In Bolivia, at least 23 have died amid escalating violence since President Evo Morales resigned at the demand of the Bolivian military last week, in what he and many others have condemned as a military coup. In Cochabamba, military forces opened fire on indigenous pro-Morales demonstrators Friday, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 100. The violence began soon after thousands of indigenous coca leaf growers and other protesters gathered for a peaceful march in the town of Sacaba. The massacre came one day after self-proclaimed President Jeanine Áñez issued a decree protecting the military from prosecution for violent acts. Protesters are demanding she step down. We’ll have more on the crisis in Bolivia later in the broadcast.
An unprecedented leak of secret intelligence documents from inside the Iranian government has shed new light on how Iran has taken control of much of the Iraqi government in the wake of the 2003 U.S. invasion. The 700 pages of documents from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security were leaked to The Intercept, which then partnered with The New York Times to report the story. Meanwhile, protests over a gasoline hike rocked Iran over the weekend. At least 12 people have been killed. On Sunday, Iran imposed an almost complete internet blackout. The Iranian economy has been hard hit by U.S. sanctions, which President Trump imposed after deciding to withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. After headlines, we’ll speak with one of the lead reporters on the major exposé of leaked Iranian intelligence documents: The Intercept’s Murtaza Hussain.
On Capitol Hill, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified Friday as part of the televised impeachment hearings into whether President Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine in order to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate President Trump’s political rival Joe Biden and his son. Yovanovitch was abruptly recalled from her post in May as part of a smear campaign to discredit her led by President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani. This is a clip of Yovanovitch’s opening statement.
Marie Yovanovitch: “Perhaps it was not surprising that when our anti-corruption efforts got in the way of a desire for profit or power, Ukrainians who preferred to play by the old, corrupt rules sought to remove me. What continues to amaze me is that they found Americans willing to partner with them, and, working together, they apparently succeeded in orchestrating the removal of a U.S. ambassador. How could our system fail like this? How is it that foreign corrupt interests can manipulate our government? Which countries’ interests are served when the very corrupt behavior we have been criticizing is allowed to prevail?”
Yovanovitch has repeatedly said she felt threatened by Trump, who called her “bad news” in his now-infamous July 25 call with Ukrainian President Zelensky. During this call, Trump also said of Yovanovitch, “She’s going to go through some things.” On Friday, Yovanovitch testified that she felt “shocked, appalled and devastated” when she learned what Trump had said about her in the phone call. While Yovanovitch was testifying, Trump again attacked her, writing on Twitter, “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.” House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff asked Yovanovitch about Trump’s latest attacks on her during her testimony Friday.
Rep. Adam Schiff: “The president implicitly threatened you in that call record. And now the president, in real time, is attacking you. What effect do you think that has on other witnesses’ willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing?”
Marie Yovanovitch: “Well, it’s very intimidating.”
Later on Friday, State Department official David Holmes confirmed in a closed-door testimony to House impeachment investigators that he overheard Trump asking U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland about political investigations that Trump was seeking from the president of Ukraine. This confirms a key part of Ambassador William Taylor’s testimony last week in which he revealed details about the previously unknown phone call.
Also on Friday, the House Intelligence Committee released the testimony of Jennifer Williams, a special adviser to Vice President Mike Pence and a member of his National Security Council staff. In her testimony, she called the July 25 phone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president “unusual and inappropriate.” In response, President Trump attacked her on Saturday on Twitter, accusing her of being a “Never Trumper.”
President Trump’s ally and former adviser Roger Stone was found guilty Friday of seven counts, including witness tampering, obstruction and making false statements. He now faces up to 50 years in prison. Stone is the sixth Trump aide or adviser who has been convicted of charges brought as part of Robert Mueller’s investigation. Stone will be sentenced in February.
President Trump has pardoned three U.S. servicemembers who have been accused or convicted of war crimes. Clint Lorance had been serving a 19-year murder sentence in the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for ordering soldiers to open fire on unarmed Afghan motorcyclists in 2012. He walked free from prison on Friday night after Trump’s pardon. Mathew Golsteyn was facing murder charges related to the 2010 killing of an unarmed Afghan man. He reportedly told CIA interviewers he had shot the man and then destroyed his body in a burn pit on the military base. Trump also restored the rank of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who had been accused of multiple war crimes, including shooting two Iraqi civilians and fatally stabbing a captive teenager in the neck. A California jury acquitted him of murder charges in July but convicted him of a lesser offense.
President Trump took an unplanned trip to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Saturday, sparking widespread questions about the state of Trump’s physical health. The White House has claimed there was nothing unusual about the unscheduled medical visit. President Trump is the oldest president to take office, and there have been repeated questions about his physical and mental fitness.
In Lebanon, tens of thousands of people took to the streets Sunday to mark the one-month anniversary of the massive anti-government protests that have swept the country and ousted the prime minister. The demonstrators are protesting government corruption and mismanagement, lack of jobs and electricity, and economic austerity.
In Hong Kong, police have besieged student protesters occupying Hong Kong Polytechnic University in a major escalation in the ongoing pro-democracy protests. Early Monday, police tried to storm the campus, but the students fought back with Molotov cocktails, slingshots and arrows. Over 100 people were arrested in recent days. Dozens of protesters have been injured by rubber bullets and tear gas. At least one police officer was injured by an arrow. Thousands of protesters have been arrested overall. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s High Court has also ruled that the government’s ban on face masks was unconstitutional.
In Nigeria, security forces opened fire on journalists at a protest in the capital Abuja last week, as fears mount about the possible disappearance of another prominent Nigerian journalist: Omoyele Sowore. The founder of the outlet Sahara Reporters was arrested by Nigeria’s intelligence agency in August and has been detained since then, despite twice being granted bail. His wife says she has not seen or spoken to him since his arrest on August 3. Sowore has been a frequent guest on Democracy Now!, including in 2008, after hundreds were killed following a disputed election.
Omoyele Sowore: “What has happened in Nigeria is that since 1999, when we had this return of democracy, so to speak, there has been consistent violation of democratic tenets and principles, especially election rigging. And the Nigerian people have not had a chance to choose their leaders, and also have not had a chance to express their anger whenever the few cabal who run the country, members of the ruling elite, decide to turn elections against the choices of the people.”
Prince Andrew was grilled about his longtime friendship with deceased serial sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein during an interview with the BBC that aired Sunday night. The Duke of York was friends with Epstein for years and visited Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion in 2010. Virginia Roberts Giuffre has accused Prince Andrew of having sex with her when she was 17 years old, saying that Epstein lent her to Prince Andrew on multiple occasions. During the BBC interview, the prince denied the accusations and said he had “no recollection” of meeting her, even though she’s released a photograph in which Prince Andrew is standing beside her with his hand around her bare stomach.
The Washington Post reports President Trump abruptly reversed course and refused to sign a memo banning most flavored e-cigarettes, despite having promised to do so only two months earlier. He refused to sign the one-page “decision memo” while on a flight to a campaign rally in Lexington, Kentucky, earlier this month. He reported refused to sign the memo over fears that angry vape shop owners and their customers could hurt his presidential reelection prospects.
Louisiana Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards has narrowly won re-election, beating out his Republican challenger, Eddie Rispone. Rispone was backed by President Trump, who held two rallies in Louisiana this month to support him. But high turnout by African-American voters in Louisiana, particularly in New Orleans, propelled John Bel Edwards to re-election.
In Arizona, cellphone video footage has surfaced showing a sheriff’s deputy tackling and pinning a 15-year-old quadruple amputee to the ground. The boy was abandoned by his parents and lives in a group home in Tucson. The Pima County sheriff’s deputy was responding to calls from the facility about the teenager allegedly knocking over a trash can. The deputy has since been placed on administrative leave.
In Fresno, California, four people were killed and another six were wounded after at least one gunman opened fire during a backyard party on Sunday. The shooter fled the scene. The police have not yet made any arrests. Sunday’s shooting comes amid a string of mass shootings in California, including at a high school and at two Halloween parties.
In a stunning decision handed down Friday, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals halted the execution of Rodney Reed, an African-American death row prisoner who was scheduled to be executed on Wednesday for a murder he says he did not commit. In 1998, an all-white jury sentenced Reed to die for the murder of Stacey Stites, a 19-year-old white woman, after his DNA was found inside her body. The two were having an affair at the time of her death. But new and previously ignored details in the case indicate that Stites’s then-fiancé, a white police officer named Jimmy Fennell, may in fact be responsible for the killing. We’ll have more on decision to halt Rodney Reed’s execution later in the broadcast.