In Yemen, a U.S.-backed, Saudi-led airstrike has bombed a bus carrying a group of children, killing dozens of civilians, mostly children under the age of 10. The head of the health department in Saada province, where the attack occurred, said at least 43 people were killed and dozens more injured. The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led bombing campaign has repeatedly been accused of committing war crimes by targeting civilians.
Meanwhile, an explosive new Associated Press investigation says the Saudi-led coalition has repeatedly cut secret deals with al-Qaeda, paying its fighters to retreat from towns or join the U.S.-backed coalition. The AP investigation accuses the United States of being essentially aligned with al-Qaeda in the fight against Yemen’s Houthi rebels, even as the U.S. says it’s fighting al-Qaeda in Yemen.
A U.S. airstrike has killed at least a dozen Afghan security forces in Logar province. Afghan officials say the U.S. airstrike hit an Afghan police outpost by mistake. The United States has sharply increased bombing in Afghanistan, dropping nearly 3,000 bombs in the first six months of this year, almost twice as many as during the same period last year.
In Gaza, the Israeli military launched a barrage of airstrikes and artillery shelling overnight, killing three people, including a Palestinian woman and her 18-month-old child. The Israeli bombing came after Hamas fired rockets into southern Israel, injuring six Israelis. The Hamas attack came after the Israeli military killed two Hamas members one day earlier.
Colombia has recognized Palestine as a free, independent and sovereign state. The announcement by the Palestinian Embassy in Bogotá came on the same day as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley visited the Colombia-Venezuela border and escalated the Trump administration’s rhetoric demanding the ouster of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.
Nikki Haley: “This is a crisis where the region has not been as loud and active as we would like to see. We think they need to do more. But the international community, the world in general, needs to realize that we have a dictator in Venezuela that is doing everything to protect himself and is sacrificing all of the Venezuelan people to do it.”
The United States has announced it will impose new sanctions against Russia over Russia’s alleged poisoning of Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, Britain, in March. The sanctions are slated to take effect August 22. Russia has slammed the U.S. sanctions and vowed to retaliate.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and the city of Charlottesville have declared states of emergency ahead of this weekend’s first anniversary of the deadly white supremacist rally. White supremacists are planning to hold rallies in both Charlottesville and Washington, D.C., this weekend. Anti-racist, anti-fascist demonstrators are planning counterprotests.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, longtime leader Joseph Kabila has announced he will not run for re-election. Kabila’s term ended in 2016, but he has so far refused to step down even as violence and insecurity has increased in the DRC. Kabila is now backing his close ally, Interior Minister Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary, to run as his successor. He is under European Union sanctions for alleged human rights violations, including overseeing a deadly military crackdown against protesters.
In Argentina, the Senate has rejected legislation to legalize abortion, dealing a blow to women’s health and reproductive rights groups. The powerful Catholic Church had lobbied heavily against legalizing abortion. Currently, abortion in Argentina is banned except in cases of rape or when the mother’s life is at risk. Dozens of Argentine women die every year as a result of unsafe illegal abortions.
Federal prosecutors have charged New York Republican Congressmember Chris Collins with insider trading. Prosecutors say Collins received an email from the head of an Australian drug company, in which Collins was the largest shareholder, telling him the company’s only drug had just failed its scientific trial. They say he immediately called his son, who then sold off his stocks, saving $600,000. Collins sits on the board of the company. If convicted, Collins could face up to 150 years in prison. Collins was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump’s presidential bid. Collins’ son and his son’s fiancée’s father have also been charged in the scheme. Collins says he will still run for re-election in November.
Tribune Media has pulled out of the proposed $3.9 billion merger with the right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group. FCC Chair Ajit Pai said last month he had “serious concerns” about the merger, which would have combined two of the nation’s largest broadcasters. Free press groups are celebrating the collapse of the merger.
In Pennsylvania, South Whitehall Township police officer Jonathan Roselle has been charged with manslaughter for fatally shooting an unarmed 44-year-old man named Joseph Santos two weeks ago. The rookie cop previously served in the U.S. Army and did a tour in Afghanistan.
New York has become the first major U.S. city to crack down on Wall Street-backed ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft. The New York City Council voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to halt new vehicle licenses for ride-hailing services and set a minimum pay rate for drivers.
In Japan, residents of Nagasaki gathered today to mark the 73rd anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki, which killed 74,000 people and forever changed the lives of those who survived the nuclear attack. This is Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue speaking at today’s ceremony.
Mayor Tomihisa Taue: “I demand the Japanese government agree with the U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, as the only country to have suffered from an atomic bombing, as well as to bear its moral responsibility to lead a nuclear-free world.”
We’ll have more on the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki later in the broadcast.
And also in Japan, the governor of Okinawa, Takeshi Onaga, has died at the age of 67. Onaga waged a fierce campaign against the construction of a new U.S. military base on the island, part of a decades-long Japanese peace movement demanding the expulsion of U.S. troops from Okinawa. This is Governor Onaga testifying to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva in 2015.
Gov. Takeshi Onaga: “The question is why the issue of bases and national security is a human rights issue. Let me tell you this: Japan placed Okinawa for 27 years under U.S. military administration. We were neither Japanese nor Americans. And during that time, many things happened, including a rape of a girl, a jet crashing into the ground of a primary school and hit-and-run deaths by a U.S. soldier who was acquitted and sent home. And after the return, we found out there is a lot of pollution from toxins, like dioxins, and there is an environmental issue. And even to investigate that, we cannot do it, because it is not possible during the U.S.-Japan agreement.”
Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga has died at the age of 67 in a hospital in Urasoe, Japan.