The House Judiciary Committee is holding a second hearing today as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into how President Trump pressured the Ukrainian president to investigate Trump’s political rival Joe Biden and his son. At today’s committee hearing, Democratic counsel for the House Intelligence Committee, Daniel Goldman, will present evidence for impeachment, while Republican lawyer Stephen Castor will present evidence against impeachment. This is House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler speaking Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler: “Some of these things are very clear at this point. There is overwhelming evidence, uncontested by the Republicans, that the president put himself above the country, that the president sought foreign assistance in elections, sought to cover it up, completely defied participation in the congressional investigation in order to hide his role, that he sought foreign assistance for the next election.”
In Florida, the FBI is conducting a terrorism investigation after a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in which a Saudi Air Force officer killed three sailors and wounded eight others on the base. The FBI says the gunman, Mohammed Alshamrani, carried out the shooting using a Glock 9mm pistol that he bought legally. President Trump said he received a phone call from Saudi King Salman. Trump told reporters, “They are devastated in Saudi Arabia.” But Trump never used the word “terrorism,” and he avoided answering any questions about why the United States is training members of the Saudi military, even as Saudi Arabia faces accusations of repeated human rights abuses in Yemen.
Here in Madrid, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets Friday night to demand swift action to halt the climate crisis, as the 25th U.N. climate conference heads into its second week. Then, on Saturday, hundreds of activists with Extinction Rebellion blocked the emblematic shopping strip of Gran Vía by dancing disco in the middle of the street. This is protester Saúl Flores.
Saúl Flores: “We want them to say the truth about the climatical crisis. We want them to reduce the emissions of the gases to zero net by 2025. And we also want them to create citizenship assemblies. And now what we want is that we want that this is the last COP without results.”
And just as we went to broadcast today, eight activists staged a die-in in front of the COP protesting the presence of polluting corporations like Endesa — Spain’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter — at the U.N. climate summit. When Democracy Now! tried to interview the protesters, one crew member was manhandled by the Spanish police and threatened with arrest. The Spanish police also broke up a toxic tour on Saturday, where activists were calling attention to Endesa, Santander and other companies that either pollute or fund fossil fuel companies.
These protests come as tens of thousands more people in the Philippines were forced to evacuate their homes amid some of the worst flooding in decades. The monsoon rains have been intensified by Typhoon Kammuri, which hit the Philippines last week, killing at least 17 and forcing a half a million people to evacuate their homes. Increased rainfall and more powerful typhoons have been linked to climate change.
And in more climate news, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature warns climate change is driving the oxygen out of the oceans at an “unprecedented rate,” threatening many species of fish, including tuna, marlin and sharks.
In Iraq, unidentified gunmen killed at least 25 protesters in the capital Baghdad Friday. Friday’s bloody attack is among the worst since the anti-government protests erupted on October 1. Security forces and militias have killed over 400 protesters so far. Al Jazeera reports other protesters have been tortured by security forces while in custody. On Friday night, an unmanned drone also bombed the home of the prominent cleric Muqtada al-Sadr in the southern city of Najaf. No one was injured in the bombing. The U.S. State Department has imposed sanctions on three Iraqi paramilitary leaders over their alleged role in killing anti-government protesters in Iraq.
In India, at least 43 people have been killed in a fire that swept through a toy factory in Delhi while workers were sleeping inside. The exit doors were locked, and many workers died of asphyxiation because they were unable to escape. The factory was well known to lack fire escapes and emergency exits.
Ousted Bolivian President Evo Morales traveled to Cuba from Mexico, where he received political asylum following his military ouster last month. One of Morales’s aides says he traveled to Cuba for a medical appointment. Bolivia has been rocked by protests since Morales’s ouster, with security forces carrying out multiple massacres against Morales’s indigenous supporters.
Protests against economic inequality and right-wing governments continue to rage across Latin America. In Chile, thousands of protesters poured into the streets Friday to demand the resignation of President Sebastián Piñera. In Colombia, thousands also took to the streets on Sunday, banging pots and pans and demanding the resignation of Colombia’s right-wing President Iván Duque.
In Brazil, two indigenous leaders were killed Saturday. Firmino Guajajara and Raimundo Guajajara were riding on a motorcycle when they were shot and killed by unidentified gunmen. The two were killed while returning from a meeting with Brazil’s electric utilities company Eletronorte and the Brazilian National Indigenous Foundation, where they had been advocating in defense of indigenous rights.
In Hong Kong, over 800,000 protesters marched Sunday in one of the biggest pro-democracy protests in months. Sunday’s march was the first permitted protest since August. Over 6,000 protesters have been arrested and hundreds injured since the protests began six months ago today.
In France, protesters are disrupting public transport for a fifth straight day amid massive demonstrations against French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed pension overhaul. Macron is vowing to press ahead with the pension changes despite overwhelming public opposition. The French government plans to unveil full details of the overhaul on Wednesday.
In Finland, 34-year-old Sanna Marin is slated to become the world’s youngest sitting prime minister, after narrowly winning a vote among Finland’s Social Democrat lawmakers Sunday. Marin was raised by a single mother and was the first in her family to attend university. She will be sworn in tomorrow.
In Beirut, a man lit himself on fire during an anti-government protest Saturday. The attempted self-immolation comes as Lebanon has been rocked by weeks of massive demonstrations against corruption and economic inequality that forced Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri to resign. But on Sunday, the leading candidate to replace him, businessman Samir Khatib, withdrew his candidacy, forcing the government to postpone scheduled talks aimed at naming a new prime minister.
North Korea reportedly carried out a missile test at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground Saturday, as North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations said that denuclearization was off the table in North Korea’s negotiations with the United States. President Trump tweeted a warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un Sunday, telling him not to threaten their “special relationship.”
Iran has freed an American graduate student imprisoned for three years in Tehran amid a prisoner swap. Princeton graduate student Xiyue Wang was conducting research in Iran when he was arrested in August 2016 and sentenced to 10 years in prison on espionage charges that U.S. officials called groundless. In exchange, the United States has freed Iranian scientist Masoud Soleimani, who was arrested at a Chicago airport last year and was convicted on charges of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Here in Madrid, more than 1,000 people gathered for a peaceful protest Sunday near a shelter for unaccompanied refugee teenagers who have been targeted by frequent verbal and physical attacks by right-wing politicians and street mobs. Last week a hand grenade was thrown over the wall of the shelter in the latest attack. The grenade did not explode until the bomb squad carried out a controlled explosion. This is 17-year-old Abass Fofana, a refugee from Guinea-Bissau who previously lived at the shelter.
Abass Fofana: “What people are doing right now — I no longer feel comfortable living in Spain — it is not right. What I can say is that people should stop what they are doing and leave immigrants alone and let us do what we came here to do: study. Help us get a diploma and work.”
And this is Juan González Martínez, a resident of the Hortaleza neighborhood in Madrid, Spain, where the shelter for refugee youth is located.
Juan González Martínez: “For the past few months, the far-right-wing political party, the fascist VOX, has put a focus on the neighborhood. They have put a focus on targeting these youth for their own electoral and partisan purposes.”