Headlines: June 2, 2018
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Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is the new President elect of Mexico. Voters handed Obrador, or AMLO as he is called, a landslide victory, which came as no surprise after months of polling that showed he would win. He is the first left-leaning President to lead the country in decades and Mexicans, tired of corruption and violence, are hopeful today.
Winning 54% of the vote in a field with 3 other major party candidates, AMLO has a broad mandate to reshape the country. His election spells bad news for the Trump administration who he has vowed to protect Mexicans against.
We will have an in-depth analysis of what this election means for Mexico on tomorrow’s show.
Here in the US, hundreds of thousands of Americans, immigrants, and their allies, attended June 30th rallies in more than 700 cities across the country. Under the banner of “Keep Families Together,” the marches and protests held on Saturday were an indication of the mass disapproval Americans have of the Trump Administration’s decision to criminally prosecute all undocumented immigrants and thereby separate parents from children.
Jess Morales Rocketto with the National Domestic Workers Alliance told NBC News, “I have literally never seen Americans show up for immigrants like this.”
In New York, marchers crossed the Brooklyn Bridge chanting, “immigrants built this bridge,” before heading to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE building and yelling “shame.”
In Washington DC where the main rally was organized, award-winning playwright Lin Manuel Miranda sang a song from Hamilton.
In Boston, a Brazilian mother whose story we have been following addressed the crowd. Lidia Karine Souza, who has sued the US government to get her 9 year old son Diogo back from the government told protesters, “We came to the United States seeking help, and we never imagined that this could happen. So I beg everyone, please release these children, give my son back to me.” Also in Boston, Senator Elizabeth Warren called for ICE to be abolished – a familiar refrain that activists have been demanding and that is now being echoed by several members of Congress.
In Bedminister, New Jersey, a few hundred people gathered outside a golf course where President Trump was spending the weekend.
And in Atlanta, Georgia, Representative John Lewis, whose is an icon of the civil rights movement, gave a rousing speech.
In Los Angeles where we are based, thousands of people flooded the streets of downtown. Our correspondent Nic Cha Kim attended the rally and on tomorrow’s show we’ll bring you his full report-back.
In an interview with Fox Business News on Sunday, Trump made light of the calls to abolish ICE conflating it as a Democratic election-related message that would hurt his rival party. “All it’s going to do is lead to massive, massive crime,” he said, adding, “I think they’ll never win another election. So I’m actually quite happy about it.”
Meanwhile Associated Press is reporting that Border Patrol arrests have dropped sharply last month. The report, from an anonymous government official means that a four-month increase since February was reversed. Border Patrol, “made 34,057 arrests on the border with Mexico during June, down 16 percent from 40,344.” The numbers for June were still double that from last year. Analysts disagree why the numbers have changed with some citing Trump’s harsh border enforcement finally having a deterrent effect, and others suggesting harsh summer temperatures are responsible.
On the same day that protesters marched for immigrant rights over the weekend, a right-wing rally in Portland, Oregon, turned violent. A gathering organized by the hate-group Patriot Prayer at a federal park in downtown Portland turned into a riot after anti-fascist activists showed up and clashes ensued. The 100 or so Patriot Prayer white supremacists were outnumbered by the counter-protesters. A local news outlet reported that police used, firecrackers, smoke bombs and flash bangs to disrupt the fighting. Reporter Katie Shepard posted this video to Twitter: The Portland Police Department announced that four people had been hospitalized for injuries, and four arrested.
In other news, Maine Senator Susan Collins has thrown up a potential roadblock to Trump’s Supreme Court pick for Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat. Senator Collins, considered a “moderate Republican,” has vowed not to vote for any candidate for the seat that would jeopardize Roe Vs. Wade. In an interview on CNN’s State of the Union yesterday she said, “I would not support a nominee who demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade because that would mean to me that their judicial philosophy did not include a respect for established decisions, established law.” But the pro-choice Senator also said she thinks current justices Neil Gorsuch who she voted to confirm last year, and Justice John Roberts could be trusted to preserve women’s right to an abortion. We’ll have more on the fight to replace Kennedy on tomorrow’s show with Jessica Mason Pieklo, writing for Rewire.News.
Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen has said that he would put “family and country” first in relation to the serious investigation he is under by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The embattled lawyer, who had once said he would do anything for Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an interview released today, “I will not be a punching bag as part of anyone’s defense strategy. I am not a villain of this story, and I will not allow others to try to depict me that way.”
Among the many things Cohen is being investigated for is a $130,000 payment he made to an adult film actress that Trump was allegedly having an affair with, ahead of the election. Cohen also commented on Trump’s recent tweet taking Russian President Vladimir Putin at his word that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 US election. “Simply accepting the denial of Mr. Putin is unsustainable,” he said. “I respect our nation’s intelligence agencies’… unanimous conclusions.”
In international news, 19 people were killed and dozens wounded in Nangahar province in Afghanistan. Reports indicate that 17 out of the 19 are minority-faith Afghan Hindus and Sikhs. Among the dead in the city of Jalalabad is a Sikh leader who had planned to run in Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections this October. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the deadly attack but the Taliban and the Islamic State are both present and active in the region. The US has been waging war in Afghanistan since 2001.
Trump’s hawkish national security adviser John Bolton said on CBS’s Face the Nation yesterday that the US would “denuclearize” North Korea in a year. It was the first time anyone from the Trump administration imposed a timeline for the process that Trump said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un promised. But contradictory reports indicate it will be much harder to convince Kim to completely dismantle his nuclear weapons capabilities.
And that does it for today’s headlines. On today’s show, we’ll cover a new bombshell report by The Intercept that has detailed eight US cities where AT&T owns buildings through which it transmits massive amounts of digital data in order to share it with the National Security Agency. Henrik Moltke, who co-wrote the article will be our guest.
Then, we’ll continue coverage of privacy issues with a look at a sweeping new California bill that just became law and that offers the strictest privacy protections to consumers in the nation. Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog will join me.
Finally, we’ll examine an innovative model to tackle poverty – one that is long-term, that actually works, and is detailed in a new book by award winning journalist Suzanne Bohan called Twenty Years Of Life: Why The Poor Die Earlier and How to Challenge Inequity.