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HeadlinesJune 03, 2022

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In Primetime Address, Biden Asks Congress to Pass Gun Control Laws

Jun 03, 2022

President Biden is calling on Congress to ban assault weapons, expand background checks for gun buyers and create new “red flag” laws that would prohibit some people from owning firearms. Biden made the call during a rare primetime speech from the White House Thursday evening.

President Joe Biden: “I support the bipartisan efforts that include a small group of Democrats and Republican senators trying to find a way. But, my god, the fact that the majority of the Senate Republicans don’t want any of these proposals even to be debated or come up for a vote, I find unconscionable.”

Three Killed and Two Wounded in Mass Shootings in Iowa and Wisconsin

Jun 03, 2022

President Biden’s remarks Thursday urging gun control came on another day of deadly gun violence across the United States. In Iowa, a man shot and killed two women in the parking lot of a church north of Des Moines Thursday before turning the gun on himself.

In Racine, Wisconsin, five people were wounded Thursday when shots were fired at a cemetery where mourners had gathered for a man killed by a police officer during a traffic stop last month.

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, investigators have named the four people killed Wednesday after a gunman opened fire on a medical center before turning a gun on himself. Police say the shooter’s primary target was Dr. Preston Phillips, an African American surgeon who performed back surgery on the gunman less than two weeks ago. The shooter purchased the semiautomatic rifle used in the murder just three hours before he killed not only Dr. Phillips but another doctor, their receptionist, as well as a patient. The shooter also carried a semiautomatic pistol he had bought just days before.

House Committee Advances Package of Gun Controls

Jun 03, 2022

The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Thursday to support a new package of gun controls. The legislation would raise the age at which people can purchase a semiautomatic firearm from 18 to 21. It would also regulate the storage of guns on residential properties, while cracking down on illegal sales of guns and high-capacity magazines. The legislation likely faces a Republican filibuster in the Senate. This is Congressmember Lucy McBath of Georgia, whose 17-year-old son Jordan Davis was murdered by a gunman in 2012.

Rep. Lucy McBath: “Do we as a nation have the god-given right to live free from this scourge of gun violence, of senseless suffering, of death and despair? Because we cannot keep doing this. An entire generation of children are learning that the adults they look up to cannot or will not protect them. We all agree that the status quo is unacceptable. We all understand that the murder of our children cannot continue. And we have solutions that a majority of American people believe in.”

Ohio GOP Approves Bill to Arm Educators After One Day of Gun Training

Jun 03, 2022

Ohio’s House of Representatives has passed a bill making it easier for teachers and school employees to bring guns into their classrooms. Ohio Republican Governor Mike DeWine has said he looks forward to signing House Bill 99, which would allow school employees to carry firearms after just one hour of training. Ohio Federation of Teachers Vice President Shari Obrenski blasted the legislation during a state Senate hearing this week. She cited a parallel effort by Ohio Republicans to ban books from school libraries that deal with topics like race and LGBTQ+ rights.

Shari Obrenski: “Teachers aren’t trusted to do curriculum. We aren’t trusted with the books we choose. But somehow we’re supposed to be trusted with a gun in school?”

Zelensky Says Russia Controls One-Fifth of Ukrainian Territory

Jun 03, 2022

In Ukraine, thousands of people fled frontline towns in the eastern Donbas region as Russia’s invasion entered its 100th day. Russian forces are seeking to push beyond Severodonetsk, where they’ve gained control of most of the eastern city. Meanwhile, Ukraine is pressing a counteroffensive in the southern Kherson region. On Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia now controls about 20% of Ukraine’s territory.

Biden to Visit Saudi Arabia, Will Ask Mohammed bin Salman to Pump More Oil

Jun 03, 2022

Saudi Arabia said Thursday it will boost oil production to offset fuel costs that have soared since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The coalition of oil-producing nations known as OPEC+ has agreed to Saudi plans to pump an additional 650,000 barrels per day in July and August. Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports President Biden will travel to Saudi Arabia later this month, where he will ask Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to pump more oil. That’s despite Biden’s pledge during a 2019 debate to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” for the state-sponsored killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Andrea Mitchell: “President Trump has not punished senior Saudi leaders. Would you?”

Joe Biden: “Yes. And I said it at the time. Khashoggi was, in fact, murdered and dismembered, and, I believe, on the order of the crown prince. And I would make it very clear we were not going to, in fact, sell more weapons to them. We were going to, in fact, make them pay the price and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are.”

That was then-candidate Joe Biden speaking at a presidential debate in 2019. Last year, President Biden approved a $650 million arms sale to Saudi Arabia, and earlier this year, Biden signed off on the sale of $5 billion of weapons to Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Yemen’s Houthis Extend Ceasefire with Saudi-Led Coalition

Jun 03, 2022

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have agreed to extend a ceasefire with the Saudi-led coalition by an additional two months. The warring parties first agreed to a truce during the holy month of Ramadan in April.

This week, 48 U.S. congressmembers introduced a War Powers Resolution calling on the Biden administration to end U.S. military support and arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition. In a statement, Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal wrote, “There are more than 16 million Yemenis living on the brink of starvation and more than two million children suffering from acute malnutrition — and the American people’s tax dollars are helping finance that suffering.”

Israel Kills Four Palestinians in 48 Hours, Including 17-Year-Old Odeh Sadaka

Jun 03, 2022

In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have killed at least four Palestinians in just two days. One of the victims was 17-year-old Odeh Sadaka, who was shot in the chest Thursday. This is an eyewitness.

Saber Sadaka: “When he was killed, he was with other young men near the barrier. They were not close to the barrier and not near the danger area. They were near homes in the village. They shot him. The bullet was shot toward his heart. Also they fired toward the other boys who were with him. They ran away. They couldn’t help him.”

Funerals Held for Haitians Who Died in Mexico While Waiting for U.S. to Hear Asylum Claims

Jun 03, 2022

In Mexico, immigrant justice advocates held a funeral Thursday for two Haitian asylum seekers who died in Tijuana after they were blocked from entering the U.S. and forced to wait in the Mexican border city in dangerous conditions. Thirty-four-year-old Jocelyn Anselme was murdered, while 30-year-old Calory Archange suffered a heart attack and died after advocates say he was denied adequate medical care. The Haitian Bridge Alliance and other groups blamed their deaths on the Biden administration’s enforcement of Title 42, a Trump-era pandemic policy that allows U.S. authorities to expel asylum seekers at the southern border without due process. Over 2 million people have been blocked from applying for asylum in the U.S. since March 2020, in violation of international law.

House Select Committee to Hold Primetime Public Hearing on Jan. 6 Insurrection

Jun 03, 2022

The House Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol insurrection has scheduled its first prime time public hearing next week. The hearing is set for 8 p.m. Eastern Time next Thursday, June 9. We’ll be streaming it live at democracynow.org.

Journalist Ricardo Ávila, Who Covered Social Movements, Murdered in Honduras

Jun 03, 2022

Press freedom groups are demanding justice for Ricardo Ávila, a 25-year-old camera operator and TV host killed in southwest Honduras. Local outlets report Ávila was shot in the head last week while he rode his motorcycle. He was then taken to a hospital in the capital Tegucigalpa, where he died of his wounds Sunday. Ávila covered social movements and protests against a destructive economic project known as ZEDEs, which was aimed at attracting foreign investment in Honduras. Ávila’s colleagues say he was killed in retaliation for reporting on these issues.

“Massive Human Rights Violations”: Amnesty Says 18 Killed in Crackdown on El Salvador Gangs

Jun 03, 2022

In El Salvador, at least 18 people have been killed in the custody of law enforcement since a state of emergency was imposed in late March in response to rising homicides attributed to gangs. That’s according to the Central American human rights group Cristosal. Amnesty International is accusing the government of Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele of serious violations. This is Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International.

Erika Guevara Rosas: “The situation in this country is critical. According to official figures, in a little over two months, 36,000 people, including children, who have been detained, mostly arbitrarily, whose deprivation of freedom is illegal, are facing criminal proceedings without the most basic judicial guarantees.”

Activist Sultana Khaya Arrives in Spain After 500+ Days of House Arrest in Western Sahara

Jun 03, 2022

Prominent Sahrawi human rights activist Sultana Khaya arrived safely in Spanish territory Wednesday, where she will get medical treatment after more than 500 days of house arrest with her family in Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara. Moroccan authorities have subjected Khaya to harassment, beatings and sexual assault. They also contaminated her family’s water supply, destroyed furniture and property, and cut off electricity to the home. On Wednesday, Sultana Khaya spoke to supporters who greeted her arrival at an airport in the Canary Islands.

Sultana Khaya: “I send a message to the Spanish state that if it supports the autonomy plan for Western Sahara, it is supporting the rape of women, torture and illegal detention of the Sahrawi population. Tell the Spanish government that it has already abandoned us 50 years ago, and we have suffered these savages. We have continued to fight for our self-determination, and we are more than ready to continue to fight for our freedom.”

Click here to see our documentary featuring Sultana Khaya, “Four Days in Western Sahara: Africa’s Last Colony.”

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