More than 84 people are dead in Nice, France, after an attack on a crowd of people celebrating Bastille Day in the city in the French Riviera. Witnesses said a man in a large truck deliberately drove into a massive crowd watching a fireworks celebration. The truck continued driving a mile, mowing down people in the crowd. No group has taken responsibility for the attack. French media have identified the driver of the truck as Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a French man of Tunisian descent who lived in Nice. Earlier today, French President François Hollande announced he would extend the state of emergency put in place after the Paris attacks which killed 130 people eight months ago.
On June 30, President Obama signed into law the PROMESA bill, which will establish a federally appointed control board with sweeping powers to run Puerto Rico’s economy. While the legislation’s supporters say the bill will help the island cope with its debt crisis by allowing an orderly restructuring of its $72 billion in bond debt, critics say it is a reversion to old-style colonialism that removes democratic control from the people of Puerto Rico. But does Puerto Rico really owe $72 billion in bond debt—and to whom?
A stunning new report by ReFund America Project reveals nearly half the debt owed by Puerto Rico is not actually money that the island borrowed, but instead interest owed to investors on bonds underwritten by Wall Street firms including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. While the Puerto Rican people are facing massive austerity cuts, bondholders are set to make mind-boggling profits in what has been compared to a payday lending scheme.
As Black Lives Matter protests have swept the country in recent weeks, today’s show ends with the story of one dishwasher at Yale University who has decided to take the university’s history of racism into his own hands—or his own broomstick, in this case. Corey Menafee worked for Yale for about eight years. In June, as he was cleaning a dining room in Yale’s residential dorm Calhoun College, Menafee stood on top of a table and used a broomstick to break a stained-glass window depicting enslaved Africans carrying bales of cotton. Menafee said the image is racist and degrading and that he had become sick of seeing it every day.
Calhoun College is named after former Vice President John C. Calhoun, one of the most prominent pro-slavery figures in history. For years students have demanded Yale change the building’s name. Yale University police arrested Menafee and charged him with reckless endangerment and felony mischief. But on Wednesday, after Yale students and community members demonstrated in support of Menafee, Yale University announced it has dropped the charges.
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