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HeadlinesOctober 30, 2023

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Palestinian Death Toll Tops 8,300 as Israeli Tanks Advance on Gaza City

Oct 30, 2023

Israeli tanks reached the outskirts of Gaza City after Israel carried out its most intense bombardment of the besieged Palestinian territory since October 7. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday a ground invasion had begun, and warned of a “long and difficult” campaign ahead. Gaza’s Health Ministry says Israeli attacks have killed more than 8,300 Palestinians, including nearly 3,500 children. Fears are growing of a possible strike on the al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City after Israel on Sunday ordered its “immediate” evacuation. Airstrikes have repeatedly struck near the hospital, where an estimated 14,000 Palestinians are sheltering.

On Sunday, internet and cellphone access was restored to parts of the Gaza Strip after Israel blacked out all communications for Gaza’s 2.3 million people. Most of Gaza remains without electricity, and tens of thousands — including pregnant people and babies — have been forced to drink brackish or contaminated water. The U.N. agency serving Palestinians says Gazans have reached their breaking point after more than three weeks of bombardments and total siege. Israeli strikes have killed at least 59 UNRWA employees, with many more believed to be trapped under the rubble.

Families of Israeli Hostages Plead with Netanyahu to Protect Hostages, Call for Prisoner Swap

Oct 30, 2023

On Saturday, families of Israelis held hostage by Hamas met with Benjamin Netanyahu, urging him to halt strikes that could jeopardize their loved ones. The families are calling on Israel to exchange thousands of Palestinian prisoners for the more than 200 Israelis believed to be in Hamas’s custody in Gaza. Meanwhile, Netanyahu has apologized after he published — and later deleted — a social media post blaming defense and intelligence officials for failing to warn him ahead of Hamas’s deadly attack on October 7.

West Bank Toll Rises to 111 After Israeli Settler Kills Palestinian Harvesting Olives

Oct 30, 2023

The Palestinian Health Ministry says the death toll from Israeli attacks in the occupied West Bank has reached 111 since October 7. At least seven of those were killed by Israeli settlers, including 40-year-old Bilal Muhammad Saleh, who was fatally shot Saturday near Nablus as he was harvesting olives with his family. On Friday, residents of the Jenin refugee camp said Israeli army bulldozers destroyed a memorial for the Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh erected at the spot where she was fatally shot in the head by an Israeli sniper in May 2022.

U.S. and Israel Side Against Overwhelming Majority at UNGA Calling for Gaza Ceasefire

Oct 30, 2023

The U.N. General Assembly voted 120 to 14 Friday in favor of a resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian truce and for aid access to Gaza. Israel and the U.S. voted against the resolution, which also calls for the release of captive civilians. Forty-five member states abstained, including Canada. Some countries, including South Africa, urged the U.N. to do much more to stop the bloodshed.

Mathu Joyini: “South Africa urges the United Nations to impose an arms embargo on all parties involved in this conflict, given the nature of the death and destruction we are witnessing every day.”

The resolution is nonbinding but holds political and symbolic weight.

Jewish Voice for Peace Leads Protest of Thousands in NYC’s Grand Central Station

Oct 30, 2023

Over the weekend, hundreds of thousands of people joined Palestinian solidarity marches from London to Istanbul to Wellington. In the U.S., demonstrators in San Francisco blocked traffic on Highway 101 and held a vigil in front of Congressmember Nancy Pelosi’s house. In Philadelphia, Jewish American groups led an action in front of the office of Senator John Fetterman, a staunch defender of Israel.

Here in New York, thousands of people, led by Jewish Voice for Peace, converged at Grand Central Station for the largest sit-in protest the city has seen in over two decades. Among the massive crowd were elected officials, rabbis and academics. NYPD arrested over 300 people. Before she was arrested, Democracy Now! spoke with Rosalind Petchesky, professor of political science at Hunter College.

Rosalind Petchesky: “We believe in justice and the right to live for everyone. But Palestinians have been the victims of oppression for 75 years, and it has to stop. That’s why we’re here, to say 'Not in our name.' I am older than the state of Israel.”

After headlines, we’ll air more voices from Friday’s historic protest.

Maine Mass Shooting Suspect Found Dead of Self-Inflicted Gunshot

Oct 30, 2023

In Maine, authorities on Friday discovered the body of the suspect in a mass shooting rampage at a bar and bowling alley that killed 18 people in Lewiston last week. Forty-year-old Robert Card died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot. His body was found in a trailer at a recycling facility in the nearby town of Lisbon two days after the shooting. He had reportedly recently been fired from the recycling center. A motive for the massacre is not known, though authorities say the shooter frequented the bar and bowling alley with his ex-girlfriend. Maine police were alerted last month that the Army reservist was a possible danger after he threatened to “shoot up” his military base. Local officials and residents of Lewiston expressed relief as they now reckon with the tragedy’s aftermath. Leroy Walker, a city councilor, is the father of one of the 18 victims, Joseph Walker.

Leroy Walker: “Joe is the only one that would come up and hug me and say, 'I love you, Dad. I love you, Dad.' And sometimes I’d say 'I love you' back. Sometimes I wouldn’t say that. And he’d say, 'I understand, Dad.' But I didn’t understand. I should have said it, I mean, a million times, because it ain’t gonna happen no more. And I got my other boys out there. When I see them, I’m going to tell them I love them. I miss him so much.”

United Auto Workers Wins Tentative Deal with Stellantis and GM, Following Ford

Oct 30, 2023

The United Auto Workers has reached a tentative deal for a collective bargaining agreement covering workers at General Motors. Today’s deal follows similar tentative contracts the UAW reached with Stellantis and Ford in recent days. This is UAW President Shawn Fain.

Shawn Fain: “We called it the stand-up strike as a tribute to the sit-down strike which built our great union almost 90 years ago. The sit-down strike showed the incredible power of regular working-class people to fight for economic justice and win big. After 44 days of occupying the GM plant in Flint, Michigan, the UAW announced victory. On day 44 of our stand-up strike, I am honored to announce that our union is again victorious.”

The Stellantis proposal includes reviving an Illinois assembly plant that had been shuttered since February and cost 1,200 UAW members their jobs. Some 5,000 jobs will be added to the Stellantis workforce, along with significant raises and an end to tiered wages. In light of the success of its strike against the Big 3 U.S. automakers, the UAW said it’s planning to organize workers at nonunion automakers like Toyota, Honda and Tesla.

Iranian Teen Assaulted by Morality Police for Not Wearing Headscarf Dies of Injuries

Oct 30, 2023

In Iran, a 16-year-old girl has died weeks after she was reportedly assaulted by Iran’s morality police for not wearing a headscarf. Armita Geravand was hospitalized with brain injuries and fell into a coma after witnesses said she was beaten by officers in a Tehran subway station earlier this month. Amnesty International has called on the Iranian government to launch an independent investigation into Geravand’s death, which comes about a year after 22-year-old Mahsa Amini died in custody of the morality police.

Extinction Rebellion Protesters Demand Germany Decarbonize by 2030

Oct 30, 2023

In Germany, 1,000 climate activists with the group Last Generation and Extinction Rebellion Netherlands blockaded a major road in Berlin Saturday. Some demonstrators glued themselves to the road’s surface. Dozens were arrested in their latest act of peaceful civil disobedience as they demand the German government transition to a fossil fuel-free economy by 2030.

Eileen: “As healthcare workers, we are already seeing the first consequences of people dying because it’s too hot in the summer, that people with preexisting conditions suffer more and more, that old people, or especially vulnerable groups, are the first to be affected in extreme weather. But even if we think that none of this affects us because we are young and healthy enough, when flood waves come, as they did suddenly and violently in the Ahr Valley, or forest fires, as we have seen on the news several times, none of us is safe. The climate crisis affects us all, and the climate crisis kills.”

Leading Climate Scientist Saleemul Huq Dies in Bangladesh

Oct 30, 2023

The Bangladeshi climate scientist Saleemul Huq has died in Dhaka at the age of 71. Saleemul Huq served as a lead author on two of the definitive assessments of the Earth’s climate published by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was the director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development. In 2021, he appeared on Democracy Now!, saying wealthy nations like the U.S. and Germany had a lot to learn about climate adaptation from poorer countries like Bangladesh.

Saleemul Huq: “The number of deaths that we saw in Germany, in one of the richest countries in the world — nearly 200 Germans actually died from flash floods — would never have happened in Bangladesh. We would have evacuated them. We do evacuate everybody that’s in the path of floods or in cyclones. In Germany, they weren’t able to do that. So, Germany could learn a lot from Bangladesh, and so could the United States.”

Saleemul Huq has died of a heart attack in Bangladesh at the age of 71. Click here to see all of our interviews with Saleemul Huq.

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