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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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In a historic referendum, Irish voters have repealed one of the world’s more restrictive abortion bans. The “yes” vote won 66 percent in Friday’s referendum, which deals a blow to Ireland’s conservative Catholic Church and repeals the 1983 measure that banned abortion under almost all circumstances. Women across Ireland celebrated the results of the referendum over the weekend. This is Janine Fretwell in Dublin.
Janine Fretwell: “For all women in Ireland, it is just momentous. And nobody has to travel anymore; they can be looked after in their own country. And I work in that profession, have done for 10 years, and I can’t tell you—it’s brought me to tears today that this has actually happened. It’s just incredible.”
After headlines, we’ll go Ireland for more on the historic referendum.
A top North Korean official is heading to New York as the U.S. and North Korea are trying to salvage plans for the proposed June 12 summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. General Kim Yong-chol will be the most senior North Korean official to visit the United States since 2000. His visit comes after President Trump revived hopes on Saturday night that the summit would go forward, tweeting “it will happen,” only days after canceling the summit. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un also held a surprise meeting on Saturday at the Demilitarized Zone between the two countries. Click here to see our full coverage of the diplomatic efforts between the U.S., North Korea and South Korea
Israeli military jets have bombed Gaza, after Israel claimed dozens of mortars were launched from Gaza toward Israel. This comes after an Israeli tank fired into Gaza Sunday, killing three Palestinians. Israel said the tank fire came after Israeli troops found a bomb planted along the border. Meanwhile, Palestinian protesters have launched two boats from Gaza in a bid to break the Israeli-imposed blockade. The boats will attempt to carry a group of about 30 people, including Palestinian protesters wounded by Israeli soldiers during the weeks-long nonviolent demonstrations in Gaza. The Israeli military killed more than 100 Palestinian protesters and wounded more than 12,000 during the crackdown to the protests.
In Guatemala, family members are demanding justice for Claudia Gómez González, the 19-year-old indigenous woman whom a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot in the head and killed last week in Texas near the U.S. border. Claudia’s nickname was Princesita, or “Little Princess.” The Guatemalan Consulate has called for an investigation into Claudia’s death. Border Patrol initially claimed that the shooting occurred after an agent “came under attack by multiple subjects using blunt objects.” But the agency later changed its story, saying that the agent was “allegedly assaulted.” This is Lidia González, Claudia’s mother.
Lidia González Vásquez: “’I’ll save some money,’ she said. ’I’ll earn money for my studies,’ she said. But, unfortunately, she was unable to do that. My poor little girl! My little baby! No, no, no. This can’t be. She’s gone, my baby. That’s how it is. I want justice for my girl, because it’s not fair for them to do this. … Now, if people are able to help me retrieve my baby’s body as soon as possible, that’s what I want. We can’t do anything else now. She’s dead. She’s dead.”
We’ll have more on Claudia Gómez González and killings by Border Patrol agents later in the broadcast.
In North Carolina, two journalists died Monday while covering the landfall of Subtropical Storm Alberto, which has brought heavy rain and flash flood warnings to swaths of the Southeast U.S. News anchor Mike McCormick and photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer of the NBC affiliate WYFF died when a tree fell on their news truck.
This comes as parts of Maryland are recovering from the second “once-in-a-thousand-year” flood to hit the region in only two years. More than eight inches of rain inundated Ellicott City Sunday, sending a wall of water surging down Main Street. Scientists have linked extreme rainfall events to climate change.
In Colombia, the presidential election is headed to a contentious runoff, after voters failed to elect a president outright during Sunday’s elections. The runoff will pit the right-wing front-runner Iván Duque against the left-wing former mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro. The election is expected to determine the future of Colombia’s historic 2016 peace deal with FARC rebels. While Gustavo Petro, a former guerrilla, supports the peace agreement, Iván Duque has vowed to roll back key parts of the deal, including reversing the amnesty for former rebels.
In Mexico, journalist Alicia Díaz González has been killed in the northern city of Monterrey—making her at least the fifth journalist to be killed in Mexico so far this year. She was a financial reporter for the newspaper El Financiero. She was found beaten to death in her home on Thursday.
In Brazil, a nationwide truck drivers’ strike has continued into a second week, paralyzing the Brazilian economy. The truck drivers are protesting soaring fuel prices. Their strike has forced factories, businesses, transportation lines and schools to shut down. Brazilian President Michel Temer has deployed the federal police and military to try to break the strike.
In Pakistan, more than a dozen transgender candidates are running in the upcoming general elections, including two candidates running for seats in the National Assembly. This comes after Pakistan passed historic legislation outlawing discrimination against transgender people and allowing them to choose their gender identity for official government documents, including passports and driver’s licenses. Separately, Pakistan also passed a constitutional amendment to advance the rights of people living in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan. The constitutional amendment ends the colonial-era laws that denied people in the tribal areas the right to legal representation and to appeal their detention.
The European Commission is seeking to ban an array of single-use plastic items, including plastic plates, cutlery and straws, in efforts to cut down on waste and clean up the oceans. The European Commission unveiled the draft rules on Monday, which will require the approval of the European Parliament and all EU member states. The EU estimates that the ban would prevent 22 billion euros’ worth of damage to the environment and prevent 3.4 million tons of carbon emissions.
Starbucks will close more than 8,000 stores nationwide for anti-racial bias training today. The training comes after two black men were arrested for being inside a Philadelphia Starbucks last month, sparking widespread protests and threats of a boycott. The two men settled a lawsuit earlier this month with the coffee chain and the city. Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson will receive a symbolic settlement of one dollar each from Philadelphia, along with a promise from Starbucks to set up a $200,000 program for young entrepreneurs. Earlier this month, Starbucks also announced a new policy that people could use Starbucks bathrooms and sit in its cafes without making a purchase.
Privacy advocates are sounding the alarm after a woman’s Amazon Echo device recorded a conversation between her and her husband and then sent it to her husband’s employee. Amazon Echo, a voice-activated device that is always listening and often recording, mistakenly thought the couple said the name “Alexa” while they were having a private conversation. The device then misinterpreted the couple’s conversation as a series of instructions, sending a recording of the conversation to a name in its contact list. In response, the woman said, “I’m never plugging that device in again.”
And in New York City, friends, residents and fellow taxi drivers gathered for a vigil Sunday to honor Yu Mein Chow, a taxi driver who died in an apparent suicide. His body was found floating in the East River last Wednesday, after he’d been missing for weeks. He is believed to be the fifth taxi or livery driver in New York City to commit suicide in five months, as traditional taxi drivers have been pushed out of business by Wall Street-backed, app-based ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. This is Bhairavi Desai, co-founder of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, speaking on Democracy Now!
Bhairavi Desai: “It’s a race to the bottom. Every day, people are going deeper and deeper into poverty. And this is the reality of the so-called gig economy. It’s about destroying what has been a full-time profession, turning it into part-time, poverty-pay work. Uber and company—Uber and Lyft—and, by the way, they are absolutely the same. It’s all one same business model. They use their political might. In 2016, Uber and Lyft combined spent more on lobbying than Amazon and Walmart combined, and Microsoft, as well. And so, they use their political might to win deregulation bills.”