As many as 4 million people took to the streets around the world Friday in the largest day of action focused on the climate crisis. Students across the globe participated in a climate strike inspired by the 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who began her weekly school strike for the climate in front of the Swedish parliament just over a year ago. This is Greta Thunberg speaking in New York City Friday.
Greta Thunberg: “We will rise to the challenge. We will hold those who are the most responsible for this crisis accountable, and we will make the world leaders act. We can, and we will. And if you belong to that small group of people who feel threatened by us, then we have some very bad news for you, because this is only the beginning. Change is coming, whether they like it or not.”
We’ll have more voices from the streets of New York after headlines.
Meanwhile, the U.N. released an alarming new report warning that the five-year period from 2014 to 2019 is the hottest on record, marked by accelerating sea-level rise and soaring carbon emissions. The World Meteorological Organization released the report ahead of the U.N. Climate Action Summit that kicks off in New York City today. President Trump is not participating in the highly anticipated international gathering.
A Honduran mother and her 21-month-old toddler died last week while trying to cross the Rio Grande into the United States to apply for asylum. Idalia Herrera and her toddler, Iker Cordova, had recently entered the United States to apply for asylum, but they were forced to wait in the border city of Matamoros, Mexico, for their immigration hearing as part of Trump’s contested “Remain in Mexico” policy. CNN reports that Herrera grew desperate as weeks passed and her day in court never came.
The U.S. and El Salvador signed a new deal Friday that would force migrants passing through El Salvador to seek asylum there rather than in the U.S. — and could also return asylum seekers back to El Salvador once they reach the U.S. Amnesty International said in a statement, “El Salvador has one of the highest rates of violence in the world, including gender-based violence so rampant that Amnesty International declared it one of the most dangerous countries in the world to be a woman. It is not safe for its own citizens, much less for asylum-seekers.”
On Sunday, President Trump acknowledged discussing Joe Biden and his son with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, as Democratic calls to investigate Trump over the mounting scandal grow. Reports emerged last week that Trump tried to pressure Ukraine into investigating the former vice president and 2020 candidate, and his son, and that the administration was blocking a whistleblower complaint about the July phone call. Trump defended the call to reporters, saying no quid pro quo had taken place.
President Donald Trump: “We had a great conversation. The conversation I had was largely congratulatory, was largely corruption, all of the corruption taking place, was largely the fact that we don’t want our people, like Vice President Biden and his son, creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine.”
Biden told reporters over the weekend he never spoke to his son about his “overseas business.” Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, who has refused to hand over the whistleblower complaint, is set to testify before the House Intelligence Committee later this week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said the failure to disclose the complaint would lead to “a new chapter of lawlessness,” while House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff said in a CNN interview, “We may very well have crossed the Rubicon here,” and that impeachment would be the only appropriate course of action; while New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior–it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him for it.” Trump is scheduled to meet with the Ukrainian president Wednesday during the U.N. General Assembly.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says he will present a regional security plan dubbed the “Hormuz Peace Endeavour” during the U.N. General Assembly this week, as he called on foreign powers to leave the Persian Gulf amid escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
On Friday, the Trump administration said it would deploy military forces to Saudi Arabia, as well as impose new sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank and other financial institutions. The announcements from D.C. were in response to last weekend’s drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities, which the U.S. has blamed on Iran. Iran has denied any involvement in the attack, which was claimed by Yemen’s Houthi movement.
In more news about Iran, a government spokesperson said today that the British-flagged Stena Impero oil tanker, which was seized in the Strait of Hormuz in July, was free to leave.
In Israel, a major coalition of Arab parties has endorsed ex-army chief Benny Gantz, in what they say is an effort to prevent another term for Benjamin Netanyahu and “end his political career” after last week’s elections. The group, known as the Joint List, says, however, they do not support Gantz’s policies. The group has not backed a candidate for prime minister since 1992. Gantz declared victory last week after his Blue and White party gained two more parliamentary seats than Netanyahu’s Likud party. This is Ahmad Tibi, a lawmaker from the Joint List.
Ahmad Tibi: “Our recommendation is historical, and the results are so important, not for Arabs only, but for Jews and Arabs and for the whole area. It is also a slap on the face, not only of Benjamin Netanyahu, but President Trump, who supported Benjamin Netanyahu, supported all the atrocities and is arranging to present one of the most racist, anti-Palestinian plan, so-called the ultimate deal.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin must now designate someone to form a new government. He says he’s meeting with Gantz and Netanyahu tonight. Netanyahu is facing indictments over three corruption cases and is expected to be charged in the coming weeks or months.
Thousands of Egyptians took to the streets of Cairo and other major cities Friday and Saturday to demand President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi step down over allegations of government corruption. The demonstrations were triggered by social media posts accusing Sisi and other officials of misusing public money. Police and security forces deployed tear gas and arrested several hundred protesters, according to local reports. Protests have been effectively banned in Egypt since Sisi came to power following the 2013 overthrow of former President Mohamed Morsi and launched a widespread crackdown on dissent. On Sunday, Egyptian authorities detained noted human rights lawyer Mahienour el-Masry, who is defending some of those arrested during the demonstrations. She has previously been imprisoned and tried twice for taking part in anti-government protests.
Egyptian President Sisi is set to address the U.N. today as part of the Climate Action Summit in New York. He will also address the U.N. General Assembly this week. The Wall Street Journal recently reported President Trump, while waiting for President Sisi to arrive for a meeting during last month’s G7 summit, called out, “Where’s my favorite dictator?”
President Trump appeared with nationalist Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday at a Houston, Texas, rally billed as “Howdy, Modi.” Just days before the rally, a pair of Kashmiri citizens filed a lawsuit in the U.S. against Modi for carrying out extrajudicial killings and other crimes in occupied Kashmir. On Sunday, Modi defended his decision to revoke the special status of Kashmir, while Trump praised the authoritarian leader.
President Donald Trump: “In November, the United States and India will demonstrate a dramatic progress of our defense relationship, holding the first-ever tri-service military exercise between our nations. It’s called Tiger Triumph. Good name. It’s a good name. … Both India, the United States also understand that to keep our communities safe, we must protect our borders.”
Thousands protested against Modi’s human rights violations in Kashmir, outside the packed rally of 50,000.
A Florida police officer has been suspended and is under investigation after he hand-cuffed and arrested a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old student last week. Dennis Turner, who was serving as a school resource officer at an Orlando charter school, reportedly arrested the African-American 6-year-old girl for kicking a staff member during a tantrum — she was then charged with battery. When the girl’s grandmother learned of the arrest and explained that the young girl had behavioral issues linked to her sleep apnea, Officer Turner responded, “Well, I have sleep apnea, and I don’t behave like that.” Turner, a retired police officer, was charged with aggravated child abuse against his son 20 years ago, according to local reports.
In entertainment news, at last night’s Emmy Awards, Billy Porter became the first openly gay African-American man to win an Emmy for best actor in a drama series for his role in “Pose.”
Meanwhile, Jharrel Jerome won the award for outstanding lead actor in a limited series for his role as Korey Wise in Ava Duvernay’s “When They See Us” about the case of the “Central Park Five.” Jerome paid tribute to the “exonerated” — the five teenagers of color who were wrongfully accused and convicted of raping a white woman in New York’s Central Park in 1989.
And actors and trans activists Laverne Cox and Indya Moore appeared on the red carpet with ACLU attorney Chase Strangio to draw attention to an upcoming Supreme Court case that could affect the lives of transgender employees in the United States.
Chase Strangio: “October 8th, everyone should be aware that the administration is asking the Supreme Court to make it legal to fire workers just because they’re LGBTQ. And this is actually going to transform the lives of LGBTQ people and people who are not LGBTQ, anyone who departs from sex stereotypes, like all the fabulous people here, for example. So we really need to show up October 8th and pay attention, because our lives are really on the line.”