In West Virginia, at least 23 people have died in once-in-a-thousand-year flooding. West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has declared a state of emergency in 44 counties and has deployed the National Guard to help with search and rescue efforts. A number of people remain missing across the state. The severe rainfall inundated large parts of the town of Richwood, submerging cars and the first floors of many houses and businesses. We speak with Bob Henry Baber, the mayor-elect of Richwood, West Virginia, and the first member of the Mountain Party to be elected to public office in the state.
Wildfires are raging up and down the state of California. At least two people have died, and hundreds of homes have been destroyed. We speak to Ken Pimlott, the director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and a 30-year fire service veteran. He joins us from Sacramento, where temperatures hit 107 degrees on Monday, one degree shy of the record.
Extreme weather is sweeping across the United States, from scorching heat in the Southwest to uncontrollable wildfires in California, to deadly flooding in Appalachia. In West Virginia, at least 23 people have died in once-in-a-thousand-year flooding, and a number of people remain missing across the state. Meanwhile, wildfires are raging up and down the state of California. At least two people have died, and hundreds of homes have been destroyed. May was the 13th straight month to smash global temperature records, amid increasing human-fueled global warming. We speak with Michael Mann, a professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University. Mann was in Phoenix last weekend to testify before the Democratic National Platform Draft Committee meeting.
Actor Jesse Williams is best known for his role on the TV show "Grey’s Anatomy." On Sunday night, he earned a standing ovation when he addressed the BET Awards. As he accepted the Humanitarian Award, Williams paid homage to police shooting victims, including Rekia Boyd, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, who would have turned 14 on Saturday. "Police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day," Williams says. "We are going to have equal rights and justice in our own country, or we will restructure their function and ours."
In the most significant victory for abortion rights in a generation, the Supreme Court has struck down provisions of a sweeping anti-choice law in Texas. Justice Anthony Kennedy joined Justice Stephen Breyer and all three women justices on the Supreme Court, condemning the restrictions as an undue burden on access to abortion. We speak with lead plaintiff Amy Hagstrom Miller about the historic victory and what it will take for shuttered clinics to reopen.
Between 2009 and 2011, Shane Bauer spent nearly two years locked up in an Iranian prison as one of the jailed American hikers. Last year, he went back to jail—this time as an undercover journalist working as a guard at a private prison in Louisiana. In a stunning new exposé for Mother Jones, Bauer chronicles the four months he spent undercover last year as a guard at Louisiana’s Winn Correctional Facility. Winn is the oldest privately operated medium-security prison in the country and sits in the state that holds the distinction as having the world’s highest incarceration rate—more than 800 prisoners per 100,000 residents. During Bauer’s investigation, Winn was run by the Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s second-largest private prison operator. Bauer’s story offers a never-before-seen look at the for-profit prison industry, exposing conditions that include violence among inmates, poor medical and mental healthcare for even the sickest prisoners, mismanagement and lack of training for staff.
Global stock markets have plummeted in the days since Britain voted to leave the European Union. More than $2 trillion was wiped off global equity markets on Friday in the biggest daily loss ever. Earlier today, the British pound hit a 31-year low. On Friday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump spoke in Scotland at the Trump Turnberry golf course. He celebrated the Brexit vote. "When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry, frankly," Trump said.
Britain remains in a widening crisis days after voters chose to leave the European Union. British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his resignation. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is facing a coup within his own party as more than a dozen members of his shadow cabinet have resigned or been sacked. Scotland has announced it will take any steps needed to stay inside the European Union, including possibly holding a second independence referendum. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to Brussels and London to discuss the political and economic upheaval caused by the Brexit vote. To make sense of what’s happening, we speak to longtime British journalist Paul Mason, who has worked at the BBC and Channel 4. His new book is titled "Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future"
A second police officer in Baltimore has been acquitted on all charges for his role in the arrest of Freddie Gray, who died of spinal injuries last year after he was arrested and transported in a police van. Officer Caesar Goodson Jr., who was driving the van, faced the most serious charges of all officers involved, including second-degree depraved-heart murder and three additional charges of manslaughter. Prosecutors contended Goodson gave Gray a "rough ride," failed to ensure his safety, and should have called for a medic. We get reaction from Doug Colbert, professor of law at the University of Maryland School of Law, director of the Access to Justice pretrial clinic and founder of the Lawyers at Bail Project, as well as Joshua Harris, Baltimore’s Green Party candidate for mayor.
On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Fisher v. University of Texas and held that the University of Texas at Austin’s race-conscious admissions program is lawful under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. "It is simply not true that we could eliminate the box and somehow act as if we are adequately evaluating students," says Thomas Saenz, lawyer with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which filed an amicus brief on behalf of over 20 national Latino advocacy groups supporting the race-conscious admissions program. "The fact is that race and gender and national origin still matter," he adds, because they shape one’s opportunities and experiences, and therefore one’s potential in higher education.
As a split Supreme Court blocks President Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, or DAPA, which would have shielded millions of immigrants with U.S. citizen or permanent resident children from deportation, we speak with an undocumented activist, Maru Mora Villalpando, and her daughter, Josefina Mora, who is a U.S. citizen. "Those who are undocumented have to take this disappointment" from the ruling "and turn it into anger" to push Obama to stop deportations and to try again to reform immigration policy.
In a major setback for the immigrant rights movement, a divided Supreme Court has blocked President Obama’s plan to shield as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. On Thursday, the court returned a 4-4 ruling, leaving in place a lower court decision that Obama had overstepped his authority. The case concerned Obama’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, or DAPA, which would have shielded millions of immigrants with U.S. citizen or permanent resident children from deportation. It also affects Obama’s attempt to expand the existing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which since 2012 has protected immigrants brought to the United States as children. The ruling is likely to further amplify the role of immigration in the 2016 presidential election. We speak with Thomas Saenz, president of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, who was one of four attorneys to argue the immigration case before the Supreme Court.
Britain has stunned the world by voting to leave the European Union, putting an end to a 43-year relationship. British Prime Minister David Cameron led the campaign to "remain" in the union, and responded to the vote by announcing he would resign by October. The so-called Brexit vote passed by 52 percent, and the United Kingdom will now become the first major country to leave the bloc of 27 nations. European Union President Martin Schulz called on the remaining member states to enter discussions to help protect the eurozone and the pound. We go to London to get reaction and examine the country’s next steps with guests on both sides of the vote: Joseph Choonara, member of the Socialist Workers Party and spokesperson for Lexit, the Left Leave campaign, and Alex Scrivener, policy officer at Global Justice Now who campaigned with Another Europe is Possible, the left campaign for Britain to remain in the EU.
One of the world’s longest conflicts appears to be nearing an end after more than 50 years of fighting. Today, Colombian government officials and FARC rebels are gathering in Havana, Cuba, to announce a historic ceasefire nearly four years in the making.The breakthrough deal reportedly includes terms on an armistice, the handing over of weapons, and the security of insurgents who give up their arms. The conflict in Colombia began in 1964 and has claimed some 220,000 lives. More than 5 million people are estimated to have been displaced. Later today, President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC commander Timoleón Jiménez—known as Timochenko—will formally announce the terms of the ceasefire at a ceremony in Havana. We speak to Colombia’s former High Commissioner for Peace Daniel García-Peña and author Mario Murillo.
Relatives of victims of gun violence gathered in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to push for new gun legislation. Relatives included Uma Loganathan. Her father, Professor G.V. Loganathan, was shot and killed on April 16, 2007, in the Virginia Tech massacre. He was teaching advanced hydrology to 14 students at the time of the shooting. Nine of his students were also killed. Uma is now a volunteer fellow at Everytown for Gun Safety’s Survivor Network. She joins us from Washington.
On Capitol Hill, Democratic lawmakers are continuing a historic sit-in on the floor of the House to demand the Republican leadership take action on gun control after the Orlando massacre left 49 people dead. We are joined now by Democratic Congressmember Alan Grayson of Florida, whose district includes Orlando. He is drafting an assault weapons ban bill in the wake of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub.
Democrats taking part in the House sit-in are pushing for votes to expand background checks for gun purchases and to curb the sale of weapons to people on government watchlists—a proposal strongly opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Constitutional Rights, among other groups. We speak to Congressmember Barbara Lee (D-California) and Vincent Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
Sign Up Now to receive our weekly E-Newsletter every Sunday!