A federal judge has ruled President Trump can’t block top White House officials from testifying in the ongoing impeachment hearings. The judge’s reasoning: “Stated simply, the primary takeaway from the past 250 years of recorded American history is that presidents are not kings.” Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s ruling says former White House counsel Donald McGahn must comply with a congressional subpoena and testify to impeachment investigators about President Trump’s efforts to obstruct the Mueller inquiry. The Justice Department says it will appeal the decision. The ruling could have a sweeping impact on the impeachment hearings, where a number of top officials, including former national security adviser John Bolton, have so far refused to testify.
Meanwhile, federal prosecutors appear to be widening the probe into Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. The Wall Street Journal reports recently issued subpoenas for people with ties to Giuliani suggest prosecutors may be investigating possible money laundering, obstruction of justice and campaign finance violations.
The Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a lower court ruling that would have required President Trump’s accounting firm to release his financial records to the House Oversight and Reform Committee. The Supreme Court will now decide whether it will hear the case — which could set a major precedent about the balance of power between Congress and the executive branch.
In northern Syria, U.S. troops have resumed combat missions against ISIS militants — two months after President Trump threw the region into turmoil by abruptly announcing the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from northern Syria, clearing the way for the Turkish ground invasion. Despite Trump’s claims he was bringing the troops home, some soldiers were moved to Iraq, while others stayed in northern Syria to guard oil fields. Now the Pentagon says it’s resuming combat operations against ISIS militants. At least 500 U.S. soldiers are currently deployed to Syria, many of them in combat roles.
The United Nations says greenhouse gas emissions surged to record-high levels last year. The new report also says that the increase in methane levels in 2018 was the highest increase in the last 20 years. Methane is an extremely powerful greenhouse gas. This is the World Meteorological Organization’s secretary-general, Petteri Taalas.
Petteri Taalas: “Last year we have seen emission growth continued. It has been growing for the past two years, and the estimate for last year was 2.1% increase. So, despite of Paris Agreement, the emissions are still, still growing.”
In Kenya, at least 56 people have died in landslides near the Ugandan border. The landslides were triggered by unusually heavy rains. Increased rainfall rates have been linked to climate change.
Leaked documents have shed new light on the China’s government’s network of prison camps in the far western region of Xinjiang, where as many as 1 million Uyghur Muslims have been detained without trial. The Chinese government says these prisons offer voluntary education. But the leaked documents reveal a campaign to force prisoners to change their language, culture and religious beliefs. British human rights lawyer Ben Emmerson said, “It is very difficult to view that as anything other than a mass brainwashing scheme designed and directed at an entire ethnic community.” The Chinese government has denied carrying out any human rights violations against the Uyghurs.
Colombian President Iván Duque has called for a “national dialogue” as massive protests continue to rock the country following last week’s general strike. The demonstrations began as a protest against corruption, economic inequality and the killing of indigenous and community leaders. Many are now calling for the ouster of Duque’s right-wing government.
Protesters around the world took to the streets Monday to protest violence against women. Crowds poured into the streets in Spain, Guatemala, Russia, Sudan, Turkey, South Africa, Bulgaria, France, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador and beyond to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. This is one of the protesters in Mexico City.
Protester: “People suffer daily. They assault us, they rob from us, they kidnap us, they rape us, they kill us, and the authorities don’t even care. I beg you, have a little empathy. Put yourself in our shoes. They’re killing us. It hurts us, you don’t even realize. Make laws that are just. Death to the rapists. There’s no other way.”
In Argentina, two Catholic priests were sentenced to over four decades in prison Monday for sexually abusing and raping dozens of students with hearing disabilities at an institute in the city of Mendoza. One of the priests had previously been investigated for sexual abuse at a school in his home country of Italy in the 1970s but was not convicted at the time. A former gardener of the school in Argentina was also convicted for sexual abuse crimes that were reported by over 20 alumni and took place between 2004 and 2016.
In Minnesota, at least 30 water protectors blockaded the entrance of the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline Monday morning. The proposed controversial pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to a terminal in Superior, Wisconsin. Its path would cut through Minnesota, where indigenous communities have been fighting its construction, saying the pipeline would violate tribal sovereignty and contaminate the land and water.
In Baltimore, three men who were wrongfully imprisoned in 1983 have walked free from prison after spending 36 years behind bars for a crime they did not commit. Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins and Andrew Stewart were arrested and jailed on charges of shooting 14-year-old DeWitt Duckett in the hallway of Baltimore’s Harlem Park Junior High School, allegedly because they wanted to steal his jacket. The three African-American teenagers always maintained their innocence. Now in their fifties, the three men were released Monday after a review of the case revealed multiple errors, including the fact that the state’s attorney lied about the evidence and that the police pressured teenage witnesses.
Google has fired four employees who had been active in labor organizing inside the tech giant. One of the fired workers, Rebecca Rivers, had objected to Google’s bid to collaborate with Customs and Border Protection, or CBP. Another one of the fired workers, Laurence Berland, had protested hate speech on YouTube, which is owned by Google. The company claims all four workers were fired for violations of Google’s data security policies.
Attorney General William Barr announced a nationwide plan to address the crisis of missing and murdered Native American women on Friday during a visit to the Flathead Reservation in Montana, which has suffered high rates of violence against indigenous women and girls. The Justice Department’s new initiative would invest $1.5 million to hire specialized coordinators in 11 U.S. attorney’s offices that have a large number of caseloads from Native American reservations. The coordinators would be responsible for developing protocols to improve the response of law enforcement in missing persons cases. For years, indigenous activists have been protesting the high levels of violence against indigenous women and girls. Many have called for the restoration of tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Native Americans who commit crimes on tribal land. This is Mary Kathryn Nagle, an attorney and citizen of Cherokee Nation, speaking on Democracy Now!
Mary Kathryn Nagle: “In 1978, the United States Supreme Court took away tribal criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians. And as the United States Department of Justice has reported, unfortunately, the majority of violent crimes against our Native women are committed by non-Indians. And so, that means that quite often our tribal governments, their hands are tied because of the legal framework the federal government has put in place.”
Native American women experience some of the highest rates of murder, sexual violence and domestic abuse nationwide, with several federal studies showing that on some reservations indigenous women are killed at a rate more than 10 times the national average.