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You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines, or our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. You need news that isn't being paid for by campaigns or corporations. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on your support. Right now, every new monthly sustaining donation to Democracy Now! will be tripled by a generous supporter. That means if you can give just $4 a month, Democracy Now! gets $12 today. Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, start your monthly contribution today. Thanks so much. -Amy Goodman
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Global markets are tumbling this morning across Asia and Europe after the U.S. stock market went into free fall on Monday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged by nearly 1,600 points in the middle of the day, marking the biggest point decline in financial history. The U.S. market then rallied slightly, but at the closing bell the Dow Jones was still down by an historic 1,175 points. While Monday’s plunge was alarming on Wall Street, many financial experts say the drop had been expected, after the Dow surged over the last year.
On Monday, President Trump avoided mentioning the historic stock market drop, even as he tried to boast about the benefits of his tax overhaul, while speaking to workers at Sheffer Corporation in Cincinnati, Ohio. During his speech, Trump also attacked Democratic lawmakers who did not applaud him during the State of the Union last week, calling them “un-American” and “treasonous.”
President Donald Trump: “They were like death and un-American, un-American. Somebody said 'treasonous.' I mean, yeah, I guess. Why not? Can we call that treason? Why not?”
The House Intelligence Committee has voted to declassify a Democratic memo that refutes the arguments of the controversial, now-released memo of committee chair Devin Nunes. The Nunes memo purports to show the FBI and Justice Department abused their authority by placing Trump campaign adviser Carter Page under surveillance in 2016 over his ties to Russia. President Trump supported its release despite the objections of the FBI. President Trump will now have five days to decide whether to try to block the release of its counter memo, written by Congressmember Adam Schiff, the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
In Syria, bombing continues against the rebel-held district of Eastern Ghouta, outside the capital Damascus, and against the rebel-held northern province of Idlib. War monitors say airstrikes carried out by the Syrian and Russian governments have killed nearly two dozen people in Eastern Ghouta and another 18 civilians in Idlib, where local journalists say a hospital and residential areas have been targeted. Activists also say nine people were injured in a suspected chlorine gas attack on the town of Saraqib on Sunday night—the second alleged chemical weapons attack in the last two weeks.
In London, a judge ruled today to uphold the British arrest warrant for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for more than five years. The British arrest warrant for jumping bail is related to a Swedish sexual assault investigation against Assange, which has since been dropped. But even if the judge had dropped the British arrest warrant, WikiLeaks warned Assange could face life in prison in the United States on charges of espionage, conspiracy and theft related to WikiLeaks’ publishing of secret U.S. government cables.
In Ecuador, voters have decided to reinstate presidential term limits during a national referendum on Sunday. The result is a blow to former President Rafael Correa, who had been expected to run for a fourth term in the upcoming 2021 elections.
The Israeli government has launched a mass deportation plan aimed at expelling up to 40,000 African asylum seekers from Israel. Most of the refugees are from Eritrea or Sudan and fleeing war or persecution, although Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has branded them “infiltrators.” On Sunday, the Israeli government began distributing notices warning they’d be jailed if they do not leave within two months. These are three refugees from Eritrea who received the notices.
Marawi Zoude: “If I do not return to Rwanda or to Eritrea within 60 days, they’ll take me forcefully to prison.”
Halofom Sultan: “I will choose—it’s not a choice, but I will forced to be in prison if they decide, because at least I will be—stay alive in the prison.”
Afoworki Kidane: “Those countries are not secure for me. I came here to save my life. So what I choose now is to stay in prison.”
Back in the United States, in Colorado, the husband of immigrant rights activist Ingrid Encalada Latorre has been released from detention, after he was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in what many saw as a targeted attack against the immigrant rights movement. Eliseo Jurado Fernandez posted $2,500 bond on Monday and walked free from the for-profit GEO Group ICE detention center in Aurora, where he’d been detained since January 11. His wife, Ingrid Encalada Latorre, is an outspoken activist who has claimed sanctuary in a Colorado church to avoid her own deportation to Peru.
Meanwhile, in Kansas, a chemistry professor named Syed Jamal is fighting his deportation, after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested him on his front lawn two weeks ago as he was getting his children ready for school. Jamal has lived in the United States for more than 30 years, after arriving from Bangladesh on a student visa.
In Michigan, USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar has been sentenced to another 40 to 125 years in prison for criminal sexual conduct toward underage girls, in the latest of a series of trials about his decades-long abuse. Dr. Nassar has already been sentenced to up to 125 years in prison in a previous sexual assault trial. Dr. Nassar has now been accused by at least 265 women and girls of sexually abusing them, often under the guise of providing medical treatment.
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s ruling that the state’s congressional map unconstitutionally favors Republicans and must be redrawn. Monday’s ruling now means Pennsylvania lawmakers must redraw the state’s 18 House districts, a move that is widely expected to benefit Democrats during the 2018 midterm elections.
And a number of NFL players on the Philadelphia Eagles say they won’t visit the White House for the traditional Super Bowl victory celebration. Among the players boycotting the visit as a protest against President Trump are Malcolm Jenkins and Torrey Smith, as well as Chris Long, who also refused to visit the White House last year, when he played for the New England Patriots, who won the Super Bowl then.