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 21, 2023

Watch Headlines
Media Options

Federal Judge Strikes Down Arkansas Ban on Gender-Affirming Care for Trans Youth

Jun 21, 2023

A federal judge has struck down Arkansas’s first-in-the-nation ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth. Judge James Moody Jr. ruled the ban to be unconstitutional because it discriminates against transgender people and violates the rights of doctors. In his decision, Moody wrote, “Rather than protecting children or safeguarding medical ethics, the evidence showed that the prohibited medical care improves the mental health and well-being of patients and that, by prohibiting it, the state undermined the interests it claims to be advancing.” One of the plaintiffs who sued Arkansas over the ban was a 17-year-old trans student named Dylan Brandt, who responded to the ruling by saying, “Transgender kids across the country are having their own futures threatened by laws like this one, and it’s up to all of us to speak out, fight back, and give them hope.”

Settlers Attack Palestinian Villages After 4 Israelis Shot Dead in Occupied West Bank

Jun 21, 2023

On Tuesday night, Israeli settlers raided 10 Palestinian villages in the occupied West Bank, setting fire to homes and vehicles. The attacks came hours after two Palestinian gunmen shot dead four Israelis and injured four others near a Jewish settlement. The alleged gunmen were later shot dead. The militant group Hamas said the attack was a response to Israel’s massive air and ground raid on the Jenin refugee camp on Monday during which Israel deployed U.S.-made Apache helicopter gunships for the first time in the West Bank in nearly two decades. The death toll from Israel’s raid on the refugee camp reached seven today following the death of a 15-year-old Palestinian girl named Sadeel Naghniyeh, who was shot by Israeli gunfire. Palestinians living in Jenin said they are now afraid to let their children go outside. This is Hadeel Jaas, whose husband was shot dead by Israeli forces on Monday.

Hadeel Jaas: “There is no safe place in the camp. At any minute there could be a rape. We are afraid for our children to go outside. If I want to go to the market, I will be in a hurry to be back home so I can feel safe with my children at home.”

At Least 41 Women Die Inside Honduran Prison

Jun 21, 2023

In Honduras, at least 41 women were killed Tuesday after an attack by gang members inside a women’s prison in the town of Tamara. Reports say the women had repeatedly complained about receiving threats from gangs inside the prison but were ignored. Some of the women were burned to death. Others were stabbed and shot. Relatives of the victims are demanding justice.

Victim’s relative: “We want to know who are alive, because they’re human beings. They are our family. We want to see them and know how they are. If all of the authorities are quiet, what are we doing here? Staying silent, as well? No, we want answers.”

Top Aide to Jair Bolsonaro Caught in Possession of Plans to Stage Military Coup

Jun 21, 2023

Federal Police in Brazil have revealed a top aide to former right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro had gathered documents outlining plans to stage a possible military coup last year after Bolsonaro was defeated by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Brazilian police found the planning documents on the phone of Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Cid, who was arrested last month for his role in falsifying Bolsonaro’s COVID-19 vaccination records.

Pentagon to Send Ukraine More Arms After Finding $6.2 Billion “Accounting Error”

Jun 21, 2023

The Pentagon has announced accounting errors have freed up an additional $6.2 billion to spend on arms for Ukraine. Last month, the Pentagon said it had made a $3 billion accounting error, but officials now say the error is twice as large due to the overestimation of the value of military aid packages.

Heavy Fighting Resumes in Sudanese Capital of Khartoum as Ceasefire Ends

Jun 21, 2023

In news from Sudan, heavy fighting has resumed in the capital Khartoum after a 72-hour ceasefire expired. On Tuesday, the Sudanese military accused the Rapid Support Forces of bombing the country’s intelligence headquarters. Meanwhile, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi says over 500,000 people have now fled Sudan since fighting began two months ago.

Filippo Grandi: “Today, right on World Refugee Day, we pass this horrible mark of 500,000 refugees from Sudan. And we know why. The fighting is really generating this huge exodus. And if there is not going to be a sustainable ceasefire and then peace, I don’t think that we will see an end to it. People will continue to be displaced inside or go outside. In fact, in addition to the 500,000, there are almost 2 million that have moved inside the country because they have nowhere else to go.”

Amnesty Calls for End of Racist Treatment of Haitian Asylum Seekers

Jun 21, 2023

Amnesty International is urging countries across the Americas to stop their racist treatment of Haitian asylum seekers, as thousands continue to flee Haiti due to worsening gang violence, extreme poverty and a deteriorating political crisis. The group denounced the mass deportations, torture, detention and violence faced by Haitians in the United States, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Chile and other nations where Haitians pass through in their search for protection.

Reps. Tlaib and Omar to Boycott Narendra Modi Address to Congress

Jun 21, 2023

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in New York Tuesday to begin a four-day state visit. On Thursday, President Biden will hold a formal state dinner for Modi hours after he addresses a joint session of Congress. The Biden administration is attempting to strengthen ties to India as part of an effort to counter China’s growing power in the Indo-Pacific region.

Modi is head of the Hindu nationalist BJP party. He was once banned from the United States on charges he did not intervene in a massacre against Muslims in 2002 in the Indian state of Gujarat.

Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. have announced plans to boycott Modi’s address to Congress. In a post on social media, Tlaib wrote, “It’s shameful that Modi has been given a platform at our nation’s capital—his long history of human rights abuses, anti-democratic actions, targeting Muslims & religious minorities, and censoring journalists is unacceptable.”

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this headline said Rep. Jamie Raskin was also boycotting the speech. In a statement Raskin said on Wednesday: “To correct the record, I am not boycotting Prime Minister Modi’s visit. I am going to my daughter’s wedding. Nor has the CPC called for a boycott. I signed a letter protesting human rights violations in India and hope that Pres. Biden will raise this serious problem with PM Modi.”

Hunter Biden Reaches Deal with Federal Prosecutors

Jun 21, 2023

Hunter Biden, the son of the president, has reached a deal with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges as part of a deal that will allow him to avoid facing prosecution on a separate gun charge. The deal caps a multiyear investigation by the U.S. attorney in Delaware, who was appointed by Donald Trump but allowed to stay in his role by President Biden. House Republicans have described the deal as a “slap on the wrist” and have vowed to continue to investigate Hunter Biden and his overseas business ventures.

Disciplinary Hearing Held for Attorney John Eastman over Role in Effort to Overturn 2020 Election

Jun 21, 2023

A disciplinary hearing has begun in California for attorney John Eastman, who advised Donald Trump on ways to overturn the 2020 election. At the time, Eastman was the dean of the Chapman University Law School in Southern California. Eastman faces 11 disciplinary charges in the State Bar Court of California. The process could lead to his disbarment.

Judge Sets Aug. 14 Trial Date for Donald Trump for Mishandling Classified Documents

Jun 21, 2023

The federal judge overseeing Donald Trump’s trial for mishandling classified documents has set an initial trial date of August 14 — one week before the first Republican presidential debate. U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon set the date on Tuesday, but many legal experts expect the trial will be delayed. Cannon is a Trump-appointed judge who has served on the federal bench for less than three years. According to The New York Times, she has only overseen four short criminal trials in her time on the bench.

Sen. Bernie Sanders Launches Probe of Dangerous Working Conditions at Amazon

Jun 21, 2023

In labor news, Senator Bernie Sanders has launched a Senate investigation into the dangerous working conditions at Amazon warehouses. In a letter to Amazon Chief Executive Officer Andy Jassy, Sanders wrote, “Amazon is one of the most valuable companies in the world, worth $1.3 trillion and its founder, Jeff Bezos, is one of the richest men in the world worth nearly $150 billion. … Amazon should be one of the safest places in America to work, not one of the most dangerous.”

ProPublica Reveals Justice Alito Took Undisclosed Luxury Trip with GOP Billionaire Megadonor

Jun 21, 2023

ProPublica has revealed Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito took an undisclosed luxury fishing vacation with Republican megadonor Paul Singer in 2008 and then later ruled in Singer’s favor in several cases. According to ProPublica, the billionaire hedge fund manager gave Alito a free ride on his luxury jet to Alaska for a trip where one participant bragged about drinking $1,000 bottles of wine. Alito never reported the all-expenses-paid trip on disclosure forms. Since the trip, Paul Singer’s hedge fund came before the Supreme Court at least 10 times, and Alito never recused himself. ProPublica reports Alito’s trip was organized by Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, who has played a key role in pushing the court to the right.
Hours prior to the publication of ProPublica’s report, Alito published a column in The Wall Street Journal headlined “ProPublica Misleads Its Readers.” In the piece, Alito acknowledged taking the trip, but denied violating any ethics rules.

Heat Dome Over Texas and Mexico Shatters Temperature Records

Jun 21, 2023

Heat records continue to be shattered in Texas and Mexico as a massive heat dome remains over the region. In San Angelo, Texas, temperatures reached 114 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday, breaking the old record by three degrees. In Laredo, temperatures hit 115 on Monday. According to the organization Climate Central, climate change is making the extreme heat five times as likely to occur in parts of Texas. On this first day of summer, meteorologists are taking part in the sixth annual Show Your Stripes day to raise awareness about the climate crisis.

Search Continues for Submersible Exploring Wreck of the Titanic

Jun 21, 2023

A massive search effort continues in the Atlantic Ocean after a tourist submersible went missing during a trip to explore the wreck of the Titanic, which sits over 12,000 feet below sea level. Five passengers are on board, including the founder of OceanGate Expeditions, which organized the trip. For years the company ignored warnings by its own staff and experts that the company’s deep water missions could lead to a catastrophe because the submarine did not meet industry standards. Tickets for the mission reportedly cost $250,000. Passengers aboard the ship include two billionaires: Hamish Harding from Britain and Shahzada Dawood from Pakistan, who is on board with his son.

Official Death Toll Reaches 81 in Migrant Shipwreck Near Greece, But Hundreds More Feared Dead

Jun 21, 2023

Many are questioning the massive media coverage of the Titanic adventurers in light of the lack of attention paid to the thousands of migrants lost at sea as they attempt to reach Europe fleeing persecution, poverty and the impacts of the climate crisis in their home countries. This comes as authorities in Greece have recovered three more bodies of men who drowned last week in one of the deadliest migrant shipwrecks in years. The official death toll is 81, but The New York Times reports as many as 700 migrants may have died when their overcrowded ship sank off the coast of Greece.

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