Syrian troops have advanced across northern Syria, after the Syrian regime struck a deal to protect the Kurds from Turkey’s deadly air and ground assault. The deal comes after the United States pulled its troops out of northern Syria, paving the way for the Turkish offensive. On Monday, the U.S. announced it was imposing sanctions against Turkey over the military offensive, and called on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to implement an immediate ceasefire. Vice President Mike Pence and national security adviser Robert O’Brien will soon travel to Turkey. This is Pence speaking Monday.
Vice President Mike Pence: “President Erdogan reached out and requested the call. And President Trump communicated to him very clearly that the United States of America wants Turkey to stop the invasion, to implement an immediate ceasefire and to begin to negotiate with Kurdish forces in Syria to bring an end to the violence.”
The New York Times is reporting that U.S. State and Energy Department officials have been considering plans to evacuate the approximately 50 tactical nuclear weapons the United States stores at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. The Committee to Protect Journalists says a Turkish airstrike on a civilian convoy killed one journalist and wounded at least four others in northern Syria Sunday. The slain reporter, Saad Ahmed, was a Syrian Kurdish journalist for the local agency Hawar News. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least five other civilians were also killed in the Turkish airstrike. The invasion has forced over 100,000 civilians to flee the area, and has provoked international outrage. All 28 European Union member states have now agreed to stop selling arms to Turkey — an unprecedented step toward a NATO member.
In news from Washington, President Trump’s former top Russia adviser Fiona Hill testified in front of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees Monday as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry. She told lawmakers that former national security adviser John Bolton referred to Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani as a “hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.” She also testified that he said, “I am not part of whatever drug deal Sondland and Mulvaney are cooking up,” referring to U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Democrats have accused Giuliani of running a “shadow foreign policy” by pushing for the ouster of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and pressuring Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Hunter Biden spoke to ABC Monday, saying that his foreign business deals showed “poor judgment.” Sondland is slated to testify later this week. So is Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine. In released text messages between the two men, Taylor texted Sondland, “Are we now saying that security assistance and White House meeting are conditioned on investigations?” Sondland texted back, “Call me.”
Twelve Democratic candidates will take the stage in Westerville, Ohio, tonight for a 2020 presidential debate. Heading into tonight, a number of new polls show Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren leading the pack, after surging ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden. News reports say former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg is reportedly considering jumping into the Democratic primary race if Joe Biden withdraws. The CNN/New York Times-hosted debate will begin at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
In Fort Worth, Texas, white police officer Aaron Dean has been arrested and charged with murder after he shot and killed a 28-year-old African-American woman named Atatiana Jefferson inside her own home. Officer Dean was responding to a non-emergency call from a neighbor for a wellness check after the neighbor saw Jefferson’s front door was open. Soon after the officers arrived, Dean shouted through Jefferson’s bedroom window to put her hands up, and then immediately opened fire, killing her. He never identified himself as a police officer. Minutes before the shooting, Jefferson had been playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew. This is the family’s attorney, Lee Merritt.
Lee Merritt: “This was a wellness call. It’s beyond me to begin to understand what kind of police force responds to a wellness call with the equivalent of SWAT. This department and their officers violated not only the rights of Tay Jefferson and her family, but they just made commonsense mistakes.”
We’ll speak to attorney Lee Merritt after headlines.
A federal judge has ruled that President Trump broke the law when he declared a national emergency in order to secure billions of dollars of Pentagon funds to build his border wall, parts of which are already under construction. Federal District Court Judge David Briones said Friday Trump violated a provision of budget law approved by Congress.
In Arizona, a video has gone viral showing bulldozers destroying protected cacti to make way for the border wall, which is slated to cut through the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, an international biosphere reserve. The Trump administration has waived 41 environmental rules in order to allow for border wall construction.
Trump has said his border wall will be “impenetrable,” and claimed 20 “world class” mountain climbers said it would be hard to climb. But a slew of amateur climbers have easily scaled a prototype of the wall built by the owner of a climbing park in Kentucky, including an 8-year-old girl named Lucy Hancock, who scaled the wall in about a minute.
Protests are continuing in Barcelona following the Spanish Supreme Court’s decision to sentence nine Catalan separatist leaders to prison over their role in Catalonia’s 2017 bid for independence. On Monday, thousands of protesters blocked access to Barcelona’s airport. More than 100 flights were canceled.
In Mexico, 14 police officers were killed in an ambush in the state of Michoacán. The attack is being blamed on the New Generation Jalisco Cartel, which is battling for control over the methamphetamine, avocado and lime industries in the southwestern Mexican state.
In Hong Kong, tens of thousands of activists rallied Monday, calling on U.S. lawmakers to pass the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.” The legislation could be discussed by the House as early as this week. It would allow for sanctions to be levied against those deemed to be “suppressing basic freedoms” in Hong Kong. Protests were also held across the city over the weekend, with at least 200 people arrested.
The city of London has banned all Extinction Rebellion protests and cleared the protest encampment at Trafalgar Square, after over 1,400 people were arrested in eight days of mass demonstrations demanding urgent action to address the climate crisis. On Monday morning, hundreds of people blocked traffic outside the Bank of England, while other activists glued themselves to the offices of Barclays Bank, military contractor BAE Systems and asset manager BlackRock.
Jo: “This company are one of the major reasons this Earth is in such a mess. And I know there will be people inside in BlackRock who are working hard to provide for their kids. And shortly, they’ll get the message that they are the ones who are making their future less safe and their planet not fit for habitation.”
Despite the ban, Extinction Rebellion protests are continuing in London today, where the group’s co-founder Gail Bradbrook tried to smash one of the windows of the Department of Transport with a hammer, while other activists glued themselves to the building. Click here to see our full interview with Gail Bradbrook.
In Ecuador, President Lenín Moreno signed a new decree Monday to revert fuel prices back to the subsidized levels, after the government and indigenous groups struck a deal to end two weeks of massive indigenous-led protests. Under the agreement reached Sunday night, Ecuador did not withdraw from the $4.2 billion International Monetary Fund loan, as we and other outlets reported Monday. A special commission has now been set up in which indigenous leaders and other social organizations will negotiate plans to reduce Ecuador’s deficit.
Tens of thousands of General Motors workers have entered their fifth week of strike as negotiations between the United Auto Workers and the car manufacturing giant continue. Workers are seeking higher pay, protection of their healthcare benefits, greater job security and a commitment from GM to build more cars and parts in the United States. It is the longest national strike at GM by the United Auto Workers in nearly 50 years.
Native American communities marked Indigenous Peoples’ Day on Monday, holding sunrise ceremonies from coast to coast — from New York City’s Randall’s Island to California’s Alcatraz Island. Eight states and over 130 cities and counties have stopped recognizing the federal holiday of Columbus Day and now recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day. In New York, hundreds of protesters rallied outside the American Museum of Natural History’s statue of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, who is depicted riding on a horse above an indigenous person and enslaved person on both sides of him. Protesters have long called for the statue’s removal. This is Daisy Bugarin.
Daisy Bugarin: “These museums and these institutional spaces try to tell this narrative that never was — right? — by glorifying the supremacists like Teddy, by glorifying the white man, and also by telling a narrative that is not coming from our voice and having these artifacts of these people that were supposedly — it’s almost as if we’ve been extinct. And we’re not. So, when we come, we’re reclaiming what is our identity, and we’re also showing the world that we still exist, that we are still resisting and, beyond that, that our struggles are all one against capitalism, against imperialism.”