted into protest Saturday at the Nevada convention. They say rules were abruptly changed and 64 Sanders supporters were wrongly denied delegate status. Clinton ultimately won 20 pledged delegates to Sanders’ 15. The state party chair, Roberta Lange, said she received death threats, while state party headquarters were vandalized. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid urged Sanders to condemn the behavior of some of his supporters, saying he faced a “test of leadership.” In a statement, Sanders rejected violence, and noted that during the Nevada campaign, shots were fired into his campaign office in the state, and his staff’s housing complex was broken into and ransacked. He also accused Nevada Democratic leadership of “[using] its power to prevent a fair and transparent process” at the conventions on Saturday. We’ll have more on Sanders later in the broadcast.
In the Iraqi capital Baghdad, a wave of violence has killed more than 200 people over the past week. On Tuesday, at least 70 people were killed in a series of bombings, including one that struck a marketplace in the mainly Shia district of al-Shaab. ISIS claimed responsibility for that attack.
The Senate has passed a bill that would let the families of September 11 victims sue Saudi Arabia for any role it played in the attacks. This comes as the Obama administration faces renewed pressure to release 28 classified pages of the 9/11 report, which are said to contain details on the Saudi role. Saudi Arabia has threatened to sell off up to $750 billion in Treasury securities and other U.S. assets if the measure passes. White House spokesperson Josh Earnest opposed the bill.
Josh Earnest: “This legislation would change long-standing international law regarding sovereign immunity, and the president of the United States continues to harbor serious concerns that this legislation would make the United States vulnerable in other court systems around the world.”
The White House has threatened to veto a military spending bill that protects the Pentagon from budget cuts. The House draft of the latest National Defense Authorization Act also includes barriers to closing the Guantánamo prison and measures the White House says enable discrimination against LGBT people. This comes as the Senate has confirmed Eric Fanning as Army secretary, making him the first openly gay leader of a U.S. military service.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has proposed legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide. It’s currently legal only in certain states and Mexico City. He made the remarks on the International Day Against Homophobia.
President Enrique Peña Nieto: “To recognize as a human right that people can get married without any discrimination, that is to say that marriage will be allowed without discrimination, regardless of ethnicity, disability, social conditions, health conditions, religion, gender or sexual preference.”
This comes as President Peña Nieto faces renewed pressure over the disappearance of 43 students in Mexico in September 2014. Multiple reports have pointed to a role by federal authorities and cast doubt on Mexico’s claim the students were killed by a drug gang. On Monday, Antonio Tizapa, father of one of the missing students, broke down in tears as he testified before the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. He called for a U.N. special rapporteur to visit Mexico.
Antonio Tizapa: “Nineteen months demanding they be returned, alive, 19 months seeking justice, and we are awaiting a visit to Mexico by the United Nations special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, to resolve the conflict of 43 families and to find peace, even though we know they are not just 43. They are thousands and thousands.”
In France, as many as 220,000 people took to the streets across the country to protest labor reforms backed by President François Hollande. The measures would cut overtime pay for truck drivers and make it easier for companies to fire people. On Tuesday, truck drivers blockaded roads, police fired tear gas and water cannons, and 87 people were arrested. Arlette Perray joined the protests in Paris.
Arlette Perray: “It’s a disastrous law. We haven’t had anything like it for more than 70 years. It destroys all the rights of employees and retired people, and the future of young people. I am retired, and my place is here with the workers and the youth.”
Here in the United States, millions more workers could become eligible for overtime pay under new regulations being unveiled by the Obama administration today. The rules allow full-time salaried employees to earn overtime if they make up to about $47,000 a year—that’s more than twice the current benchmark. About 35 percent of full-time salaried employees will be eligible to receive time and a half for extra hours, up from the 7 percent who qualify now.
In Chile, the Supreme Court has asked the United States to extradite three former agents who worked for the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet rose to power in a U.S.-backed military coup, ousting democratically elected President Salvador Allende, in 1973. The three former agents are accused of a role in the detention, torture and killing of Spanish-Chilean U.N. diplomat Carmelo Soria in 1976.
And a company whose pipeline burst near Santa Barbara, California, last year, spilling up to 143,000 gallons of crude oil, has been indicted on dozens of criminal counts, including four felony charges. Plains All American Pipeline could face up to $2.8 million in fines, a tiny fraction of the $43 billion in revenue it reported the year before the leak. An employee of the company also faces three misdemeanor charges.