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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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Britain has stunned the world by voting to leave the European Union, becoming the first major country to leave the bloc in EU history. British Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation after leading the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union. He’ll step down in October. The Guardian calls the decision a “turning point in British history to rank alongside the two world wars of the 20th century.” Financial markets plunged after the news, with the value of the British pound dropping to the lowest level against the dollar since 1985. We’ll have more on this historic vote after headlines.
Back in the United States, in a major setback for the immigrant rights movement, a split Supreme Court has blocked President Obama’s plan to shield as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. The Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, or DAPA, would have shielded millions of immigrants with U.S. citizen or permanent resident children from deportation. Thursday’s decision may also affect President Obama’s plan to expand DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. In Los Angeles, undocumented immigrant Angel spoke out after the ruling.
Angel: “I just graduated from high school, and I had the hopes that I would get the work permit to help out my family. But unfortunately this happened, and it’s really heartbreaking, because I just had the hopes that one day I would get to contribute and help out my mom, because all I want to do is help out my family.”
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called the ruling “heartbreaking,” while Donald Trump praised the decision.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court also ruled to uphold a race-conscious affirmative action program at the University of Texas. The petitioner, Abigail Fisher, has accused the University of Texas at Austin of discrimination for rejecting her college application, she says, because she is white. But in a 4-3 ruling, the court upheld the constitutionality of taking race and ethnicity into account. Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe said, “No decision since Brown v. Board of Education has been as important as Fisher will prove to be in the long history of racial inclusion and educational diversity.”
In news from the campaign trail, Sen. Bernie Sanders pledged to continue fighting what he calls a political revolution to transform the Democratic Party and the nation, while speaking in New York City Thursday. The speech was entitled “Where Do We Go from Here?”—a likely reference to Martin Luther King’s iconic speech to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference convention in 1967. Sanders pledged to fight to defeat Donald Trump in November, and to campaign for local progressive candidates. He also urged his supporters to “never lose their sense of outrage” over economic inequality.
Sen. Bernie Sanders: “We cannot allow ourselves to become used to the fact that we got hundreds of thousands of children in this country who are homeless. That is our greatest danger, becoming used to it and thinking that it is normal. It is not normal. It is an outrage. And never, ever lose your sense of outrage.”
Meanwhile, presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has arrived in Scotland today, where he faces a barrage of protests and a boycott by a series of politicians, including Scotland’s first minister. Trump held a press conference this morning at the Trump Turnberry golf resort. As U.S. networks switched to play his sales pitch live, a young man wearing a Trump Turnberry sweater stood up holding up red golf balls with Nazi swastikas, saying, “These are the new balls available from the clubhouse, part of the new Trump Turnberry range.”
Protester: “These are the new balls available from the clubhouse, part of the new Trump Turnberry range. And I forgot to hand them out. Ah, that’s that comedian, isn’t it? What’s his name?”
Donald Trump: “Get him out.”
Donald Trump also praised the outcome of the Brexit vote, saying British people had “taken back their country.” In fact, Scotland overwhelmingly voted to stay in the European Union. Despite the fact that Trump arrived in Scotland only hours after one of the most significant developments in modern British history, the goal of his trip is not political, but rather to visit his two golf courses. One of the courses, north of Aberdeen, has lost millions of dollars and has attracted no major tournaments. Trump had once pledged it would create 6,000 jobs, but it currently only employs 150 people.
Meanwhile, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski has been hired by CNN as a political commentator. Lewandowski was fired Tuesday. He was charged with battery in March after surveillance footage showed him grabbing reporter Michelle Fields. Fields said Lewandowski left bruises on her arm. The charges were later dropped.
A federal judge has ruled Cleveland’s sweeping restrictions on protests during the Republican National Convention next month are unconstitutional. The ruling comes after the American Civil Liberties Union sued Cleveland. The city had demarcated a 3.3-square-mile “Event Area” in downtown Cleveland that would have been subject to broad restrictions during the convention, including banning everyday items such as umbrellas with metal tips, glass bottles, canned goods, large backpacks and sleeping bags.
Meanwhile, The Intercept is reporting the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service have begun knocking on the doors of more than a dozen Cleveland activists ahead of the RNC. Jocelyn Rosnick of the National Lawyers Guild said, “The purpose of these door knocks is simple: to intimidate the target and others in efforts to discourage people from engaging in lawful First Amendment activities.”
On Capitol Hill, Democrats have ended a 25-hour sit-in to demand action on gun control—without succeeding in forcing the House to a vote. The sit-in was initiated by Congressmember John Lewis, a veteran of the civil rights movement, and comes in the wake of the Orlando massacre at an LGBT nightclub which left 49 people dead. On Tuesday, the Senate did vote on four separate gun control measures. All four measures failed.
In Baltimore, a second police officer has been acquitted on all charges for his role in the arrest of Freddie Gray, who died of spinal injuries last year after he was arrested and transported in a police van. Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., who was driving the van, faced the most serious charges of all officers involved, including second-degree depraved-heart murder and three additional charges of manslaughter. We’ll have more on Baltimore later in the broadcast.
Meanwhile, a new report says the city of Chicago has spent more than $210 million on police misconduct lawsuits between 2012 and 2015. The analysis by The Chicago Reporter also found city officials had borrowed millions to pay for the more than 600 lawsuits over the three-year period, taking out bonds that have added to the city’s debt.
And a single-seater plane has successfully completed the first-ever solar-powered flight over the Atlantic. The plane, the Solar Impulse 2, departed from John F. Kennedy International Airport early Monday and arrived in Seville, Spain, Thursday after a 71-hour-and-8-minute journey. Pilot Bertrand Piccard spoke out after the successful flight.
Bertrand Piccard: “The new world is the world of modern, clean technologies, the world of respect for the environment, the world of innovation, the world of pioneers. This is the world that Solar Impulse and its team would like to represent, would like to promote. So we really hope that this flight symbolizes the flight from the old world to the new world.”