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HeadlinesOctober 31, 2023

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UNICEF Warns Israel’s Assault on Gaza Is Killing or Wounding 420 Children a Day

Oct 31, 2023

The United Nations children’s agency has warned Israel is committing rampant grave violations of human rights against children in the besieged Gaza Strip. On Monday, UNICEF’s Executive Director Catherine Russell briefed the U.N. Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, warning Israel’s assault is killing or injuring more than 420 children in Gaza every day — a number she said should “shake each of us to our core.”

Catherine Russell: “I implore the Security Council to immediately adopt a resolution that reminds parties of their obligations under international law, that calls for a ceasefire, that demands the parties allow safe and unimpeded humanitarian access, that demands the immediate and safe release of all abducted children, and that urges parties to afford children the special protection to which they are entitled.”

Palestinian health officials say over 8,500 people — mostly women and children — have been killed over the past 26 days. On Monday, an Israeli warplane bombed the Turkish-Palestinian Friendship Hospital, the only hospital in Gaza for cancer patients. The attack set part of the building on fire and damaged medical equipment, drawing a strong condemnation from Turkey. In the past 24 hours, Israeli air raids have also struck near the European Hospital, the Indonesia Hospital and flattened homes in the vicinity of the al-Quds Hospital, where some 14,000 Palestinians are sheltering.

Israeli Tanks Press Deeper into Gaza After Netanyahu Rules Out Ceasefire, Condemns Hostage Video

Oct 31, 2023

Israeli troops and tanks have pushed further into the besieged Gaza Strip after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday refused to agree to a ceasefire.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Calls for a ceasefire are calls for Israel to surrender to Hamas, to surrender to terrorism, to surrender to barbarism. That will not happen.”

Netanyahu’s comments came as Hamas released a video showing three Israeli women held captive in Gaza. In the video, hostage Daniel Aloni fiercely criticizes the Israeli prime minister for failing to prevent the October 7 attack. Netanyahu dismissed the video as “cruel psychological propaganda.” On Monday, Israel said it had freed Israel soldier Ori Megidish, who was taken prisoner by Hamas on October 7. Israeli officials also announced the death of 23-year-old Shani Louk, who was kidnapped by Hamas from a music festival in southern Israel.

Israeli Military Warns Al Jazeera Correspondent in Gaza to Leave Home or Die

Oct 31, 2023

Al Jazeera is condemning threats by the Israeli army against the family of its Gaza correspondent Youmna ElSayed. On Monday, ElSayed’s husband received a call from Israeli forces warning family members to immediately leave their home or be killed in a bombardment. The threat comes just days after an Israeli strike killed 12 family members of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief Wael al-Dahdouh, including his two children and grandson. Al Jazeera said in a statement, “Israel’s actions continue with impunity as they attempt to silence the messenger.” Democracy Now! spoke to Youmna ElSayed last week.

Youmna ElSayed: “Homes were targeted. Hospitals were targeted. In these same areas that people were asked to evacuate, hundreds of families who had evacuated from the north and from Gaza City were killed in those bombings. When we say there is no safe place in Gaza, we’re not lying.” 

Reporters Without Borders Says Israel “Targeted” Journalists in Attack That Killed Issam Abdallah

Oct 31, 2023

At least 31 journalists have been killed since October 7 across the region: 26 Palestinian, four Israeli and one Lebanese. Among the casualties is Reuters visual journalist Issam Abdallah, who was killed in southern Lebanon on October 13. A preliminary investigation by Reporters Without Borders found Abdallah, and the group of journalists he was with, were “targeted” by Israeli forces. RSF said, “Two strikes in the same place in such a short space of time (just over 30 seconds), from the same direction, clearly indicate precise targeting.” Click here to see our interview with his friend.

Sit-in Protesters Across Canada Demand Lawmakers Press for Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza 

Oct 31, 2023

In Canada, crowds of protesters on Monday led several sit-ins at the offices of Parliament members in Montreal and across at least a dozen other Canadian cities demanding an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Maya Menezes: “We were joined by over 20 office occupations across the country, from coast to coast, of individuals not affiliated with any one organization, just individuals that represent the vast majority of Canadians, who want to see our government taking action on a genocide that is being live-streamed. We want an end to the siege in Gaza, and we want to see our federal members of Parliament acting on it as decisively as their constituencies clearly are demanding that they do.”

Meanwhile, in Toronto, over 100 workers rallied outside the manufacturing plant and global headquarters of the security and defense company INKAS, which produces arms exported to Israel. Protesters are demanding Canada end its weapons trade with Israel, which they say are being used for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

Antisemitic Mob Storms Airport in Russia’s Dagestan Region Seeking Israeli Passengers 

Oct 31, 2023

In Russia’s North Caucasus region, a mob of hundreds of young men stormed the runway of an airport in Dagestan Sunday evening, appearing to search for Jewish passengers on a flight from Israel. Police say they arrested 60 of the rioters. The founder of Telegram said after the attack the social media platform had shut down the accounts that organized the mob. Dagestan’s governor condemned the attack, writing on Telegram, “There is no honor in hurling abuse at strangers, searching their pockets looking for their passports!” On Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Western spy agencies and agents of Ukraine for the riot. The White House dismissed the claim and condemned Putin for not doing more to denounce the violence.

U.S. Officials Warn of Surge of Hate Crimes Against Muslims, Arabs and Jews 

Oct 31, 2023

Here in the United States, federal officials say there’s been a spike in hate crimes and threats against Jewish, Arab and Muslim communities since Israel began its assault on Gaza in response to Hamas’s attack on October 7. In New York, the FBI is investigating violent threats against Jewish student organizations on the Cornell University campus. New York Governor Kathy Hochul visited Cornell Monday, promising the state would boost efforts to monitor social media for antisemitic hate speech. In Nevada, police have arrested a Las Vegas man who allegedly left voicemails that included antisemitic comments and threats of violence against Democratic Senator Jacky Rosen, who is Jewish.

In Illinois, a 71-year-old landlord accused of fatally stabbing a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy pleaded not guilty on Monday to murder and hate crime charges. The boy’s name was Wadea al-Fayoume. His mother Hanaan Shahin was left hospitalized with serious injuries from the assault. The landlord reportedly shouted, “You Muslims must die!” during the attack.

Records Show Police Ignored Warnings Ahead of Maine Gunman’s Violent Rampage

Oct 31, 2023

In Colorado, authorities say a heavily armed man died by suicide before carrying out an apparent planned massacre at an amusement park. Police say the body of an unnamed 20-year-old was found Saturday morning at the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park wearing body armor and tactical gear. He was armed with an AR-style rifle, a semiautomatic handgun and explosive devices.

In Maine, newly surfaced records show police ignored repeated warnings about threats made by the Army reservist behind last week’s mass shooting which left 18 people dead and 13 others injured. In mid-July, an Army commander was told that Robert Card should not have a weapon, handle ammunition or participate in live-fire exercises. The commander alerted local police, but it’s unclear if officers took any action. And just six weeks ago, police records show Card punched a friend and stated that he was planning to “shoot up the drill center” where his Army Reserve unit is based. An officer performed a wellness check on Card but gave up after Card did not come to the door.

Colorado Court Hears Arguments in Lawsuit Seeking to Bar Trump from 2024 Ballot

Oct 31, 2023

In Denver, Colorado, opening arguments got underway Monday in a case brought by voters seeking to ban Donald Trump from appearing on the 2024 presidential ballot. Lawyer Eric Olson argued Trump should be removed under the “insurrection” provision of the 14th Amendment adopted after the Civil War.

Eric Olson: “Our Constitution prevents people who betrayed their solemn oath, as Trump did here, from serving in office again. Colorado law gives these voters the rights to make sure their votes will count by coming to this court and ensuring that only eligible candidates appear on our ballots.”

A similar lawsuit is being heard by Minnesota’s Supreme Court this week.

Pence Drops 2024 Presidential Bid; Rep. Dean Phillips to Challenge Biden for Democratic Nomination

Oct 31, 2023

Former Vice President Mike Pence has dropped his long-shot bid to win the Republican Party’s nomination. Trump remains the front-runner in the race, by far, even though he faces 91 felony counts across four criminal indictments.

Meanwhile, Minnesota Congressmember Dean Phillips said Friday he will challenge President Biden for the Democratic Party’s nomination in 2024. Phillips has made Biden’s age a centerpiece of his campaign, saying, “I think it’s time for the new generation to rise.”

UAW Reaches Tentative Deal with GM, Ending Strike Against Big Three U.S. Automakers

Oct 31, 2023

The United Auto Workers on Monday reached a tentative agreement with General Motors, more than six weeks after thousands of autoworkers walked off the job for a historic strike against the Big Three U.S. automakers. The deal followed similar tentative contracts the UAW reached with Stellantis and Ford in recent days. This is UAW President Shawn Fain.

Shawn Fain: “We have won record agreements at Ford, Stellantis and now GM. We have united our membership like never before. We have shown the companies, the American public and the whole world that the working class is not done fighting. In fact, we’re just getting started.”

The agreement with GM includes a 25% wage increase over four-and-a-half years, among other benefits. We’ll have more on the strike later in the broadcast.

Prison Banned Books Week Highlights Censorship Behind Bars

Oct 31, 2023

Today marks the end of PEN America’s inaugural Prison Banned Books Week which revealed how prison censorship is now the most pervasive form of information suppression in the United States. More books are banned by prisons and jails than the country’s schools and libraries combined. There has been a rise in content-neutral bans that require incarcerated people to get books from “approved vendors,” and block free and used literature from family and friends. Prison officials are also citing security and sexual concerns to censor scientific and creative literature. This is Kwaneta Harris, an incarcerated nurse and writer in solitary confinement in Texas.

Kwaneta Harris: “This is what Texas considers sexually explicit: a guide to perform a self breast exam. These are pictures of our bodies to show us how to care for ourselves. Books or magazine articles on contraception, menopause and general reproductive healthcare are all denied.”

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