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You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose government and corporate abuses of power. Today Democracy Now! is celebrating our 23rd birthday. For over two decades, we've produced our daily news hour without ads, government funding or corporate underwriting. How is this possible? Only with your support. Right now, in honor of Democracy Now!'s birthday, every donation we receive will be tripled by a generous supporter. This means if you give $30 today, Democracy Now! will get $90 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. Thank you! -Amy Goodman
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The U.S.-led war against ISIS has reportedly killed at least a dozen civilians every single day since President Trump took office six months ago. That’s according to a new investigation by the journalistic monitoring group Airwars, which says that since President Trump took office, U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and shelling in Iraq and Syria have reportedly killed more than 2,200 civilians—a far higher rate of reported civilian casualties than under the Obama administration. The investigation comes as the U.S.-led coalition continues to launch dozens of airstrikes a day against the Syrian city of Raqqa, where tens of thousands of residents are trapped without access to water or electricity. Over the weekend, the latest round of U.N.-backed peace talks about the Syrian war ended in Geneva without any plans to resolve the ongoing conflict.
In Saudi Arabia, 14 men accused of taking part in protests are reportedly facing imminent execution. The group includes Munir al-Adam, who is half-deaf and partially blind, and Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat, who was only 17 when he was sentenced to death five years ago. In 2012, Mujtaba’a al-Sweikat was arrested at the airport in Saudi Arabia while en route to visit Western Michigan University, where he was later accepted. He’s now facing execution for allegedly attending a pro-democracy rally in 2012. After President Trump’s visit earlier this year, a Saudi criminal court upheld several death sentences handed down to the protesters. We’ll have more on the Saudi executions after headlines.
Back in the United States, on Capitol Hill, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has delayed a vote on the revised Republican healthcare bill as Arizona Republican Senator John McCain is unable to vote while he’s home recovering from a surgery to remove a blood clot above his left eye. The Congressional Budget Office has not yet finished its review of the Republicans’ latest healthcare bill, unveiled Thursday, but it’s similar to the previous bill, which would have caused 22 million Americans to lose their health insurance over the next 10 years. Over the weekend, Republican governors confronted Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price over the healthcare plan during a closed-door session at the National Governors Association conference.
Trump faced protests while attending the United States Women’s Open Saturday, which was held at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. More than 100,000 people had signed on to a petition calling on the LPGA to move the venue. On Saturday, activists gathered outside the venue to protest Trump and his history of making sexist comments and bragging about sexual assault.
President Trump’s approval rating has now plummeted to a mere 36 percent as he nears the six-month mark of his presidency. It’s the lowest six-month approval rating of a U.S. president in 70 years. The Washington Post/ABC News poll also showed only 24 percent of people support the Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, the White House has declared this week “Made in America” week—despite the fact that Trump’s own companies outsource the vast majority of manufacturing to factories overseas. Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump exclusively outsources the manufacturing of her clothing and accessory lines to overseas factories, mostly in Bangladesh, Indonesia and China.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is asking the Turkish Parliament to extend the state of emergency for another three months. Over the weekend, President Erdogan commemorated the first anniversary of the failed military coup and vowed to continue the brutal crackdown against activists, journalists, teachers and opposition lawmakers. He also called for the reinstatement of the death penalty in Turkey.
In the Dominican Republic, tens of thousands of protesters flooded the streets of the capital Santo Domingo on Sunday to demand the resignation of the president and top officials currently embroiled in a corruption scandal. Many of the protesters dressed in green to show support for the environmental justice movement. Solidarity marches were also held Sunday in New York City, Miami and Madrid, Spain.
In Venezuela, millions of people took part in an unofficial referendum called for by the opposition. The opposition says the referendum showed disapproval for Maduro’s plans to form a new constituent assembly, which critics say is an effort for Maduro to consolidate power. At least one woman was shot in the capital Caracas while waiting to vote in Sunday’s referendum. Click here to see our recent debate about the ongoing protests in Venezuela.
In Puerto Rico, recently freed political prisoner Oscar López Rivera has joined the fight against the dumping of toxic coal ash in Peñuelas, calling on fellow Puerto Ricans to join the growing civil disobedience protests. In recent days, hundreds of police have raided and dismantled a resistance camp near the dumping site, arresting longtime community leaders, many of whom are senior citizens. Coal ash is a highly toxic mix of arsenic, mercury, lead and other heavy metals, which can contaminate nearby air and drinking water, causing cancer, lung disease, developmental delays, birth defects, and impaired bone growth in children.
In Arizona, court hearings continue in a case that will decide whether a ban on ethnic studies in Tucson public schools is unconstitutional. In 2010, Arizona passed a controversial law banning the teaching of any class designed for a particular ethnic group that would “promote resentment toward a race or class of people.” The law ended up eliminating Tucson’s ethnic studies program and banning seven books from public school classrooms, including “Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years,” Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest,” “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire and “Chicano!: The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement.” We’ll go to Arizona for more on the trial over the ban on ethnic studies later in the broadcast.
Hundreds of protesters rallied outside the headquarters of the National Rifle Association in Virginia Friday and then marched 18 miles to the Justice Department to protest against the NRA. The march was led by the organizers of the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., after Trump’s inauguration. This is Sarah Dachos of the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Sarah Dachos: “As a mother, I have a son, and I would like him to grow up in a world where he feels safe walking down the street to go to the playground, that when he goes to school, he doesn’t have to do lockdown drills because we now live in a climate where somebody who is not safe with a gun has access to guns and could go into a school and shoot children.”
And groundbreaking Iranian mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani has died. A professor at Stanford University, she is the only woman and only Iranian to have ever won mathematics’ highest award, the Fields Medal. She died Saturday at the age of 40 from breast cancer. Multiple Iranian newspapers broke social taboos by publishing photos of Mirzakhani without a hijab, after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani posted a picture of her on Instagram without her head covered.