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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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In a historic surprise that was kept under wraps for days, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un traveled to Beijing by armoured train and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping. It was the North Korean leader’s first foreign trip since taking office in 2011. During the four-day trip, the two leaders talked about denuclearization, with Kim reportedly saying he was willing to give up North Korea’s nuclear weapons. Kim also invited President Xi to visit Pyongyang, North Korea. It was the first of three potential historic meetings for Kim Jong-un. Next month, he’s slated to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. He’s also slated to meet soon with President Trump, in what would be the first-ever meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader. A recent poll shows two-thirds of Americans support Trump’s plan to meet with Kim Jong-un.
Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has announced the state will not bring charges against two white police officers for the 2016 killing of Alton Sterling, an African-American father of five. Bystander video shows Sterling was pinned to the ground outside a Baton Rouge convenience store by the two police officers when they shot him. This is Alton Sterling’s aunt, Veda Washington-Abusaleh, speaking Tuesday.
Veda Washington-Abusaleh: “He was murdered by two white, white racist police officers. He was murdered like an animal, and they say they don’t see nothing wrong. They say they didn’t see anything wrong. You saw the videos, but they say they didn’t see nothing wrong. I can’t understand it.”
Alton Sterling’s killing sparked nationwide protests. It’s the latest case in which authorities have refused to bring charges against officers for killing civilians, despite video evidence of the killings and mass protests demanding accountability. We’ll speak with Chris Stewart, the attorney for Alton Sterling’s children, later in the broadcast.
In Sacramento, widespread protests continue over the fatal police shooting of Stephon Clark, an unarmed African-American man who was shot by police officers 20 times in his own backyard. On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters disrupted the Sacramento City Council meeting. They were led by Stephon Clark’s brother, Stevonte Clark, who rushed into the council chamber and jumped onto the desk of Mayor Darrell Steinberg.
Stevonte Clark: “Stephon Clark! Stephon Clark! Stephon Clark! Stephon Clark! Stephon Clark! Stephon Clark! Stephon Clark! Stephon Clark! Stephon Clark! Stephon Clark! Stephon Clark! Stephon Clark! Stephon Clark!”
On Tuesday, mass protests demanding justice for Stephon Clark also blockaded the doors of the Golden 1 Center during the Sacramento Kings basketball game, barring some fans from entering the arena.
At least 12 states say they will sue the Trump administration over its plans to add a question about citizenship to the upcoming census. Voting rights activists say the question will deter immigrants from participating in the census, which is used to allocate public funds and draw congressional districts. This is White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaking Tuesday.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “Once again, I would argue that this has been practice of the United States government. The purpose is to determine individuals that are here. It also helps to comply with the Voting Rights Act. Without that information, it’s hard to make those determinations. And that information needs to be gathered, and it has been part of the United States census every time we’ve had a census since 1965, with the one exception of the 2010 census.”
This was a blatant lie. In fact, the census has not included a citizenship question since 1950. We’ll have more on the brewing battle over the 2020 census after headlines.
“Repeal the Second Amendment.” That’s the recommendation of retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, writing in a New York Times op-ed published Tuesday. In the piece, he praises the youth protesters who staged Saturday’s massive worldwide marches, the March for Our Lives. He also writes, “a constitutional amendment to get rid of the Second Amendment would be simple and would do more to weaken the N.R.A.’s ability to stymie legislative debate and block constructive gun control legislation than any other available option.”
The lawyer for adult film actress Stephanie Clifford—better known as Stormy Daniels—is asking a California judge for permission to depose President Trump and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen about the $130,000 nondisclosure agreement Clifford signed in the days before the 2016 presidential election requiring her to stay quiet about an alleged 2006 affair with Trump. Her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, says he’s seeking to question both Trump and Cohen to find out what Trump knew about the agreement, and whether he consented to it. Her lawyer also says at least eight other women have come forward with similar accusations against the president, with at least two saying they were also paid to keep quiet.
The New York Times is reporting President Trump is hoping to bring back to the White House his disgraced former aide Rob Porter, who resigned after photos surfaced showing evidence of his physical abuse against his ex-wife. Trump has reportedly stayed in contact with Porter since his resignation in February. The White House was aware his two ex-wives had accused him of physical and verbal abuse. But he was allowed to continue to serve in the administration until a photo surfaced showing Porter’s first wife, Colbie Holderness, with a black eye.
All 22 female senators—both Democrat and Republican—have written a letter to the Senate leadership demanding the passage of legislation addressing sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. Early last month, the House of Representatives passed a bill overhauling the secretive process for reporting sexual harassment in Congress. The legislation would bar lawmakers accused of sexual harassment from using taxpayer money to settle lawsuits, and would provide legal representation to those alleging they have been sexually harassed. Since then, there’s been no action in pushing the legislation through the Senate.
The Office of Government Ethics says the White House is investigating whether $500 million in loans to Jared Kusher’s family real estate business violated any criminal laws or regulations. Jared Kushner is Trump’s senior adviser and his son-in-law. The investigation comes after The New York Times reported Kushner’s family business received loans from Citigroup and private equity firm Apollo Global Management after Kushner met with top executives at Citigroup and Apollo while serving in his official capacity for the White House.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he’ll testify before Congress in the coming weeks, amid the burgeoning scandal about how the voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of more than 50 million Facebook users, without their permission, in efforts to sway voters to support President Donald Trump.
This comes as Facebook has been slapped with a new lawsuit by fair housing groups who accuse Facebook of allowing employers and housing brokers to discriminate in their targeted advertising. The lawsuit says some of Facebook’s advertisers do not show job and housing listings to African Americans and women with children.
The White House says it’s ending “temporary protected status” protections, known as TPS, for thousands of Liberians who have been living in the United States for decades. The move gives about 4,000 Liberians one year to adjust their immigration status or face deportation. The Trump administration has also ended TPS protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Sudan.
In California, Orange County has announced it will defy California’s new statewide sanctuary law by publishing information on when inmates are to be released from custody in order to assist ICE agents in apprehending undocumented people as they are freed from jail. Orange County has also voted to join Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s lawsuit against California’s sanctuary law, which limits cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration agents.
The former dean of Michigan State University’s osteopathic medical school has been charged with criminal sexual conduct, including harassing and physically assaulting his students. William Strampel was also the longtime supervisor of Dr. Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics team doctor who was convicted of sexually abusing hundreds of women and girls.
A new report by the Rainforest Action Network has revealed that investments in “extreme” fossil fuels have skyrocketed to $115 billion globally amid President Trump’s first year in office. Investments in tar sands—one of the dirtiest fossil fuels—have more than doubled. The report details how many investors and banks began increasing their fossil fuel investments after President Trump promised to pull the United States out of the landmark Paris climate accord.
And in Massachusetts, a judge has found 13 protesters “not responsible” after they temporarily halted a pipeline’s construction by nonviolently lying down in a trench being dug by Spectra Energy to carry fracked gas through West Roxbury. District Judge Mary Ann Driscoll made her ruling after the protesters argued the “necessity defense”—saying their civil disobedience was justified by the urgent need to stop climate change. Among those arrested in the civil disobedience was Karenna Gore, the daughter of Vice President Al Gore, who spoke on Tuesday after the ruling.
Karenna Gore: “What happened today was really important. We had a long and winding road, but, essentially, the people that put themselves in the way of building this fossil fuel pipeline were found 'not responsible' by reason of necessity.”