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HeadlinesSeptember 27, 2021

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Haitians Condemn Mass Deportations and Inhumane Treatment by the U.S.

Sep 27, 2021

In Del Rio, Texas, a makeshift encampment, where up to 30,000 Haitian asylum seekers stayed or passed through, was cleared by authorities as the Biden administration continues to expedite its mass expulsion of migrants without due process. At least five deportation flights took off Sunday, with thousands expelled in the past week alone. The International Organization for Migration says dozens of children with non-Haitian passports were among those deported. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said about 12,000 people were allowed to remain in the U.S. to fight for asylum. Meanwhile, an estimated 8,000 Haitians were forced to cross the border back into Mexico after facing violence and being deprived of food, water and shelter. In Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, demonstrators condemned the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers in the U.S.

Saint-fleur Edouard: “We are here not to ask for favors from the United States. We are here demanding that they respect that we, as Haitians, as Haitian migrants, have rights. We are demanding that American laws on immigration be applied to Haitians just as they are applied to those from other countries.”

Meanwhile, Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry told world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly that migration will continue as long as massive global inequalities exist.

Social Democrats to Form Coalition Gov’t in Germany After Edging Out Merkel’s Long-Standing Bloc

Sep 27, 2021

In Germany, the center-left Social Democratic Party has narrowly claimed victory in an election that puts an end to the 16-year era of Angela Merkel’s leadership. Merkel’s party, the Christian Democrats, won the second most votes, with the Green Party coming in third. Social Democrats will now have to form a ruling coalition, which could take weeks, or possibly months. The SDP’s candidate for chancellor, Olaf Scholz, who positioned himself as a leader in the vein of Angela Merkel during his campaign, vowed to tackle the climate crisis and modernize industry.

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Israeli Forces Kill 5 Palestinians in West Bank; Political Leader Khalida Jarrar Released from Prison

Sep 27, 2021

In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces on Sunday killed at least five Palestinians — including a 16-year-old child — during overnight raids.

In other news from Palestine, political and social leader Khalida Jarrar has been released from an Israeli prison after two years behind bars. Jarrar is a leftist activist and a former member of the now-defunct Palestinian Legislative Council.

Mahmoud Abbas Gives Israel One Year to End Occupation

Sep 27, 2021

In New York, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke at the U.N. General Assembly and said Israel had one year to pull out from the Occupied Territories, threatening to withdraw recognition of Israel if it failed to do so. Abbas also said Israel’s actions were driving toward a one-state solution.

President Mahmoud Abbas: “If the Israeli occupation authorities continue to entrench the reality of one apartheid state as it is happening today, our Palestinian people and the entire world will not tolerate such a situation. Circumstances on the ground will inevitably impose equal and full political rights for all the land of historic Palestine within one state.”

Vanuatu to Ask for ICJ Opinion on Climate Crisis

Sep 27, 2021

The Pacific Island nation of Vanuatu is asking the International Court of Justice to weigh in on the rights of its people to be protected from the climate catastrophe. Prime Minister Bob Loughman addressed the U.N. General Assembly Saturday.

Prime Minister Bob Loughman Weibur: “Limiting warming to near 1.5 degrees will be beyond reach. The issues are increasingly eluding the control of individual national governments.”

Activists Take to Streets for Global Climate Strike

Sep 27, 2021

Hundreds of thousands of youth climate activists took to the streets Friday for the annual Global Climate Strike. Protests took place across the globe demanding radical action from world leaders to fight the climate catastrophe. This is Maria Reyes, a climate justice activist in Mexico.

Maria Reyes: “Climate crisis is not a thing that will happen in 10 or 15 years. Climate crisis is here. Mexico is one of the most affected countries in Latin America. We have scarcity. We have droughts. We have floods. We have heat waves. We are dying of thirst. We are dying because of heat, and the government is still financing the fossil fuel industry.”

PG&E Charged with Manslaughter over 2020 Zogg Fire as Wildfires Rage in California

Sep 27, 2021

In California, firefighters continue to battle multiple wildfires. Police arrested a woman suspected of arson in the Fawn Fire, which erupted in Shasta County last week and led to thousands of evacuations. In the Sierra Nevada mountains, the KNP Complex Fire is still raging in Sequoia National Park and has blazed through some 45,000 acres. It was just 8% contained as of Sunday. In related news, California utility company Pacific Gas and Electric was charged with manslaughter over last year’s Zogg Fire, which killed four people.

Al-Shabab Suicide Attack Kills at Least 8 People in Mogadishu

Sep 27, 2021

In Somalia, al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack that killed at least eight people at a checkpoint near the presidential palace in Mogadishu Saturday. Somalis have condemned the government for neglecting security in the country amid a contested, delayed election and ongoing political disputes.

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Canada’s Catholic Bishops Apologize for Abuse of Indigenous Children

Sep 27, 2021

In Canada, the Conference of Catholic Bishops apologized for the century-long abuse of Indigenous children at government- and church-run schools. The move comes after the remains of hundreds of students were found over the summer at the former boarding schools. But the apology falls short of a recommendation by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which called on Pope Francis to apologize directly for the church’s role in Canada’s cultural genocide.

Swiss Voters Approve Bid to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

Sep 27, 2021

In Switzerland, nearly two-thirds of voters cast ballots in favor of same-sex marriage in a referendum Sunday. Switzerland is one of the last countries in Western Europe to approve same-sex marriage.

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San Marino Votes to Legalize Abortion

Sep 27, 2021

Voters in the Catholic European microstate of San Marino have overwhelmingly voted to legalize abortion in a referendum. Once enacted into law, pregnant people will be able to access abortions up to 12 weeks of pregnancy, and in some cases after 12 weeks. San Marino is a small enclave surrounded by Italy.

House Approves Bill to Protect Abortion Rights, But Measure Unlikely to Pass Senate

Sep 27, 2021

The House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act Friday, weeks after Texas enacted a near-total ban on abortions and as the Supreme Court is set to consider a challenge to Roe v. Wade later this year. This is California Congressmember Jackie Speier.

Rep. Jackie Speier: “We are not vessels for men to inject their sperm into and then walk away with no consequences. This is my body, not yours. Many on the other side of the aisle whine about the freedom that they have lost by having to wear masks, and yet you want to take my freedom to control my body away from me.”

The legislation would enshrine patients’ right to terminate a pregnancy, and protect providers from state laws that seek to ban abortions. The bill, however, is not expected to pass in the evenly divided Senate.

House Sets Up Vote for Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill as Larger Spending Package Moves Forward

Sep 27, 2021

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will vote on the bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill Thursday, pushing an earlier deadline that had been set for today. Lawmakers will vote just hours before government funding — and some key transportation programs — are set to expire. Progressives Democrats said they will not back the infrastructure bill without Congress also approving the $3.5 trillion, 10-year spending plan, which expands the social safety net and addresses the climate crisis. The House Budget Committee on Saturday moved that measure forward for a House vote.

Judge Blocks NYC Teacher Vaccine Mandate as Hochul Eyes Plans to Replace Unvaccinated Health Workers

Sep 27, 2021

Here in New York City, a federal judge temporarily blocked a vaccine mandate for teachers and other staffers. The mandate was set to go into effect today and will now be reviewed by a legal panel this week. Meanwhile, New York Governor Kathy Hochul says she may call in the National Guard and out-of-state medical personnel to fill in for tens of thousands of hospital workers who have not complied with New York’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.

In New Mexico, health officials have linked the improper use of ivermectin to at least two deaths. The anti-parasite medication, most commonly used for livestock, was widely touted by conservative media and others, even though there is no scientific evidence it benefits COVID patients and the FDA has warned against its use.

Workers at Chicago Tortilla Plant Walk Out to Protest Low Pay and Poor Working Conditions

Sep 27, 2021

In Chicago, workers at El Milagro tortilla plants staged a temporary walkout last week to protest low pay, staff shortages and abusive working conditions, including intimidation and sexual harassment. El Milagro claims an ongoing tortilla shortage is due to supply chain issues, but organizers say the company has lost staff due to their poor treatment of workers, including their mishandling of the pandemic. Last year, dozens of employees got sick during a COVID outbreak, and five died. This is El Milagro worker Martin Salas.

Martin Salas: “All we’re doing is demanding our rights as employees of El Milagro. Just as they have rights as employers, we too have rights as workers. … I pack 80 tortilla packages per minute. I load a case, put it on a pallet and come right back, because if I don’t keep up this pace, tortillas will fall from the machine, and they’ll blame me.”

Workers have given El Milagro management until this Wednesday to respond to their demands.

Frances “Sissy” Farenthold, Trailblazing Texas Politician and Activist, Dies at 94

Sep 27, 2021

The pioneering Texas liberal Frances “Sissy” Farenthold died Sunday at the age of 94. In 1971, as the only woman elected to the Texas House, she led a revolt against corruption, then overcame long odds to become a serious candidate for Texas governor. In 1972, she lost a bid to be the Democratic Party’s nominee for vice president.

Reporter: “Do you think at this time a woman could be nominated as a vice-presidential candidate?”

Frances “Sissy” Farenthold: “To me, the pursuit of public office is a corollary to full citizenship.”

Sissy Farenthold later led the National Women’s Political Caucus to recruit women to run for elected office. She dedicated the rest of her life to nuclear disarmament, human rights in Central America and abolishing the death penalty.

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