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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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A federal court in California put a temporary halt Monday to President Trump’s order denying asylum to anyone who enters the U.S. outside of a legal port of entry. Trump announced the move earlier this month, apparently in response to the Central American migrant caravans that he turned into a major flashpoint in the run-up to the midterm elections. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar, who ruled on the case, wrote, “Whatever the scope of the President’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden. … Failure to comply with entry requirements such as arriving at a designated port of entry should bear little, if any, weight in the asylum process.” After headlines, we’ll speak about Trump’s asylum ban with Baher Azmy of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
The Trump administration will begin to draw down the nearly 6,000 troops stationed at the U.S.-Mexico border as early as this week, with all active-duty military expected to leave their stations within a month. In the run-up to the midterm elections, President Trump deployed military troops to the border to protect against what he called an “invasion” of Central American migrants, at one point suggesting he could send up to 15,000 troops. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited soldiers last week and admitted there was no clear long-term plan for the military deployment.
As more migrants from several Central American caravans arrive at the Mexican border city of Tijuana, some local residents are protesting their presence, echoing language used by President Trump, referring to the migrants as an “invasion” and chanting “Mexico first.” Some demonstrators clashed with police as they protested outside of a migrant shelter Sunday. This is Honduran migrant Karina Rosales addressing the recent protests.
Karina Rosales: “They have the right to protest because they don’t like that we’re here, but in spite of everything, [Mexicans] are good people. They are the same as us. But we’re only passing through. We won’t stay here.”
An estimated 3,000 Central American migrants are in Tijuana to request asylum in the United States, with more arrivals expected in the coming days.
In Chicago, a gunman shot and killed three people at Mercy Hospital Monday. The victims include a doctor, a police officer and a pharmacy technician. The gunman was also killed at the scene. Chicago police said the shooter was previously in a relationship with the first victim, Dr. Tamara O’Neal, who was shot outside the hospital in the parking lot before the shooter ran inside the hospital when police arrived on the scene. The other two victims were identified as pharmacy resident Dayna Less and police officer Samuel Jimenez. The majority of domestic violence deaths involve firearms.
A study by the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety found the majority of mass shootings between 2009 and 2016 were committed by intimate partners or family.
The death toll for the Northern California Camp Fire has now reached at least 79. The number of missing persons has dropped to 700. The wildfire is now 70 percent contained as search and rescue efforts continue in Paradise, which was decimated by the flames, with nearly 12,000 homes destroyed and over 150,000 acres burned. With area shelters filled to capacity, displaced residents now face the question of where to go. Hundreds of people living in a Walmart parking lot in the city of Chico were asked to leave over the weekend, although many camps were still up by Monday. This is displaced resident Amy Sheppard.
Amy Sheppard: “As of right now, we’re just making it day by day, hoping that we can get back up to our property and start to rebuild our lives again. So, now life is very hard, especially with the little ones, trying to keep them happy and healthy and fed. And the food has been given free by so many, so many sources. People are just out sourcing everywhere, They’re coming with food, and so that’s not been a problem, as clothing, too, they’re helping with.”
Meanwhile, rain is forecast in Northern California from Wednesday through Friday, prompting a flash flood warning for the region, as major storms threaten to further complicate living conditions for those sleeping outdoors, as well as hamper ongoing search efforts.
The Washington Post reports the Justice Department considered breaching the confidentiality of U.S. census data and sharing the information with law enforcement officials. A 2017 email between a Justice Department attorney and the Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore reportedly suggested avoiding questions from a Democratic congressmember about whether census data could ever be shared with law enforcement, in case “related issues come up later for renewed debate.” This comes as several lawsuits are challenging the Trump administration’s efforts to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census. Advocates say the move could deter immigrants from completing the census and could impact everything from the redrawing of congressional maps to the allocation of federal funds.
The Guardian is reporting that members of the billionaire Sackler family could soon face criminal investigations over their role in fueling America’s opioid epidemic. Prosecutors in Connecticut and New York are considering charges of fraud and racketeering against the Sacklers, whose company Purdue Pharma produces the prescription painkiller OxyContin. Earlier this year, The New York Times reported Purdue executives knew OxyContin was highly addictive as early as 1996, the first year after the drug hit the market, but still promoted it as less addictive than other opioids. A lead attorney taking on Purdue Pharma, Paul Hanly, said of the Sacklers, “This is essentially a crime family … drug dealers in nice suits and dresses.” The Sacklers are known worldwide for their patronage of the arts, and the Sackler name appears on museum exhibitions, including the Met in New York and the Tate in London.
The Washington Post is reporting White House senior adviser and presidential daughter Ivanka Trump used a personal email account and private email servers to send hundreds of messages to Cabinet officials and aides, in violation of federal records rules. Ivanka reportedly sent the emails through a domain name she shared with her husband, Jared Kushner—who’s also a senior White House adviser. When questioned by other White House officials over the practice, Ivanka Trump reportedly said she was unfamiliar with some details of the rules. Ahead of the 2016 election, Donald Trump repeatedly led chants of “Lock her up!” at campaign rallies as he attacked his opponent Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server she used as secretary of state.
Three Democratic senators are suing to remove Matt Whitaker from his role as acting attorney general, saying the appointment is unconstitutional and aimed at derailing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. In a statement, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said, “The stakes are too high to allow the president to install an unconfirmed lackey to lead the Department of Justice—a lackey whose stated purpose, apparently, is undermining a major investigation into the president.” Joining the lawsuit are Senators Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.
Sixteen Democratic congressmembers and congressmembers-elect released a letter Monday saying they oppose Nancy Pelosi’s bid to resume her role as House speaker in January. They write they are “committed to voting for new leadership in both our Caucus meeting and on the House floor.” Two of the letter’s signatories are in races that have yet to be called. Pelosi will need 218 votes in order to secure the House leadership position. So far, no challengers to Pelosi have been announced.
Long-serving Congressmember John Lewis has joined other lawmakers in supporting incoming New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s call for a Green New Deal. Lewis is the highest-profile congressmember so far to back Ocasio-Cortez’s resolution to create a bipartisan committee that would work on a plan to bring the U.S. to a carbon-neutral economy and adopt 100 percent renewable energy. The proposal for the committee also seeks to bar lawmakers who have accepted money from the fossil fuel industry. Other lawmakers who support the formation of the committee include Congressmembers Ro Khanna and Carolyn Maloney, as well as incoming Congressmembers Deb Haaland, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib.
On Monday, climate activists from the youth-led Sunrise Movement disrupted an event with DNC Chairman Tom Perez in Rhode Island to demand the Democratic Party do more to combat climate change and back Congressmember-elect Ocasio-Cortez’s committee.
Climate activist: “As we speak, nearly 1,000 people are missing in the California fires, and over 77 have perished. As the U.N. climate report tells us, we only have 12 years to radically transform our economy and society to stop the crisis of climate change. But politicians like you have not demonstrated the leadership we need to meet the scale and scope of this crisis. We need you to stand up for our generation. We are asking that the DNC reject all contributions from fossil fuel lobbyists and executives, and we are asking for the Green New Deal to be incorporated into the Democratic Party platform.”
Sunrise Movement is organizing a Green New Deal day of action around the country today.
President Trump is reportedly considering visiting troops in Iraq or Afghanistan. It would be his first visit to a war zone since he took office. Trump has come under fire for skipping recent visits to a cemetery for World War I soldiers in France, followed by a missed visit to the Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day. On Sunday, he attacked former Navy SEAL Admiral William McRaven—who oversaw the U.S. operation that killed Osama bin Laden—calling him a “Hillary Clinton fan” and an “Obama backer” during an interview with Fox News.
Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn was arrested in Japan Monday after an internal investigation revealed significant financial misconduct. Ghosn is suspected of violating financial laws by filing false statements and underreporting his income by more than $40 million over a 5-year period.
The FBI has classified the far-right group Proud Boys as an “extremist group with ties to white nationalism.” A report by Washington state law enforcement from August revealed the FBI classification and stated that the group is “actively recruiting” in the Pacific Northwest. The report also said, “Proud Boys members have contributed to the recent escalation of violence at political rallies held on college campuses, and in cities like Charlottesville, Virginia, Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington.”
Last month, NYPD charged members of the group with rioting and assault after they attacked anti-fascist protesters on the streets of New York City following a talk by leader Gavin McInnes at the Metropolitan Republican Club. Later in the broadcast, we’ll speak with investigative reporter A.C. Thompson about the rise of neo-Nazis in America.
In the Gaza Strip, an Associated Press camera operator was shot in the leg and wounded Monday while covering a protest near Israel’s heavily militarized separation barrier. Witnesses report 47-year-old Rashed Rashid was nearly 2,000 feet away from the fence when he was shot by an Israeli soldier. Rashid suffered multiple bone fractures above the ankle and will need surgery. Rashid was filming from an elevated area, looking down on the protest and wearing a blue helmet and a vest with the word ”PRESS” clearly written on it.
The White House fully restored CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s press credentials Monday, one day after threatening to reimpose its ban when a judge’s temporary order expires in two weeks. CNN announced the news, saying their lawsuit was no longer necessary.
Newly elected Minnesota Congressmember Ilhan Omar is at the forefront of a move to overturn a long-standing ban on headscarves and other religious headwear on the House floor. Omar is the first Somali American elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and will become—along with Rashida Tlaib of Michigan—the first Muslim women in Congress.