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HeadlinesJuly 02, 2014

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Israel Threatens Hamas Following Funeral for Slain Settlers

Jul 02, 2014

Israel is threatening new attacks on the Occupied Territories following the killing of three teenage settlers. Thousands of Israelis attended the victims’ funeral on Tuesday, one day after their bodies were found near the West Bank town of Hebron. Speaking after the service, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon vowed to exact revenge on Hamas.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon: “The operation against Hamas has not ended. It will continue. We will continue to act against Hamas, to strike its people. At every opportunity and every place, the organization will pay a heavy price for its actions.”

Israel has blamed Hamas for the teens’ murders without providing evidence. Hamas has denied involvement. On Tuesday, a little-known group called “Supporters of the Islamic State” claimed responsibility and threatened to attack the Palestinian Authority.

Clashes Erupt After Apparent Revenge Killing of Palestinian Teen

Jul 02, 2014

The Israelis’ funeral came as Palestinians held a funeral for a teenager killed in an Israeli raid on the town of Jenin. Another Palestinian teen was killed Tuesday near Jerusalem in an apparent revenge attack by Israeli settlers. Clashes erupted in East Jerusalem earlier today, with Israeli forces firing rubber-coated bullets on Palestinians, injuring up to 30 people. Nearly 50 Israelis were also detained on Tuesday at right-wing protests, with demonstrators chanting “death to the Arabs.”

Amnesty to Israel: “Justice Will Not Be Served by Collective Punishment”

Jul 02, 2014

The Israeli government, meanwhile, has revived the practice of punitive home demolitions, razing the homes of two suspects. This follows a massive raid on the West Bank and airstrikes on Gaza that have killed around 12 Palestinians over the past two weeks. In a statement, Amnesty International urged Israel to halt its crackdown, saying: “Justice will not be served by Israel seeking revenge by imposing collective punishment, or committing other violations of Palestinians’ rights.” Next week will mark the 10th anniversary of the International Court of Justice advisory ruling that said Israel’s separation wall and settlements in the occupied West Bank are illegal.

Iraqi Lawmakers Reach Impasse on New Gov’t in Opening Day of Talks

Jul 02, 2014

Iraqi lawmakers have broken off talks to form a new government on the opening day of negotiations. Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds are all pushing different candidates for the key posts of prime minister, speaker of the parliament and president. This comes as new violence in Iraq has killed dozens, including 25 today in clashes between Shiites and police in the city of Karbala.

U.N.: Iraq Suffers Deadliest Month Since 2007

Jul 02, 2014

On Tuesday, the United Nations confirmed June was Iraq’s deadliest month since 2007, with more than 2,400 killed. A spokesperson for the U.N. Human Rights Office spoke in Geneva.

Ravina Shamdasani: “In June, a total of at least 1,531 civilians were killed. The last time such a high number of civilians was killed in Iraq was in 2007, in a single month. An additional 886 members of the Iraqi security forces were killed. Another 1,763 civilians were injured in June. We are consistently receiving reports of civilians being targeted, kidnapped, harassed and killed by ISIL forces, and of indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas. We have also received reports that ISIL forces have been going door to door in Mosul, trying to forcibly recruit young men to fight against ISF.”

Suicide Bombing Kills 8 in Kabul

Jul 02, 2014

At least eight people have been killed and 13 wounded in a suicide attack in the Afghan capital of Kabul. The attack targeted a bus carrying Afghan military personnel.

Right-Wing Activists Block Migrant Buses in California

Jul 02, 2014

Right-wing activists have blocked a caravan of buses carrying undocumented immigrants to a detention center in California. The migrants had been flown in to San Diego from an overcrowded detention center in Texas. But anti-immigrant activists stood in the buses’ path as they tried to bring the migrants to the Southern California Border Patrol station in Murrieta.

Cynthia Daum: “To me, Obama uses them as pawns for votes, and I do not agree with that. I do not. I feel that he is using — he is doing this on purpose. He wants to flood our country with illegal immigrants, not just Hispanics. He’s also letting Muslims come across the border. They are finding Qur’ans on the ground. He’s not closing our borders for a reason, and those borders need to be closed.”

The buses were rerouted to a different federal facility. In a show of solidarity with the detained migrants, the Mexican-American singer Lupillo Rivera took part in a counter-rally against the anti-immigrant protest.

Lupillo Rivera: “Closing the borders is bad, because the Latinos are not the only illegal people. The Chinese, the Americans, the Africans, the Canadians, the Europeans, there are all sorts of illegal people. There aren’t any legal people here in the United States; we are all illegal. The only legal people are the Native Americans, because this is their country, and foreigners came here to steal it from them.”

Kerry Meets with Central American Leaders on Migrant Crisis

Jul 02, 2014

The Obama administration has asked Congress for fast-track authority and additional funding to speed up the deportation of children fleeing violence and poverty in Central America. On Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry met with leaders from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, the home countries for most of the children that have tried to enter the United States. Speaking in Panama, Kerry said the United States will help tackle the causes of the immigration crisis, but renewed vows to continue the deportations.

Secretary of State John Kerry: “There are rules of law, and there is a process. And there is false information that is being spread about benefits that might be available to these young people who are looking for that better life. And so we need to work together to communicate to our people, to try to apply the law, and most importantly, to work with each of these countries to address the fundamental, underlying causes of this particular challenge.”

Appeals Court Allows Lawsuit over Border Agent Killing of Mexican Teen

Jul 02, 2014

A U.S. appeals court has ruled in favor of the family of a Mexican 15-year-old shot dead by a U.S. Border Patrol agent. According to the family’s complaint, Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca was playing with his friends on the Mexican side of the border when an agent detained one of the friends, causing Hernandez to retreat beneath a bridge. The agent, Jesus Mesa, then fired across the border into Mexico, hitting Hernandez in the face and killing him. The Obama administration argued that the U.S. Constitution did not protect Hernandez, because the teen was outside the United States. But in what was reportedly the first ruling of its kind, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, allowing the family to move forward with their lawsuit against the agent. The ruling could impact at least some of the six other cases where U.S. agents have killed Mexican citizens by shooting across the border.

Kentucky Same-Sex Marriage Ban Struck Down

Jul 02, 2014

Kentucky has become the latest state to see its same-sex marriage ban ruled illegal. On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered Kentucky to adopt marriage equality and recognize same-sex marriages performed out of state. The ruling has been put on hold pending appeals.

Obama Urges Congress to Rescue Highway Trust Fund

Jul 02, 2014

President Obama is urging Congress to take action on a budget crisis facing the Highway Trust Fund, which is used to finance transportation and infrastructure projects nationwide. The fund is expected to go broke by the end of the summer, threatening thousands of projects and more than 700,000 jobs. Obama urged lawmakers to make infrastructure a priority and criticized Republicans for threatening to sue him over his use of executive action.

President Obama: “It’s not crazy. It’s not socialism. It’s not the imperial presidency. No laws are broken. We’re just building roads and bridges like we’ve been doing for the last, I don’t know, 50, 100 years. Middle-class families can’t wait for Republicans in Congress to do stuff. So sue me! As long as they’re doing nothing, I’m not going to apologize for trying to do something.”

“Cannibal Cop” Freed after Conviction Overturned

Jul 02, 2014

A New York City police officer imprisoned for plotting to kidnap and cannibalize women has had his conviction overturned. Gilberto Valle became known as the “cannibal cop” after it emerged he had openly fantasized about eating women in online posts and had searched for recipes for cooking human flesh and for making homemade chloroform to subdue victims. But on Tuesday, a district judge ruled Valle’s posts amounted to “fantasy role play,” not an actual crime. Valle made a brief statement outside the courtroom.

Gilberto Valle: “I’d like to make a very, very brief statement. I want to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone who has been hurt, shocked and offended by my infantile actions.”

The judge in the case upheld a lesser charge of improperly accessing a police database to find potential victims, but it carries a term shorter than the 18 months Valle spent behind bars.

6 Los Angeles Sheriff’s Officers Convicted of Obstructing Probe into Abuse

Jul 02, 2014

Six Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department officials have reportedly been found guilty of obstructing a federal probe into the abuse of prisoners and other misconduct at county jails. More than a dozen officers were indicted last year following a multi-year investigation into the systemic abuse of prisoners. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Massive Pro-Democracy Rally Held in Hong Kong

Jul 02, 2014

Tens of thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, rallied in Hong Kong on Tuesday in a call for democracy free from Chinese control. Pro-democracy activists have been organizing for local elections, prompting China to declare it has ultimate authority over the city-state. More than 500 people were arrested. It was Hong Kong’s largest protest in a decade.

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