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- Texas Blues Radio, Living Blues radio poll report, July 1, 2016
In the wake of the shooting massacre that killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the Senate is expected to vote today on four gun control measures. None of them would reinstate an assault weapons ban. The vote comes after Democratic Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy staged a filibuster for nearly 15 hours last week to demand action on gun control. We look at how Australia fought to change its culture of gun violence and won. In April of 1996, a gunman opened fire on tourists in Port Arthur, Tasmania, killing 35 people and wounding 23 more. Just 12 days after the attack, Australia’s conservative government responded by announcing a bipartisan deal to enact gun control measures. Since the laws were passed—now 20 years ago—there has not been another mass shooting in Australia. Overall gun violence has decreased by 50 percent. We are joined by Rebecca Peters, an international arms control advocate.
Thousands gathered over the weekend in Chicago for "The People’s Summit," a major conference that brought together activists, community leaders and organizations to discuss what’s next for the progressive movement in the United States. The meeting began one day after Bernie Sanders announced he would not concede to Hillary Clinton. On the opening night, Juan González moderated a panel featuring Naomi Klein, John Nichols, Rosario Dawson and RoseAnn DeMoro of National Nurses United. Juan looked back to 1968 to examine the role activists took in that pivotal election year that saw the election of Richard Nixon. "Our slogan was 'Vote with your feet, vote in the street,'" said González, who was a member of SDS, Students for a Democratic Society. "I’m here to tell you that the slogan was right, the tactic was wrong."
- Thousands Gather at Orlando Vigil for 49 Shooting Victims
- Senate to Vote on 4 Gun Control Measures with Little Hope of Success
- Ohio Gun Shop Owner Fatally Shot During Concealed Carry Class
- Remington Seeks to Dismiss Lawsuit over Assault Rifle Used at Sandy Hook
- Lawmaker Calls for Gun Control as Charleston Marks Anniversary of Church Massacre
- Donald Trump: "We're Going to Have to Start Thinking About" Racial Profiling
- House Speaker Paul Ryan: Republicans Should Vote Their "Conscience"
- U.N.: Record 65 Million People Displaced by Conflicts
- Jo Cox Shooter Attended Meeting of White Supremacists Arranged by FBI Informant
- Okinawa: Tens of Thousands Protest U.S. Bases After Woman's Murder
- Aid Groups Warn of Humanitarian Crisis as Iraqi Troops Claim Fallujah
- Report: U.S. Drones Hit Taliban More Than Terrorist Networks Despite Purported End of War
- Black Lives Matter Activist Jasmine Richards Freed from Jail in "Felony Lynching" Case
- Vancouver, Washington: 100 Blockade Tracks to Protest Oil-by-Rail Shipments
- Mexico: 6 Killed as Police Descend on Protesting Teachers in Oaxaca
- Italy: Rome, Turin Get 1st Women Mayors
- Julian Assange Marks Start of 5th Year in Ecuadorean Embassy
Shocking new details have been made public about the CIA’s torture program as the agency has declassified dozens of once-secret documents. A portion of the new documents deal with a prisoner named Gul Rahman, who froze to death at a secret CIA prison in 2002. Rahman’s family is now suing CIA-contracted psychologists James Mitchell and John "Bruce" Jessen, who helped design the U.S. torture program. The new records also show a prisoner who was waterboarded 83 times was likely willing to cooperate with interrogators before the torture. The account from medical personnel who helped with the first waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah deals a major blow to the CIA’s insistence it gained crucial information through torture. Zubaydah said he made up fake terrorist plots in order to stop the abuse. Another partially declassified document reveals President Bush was uneasy about what the agency was doing. One 2006 memo read, "The president was concerned about the image of a detainee, chained to the ceiling, clothed in a diaper and forced to go to the bathroom on themselves." We speak with Dror Ladin, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union who helped win the release of these documents.
NYPD Surveillance Unveiled: City Claims to Lose Docs on 1960s Radicals, Then Finds 1 Million Records
There has been a major break in the decade-long fight to unveil records related to the New York City Police Department’s surveillance of political organizations in the 1960s and 1970s. In recent years, the NYPD has come under fire for spying on Muslim communities and the Occupy Wall Street movement. But decades ago, the NYPD spied extensively on political organizations, including the Young Lords, a radical group founded by Puerto Ricans modeled on the Black Panther Party. The Young Lords staged their first action in July 1969 in an effort to force the City of New York to increase garbage pickups in East Harlem. They would go on to inspire activists around the country as they occupied churches and hospitals in an attempt to open the spaces to community projects. Among their leaders was Democracy Now! co-host Juan González. We speak with Baruch College professor Johanna Fernández, who has fought for a decade to obtain records related to the NYPD’s surveillance of the group. Last month, the city claimed it had lost the records. But this week its municipal archive said it had found more than 520 boxes, or about 1.1 million pages, apparently containing the complete remaining records. We’re also joined by Fernández’s attorney, Gideon Oliver.
Bernie Sanders Vows to Continue His Political Revolution as Thousands Plan to Attend People's Summit
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders addressed supporters in a live webcast Thursday night and vowed to continue what he called his political revolution. He did not endorse former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but said he will work with her to defeat the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. As thousands plan to attend a People’s Summit in Chicago to discuss the next steps of Sanders’ revolution, we speak with a key participant, RoseAnn DeMoro, head of National Nurses United, the first national union to back Sanders last year. Sanders recently tried to place her on the Democratic platform committee, but said he was blocked by the Democratic National Committee.
As Britain Mourns MP Jo Cox, Her Killer Is Linked to Neo-Nazi National Alliance & Pro-Apartheid Club
Britain is in a state of mourning after a rising star in the British Parliament died Thursday when she was stabbed and shot in her district. Jo Cox was a 41-year-old mother of two who worked at Oxfam before being elected as a Labour MP last year. She was known for her passionate support for Syrian refugees and was a member of Labour Friends of Palestine. Her death comes just a week before the major Brexit vote—when British voters will decide whether the country should stay in the European Union. Cox was a vocal advocate for Britain to stay in the EU. During the attack, eyewitnesses said, her assassin, Thomas Mair, shouted "Britain First"—a possible reference to the far-right, anti-immigrant political party of the same name which is pushing for Britain to leave the EU. We speak with Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has revealed that Mair is a longtime supporter of the neo-Nazi National Alliance. He notes Mair’s attack comes on the first anniversary of when self-declared white supremacist Dylann Roof murdered nine people in the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
- British Parliament Member Jo Cox Shot and Killed
- Obama, Gen. McChrystal, Veterans Call for Gun Control
- John McCain Blames Obama for Orlando Massacre, Then Says He Misspoke
- CIA Director: No "Direct Link" Between Omar Mateen and ISIS
- Mexico: Massacre in May in LGBT Nightclub Receives New Scrutiny
- Bernie Sanders Vows to Continue "Political Revolution"
- State Department Diplomats Urge Airstrikes Against Assad
- Report: Red Cross Lied to Congress About Haiti Earthquake Funds
- May was 13th Straight Month to Smash Previous Temperature Records
- Texas: Authorities Investigating Murder of Journalist Jay Torres
- Seattle Teacher Pepper-Sprayed by Police Reaches $100,000 Settlement
A new USA Today exposé finds hundreds of former employees and contractors have accused Republican presidential presumptive nominee Donald Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Victims have included a dishwasher in Florida, a glass company in New Jersey, a carpet company, a plumber, 48 waiters, dozens of bartenders at his resorts and clubs, and even several law firms that once represented him in these labor lawsuits. We speak to Steve Reilly, an investigative reporter and data specialist for the USA Today Network. His new exclusive is called "Hundreds Allege Donald Trump Doesn’t Pay His Bills."
A series of new investigative articles have revealed Donald Trump’s shady business dealings in Atlantic City, his failure to pay contracted workers over the years, and his decision to partake in what may amount to "calculated tax fraud"—a felony. We begin by looking at how Donald Trump bankrupted his Atlantic City casinos, but still earned millions. "Even as his companies did poorly, Mr. Trump did well. He put up little of his own money, shifted personal debts to the casinos and collected millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and other payments. The burden of his failures fell on investors and others who had bet on his business acumen," wrote Russ Buettner and Charles Bagli in The New York Times. They join us to discuss their piece, "How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, But Still Earned Millions"
Senate Democrats took the chamber floor for a marathon, nearly 15-hour filibuster for stricter gun control legislation Wednesday, just days after a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and injuring dozens of others. Led by Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, the filibuster was the ninth longest in U.S. history. It ended early Thursday morning after Republicans agreed to hold a vote considering two gun control measures that would require universal background checks for all firearm purchases and would bar anyone on a no-fly terror watchlist from buying guns. We speak with Caroline Fredrickson, president of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.
- Democrats Launch Marathon Filibuster to Demand Gun Control Vote
- Donald Trump Calls for Increased Surveillance at Mosques
- Orlando Refuses to Release Public Records About Massacre, Including 911 Calls
- Report: Omar Mateen's Wife Says Media Reports About Her are Lies
- Imam Receives Death Threats After Inaccurate News Reports Linking Him to Mateen
- Utah Lt. Gov. Apologizes for His Past Homophobia in Wake of Orlando
- Sole Hacker Responsible for DNC Hack, Leak of Anti-Trump Playbook
- ACLU Sues Cleveland over Free Speech Restrictions Around RNC
- Ash Carter: U.S. Considering Keeping Troops in Afghanistan Longer
- Tens of Thousands of Palestinians Without Access to Safe Drinking Water
- U.S. and Israel Continue Negotiating Unprecedented Military Funding
- JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America Funding Cluster Bomb Manufacturers
- Divers Find Body of Toddler Attacked by Alligator at Disney Park
- Oakland: Second Police Chief Ousted Amid Officer-Involved Sex Scandal
- 50th Anniversary of Stokely Carmichael's "Black Power" Speech
Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla has declared Friday an official day of mourning after learning that 23 of the 49 victims in the Orlando massacre were Puerto Rican. On Tuesday, more than 300 people gathered in the capital of San Juan to honor those killed. Hundreds more gathered in Ponce. We speak to San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz and Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, president of the National Lawyers Guild and associate counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF.
Puerto Rico Is Being Left Voiceless: San Juan Mayor Condemns Bill to Create "Colonial Control Board"
We turn to Puerto Rico. The Senate is set to consider a bill to create a federally appointed control board with sweeping powers to run Puerto Rico’s economy to help the island cope with its crippling debt crisis. The bill, known as PROMESA, passed the House last week by a bipartisan vote of 297 to 127, but opponents have decried the measure as antidemocratic. "We’re engaged today in a wholly undemocratic activity in the world’s greatest democracy," said Rep. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez. In the Senate, Robert Menendez, Dick Durbin and Bernie Sanders have come out against the bill, and any one of them could filibuster the legislation. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s stance on the bill remains unknown. The debate in the Senate comes as the Supreme Court has issued two major decisions about Puerto Rico. On Monday, in a 5-2 decision, the high court rejected Puerto Rico’s bid to revive its own bankruptcy law that would have let the island’s public utilities restructure about $20 billion those entities owe to bondholders. That decision came just days after the Supreme Court ruled against Puerto Rico in a separate case ruling regarding the island’s sovereignty. We speak to Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, president of the National Lawyers Guild and associate counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF.
Today is a global day of action calling for "Justice for Berta"—to remember the slain Honduran activist Berta Cáceres. In at least nine cities across the United States and 10 countries across the world, protesters are gathering today to call on the U.S. to stop funding the Honduran military, over accusations that state security forces have been involved in human rights violations, extrajudicial killings—and the murder of environmentalists like Berta Cáceres. Before her death, Berta and her organization, COPINH, were long the targets of repression by elite Honduran security forces and paramilitary groups. Only hours before she was killed, Berta Cáceres accused the military, including the U.S.-funded special forces TIGRES unit, of working on behalf of international corporations. We speak with Tomás Gómez Membreño, who replaced Cáceres as leader of COPINH.
In an unprecedented move, a group of congressmembers are calling on the United States to suspend all military aid to Honduras until the country addresses its gross human rights violations. On Tuesday afternoon, Democratic Congressmember Hank Johnson of Georgia introduced the bill in Congress demanding the U.S. halt all funds to Honduras for their police and military operations, including funds for equipment and training. The United States currently provides hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Honduras through the Northern Triangle’s Alliance for Prosperity Plan. The legislation is named after indigenous and environmental leader Berta Cáceres, who was murdered in Honduras in March. We speak with Georgia Representative Hank Johnson about his landmark bill.