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 07, 2023

Watch Headlines
Media Options

Air Quality Alerts Issued as Thick Smoke Blankets Large Swaths of U.S. and Canada

Jun 07, 2023

Air quality alerts were issued across multiple U.S. states and cities Tuesday, as well as today, as thick, dark smoke from Canada’s hundreds of blazing wildfires blanketed the skies of the Northeast, Midwest, the Ohio Valley and the Mid-Atlantic. The haze has triggered dangerous air pollution warnings, impacting tens of millions of people, with New York City reporting the worst air quality in any major city worldwide Tuesday.

There are over 400 blazes burning across nearly all of Canada’s 10 provinces and territories, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate. The province of Quebec is facing some of the worst fires, many caused by lightning, covering neighboring Ottawa and Toronto with an orange haze. U.S. and Canadian officials are urging people with heart and lung issues, and other vulnerable groups, to remain indoors as much as possible.

Heat Waves Stifle Puerto Rico, South Asia; Bangladesh Closes Schools Amid Ongoing Power Cuts

Jun 07, 2023

Record-breaking heat waves continue to plague much of the planet. The heat index in Puerto Rico reached 125 degrees Fahrenheit this week as the island is hit by the combined effects of a heat dome, El Niño and climate change.

Meanwhile, many Asian countries are sweltering under a prolonged heat wave, including Bangladesh, where elementary schools were shuttered this week, and residents are dealing with frequent power cut outages as temperatures topped 105 degrees. Many workers are still forced to spend hours outdoors with no relief.

Mohammad Sultan: “The water shortage and the heat are suffocating us. Not a leaf is moving anywhere. There’s no shade. It is becoming tough to pull a rickshaw. Very difficult.”

Arctic Summers Could Be Ice-Free by Next Decade

Jun 07, 2023

A new study published this week by Nature Communications finds the Arctic is expected to be ice-free during the summer months starting as early as the 2030s. Even in a best-case emissions reduction scenario — which the world is not currently on track to achieve — scientists say the loss of Arctic sea ice in the summer is now inevitable in the next few decades.

Activists Shut Down Manchin Talk at D.C. Event over Climate Destruction, Mountain Valley Pipeline

Jun 07, 2023

Activists from the direct action group Climate Defiance stormed a talk hosted by the news site Semafor in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, shutting down Senator Joe Manchin’s keynote address.

Rylee Haught: “How did he win this? It’s because he takes the most money from fossil fuel corporations.”

Protester: “He has received over $1 million just in the last year alone from fossil fuel interests. He’s the number one recipient of fossil fuel money in Congress.”

Rylee Haught: “Twenty-three days on hunger strike because we did everything we’re supposed to. … I knocked on thousands of doors. I talked to hundreds of West Virginians. I did everything I was supposed to.”

Manchin was promoting so-called permitting reform, which allows for the fast-tracking of fossil fuel projects. The recently passed debt limit deal gave the greenlight to expedite the 300-plus-mile-long fracked gas Mountain Valley Pipeline through West Virginia and Virginia.

Ukraine Dam Collapse Wreaks Havoc Along Dnipro River as Thousands Forced to Evacuate

Jun 07, 2023

Evacuations continue in southern Ukraine as some 42,000 people are at risk of flooding along the Dnipro River after the Nova Kakhovka dam collapsed on Tuesday. Russia and Ukraine have traded blame for its destruction. The U.N. has warned of “grave and far-reaching” humanitarian consequences. This is a resident affected by the flooding.

Oleksandr Reva: “The situation is literally critical. If the water rises another meter, we will lose our house. We are moving our stuff to neighbors now who live on higher ground. … The Russians want to destroy a Ukrainian nation and Ukraine itself, and they don’t care by what means, because nothing is sacred for them.”

Mexico’s AMLO Claims Major Win After His Party Clinches Mexico’s Governorship

Jun 07, 2023

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s ruling political party has won the gubernatorial election in the state of Mexico, dealing a major blow to the Institutional Revolutionary Party, PRI, which had held the state’s governorship for nearly a century without interruption. Morena candidate Delfina Gómez won in Sunday’s governor’s race with over 50% of the votes. Her victory continues to mark the PRI’s decline in Mexican politics since AMLO’s election to the presidency. The state of Mexico is the most populous in the country, surrounding much of Mexico City.

In related news, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced Tuesday he’s stepping down to run for president in next year’s election.


Fresh Protests Take Over French Streets in Hopes of Reviving Campaign Against Retirement Reform

Jun 07, 2023

In France, protesters took to the streets around the country and transport workers staged strikes Tuesday as opponents of President Emmanuel Macron’s pension overhaul seek to revive public momentum against the reform nearly two months after it was signed into law. A long-shot amendment is being brought to the National Assembly by leftist lawmakers, though it’s not expected to go anywhere. Many demonstrators say they just want their voices heard. This is a student from Nantes.

Felix: “The reform passed without our democracy, so it’s important to make the government understand that we never wanted this reform and that it’s time for the people to speak, because it shows that the government cares less and less about people’s will. And so it’s important that we take the power back on that level.”

Blinken Tightens Ties and Pushes U.S. Middle East Agenda with MBS in Saudi Arabia

Jun 07, 2023

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Saudi Arabia, where he met with crown prince and de facto head of state Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah. Blinken said the pair “discussed deepening economic cooperation” as the U.S. vies to increase its sway in the region, including over gas prices, amid competing bids for influence from China and Russia, and to push for the normalization of Saudi-Israeli relations. As a presidential candidate, Biden vowed to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” over its human rights record and the assassination of journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

In related news, Iran has reopened its embassy in Saudi Arabia after it recently restored diplomatic ties in a Beijing-brokered deal.

PGA Tour Announces Surprise Merger with Saudi Arabia’s LIV Tour

Jun 07, 2023

In sports news, the Professional Golfers’ Association of America announced a merger of their PGA Tour with the Saudi LIV Golf Tour. The news came as a shock to much of the sports world, as the PGA spent months trying to undermine LIV by banning golfers who joined the Saudi venture from participating in PGA events. Critics say it’s the latest example of “sportswashing” to gain cultural and corporate influence by a country accused of massive human rights violations.

UNRWA and WFP Facing Major Funding Shortages for Work in Palestine Despite Dire Need

Jun 07, 2023

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency has only received about a third of the $300 million in funding it needs from international donors to continue its humanitarian work in the Occupied Territories and Palestinian refugee camps in surrounding countries. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres warned UNRWA is “on the verge of financial collapse.”

Meanwhile, a group of Gazan children on Tuesday demonstrated in front of the local offices of the World Food Programme after the U.N. agency recently stopped distributing financial and food aid to families in need due to funding shortages. The ongoing occupation and blockade of Palestinian land by Israel has put the unemployment rate in Gaza at above 45%, as two-thirds of the population struggle to afford food.

Sen. Van Hollen Calls on Biden Admin to Release Report on Israeli Killing of Shireen Abu Akleh

Jun 07, 2023

Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen is calling on the U.S. State Department to declassify its report on the killing last year of Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli forces. Van Hollen said the report offers some valuable information, though noted access to key witnesses was denied and the findings cannot be considered a true independent investigation. Abu Akleh, a longtime reporter at Al Jazeera, was shot dead by Israeli gunfire last May while covering an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank.

Gunman Kills Two People, Injures 5, After High School Graduation in Richmond, VA

Jun 07, 2023

In Virginia, a gunman shot two people dead and injured another five Tuesday after a high school graduation ceremony at a park in Richmond. Police arrested a 19-year-old suspect who was found in possession of four handguns. According to the Gun Violence Archive, it was the 279th mass shooting in the U.S. this year. This is Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

Mayor Levar Stoney: “This should not be happening anywhere. Anywhere. Whether it’s in Richmond, whether it’s in Virginia, whether it’s in the United States, this should not be happening anywhere. A child should be able to go to their graduation and walk on their graduation and enjoy the accomplishment with their friends and their family.”

Ajike Owens, a Black Mother of 4, Shot Dead by White Neighbor Who Had Just Harassed Her Children

Jun 07, 2023

In Florida, the family of Ajike “AJ” Owens is seeking accountability after the Black mother of four was shot dead through her neighbor’s front door last week. According to lawyer Ben Crump, Susan Louise Lorincz, who was arrested Tuesday, yelled at Ms. Owens’s children for playing in a field next to their apartment complex, and used racist slurs. When the children returned to retrieve a forgotten iPad, she threw it at them and hit a child. Ms. Owens went to confront Lorincz, who shot and killed her.

HRC Issues First-Ever State of Emergency for LGBTQ+ People in the U.S.

Jun 07, 2023

The Human Rights Campaign has issued its first-ever state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. amid an onslaught of hateful legislation. More than 525 anti-LGBTQ state bills have been introduced in the 2023 legislative session — over 70 of those have become law. The group released a guide listing anti-LGBTQ laws state by state, and a “know your rights” guide for LGBTQ+ travelers. We’ll speak with HRC President Kelley Robinson after headlines.

Judge Sides with FL Families Seeking Care for Trans Children; LA Advances Gender-Affirming Care Ban

Jun 07, 2023

A federal judge blocked parts of a Florida law banning gender-affirming care for transgender youth. Judge Robert Hinkle asserted, “Gender identity is real,” as he ruled in favor of the families of three transgender children, who will be allowed to obtain prescription puberty blockers. Other parts of the wide-ranging ban remain in place.

Meanwhile, Louisiana’s Republican-dominated Legislature passed its own ban on gender-affirming care for most minors Tuesday, sending the bill to Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards’s desk. Though the governor has opposed the bill, a GOP supermajority could override his veto.

Texas Sheriff Recommends Criminal Charges over 2022 Migrant Flights to Martha’s Vineyard

Jun 07, 2023

In Texas, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office is recommending criminal charges over the migrant flights arranged by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that carried 49 asylum seekers from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard last year.

The case is being reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office. This comes as California Governor Gavin Newsom is threatening possible kidnapping charges after Florida arranged for two planes carrying around three dozen migrants to be flown from the U.S.-Mexico border to Sacramento in recent days.

Merck Sues Biden Admin over Medicare Negotiation Law

Jun 07, 2023

Pharmaceutical company Merck is suing the Biden administration over its law empowering Medicare to negotiate for lower prices on some drugs, passed as part of last year’s Inflation Reduction Act. Among others, Merck’s highly anticipated cancer medication could be affected by the change. The White House responded to the suit Tuesday.

Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre: “There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices. Anytime profits of the pharmaceutical industry are challenged, they make claims about it hindering their ability to innovate. Not only are these arguments untrue, but the American people do not buy them.”

Trump Lawyers Meet with Special Counsel as Possible Indictment Nears

Jun 07, 2023

Attorneys representing former President Trump met with special counsel Jack Smith at the Justice Department Monday in a last-minute plea to avoid an indictment. Trump’s lawyers had requested to meet with Attorney General Merrick Garland. It’s believed the conversation focused on grand jury investigations around Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, his role in the January 6 insurrection and his mishandling of classified documents.

SAG-AFTRA Members Back Strike Authorization as Writers Remain on Strike

Jun 07, 2023

Members of Hollywood’s largest union, SAG-AFTRA, overwhelmingly voted to authorize a strike as the entertainment industry fights back against pay issues, the impact of streaming services on residuals, and the threat of AI to workers’ livelihoods. Union members hope the nearly 98% vote backing a strike will help move talks with studios and streaming companies forward. This comes as Hollywood writers are in the sixth week of their strike. Many actors have joined WGA members in solidarity on the picket line since the start of that strike.

Evan Shafran: “Without the writers and the actors, there’s no story, and there is no one to bring the story to life. So, you know, we’re very much a collaborative effort out here.”

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