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HeadlinesDecember 01, 2023

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Dozens of Palestinians Killed in Renewed Israeli Attacks as Weeklong Gaza Truce Expires

Dec 01, 2023

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed after Israel resumed its bombardment of the Gaza Strip, ending a weeklong pause to facilitate the exchange of captives. Hamas responded by firing a salvo of rockets toward southern Israel. The U.N. says the resumption of violence puts thousands of innocent lives at risk. Since October 7, the Israeli bombardment has killed over 15,000 Palestinians, including 6,100 children. Israel has expanded its military campaign to target southern areas of Gaza, where Israeli planes have been dropping leaflets warning people to evacuate areas around Khan Younis, warning the city was now a “dangerous battle zone.” Israel previously expelled hundreds of thousands of people from the northern Gaza Strip to the south. Just hours before the truce was set to expire, residents of Khan Younis searched through the rubble of their former homes for any personal items they could salvage.

Dalal Masoud: “The end of the calm today feels like our execution. They are telling us that today is the last day of the ceasefire, and we have 24 hours before we return to a life of sheltering in schools in squalor, with the hardship of life without water, electricity or proper shelter. We want a complete truce, not being told every day there is a truce, only to have it breached.”

Freed Palestinian Prisoners Say They Faced Torture and Rape in Israeli Jails

Dec 01, 2023

Israel’s renewed assault on Gaza came after Israel and Hamas completed a seventh exchange of captives. On Thursday, eight Israelis held by Hamas were released, while 30 Palestinians were freed from Israeli jails. Israel’s government says it believes Hamas still holds 137 hostages kidnapped during the October 7 attacks. Newly freed Palestinians report suffering torture and sexual assault. This is Baraah Abo Ramouz, a Palestinian journalist who spoke after his release from an Israeli jail Thursday.

Baraah Abo Ramouz: “The situation in the prisons is devastating. The prisoners are abused. They are being constantly beaten. They’re being sexually assaulted. They are being raped. I’m not exaggerating. The prisoners are being raped.”

Earlier this week, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called for an investigation into reports of sexual violence committed by Hamas on October 7.

NYT: Israel Had Hamas Battle Plan More Than a Year Ago But Failed to Prevent Oct. 7 Attacks

Dec 01, 2023

Israeli government officials knew Hamas was planning a large-scale attack on Israel more than a year ago, but failed to respond to specific warnings about the plot after dismissing it as “aspirational.” That’s according to an explosive report in The New York Times, which says Israeli officials intercepted a 40-page battle plan by Hamas detailing how its attack would play out — a blueprint Hamas closely followed on October 7.

Meanwhile, another explosive new report by +972 Magazine details how Israel is using artificial intelligence to draw up targets in Gaza, and how Israel has loosened its constraints on attacks likely to kill civilians. One former intelligence officer described the plan as a “mass assassination factory.” After headlines, we’ll go to Jerusalem to speak with Israeli investigative reporter Yuval Abraham, who broke the story.

Arizona Police Arrest Protesters and Journalist Covering Blockade of Raytheon Building

Dec 01, 2023

In Arizona, 26 people were arrested Thursday as protesters peacefully blockaded a Raytheon manufacturing hub in Tucson, demanding an end to U.S. arms transfers to Israel. One protester said, “We are outraged that more than 15,000 Palestinians have been killed, while companies like Raytheon continue to fill their coffers with blood money.” Among those arrested was journalist Alisa Reznick of public radio station KJZZ. She was arrested by Pima County Sheriff’s deputies even as she carried recording equipment and repeatedly identified herself as press.

MSNBC Cancels “The Mehdi Hasan Show,” Sparking Uproar

Dec 01, 2023

MSNBC is facing a torrent of backlash after announcing it’s canceling “The Mehdi Hasan Show.” The British-born journalist is known for holding powerful figures to account and is one of the most powerful Muslim voices on American television.

Following the news, Congressmember Ilhan Omar said, “It is deeply troubling that MSNBC is cancelling his show amid a rampant rise of anti-Muslim bigotry and suppression of Muslim voices.” Journalist Ryan Grim said, “Mehdi’s style of confrontational interviews, in which he doesn’t let public figures get away with lies or half true talking points, turned him into a celebrated journalist in the UK. His show’s cancellation is such a pathetic indictment of the U.S. media.”

Mehdi Hasan’s show has been welcomed as one of the few on a mainstream network to question Israel’s narrative over its attacks on Gaza. Last month, Hasan interviewed Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Mehdi Hasan: “I have seen lots of children with my own lying eyes being pulled from the rubble. So” —

Mark Regev: “Now, because they’re the pictures Hamas wants you to see. Exactly my point, Mehdi.”

Mehdi Hasan: “And also because they’re dead, Mark. Also” —

Mark Regev: “They’re the pictures Hamas wants — no.”

Mehdi Hasan: “But they’re also people your government has killed. You accept that, right? You’ve killed children? Or do you deny that?”

Mark Regev: “No, I do not. I do not. I do not. First of all, you don’t know how those people died, those children.”

Mehdi Hasan: “Oh wow.”

Russia’s Top Court Bans Queer Activism in Escalating Persecution of LGBTQ+ Communities

Dec 01, 2023

Russia’s Supreme Court has banned LGBTQ+ activism in a landmark decision Amnesty International blasted as “shameful and absurd.” The ruling, which asserts the “international LGBTQ movement” is extremist, threatens to further endanger already-persecuted communities. This is transgender activist Ada Blakewell.

Ada Blakewell: “I escaped from a conversion camp just over a half a year ago. I was kidnapped. They tried to cure me for a year. They tried to convince me that I was not a transgender woman. They failed, de facto. After the adoption of this lawsuit, I will not be able to talk about conversion therapy. It will be forbidden for me because it will be associated with the LGBT topic. I will not be able to help a large number of people. All trans activists, many queer activists have already left Russia. I am one of the last, apparently, who have remained in Russia. What to do next? The only option I know is to leave.”

“We Are Living Through Climate Collapse”: U.N. Issues Urgent Warning as COP28 Opens in Dubai

Dec 01, 2023

The World Meteorological Organization reports 2023 is “virtually certain” to become the hottest year on record, warning of worsening wildfires, floods, ice melt, heat waves and other extreme weather events. Since the start of the year, the average global surface temperature is up about 1.4 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, or about 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s just a tenth of a degree below the target limit of 1.5 degrees set by the Paris climate accord in 2015. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the findings Thursday as the U.N.’s COP28 climate summit got underway in Dubai.

Secretary-General António Guterres: “We are living through climate collapse in real time, and the impact is devastating. … We have the roadmap to limit the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius and avoid the worst of climate chaos. But we need leaders to fire the starting gun at COP28 on a race to keep the 1.5-degree limit alive.”

Tune in to Democracy Now! next week, when we’ll be broadcasting from the COP28 U.N. climate summit in Dubai.

Biden to Eschew COP28 as U.S. Opens Another Oil and Gas Leasing Auction

Dec 01, 2023

The White House has confirmed President Biden will not attend the COP28 summit this year but that Vice President Kamala Harris will be in attendance. This week the Biden administration launched an auction to sell $3.4 million in oil and gas drilling leases. It’s just the first in a series of auctions that will take place as COP28 unfolds. Over the next two weeks, the Interior Department will sell off land exploitation rights in Wyoming, New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Utah.

This comes as data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show the Biden administration has surpassed the Trump administration in crude oil production, bringing U.S. production higher than at any other time in history. The Center for Biological Diversity warns that Biden’s fossil fuel projects “threaten to erase the climate emissions progress from the Inflation Reduction Act.”

George Santos Refuses to Resign on Eve of House Vote on His Expulsion

Dec 01, 2023

The House of Representatives is voting today over whether to expel New York Congressmember George Santos, who repeatedly lied about his professional experience, his background, and likely committed multiple violations of campaign finance rules. Santos painted himself as a victim of a “smear campaign” and refused to resign as he addressed lawmakers Thursday.

Rep. George Santos: “When this vote is on the floor, it is in the conscience of all of my colleagues that they believe that this is a correct thing to do. So be it. Take the vote. I am at peace.”

If ousted, Santos would become just the sixth member of the House ever to be removed by fellow lawmakers.

Animal Rights Activist Wayne Hsiung Gets 3-Month Jail Term for Freeing Sick Factory Farm Birds

Dec 01, 2023

In California, animal rights activist and attorney Wayne Hsiung has been sentenced to 90 days in jail after he was found guilty of felony conspiracy and misdemeanor trespassing for rescuing dozens of injured and dying ducks and chickens at two factory farms in Sonoma County, California. The charges stemmed from peaceful actions at Sunrise Farms and Reichardt Duck Farm. Mirais Holden, a member of Wayne Hsiung’s legal team, spoke outside the Sonoma County courthouse after Thursday’s sentencing.

Mirais Holden: “I believe that this trial will end up in the book of animal liberation, when that book is written. I’m tremendously grateful to Wayne for the sacrifice that he has made. … The injustice of the fact that a human being is being held in a cage for the supposed crime of compassion, for rescuing other sentient, feeling beings from cages, will not be lost on the world.”

Wayne Hsiung is a co-founder of Direct Action Everywhere, a global network of animal rights defenders. Click here to see our interviews with him.

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