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HeadlinesNovember 13, 2023

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Gaza’s Largest Hospitals Close, Premature Babies Taken Out of Incubators, as Health System Collapses

Nov 13, 2023

Gaza’s two largest hospitals, Al-Shifa and Al-Quds, have closed as Gaza’s health system collapses under relentless Israeli bombardment and blockades. At least six premature babies and nine other patients have died at Al-Shifa due to shortages of electricity. Photos show premature babies removed from their incubators and placed together on a bed for warmth as the last remaining hospital workers are forced to resort to desperate measures. Medical staff say Israeli forces have entered hospitals and fired at patients and forced hundreds of others onto the streets. Doctors and officials with the Palestinian Ministry of Health pleaded with international actors to allow for the safe evacuation and treatment of patients. This is Dr. Muhammad Qandil of Nasser hospital.

Dr. Muhammad Qandil: “Hospitals are under fire. The last example is Shifa Hospital ICU. There is another private obstetric hospital was targeted directly today, and two of our colleagues who are specialists in obstetrics and gynecology were killed tonight. There is no service for pediatric patients in the northern area. Five kids in the pediatric ICU left alone in Rantisi Hospital, and we don’t know what’s going on with them. The communications were lost, so they might be dead or alive. So, now in Shifa Hospital, they cannot deal with the dead bodies. There is a tent of dead bodies back in the hospital.”

Nearly 200 medical workers have been reported killed since October 7. Among the dead is Al-Shifa’s Dr. Hammam Alloh, whose family home was shelled by Israel. We spoke to Dr. Alloh less than two weeks ago. Later in the broadcast, we’ll air that interview.

In Geneva, U.N. staff observed a minute of silence today in memory of the 101 employees of the U.N.'s Palestinian refugee agency, known as UNRWA, who've been killed in Israel’s assault on Gaza. Palestinian health officials say it’s impossible to determine an updated death toll due to communications outages, but said on Sunday at least 11,100 people have been killed since the start of the conflict, including more than 8,000 children and women. On Friday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry lowered its official death toll from Hamas’s October 7 attack in Israel to 1,200 people, down from 1,400.

Mass displacement continues as Gazans continue to flee southward despite Israeli attacks also targeting southern cities like Khan Younis, where another 13 people were killed in an Israeli airstrike Sunday. This is a displaced Gazan.

Ahmed Al-Kahlout: “Nowhere is safe in Gaza. My son was injured, and there was not a single hospital I could take him to so he could get stitches. There is no water. There isn’t enough salt water we can wash our hands with. There is no water for ablution. There are bodies filling Gaza’s streets. And there are still people there hoping that it will be solved soon. But only God knows if it will be solved, if they will live or if they will die. We were forced to leave. It wasn’t up to us. The whole world has let us down. The progressive world, that boasts about human rights, has let us down.”

French President Emmanuel Macron Says It’s Time for Ceasefire in Gaza

Nov 13, 2023

The White House says it is in “active consultations” with Israel’s military over fighting in and around hospitals. On Friday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “far too many Palestinians have been killed” in Gaza, but the U.S. has yet to call for a ceasefire or reconsider any of its “unconditional” military aid to Israel. French President Emmanuel Macron called on Israel to stop killing women, babies and elderly people in Gaza and, for the first time since the assault started, called for a ceasefire.

President Emmanuel Macron: “I think this is the only solution we have, is a ceasefire, because it’s impossible to explain: We want to fight against terrorism by killing innocent people.”

Macron said he hoped other countries, including the U.S. and the U.K., would join in the call for a ceasefire. France last month banned Palestinian solidarity protests.

British PM Rishi Sunak Fires Home Sec. Who Branded Pro-Palestinian Marches “Hate Crimes”

Nov 13, 2023

In Britain, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak fired hard-right Home Secretary Suella Braverman after she called protests for Palestinian rights “hate marches” and published an op-ed last week accusing the London police force of using “double standards” in dealing with protesters against the war. Braverman was accused of fomenting right-wing hatred. In a surprising move, Rishi Sunak has brought back former Prime Minister David Cameron to act as foreign secretary amid a wider cabinet reshuffle.

President of Sinn Féin Mary Lou McDonald Calls for Israel to Be Held Accountable at ICC

Nov 13, 2023

Mary Lou McDonald, the head of Sinn Féin, is calling on Irish and European leaders to take action against Israel’s assault on Gaza.

Mary Lou McDonald: “Where is the protection of international law for every child killed in Gaza, for every Gazan mother holding the cold body of their dead child? Israel cannot be allowed to commit atrocities with impunity. The government says that Israel’s actions cannot be without consequences. I agree. That is why the Irish government must take the lead and refer Israel to the International Criminal Court and send the Israeli ambassador home.”

Mary Lou McDonald spoke at Sinn Féin’s annual conference, where Palestinian Ambassador to Ireland Dr. Jilan Wahba Abdalmajid also spoke and was met with a standing ovation.

300,000 Protest in London to Demand Ceasefire in Gaza

Nov 13, 2023

Massive demonstrations continue to fill streets around the world, demanding a ceasefire and an end to Israel’s siege on Gaza. Up to 300,000 protesters marched in London over the weekend. Around 80 people were arrested. Protests also continued here in the United States, including a series of family-centered protests. Children accompanied family members to march to the homes of President Biden in Delaware and Senator Chuck Schumer here in New York.

Hezbollah Attack Injures 7 Israeli Soldiers and 10 Others Near Lebanon Border

Nov 13, 2023

Israel’s military says seven soldiers and 10 other people were injured Sunday in a rocket attack by Hezbollah fighters from southern Lebanon. It was the worst cross-border violence between Israel and Lebanon since an Israeli airstrike a week prior killed a Lebanese woman and three children. On Sunday, Israel’s minister of defense, Yoav Gallant, warned Hezbollah against further attacks on Israel, adding, “What we are doing in Gaza, we can do in Beirut.”

Pentagon Says It Bombed Two More Sites in Syria in Response to Drone and Missile Attacks

Nov 13, 2023

The Pentagon says U.S. warplanes have carried out two more airstrikes in Syria in response to dozens of drone and missile attacks on bases housing Pentagon forces in Syria and Iraq that have injured at least 56 military personnel. Reuters reports one of the U.S. strikes targeted a camp run by pro-Iranian armed groups in Deir ez-Zor province; another struck near a bridge close to the city of Mayadeen, close to the Iraqi border. It’s at least the third round of U.S. airstrikes in Syria in just over two weeks.

Sudanese Paramilitary Group Carried Out Massacre of Masalit in Darfur

Nov 13, 2023

In Sudan, human rights groups say members of the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary group carried out a massacre of around 1,300 Masalit people over three days earlier this month in Sudan’s West Darfur region. About 2,000 people were injured in the attacks, and at least 300 others remain missing. Survivors of the massacre say RSF fighters went from house to house looking for men, killing each one they found. On Friday, the United Nations warned more than 6 million people have fled their homes in Sudan since fighting between rival military factions erupted in April. About 25 million people — or more than half Sudan’s population — are reliant on aid. This is the U.N.’s humanitarian coordinator for Sudan.

Clementine Nkweta-Salami: “We are running out of words to describe the horror of what is happening in Sudan. We continue to receive unrelenting and appalling reports of sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearance, arbitrary detentions and grave violations of human and children’s rights. What is happening is verging on pure evil.”

Protesters Challenge Spanish Government Deal Granting Amnesty to Catalan Separatists

Nov 13, 2023

In Spain, major protests rocked Madrid and other cities over the weekend after acting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez agreed to grant amnesty to leaders of the Catalan separatist group Junts in exchange for their support to form a new government, which would secure another term for Sánchez as Spain’s leader. Carles Puigdemont, head of Junts, has been in exile in Brussels since he and others were convicted over Catalonia’s attempt to secede from Spain in 2017. The proposed amnesty deal would allow separatist leaders to run for office again. Sánchez’s conservative opponents have slammed the deal and urged their supporters to take to the streets. Sánchez and his Socialist Workers’ Party formed a coalition with the leftist Sumar alliance last month and made a series of progressive pledges.

Australia Agrees to Resettle Climate Refugees from Tuvalu in Exchange for Security Pact

Nov 13, 2023

Australia has signed an agreement with Tuvalu allowing citizens of the low-lying Pacific island nation to take up residency in Australia, should rising sea levels force them to abandon their homes. About 11,000 residents of Tuvalu are among the world’s most vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis. In return for offering them residency, Australia will have effective veto power over Tuvalu’s security arrangements with any other country. Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong acknowledged the deal was aimed at countering China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific.

Penny Wong: “We recognize we live in a more contested region, and we have to work harder to be a partner of choice. We know that. And unlike the previous government, we have been doing the work, and we will do the work, to work with the Pacific Island Forum members to assure Australia’s presence as a member of the family and as a partner of choice.”

FBI Seizes Electronic Devices of NYC Mayor Eric Adams Amid Campaign Finance Probe

Nov 13, 2023

FBI agents seized electronic devices from New York City Mayor Eric Adams last week as part of an investigation into whether his 2021 campaign received illegal donations from Turkey. Adams’s two cellular phones and iPad were returned days later. The seizure came in the wake of a federal raid on the home of Adams’s chief campaign fundraiser. The alleged donation scheme is believed to involve foreign businesses who used Turkish American citizens as “straw donors” to funnel money into Eric Adams’s mayoral campaign.

Federal investigators are also said to be looking into whether Adams, shortly before he was elected mayor, pressured the New York Fire Department into approving occupancy of a new Turkish consulate in Manhattan despite safety concerns with the high-rise building. Adams reportedly pushed to open the building in time for a planned visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to New York to attend the 2021 U.N. General Assembly.

Sen. Tim Scott Drops Bid for 2024 GOP Presidential Nomination

Nov 13, 2023

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott announced he is dropping out of the 2024 presidential race. Scott, the only Black Republican U.S. senator, did not immediately endorse another candidate. Just two months out from the first nominating contest in Iowa, Donald Trump remains the Republican Party’s clear front-runner despite his myriad legal troubles.

Animal Rights Defender Wayne Hsiung Convicted of Felony for Rescuing Factory Farm Animals

Nov 13, 2023

In California, a jury has found the animal rights activist and attorney Wayne Hsiung guilty of three charges, including felony conspiracy to trespass, after he led direct action protests in 2018 and 2019 that rescued ducks and chickens from factory farms in Sonoma County. Hsiung faces up to three-and-a-half years at a sentencing hearing scheduled for November 30. He spoke to Democracy Now! after his arrest in 2019.

Wayne Hsiung: “If you or I tortured an individual dog, we would clearly be subject to the criminal laws of the state of California. Yet, when a factory farm does this on massive scale, on a scale a million times larger than an individual person abusing a single animal, it’s seen as industry standard, and therefore completely immune from prosecution.”

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