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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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The first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland was marked by discord and moments of chaos Monday both inside and outside the convention arena. Hours before Donald Trump arrived on the convention floor, delegates opposed to Donald Trump attempted to stage a rebellion by calling for a roll call vote to oppose Donald Trump’s nomination.
Delegates: “Roll call vote! Roll call vote! Roll call vote!”
Dane Waters: “My name is Dane Waters. I’m co-founder of Delegates Unbound. It’s a fight for the heart and soul of the Republican Party and the heart and soul of this country.”
Dane Waters, co-founder of Delegates Unbound, was seeking to change the party’s nominating rules to allow delegates to support alternative Republican candidates over Trump. Monday afternoon, the anti-Trump forces rattled the Trump campaign and Republican leadership by producing signatures from a majority of delegates from 11 states and territories, far more than the seven jurisdictions needed to force an up-or-down vote on the convention’s rules package. But the Trump campaign and Republican Party leadership quashed the rebellious faction by instead opting for a voice vote—which quickly descended into a shouting match in which Trump supporters overpowered the anti-Trump faction.
Hours after the attempted rebellion, the opening night of the RNC kicked off with a speech by the controversial “Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson, who noted that both he and Donald Trump are reality TV personalities. The night was dubbed “Benghazi night,” featuring a speech by Pat Smith, whose son Sean Smith died alongside U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya. Republicans have repeatedly denounced former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her handling of the 2012 Benghazi attacks, although a series of investigations have cleared Clinton of wrongdoing. Another speaker was Jamiel Shaw Sr., the father of Jamiel Shaw Jr., who was shot and killed at 17 by an undocumented immigrant in 2008 near their home in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke celebrated the acquittal of Baltimore police officer Brian Rice, one of the officers on trial in the Freddie Gray case, who died from injuries sustained in police custody.
Sheriff David Clarke: “There is some good news out of Baltimore, Maryland, as Lieutenant Brian Rice was acquitted on all charges. … What we witnessed in Ferguson and Baltimore and Baton Rouge was a collapse of the social order. So many of the actions of the Occupy movement and Black Lives Matter transcends peaceful protest and violates the code of conduct we rely on. I call it anarchy.”
Other speakers at the opening night of the RNC included former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Trump’s wife Melania Trump, whose speech appears to have plagiarized parts of first lady Michelle Obama’s speech from the 2008 Democratic National Convention. This clip comparing the two speeches begins with Michelle Obama.
Michelle Obama: “Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values, like you work hard for what you want in life.”
Melania Trump: “The values that you work hard for what you want in life.”
Michelle Obama: “That your word is your bond, that you do what you say you’re going to do.”
Melania Trump: “That your word is your bond, and you do what you say and keep your promise.”
Michelle Obama: “Because we want our children and all children in this nation to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.”
Melania Trump: “Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”
Melania Trump in her speech Monday night at the RNC, and Michelle Obama in her speech at the DNC in 2008. In response to the allegations of plagiarism, Trump campaign chairperson Paul Manafort told CNN Melania Trump had not plagiarized Michelle Obama and that these were simply “common” words.
Chris Cuomo: “Who takes the fall for cribbing Michelle Obama’s speech in 2008? Whose fault is that?”
Paul Manafort: “Well, there’s no cribbing of Michelle Obama’s speech. These were common words and values, that she cares about her family, that—things like that. I mean, she was speaking in front of 35 million people last night. She knew that. To think that she would be cribbing Michelle Obama’s words is crazy. I mean, it’s so—I mean, this is, once again, an example of when a woman threatens Hillary Clinton, how she seeks to demean her and take her down.”
Meanwhile, the list of Republicans who are not coming to the convention in Cleveland is growing. Ohio Governor John Kasich has refused to endorse Donald Trump, and he has not shown up to the convention, even though it is in his own state. He is not expected to come at any point this week.
More than a dozen other Republican leaders have also decided to skip the RNC, including Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, who says he’s staying home because he’d rather mow his lawn, and Montana Senator Steve Daines who says he’s skipping the RNC because “It’s a good time to be fishing in Montana.”
Editor’s Note: The original headline inaccurately attributed the quote about fishing to Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL) who is also not attending the RNC. Also, Daines changed his mind and made a brief appearance at the RNC on Tuesday.
Outside the convention arena, both pro- and anti-Trump protests and rallies continued Monday, with thousands of people marching to denounce Donald Trump’s presumptive nomination and gathering to hear a concert by Prophets of Rage, a new project of Public Enemy’s Chuck D and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello. Other activists worked to construct a massive wall to use in a protest later in the week.
LJ Amsterdam: “This is LJ from the Ruckus Society, and I’m here with Mijente in Cleveland at the art convergence space. And we are organizing an action called 'Wall Off Trump.' What we’re going to do is we are building thousands of feet of fabric wall, that’s beautiful and has messages from our communities. And we are encircling the GOP, we’re encircling the convention center. And we are going to show Trump to keep his hate out of our communities.”
Meanwhile, hundreds more people rallied in support of Donald Trump. We’ll have more voices from the street later in the broadcast.
New York Magazine says Rupert Murdoch is reportedly preparing to fire Fox News chair and CEO Roger Ailes, amid a series of sexual harassment accusations. Ailes has been under fire since last month, when Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson sued Ailes, saying he made repeated advances toward her. Carlson also says when she rejected his advances, Ailes retaliated against her by cutting her salary, curtailing her airtime and then refusing to renew her contract. A half-dozen more women have also spoken out about being sexually harassed by Ailes. One of the six women says she was 16 when Roger Ailes brought her into his office, locked the door and then pulled down his pants. When she refused to perform oral sex, she says, he chased her around the office until finally allowing her to leave the room.
In Baltimore, the fourth of six police officers to go on trial for the death of Freddie Gray has been acquitted. Lieutenant Brian Rice was the highest-ranking officer charged in the death of Gray, who died after sustaining spinal injuries in police custody in April 2015. Rice was charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. Two other police officers have also been acquitted. A fourth trial resulted in a hung jury. The trial of a fifth officer involved in the case is expected to begin later this month. We’ll go to Baltimore later in the broadcast.
Meanwhile, a judge has found a Baltimore activist guilty of failing to obey an order from law enforcement during a protest last year. Police arrested Kwame Rose at a protest in December after a jury failed to convict police officer William Porter, the first of six officers to go on trial in the death of Freddie Gray. Kwame Rose received a fine of $500, although the judge did not sentence him to a year of probation, which is what the state prosecutor was asking for. We’ll speak with Kwame Rose later in the broadcast.
In Baton Rouge, police say the former U.S. marine who killed three police officers Sunday was in the city specifically to target police. The shooter, 29-year-old Gavin Long, recorded videos that were posted online under the pseudonym Cosmo Setepenra before he shot six police officers, killing three. In the videos, Long discusses police shootings of African Americans, including the death of Alton Sterling, who was shot and killed by police officers in Baton Rouge earlier this month.
Speaking at a conference of African-American law enforcement officers Monday, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch sought to assure police officers the federal government is trying to help ease tensions after the killings of three police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and five police officers in Dallas, Texas. Lynch said agents from the FBI and other federal agencies were in Baton Rouge to help local authorities. Former Attorney General Eric Holder also spoke about the need to control Americans’ access to deadly firearms, and called on the police to join the movement for gun control.
Eric Holder: “It is far past time for those of you in law enforcement to join with other responsible Americans and take on the mindless, industry-driven gun lobby that values an illogical individual ability to possess military-grade weapons more than the lives of the American people, in general, and our law enforcement personnel, in particular. Speak up.”
In news from Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will reinstate the death penalty after Friday’s failed military coup. As many as 20,000 members of the police, civil service, judiciary and army have been detained or suspended since Friday’s attempted coup. Turkey abolished the death penalty in 2004. Erdogan is pushing for lawmakers to vote to reinstate it when the Parliament meets Wednesday. The attempted coup has also strained U.S. relations with Turkey. Erdogan has accused Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish cleric living in Pennsylvania, of masterminding the coup. Erdogan has demanded Gülen’s extradition. U.S. officials say they will consider any official requests for extradition, but that none have so far been made.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says airstrikes by the U.S.-led coalition have killed more than 100 civilians in one town in less than two months. The Observatory says at least 21 civilians in the northern Syrian town of Manbij were killed by the airstrikes on Monday alone. A U.S.-backed Syrian militia has been trying to take the town from ISIS control since the end of May.
Indian soldiers fired on demonstrators in Kashmir on Tuesday, killing three people, amid ongoing protests in the disputed territory. The protests began nearly two weeks ago after Indian security forces shot dead Kashmiri independence activist Burhan Muzaffar Wani. India has imposed a curfew, banned some newspapers from printing, and blocked mobile phone service in Kashmir amid the ongoing protests. At least 42 people have now been killed since the protests began.
And a dedication ceremony takes place today for San Francisco’s newest museum: The Mexican Museum, which will house the United States’ largest collection of Mexican and Latino art. The 60,000-square-foot museum will include 800 works of Mexican folk art, including pieces by Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. The museum is the realization of the dream of Mexican-American artist Peter Rodriguez. He opened San Francisco’s first museum for Latino art in a Mission District storefront in 1975. He died on July 1 at the age of 90.