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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 London, at least 12 people have been arrested after three attackers killed seven people and injured 48 more on Saturday night. The attackers rammed a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and then stabbed people in Borough Market. The three attackers were shot dead by police. This is a witness to the attack.
Attack witness: “It was fear on the streets of London, basically. I’ve not experienced that before. Been there for 12-odd years, basically. I’ve never seen that kind of fear, especially on a night out. And it was horrific to be involved in that kind of situation.”
ISIS claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack, which came less than two weeks after 22 people were killed in a bombing in Manchester at an Ariana Grande concert. On Sunday, Ariana Grande held a memorial concert in Manchester to raise money for the bombing victims and their families. Following Saturday’s attack, Britain’s Conservative Party and the opposition Labour Party temporarily suspended campaigning for the national elections this Thursday. Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to conduct a sweeping review of Britain’s counterterrorism strategy, saying “enough is enough.” London Mayor Sadiq Khan also spoke out after the attack.
Mayor Sadiq Khan: “There aren’t words to describe the grief and anger that our city will be feeling today. I’m appalled and furious that these cowardly terrorists would deliberately target innocent Londoners and bystanders enjoying their Saturday night. There can be no justification for the acts of these terrorists. And I’m quite clear: We will never let them win, nor will we allow them to cower our city or Londoners. Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed. One of the things the police and all of us need to do is make sure we’re as safe as we possibly can be. I’m reassured that we are one of the safest global cities in the world, if not the safest global city in the world. But we always evolve and review ways to make sure that we remain as safe as we possibly can.”
Following London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s remarks, U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to attack the mayor, tweeting, “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is 'no reason to be alarmed!'” In fact, Khan had been speaking about the increased police presence in the city when he said there was no reason to be alarmed. A spokesman for Khan later dismissed Trump’s comments, responding that the mayor “has more important things to do than respond to Donald Trump’s ill-informed tweet that deliberately takes out of context his remarks urging Londoners not to be alarmed when they saw more police—including armed officers—on the streets.” The United States’ acting ambassador to Britain, Lew Lukens, contradicted President Trump, tweeting, “I commend the strong leadership of the @MayorofLondon as he leads the city forward after this heinous attack.” Khan is London’s first Muslim mayor.
President Trump also launched a tweet storm this morning and over the weekend calling for the courts to allow him to impose his Muslim travel ban, which would prohibit all refugees and citizens of six majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States. On Saturday, Trump tweeted, “We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!” This morning Trump tweeted, “People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!” The Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to allow the ban to be in effect until a full Supreme Court ruling. We’ll have more on the London attack, the upcoming British elections and Trump’s proposed Muslim travel ban, after headlines.
In Afghanistan, deadly violence continued in the capital Kabul over the weekend. At least 20 people were killed in a series of explosions Saturday at a funeral for one of the protesters who was killed during demonstrations on Friday. At least five people were killed at Friday’s protests. The demonstrators were demanding the resignation of President Ashraf Ghani over Wednesday’s massive suicide bombing in a diplomatic area of Kabul, which killed more than 90 people and wounded over 400 people.
In Iraq, Reuters reports dozens of civilians, including women and children, were killed over the weekend trying to escape an ISIS-held area of Mosul amid the ongoing U.S. offensive to retake control of the city. An aid worker says some of the civilians were shot by ISIS militants while they were trying to flee the Zanjili neighborhood. Airwars says 20 civilians were reportedly killed on Thursday in that same neighborhood by shelling and airstrikes likely launched by the U.S.-backed Iraqi military. Among those reportedly killed by the shelling was a young civilian named Hussein Abbas, who was killed along with some of his siblings.
In a major diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and the United Arab Emirates have broken off relations with Qatar, accusing Qatar of backing militant groups, including ISIS and al-Qaeda. Qatar has denied the accusations. The United Arab Emirates has suspended all flights and sea travel to and from Qatar. Saudi Arabia has also closed all ports between the two countries.
Back in the United States, thousands of people demonstrated Saturday at dozens of “March for Truth” rallies to demand an independent congressional commission to investigate possible collusion between the Trump campaign and alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. Protests were held in nearly every single U.S. state. This comes as former FBI Director James Comey is slated to testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. Trump fired Comey in part over the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. Despite speculation over the weekend, it appears President Trump will not try to block Comey’s testimony.
HBO is facing mounting calls to fire late-night host Bill Maher, after the comedian used the “N-word” during his live interview with Nebraska Republican Senator Ben Sasse on Friday night.
Bill Maher: “I gotta get to Nebraska more.”
Sen. Ben Sasse: “You’re welcome. We’d love to have you work in the fields with us.”
Bill Maher: “Work in the fields? Senator, I’m a house n*gger. It’s a joke.”
Bill Maher has since apologized for using the racial slur.
In news on Honduras, a handful of international funders say they will stop financing the Agua Zarca hydroelectric dam, which has faced years of resistance, including from murdered environmental activist Berta Cáceres, who was fighting the project when she was assassinated in 2016. The Guardian reports Dutch bank FMO and Finnish finance company Finnfund have announced they’ll withdraw from the project entirely. The dam’s largest financer, the Central American Bank of Economic Integration, says it has already stopped funding the project.
In Mexico, radio journalist and indigenous activist Marcela de Jesús Natalia is in critical condition after she was shot in the head in the southern state of Guerrero on Saturday as she was leaving the radio station where she hosts a morning program. At least six Mexican journalists have been assassinated this year.
Back in the United States, a criminal sexual assault trial against comedian Bill Cosby begins in Pennsylvania today. Andrea Constand, the former director of operations for the women’s basketball team at Temple University, has accused Cosby of drugging and sexually assaulting her at his home in 2004. Cosby was an alum of Temple University. Constand is one of about 60 women who have accused Cosby of sexual assaults dating back decades.
And in New York City, more than 100 Jewish activists disrupted the Celebrate Israel Day Parade on Sunday, on the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories. Seven activists were arrested amid a series of protests. One group of demonstrators locked themselves to each other across 5th Avenue to protest the New York Police Department’s collaboration with Israeli security forces. Another group of LGBT Jews staged a sit-in holding signs reading “No pride in apartheid” and “Queer Jews for a free Palestine.”