In Alabama, Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore are locked in a tight and increasingly controversial race to fill the Alabama Senate seat left vacant by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Polling shows the two candidates are neck and neck ahead of tomorrow’s special election, despite Moore being accused by at least nine women of sexually harassing or assaulting them when they were teenagers. One of the women says Moore removed her shirt and pants, then touched her over her bra and underwear, when she was only 14 years old. Over the weekend, President Trump recorded a robocall endorsing Roy Moore, and on Friday, Trump flew to Pensacola, Florida, near the Alabama border, for a campaign-style rally in support of Moore.
President Donald Trump: “We want people that are going to protect your gun rights, great trade deals instead of the horrible deals. And we want jobs, jobs, jobs. So get out and vote for Roy Moore. Do it.”
On Sunday, Alabama Republican Senator Richard Shelby broke ranks with President Trump and the Republican National Committee, saying he could not vote for Roy Moore and that his state could “do better.” Meanwhile, the Doug Jones campaign orchestrated a massive get-out-the-vote effort over the weekend, backed by prominent African-American politicians. We’ll have more on Alabama’s special election after headlines.
In the Gaza Strip, thousands of Palestinians marched in funerals Saturday for two Hamas members who were killed Friday when Israeli warplanes dropped bombs on several buildings. The Palestinian Health Ministry said at least 25 others were injured in the airstrikes, including six children. Reuters video of the aftermath showed a bloodied baby crying while being treated in a Gaza hospital. Israel’s assault came after Palestinians fired at least two rockets into southern Israel. The rockets did not cause any injuries or damage. Elsewhere, Israel said it had destroyed a partially constructed tunnel connecting the Gaza Strip to Israeli territory.
The escalating violence came amid spiraling tensions over President Donald Trump’s decision last week to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to relocate the U.S. Embassy there. Over the weekend, Israeli security forces killed at least two Palestinians and injured hundreds more as protests raged across the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he will not meet Mike Pence during the vice president’s planned trip to the region this month. And the Arab League condemned Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying the U.S. could no longer be an effective mediator in talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Elsewhere, protests against the Trump administration’s decision on Jerusalem raged in cities around the world over the weekend. In Lebanon, security forces fired tear gas at protesters outside the U.S. Embassy north of Beirut. There were other large protests in Indonesia, Egypt, Jordan, Somalia and Morocco, as well as U.S. cities including New York and San Francisco. In France, hundreds protested in central Paris as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron. Macron called President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem a “threat to peace” and urged Netanyahu to freeze construction of illegal Jewish-only settlements.
Officials in Mesa, Arizona, have released a police body cam video showing an unarmed Texas man holding his hands above his head and pleading for his life, moments before he was shot dead by an officer who had ordered him to crawl toward police. The video was released Thursday, just hours after a jury found former Mesa officer Philip Brailsford not guilty of murdering 26-year-old Daniel Shaver in a hotel hallway in 2016. Brailsford was also acquitted of a lesser charge of reckless manslaughter. A warning to listeners and viewers: This video is disturbing.
Officer: “You think you’re gonna fall, you’d better fall on your face. Your hands go back into the small of your back or down, we are going to shoot you. Do you understand me?”
Daniel Shaver: “Yes, sir.”
Officer: “Crawl toward me. Crawl towards me!”
Daniel Shaver: “Yes, sir.”
As the man pleads for his life, the officer shoots him. The man was on his knees. Two months after the shooting, the Mesa Police Department fired Brailsford for violating department policy, after they discovered he had etched the expletive “You’re f—d” into metal of the AR-15 assault rifle he used to kill Shaver. But the judge in Brailsford’s murder trial ruled that detail was immaterial, and didn’t allow it to be presented to the jury. Shaver’s widow and parents say they’ll now pursue wrongful death lawsuits against the city of Mesa and its police officers.
Drought-fueled wildfires raged toward Southern California’s coastal cities over the weekend, prompting a new round of evacuations and rescue operations. Unseasonably strong winds have fueled blazes across the state for nearly a week, scorching some 230,000 acres of land, forcing nearly 200,000 evacuations, and at one point leaving more than 260,000 people without power. The wildfire is already the fifth-largest blaze on record in the state’s recent history. Over the weekend, authorities ordered residents in parts of Carpinteria and Montecito to leave early on Sunday as the fire barreled toward Santa Barbara. Climate experts say the intensity of the winter blazes is linked to climate change. Later in the broadcast, we’ll go to California for the latest on the wildfires.
Two U.S. senators have called on President Donald Trump to resign over at least 16 allegations that he sexually harassed or assaulted women. Over the weekend, New Jersey Democrat Cory Booker told Vice News, “I just watched Sen. Al Franken do the honorable thing and resign from his office. My question is, why isn’t Donald Trump doing the same thing—who has more serious allegations against him, with more women who have come forward.” Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon has also called for Trump to resign. Their comments came as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said on CBS that the women accusing Trump should be taken seriously. Haley was speaking with host John Dickerson.
John Dickerson: “How do you think people should assess the accusers of the president?”
Nikki Haley: “Well, I mean, you know, the same thing. As women who accuse anyone should be heard, they should be heard, and they should be dealt with. And I think we heard from them prior to the election. And I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way, they have every right to speak up.”
In Mississippi, civil rights leaders gathered on Saturday to celebrate the opening of two new civil rights museums in Jackson. The historic openings, however, were marred by controversy, after President Donald Trump refused to heed the calls of civil rights leaders and insisted on attending the inauguration. We’ll have more on the protests over President Trump’s presence at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum openings after headlines.
In Honduras, thousands of protesters marched on the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa over the weekend, demanding the U.S. support either a new election or a recount of all votes in the November 26 poll. The protesters charge incumbent President Juan Orlando Hernández used Honduras’s national election commission to rig the election, after early counting showed opposition candidate Salvador Nasralla five points ahead. This is protester María Fernanda Bustillo Gómez.
María Fernanda Bustillo Gómez: “In this moment, we are in front of the United States Embassy. We are protesting—as you can see, it’s a huge number of Hondurans in front of the embassy—because we don’t agree with what’s happening in our country. We don’t want them to impose a president that’s already in power, who wants to keep power. People elected a different person. It’s obvious that the opposition won, but they won’t let him take power.”
Over the weekend, Salvador Nasralla formally challenged the results of last month’s election, calling for an annulment of the results over what he called “scandalous fraud.” Click here to see our interview with former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya Friday.
In El Salvador, judges have delayed a ruling on whether to free a woman who was sentenced to 30 years in prison after she gave birth to a stillborn baby. In 2008, Teodora del Carmen Vásquez was convicted of intentionally inducing an abortion, after she went into labor while at work, tried unsuccessfully to summon an ambulance and passed out on the floor of a bathroom after miscarrying. This is Teodora del Carmen Vásquez, speaking from a court hearing in San Salvador on Friday.
Teodora del Carmen Vásquez: “They should give me my freedom. They should give me my freedom because I am innocent, because I have a family who is fighting for me, because I have people who love me, and I need to be with them.”
Vásquez has drawn support from human rights groups including Amnesty International, which warns that her appeal for an early release is being considered by the same judges who sentenced her to a 30-year prison term over a decade ago.
In the Philippines, thousands of people marked International Human Rights Day on Sunday with a march through the streets of Manila, calling on President Rodrigo Duterte to step down. Duterte has repeatedly boasted about personally killing suspected drug dealers, and he’s led a bloody so-called war on drugs that’s seen police and vigilantes carry out more than 7,000 extrajudicial killings. This is protester Renato Reyes Jr.
Renato Reyes Jr.: “There are so many violations of human rights happening right now under the Duterte regime, and we feel that these violations are headed towards the establishment of an outright fascist dictatorship.”
And in Oslo, Norway, the Nobel Committee has awarded its annual Peace Prize to the leaders of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, or ICAN. Accepting the award Sunday were Hiroshima nuclear bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow and ICAN executive director Beatrice Fihn, who in her acceptance speech alluded to the threat of nuclear war posed by President Donald Trump.
Beatrice Fihn: “The story of nuclear weapons will have an ending, and it is up to us to decide what that ending will be. Will it be the end of nuclear weapons? Or will it be the end of us? One of these things will happen. The only rational course of action is to cease living under the conditions where our mutual destruction is only one impulsive tantrum away.”
That’s ICAN Executive Director Beatrice Fihn, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize along with Hiroshima bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow. Click here to see our interview with Thurlow.