Gustavo Petro has won Colombia’s presidential election in a historic vote. Petro is a former M-19 guerrilla and the former mayor of Bogotá. Petro will become Colombia’s first leftist president after vowing to fight worsening inequality in Colombia with landmark policies including a tax reform and redistribution of pension savings. In an election runoff, Petro won about 50.5% of the vote, defeating right-wing businessman Rodolfo Hernández, who won about 47% of the vote. Petro’s running mate, the Afro-Colombian environmentalist Francia Márquez Mina, also made history. She will become Colombia’s first Black vice president.
President-elect Gustavo Petro: “We will develop capitalism in Colombia, not because we worship it, but because we first have to overcome premodernity in Colombia, feudalism in Colombia and the new slavery. We must overcome the past mentalities and behaviors linked to that world of slavery.”
In news from France, President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist party has lost its absolute majority in France’s Parliament in a major setback for Macron. Macron’s coalition won a total of 245 seats in Sunday’s election. A left-wing coalition led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon won 131 seats, while Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party won 89 seats. On Sunday, Mélenchon praised the results of the election.
Jean-Luc Mélenchon: “It’s a totally unexpected situation, absolutely unprecedented. It’s the total defeat of the president’s party, and there is no majority. We have achieved the political objective we gave ourselves: in under a month to bring down the man who, with such arrogance, twisted the arm of the whole country to get elected without us knowing what he was going to do when he was.”
Russia appears close to capturing the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk after weeks of fierce fighting. Russia is escalating its attack on the city’s Azot chemical plant, where hundreds of civilians and Ukrainian fighters have sought shelter. Russia has also increased shelling of the nearby city of Lysychansk. If Russia seizes the two cities, thousands of Ukrainian forces could be stranded.
Ukraine has attacked offshore oil and gas drilling platforms off the coast of Crimea in the Black Sea. The Wall Street Journal reports the attacks could cost Russia billions of dollars in damage and lost revenue. Hours after the attack, Russia fired rockets at the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa in the largest attack on the city in weeks.
Russia has acknowledged it plans to put on trial two U.S. veterans who were captured fighting in Ukraine. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has said the men were mercenaries and are not subject to the Geneva Conventions.
The Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov has auctioned off his Nobel Peace Prize for over $103 million to raise money for Ukrainian child refugees. Muratov, who won the Nobel last year, spoke prior to the auction.
Dmitry Muratov: “My country invaded the territory of another state, Ukraine. There are now 15.5 million refugees. And how one must deal with this is completely incomprehensible. We thought for a long time about what we could do, what each individual could do, and we thought that everyone should give away that which is dear to them, important to them.”
In March, Muratov closed his newspaper Novaya Gazeta after receiving a warning from a Russian state censor over its coverage of the invasion of Ukraine.
Israel appears to be headed to its fifth election in three years after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced he would soon resign and dissolve parliament. Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will soon take over to lead a caretaker government until the election is held. A new vote could result in Benjamin Netanayhu returning to power.
The New York Times has wrapped up a months-long investigation into the recent fatal shooting of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh in the occupied West Bank. At the time of her death, Abu Akleh was covering an Israeli military raid in the Jenin refugee camp. The Times found that “the bullet that killed Ms. Abu Akleh was fired from the approximate location of the Israeli military convoy, most likely by a soldier from an elite unit.” Last week, Al Jazeera reported the bullet that killed Abu Akleh was a U.S.-made armor-piercing bullet that’s used by the Israeli military.
Unprecedented rain has killed at least 116 people in India and Bangladesh. Millions of people have been displaced from their homes or trapped by flooding. On Friday, one area of India recorded almost 40 inches of rain in a single day. One of Bangladesh’s largest airports is under water. The flooding comes just a month after catastrophic flooding in northeastern Bangladesh left 4 million people homeless, including 1.6 million children. This comes as India is facing record-breaking heat that has devastated wheat production, as well as the mango harvest.
In other signs of the global climate emergency, temperatures in Iran soared to 126 degrees Fahrenheit Monday. Last week, the heat index soared to 165 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of Iran due to high heat and high humidity. In Spain, an early heat wave sparked devastating wildfires that have burned at least 74,000 acres. Meanwhile, temperature records are breaking across the Midwest in the United States. In Minnesota, streets have begun buckling due to the high heat. A spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization said, “What we’re witnessing today is unfortunately a foretaste of the future.”
In news from Ethiopia, witnesses say at least 200 civilians were killed in a massacre Saturday in the western region of Oromia. Some witnesses put the death toll at over 320. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed condemned what he called “horrific attacks.” One survivor said members of the Oromo Liberation Army carried out the attack targeting ethnic Amharas, who are a minority in the region. However, members of the OLA blamed government forces for carrying out the massacre.
In Honduras, David Castillo, a former U.S.-trained Honduran military officer and businessman, has been sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison for his role in ordering and planning the 2016 assassination of Berta Cáceres, a Lenca land and water defender. Castillo is the former president of the hydroelectric corporation DESA. Cáceres was assassinated as she led the fight against the construction of DESA’s massive hydroelectric dam on a river in southwestern Honduras that’s sacred to the Lenca people.
Newly released surveillance camera footage from inside the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, has shed new light on the police response to last month’s mass shooting at the school that killed 19 fourth graders and two of their teachers. New video shows heavily armed officers were inside the school and had at least one ballistic shield just minutes after the gunman entered the school. But officers didn’t enter the classroom for another 58 minutes. It has also emerged that a Uvalde police officer had a chance to shoot the gunman before he entered the school, but the officer declined to take the shot, fearing he could accidentally hit someone else.
Some 17 million children in the United States are now eligible to receive COVID vaccines beginning today. Over the weekend, the CDC and FDA signed off on two-dose Moderna and three-dose Pfizer vaccines for children as young as 6 months old. Until now only children 5 and older were eligible to be vaccinated.
The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection is holding its fourth public hearing today with a focus on Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure state officials to overturn the 2020 election. Witnesses testifying include Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers. Democracy Now! will stream the hearing live at democraycnow.org beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern.
A member of the January 6 committee, Illinois Republican Congressmember Adam Kinzinger, has revealed he recently received a death threat targeting him, his wife and their newborn. Kinzinger is one of the only two Republicans on the House select committee. Last year Kinzinger was one of just 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump after the insurrection.
Former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has released a new campaign ad calling for moderate Republicans, known as RINOS, to be hunted down and shot. RINO stands for “Republicans in name only.” In the video, Eric Greitens, a Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in Missouri, is seen with a shotgun raiding a house alongside a group of heavily armed men in battle gear.
Eric Greitens: “I’m Eric Greitens, Navy SEAL. And today we’re going RINO hunting. The RINO feeds on corruption and is marked by the stripes of cowardice.”
Facebook has removed the campaign video, and Twitter blocked it from being shared. In 2018, Eric Greitins resigned as governor of Missouri after a woman he was having an affair with accused him of sexual assault and taking nonconsenual nude photographs after he tied her up naked in his basement. Greitins’s ex-wife has also accused him of abusing her and their young son.
The Texas Republican Party has approved a radical new platform. It rejects the results of the 2020 election and claims that Joe Biden is not the legitimately elected president of the United States. The party also calls for the abolition of abortion, the prohibition of sex education in schools and the overturning of the Supreme Court case legalizing same-sex marriage, while referring to homosexuality as “an abnormal lifestyle choice.” The Republican platform also criticizes Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas for working on bipartisan gun legislation. The platform also reiterates that Texas retains the right to secede from the United States.
Workers at an Apple store in Towson, Maryland, have voted to become the first unionized Apple store in the country. Despite pressure from Apple, about two-thirds of the store’s workers voted to be represented by the Apple Coalition of Organized Retail Employees. On Monday, President Biden said he was proud of the workers who unionized.
Thousands gathered in Washington, D.C., on Saturday for the Mass Poor People’s and Low-Wage Workers’ Assembly and Moral March. Speakers included the Bishop William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, which organized the day of action.
Bishop William Barber II: “We know that when the nation is moving away from the principles of life, liberty, justice, the pursuit of happiness for all people, and there’s been a long train of abuses, and the nation has become more profitable for a few and less perfect for others, we must correct the nation, and we can’t be silent anymore.”