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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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In the wake of Monday night’s first presidential debate, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has begun lashing out at everyone from moderator Lester Holt to a former Miss Universe beauty pageant winner. Speaking to Fox News on Tuesday, Trump accused Holt of asking “unfair questions.” He also reiterated his criticism of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, whom Clinton had mentioned during Monday night’s debate.
Donald Trump: “When she brought up the person that became—you know, I know that person. That person was a Miss Universe person. And she was the worst we ever had. The worst, the absolute worst. She was impossible. And she was a Miss Universe contestant, and ultimately a winner, who they had a tremendously difficult time with as Miss Universe. … She was the winner, and, you know, she gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem. We had a—we had a real problem.”
That was Donald Trump speaking to Fox and Friends. In response, Alicia Machado has attacked Donald Trump in an interview with The Guardian, in which she also recounted how Trump’s criticism of her sparked an eating disorder.
Alicia Machado: “I was sick for almost five years with anorexic, bulimic. I had eating disorders after that episode. I know very well this person. I know what he can do. This is more than a reality show. This is not a reality show.”
That was Alicia Machado. She’s now working for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Donald Trump also brought cameras into the gym to show her working out. After the debate, Donald Trump also told ABC he regrets not raising Bill Clinton’s marital infidelities.
Donald Trump: “I mean, I got everything I wanted to say, I got it out, other than the transgressions of Bill, because, you know, she takes all these commercials, spending literally hundreds of millions of dollars on commercials, and they’re lies. They’re lies. But I thought—and I didn’t want to do it with Chelsea, who I think is a very wonderful young lady. I didn’t want to say what I was going to say with Chelsea in the room.”
Donald Trump had previously said he might bring Gennifer Flowers to sit in the front row of the debate. Flowers had an affair with Bill Clinton in the 1970s. The Trump campaign later said it had not extended an invitation to Flowers and that she would not attend.
This comes as Arizona’s largest newspaper, The Arizona Republic, has endorsed Hillary Clinton—marking the paper’s first time ever endorsing a Democratic candidate for president. The editorial board wrote, “Since The Arizona Republic began publication in 1890, we have never endorsed a Democrat over a Republican for president. Never. … This year is different.”
Police in the San Diego, California, suburb of El Cajon shot and killed an unarmed African-American man Tuesday, after his sister called 911 to report her brother was having a mental health emergency. Eyewitnesses said 30-year-old Alfred Olango was holding his hands up when he was tased by one police officer and then fired upon five times by another officer. In a dramatic video posted to Facebook, a woman named Rumbie Mubaiwa begins filming moments after Alfred Olango is shot dead. In the background, Olango’s sister is heard tearfully confronting police officers over the death of her brother.
Olango’s sister: “Guys, why couldn’t you tase him? Why couldn’t you guys tase him? Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?”
Rumbie Mubaiwa: “What’s his birthday, so they could find his information?”
Olango’s sister: “Why couldn’t you guys tase him? I told you he’s sick. And you guys shot him.”
El Cajon Police Chief Jeff Davis acknowledged it took officers 50 minutes to respond to the 911 call of Olango’s sister, who warned police her brother was mentally ill. Chief Davis disputed eyewitness accounts that Olango had his hands in the air. He said police had obtained a video showing officers fired only after Olango pointed an object at them. He declined to make the video public but released a single still image to the press in which he says Alfred Olango’s hands appear to be raised at shoulder height, as if to fire a weapon. It’s unclear from the photo if Olango is holding any objects. Chief Davis acknowledged there was no weapon found at the scene of the killing. The killing immediately sparked protests. Hundreds gathered at the Los Panchos restaurant where Olango was killed; they later protested outside El Cajon police headquarters. We’ll have more on the police killing of Alfred Olango after headlines.
This comes as tennis superstar Serena Williams has also spoken out about police brutality. In a Facebook post, she describes riding in the car recently with her 18-year-old nephew, who was driving. When she spotted a police officer, she remembered the video of the fatal police shooting of Philando Castile, which was filmed by his girlfriend, Diamond “Lavish” Reynolds, in which she narrated the aftermath of the shooting while she was still in the car, with a police officer pointing a gun at her and her four-year-old daughter as her boyfriend lay dying next to her. Serena Williams wrote: “I would never forgive myself if something happened to my nephew. He’s so innocent. So were all 'the others'. … I won’t be silent.”
In financial news, Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf is being forced to return $41 million of his personal compensation amid a massive scandal at the major Wall Street bank involving thousands of employees who took private customer information to create 2 million fake accounts in order to meet sales targets. The scandal dates back to at least 2011, and Stumpf admits he’s known about the practice since 2013. Senator Elizabeth Warren has called for Stumpf to resign and to be criminally investigated.
In more financial news, Mylan, the maker of the life-saving allergy shot EpiPen, is again under fire, this time for reportedly lying to Congress. Last week, Mylan CEO Heather Bresch told a congressional committee the profit off a two-pack of EpiPens is $100. But according to The Wall Street Journal, the profit is actually about $166—about 60 percent higher than Bresch disclosed. That’s because Bresch told Congress a profit figure that included a 37.5 percent tax rate on the EpiPen, even though Mylan paid a tax rate of only 7 percent last year. An analyst told The Wall Street Journal that the $100 reported profit figure “has nothing to do with reality.”
In international news, former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres has died at the age of 93. Born in Poland, Peres was one of the most influential political figures throughout Israel’s history. He served twice as prime minister, once as president, and as the minister of defense, finance, transportation and foreign affairs. While serving as defense minister in the 1950s, he was a key figure in securing nuclear weapons for the new state of Israel through secret negotiations with France. He once offered to sell nuclear weapons to the apartheid government of South Africa—a fact revealed after a secret memo was uncovered and published in The Nonproliferation Review. Peres was also a leading advocate for the building of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. His slogan was “Settlements everywhere.” In 1994, Peres won the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, for helping negotiate the Oslo Accords.
In Syria, the two largest hospitals in East Aleppo are currently closed after being struck by airstrikes this morning amid a devastating bombing campaign by the Syrian government and Russia. One health official called the strikes “catastrophic and unprecedented in modern history.” There are reportedly only about 30 doctors left in East Aleppo, where 250,000 people are currently trapped.
In Britain, Senator Bernie Sanders’s brother, Larry Sanders, is running for former Prime Minister David Cameron’s seat in Parliament on the Green Party ticket. Larry Sanders has lived in Britain since 1969. The brothers are politically aligned, particularly on issues of economic inequality. Cameron stepped down from Parliament earlier this month, after also resigning as prime minister in July following the Brexit vote.
And President Obama has nominated Jeffrey DeLaurentis to be the first U.S. ambassador to Cuba in more than a half-century. It is the latest step in the thawing of ties between Cuba and the United States. DeLaurentis is currently the U.S. chief of mission in Havana. His nomination has to be confirmed by the Senate, where some lawmakers—including Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz—have said they’ll oppose any nomination for a U.S. ambassador to Cuba.