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Arizona Court Hears Case over Ban on Ethnic Studies in Tucson Schools

HeadlineJul 17, 2017
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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.

More Headlines fromJuly 17, 2017

Under Trump, Civilian Casualties Surge in U.S.-Led War on ISIS

Jul 17, 2017
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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.

Saudi Arabia: 14 Young Men Facing Execution for Participating in Protests

Jul 17, 2017
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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.

Republicans Delay Vote on Healthcare Bill as McCain Recovers from Surgery

Jul 17, 2017
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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.

At Least 8 People Attended Trump Jr.’s Meeting with Kremlin-Linked Lawyer

Jul 17, 2017
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The Trump administration is continuing to face criticism and scrutiny over revelations Trump’s own son, Donald Trump Jr., embraced an apparent effort by the Russian government to peddle information incriminating Hillary Clinton in an attempt to help Trump win the presidency. Over the weekend, new information surfaced showing as many as eight people were in the room during Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Among them were Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, a Russian-American lobbyist named Rinat Akhmetshin, publicist Rob Goldstone, who helped set up the meeting, at least one translator and a representative for the Russian family who asked for the meeting.

On Sunday, President Trump’s lawyer attempted to blame the Secret Service for allowing the participants into Trump Tower for the meeting—causing the Secret Service to issue a rare statement saying Donald Trump Jr. was not under Secret Service protection at the time, and “Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at that time.”

Top Democrats continue to call the meeting evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. This is California Democratic Congressmember Adam Schiff, speaking to Jonathan Karl on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

Rep. Adam Schiff: “Well, you know, it’s certainly tied in the sense that this is about as clear evidence you could find of intent by the campaign to collude with the Russians, to get useful information from the Russians.”

Jonathan Karl: “A willingness to accept, we see from the president’s son, but we don’t see anything”—

Rep. Adam Schiff: “More than that, though, a willingness not only to accept, but to indicate to Russia what the best timing was.”

The Trump administration also faced criticism from Fox News host Shepard Smith on Friday over Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting.

Shepard Smith: “If there’s nothing there, and that’s what they tell us—they tell us, ’There’s nothing to this, that nothing came of it. There’s a nothing burger. It wasn’t even memorable. Didn’t write it down, didn’t tell you about it, because it wasn’t anything, so I didn’t even remember it,’ with a Russian interpreter in the room at Trump Tower. If all of that, why all these lies? Why is it lie after lie after lie?”

On Sunday, President Trump attacked the media and Hillary Clinton, and defended his son, writing, “HillaryClinton can illegally get the questions to the Debate & delete 33,000 emails but my son Don is being scorned by the Fake News media?” and “With all of its phony unnamed sources & highly slanted & even fraudulent reporting, #Fake News is DISTORTING DEMOCRACY in our country.”

Trump Faces Protests at U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National Golf Course

Jul 17, 2017
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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.

Trump’s Approval Rating Plummets to Historic 70-Year Low

Jul 17, 2017
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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 Seeks to Extend State of Emergency for 3 More Months

Jul 17, 2017
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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.

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Tens of Thousands Protest Corruption in the Dominican Republic

Jul 17, 2017
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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.

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Venezuela: Millions Participate in Opposition’s Unofficial Referendum

Jul 17, 2017
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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.

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Puerto Rico: Oscar López Rivera Joins Protests Against Toxic Coal Ash Dumping

Jul 17, 2017
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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.

Hundreds Participate in 18-Mile March to Protest National Rifle Association

Jul 17, 2017
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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.”

Groundbreaking Iranian Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani Dies at 40

Jul 17, 2017
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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.

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