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HeadlinesJuly 14, 2022

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Israeli Officials Roll Out Red Carpet as President Biden Begins Mideast Trip

Jul 14, 2022

President Biden arrived in Israel Wednesday for a four-day Middle East visit that includes a stop in Saudi Arabia. Israel’s interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid held a red carpet ceremony as Biden landed at Ben Gurion Airport, giving him what The New York Times called a “rapturous welcome” and calling him “our brother Joseph.” Before departing the airport, Biden toured a U.S.-funded advanced missile defense system.

On Friday, President Biden will visit the occupied West Bank and meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Ahead of Biden’s trip, activists hung banners in Bethlehem that read, “Mr. President, this is apartheid.”

Biden Discusses Iran Nuclear Program with Israeli PM, Won’t Rule Out U.S. Use of Force

Jul 14, 2022

Earlier today, President Biden met with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Jerusalem, where the pair discussed Iran’s nuclear program and the war in Ukraine. The U.S. and Israel are expected to announce a joint declaration building on past calls to take military action to halt Iran’s nuclear program. Biden has promised he won’t agree to any deal that would restore the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear agreement — from which the United States unilaterally withdrew in 2018 — if it means removing Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps from a list of foreign terrorist organizations. Biden was asked about that pledge in a recorded interview with Israeli TV that aired Wednesday.

Yonit Levi: “Are you committed to keep the IRGC on the foreign terrorist organization list, even if that means that kills the deal?”

President Joe Biden: “Yes”

Yonit Levi: “You, in the past, said you’ll do anything, and you say it again, that you’ll ensure Iran would not acquire nuclear weapons. Does that also mean, sir, that you would use force against Iran? Is that what that means?”

President Joe Biden: “If that was the last resort, yes.”

Biden to Be First U.S. President to Fly Directly from Israel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Jul 14, 2022

This weekend, President Biden will become the first U.S. president to fly directly from Israel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he’s scheduled to meet top Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. After headlines, we’ll have more on President Biden’s trip to Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Saudi Arabia.

House to Vote on Unprecedented $839 Billion Military Budget

Jul 14, 2022

The House of Representatives is set to vote this week on a record-shattering $839 billion military budget. The 2023 National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, contains $37 billion more than President Biden requested, which in turn surpassed former President Trump’s record military budget requests. Progressive Democrats Mark Pocan and Barbara Lee have proposed an amendment that would slash $100 billion from the military budget. Congressmember Lee said, “More guns and tanks are of no use to Americans without housing, education, or healthcare.”

Sri Lanka Protests Turn Deadly as President Leaves Maldives for Singapore

Jul 14, 2022

In Sri Lanka, one person was killed and scores of others injured after police used tear gas and water cannons to attack anti-government protests in the capital, Colombo. This comes after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country for the Maldives on Wednesday, where he was met with protests; he has reportedly since left the Maldives aboard a Saudi airplane bound for Singapore, though it’s not clear whether that’s his final destination. Rajapaksa promised to resign by Wednesday but has not yet done so.

Russian Missiles Kill at Least 12 in Vinnytsia

Jul 14, 2022

Ukrainian officials say at least 12 people were killed and more than two dozen injured after Russian missiles fell on an office building and homes in the central city of Vinnytsia.

In southern Ukraine, Russian shells blasted a hole in a high-rise hotel in the city of Mykolaiv, where five people were reportedly killed by Russian shelling.

In eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk province, a Russian strike destroyed a school in the city of Kostiantynivka, leaving behind a massive crater. No one was injured in the attack, but students were left traumatized by the loss of their school.

Nastia: “Let this war end soon, and let everything be like it was before — like before, when we all played together. Now they shell us. It is difficult to believe what’s happening.”

Ukraine and Russia Near Deal on Grain Shipments from Black Sea Port

Jul 14, 2022

On Wednesday, negotiators from Russia and Ukraine held their first direct talks since March in Istanbul, Turkey, where they are reportedly nearing a deal that would allow Ukraine to export more than 20 million tons of grain from the Black Sea port city of Odessa. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called the breakthrough a “ray of hope to ease human suffering and alleviate hunger around the world.”

South Carolina Abortion Providers Sue to Block Six-Week Abortion Ban

Jul 14, 2022

Abortion providers in South Carolina have filed a lawsuit seeking to block Senate Bill 1, the state’s ban on abortion after just six weeks of pregnancy — when many people are not yet aware that they are pregnant. The challenge comes less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending the federal constitutional right to abortion. In a statement, Planned Parenthood called the law a direct assault on healthcare and fundamental human rights, adding, “Without court intervention, South Carolinians will continue to suffer in a state with dangerously high rates of maternal mortality and infant mortality, particularly among Black women and babies.”

Man Arrested in Ohio Child Rape Case Labeled “Fake News” by Republicans

Jul 14, 2022

In Ohio, police have arrested a man accused of raping and impregnating a 10-year-old girl. Twenty-seven-year-old Gerson Fuentes was arraigned in Columbus Wednesday and is being held on $2 million bond. Prosecutors say he confessed to raping the girl on at least two occasions. A police detective testified the 10-year-old survivor underwent a medical abortion in Indianapolis on June 30. Her family was forced to travel to the neighboring state because Ohio state law bans abortions just six weeks into pregnancy, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

The case drew international attention after it was first reported by The Indianapolis Star on July 1, and was cited by President Biden as evidence of the cruelty of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade. Many Republicans, including Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, questioned the validity of the story. Ohio Congressmember Jim Jordan tweeted, “Another lie. Anyone surprised?” Jordan’s tweet was later deleted without explanation. On Monday, Ohio’s Republican Attorney General Dave Yost went on Fox News to voice doubts, telling host Jesse Watters his office hadn’t heard “a whisper, anywhere” about the case.

Attorney General Dave Yost: “The rape of a 10-year-old means life in prison. I know our prosecutors and cops in this state. There’s not one of 'em that wouldn't be turning over every rock in their jurisdiction if they had the slightest hint that this had occurred there.”

On Wednesday, Yost refused to apologize for questioning the girl’s story on national television.

Justice Dept. Asks Jan. 6 Committee to Hand Over Evidence on Pro-Trump Electors

Jul 14, 2022

The Justice Department has asked the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol to turn over evidence it has collected about plans by Trump and his allies to put forward false slates of pro-Trump electors in battleground states won by Joe Biden in the 2020 election. This comes as a growing number of Democratic lawmakers are calling on Attorney General Merrick Garland to bring criminal charges against Trump based on the committee’s findings. Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal tweeted, “All of it points to the urgent need for DOJ to prosecute Donald Trump. If he is not held accountable, there will be enormous consequences to our democracy.”

Man Arrested for Threatening to Kill Rep. Pramila Jayapal

Jul 14, 2022

A 48-year-old has been arrested in Seattle on suspicion of hate crime after he allegedly threatened to kill Congressmember Pramila Jayapal. Officers found the man outside Jayapal’s home Saturday night with a .40-caliber handgun holstered on his waist. A neighbor reportedly overheard the man yell, “Go back to India. I’m going to kill you.” Jayapal is the first Indian American woman to serve in the House of Representatives.

Gun Violence Survivors Rally at U.S. Capitol to Call for Assault Weapons Ban

Jul 14, 2022

In Washington, D.C., parents of children murdered in Uvalde and survivors of the Highland Park mass shooting gathered at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday to demand a federal assault weapons ban. This is Kimberly Rubio, whose daughter Lexi was one of 19 fourth graders and two teachers killed by an 18-year-old gunman with an assault rifle at Robb Elementary School in May.

Kimberly Rubio: “But there is one question that should be on the forefront of their minds: What if the gunman never had access to an assault weapon? I want that question to be the first thing to cross their mind in the morning and the last thought they have before they go to bed each night, because we are no longer asking for change. We are demanding it, and we are angry as hell.”

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