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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. This week 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 doubled by a generous supporter. This means if you give $30 today, Democracy Now! will get $60 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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More than a million students, parents, teachers and anti-violence activists took to the streets Saturday for the worldwide March for Our Lives. The historic day of action was organized by the student survivors of the Valentine’s Day massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed—14 students and three faculty. In Washington, D.C., youth from Parkland to Chicago took to the stage to decry the power of the NRA and the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. This is Trevon Bosley.
Trevon Bosley: “I’m here to speak on behalf of Chicago’s youth, who are surrounded and affected by gun violence every day. I’m here to speak for those youth who fear they may be shot while going to the gas station, the movies, the bus stop, to church, or even to and from school. I’m here to speak for those Chicago youth who feel their voices have been silenced for far too long.”
More than 800 “sibling” marches were organized worldwide, including Seattle, Oakland, Denver, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Austin and Los Angeles, as well as in Mexico, Spain, Romania, Greece, Lebanon, Kenya, Hong Kong and Thailand. This is student Sanchi Rohira, speaking in Mumbai, India.
Sanchi Rohira: “I am here to support that march and say never again to gun violence. Not one more kid should die in their classroom.”
We’ll play more highlights from the historic March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., after headlines.
The March for Our Lives came as cellphone video has surfaced of one of the latest fatal shootings in the United States: a Harris County sheriff’s deputy killing a 34-year-old unarmed African-American man named Danny Ray Thomas in Houston. The cellphone video, obtained by the Houston Chronicle, shows the man wandering around the street with his pants at his ankles, appearing distressed and mumbling to himself. Family members say he has been suffering from depression since two of his children were killed in 2016. The deputy orders the man to stop, and then, as a passing car briefly obscures the video, the deputy fires one fatal shot, killing him.
The video of the fatal police shooting in Houston comes as protesters continue to demand justice for another recent victim of gun violence: 22-year-old Stephon Clark, an unarmed African-American man who was killed by police officers outside his own home one week ago. On Sunday night, at a game between the Boston Celtics and the Sacramento Kings, the NBA players wore shirts featuring Stephon Clark’s name and the words “Accountability. We Are One.” The players also pre-recorded a video that played on the jumbotron inside the stadium ahead of tip-off.
Al Horford: “We will not shut up and dribble.”
Kosta Koufos: “This is bigger than basketball.”
Zach Randolph: “Change can be uncomfortable.”
Marcus Morris: “Change is necessary.”
Semi Ojeleye: “We need to talk.”
Shane Larkin: “We need to act.”
Justin Jackson: “We matter.”
Greg Monroe: “We must unite.”
Garrett Temple: “Say his name.”
Jaylen Brown: “Stephon Clark.”
Vince Carter: “Stephon Clark.”
The Sacramento police have still not explained why the officers were instructed to mute their body cameras after they shot Stephon Clark 20 times.
Meanwhile, in Maryland, a 16-year-old girl who was shot in the head at Great Mills High School in Maryland last week has died. Jaelynn Willey was taken off life support after she was declared brain-dead. She was shot by a fellow student, Austin Rollins, with whom authorities say she may have had a previous relationship. Experts say there are strong connections between domestic violence and gun violence.
In a highly anticipated episode of “60 Minutes” on Sunday night, adult film star Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, told Anderson Cooper that she signed a nondisclosure agreement promising not to talk publicly about her 2006 alleged affair with President Trump because she was scared about her and her daughter’s safety. During the interview, which Trump’s personal lawyer had tried to block from airing, Clifford recounted a threat she’d received in 2011, after she sold her story about the alleged affair to Bauer Publishing, which publishes In Touch magazine.
Stephanie Clifford: “I was in a parking lot, going to a fitness class with my infant daughter. I was taking, you know, the seats facing backwards in the backseat, diaper bag, you know, getting all the stuff out. And a guy walked up on me and said to me, 'Leave Trump alone. Forget the story.' And then he leaned around and looked at my daughter and said, ’That’s a beautiful little girl. It’d be a shame if something happened to her mom.’ And then he was gone.”
Anderson Cooper: “You took it as a direct threat?”
Stephanie Clifford: “Absolutely. I was rattled. I remember going into the workout class. And my hands are shaking so much, I was afraid I was going to drop her.”
Anderson Cooper: “Did you go to the police?
Stephanie Clifford: “No.”
Anderson Cooper: “Why?”
Stephanie Clifford: “Because I was scared.”
Clifford also says she spanked Trump with a magazine that had his face on the cover, that they had unprotected sex, and that Trump compared Clifford to his daughter, Ivanka. Stephanie Clifford’s interview Sunday night comes after model Karen McDougal also broke her nondisclosure agreement to speak publicly about her alleged affair with Donald Trump in 2006. A third woman, “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos, is suing President Trump for defamation, after Trump called her a liar when she accused him of sexual assault.
Multiple outlets are reporting Trump’s legal team dealing with the Russia investigation is in disarray, after it was announced that two new lawyers—Victoria Toensing and Joe diGenova—will not join his legal team, only days after their appointment was announced. DiGenova is a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia who has claimed Trump is being framed by FBI and Justice Department officials. Last Thursday, Trump’s top lawyer, John Dowd, quit the legal team, reportedly resigning after Trump repeatedly ignored his legal advice and attacked Robert Mueller by name on Twitter.
President Trump has signed a memorandum banning most transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. The new policy, signed Friday, comes after President Trump announced unexpectedly on Twitter last July he was banning all transgender people from U.S. military service. Transgender troops have sued the administration over the policy. A Pentagon spokesperson told the Washington Blade late Friday that the military “will still comply with federal court rulings and continue to assess and retain transgender service members.”
The New York Times reports the Pentagon carried out its first-ever drone strike against alleged al-Qaeda militants in southern Libya over the weekend. The strike signals a possible expansion of the U.S. military involvement in Libya, which has previously been restricted to targeting alleged ISIS militants in northern Libya.
In Afghanistan, at least 13 people were killed in a car bomb explosion outside a sports stadium in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, on Friday night. Officials say all the victims were civilians. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
In Egypt, voters are heading to the polls today for a presidential election in which incumbent President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is almost certainly expected to win. All of his challengers were barred from running, except for one little-known candidate, Mousa Mostafa Mousa, who has said publicly he is not seeking to challenge el-Sisi. Former military general Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has launched a wide-ranging crackdown against human rights activists in Egypt, with reports of torture, enforced disappearances, mass arrests and extrajudicial killings.
European Union officials are warning the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is growing more severe by the day, with nearly 8 million people facing severe food insecurity. Armed conflicts in multiple regions of the DRC are worsening, as President Joseph Kabila refuses to step down more than a year after the end of his term.
In Siberia, at least 64 people were killed when a fire tore through a shopping mall in the city of Kemerovo Sunday. At least 16 people are still missing, and authorities say the death toll is likely to rise.
In Paris, thousands of people marched Saturday to protest Turkey’s military offensive against the Syrian Kurdish city of Afrin. This is protester Nursel Kilic.
Nursel Kilic: “The Turkish state has become an invading power, because it is occupying the territory, one that is foreign to Turkey. They crossed the border. This territory is not only an autonomous Kurdish town, but at the same time it is officially Syrian territory. So it’s an occupying force which is in Afrin. And what Turkey is trying to do right now is to eradicate a whole population, but not only, a democratic and autonomous system, a new secular society model which is starting to sprout in the very heart of the Middle East, and especially in Afrin.”
The protests in Paris came as the Turkish military says it has taken full control of the city of Afrin.
In Catalonia, protests erupted Sunday after German authorities detained former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont after he entered Germany from Denmark. German authorities may now extradite him to Spain, where he’s facing charges of sedition and rebellion, after the Catalan government declared independence from Spain last October. His arrest in Germany comes after, on Friday, a Spanish court ruled 25 Catalan leaders will be tried for rebellion or disobeying the state.
In Chile, thousands of people took to the streets of the capital Santiago for a “National March for the Right to Housing” on Saturday. About 5,000 people protested real estate speculation and demanded the government provide more quality affordable housing.
In Canada, dozens of indigenous youth and their allies were arrested protesting the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, which would triple the amount of oil flowing from Alberta’s tar sands to the coast of British Columbia. Among those arrested in Burnaby on Saturday were Green Party leader Elizabeth May and Parliament member Kennedy Stewart. More than 170 people have been arrested protesting the pipeline over the last week alone.
Back in the United States, Republican lawmakers in Ohio have proposed a bill that would ban all abortions. The bill, HB 565, would also allow prosecutors to pursue criminal charges, including murder charges, against patients and abortion providers. In Ohio, murder is punishable by the death penalty. Pro-choice advocates say the Ohio bill is part of a campaign by “anti-choice extremists” aimed at forcing the Supreme Court to reconsider its landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
And in Oklahoma, teachers are tentatively planning to walk out of schools statewide on April 2, unless lawmakers approve increases to their salaries. A recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows teachers in Oklahoma have the lowest average wages of any U.S. state. The proposed strike in Oklahoma comes on the heels of a historic teachers’ strike in West Virginia.