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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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Here in Philadelphia, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has become the first woman to accept a major-party presidential nomination in U.S. history.
Hillary Clinton: “Tonight, we’ve reached a milestone in our nation’s march toward a more perfect union: the first time that a major party has nominated a woman for president. Standing here as my mother’s daughter and my daughter’s mother, I am so happy this day has come. I’m happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between. I’m happy for boys and men, because when any barrier falls in America, it clears the way for everyone.”
That was Hillary Clinton, the first woman nominated for the presidency by a major party. During her speech, Clinton also pledged to work with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders to implement some of his core proposals.
Hillary Clinton: “Bernie Sanders and I will work together to make college tuition-free for the middle class and debt-free for all. We will also—we will also liberate millions of people who already have student debt.”
Hillary Clinton’s address came at the end of a day packed with speakers, including her daughter, Chelsea Clinton; retired four-star Marine General John Allen; civil rights legend Dolores Huerta; “Moral Mondays” leader Reverend William Barber; and LGBT rights activist Sarah McBride, who became the first openly transgender woman to speak at a major-party convention.
Sarah McBride: Will we be a nation where there’s only one way to love, only one way to look and only one way to live? Or will we be a nation where everyone has the freedom to live openly and equally, a nation that’s stronger together?”
One of the most powerful speakers Thursday was Khizr Khan, whose son died in 2004 serving in the U.S. war in Iraq. This is Khan addressing Donald Trump.
Khizr Khan: “Donald Trump, you’re asking Americans to trust you with their future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the United States Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy.”
That’s Khizr Khan. His son, U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart after he was killed in Iraq. While Khan’s speech was broadcast by CNN and MSNBC, Fox News did not play the speech, instead choosing to air commercials. Fox News also did not play Tuesday’s DNC speeches of the mothers of Sandra Bland, Jordan Davis and Trayvon Martin, instead airing an interview with Karl Rove and a segment about immigration moderated by Bill O’Reilly.
Retired NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also spoke Thursday. He opened his speech with a jab at Donald Trump.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: “Hello, everyone. I’m Michael Jordan, and I’m here with Hillary. I said that because I know that Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
Then he went on to really introduce himself as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
Ohio Congressmember Joyce Beatty also appeared to take a jab at the Trumps on Thursday when she took the DNC stage wearing the exact same off-white dress with billowing sleeves that Melania Trump wore when she gave her speech at the RNC in Cleveland last week. This fashion “plagiarism” mocked Melania Trump plagiarizing parts of Michelle Obama speech from the 2008 DNC speech. Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr. is accusing President Obama of having plagiarized a line from his speech at the RNC last week. Both men used the phrase “That’s not the America I know.” However, well before the RNC, President Obama has used some variant of the phrase “the America I know” or “not the America I know” on multiple occasions. Former President George W. Bush also used this phrase.
Back in Philadelphia, Bernie Sanders delegates protested both on and off the convention floor Thursday. Scores of Sanders delegates wore fluorescent green shirts reading “Enough is Enough,” which appeared to glow in the dark whenever the arena lights dimmed in between speakers. Many of these delegates also held signs reading “No More Wars,” “Ban Fracking Now,” “#DNC Email Leaks” and “Jill Stein.” Toward the end of Thursday night, about a half-dozen young black activists marched out of the convention arena chanting “Black Lives Matter.” Other groups of Colorado and California delegates also walked off the floor, the Californians saying their votes hadn’t been counted. It took California a full month to count the votes following the June 7 primary.
Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters rallied outside the Wells Fargo Center Thursday night. One protester spoke about the impacts of Bill Clinton’s welfare reform on her family. This is Jacinta Mack.
Jacinta Mack: “The monthly money that we got was cut. And then the subsidized housing was also cut. And my mother was required to go out and apply for a certain number of jobs, but she was a single mother of six children and wasn’t able to meet their requirements. We struggled tremendously. And my mother actually became a sex worker.”
Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant also addressed the crowd.
Kshama Sawant: “But what’s happening here is this. Sanders has decided to endorse Clinton, but you can see thousands of people and the Democratic Party’s own delegates do not accept that, because that is not a way forward. That’s a failed strategy, putting our faith in the corporate two parties. So, here, people are here to say that they refuse, they reject that move, and we want to build our independent movement. We want to greet the brave delegates who are going to walk out during Hillary’s speech, so we can discuss where we go from here.”
We’ll host a debate between Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant and Rebecca Traister, New York Magazine writer, after headlines.
Meanwhile, The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs reported the Democratic Party tried to thwart protest chants from the floor by circulating a list of counter chants on Thursday. Clinton delegates were reportedly instructed to chant “U.S.A.” when Sanders delegates chanted “No more war,” and “Hillary” when Sanders delegates chanted “Stop the TPP.” Despite these efforts, the protest chants could still be heard from the floor, although they were largely drowned out for television audiences.
This comes as at least one Sanders delegate is saying his credentials were stripped from him after he held a protest sign during President Obama’s speech Wednesday night.
Frank Klein: “I’m Frank Klein. I’m a 61-year-old delegate from Arkansas Congressional District 4. I’m here to represent my—I’m a Bernie delegate. They had told me, because I held up a “No TPP” sign during the Obama speech—I didn’t yell, I didn’t make a commotion, I just held up a sign—that it’s against DNC rules for me to use an unofficial sign, and they refused to give me my credentials to go to the convention on the fourth day. I feel like this is a violation of my constitutional rights to free speech.”
Donald Trump hasn’t appreciated all the jabs and jokes at his expense during this week’s DNC. At a rally in Davenport, Iowa, Thursday, Trump talked about attacking multiple DNC speakers.
Donald Trump: “I wanted to hit a couple of those speakers so hard. I would have hit them—no, no. I was going to hit them. I was all set. And then I got a call from a highly respected governor: ’How’s it going, Donald?’ I said, 'Well, it's going good, but they’re really saying bad things about me. I’m going to hit them so hard.’ I was going to hit one guy in particular, a very little guy. I was going to hit this guy so hard, his head would spin, he wouldn’t know what the hell happened.”
In news from Baltimore, the prosecutors who failed to secure convictions for police officers after the death of Freddie Gray say the city’s police department undermined their case. Prosecutors Michael Schatzow and Janice Bledsoe say police failed to serve search warrants for police cellphones that would have offered evidence of how officers reacted after Gray’s death. Gray died in April 2015 of spinal injuries after he was arrested and transported in a police van. Six officers faced charges related to his death, but prosecutors dropped all remaining charges against three officers Wednesday after failing to win convictions for any of the first four officers to go on trial. Five of the officers have also filed suit against Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, alleging defamation and unlawful arrest.
Meanwhile, the man who recorded Eric Garner’s death is suing New York City for $10 million. Ramsey Orta says he was arrested on trumped-up drug charges as payback for filming the fatal police chokehold that killed Eric Garner on July 17, 2014. Under a plea deal, Orta is slated to serve four years in jail—making him the only person at the scene of Eric Garner’s death who will serve jail time.
Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence is scheduled to address the American Legislative Exchange Council’s annual conference today. ALEC is a right-wing group that proposes legislative language that is then used by lawmakers. More than 100 protesters gathered outside the conference on Wednesday.
Imprisoned Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning faces new charges after she tried to commit suicide on July 5. The Army told Manning yesterday she is being investigated on charges that include having prohibited property in her cell and resisting being moved out of the cell. If convicted, Manning could face punishment including indefinite solitary confinement and additional time in prison. It could also negate the chance of parole. Manning is serving a 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
The Pentagon has announced it is expanding an “advise and assist mission” for U.S. troops in Iraq as some of them are deploying along with a conventional Iraqi army unit for the first time in years. In April, President Obama authorized U.S. combat advisers to deploy with Iraqi army forces at lower levels. Until then, they had been largely confined to bases and special forces missions. The announcement comes as officers have spoken about an “imminent” offensive against Mosul, the largest city held by ISIS. Earlier this month, the Pentagon raised the number of soldiers in Iraq to more than 4,600. There are also at least 3,000 U.S. military contractors in the country.
Thirty-six senators, including Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine, are pushing to add $320 million for Israeli missile defense to next year’s defense appropriations bill. That’s in addition to the $3 billion a year in military funding the U.S. currently gives Israel. The proposed increase includes more purchases of Iron Dome systems, designed to intercept missiles fired toward Israel from Palestine. President Obama has threatened to veto legislation with that level of funding for the program.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is reporting another U.S. strike has killed civilians in northern Syria. The Observatory says the strike near the city of Manbij killed at least 28 civilians Thursday. A U.S.-backed militia has been fighting ISIS for control of Manbij since May. The Observatory and other groups say three U.S. strikes in the area have killed at least 200 civilians since the offensive began.
Meanwhile, al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch has announced it has broken with al-Qaeda’s global leadership. The Nusra Front controls significant portions of northern Syria. It is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S., but weapons funneled to rebels by the U.S. and its allies have routinely fallen into the hands of the group.
And the U.S. government has reached an agreement with the family of Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian aid worker killed in a CIA drone strike in Pakistan last year. Lawyers for the family told The Intercept the government had paid compensation, but did not disclose the amount. The agreement comes more than a year after President Obama acknowledged and apologized for the operation, which killed Lo Porto and a U.S. government contractor named Warren Weinstein. Despite hundreds of hours of surveillance, Obama said the United States had not known that the hostages were present.