Voters headed to the polls yesterday for primaries in Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota. In California, Democratic Lieutenant Governor and former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom won the Democratic primary for governor. He’ll face off against Republican businessman John Cox, who is backed by President Trump, in November’s gubernatorial race in California. This is Gavin Newsom speaking Tuesday night.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom: “We’re engaged in an epic battle. And it looks like voters will have a real choice this November, between a governor who’s going to stand up to Donald Trump and a foot soldier in his war on California.”
Democratic California Senator Dianne Feinstein won her primary race, though it remains unclear who she will face in November’s general election. Tuesday was a big night for female candidates. In New Mexico, former Democratic state party leader Deb Haaland won her congressional Democratic primary, putting her on track to become the first Native American congresswoman in U.S. history. She is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna and is running on a pro-immigration platform, opposing Trump’s border wall and advocating for the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE. This is Deb Haaland speaking Tuesday night.
Deb Haaland: “Our win is a victory for working people, a victory for women, a victory for Indian country and a victory for everyone who’s been sidelined by the billionaire class.”
Other women candidates who won Tuesday night include Iowa Democrats Cindy Axne and Abby Finkenauer. Iowa has never before sent a woman to the U.S. House of Representatives. In South Dakota, Congresswoman Kristi Noem won the Republican gubernatorial primary, making her likely to become South Dakota’s first female governor. Meanwhile, in Alabama, Republican Congresswoman Martha Roby was forced into a runoff to save her seat, after she took political heat for refusing to endorse President Trump when the “Access Hollywood” tape surfaced, saying, “I cannot look my children in the eye and justify a vote for a man who promotes and boasts about sexually assaulting women.” She’ll now face a July runoff against former Democratic Congressmember Bobby Bright, who is now running as a Republican and has attacked Martha Roby for not endorsing President Trump during the 2016 election.
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is again facing controversy over a slew of new political scandals. The Washington Post reports Pruitt had his former scheduler contact the chief executive of Chick-fil-A, seeking to set up a personal meeting about the possibility of Pruitt’s wife, Marlyn, opening a franchise of the fast-food chain. The revelation is based on emails obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Sierra Club. Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that Pruitt attended a University of Kentucky basketball game last December in seats belonging to Joseph W. Craft III, a billionaire coal executive who is aggressively fighting to reverse Obama-era rules limiting coal pollution. Pruitt is also facing criticism after congressional transcripts surfaced showing he had one of his aides go apartment hunting for him, in violation of federal ethics standards that prohibit personal assistance by a subordinate. The aide was also instructed to try to get Pruitt a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel. Interestingly, back in 2015, the mattress company Serta dumped Trump’s mattress line when Trump first announced his presidential race by calling Mexicans rapists.
The United Nations has slammed the United States for its practice of separating migrant children from their parents at the border, saying the practice violates international law. This is Ravina Shamdasani of the United Nations human rights office.
Ravina Shamdasani: “The U.S. should immediately halt this practice of separating families and stop criminalizing what should at most be an administrative offense, that of irregular entry and stay in the U.S. There is nothing normal about detaining children. As I said, detention is never in the best interest of the child and always constitutes a child rights violation. On this being a criminal offense, as I said, this should—the, you know, entry into a country without the right papers should at most be an administrative offense, and it certainly does not warrant jailing children.”
Federal authorities reportedly separated at least 600 immigrant children from their parents last month, sparking widespread outrage and international condemnation.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, known as ICE, raided a gardening and landscaping company in Ohio and detained 114 undocumented immigrants Tuesday. The 114 workers at the Corso’s Flower & Garden Center are expected to face criminal charges, including identity theft and tax evasion. And in more immigration news, nine people were arrested in Seattle on Tuesday at a protest demanding billionaire developer Martin Selig stop leasing to ICE, Border Patrol and the Seattle Immigration Court. The protesters with the group Northwest Detention Center Resistance locked themselves together and blockaded traffic outside one of his buildings for nearly two hours.
The White House has announced President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will meet at the five-star Capella Hotel on Singapore’s Sentosa Island for their proposed June 12 summit. The location’s announcement Tuesday comes after President Trump said Friday he would hold the summit, after canceling the proposed meeting only one week earlier.
President Trump hosted a “patriotism event” at the White House on Tuesday after abruptly canceling the White House visit of the Super Bowl-winning Philadelphia Eagles. Tuesday’s ceremony closed with a rendition of “God Bless America,” but video of the performance showed Trump did not know all the words. Tuesday’s event was hastily planned after Trump canceled the Eagles’ visit on Monday night, tweeting, “Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!” Not a single Eagles player kneeled during the national anthem in the 2017 season. Meanwhile, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors have both stated that they will not accept an invitation to the White House should their teams win the ongoing NBA playoffs.
In India, millions of farmers are in the middle of a 10-day strike to demand debt relief and higher prices for their produce. The strike, launched on June 1, has caused vegetable prices to jump as much as 10 percent in major Indian cities, as the farmers withhold their produce from markets. The ongoing protest spans eight states across India, most of which are ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP party. It follows a similar strike last year, during which police shot and killed five striking farmers in the central state of Madhya Pradesh exactly one year ago today.
In Saudi Arabia, 10 women were granted driver’s licenses Monday, just two weeks before the Saudi government is finally slated to lift the ban on women driving nationwide. But some of the activists who fought to lift the ban remain in prison after the Saudi government arrested at least six of the country’s most prominent feminist activists last month.
In Guatemala, hundreds of people remain missing after a volcanic eruption 25 miles southwest of the capital Guatemala City has buried whole villages in lava. The eruption of the Fuego volcano—which means “fire”—has killed at least 75 people so far, with officials warning the death toll is expected to continue rising.
In a victory for gay rights, the European Union’s highest court has ruled that all 28 member countries must recognize same-sex marriages in questions of residency rights and afford foreign spouses of EU citizens the right to live and work in the European Union. The plaintiff in the case, Adrian Coman, a Romanian married to an American man, said after the ruling, “We can now look in the eyes of any public official in Romania and across the EU with certainty that our relationship is equally valuable and equally relevant for the purpose of free movement within the EU.”
In New York City, an annual real estate conference faced protest Tuesday over the attendance of private prison companies. GEO Group and CoreCivic converted in 2013 to real estate investment trusts, or REITs, to avoid paying corporate taxes. The Republican tax plan also offers a 25 percent tax cut on investments in prisons. This is Daniel Carrillo with Enlace.
Daniel Carrillo: “There is a correlation between this lobby and the increase in arrests and criminalization and detention and incarceration. And we want to break that cycle.”
Meanwhile, also in New York City, a growing number of residents and community groups are calling on the city of New York to create its own public bank to divest from Wall Street banks that are financing fossil fuel extraction and private prison companies.
The Miss America Organization, which runs the Miss America pageant, says the competition will no longer judge contestants based on their physical looks and will no longer include the swimsuit portion of the event. In December, the entire leadership of the Miss America Organization was forced to resign, after The Huffington Post published a series of emails in which the organization’s CEO and its employees referred to the women contestants as the C-word and “malcontents,” called former winner Gretchen Carlson a “snake,” and shamed another former winner about her weight gain.
In California, Judge Aaron Persky was recalled from office Tuesday, two years after he sparked national outrage for sentencing Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to a 6-month prison term for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Turner was caught by two witnesses thrusting on top of the victim as she lay unconscious behind a dumpster. But Judge Persky said he was concerned a longer term would have a serious impact on Turner, who is a white Stanford student. Judge Persky later gave a harsher sentence to a Latino man who committed a similar crime. It is the first time since 1932 that California voters have chosen to recall a sitting justice. Click here to see our full coverage of the Brock Turner case.
Minnesota Congressmember Keith Ellison has announced he’s running for attorney general in Minnesota. Ellison is the first Muslim elected to Congress in the United States. He also serves as the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, or DNC.
And legendary artist and musician Jalal Mansur Nuriddin—known to many as “the grandfather of rap”—has died at the age of 73. Nuriddin co-founded the spoken word group The Last Poets in 1968, soon establishing the group as a fixture of the civil rights movement. Nuriddin was an inspiration for Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Tupac Shakur and others. This is Jalal Mansur Nuriddin performing “White Man’s Got a God Complex.”
Jalal Mansur Nuriddin: ”I done paid enough rent
For this pad to be mine
But you just want to cheat me cause I ain’t your kind
Damn, can’t you see the place is falling down?
No, you can’t dig it cause you ain’t never around
Damn I’m so poor
I don’t know what in the hell I’m gonna do any more
Not from this day to the next
Cause the white man’s got a god complex”
Jalal Mansur Nuriddin of The Last Poets has died at the age of 73.