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HeadlinesOctober 11, 2023

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Death Toll in Israel and Gaza Tops 2,200 as Gazans Face Total Energy Blackout and No Safe Refuge

Oct 11, 2023

The death toll in Israel and Palestine has soared to over 2,200, with at least 1,200 Israelis and 1,000 Palestinians killed since Hamas’s incursion into southern Israel Saturday. The majority of Palestinian deaths are in Gaza; at least 18 deaths were reported in the West Bank. Israel is amassing some 300,000 reservists close to Gaza as it continues to pound the besieged enclave with airstrikes. Officials warn Gaza is on the cusp of a humanitarian catastrophe as the territory’s power plant is running out of fuel. The scale of atrocities committed against civilians continues to come to light. In Gaza, rescuers are still pulling bodies from the rubble as desperate residents seek refuge.

Mohammad Al Najjar: “They tried to escape death, only to find it. The occupation planes followed them from the east to here. They came to find shelter. They were taking refuge next to the stairs, where it could have been a safe place. They targeted them and killed them. … This is the blood of injured people. Some injured people were sleeping here. This is their blood. Here, there was a mother and her children. We removed the woman in the evening, and the children were martyred, and we just took them out from under the rubble.”

Journalists Hold Funeral Procession for Their Colleagues Killed in Attacks on Gaza

Oct 11, 2023

Among the dead in Gaza are at least seven journalists. On Tuesday, media workers held a funeral procession for two of the slain reporters. Blue “press” helmets were placed on their bodies. The head of the local press union’s committee of women journalists, Salam Khalil, was found alive with her children under the rubble of a bombed building, after she had been presumed dead.

Gazan Journalist Plestia Alaqad has been chronicling the war on social media, giving a rare first-person insight into the constant evacuations, bombings and deprivation faced by residents of Gaza.

Plestia Alaqad: “We are all gathering at our neighbor’s house, no internet, no electricity until now. It’s around 7 p.m. We literally don’t know what’s happening in the world. Here we’re just listening to bombs.”

Families of Israeli Hostages Speak Out as Survivors Grapple with Hamas Attack

Oct 11, 2023

In Israel, over 100 bodies were found at the Be’eri kibbutz near Israel’s separation barrier with Gaza. It was one of several kibbutzim attacked by Hamas fighters, killing entire families, including children. Meanwhile, at least 100 hostages are believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza. Among those missing are U.S. citizens. This is Jonathan Dekel-Chen, father of Sagui Dekel-Chen.

Jonathan Dekel-Chen: “Kibbutz Nir Oz is no more. It was destroyed in a barbaric, inhuman attack in which dozens of my friends, my neighbors were killed. Many dozens more are either known to be hostages or missing. I’m here speaking today and reaching out to my son, Sagui, who grew up on the kibbutz, Sagui Dekel-Chen. And he’s an arm length’s away in Gaza, evidently, but couldn’t be farther from me and our family right now.”

Biden Does Not Urge Restraint in IDF Attacks Against Gaza as New U.S. Weapons Arrive in Israel

Oct 11, 2023

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday. He did not urge restraint in Israel’s response to Hamas’s attack. Later in the day, Biden made public remarks about the conflict.

President Joe Biden: “This was an act of sheer evil, more than 1,000 civilians slaughtered — not just killed, slaughtered — in Israel, among them at least 14 American citizens killed.”

President Biden did not refer to slain Palestinians or the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories in his remarks. The first shipment of advanced weaponry from the U.S. arrived in Israel Tuesday, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to land in Israel Thursday.

Another 6.3-Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Afghanistan

Oct 11, 2023

Afghanistan was rocked by another 6.3-magnitude earthquake early this morning in western Herat province, as locals are still reeling from Saturday’s series of deadly quakes. The region’s governor said today’s earthquake caused “huge losses,” though it’s not clear yet how many people were killed or displaced. Rescuers are still working to recover residents who perished over the weekend. This is one of the survivors.

Ahmad: “In some neighboring villages, dead bodies are still under the rubble. They couldn’t pull the bodies yet. Some people have tents, and some do not. I have no tent. We cannot spend the winter here.”

29 People Killed in Burmese Military Attack on Refugee Camp in Kachin State

Oct 11, 2023

In Burma, at least 29 people, including children, were killed in a military raid Monday night on a refugee camp in northern Kachin state, near the border with China. The camp is home to people displaced by violence and was located just a few miles away from the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Army, which has been in a decadeslong conflict with the Burmese army. This is one of the deadliest assaults on civilians since the military seized power in the February 2021 coup. The National Unity Government, which was established by democratically elected Burmese politicians ousted during the coup, condemned the attack as a war crime. A spokesperson for the military junta has denied responsibility, though a recent U.N. human rights report found a “seemingly endless spiral of military violence” in Burma.

Dutch Lawmakers Move Toward Phasing Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies After Highway Blockade

Oct 11, 2023

In the Netherlands, climate activists are celebrating after lawmakers on Tuesday approved a motion requiring the Dutch Cabinet to come up with a plan to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. This comes after a sustained campaign by activists, including a nearly monthlong blockade of a major highway. This is Lucas Winnips of Extinction Rebellion Netherlands.

Lucas Winnips: “After monthlong of daily protests and more than 9,000 arrests, the Dutch Parliament asked the Cabinet to come up with scenarios for a phaseout of fossil fuel subsidies. During this campaign, we achieved a transformation, I think, of Dutch society, with three-quarters of the people now wanting a phaseout of fossil fuel subsidies, and even a third of the people wanting an immediate stop on fossil fuel subsidies. And that is the Extinction Rebellion demand. So, a big win.”

Activists say they are prepared for more action if the government fails to follow through on phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.

World Food Programme Resumes Food Distribution in Ethiopia; U.N. Warns of Genocide Risk

Oct 11, 2023

The U.N.’s World Food Programme has resumed food distribution to 900,000 refugees across Ethiopia, four months after suspending the aid. In June, the U.S. also suspended its food aid, accusing the Ethiopian government of weaponizing humanitarian aid as military units seized the supplies. The World Food Programme said it has “fully revamped safeguards and controls” to ensure the food reaches those who most need it.

In related news, the U.N. special adviser on the prevention of genocide is warning ongoing fighting between government troops and local militias in Ethiopia is leading to a heightened risk of genocide and other crimes in the Tigray, Amhara, Afar and Oromia regions.

French Soldiers Begin Withdrawal from Niger as U.S. Labels Military Takeover a Coup

Oct 11, 2023

In Niger, the first set of French soldiers has started to withdraw from the country, after orders by Niger’s military junta following their July takeover. In the capital Niamey, residents welcomed the French soldiers’ departure.

Sidi Ali: “Today, this batch of French soldiers who have arrived and who will, God willing, shortly be taking to the road to return home, is only the culmination of a struggle that the people have engaged in. The people are on their feet to demand the departure of the French soldiers from Niger soil, because one thing is certain: Niger remains for the people of Niger.”

This comes as the U.S. formally designated the ouster of President Mohamed Bazoum and military takeover as a coup, suspending aid to Niger. But U.S. officials say they do not plan to remove any of its 1,000 military personnel from Niger.

George Santos Hit with 10 More Charges Around Campaign Financing Fraud

Oct 11, 2023

Embattled New York Congressmember George Santos was charged with 10 additional criminal counts Tuesday. The superseding indictment accuses the Republican lawmaker of inflating his campaign finance reports, including fabricating contributions, and charging donors’ credit cards without authorization.

Hughes Van Ellis, One of the Last 3 Survivors of 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, Dies at 102

Oct 11, 2023

Hughes Van Ellis, one of the last remaining survivors of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, has died at 102. As many as 300 Black people were killed when a white mob burned down what was known as “Black Wall Street,” the thriving African American neighborhood of Greenwood. The last two known survivors of the massacre are 109-year-old Viola Fletcher, Hughes Van Ellis’s sister, and 108-year-old Lessie Benningfield Randle. In 2021, all three testified before the U.S. Congress in favor of reparations. This is Hughes Van Ellis.

Hughes Van Ellis: “Because of the massacre, my family was driven out of our home. We were left with nothing. We were made refugees in our own country.”

In August, the Oklahoma Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal from survivors of the massacre, whose reparations lawsuit was dismissed in July.

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