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HeadlinesSeptember 23, 2022

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Russia Holds Annexation Referendums in Occupied Ukrainian Territories

Sep 23, 2022

Russia is holding referendums today in four regions of Ukraine, as the Kremlin seeks to formally annex territory it seized after its February 24 invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has condemned the vote, which U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has called a violation of the U.N. Charter and international law.

On Thursday, officials in the Russian separatist-held city of Donetsk said Ukrainian shells killed six civilians, including a teenager. Meanwhile, Russian attacks on the southern city of Zaporizhzhia killed one person and left several others wounded.

Russian Antiwar Protesters Conscripted After Mass Arrests

Sep 23, 2022

A prominent Russian human rights group says some antiwar protesters arrested this week are being ordered to enlist in the Russian military. More than 1,300 people have been arrested taking part in street protests after President Vladimir Putin announced a partial military mobilization to draft 300,000 new troops to fight in Ukraine. According to the group OVD-Info, authorities threatened one protester with 10 years in jail if he refused to enlist. Meanwhile, thousands of Russian men are attempting to flee the country in order to avoid being drafted. Finland said Thursday it is considering barring most Russians from entering the country after a surge of border crossings. This is one Russian man who made it into Finland, speaking with Reuters.

Reuters reporter: “Are you afraid that you might be drafted with the mobilization in Russia?”

Nikita: “Yes, I am afraid.”

Reuters reporter: “Why are you afraid?”

Nikita: “Because it’s a very — it’s a very big mistake for Russia, for Europe, and of course for Ukraine citizens.”

Reuters reporter: “And how old are you? Are you in the age that you could get drafted? Or” —

Nikita: “Yes, I am 34.”

We’ll go to Moscow after headlines.

Russian Foreign Minister Storms Out of U.N. Security Council Debate on Ukraine

Sep 23, 2022

At the United Nations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stormed out of a U.N. Security Council meeting Thursday, after accusing the U.S. and its NATO allies of becoming direct parties to the conflict in Ukraine.

Sergey Lavrov: “We have no confidence in the work of this body. For the past eight months we were waiting for steps to be taken against impunity in Ukraine, and we don’t expect anything more from this institution or a whole range of other international institutions.”

Sergey Lavrov arrived 90 minutes late to the Security Council chambers and then abandoned the debate after delivering his remarks. That prompted Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba to remark, “Russian diplomats flee almost as aptly as Russian soldiers.”

Dmytro Kuleba: “Today we are mostly focusing on crimes committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine. But if anyone thinks they are the only one ready to kill, torture, rape, cut off genitals, they are wrong. Russian diplomats are directly complicit, because their lies incite these crimes and cover them up.”

Earlier today, a United Nations commission reported it has evidence of war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine, including widespread torture, sexual violence and attacks on civilian populations.

Hurricane Fiona Swipes Bermuda, Barrels Toward Canada’s East Coast

Sep 23, 2022

Hurricane Fiona has swept past Bermuda after strengthening to a powerful Category 4 hurricane. Overnight the storm brought high winds and heavy rain to the British territory as its eye passed about 200 miles west of the archipelago. Fiona is now heading north and expected to slam into Canada’s eastern coast on Saturday as a large and powerful post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds.

Meanwhile, most of Puerto Rico remains without power and clean drinking water five days after Fiona overwhelmed the island’s fragile electrical grid. President Biden on Wednesday declared a major disaster in Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, a sweltering heat wave pushed heat indexes in some parts of the island above 110 degrees Fahrenheit on Thursday.

Nigeria Suffers Worst Flooding in Years, Exacerbating Food Crisis

Sep 23, 2022

In Nigeria, heavy flooding has killed at least 300 people and displaced over 100,000 others since the rainy season began in April. This week 13 Nigerian states were inundated after Cameroon released excess water from a dam on a tributary of the Niger River. Nigeria’s northern food belt has been hit hard, with floodwaters washing over farms and destroying crops. Even before the floods, the U.N. predicted nearly 17 million Nigerians could be impacted by the global food crisis through the end of the year.

11 Climate Activists Arrested at Sit-In Protest of Sen. Joe Manchin’s “Dirty Side Deal”

Sep 23, 2022

In Washington, D.C., Capitol police arrested 11 environmental and community leaders Thursday as they nonviolently blockaded the entrance to the Senate Office Building. The sit-in protest came a day after West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin unveiled a permitting reform bill that would speed federal review of energy projects. The legislation would limit environmental and community review of oil, gas, coal and mining projects, while fast-tracking approval of the Mountain Valley fracked gas pipeline and other fossil fuel projects. The bill has the support of both the White House and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who has pledged Senate passage ahead of a September 30 deadline to fund the government. On Thursday, protesters gathered outside Senator Schumer’s office. This is David Galarza Santa, lead organizer with Emergency Action on Puerto Rico.

David Galarza Santa: “We are sick and tired of Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, being in cahoots and doing these side deals with one of the most destructive senators in the United States — Manchin. He stands to gain, as do the carbon industry and the fossil fuel industry that puts money in his pockets, even as they kill people around the world. And we say, 'No!'”

Iran Cuts Internet Access as Death Toll from Protests Rises

Sep 23, 2022

Iranian authorities have cut off internet access to the capital Tehran and other regions as protests over the death of a 22-year-old Kurdish woman in police custody continue to spread. Iranian state TV reports as many as 26 people have died in the protests since Mahsa Amini’s death last week. She was arrested by so-called morality police for allegedly leaving some of her hair visible in violation of an Iranian law requiring women to cover their heads. Click here to see our coverage of the protests.

Republican Senators Block Bill to Require Disclosure of “Dark Money” Donors

Sep 23, 2022

Senate Republicans have blocked legislation to expose the names of wealthy donors who give unlimited funds to so-called dark money organizations. On Thursday, all 49 Republican senators in attendance joined a filibuster of the DISCLOSE Act. The bill would increase transparency in elections by requiring super PACs — and other groups spending money on political ads — to promptly disclose the names of donors who give more than $10,000.

CREW: Secret Service Knew of Neo-Nazi Threat on Jan. 6, Failed to Respond

Sep 23, 2022

A government watchdog reports the U.S. Secret Service was tracking at least one neo-Nazi group and multiple individuals that planned to engage in violence and occupy the U.S. Capitol, ahead of the January 6 insurrection. That’s according to documents obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which says this is just the latest evidence that the Secret Service failed to respond to threats ahead of the attempted coup.

Trump Openly Embraces Far-Right QAnon Conspiracy Theory

Sep 23, 2022

This comes as former President Donald Trump is openly embracing the far-right, antisemitic QAnon movement. Adherents of the conspiracy theory believe Trump is secretly at war with a deep state cabal of elite Satan-worshiping Democrats who run a child sex trafficking operation. Last week, Trump shared a post on his “Truth Social” platform of him wearing a “Q” on his lapel and featuring two QAnon slogans. And on Saturday, Trump led a rally for Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance in Ohio, where he set part of his speech to music that was almost identical to a theme song adopted by QAnon. Hundreds of Trump supporters responded with a one-fingered salute — a gesture that’s drawn comparisons to the infamous salute used in Nazi Germany.

Neo-Fascist Party Founded by Mussolini Supporters Poised to Take Power in Italy

Sep 23, 2022

Italian voters head to the polls for parliamentary elections on Sunday, when the leader of a neo-fascist party is widely expected to become Italy’s most far-right leader since Benito Mussolini. Polls show Giorgia Meloni and her Brothers of Italy party in first place, after a campaign laced with anti-immigrant rhetoric. This week, the party suspended a candidate from Sicily after he was discovered to have praised Adolf Hitler in online posts.

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Shireen Abu Akleh’s Family Files Complaint Against Israel at International Criminal Court

Sep 23, 2022

The family of slain Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has filed a complaint against Israel at the International Criminal Court. Abu Akleh was shot in the head on May 11 while covering an Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. Her family says she was deliberately targeted and killed by Israeli forces. Shireen’s brother, Anton Abu Akleh, spoke with Al Jazeera from The Hague.

Anton Abu Akleh: “This is the least we can do for Shireen. We have to pursue justice for her in The Hague, in the ICC, in other courts. Whatever we have to do, we will do it to ensure accountability for Shireen for her killing. … Any person shooting at the press is intentionally trying to kill and assassinate someone in the field doing their job.”

Boeing Will Pay $200 Million to Settle SEC Probe into 737 MAX Crashes

Sep 23, 2022

Boeing has agreed to pay $200 million to settle charges that it misled investors over the safety of its 737 MAX jet, which was involved in two deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed all 346 on board both flights. As part of the settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Boeing and its former chief executive, Dennis Muilenburg, will admit no wrongdoing over the fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019. Michael Stumo, the father of Ethiopian Airlines crash victim Samya Rose Stumo, said in a statement, “This settlement is protection for Boeing rather than justice. It is a continuation of Boeing evading accountability and transparency.” Click here to see our interview with Michael Stumo.

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