’22 July’ Director Paul Greengrass Is Worried About European Democracy

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"22 July," a new drama from Netflix, centers around a real terrorist attack: the 2011 bombing and mass shooting in Norway committed by far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, which left 77 people dead and more than 300 injured.

It's the latest film from director Paul Greengrass, who's known both for his work on the Jason Bourne movies, as well as other based-on-a-true-story dramas like "United 93" and "Captain Phillips."

Greengrass told Newsy, "There's a political nature to what Breivik did, that demands attention, demands that we engage with it."

Greengrass says there are echoes of the 2011 attack in today's politics. Breivik has claimed he felt motivated to stop Muslim immigration in Norway, and said his attack was targeted at Norwegian politicians and their children, for promoting multiculturalism in the country.

Greengrass said, "Breivik was an original member of the alt-right, if I can put it like that. Of course, his heinous crimes, his methods, are disavowed by many, though not all, of that movement. If you look at what Breivik has to say, that is standard rhetoric now for your mainstream populist right-wing politician."

SEE MORE: Charlottesville Remains Ground Zero For The Confederate Statues Debate

Today, far-right populist parties and leaders are currently ascendant across Europe, driven by similar anti-immigrant sentiments. For Greengrass, their rise represents an existential threat to democracy.

"We're not talking about left and right, conservatism vs. liberalism, we're talking about democratic or anti-democratic," Greengrass said. "And increasing numbers of people right now are starting to think about solutions beyond democracy."

"22 July" approaches this topic by focusing on the aftermath of Breivik's attack, displaying the recovery process for two of the victims and the country as a whole.

Seda Witt, who plays survivor Lara Rachid in the film, said "We could only tell the stories of those two people, but we really wish we could tell the stories of everyone who experienced that day."

And her co-star, Jonas Strand Gravli, said about playing survivor Viljar Hanssen, "I felt a huge responsibility to show Viljar's bravery and the focus he had in the recovery. He went into this room in the court, and sat down face-to-face with the guy who wanted him dead and shot him five times. It's impossible to imagine that kind of bravery."

Breivik's trial plays a central role in the film. Greengrass says the court testimony from survivors of the attack at that trial was a crucial part of helping the country heal.

He said, "They challenged him directly: morally, intellectually, emotionally, politically. And what they did was defeat him. They did not allow those views to remain standing. They engaged with him, they challenged him directly, and they defeated him. And that I think is part of the lesson that Norway has for us."

"We've probably become a little bit complacent that democracy is just what happens. It isn't. Democracy happens if you will it into being and you win the arguments for it. And if we ignore forces that are absolutely taking the center of our democracies with malign intent, and we just pretend it's not happening, we're going to make the problem worse, not better."

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This Is The Organization Backing The Central American Migrant Caravan

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caravan of migrants has been making its way toward the U.S. border. And it's caused heated political debate.

As the caravan has moved through countries including Honduras and Guatemala, it's gained more attention. And the migrants are backed by an organization that's offered support for these types of caravans for more than a decade.

The organization, Pueblo Sin Fronteras — which roughly translates to "Village Without Borders" — describes itself as a collective "in permanent solidarity with displaced peoples." That solidarity comes in the form of aid, legal advice or backing for caravans, which can make migrants' journeys safer.

SEE MORE: Why Trump Believes Migrant Caravan Is 'A Great Republican Issue'

The Central American migrant caravan that arrived at the U.S. border earlier this year was also backed by Pueblo Sin Fronteras.

One particularly striking part of the caravans over the years is an ongoing connection to the biblical story of Jesus' crucifixion. The journeys are called "Via Crucis Migrantes," or "Migrants' Way of the Cross," and they nod to the Catholic Stations of the Cross procession.

Traveling in a group has its benefits, like safety, but it can also send a message to world leaders to pay attention to issues like violence in Central America. President Donald Trump has used the caravan as a talking point in his push for stricter border security. 

Shortly after this Oct. 16 tweet from Trump, Pueblo Sin Fronteras released a statement asking that the U.S. "respect the international right to migrate and to seek asylum and refuge."

The Trump administration has said the caravan has incited violence and won't be allowed into the U.S.

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This Is The Organization Backing The Central American Migrant Caravan

Read more of this story here from Newsy Headlines by Newsy Headlines.


Watch Video

caravan of migrants has been making its way toward the U.S. border. And it's caused heated political debate.

As the caravan has moved through countries including Honduras and Guatemala, it's gained more attention. And the migrants are backed by an organization that's offered support for these types of caravans for more than a decade.

The organization, Pueblo Sin Fronteras — which roughly translates to "Village Without Borders" — describes itself as a collective "in permanent solidarity with displaced peoples." That solidarity comes in the form of aid, legal advice or backing for caravans, which can make migrants' journeys safer.

SEE MORE: Why Trump Believes Migrant Caravan Is 'A Great Republican Issue'

The Central American migrant caravan that arrived at the U.S. border earlier this year was also backed by Pueblo Sin Fronteras.

One particularly striking part of the caravans over the years is an ongoing connection to the biblical story of Jesus' crucifixion. The journeys are called "Via Crucis Migrantes," or "Migrants' Way of the Cross," and they nod to the Catholic Stations of the Cross procession.

Traveling in a group has its benefits, like safety, but it can also send a message to world leaders to pay attention to issues like violence in Central America. President Donald Trump has used the caravan as a talking point in his push for stricter border security. 

Shortly after this Oct. 16 tweet from Trump, Pueblo Sin Fronteras released a statement asking that the U.S. "respect the international right to migrate and to seek asylum and refuge."

The Trump administration has said the caravan has incited violence and won't be allowed into the U.S.

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Why Trump Believes Migrant Caravan Is ‘A Great Republican Issue’

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A migrant caravan making its way toward the U.S.' border with Mexico has expanded to some 7,000 people. And in the eyes of President Donald Trump and other high-profile Republicans, that's a midterm blessing.

"This is a great Republican issue," Trump told reporters on Friday in Arizona.  

“Sometimes politicians and their consultants and everybody does all this planning and then history just picks things up and changes everything,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Fox News last Wednesday, referring to the caravan.   

With the midterms less than two weeks away, President Trump has seized on the caravan to amp up his attacks on immigrants and Democrats.

"The Democrats want to throw open your borders to deadly drugs and gangs and anybody else that wants to come in," President Trump told supporters at a rally in Nevada on Saturday.

"You have some very tough criminal elements within the caravan," President Trump told reporters later that day.

While unfounded, the president's assertions did get a boost from these Friday visuals of caravan members marching through a Guatemalan border fence with Mexico.

Either way, experts say the president's renewed emphasis on illegal immigration, crime and the need to protect borders reflects a simple messaging tactic. Poll after poll show that GOP voters see "illegal immigration" as one of the nation's most urgent problems.

Besides, Republican strategists are eager to move the immigration debate away from the humanitarian harm caused by the government's separation practice and back to national security and law-enforcement. 

As for Democratic candidates, they have been instructed not to engage with Trump's attacks in order to pivot the conversation towards health care and income inequality.     

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN

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Activists Respond To Reported WH Rollback Of Transgender Protections

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LGBTQ and civil rights activists are speaking out against a reported Trump administration proposal that would roll back legal protections for transgender people. 

The Human Rights Campaign is calling for Congress to take action should the White House go through with the potential policy change, saying it would set a "destructive precedent." 

The New York Times reported the Health and Human Services Department is working on a draft proposal to redefine gender as biological and unchangeable. If implemented, it could override federal recognition for the more than one million Americans who are transgender. 

The department reportedly argues that Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex, and that definition wasn't meant to include gender identity.

The change would mark another reversal of Obama administration-era policies that sought to expand the legal concept of gender.  

According to the NYT, the new definitions could be presented to the Justice Department as soon as the end of this year. 

HHS hasn't publicly confirmed the report, but President Donald Trump spoke out about the transgender rights issue Monday. 

"We're looking at it. We have a lot of different concepts right now," he said. "They have a lot of different things happening with respect to transgender right now. You know that as well as I do. We're looking at it very seriously. I'm protecting everybody. You know what I'm doing? I'm protecting everybody. I'm protecting our country." 

Since the New York Times story, there have already been rallies in support of transgender rights in front of the White House and in New York City. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN

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Wells Fargo To Pay $65 Million For Misleading Investors

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Wells Fargo is shelling out money for yet another multi-million dollar fine.

On Monday, the New York Attorney General said the bank agreed to pay $65 million for misleading investors. The problems centered around the fake accounts Wells Fargo employees opened to try to reach "unrealistic" sales goals set by the company. 

The bank already paid $185 million federal fine for the fake accounts, and it settled a class action lawsuit for $480 million. 

But this new settlement only covers the "misleading investors" part of the problem. The New York AG said an investigation into the bank's "illegal business practices" is still ongoing.

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Midterm Matchup: ‘What The Fact’ Checks Florida Governor Race

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Each week until the 2018 midterm elections, "What The Fact" breaks down the claims made by candidates in races that could have national implications.

In Florida, Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum are facing each other for the governor's office in a battle of a former congressman vs. Tallahassee's mayor, respectively.

"What The Fact" with PolitiFact's Aaron Sharockman and Katie Sanders airs every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. ET. Click here to check local listings.

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Texas Democrats Vie To Turn State Blue In 2018 Midterms

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For the past few decades, Texas has been a Republican stronghold when it comes to elections, voting for GOP candidates up and down the ballot. The last time the majority of Texans voted for a Democratic presidential nominee was 1976. But as we approach this year's midterm elections—which features several close races—some are wondering: could Texas go from red to blue? 

"The numbers are on our side," said Dyana Limon-Mercado. "We have plenty of people that, if they just get out to vote, Texas can flip for sure.” 

Dyana Limon-Mercado is the chair of the Travis County Democrats in Texas, where she says voters are more motivated than ever to get to the polls and vote for Democrats over issues like health care and public education. She also claims the Lone Star State isn't exactly red. 

"I think it’s sort of a misnomer to say that we’re a red state and we’ve always been that way. We’re really a nonvoting state much more so than a red state," she said. "And really, the challenge for us has been turning out people to vote."

Turnout could be changing, though. Ahead of the October 9 deadline, a record 15.6 million Texans registered to vote—an 11 percent increase from the last midterm elections. But Republicans say it's not just Democrats who are responsible for that spike. 

"I do think there’s a lot of enthusiasm that’s not being reported on and we’ll see that. 2018 will be a test," said Andy Hogue, communications director of the Travis County Republican Party. "I believe we’ll hold on to the Senate and lose a couple in the House but overall, I don’t see a lot a change coming."

The surge in voter registration even outpaced population growth, which Texas set a record for in 2017—attracting an influx of young adults. Coupled with the growing Latino population, which grew by nearly 1.7 million between 2010 and 2017, the demographic shift has put the future of the GOP there into question. According to Pew Research, Hispanic registered voters have identified with the Democrats more than Republicans, not unlike young voters. 

On top of a handful of competitive house races, recent polling shows U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz's lead over U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke in the single digits, compared to the nearly 16-point lead he had in 2012 against Paul Sadler. But Andy Hogue says he still doesn't see Democrats as a threat yet, and believes O'Rourke is nothing more than a test balloon. 

"If you look at Beto’s rhetoric, he’s not running to win. He’s repeating the Democrat talking points point for point. Look at Lupe Valdez, their candidate for governor. Who’s heard of her? You can find Beto signs all over town from downtown to up here in the suburbs. Everywhere. But you won’t find one Lupe Valdez sign anywhere, and that’s because the Democrats are betting on Beto O’Rourke as a test balloon to see how many voters will turn out," he said. 

In the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton received 43 percent of the vote in Texas—more than she picked up in Iowa or Ohio, two known battleground states. But if the midterm elections are a referendum on the president, then Texas Democrats might be in trouble; President Trump has a 51 percent approval rating in the state.

In order to truly turn the state blue, Democrats would have to pick up over a dozen seats in Congress. They'd have to win even more in the state legislature. Considering that, it's more likely that Texas would become a purple battleground before it turns completely blue. 

Correction: A previous version of this story said the Latino population in Texas increased by 1.4 million between 2010 and 2017. The story has been updated.

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Trans Rights Protesters At Rally: ‘We Will Not Be Erased’

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"People who are uninformed about trans rights think it's special rights. It's not anything special. We want the same rights as everyone else," said Grey. 

Grey is fresh out of high school. But for him, the scars of discrimination are still very real. Though he says most everyone in school knew he was trans, he wasn't allowed to use the men's bathroom. 

"Every time I wanted to use the bathroom, I had to use the nurse's room. They didn't want me in the women's bathroom either, so it was like I had to be completely segregated from everyone else in the school," Grey said. "It just made me feel like I was less than everybody else because I was completely segregated. It's kind of humiliating."

Transgender students like Grey are now on edge after The New York Times reported that the Trump administration is considering changes to current Obama-era advancements for the transgender community. The paper reports "The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth." It would effectively change the way trans rights are approached, from bathroom issues to single-sex education programs to classifications in prisons and homeless shelters. 

President Trump recently commented on the Department of Health and Human Services memo that outlined the proposal.

"We're looking at it very seriously. You know what I'm doing? I'm protecting everybody. I want to protect our country," he said. 

"I don't think the government should be defining what my gender is. I also think it's just a big distraction from the other major issues that our government should be addressing," said Nicky Sundt. She doesn't necessarily think the Trump administration is paying attention to these protests. But she is hoping voters are hearing her chants.

"I don't think they're listening, but the people who are maybe on the fence about voting will be moved. Maybe a few people will be moved, but sometimes that's all it takes is a few people," she added.

But for this dad, it's about more than elections and federal policies. It's about his transgender daughter, who is 8 years old. He did not want to be named out of privacy concerns for her, but he came alone to this rally to support her.

"A child that's 8 years old doesn't really have a voice yet, but they have a powerful voice. And I would like to be that voice for her behind the scenes," he explained. He worries about kids like his daughter, especially when suicide rates are so much higher among this community.

"As a parent, the one thing you want is to make your child happy. She came out at 4, and she told us, 'I don't want to be in this world anymore.' Pretty easy decision on our part to be like, 'Hey, whatever you need.' People need to educate themselves. As a parent, I'm not forcing my kid to do that. This is my kid's world. Let's live in it and be supportive of it," he said. 

He says most people are simply uneducated about the issue. 

"A lot of people say I don't want my daughter to have a transgender person in my bathroom, and I say, look, trans people are the least scary people out there because they're more concerned about their own safety, much less than causing other people harm. Educate yourself. Educate why this is not a choice," he added.

But Grey hopes the noise he's making today, along with hundreds of others outside the White House, like this dad, will remind people this issue is not going away.

"We're not going to take it. We're going to fight back in any way we can," he said.

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Trump Threatens To Cut Aid To Central American Countries Over Caravan

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President Donald Trump is once again threatening to cut aid to three Central American countries for not stopping a migrant caravan that's making its way across Mexico toward the U.S. 

In a tweet Monday, he said Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador failed to stop the migrants. So now, he said the U.S. is going to start "cutting off, or substantially reducing, the massive foreign aid routinely given to them."

The president also said he's alerted Border Patrol and the military that the situation is a "National [Emergency]." Trump previously threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border over the caravan.

On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused migrants in the caravan of provoking violence. He also said organizers were politically motivated and said the U.S. wouldn't let the migrants into the country. 

The caravan started its march on Oct. 12 with about 160 people. As of Sunday night, Mexican officials said that the migrant caravan had expanded to some 7,000 people. It's unclear where the additional people came from. 

On Saturday, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said thousands of migrants in the caravan had returned to Honduras after being held up while trying to cross the Mexico-Guatemala border.

Much of the caravan reportedly avoided authorities by illegally crossing the Suchiate River into Mexico. 

Mexico has asked for help from the U.N. refugee agency to help figure out which migrants have legitimate asylum claims. Individuals will need to apply for refugee status if they don't have the right travel documents.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN

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