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HeadlinesDecember 04, 2023

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Israel Kills 800 Palestinians as Truce Ends; Hospitals Under Attack as Gazans Have Nowhere to Turn

Dec 04, 2023

Gaza’s Health Ministry says Israeli strikes have killed more than 800 people since Saturday, after Israel targeted the besieged Palestinian territory with some of its most violent assaults yet — including parts of southern Gaza previously designated by Israel’s military as “safe” zones. Dozens were killed as Israel flattened homes in the Jabaliya refugee camp where displaced families were sheltering, while in Gaza City’s Shuja’iyya neighborhood Israeli strikes destroyed 50 residential buildings and homes, killing more than 300 people.

Ambulance drivers have been targeted by Israeli snipers, including a medic who was shot transporting an injured person toward al-Awda Hospital. UNICEF spokesperson James Elder delivered this message from inside Gaza’s Nasser Hospital.

James Elder: “We cannot see more children with the wounds of war, with the burns, with the shrapnel littering their body, with the broken bones. Inaction by those with influence is allowing the killing of children. This is a war on children. … Clearly, words, clearly, pleas from the world do not make a difference on those who have the power to stop the killing, the maiming of children.”

Following the collapse of the temporary truce Friday, Israel continues to restrict the number of aid trucks permitted into the besieged enclave as Gazans continue to plead for food, water and a permanent end to the attacks.

Watan al-Masri: “The days of the truce, God protect us, we slept. We rested. There were no drones, and we were living well. But with what happened today, we’ve been living in fear and anxiety. Really, fear has returned. The sadness has returned. With every explosion, we spring up. Is it in front of us? Is it behind us? We are living in terror. If anyone has any way to help us, we are dying of starvation.”

Over the weekend, Hamas said it would not release any more Israeli hostages until a ceasefire comes into effect and Israel releases all Palestinian prisoners.

Meanwhile, top U.S. officials have publicly warned Israel’s military about the thousands of Palestinian civilians it has killed and injured. This is Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin: “You see, in this kind of a fight, the center of gravity is the civilian population. And if you drive them into the arms of the enemy, you replace a tactical victory with a strategic defeat.”

Austin’s warning came as The Wall Street Journal reported the U.S. has supplied Israel with 15,000 bombs, including 2,000-pound bunker busters, and 57,000 artillery shells since October 7.

UAW Becomes Largest U.S.-Based Union to Call for Gaza Ceasefire

Dec 04, 2023

Here in the U.S., a protester is in critical condition after setting themself on fire Friday outside the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta, Georgia. Authorities said the protester never posed a threat to consular staff, and the self-immolation was believed to be “an act of extreme political protest.”

In Denver, Colorado, hundreds of Jewish activists and their allies blocked traffic on the busy Speer Boulevard Sunday following a week of protests outside the Colorado Convention Center, where the Jewish National Fund was holding its Global Conference for Israel. Fifteen members of Jewish Voice for Peace were arrested after chaining themselves together on the road and halting traffic for over an hour.

The United Auto Workers became the latest, and largest, union to call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. The UAW joins the American Postal Workers Union, the California Nurses Association, the Chicago Teachers Union and others in calling for a ceasefire. The UAW is also creating a “divestment and just transition working group” and taking a closer look at the union’s “economic ties to the conflict.”

COP28 Climate Delegates Agree to Loss and Damage Fund with “Deficiencies”

Dec 04, 2023

The United Nations COP28 climate summit opened here in Dubai Thursday with delegates agreeing to adopt a new “loss and damage” fund to help poorer nations deal with the disproportionate impact of the climate crisis. Initial funding will start at $429 million, just a fraction of what’s needed to address the annual cost of climate catastrophes. Governments from the Global South and climate activists welcomed the fund but underlined its deficiencies. This is Libyan activist Nissa Bek.

Nissa Bek: “Considering the fact that most of these developing countries that actually need the fund are politically unstable, already the prerequisite sort of for receiving the fund is not there.”

Nissa Bek also addressed attendees at the COP.

Nissa Bek: “The loss and damage fund will only be a Band-Aid if fossil fuels continue to be produced. Loss and damage from climate change cost $1.5 trillion last year alone.”

Barbados’s Prime Minister Mia Mottley called for major reforms to global financial institutions and for firm and binding commitments from governments.

Prime Minister Mia Mottley: “We live now in the age of superlatives. And in the age of superlatives, we’ve seen this year one-third of the days of the year exceed 1.5 degrees. In Glasgow, I said this was a death sentence. It is a death sentence for many. And the reality is that unless we change course and adopt the policies that can in fact help mitigate that increase in temperatures, we are going to see far more lives lost and far more damage done. … I’ve asked the world simply: Let us agree to leave here with a global methane agreement.”

A number of world leaders used their time on the global stage to speak out against Israel’s assault on Gaza, including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Colombian President Gustavo Petro and Jordanian King Abdullah. Later in the broadcast, we’ll hear voices from a protest for Gaza here at the U.N. climate summit.

COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber Claims There’s “No Science” to Back Phaseout of Fossil Fuels

Dec 04, 2023

COP28 president Sultan Al Jaber is facing a new wave of criticism after claiming there is “no science” backing the phaseout of fossil fuels. Al Jaber, who is also head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, made the comments during a virtual panel last month on women and climate change in response to Mary Robinson, former U.N. special envoy for climate change and former president of Ireland.

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber: “There is no science out there or no scenario out there that says that the phaseout of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5. One-point-five is my North Star.”

During the combative exchange with Mary Robinson, Al Jaber repeatedly lashed out defensively and chastised the former Irish president.

Mary Robinson: “The science is very acute now. We don’t have any time. They say six or seven years. We’ve got to peak by 2025.”

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber: “Ma’am.”

Mary Robinson: [inaudible] “in fossil fuel” —

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber: “You — you — Ma’am” —

Mary Robinson: — [inaudible] “fossil fuel. And your company is investing in a lot more new fossil fuel, and that’s going to hurt women.”

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber: “Ma’am, you’ve just accused me of something that is not correct. I am sorry. I don’t take it. Now I ask you to prove to me how” —

Mary Robinson: “I read that your company is investing in a lot more fossil fuel in the future.”

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber: “Yes, Ma’am, you’re reading” —

Mary Robinson: “Is that not true?”

Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber: “You’re reading your own media, which is biased and wrong. I am telling you: I am the man in charge, and it is wrong, Ma’am. You need to listen to me.”

In the lead-up to COP28, reports emerged that Al Jaber was using the event to make oil deals with foreign governments. Al Jaber rejected the reports. In remarks earlier today, he reiterated his supposed commitment to science, telling reporters here at COP, “We very much believe and respect the science.”

Venezuelan Voters Approve Sovereignty Claims Over Disputed Region of Guyana

Dec 04, 2023

Venezuelans have approved a voter referendum claiming sovereignty over a disputed area on Venezuela’s border with Guyana. The region of Essequibo is roughly 60,000 square miles of mostly dense jungle and is rich in oil and mineral reserves. Venezuela has long held claim to the land, which it says was stolen when borders between the two nations were drawn by international arbitrators over a century ago, when Guyana was still a British colony. Sunday’s referendum has heightened fears in Guyana that Venezuela could try to take over Essequibo through annexation. On Friday, the International Court of Justice warned Venezuela against taking any action to assert control over Essequibo.

Four Killed, Dozens Wounded in Explosion at Catholic Mass in Philippines’ Largest Muslim City

Dec 04, 2023

In the Philippines, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an explosion during a Catholic Mass Sunday that killed four people and injured dozens of others. The blast went off inside the gymnasium of Mindanao State University in Marawi, the Philippines’ largest Muslim city. A survivor recounted her ordeal.

Reina Mae Fernandez: “At first we were singing during the Mass. Then there was a sudden explosion behind us. We thought it was just the speakers, but then everybody started running. I stumbled, and my friend told me to keep running. That’s all I can remember. When I got out of the gym, I fell, and my friends started crying because they saw I was wounded in the back.”

In 2017, the Philippines government waged a monthslong battle to dislodge ISIS-allied militants in Marawi, laying waste to much of the southern city and killing nearly 1,200 people.

Sandra Day O’Connor, First Woman to Serve on U.S. Supreme Court, Dies at 93

Dec 04, 2023

Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve as a United States Supreme Court justice, has died at the age of 93. She was appointed by Ronald Reagan and sworn in in 1981. She served until 2006. She often acted as the swing vote of the court, including in 1992’s landmark case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld the constitutional right to an abortion.

In 2000, O’Connor cast the fifth vote in Bush v. Gore, leading to George W. Bush’s election victory. Two-and-a-half years later, Bush led the U.S. into an illegal invasion of Iraq. In 2013, the then-retired Sandra Day O’Connor suggested the Supreme Court should not have taken the Bush v. Gore case.

House Votes to Expel Republican Rep. and Serial Fabulist George Santos over Ethics Violations

Dec 04, 2023

The House voted Friday to expel New York Republican George Santos over multiple ethics violations, making him just the sixth congressmember to ever be ousted from the House by fellow lawmakers. The bipartisan vote came as Santos is facing a 23-count federal indictment including fraud related to his campaign finances. He also repeatedly lied about his family, background and professional experience. Santos’s parting words as he left the House building: “To hell with this place.” A special election is expected to be scheduled in February to fill Santos’s seat.

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