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HeadlinesNovember 15, 2023

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Israel Raids Al-Shifa Hospital, Turning Gaza’s Largest Medical Facility into War Zone

Nov 15, 2023

Israeli ground forces have raided Gaza’s largest medical facility Al-Shifa Hospital, where hundreds of patients are still being treated and thousands have taken shelter. The IDF has been interrogating displaced people and staff. Medical workers were forced to move premature babies and other patients as the hospital was turned into a war zone, sending dangerous dust and debris into the air.

Eyewitness: “It is a direct targeting of the specialities building. Patients are being evacuated who were evacuated in the first place from the intensive care to the hallways.”

On Tuesday, people trapped by Israeli forces in Al-Shifa Hospital dug a mass grave within the hospital compound to bury the dead.

Israel’s assault on Gaza’s collapsed health infrastructure has also targeted Al-Rantisi Children’s Hospital, which, like almost all hospitals in Gaza, was forced to shutter and evacuate all patients.

Dr. Mustafa Al-Kahlot: “The hospital was besieged by tanks. And water, power and oxygen were cut, and there was various targeting of the hospital, so we were forced to evacuate the hospital, from patients and medical staff, as well as the displaced families that came for protection to reside in the hospital’s vicinity and buildings. … A lot of patients were carried by their families. The ambulances couldn’t reach the hospital. Their relatives carried them and moved out. Other patients were carried by the medical staff. Unfortunately, there were three patients in the intensive care unit who were placed on the only working devices but without oxygen supply. They were left in the ICU.”

Over 11,300 Palestinians have been killed by Israel since October 7. The true death toll is likely much higher. Children make up the largest percentage of victims.

“We Will Drown”: Displaced Gazans in Refugee Tents Face Heavy Rain

Nov 15, 2023

At least 1.7 million of Gaza’s 2.3 million inhabitants have been displaced. Many of them are now facing heavy rains as fears mount that flooding could overwhelm the sewage system. This is a displaced Palestinian.

Fayeza Srour: “Winter is a nightmare. The situation we’re facing right now will be a nightmare. In the past, I used to wish for winter to arrive and for the rain to fall, for the trees start to bloom and grow so that we can harvest, when everything looks very beautiful. But right now I pray every day for it not to rain. We are living in tents, nothing that protects us. When the rain falls, we will drown.”

While the rain brought misery to now-homeless Gazans, some also welcomed the downpours for finally providing drinkable water.

Israeli Forces Kill 8 Palestinians, Attack Hospital in West Bank

Nov 15, 2023

In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces killed at least eight Palestinians Tuesday, seven of them during a 15-hour military raid in the northern city of Tulkarm. The Thabet Thabet Hospital was attacked with a barrage of tear gas canisters that covered the facility with thick haze. Since October 7, nearly 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank.

Israel Confirms Death of Oct. 7 Hostage; Hamas Blames Israeli Airstrike

Nov 15, 2023

Israel’s military on Tuesday confirmed the death of a soldier taken hostage by Hamas on October 7. Hamas released video of the captive 19-year-old Noa Marciano before her death, as well as a photo of her apparently after she was killed, which Hamas blamed on an Israeli airstrike last week. Meanwhile, the families of other Israeli hostages kicked off a five-day march from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to demand Prime Minister Netanyahu do more to secure their release.

Belize Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Israel; U.N. Palestine Observer Slams Olaf Scholz’s Defense of Israel

Nov 15, 2023

Belize has become the latest nation to suspend diplomatic relations with Israel over its war on Gaza.

Meanwhile, the deputy permanent observer for Palestine to the U.N. responded to recent comments by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who said Israel is a democracy that respects international law and human rights. Majed Bamya wrote on social media, “I am now convinced there is another international law that we don’t know about and that the German chancellor and others are referring to, one that allows colonisation, collective punishment, indiscriminate attacks, wanton destruction, racial discrimination as long as your name is Israel.”

Here in the U.S., over 500 political appointees and employees across 40 government agencies sent a letter to President Biden Tuesday to protest his support of Israel’s war on Gaza.

“March for Israel” Brings Together Celebrities with Right-Wing Leaders, White Nationalist Pastor

Nov 15, 2023

In Washington, D.C., tens of thousands converged on the National Mall for the “March for Israel” Tuesday. While some rallygoers condemned the rise of antisemitism and called for the release of Israeli hostages, others brandished signs calling for Israel to keep bombing Gaza. Among the high-profile speakers at Tuesday’s protest were Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Christian fundamentalist House Speaker Mike Johnson.

Speaker Mike Johnson: “As Prime Minister Netanyahu says so well, this is a fight between good and evil, between light and darkness, between civilization and barbarism.”

CNN political contributor Van Jones took to the stage and called for ending “all the horror,” while branding himself a “peace guy,” prompting the crowd to start chanting “No ceasefire!” Another speaker at yesterday’s rally was far-right pastor John Hagee, a known antisemite who once said Hitler was sent by God to exterminate Jewish people in order to create the state of Israel.

Russian-Backed Attacks in Syria Ramp Up, Killing 66 People over Past Month

Nov 15, 2023

Yemen’s Houthi rebels have launched a series of missile and drone attacks against Israel over the last couple of days. The Israeli military said Tuesday it had intercepted a missile near the Red Sea.

Meanwhile, in Syria, at least 66 people, including children, were killed and hundreds of others wounded in the last month as Syrian government forces and Russian allies have intensified their bombardments in Idlib and Aleppo.

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House Passes Stopgap Government Funding Bill to Avert Shutdown Until 2024

Nov 15, 2023

The House passed a short-term funding bill to keep the government open until early 2024, sending the measure to the Senate ahead of Friday’s midnight deadline. The bill was approved Tuesday 336 to 95, with nearly two-thirds of the votes coming from Democrats. The bill does not include spending cuts or policy changes, as demanded by the House Freedom Caucus. New House Speaker Mike Johnson instead appealed to more moderate Republicans and the majority of Democrats. The bill also does not include military funds for Israel and Ukraine.

Biden Outlines Plans to Mitigate Climate Crisis as Federal Report Shows All of U.S. Is at Risk

Nov 15, 2023

President Biden announced a $6 billion plan as part of the Inflation Reduction Act to reinforce the country’s climate resilience, including upgrading water infrastructure, measures to mitigate flood risks, and modernizing the electric grid. The announcement came as the government released its National Climate Assessment on Tuesday.

President Joe Biden: “This assessment shows us, in clear scientific terms, that climate change is impacting all regions, all sectors of the United States — not just some, all. It shows that communities across America are taking more action than ever to reduce climate risk. It warns that more action is still badly needed.”

U.N. Warns National Climate Plans “Strikingly Misaligned with Science”

Nov 15, 2023

The United Nations released its latest report on climate plans of countries around the world. The U.N. concludes nations are recklessly off track to meet global climate goals, and that even if countries successfully achieve all of their current climate pledges, emissions would still rise 9% above 2010 levels. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres warned, “The world is failing to get a grip on the climate crisis. … [N]ational plans are strikingly misaligned with the science. #COP28 must be the place to urgently close the climate ambition gap.”

Rights Groups, Lawmakers Rally to End Solitary Confinement

Nov 15, 2023

Human rights groups and Democratic congressmembers called for passage of the End Solitary Confinement Act during a virtual rally Tuesday. The federal legislation, introduced by Congressmember Cori Bush, would prohibit the use of solitary confinement for more than four hours and create safe alternatives. Congressmember Adriano Espaillat said, “Solitary is a form of torture and causes long lasting irreparable harm to confined individuals, the majority of whom are Black and Brown.”

Union Leaders Testify Before Congress; Sen. Markwayne Mullin Challenges Teamsters Head to Fight

Nov 15, 2023

Senator Bernie Sanders held a hearing Tuesday to call for the strengthening of union protections amid a wave of labor victories and persistent inequality in the U.S. Sanders urged Congress to pass the PRO Act, which he reintroduced earlier this year.
United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain, fresh off his union’s successful strike against the “Big Three,” called on Congress to “step up” for the working class.

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, testified on the importance of a living wage for all airline and airport workers.

Sara Nelson: “You have workers who can’t make a living wage and are actually sleeping in the gate areas because they are working around the clock, shifts around the clock, and sometimes different jobs at that airport. That makes all of us less safe. They also cannot live near those airports because they are usually in major metropolitan areas, and they’re having to take transportation sometimes three hours back and forth, so they don’t even have time to go home between those shifts. So we’ve got to raise the standard for all of the workers. It’s about safety. It’s about security. And it’s about basic dignity at work.”

But Republican Senator Markwayne Mullin delivered the hearing’s most stunning moment, when he revived an ongoing feud with Teamsters President Sean O’Brien, challenging him to a physical fight.

Sen. Markwayne Mullin: “This is a time. This is a place. If you want to run your mouth, we can be two consenting adults. We can finish it here.”

Sean O’Brien: “OK, that’s fine. Perfect.”

Sen. Markwayne Mullin: “You want to do it now?”

Sean O’Brien: “I’d love to do it right now.”

Sen. Markwayne Mullin: “Well, stand your butt up then.”

Sean O’Brien: “You stand your butt up, big guy.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders: “Oh, hold up. No. Stop it. All right, hold it.”

Sean O’Brien: “Is that your solution to every problem?”

Sen. Bernie Sanders: “Oh no, sit down. Sit down.”

Sean O’Brien: “That’s why you’re a clown. Look at you.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders: “No, no, you’re a United States senator.”

After ordering Mullin to sit down, Senator Sanders added, “God knows the American people have enough contempt for Congress. Let’s not make it worse.”

Presidents Biden and Xi Meeting in San Francisco as They Attend APEC Summit

Nov 15, 2023

In San Francisco, President Biden is meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. It’s Xi’s first visit to the U.S. in six years. Ahead of the meeting, Biden told reporters he hopes to reduce heightened tensions between the two nations.

President Joe Biden: “To get back on a normal course of corresponding, being able to pick up the phone and talk to one another when there’s a crisis, being able to make sure our military still have contact with one another.”

As the APEC summit got underway this week, an array of protests took over San Francisco streets, ranging from the war on Gaza, the climate crisis and the treatment of the Uyghur community in China.

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