Fears of a new global economic crisis are growing after the collapse of Turkey’s currency. So far this year, Turkey’s currency—the lira—has lost more than 40 percent of its value. On Monday, the lira hit a new all-time low versus the U.S. dollar. Ripple effects from the Turkish economic crisis are being felt across the globe, in part because Turkey relied heavily on foreign lending, especially from European banks. The crisis is coming as tension is escalating between Washington and Ankara. Last week President Trump raised new tariffs on Turkish metal exports. The U.S. is also pressuring Turkey to release an American missionary named Andrew Brunson, who was one of thousands of people in Turkey detained after a failed coup in 2016.
In Yemen, thousands of mourners gathered in the city of Saada Monday for funerals of the 51 people—including 40 children—who were killed in an airstrike on a school bus last week. The airstrike was carried out by the U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition. Images posted online suggest a U.S.-built Mark 82 bomb was used in the airstrike. Mourners decried the attack on schoolchildren.
Mohamed Galhem: “The crimes that were committed by the coalition against children in Dahyan were unprecedented crimes that have never happened before; crimes that will not be forgiven by history or humanity; a crime that has never happened to anyone before—not the Sikhs, the Indians nor the Bengals; a crime committed by the dirty hands of al-Saud and al-Nahyan against the children of Yemen.”
President Trump has signed a record-setting $716 billion military spending bill. That’s an $82 billion increase over the current year. President Trump signed it during a visit to Fort Drum in New York.
President Donald Trump: “We got $700 billion. And next year, already approved, we have $716 billion to give you the finest planes and ships and tanks and missiles anywhere on Earth. Nobody makes them like we do. And very, very far distant in this case—jobs are very important in all cases, but in this case, military might is more important than even jobs.”
The bill includes over $21 billion for nuclear weapons programs, including $65 million for a new submarine-launched, low-yield nuclear weapon. The bill also allocates money for Trump’s proposed military parade. The official title of the defense spending bill is the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. But President Trump made no reference to McCain, who has been a vocal critic of the administration, during his remarks. In 2016, Trump said of McCain, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”
In immigration news, a review by the state of Virginia has confirmed immigrant teenagers were strapped to chairs and had mesh bags placed over their heads while being held at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center. But the state concluded this harsh treatment did not meet the state’s legal threshold of abuse or neglect. The state review came after the Associated Press revealed in June that children as young as 14 said they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells.
White House senior adviser Stephen Miller is facing public criticism from his own family for his hardline anti-immigrant views. Miller’s uncle wrote an op-ed in Politico on Monday calling his nephew an “immigration hypocrite” for pushing for the Muslim travel ban, the radical decrease in refugees and the separation of migrant children from their parents at the border. Miller’s uncle, David Glosser, wrote, “If my nephew’s ideas on immigration had been in force a century ago, our family would have been wiped out.” He went on to describe how Miller’s family managed to come to the United States before the “America First” nativists of the day closed U.S. borders to Jewish refugees.
The outgoing United Nations human rights commissioner has criticized President Trump’s attacks on the media. Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said Trump’s description of the media as the “enemy of the people” is “very close to incitement to violence.” Meanwhile, more than 200 newspapers in the United States are planning to run editorials on Thursday to decry Trump’s attacks on the press.
In news from Washington, FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok has become the third high-ranking FBI official fired since Trump’s inauguration. Strzok had faced months of Republican criticism after the publication of text messages he wrote in 2016 criticizing then-candidate Donald Trump. Strzok was involved in the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails and Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
The state of Nebraska is scheduled to carry out its first execution in more than 20 years today. Carey Dean Moore is set to be killed using a three-drug cocktail that includes fentanyl, which has never been used before in an execution. On Friday, a federal judge rejected a move by a German pharmaceutical company to block the killing. More than 60,000 opponents of the death penalty have also signed a petition urging Nebraska’s governor to call off the execution.
For the second time this year, Facebook has taken down the page of the Latin American broadcaster Telesur English without explanation. In a statement, Telesur said, “This is an alarming development in light of the recent shutting down of pages that don’t fit a mainstream narrative.” Telesur is an international broadcaster that receives funding from the governments of Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Uruguay and Bolivia. Last week, Facebook also temporarily took down another page related to Venezuela, the page for the news outlet Venezuela Analysis.
It’s Primary Day in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin. In Vermont, Christine Hallquist is attempting to make history by becoming the first transgender major-party gubernatorial nominee in U.S. history. She is running in the Democratic primary. In Minnesota, there are several closely watched primary races, including one for Al Franken’s old Senate seat. Senator Tina Smith, who was appointed to fill Franken’s seat, is running in the Democratic primary against Richard Painter, a former White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush.