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Longtime Bolivian President Evo Morales has departed Bolivia for Mexico, after stepping down Sunday in what he calls a military coup. Late Monday, Morales departed La Paz on a Mexican government plane. He has been granted asylum in Mexico. He announced his resignation Sunday shortly after the Bolivian military took to the airwaves to call for his departure. Last month, Morales was re-elected for a fourth term in a race his opponents claimed was marred by fraud. Morales’s departure has sparked outrage and protests across Latin America, with many saying he was the victim of a military coup. This is Daniel Menéndez in Argentina.
Daniel Menéndez: “There have been enormous advances in all social indicators in Bolivia in the past 14 years. That bothered the privileged sectors, that hydrocarbons have been nationalized, that basic income has been increased for the entire population. Despite all this, a minority, together with the armed forces, are carrying out this outrage, this barbarity that has to do with a coup, with policies that we had thought had been eradicated from the region. And that is why it is so important that popular movements throughout Latin America come out to repudiate this coup in Bolivia.”
Evo Morales was Bolivia’s first indigenous president. On Monday, videos circulated of Morales’s opponents burning Wiphala indigenous flags. Morales’s departure came a week after Bolivia’s government canceled a massive multinational lithium mining project slated for the country’s southern highlands. Click here to see our coverage of the political crisis in Bolivia.
In immigration news, the Supreme Court will begin to hear oral arguments today on three lawsuits demanding the Trump administration preserve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, DACA, the Obama-era program that grants protection from deportation and a work permit to at least 700,000 undocumented people brought to the United States as children. This is 31-year-old DACA recipient Maricruz Abarca.
Maricruz Abarca: “If the Supreme Court doesn’t go in favor of DACA, basically, it’s going to be just — for me personally, it’s just going to be an end. It’s like I’m just going to go back to the shadows and, you know, not continue my education pursuing my dreams to become a criminal lawyer. … The future of thousands of DREAMers, and not only DREAMers, but American U.S. citizens, are basically in their hands. It’s like we are — we are just right there in the limbo, not knowing what’s going to happen with our lives.”
On Capitol Hill, televised impeachment hearings are slated to begin Wednesday in the inquiry into whether President Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate his political rival Joe Biden and his son. It is only the third time in U.S. history there have been televised impeachment hearings. On Wednesday, the first two witnesses to testify will be George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary of state, and Bill Taylor, a former ambassador and the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine.
Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick may jump into the 2020 presidential race. The New York Times reports the two-term governor has spoken to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and Democratic officials and is considering announcing his plans to run later this week. Patrick is managing director at the private equity firm Bain Capital, which was co-founded by Republican Utah Senator Mitt Romney.
Longtime New York Republican congressman Peter King has announced his retirement. King is the 14-term representative for Long Island. Progressive lawmakers celebrated his announcement that he would not seek election in 2020. Among them, Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who tweeted, “Peter King is an Islamophobe who held McCarthyite hearings targeting American Muslims, said 'there are too many mosques in this country' and blamed Eric Garner for his own death at the hands of police. Good riddance,” congresswoman Ilhan Omar tweeted.
In Los Angeles, California, Donald Trump Jr. was heckled off stage during a book talk by his own supporters, who erupted in protest after he announced he would not be taking questions. President Trump’s son was at the University of California’s Los Angeles campus on Sunday to promote his book “Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us.” But it turned out to be his own right-wing fans who ended up silencing and driving the author off stage with hostile chants of “Q&A! Q&A!” — to the tune of the chant “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” — after Trump Jr. said there would not be enough time for audience questions.
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to restrict the scientific research that the federal government uses to write new public health regulations. That’s according to The New York Times, which obtained a draft of new EPA proposals that stipulate scientists would have to disclose their raw data — including confidential medical records — in order for the EPA to even consider an academic study’s conclusions. Scientists say these measures would make it far more difficult for the agency to issue new clean air and water rules.
The Israeli military bombed the home of a senior member of the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad before dawn in Gaza today, killing the commander Bahaa Abu el-Atta and his wife Asmaa and injuring his children. Following the targeted assassination, over 50 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, injuring at least one civilian. The European Union has condemned the rocket attacks, saying, “The firing of rockets on civilian populations is totally unacceptable and must immediately stop.”
The Afghan government and the Taliban have agreed on a prisoner exchange, which Afghan President Ashraf Ghani says aims to “facilitate direct peace negotiations.” The swap will free American professor Kevin King and Australian professor Timothy Weekes. Both had been professors at the American University of Afghanistan before being kidnapped in Kabul in 2016. In exchange, the Afghan government will free three senior Taliban members: Anas Haqqani, Hafiz Rashid and Haji Mali Khan.
The Chilean government has agreed to rewrite its Constitution in order to replace the one that was written during Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s brutal military regime. The rewriting of the Constitution has been one of the key demands of the massive demonstrations that have rocked Chile in recent weeks. The Chilean authorities have killed at least 19 people and wounded thousands more since the protests erupted on October 19 in response to a subway fare hike and quickly grew into a revolt against austerity and economic inequality.
Over 260 people were arrested in Hong Kong on Monday amid escalating clashes between pro-democracy student protesters and police. Some schools and universities across Hong Kong are closed today as demonstrations continue across the territory. Over 3,000 people have been arrested since the protests broke out in June.
In Arizona, activist Scott Warren of the group No More Deaths is heading back to court for a second trial today for providing water, food, clean clothes and beds to two undocumented migrants crossing the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona. Warren has been indicted on felony harboring charges. If convicted, he could spend up to 10 years in prison. A jury deadlocked after his first trial five months ago. In August, Democracy Now! accompanied Scott Warren into the Sonoran Desert of Arizona as No More Deaths activists dropped food and water for migrants attempting the deadly crossing. This is Warren.
Scott Warren: “So, there’s the direct impact on people who have died, people who have suffered out here, people who have been disappeared, and then the ripple effects of their families, the trauma that that creates. The traumatic experience of this is another way that it can feel like a conflict or like a war zone. I don’t like the war zone rhetoric that you typically hear politicians use, because it’s deployed to increase militarization and building of walls. But it’s appropriate when you think about the trauma that people have faced as they cross through these areas, and the trauma that their families experience and the pain.”
Former President Jimmy Carter is scheduled to undergo an operation today to relieve pressure on his brain. The 95-year-old was hospitalized Monday evening at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. The Carter Center said the procedure was needed due to “bleeding due to his recent falls.” Carter suffered a “minor pelvic fracture” from a fall last month and broke his hip in a separate fall in May. Until a few weeks ago, he was still building houses with Habitat for Humanity.
In Texas, the father of Atatiana Jefferson has died, less than one month after a police officer killed his 28-year-old daughter by shooting through the bedroom window of her own home, in a case that sparked national protests over the treatment of African-American women at the hands of police. On Saturday, Atatiana’s father, Marquis Jefferson, died after suffering a heart attack. The family spokesman said, “I can only sum it up as a broken heart.” Atatiana was his only child. She was killed exactly one month ago, on October 12, by white police officer Aaron Dean, who was responding to a non-emergency “wellness check” called for by a neighbor who noticed Atatiana had left her front door open. Dean has been charged with murder.