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HeadlinesNovember 08, 2023

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“Either Kill Us All or Let Us Live”: Civilians Have Nowhere to Go as Israel Decimates Gaza

Nov 08, 2023

Israel said Tuesday its forces are operating in the “heart of Gaza City” and “tightening the noose” as horrors continue to multiply for Palestinians in the besieged enclave. An estimated 15,000 people fled northern Gaza Tuesday as the U.N. says 1.5 million people — more than half of Gaza’s population — have now been displaced. Over 10,000 people have been killed, around half of them children. The International Committee of the Red Cross says aid vehicles are being targeted as hospitals run out of lifesaving medical supplies.

Aerial bombardments throughout the Gaza Strip continue. This is a resident of Khan Younis, an area that was supposed to be safe, speaking after Israeli airstrikes leveled homes and killed at least 23 people Tuesday morning.

Abu Jihad: “It’s a genocide. They strike the houses and don’t care about children, women, elderly people, men. They don’t care. No one cares about us in this whole world. I don’t know why there is silence, why the world is silent. There are children, girls. We are not living. We need a solution. Either kill us all or let us live.”

Doctors Without Borders is mourning the death of their medical technician Mohammed Al Ahel, who was killed along with several family members on November 6 in Israel’s bombing of the al-Shati refugee camp.

Israeli Mourners Mark One Month Since Oct. 7 Hamas Attack; Grieving Mom Slams Netanyahu

Nov 08, 2023

Outside the Knesset in Jerusalem, mourners gathered Tuesday night to mark one month since Hamas’s attack in Israel, which killed 1,400 people. Mourners called for the release of some 240 hostages still being held. This is Hannah Katsman, whose son Hayim was killed by Hamas on October 7.

Hannah Katsman: “My son Hayim was killed on October 7th, was murdered by Hamas terrorists on his kibbutz in Holit. I’m here — before October 7th, I came to demonstrations against the government, and I still feel that the government is not representing my interests, and I’m very concerned about many of their action. … I want — I’d like Netanyahu to take responsibility for this. I’d like him to tell us how he’s going to prevent this from happening. I’d like him not to blame everyone but himself. He’s supposed to be in charge of security. How could this have happened?”

Click here to see our interview with Noy Katsman, Hayim’s sibling, as well his rabbi in Seattle, Washington, where Hayim was a graduate student at the University of Washington.

G7 Calls for “Pauses” in Israeli Assault as U.S. Rebuffs Idea of Post-Conflict Occupation of Gaza

Nov 08, 2023

Members of the G7 today called for “humanitarian pauses” in the fighting. Their joint statement also condemns Hamas and supports Israel’s right to self-defense.

Meanwhile, the White House has ruled out the ongoing occupation of Gaza post-conflict, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday Israel will take indefinite “security responsibility” over Gaza. National security spokesperson John Kirby said Biden believes “a reoccupation by Israeli forces of Gaza is not the right thing to do.” Antony Blinken spoke after a G7 meeting earlier today in Tokyo.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “When it comes to post-conflict governance in Gaza, a few things are clear and necessary. One, Gaza cannot be — continue to be run by Hamas. That simply invites a repetition of October 7th and Gaza used a place from which to launch terrorist attacks. It’s also clear that Israel cannot occupy Gaza.”

Over 150 Killed in West Bank Since Oct. 7.; Prominent Palestinian Activist Ahed Tamimi Arrested

Nov 08, 2023

In the occupied West Bank, Israeli soldiers and settlers have continued to intensify their attacks on Palestinians, with over 150 killed since October 7. Hundreds of Palestinians have been forcibly displaced from their homes and lands due to violent threats by Israeli settlers. More than 1,400 Palestinians have been arrested by Israeli forces in the last month, including prominent human rights activist Ahed Tamimi, who was taken into custody Monday after another round of overnight Israeli raids and fighting in the West Bank. Tamimi is being accused of “inciting terrorism” and calling for the killing of Israeli settlers on social media. Her mother, Nariman Tamimi, denied her daughter ever wrote such a post, and said there are dozens of imposter social media accounts. She described the moment Ahed was taken from their family home.

Nariman Tamimi: “They came and started yelling at us. And she hugged me, and she told me not to be afraid. And she said, 'I am strong, and do not worry. You are all strong. Don't worry, my dear mother.’ Then they came and pulled us apart.”

Ahed’s father was also arrested. Click here to see our interview with Ahed Tamimi several years ago, after she was held for months by the Israeli military.

House Censures Rashida Tlaib, Congress’s Only Palestinian American

Nov 08, 2023

In Washington, D.C., the House of Representatives voted Tuesday to censure Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian American member of Congress. Twenty-two Democrats joined Republicans in backing the resolution, which falsely accuses Tlaib of “calling for the destruction of the state of Israel” and defending Hamas’s actions on October 7. Tlaib addressed her colleagues on the House floor Tuesday, flanked by fellow progressives who have signed on to Cori Bush’s resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib: “Trying to bully or censor me won’t work, because this movement for a ceasefire is much bigger than one person. It’s growing every single day. There are millions of people across our country who oppose Netanyahu’s extremism and are done watching our government support collective punishment and the use of white phosphorus bombs that melt flesh to the bone. They are done watching our government, Mr. Chair, supporting cutting off food, water, electricity and medical care to millions of people with nowhere to go. Like me, Mr. Chair, they don’t believe the answer to war crimes is more war crimes.”

Abortion Rights and Democrats Score Major Victories One Year Ahead of National Elections

Nov 08, 2023

Abortion rights activists and Democrats scored big in Tuesday’s elections. In Ohio, voters approved with a double-digit margin a measure to establish the right to an abortion in the state constitution. Ohioans also voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana.

In Virginia, Democrats regained control of the full Legislature, holding onto the Senate and flipping the House of Delegates. The victory will block Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin from enacting parts of his far-right agenda, including a ban on abortions after 15 weeks. One of the Virginia Democrats claiming victory is Danica Roem, who will become the commonwealth’s first openly transgender state senator.

In Kentucky, voters kept pro-choice incumbent Democrat Andy Beshear in the Governor’s Office, as he fended off a challenge from Trump-endorsed Attorney General Daniel Cameron. His win, however, will not change the near-total ban on abortions imposed by Kentucky’s Supreme Court.

In Mississippi, Republican incumbent Governor Tate Reeves defeated Democratic candidate Brandon Presley, a second-cousin of Elvis Presley.

In Pennsylvania, Democrat Dan McCaffery won an open seat on the state’s Supreme Court, beating out an anti-abortion candidate. Also in Pennsylvania, Democrat Cherelle Parker will become the first Black woman and the first woman mayor of Philadelphia.

Here in New York, exonerated “Central Park Five” member Yusef Salaam won his Harlem race for City Council. Salaam was one of five Black and Latino teenagers wrongfully convicted of the 1989 beating and rape of a white woman. At the time, Donald Trump called for their execution. Salaam spent seven years in jail before being exonerated when the real perpetrator confessed.

Iranian Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Narges Mohammadi Begins Hunger Strike from Prison Cell

Nov 08, 2023

In Iran, imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate and human rights advocate Narges Mohammadi has begun a hunger strike protesting the lack of medical care and the mandatory hijab policy for Iranian women. Mohammadi is refusing to wear a headscarf even in her confinement. In retaliation, prison officials have denied Mohammadi’s request to be transferred to a hospital where she can receive urgent care for her heart and lung conditions. Mohammadi recently smuggled a letter out of the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran. This is her 17-year-old daughter Kiana Rahmani reading Mohammadi’s message to the world.

Kiana Rahmani: “The world observes that the revolutionary movement of Woman, Life, Freedom continues its campaign and resistance in Iran and is a hard struggle for the survival and the real life of society. The strength of this movement lies in the agency of Iranian women. We assuredly know what we want far better than what we do not want. We believe in it, commit to it, and we’re certain of victory!”

Countries Draft Tenuous Loss and Damage Fund Plan Ahead of COP28

Nov 08, 2023

A special U.N. committee tasked with helping implement a loss and damage fund for countries most affected by the climate catastrophe has hashed out key provisions to fulfill the breakthrough deal after nearly a year of negotiations. At a meeting in Abu Dhabi over the weekend, countries agreed to have the World Bank temporarily administer the fund, which critics say will give the United States and other wealthy countries too much influence over the fund. The U.S., one of the world’s worst polluters, has notoriously opposed the loss and damage agreement reached at the U.N. climate summit in Egypt last year.

The fund’s initial target size is expected to be about $500 million — far lower than the trillions of dollars that would be needed for countries to cope with the damage of climate disasters in the years to come. Global leaders will be asked to ratify the plan when they meet for COP28 in Dubai starting later this month, ahead of the fund’s planned launch in 2024.

Facebook Whistleblower Says Meta Is Aware That Platforms Harm Kids, Ignores Warnings

Nov 08, 2023

A former Facebook employee-turned-whistleblower testified before a Senate panel Tuesday on the harmful effects of social media on children and teens. Arturo Béjar told senators Meta abides by a culture of “see no evil, hear no evil” despite executives being repeatedly told the algorithms that keep users hooked on Facebook and Instagram push content that promotes bullying, drug abuse, eating disorders and self-harm. Béjar also said teenagers are regularly subjected to unwanted sexual advances. Arturo Béjar laid the responsibility squarely on Meta executives, including Mark Zuckerberg.

Arturo Béjar: “One, Meta knows the harm that kids experience on their platform, and their executives know that their measures fail to address it. Two, there are actionable steps that Meta could take to address the problem. And, three, they are deciding, time and time again, to not tackle these issues.”

California Court Convicts Captain of 2019 Scuba Boat Fire and Drowning

Nov 08, 2023

In California, a boat captain was convicted of criminal negligence for the 2019 deaths of 34 people aboard a scuba diving vessel that caught fire and sank south of Santa Barbara. Thirty-three passengers and one crew member died. Jerry Boylan abandoned ship and jumped overboard, saving his life. He faces up to 10 years in prison.


SAG-AFTRA Resuming Talks with Studios in Hopes of Ending 4-Month Strike

Nov 08, 2023

In labor news, negotiators with the SAG-AFTRA actors’ union are resuming talks with Hollywood studios today in hopes of hammering out an agreement to end the nearly four-month-long strike. SAG-AFTRA said Monday the two sides still remain at odds on certain issues, including artificial intelligence, after studios put forward their “last, best and final” offer.

SCOTUS Hears Arguments on Guns for Domestic Abusers, Agrees to Hear “Bump Stock” Case

Nov 08, 2023

The Supreme Court appears poised to uphold a federal ban on gun possession for people under domestic violence restraining orders. This comes more than a year after the far-right majority on the Supreme Court struck down a century-old New York law that limited the carrying of concealed handguns outside the home, requiring new gun laws to adhere to historic, centuries-old gun standards. As the justices heard oral arguments inside the courthouse Tuesday, gun safety and violence prevention advocates rallied outside the Supreme Court.

Tarria Stanley: “I’ve been hesitant to share my story, but I know the importance of using my voice in these spaces, because I know many other victims of abuse are not able to share their stories. And even worse, many of them have not been able to leave their situations alive. And there is no doubt in my mind that if my abuser was able to get their hands on a gun, the stab wound on my chest, that I look at every morning, would have been a gunshot wound, and I would not be standing in front of you all today.”

A decision in the case is not expected until June of next year.

In related news, on Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case challenging the 2018 federal ban on “bump stocks,” which can turn semiautomatic rifles into fully automatic machine guns. The ban came in the wake of a 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, when a gunman opened fire on a country music festival, killing 60 people and injuring hundreds. He fired more than 1,000 rounds during the massacre, thanks to the use of bump stocks.

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