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In Afghanistan, the funerals have begun for the 10 journalists killed on Monday—the deadliest day for journalists since the Afghan War began in 2001. Nine journalists died in a double suicide bombing attack in Kabul, including Agence France-Presse’s celebrated photographer Shah Marai. Survivors of the bombing said the suicide bomber was posing as a cameraman. ISIS has claimed responsibility for that attack. A 10th journalist was shot dead Monday in the eastern city of Khost. We’ll go to Kabul after headlines for more on the attacks on journalists in Afghanistan.
North and South Korea are continuing to take historic steps toward peace. On Monday, the South Korean military began to dismantle loudspeakers that have been blaring propaganda into the North since 2016. North Korea has announced it will shift its clocks forward 30 minutes to align with South Korea’s time zone. South Korean leader Moon Jae-in has also convinced North Korea’s Kim Jong-un to hold an upcoming summit with President Trump at the Demilitarized Zone, known as the DMZ. The diplomatic breakthroughs come after Friday’s landmark summit between Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in, during which the two leaders pledged to denuclearize the peninsula and work to formally end the Korean War.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Iran of lying about its efforts to build a nuclear weapon, only days before President Trump is slated to decide whether to pull the U.S. out of the landmark Iran nuclear deal. On Monday, Netanyahu unveiled what he claimed were a trove of stolen Iranian nuclear plans that he says prove Iran has violated the 2015 nuclear deal. Multiple experts and analysts immediately disputed Netanyahu’s claims, saying he provided no evidence that Iran has violated the nuclear agreement. The International Atomic Energy Agency published a statement this morning saying it has found no credible indications of nuclear development in Iran after 2009. A spokesperson for Iran’s foreign minister called Netanyahu an “infamous liar” and said his claims were “ridiculous propaganda.” On Monday night, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to answer whether the Trump administration considered the documents evidence Iran has violated the nuclear deal.
In California, eight migrants who traveled to the U.S. border as part of a transnational caravan that has been repeatedly attacked by President Trump have been allowed to enter the United States to seek political asylum. The women and children walked through the San Ysidro port of entry only hours after Vice President Mike Pence arrived at the U.S. border and promised the migrants would be processed in line with U.S. immigration law. Over 100 more migrants from the caravan are still camped out on the Mexico side of the border. This is Kenia Elizabeth, a mother of three children from Honduras.
Kenia Elizabeth: “I decided to join the caravan because I didn’t have another option. The people who are chasing after me found me in Tapachula. Staying in Mexico is not an option. I need to be helped, for Donald Trump to listen to me. I can’t return to Honduras, because I’ll be killed together with my children. My children are an easy prey for the gangs, and I don’t want that.”
Immigration authorities also claimed Monday that they arrested 11 members of the caravan for illegally entering the United States, although lawyers and organizers say the authorities have provided no evidence that those arrested were part of the caravan. Meanwhile, President Trump again railed against immigrants on Monday.
President Donald Trump: “We need a wall, number one. And you see that right now, you know, where they are, even though it’s not a particularly good wall, and even though a small percentage can climb to the top. They have to be in extremely good shape. … If they touch our country, essentially, you catch them, and you release them into our country. That’s not acceptable to anybody. So we need a change in the law.”
Reuters has reported that the Environmental Protection Agency has granted a financial hardship waiver to an Oklahoma oil refinery owned by billionaire former Trump adviser Carl Icahn. The waiver enables Icahn’s refinery—CVR Energy Inc.—to save tens of millions of dollars by exempting it from the requirement of mixing biofuels into the gasoline. The regulation was enacted to cut air pollution and reduce petroleum imports. Icahn served as a special regulatory adviser to President Trump, during which time he personally vetted EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for his job. Icahn resigned last August, just before The New Yorker published an investigation detailing Icahn’s potential conflicts of interest, including his heavy lobbying for a rule change about blending ethanol biofuels into gasoline—which is the exemption he has now received from the EPA for his refinery.
The New York Times has obtained a list of 49 questions special counsel Robert Mueller is seeking to ask President Trump as part of Mueller’s investigation of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. The questions include whether Trump tried to protect former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn from prosecution and why Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey. Other questions entail Trump’s discussions with his longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen, Trump’s business dealings and what Trump knew about a 2017 meeting in the Seychelles involving a Russian investor close to Putin and Blackwater founder Erik Prince, who also served as an informal adviser to Trump during the transition.
NBC is reporting that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has called President Trump an “idiot” multiple times since Trump took office, including once saying, “He doesn’t even understand what DACA is. He’s an idiot.” John Kelly has claimed the NBC report is “total BS.”
Adult film star Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, has filed a defamation lawsuit against President Trump after he attacked her on Twitter, insinuating that she lied about the man who threatened her in 2011, telling her to “leave Trump alone.” Last month, after a sketch of the man was released, Trump tweeted, “A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!” Clifford says she had an affair with Trump in 2006, and she has also sued Trump to get out of a $130,000 nondisclosure agreement, paid by Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen only days before the 2016 election.
Former Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore’s lawyers have filed defamation lawsuits against four of the women who have accused Moore of sexually harassing or assaulting them when they were teenagers or young women. Among the women Moore has sued is Leigh Corfman, who says Moore forced himself on her when she was 14 years old and he was 32. Another woman he sued, Tina Johnson, had her home burned to the ground earlier this year, only months after she came forward to publicly accuse Moore of groping her without her consent back in 1991. Moore lost last December’s highly controversial special Senate election after at least nine women, including Corfman and Johnson, came forward to accuse him of sexual harassment or assault.
A growing number of women of color within the Time’s Up movement are demanding the music and entertainment industries cut all ties with powerful singer and producer R. Kelly, after a number of women of color accused R. Kelly of rape and sexual assault in cases that stretch back decades. Among those demanding RCA Records, Spotify, Apple Music and other companies cut ties with R. Kelly are television producer and writer Shonda Rhimes and award-winning director Ava DuVernay. And actress Ashley Judd has sued Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul who is now facing multiple criminal investigations after more than 100 women accused him of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. Judd says Weinstein tried to sabotage her career after she rejected his sexual advances.
In Arizona, a sea of 50,000 striking teachers dressed in red T-shirts rallied at the state Capitol on Monday to demand better funding for education—and the teachers now say the strike will continue today, on May Day, or International Workers’ Day. Major mobilizations marking the workers’ holiday have already begun across the world, with thousands of workers rallying across Asia, including in Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea. More marches and actions are planned to take place across Europe, Africa and the Americas throughout the day.
And in New York City, antiwar activist, author and professor Joel Kovel has died at the age of 81. In the 1960s and 1970s, Kovel was a well-known psychiatrist who left the Albert Einstein Medical School out of his opposition to the corporate influence over medicine. He became a prolific writer and scholar, who was also active in the movements against the Vietnam War and nuclear proliferation. He was the author of more than 10 books about systemic racism, ecology and global warming and other topics. Kovel went on to run for the U.S. Senate in New York with the Green Party in 1998. He also ran for U.S. president against Ralph Nader in the Green Party primary in 2000. This is Joel Kovel, speaking on Democracy Now! in 2007 after his book “Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine” was temporarily dropped by the University of Michigan, after it caused a controversy.
Joel Kovel: “And I feel that the notion of Zionism, as that there is this kind of destiny of the Jewish people to have their own state, is just a wrong idea. And it’s an idea that requires signing on to imperialism. It means signing on to ethnic cleansing. It means—despite everything that has been said about it, it means basically becoming a racist situation, where you’re oppressing an indigenous population and depriving them of their right to existence, and then thinking that somehow you can go ahead and have a decent life on that basis. And you can’t, in my view. And I join hands with those people who feel that the time has come to basically think of Israel in the same category as South Africa, as a state that just has gone wrong and needs replacement.”
That’s author, scholar and activist Joel Kovel, speaking on Democracy Now! He died Monday in New York City at the age of 81.