You turn to us for voices you won't hear anywhere else.

Sign up for Democracy Now!'s Daily Digest to get our latest headlines and stories delivered to your inbox every day.

HeadlinesJune 20, 2023

Watch Headlines
Media Options

Blinken Meets with Xi Jinping in Beijing in Attempt to “Stabilize” U.S-China Relations

Jun 20, 2023

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has wrapped up a two-day trip to China. On Monday, he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing as both sides expressed a desire to stabilize relations to relieve soaring tensions between the world powers. Blinken also met with China’s top foreign affairs official, Wang Yi, who urged the United States to stop hyping up the threat posed by China. Blinken is the first U.S. secretary of state to visit China since 2018. This is Chinese President Xi Jinping.

President Xi Jinping: “State-to-state interactions should always be based on mutual respect and sincerity. I hope that through this visit, Mr. Secretary, you will make more positive contributions to stabilizing China’s U.S. relations.”

After the talks concluded, Blinken spoke to reporters in Beijing.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “In every meeting, I stress that direct engagement and sustained communication at senior levels is the best way to responsibly manage our differences and ensure that competition does not veer into conflict. And I heard the same from my Chinese counterparts. We both agree on the need to stabilize our relationship.”

Israel Deploys U.S.-Made Apache Helicopter Gunships in Deadly Raid on Jenin Refugee Camp

Jun 20, 2023

Six Palestinians were killed and another 90 injured during a massive Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank on Monday. The dead included a 15-year-old Palestinian boy. At least one Palestinian journalist was shot and injured. During the raid, which was met by fierce resistance, Israel deployed U.S.-made Apache helicopter gunships for the first time inside the West Bank in nearly 20 years. The raid came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government agreed to accelerate the process for approving new settlements in the West Bank despite criticism from the United Nations, European Union and United States.

Sudan Health Minister Says Death Toll Has Topped 3,000 Since Fighting Broke Out

Jun 20, 2023

More than 3,000 people have died in Sudan over the past two months since fighting began between rival military factions. This is according to Sudan’s health minister. A new 72-hour ceasefire began on Sunday, a day after an airstrike in the capital Khartoum killed 17, including five children.

Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed alarm about the deteriorating situation in West Darfur.

Secretary-General António Guterres: “I am particularly concerned by reports of gender-based and sexual violence and by the ethnic dimension of the violence in Geneina. Targeted attacks against civilians based on their ethnic identities could amount to crimes against humanity.”

37 Students Among Dead in Deadly Attack on School in Uganda

Jun 20, 2023

In news from Uganda, around 42 people, including 37 students, were killed on Friday in an attack on a school located near Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The children and teens were between the ages of 13 and 18. Ugandan authorities have blamed the attack on the Allied Democratic Forces — a group with ties to the Islamic State and based in the DRC. Six students are believed to have been abducted.

African Leaders Go to Moscow & Kyiv to Urge End to War in Ukraine

Jun 20, 2023

A group of African leaders have met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow to push for an end to the war in Ukraine. This is South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaking in Moscow.

President Cyril Ramaphosa: “And we are here to communicate a very clear message that we would like this war to be ended.”

The presidents of Senegal, Zambia and Comoros, as well as top envoys from Egypt, Uganda and the Republic of Congo, also took part in the talks.

Pentagon Papers Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, 92, Dies

Jun 20, 2023

Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg died Friday at the age of 92, just months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Ellsberg risked life in prison by copying and then leaking 7,000 pages of top-secret documents outlining the obscured history of the United States’ war in Vietnam. The leak helped take down President Nixon, end the war in Vietnam, and led to a major victory for press freedom. Ellsberg would go on to become deeply involved in the antiwar and anti-nuclear movements. He also inspired a new generation of whistleblowers. We will spend the hour hearing Dan Ellsberg in his own words after headlines.

Justice Department Accuses Minneapolis Police of Unlawful Use of Force

Jun 20, 2023

The Justice Department has accused the Minneapolis Police Department of disproportionately targeting Black and Native American people and frequently using excessive and unlawful use of force. The findings come in an investigation launched after the police killing of George Floyd in May 2020. Attorney General Merrick Garland spoke on Friday.

Attorney General Merrick Garland: “The patterns and practices we observed made what happened to George Floyd possible. As one city leader told us, quote, 'These systemic issues didn't just occur on May 25th, 2020. There were instances like that, that were being reported by the community long before that.’”

Report: DOJ & FBI Waited a Year to Probe Trump for Role in Jan. 6 Insurrection

Jun 20, 2023

The Washington Post is reporting the Justice Department and the FBI waited more than a year before opening a probe into the role played by former President Donald Trump and his top associates in the January 6 insurrection and efforts to overturn the 2020 election. According to the Post, a top deputy to FBI Director Christopher Wray quashed a plan early on to directly investigate Trump. Attorney General Merrick Garland supported the FBI’s decision to focus on individuals who raided the Capitol instead of Trump and his associates.

In Fox Interview, Trump Admits Telling Aide to Move Boxes of Classified Documents

Jun 20, 2023

Meanwhile, Donald Trump appeared on Fox News Monday and talked about being arraigned on federal felony charges for mishandling classified documents. During the interview, Trump appeared to admit that he did not comply with requests to return classified documents. Trump was interviewed by Fox’s Bret Baier.

Donald Trump: “And in all fairness” —

Bret Baier: “Why not just hand them over then?”

Donald Trump: “Because I had boxes. I want to go through the boxes and get all my personal things out. I don’t want to hand that over to NARA yet. And I was very busy, as you’ve sort of seen.”

Bret Baier: “Yeah.”

Donald Trump: “I’ve been very, very busy.”

Bret Baier: “But according to the indictment, you then tell this aide to move to other locations, after telling your lawyers to say you had fully complied with the subpoena, when you hadn’t.”

Donald Trump: “Bret, before I send boxes over, I have to take all of my things out. These boxes were interspersed with all sorts of things.”

19 Mass Shootings Reported Across U.S. in Another Deadly Weekend

Jun 20, 2023

The Gun Violence Archive reports there were at least 19 mass shootings over the long weekend in the United States. At least 12 people died and more than 100 were injured across the country. In Willowbrook, Illinois, one person died and 22 were hurt in a shooting in the parking lot of a mall during a Juneteenth celebration. In Washington state, two people were shot dead and three were injured at a campground near a music festival. Meanwhile, in St. Louis, Missouri, a 17-year-old was shot dead and another 11 teenagers were wounded at a party.

Report: 1.5 Million Dropped from Medicaid in Recent Months

Jun 20, 2023

In health news, the Associated Press reports about 1.5 million people have been dropped from Medicaid in recent months as states begin to purge the rolls after the lifting of a pandemic-era rule on eligibility. The AP said most were dropped for not filling out paperwork. While the number of Medicaid recipients grew by over 20% during the pandemic, analysts estimate as many 15 million people could lose their coverage over the next year.

Deadly Heat Wave in India Kills 170 as Temps Top 110 Degrees Fahrenheit

Jun 20, 2023

At least 170 people have died in northern India in a scorching heat wave overwhelming hospitals and morgues in the region. Power outages have left people with no running water, fans or air conditioners as temperatures topped 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Other regions of the world were also battered by heat waves in recent days. In Mexico, at least eight people have died due to the extreme heat. In the southern United States, at least six people were reported dead and hundreds of thousands faced power outages as temperatures soared in Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Mississippi. Some 30 million people were under excessive heat warnings as the heat also set off a series of tornadoes and storms.

World Refugee Day: Fear Grows Death Toll from Migrant Shipwreck Could Top 700

Jun 20, 2023

Today marks World Refugee Day. According to the United Nations, the number of refugees globally has reached over 35 million — that’s 8 million more than a year ago. This comes as concern is growing that as many as 700 people trying to reach Europe may have drowned in last week’s shipwreck in Greece. Authorities have recovered 80 bodies, but hundreds more are feared to have drowned. Many of the passengers were from Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Palestine. On Monday, Pakistan declared a day of mourning for Pakistanis who drowned. The Greek Coast Guard is facing backlash over its failure to help rescue passengers before the overcrowded fishing boat sank.

U.N. Adopts Historic High Seas Treaty

Jun 20, 2023

United Nations member states have adopted a historic treaty to protect marine life in the high seas as warming ocean temperatures and pollution threaten millions of species. The first-ever agreement will create a special U.N. body charged with managing conservation of ocean life and will establish marine protected areas. The treaty will also establish new rules assessing the environmental impacts of exploitative commercial activities on the ocean, including excessive fishing.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation