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HeadlinesNovember 29, 2022

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NATO Pledges More Support for Ukraine as Some in Europe Accuse U.S. of Profiting from the War

Nov 29, 2022

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his NATO counterparts are meeting in Romania to discuss ways to provide Ukraine with more military aid, including air defense systems. Ahead of the meeting, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg accused Russia of using winter as a weapon by targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, leaving millions of Ukrainians without heat or electricity. Earlier today, Stoltenberg vowed NATO would continue to support Ukraine.

Jens Stoltenberg: “Therefore, to create the conditions for lasting peace, which ensures that Ukraine prevails as an independent sovereign state, we must continue to provide military support to Ukraine. So our message from Bucharest is that NATO will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. We will not back down.”

The NATO meeting is taking place as Politico is reporting some European officials are privately accusing the United States of profiting from the war in Ukraine. One senior European official recently told Politico, “The fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the U.S. because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons.”

China Eases Some COVID Restrictions as It Moves to Block New Protests

Nov 29, 2022

Authorities in China have moved to prevent more large protests against the country’s zero-COVID policies. In Beijing, police surrounded the site where protesters were planning to gather on Monday. Meanwhile, in Shanghai, police erected large barriers where protests were held over the weekend. Police made several arrests at a small protest in the southern city of Hangzhou on Monday night. Meanwhile, Chinese officials have begun lifting some COVID-19 restrictions following this weekend’s unprecedented protests. China has also announced a new drive to vaccinate more residents over the age of 80.

In Blow to Taiwanese Gov’t, Voters Back Opposition Nationalist Party in Local Elections

Nov 29, 2022

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has resigned as head of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party after her party suffered major losses in local elections on Saturday. Voters in Taiwan overwhelmingly backed the opposition Nationalist Party, which has historically supported closer ties with China.

Biden Sides with Big Business & Asks Congress to Block Potential Rail Strike

Nov 29, 2022

In labor news, President Biden has sided with big business and has urged Congress to intervene to block freight rail workers from going on strike, saying it could devastate the economy. On Monday, Biden asked lawmakers to quickly pass legislation to impose a labor deal that has been opposed by the majority of freight rail workers. In a statement, Biden said, “As a proud pro-labor President, I am reluctant to override the ratification procedures and the views of those who voted against the agreement. But in this case — where the economic impact of a shutdown would hurt millions of other working people and families — I believe Congress must use its powers to adopt this deal.” Many union activists criticized Biden’s move to block a strike. Ron Kaminkow, a locomotive engineer and organizer for Railroad Workers United, spoke to Democracy Now! last night.

Ron Kaminkow: “We could have seen Biden actually opt for telling Congress he would like to see Congress pass legislation that mediates an end to the conflict under which more favorable terms to the workers, which is to say a handful of sick days. And that’s what this has come down to. Railroad workers traditionally have had no sick time. And now with the very, very harsh attendance policies that we’re faced with, railroad workers get very, very little time off work.”

This all comes as profits soar for the freight rail industry, which has reduced the rail workforce by 30% over the last six years.

Teenage Gunman Pleads Guilty in Mass Shooting at Buffalo Supermarket in Black Neighborhood

Nov 29, 2022

In news from Buffalo, New York, the white teenager who shot dead 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood in May has pleaded guilty to murder and hate-motivated terrorism charges. The gunman faces a sentence of life in prison without parole. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown spoke on Monday.

Mayor Byron Brown: “But today, as District Attorney Flynn has said, justice has been done. This individual has admitted their guilt. And the penalty for this horrific crime is for this individual never, ever to see the light of day again — life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.”

Chesapeake, Virginia, Holds Vigil for Walmart Workers Shot Dead by Store Manager

Nov 29, 2022

A candlelight vigil was held Monday night in Chesapeake, Virginia, to remember the six Walmart workers who were shot dead by a store manager a week ago. The victims in the mass shooting ranged in age from 16 to 70. Authorities say the shooter used a 9 mm handgun that he had bought just hours earlier.

Five Police Officers in New Haven, CT, Arrested After Man Is Paralyzed in Police Van

Nov 29, 2022

Five police officers in New Haven, Connecticut, have been arrested and charged for their role in an incident that left a Black man named Randy Cox paralyzed. On June 19, police arrested the 36-year-old man on suspicion of illegally possessing a handgun. He was then handcuffed and placed in the back of a police van without a seat belt. After the van made an abrupt stop, Cox slid into the van’s back metal wall, seriously injuring his neck and spine. Officers then ignored his pleas for help. Charges against the five officers include second-degree reckless endangerment.

Arizona Sues Republican-Led County for Refusing to Certify 2022 Election Results

Nov 29, 2022

The state of Arizona has sued the Republican-controlled county of Cochise after its Board of Supervisors refused to certify the results of the 2022 election. The lawsuit was filed by Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who defeated Republican, Trump-endorsed candidate Kari Lake in the closely watched gubernatorial race. On Monday, Arizona’s largest county, Maricopa, certified the election results after a raucous public meeting where supporters of Lake claimed the election was rigged, without offering evidence. Lake is a loyal supporter of Trump’s false claims of a rigged 2020 presidential election, and she has refused to concede after losing to Katie Hobbs.

“Publishing Is Not a Crime”: Major Newspapers Urge Biden to Drop Charges Against Julian Assange

Nov 29, 2022

The New York Times, The Guardian and three major European newspapers are urging the Biden administration to drop all charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In a joint letter, the newspapers say, “This indictment sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press.” The letter ends with the words “Publishing is not a crime.” Assange, who is jailed in Britain, faces up to 175 years in a U.S. prison on espionage and hacking charges for exposing U.S. war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. The five publications, which also include Le Monde, Der Spiegel and El País, had partnered with WikiLeaks in 2010 to report on documents leaked by Chelsea Manning.

Biden Eases Sanctions on Venezuela and Allows Chevron to Resume Oil Pumping

Nov 29, 2022

The Biden administration has eased some sanctions on Venezuela and has given Chevron approval to resume pumping oil in Venezuela. The announcement came after the government of President Nicolás Maduro resumed talks with Venezuelan opposition groups in Mexico City to address Venezuela’s economic and humanitarian crisis.

Israeli Military Demolish Palestinian Primary School Near Hebron

Nov 29, 2022

In news from the occupied West Bank, Israeli military forces have demolished a Palestinian primary school south of Hebron. Video posted online shows young Palestinian students in tears as they had to leave their classroom before a bulldozer destroyed their school in Masafer Yatta. The Israeli human rights group B’Tselem condemned the school demolition, saying, “This is part of a state effort to drive Palestinians out of the area by making their lives unbearable. Expelling residents is a war crime.” The European Union also condemned the school demolition.

Israel Kills Four Palestinians as U.N. Warns Occupied West Bank Is “Reaching a Boiling Point”

Nov 29, 2022

Earlier today, Israeli forces shot dead four Palestinians, including a pair of brothers, in the West Bank. At the United Nations, U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland warned Monday that the situation in the occupied West Bank is reaching a boiling point.

Tor Wennesland: “Mr. President, after decades of persistent violence, illegal settlement expansion, dormant negotiation and deepening occupation, the conflict is again reaching a boiling point.”

Former British Soldier Convicted of Shooting Irish Man in Back in 1988 During the Troubles

Nov 29, 2022

In news from Northern Ireland, a former British soldier has been convicted of killing a Catholic man in 1988. The soldier, David Holden, shot 23-year-old Aidan McAnespie in the back near a British Army checkpoint. Holden is the first British veteran to be convicted of killing an Irish civilian since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement was signed.

Missouri Supreme Court Refuses to Halt Execution of Kevin Johnson

Nov 29, 2022

The Missouri Supreme Court has refused to halt the execution of Kevin Johnson despite a special prosecutor’s request for a stay in order to fully investigate how the case was tainted by racism. The court’s ruling was 5 to 2. Johnson, who is Black, is scheduled to be executed today. Click here to see our coverage of the case.

Mike Pence & White House Condemn Trump for Hosting White Supremacist at Mar-a-Lago

Nov 29, 2022

Donald Trump is facing growing condemnation for hosting white supremacist Nick Fuentes at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida last week. Fuentes, who is a Holocaust denier, dined with the president along with the rapper Kanye West, who was suspended from Twitter last month for making antisemitic comments. Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence said, “President Trump was wrong to give a white nationalist, an antisemite and a Holocaust denier a seat at the table. I think he should apologize for it, and he should denounce those individuals and their hateful rhetoric without qualification.” At the White House, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also condemned Trump’s actions.

Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre: “This administration, this president totally rejects bigotry, racism, antisemitism. And there is just no place for these types of vile forces in our society.”

Houston Lifts Boil Water Notice for 2 Million Residents

Nov 29, 2022

In Texas, the city of Houston has lifted a boil water notice for 2 million residents after a power outage at a city water purification plant over the weekend. Many businesses were forced to close, and schools will remain closed through Wednesday as Houston officials review water samples to determine whether it’s safe to drink or use. Many residents said they didn’t hear about the boil water advisory until Monday, though it was issued a day earlier.

Judge Orders Amazon to Stop Retaliating Against Union Organizing Efforts

Nov 29, 2022

A federal judge has issued a cease-and-desist order forcing retail giant Amazon to stop retaliating against workers involved in union organizing. Amazon executives will also have to publicly read the 30-page ruling to employees at the Staten Island, New York, Amazon warehouse Thursday. The warehouse, known as JFK8, became the first to pass a union vote in April. Amazon has since launched an aggressive intimidation campaign against workers, fending off union elections in Bessemer, Alabama, and at least two other warehouses in New York. The National Labor Relations Board said in a statement, “This relief is critical to ensure that Amazon employees everywhere can fully and freely exercise their rights to join together and improve their working conditions, including by forming, assisting, or joining a union.”

Two Peet’s Coffee Stores Move to Become Chain’s First Unionized Stores

Nov 29, 2022

In California, employees at two Peet’s Coffee stores in Davis have filed paperwork with the NLRB to hold the coffee chain’s first-ever unionization vote.

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