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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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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resigned, after four women accused him of repeatedly physically assaulting them. The accusations were first reported by The New Yorker magazine. Two of the women, Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, say Schneiderman repeatedly hit them, slapping them across the face and choking them to the point they each sought medical attention. They both also accuse Schneiderman of threatening to kill them if they broke up with him.
Tanya Selvaratnam, who was born in Sri Lanka, said Schneiderman called her his “brown slave” and would hit her until she would call him “Master,” and demanded she say she was “his property.” Both women say Schneiderman drank heavily and that the abuse often occurred when he was drunk. They both told The New Yorker that they repeatedly fought back against the nonconsensual physical abuse.
Another woman, who spoke to The New Yorker without being named, said Schneiderman slapped her across the face after she rebuffed his sexual advances.
Schneiderman denies the accusations but resigned three hours after The New Yorker exposé was published Monday. While serving as New York attorney general, Schneiderman has been an outspoken opponent of President Trump and has repeatedly sued the administration. He also sued Trump for defrauding thousands of students through the now-defunct Trump University.
Schneiderman has also been an outspoken figure in the #MeToo movement, and he sued Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s company after more than 100 women came forward to accuse Weinstein of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment. This is Schneiderman announcing the civil rights lawsuit against Weinstein’s former company back in February.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman: “We have investigated other companies for patterns of sexual discrimination or harassment. We have never seen anything as despicable as what we’ve seen here.”
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has resigned.
President Trump is slated to announce at 2 p.m. today whether he will withdraw the United States from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear agreement. President Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the deal, despite pressure from European leaders, Iran, the international community and even his own defense secretary, James Mattis.
Today’s announcement comes amid more revelations about how the Israeli private intelligence agency known as Black Cube was hired to orchestrate a “dirty ops” campaign against members of the Obama administration who negotiated the Iran nuclear deal. The Guardian reports Trump’s aides hired Black Cube; The New York Times says it’s not yet clear who hired the intelligence firm. Among those Black Cube was hired to investigate and discredit were Obama’s top national security aide Benjamin Rhodes and Vice President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Colin Kahl. Black Cube is made up of former officials from the Mossad and other Israeli agencies. It is the same firm hired by disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein to stop publication of articles that exposed him as a sexual predator.
The National Rifle Association has announced retired U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North will be the next president of the NRA. North was a central figure in the Iran-Contra scandal, helping the Reagan administration circumvent Congress to secretly send arms to Iran and use the proceeds to fund the U.S.-backed Contras in Nicaragua. North has also been a Fox News contributor. Back in 2000, Democracy Now! interviewed Oliver North outside the Republican National Convention, after George W. Bush chose Dick Cheney as his running mate.
Amy Goodman: “What do you think of Cheney as the choice for vice president?”
Oliver North: “I think he’s perfect.”
Amy Goodman: “Why do you like him?”
Oliver North: “Well, because he’s going to make a great vice president.”
Amy Goodman: “What do you like most about him?”
Oliver North: “Just exactly that.”
Amy Goodman: “Well, you had dealings with him during Iran-Contra days. He was very much against the ban on funding of the Contras.”
Oliver North: “Yes, he was. Thank God.”
Amy Goodman: “How did he help you?”
Oliver North: “Well, he helped—he helped the cause of democracy by making sure that we ended up with freedom and democracy in Nicaragua. Otherwise, it would still be a communist country.
Amy Goodman: “What about the getting aid to the Contras, even though the Congress had said that it was not legal?”
Oliver North: “Well, that’s not—that’s not what the Congress said at all. The Congress said—”
Amy Goodman: “Well, the Boland Amendment cut off funding for aid.”
That was Oliver North, back in 2000. He has now been named president of the National Rifle Association.
A slew of newly released emails show how the Environmental Protection Agency has orchestrated a tightly controlled effort to shield its administrator, Scott Pruitt, from facing tough questions at public events, as Pruitt undertook widely unpopular efforts to roll back environmental regulations. The 10,000 documents have been made public as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club. This comes as The New York Times reports Senior White House staff members are urging President Trump to fire Pruitt, who is facing a mounting array of ethics and spending scandals.
The Trump administration has announced plans to dramatically increase criminal prosecution against migrants who are apprehended crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. The crackdown would also include separating immigrants from their children for months, if not longer. The new “zero tolerance” policy would further criminalize migrants who currently face civil—not criminal—penalties for unauthorized crossing. This is Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions: “I have put in place a zero-tolerance policy for illegal entry on our Southwest border. If you cross the border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple. If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you. If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you, and that child may be separated from you, as required by law.”
That’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says the president will decide by May 17 whether he will testify in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia ahead of the 2016 election. Giuliani also said Monday that Mueller has rejected proposals to allow Trump to answer questions from investigators in writing.
In Nigeria, at least 45 people were killed and a dozen more wounded on an attack on a village in the northwestern state of Kaduna Saturday. Officials have described the gunmen as bandits. The assault is the latest in a wave of violence in central and northern Nigeria, which has killed more than 1,500 so far this year. Meanwhile, the Nigerian military says it has rescued more than 1,000 people held captive by the militant group Boko Haram in Nigeria’s northern Borno State. Most of the rescued hostages were women and girls.
In Yemen, the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition bombed the presidential office in the capital Sana’a Monday, killing at least six people and wounding dozens more. Witnesses say the bombing occurred in the middle of the day, when the presidential office is usually filled with employees of the Houthi administration.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah and its political allies have won additional seats in Lebanon’s Parliament, in the country’s first parliamentary elections in nine years. The election results are seen as a blow to the U.S.-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri, whose political party lost seats in Sunday’s parliamentary election.
Back in the United States, fair housing advocates are planning to sue the Department of Housing and Urban Development and its Secretary Ben Carson for suspending 2015 rules that require communities receiving federal housing dollars to work toward desegregation. Carson suspended the Obama-era rule in January, after repeatedly calling desegregation “failed socialist experiments.” Despite the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act, communities across the United States remain heavily segregated, and landlords and mortgage companies still practice widespread racial discrimination.
First lady Melania Trump has unveiled her platform, titled “Be Best,” to promote emotional health and combat bullying on social media—immediately sparking calls of hypocrisy, given that her husband, President Trump, frequently attacks and bullies people on Twitter. Almost immediately after the announcement, Melania Trump was accused of plagiarizing an online safety booklet for the initiative, which was nearly identical to an earlier booklet published under the Obama administration. In 2016, Melania Trump was also caught plagiarizing parts of a 2008 speech by former first lady Michelle Obama. This comes as President Trump is slated to ask Congress to cut $15 billion in spending. The cuts will include a $7 billion cut to the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program.
In Hawaii, hundreds of residents are continuing to evacuate a volcanic eruption that has spewed lava and hazardous fumes across parts of the eastern coast of the Big Island. More than two dozen homes have been destroyed so far. Geologists say the volcanic eruptions are expected to continue.
And in North Carolina, hundreds of students rallied to support UNC doctoral student Maya Little, who had her first court appearance on Monday on misdemeanor charges of defacing a Confederate monument on UNC’s Chapel Hill campus. Last week, she poured red ink and her own blood on the “Silent Sam” statue, which was erected in 1913 to honor Confederate soldiers. Students and professors are calling for the statue to be taken down and replaced by a monument to the black victims of lynching and white supremacy. This is Maya Little, speaking outside the courthouse on Monday.
Maya Little: “I will have more court dates. I will be tried for adding historical context to the crime they keep on our campus called Silent Sam. We stand up to the universities and institutions that exploit our labor but do not have the decency to protect us from these invading racists.”
To see all of our coverage of the movement to take down Confederate statues across the country, go to democracynow.org.