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HeadlinesJuly 13, 2022

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Jan. 6th Panel Ties Trump to Most Violent Extremists at Capitol Insurrection

Jul 13, 2022

The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol has revealed stark new details tying former President Trump to the most violent extremists leading the insurrection. During a public hearing Tuesday, the committee heard live testimony from a former spokesperson for the Oath Keepers militia group, Jason Van Tatenhove.

Jason Van Tatenhove: “I think we need to quit mincing words and just talk about truths. And what it was going to be was an armed revolution. I mean, people died that day. Law enforcement officers died this day. There was a gallows set up in front of the Capitol. This could have been the spark that started a new civil war, and no one would have won there.”

Some of the newest evidence presented Tuesday came from the recent deposition of former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who described heated arguments in the West Wing over Trump’s attempts to find a pathway to remain in power.

Sri Lanka’s President Flees to Maldives Amid Massive Anti-Government Protests

Jul 13, 2022

Sri Lanka’s embattled president has fled the country aboard a military jet, following massive protests against official corruption, nepotism and economic crisis. Sri Lanka’s Air Force said President Gotabaya Rajapaksa flew to the Maldives with his wife. Officials there said Rajapaksa would not remain in the Maldives and would transit to a third country. It’s not clear which country might accept him. On Tuesday, the Indian newspaper The Hindu reported the United States rejected Rajapaksa’s request for a U.S. visa. As one of his final acts, Rajapaksa appointed his hand-picked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as Sri Lanka’s acting president. His office said he would call a nationwide state of emergency and impose a curfew in the capital Colombo, where thousands of people continue to hold protests.

As Biden Starts Mideast Tour, Family of Slain Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh Demands Justice

Jul 13, 2022

President Biden has arrived in Jerusalem for talks with Israeli officials — the first stop on a four-day Mideast trip that will also take him to the West Bank and to Saudi Arabia, where he’ll meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Ahead of Biden’s departure, the family of Shireen Abu Akleh demanded Biden call out Israel over the killing of the Palestinian American journalist, who was shot dead by Israel’s military in May while covering a raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank. In a letter to Biden, the family wrote, “Your administration’s actions can only be seen as an attempt to erase the extrajudicial killing of Shireen and further entrench the systemic impunity enjoyed by Israeli forces and officials for unlawfully killing Palestinians.”

Video Shows Delayed Police Response as Uvalde Gunman Rampaged Through School

Jul 13, 2022

In Texas, the Austin-American Statesman has published video of the May 24 massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. The video corroborates earlier press accounts that law enforcement officers — many of them with ballistic shields and powerful weapons — waited in the school’s hallway for well over an hour before a team finally confronted the gunman and shot him dead.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Uvalde City Council, Mayor Don McLaughlin blasted news outlets for releasing the video; he and other city councilmembers said families should have had a chance to view the footage before its public release.

Mayor Don McLaughlin: “The way that video was released today was one of the most chicken things I’ve ever seen.”

Councilmember Ernest King III: “The mayor said 'chicken.' It was chickensh*t” —

Mayor Don McLaughlin: “Yeah.”

Councilmember Ernest King III: — “to release that video the way you did.”

Adam Martinez: “What about the cops? Are they chickensh*t?”

Councilmember Ernest King III: We’re — we’re going to handle that.”

Adam Martinez: “You said that they did a good job. Do you still think they did a good job?”

Mayor Don McLaughlin: “Adam, I’m not going to get into an argument with you on that deal. I haven’t seen the video yet.”

Confronting Mayor McLaughlin was Adam Martinez, whose 8-year-old son was inside Robb Elementary during the shooting. Martinez blasted the mayor for failing to criticize the police response.

Adam Martinez: “Everybody else, the whole world knows that they’re chickensh*t. But it won’t come out of his mouth, for whatever reason. He’s lying to himself. And we need to see that he holds them accountable. He needs to be seeing the same thing that we’re seeing; otherwise, we’re not going to be on the same side.”

New Arizona Law Makes It Illegal to Film Police in Many Circumstances

Jul 13, 2022

In Arizona, Republican Governor Doug Ducey has signed a new state law making it illegal to knowingly film a police officer at a distance of eight feet or closer — unless the officer grants permission. The law also allows officers to order people to stop recording, if they’re on private property and police have the owner’s consent. In response, media outlets across the U.S. signed on to a letter from the National Press Photographers Association that read in part, “We are extremely concerned that this language violates not only the free speech and press clauses of the First Amendment, but also runs counter to the 'clearly established right' to photograph and record police officers performing their official duties in a public place.”

Arizona Judge Blocks Law Classifying Fetuses and Embryos as People

Jul 13, 2022

A judge has blocked the enforcement of an Arizona statute classifying fetuses, embryos and fertilized eggs as people, which would have criminalized abortion across the state. This comes as Arizonans brace for the imminent activation of a 15-week abortion ban that Republican Governor Doug Ducey signed into law in March.

Louisiana Judge Temporarily Blocks Trigger Abortion Ban

Jul 13, 2022

Meanwhile, a state judge in Louisiana has temporarily blocked the state’s trigger abortion bans from taking effect for the second time. The decision is the latest in a series of back-and-forths to the legal status of abortion in the state. One of Louisiana’s few remaining abortion clinics said it would resume providing abortion care.

Ukrainian Missile Kills Seven in Russian-Occupied Town

Jul 13, 2022

In Ukraine, officials in the Russian-occupied town of Nova Kakhovka say a Ukrainian missile attack killed seven people and wounded dozens of others Tuesday. Russia says the strikes hit a fertilizer plant, leading to a huge explosion; Ukraine says it destroyed a Russian ammunition depot. Officials on both sides attributed the attack to a HIMARS missile system recently supplied to Ukraine by the United States.

Russia Prepares for New Offensive in Donetsk Province

Jul 13, 2022

This comes as Ukraine’s military says Russia is massing for a new offensive seeking to capture more territory in the eastern Donetsk province. Elsewhere, military delegations from Ukraine and Russia are meeting with United Nations officials in Istanbul, Turkey, today to discuss a deal to allow safe passage of ships carrying food and other supplies from Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odessa.

Nord Stream 1 Russia-to-Europe Gas Pipeline Shut Down for Maintenance

Jul 13, 2022

In Europe, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline has been shut down for 10 days of maintenance, cutting off the flow of natural gas from Russia to Germany and other EU nations. The cutoff was planned, though it’s not clear whether Russian officials will restart gas shipments later this month when the pipeline is scheduled to come back online. One hundred forty days after Russia invaded Ukraine, Germany still relies on Russia for more than a third of its gas supply, while France imports about 17% of its gas from Russia.

U.N. Security Council Extends Syria Aid for Six Months

Jul 13, 2022

The United Nations Security Council has voted to extend lifesaving humanitarian aid to millions in northern Syria for another six months. The resolution, put forward by Ireland and Norway, originally called for a year-long extension to shipments of food, medicine and shelter for the rebel-held area, but was cut down to six months after days of Russian opposition.

In other news from Syria, the Pentagon announced Tuesday that it assassinated a senior leader of the Islamic State, Maher al-Agal, in a drone strike

British Military Killed at Least 54 Afghans Under Suspicious Circumstances

Jul 13, 2022

The BBC reports that British commandos deployed to Afghanistan killed at least 54 Afghans under suspicious circumstances during a six-month tour of Helmand province starting in late 2010. The investigation found a pattern in which unarmed people were routinely shot dead, with weapons later planted on them to justify the crimes. The BBC also documented bullet holes at several homes that suggested execution-style killings rather than firefights. In response, the U.K. Ministry of Defense accused the BBC of “irresponsible, incorrect” journalism.

John Bolton Says He “Helped Plan Coups” in Foreign Countries

Jul 13, 2022

President Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton said Tuesday that he had helped plan coups in foreign countries. Bolton made the remark to CNN’s Jake Tapper as the pair discussed the Capitol insurrection and whether former President Trump was able to effectively plan a coup d’état.

Jake Tapper: “One doesn’t have to be brilliant to attempt a coup.”

John Bolton: “I disagree with that, as someone who has helped plan coups d’état — not here, but, you know, other places. It takes a lot of work.”

In 2004, when Bolton was with the State Department, he reportedly backed the coup in Haiti that removed the democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Bolton also pushed for regime change during the U.S. occupation of Iraq and in 2018 said that the U.S. should overthrow the government of Iran.

NASA Releases Unprecedented First Images from New Flagship Space Telescope

Jul 13, 2022

NASA has released the first images from its new flagship telescope, the JWST, revealing an unprecedented view of the cosmos, from galaxies that formed just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang to the births of stars in vast nebulas of gas and dust. The telescope is named after James Webb, who served as NASA administrator during the era of the Apollo moon landings. Earlier this year, NASA administrator Bill Nelson rejected a petition — signed by over 1,200 astronomers and astrophysicists — demanding a change to the telescope’s name amid new revelations about how Webb helped to purge NASA of LGBTQ+ employees as part of federal policy. The petition reads in part, “The historical record is already clear: under Webb’s leadership, queer people were persecuted. Those who would excuse Webb’s failure of leadership cannot simultaneously award him credit for his management of Apollo.”

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