Democracy Now: U.S. Veteran Placed on No-Fly List Without Explanation

•November 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

An African-American Muslim and 10-year veteran of the U.S. military has come forward to reveal he has been placed on the U.S. no-fly list without explanation. Speaking to The Guardian, former Air Force servicemember Saadiq Long says he has been prevented from visiting his ailing mother in Oklahoma after learning the Department of Homeland Security has barred him from flying to the United States. Long had bought a ticket to Oklahoma from his home in Qatar shortly after learning his mother’s congestive heart condition has worsened. According to Long, he has no criminal history and, after six months, has yet to receive an explanation as to why he has been included on the list.

Democracy Now: Appeals Court Hears Challenge to Arizona Abortion Ban

•November 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

A federal appeals court heard arguments Monday in a case challenging an Arizona law that bans abortion after 20 weeks gestation — or 18 weeks post-fertilization — except in medical emergencies. Abortion rights advocates call the measure among the most extreme of the more than six similar bans across the United States. The law is on hold pending the outcome of the appeal.

Democracy Now: Judge Sides with Michigan Company Seeking to Opt Out of Contraception Rule

•November 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

A federal judge has ruled in favor of a Michigan company seeking to opt out of a requirement in the new federal healthcare law to provide contraception coverage to female employees. Judge Robert Cleland of the Federal District Court in Detroit sided with a family-owned company that argued that funding contraceptives would violate the family’s religious beliefs. The ruling marked the second time a federal judge has sided with an employer seeking an exemption on the grounds of opposition to contraceptives.

Democracy Now: 4 Arrested as Dozens Protest Keystone Oil Pipeline in D.C.

•November 6, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Dozens of protesters opposed to the Keystone XL oil pipeline held a rally on Monday at the Washington, D.C., office of a firm lobbying on behalf of TransCanada, the company behind the pipeline. Four protesters were arrested after staging a sit-in and refusing to leave. The protest was held in solidarity with a more than six-week blockade in Texas where protesters are attempting to block progress on the pipeline’s construction. The Keystone XL would carry oil from Alberta’s tar sands to the Gulf Coast. President Obama has put off a decision on its approval until after the election.

Democracy Now: Sandy Destroys Haitian Agriculture, Threatens 1.5 Million With Hunger

•November 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Haiti is grappling with yet another crisis one week after Hurricane Sandy hit. The United Nations is warning that Sandy destroyed 70 percent of Haiti’s crops and left a million and a half people at serious risk of hunger. The death toll stands at 54 but is expected to rise. The storm destroyed some 21,000 homes and caused more than $104 million of damage. Large parts of Haiti’s south are still unreachable by land due to massive flooding, sparking fears of a new outbreak of cholera. The new devastation brought by Sandy comes as Haiti still tries to rebuild from the massive 2010 earthquake that killed some 300,000 people.

Democracy Now: Power Mostly Restored Post-Sandy, But 1.85 Million Still in the Dark

•November 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Power has been restored to close to 80 percent of the 8.5 million households across 16 U.S. states left in the dark by last week’s superstorm Sandy. But that leaves 1.85 million still without power, including more than one million in New Jersey, the state hardest hit.

Democracy Now: New York City Faces Housing Crisis for 40,000 Displaced Residents

•November 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

In New York City, subway service has now been mostly restored as the city slowly continues its recovery. But with Sandy flooding and damaging thousands of homes, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned of a new housing crisis for up to 40,000 displaced residents in need of shelter.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg: “We don’t have a lot of empty housing in this city so it’s really a problem to find housing when we need it. We are not going to let anybody go sleeping on the streets or we’re not going to let anybody go without blankets, food, and water but it’s a challenge and we’re working on it as fast as we can.”

On top of the displacement and loss of power, the recovery from Sandy will see further strain later this week when an early-season “Nor’easter” storm hits New England and the surrounding region.

Democracy Now: Obama, Romney Hit Battleground States as Campaign Ends

•November 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The 2012 presidential race is in its final day of campaigning before voters head to the polls on Tuesday to make their choice. On Sunday, President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney each crisscrossed four battleground states in a frenzied effort to get out the vote. Speaking in Florida, Obama said Romney would revive the harshest policies of previous Republican administrations.

President Obama: “It’s just not the choice between two parties or two candidates, it’s a choice between two different visions of America. On the one hand, you can choose to return to the top down policies that crashed our economy or you can join me in building a future that on a strong and growing middle class.”

Democracy Now: Obama Holds Electoral College Lead in Battleground Polls

•November 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

After a tightened race over the past month, President Obama appears to have regained the momentum, holding the vast majority of leads in polls of the battleground states that will decide the Electoral College. Speaking in Ohio, Mitt Romney called Obama a failed president.

Mitt Romney: “I’d ask them to put aside all the speeches, all the ads and all the attacks and to look at the record because you see talk is cheap, but, a record is real and it’s earned with real effort. Change is not measured in words and speeches, change is measured in achievement, so lets look at that record.”

Democracy Now: Ohio Sees 1.6 Million Early Voter Turnout; New ID Law Could Disqualify Ballots

•November 5, 2012 • Leave a Comment

As Mitt Romney and President Obama push for a strong election day turnout, the 2012 election will likely wind up setting a record for early voting. More than 1.6 million people have already voted in the critical battleground state of Ohio, either at the polls or with absentee ballots. Over the weekend, long lines were reported across the state as voters braved cold weather to line up for hours at the polls. Ohio Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, meanwhile, has issued a new last-minute directive that would disqualify ballots not accompanied by a form accurately documenting the type of identification used. Attorneys for the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and the Service Employees International Union have filed a challenge in court.