In Gaza, thousands of Palestinians gathered Saturday for the funeral of 21-year-old medic Razan al-Najjar, who an Israeli sniper shot dead on Friday as she was helping evacuate wounded Palestinians at a protest near the separation fence between Israel and Gaza. The Israeli sniper shot her in the chest even though she was clearly wearing a medical vest and a medical ID at the time of her death. In total, the Israeli military has killed at least 119 Palestinians and wounded more than 13,000 more as part of the brutal crackdown against the Palestinians’ ongoing nonviolent Great March of Return protests demanding an end to the Israeli occupation. This is Razan’s mother, Sabreen al-Najjar.
Sabreen al-Najjar: “The whole world saw what happened to my daughter, and I call for international protection. Where is this international protection? Where are the human rights? How was my daughter a threat? What was her weapon? This is her weapon, this medical equipment. This is my daughter’s weapon. This is what she was resisting with. On what basis did the soldier kill her? She has been targeted since the first day of protest. So many times she has survived death. She would come through and tell me what she went through. May God account every person who is silent about this.”
After headlines, we’ll speak with Razan’s cousin, Dalia, and we’ll go to Gaza to speak with Dr. Medhat Abbas, the director of Al-Shifa Hospital.
President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani claimed Sunday that Trump has the power to pardon himself.
Rudy Giuliani: “It’s not going to happen, so it’s a hypothetical point. I think the presidential power—there’s nothing that limits the presidential power of pardon from a federal crime, not a state crime. President Trump is not going to do that. He’s obviously not going to give up any of his pardon powers or any other future president’s pardon powers, but under these circumstances he’s not going to do that.”
Giuliani made the claims only one day after The New York Times published a 20-page letter written by Trump’s lawyers to special counsel Robert Mueller, in which his lawyers claim Trump is above the law and thus cannot have illegally obstructed the Mueller investigation. In the January 29 letter, they claim, “It remains our position that the President’s actions here, by virtue of his position as the chief law enforcement officer, could neither constitutionally nor legally constitute obstruction because that would amount to him obstructing himself, and that he could, if he wished, terminate the inquiry, or even exercise his power to pardon if he so desired.”
In North Korea, three top military officials have reportedly been removed from their posts, amid preparations for the proposed June 12 summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. In a reversal, President Trump announced Friday he would hold the summit, after canceling the proposed meeting only one week earlier.
In Guatemala, at least 25 people have died after the Fuego volcano erupted about 25 miles southwest of the capital Guatemala City. Hundreds more were injured when lava poured down the mountainside and engulfed nearby villages. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has declared three days of national mourning.
In Jordan, thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital Amman for a fourth straight night Sunday amid a growing anti-austerity movement sparked by an income tax increase backed by the International Monetary Fund. The protests are the biggest in years in Jordan. Al Jazeera reports Jordan’s King Abdullah II is expected to ask for Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki’s resignation today. This is Yasmin Mihyar, one of the protesters.
Yasmin Mihyar: “To be honest, the citizens cannot handle the economic burdens. Who was bearing it previously? We are not the people who should pay the taxes of the IMF and the debts the country is putting onto the shoulders of the people. As you can see, people are protesting and are opposing these decisions.”
Tunisia’s Defense Ministry says at least 46 refugees died when their boat sank off Tunisia’s coast Sunday. The refugees were from Tunisia and other African nations and were headed toward Sicily. The United Nations says at least 660 refugees have died crossing the Mediterranean so far this year.
In Nicaragua, at least six people were killed over the weekend amid escalating anti-government protests that have engulfed Nicaragua since mid-April. More than 110 people have been killed in the protests so far, the majority killed by security forces or paramilitary groups loyal to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega. On Sunday, Pope Francis prayed for peace in Nicaragua.
Pope Francis: “I join my brother bishops of Nicaragua in expressing sorrow for the serious violence carried out by armed groups to suppress social protests which have caused dead and wounded. I pray for the victims and their families. The church is always for dialogue, but this requires an active commitment to respect freedom and, above all, life. I pray so that all violence could cease and so the conditions for the resumption of dialogue could be found as soon as possible.”
In Puerto Rico, residents lined up hundreds of pairs of shoes outside of the Capitol building in San Juan Friday as a memorial to those who have died after Hurricane Maria. The action came after a stunning study by Harvard researchers revealed the storm’s death toll is at least 4,645 people—70 times higher than the official count. This is Neida Morales Pérez, speaking at the vigil.
Neida Morales Pérez: “I’m here because my sister died. My sister is part of those statistics. She got in an accident, and they couldn’t operate on her in time. She was in the emergency room, in the trauma unit, and she was in the intensive care unit for 51 days, until she died on December 21, 2017.”
In Texas, Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley was barred from entering a detention center for immigrant children in Brownsville on Sunday, after traveling to the center—housed inside an old Walmart—to see firsthand the Trump administration’s practice of separating immigrant children from their parents. He tweeted, “I was barred entry. Asked repeatedly to speak to a supervisor—he finally came out and said he can’t tell us anything. Police were called on us. Children should never be ripped from their families & held in secretive detention centers.” Federal authorities reportedly separated at least 600 immigrant children from their parents last month, sparking widespread outrage and international condemnation. Meanwhile, in more immigration news, Houston authorities say there was a 16 percent drop in reports of domestic violence from the Latino community last year. Community advocates are concerned women are not reporting domestic violence out of fear of deportation.
In Denver, Colorado, an off-duty FBI agent shot and wounded a man at a bar, after the agent did a backflip in the middle of the dance floor, causing his gun to fall out of his holster and fire accidentally when he retrieved it.
And in New York City, hundreds of sex workers and their allies rallied outside the Stonewall National Monument Saturday and marched to Washington Square Park to demand protections for sex workers on International Whores’ Day. This is Dominique.
Dominique: “Let me make this abundantly clear: Sex work is work. It is labor. It is a solution more accessible than many others. It provides immediate income to its workers across a multitude of genders, races, nationalities and abilities. When other doors are shut, sex work is open. Keep the door of internet sex work open, of safer sex work open, of consensual sex work open. Let us work. Let us live.”