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HeadlinesJune 16, 2023

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Greek Police Arrest 9 as Hopes Fade for Hundreds of Migrants Missing in Deadly Shipwreck

Jun 16, 2023

Greek authorities have arrested nine Egyptian nationals and charged them with people-smuggling, after their overloaded fishing vessel capsized and sank in deep waters off the coast of southern Greece on Wednesday. Over 100 people were rescued, but hope is fading for an estimated 500 others who remain missing. That includes as many as 100 children who witnesses say were traveling below deck. It’s the deadliest shipwreck off the Greek coast this year, possibly among the deadliest ever in the central Mediterranean. Protests in support of the migrants have erupted across Greece amid reports that a Greek Coast Guard vessel escorted the trawler for hours and failed to properly render aid as the vessel capsized. On Thursday, Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras visited with survivors at the port of Kalamata, where he condemned the European Union’s policies on refugees and migrants.

Alexis Tsipras: “I want to say there are huge political responsibilities with the migration policy that Europe has been following for years, a migration policy that turns the Mediterranean, our seas, into watery graves. And I think it is time to speak the truth, because this policy has to change.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott Condemned for Busing 42 Migrants to Los Angeles

Jun 16, 2023

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott has taken credit for sending dozens of migrants to Los Angeles in a move condemned by Democrats as cruel and inhumane. It’s the latest in a series of similar moves by Republican governors in recent months. On Wednesday afternoon, a busload of 42 migrants — including eight children — arrived in Los Angeles after a 23-hour ride from McAllen, Texas, without food. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass blasted Abbott, writing in a statement, “It is abhorrent that an American elected official is using human beings as pawns in his cheap political games.” Los Angeles City Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez also condemned Abbott.

Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez: “He’s obviously a person who’s been elected that is not strong enough to meet the moment in his state. But that’s OK, because all these people here in Los Angeles and in California are more than capable of welcoming these folks here, because Los Angeles is a place and a city for everyone. And we’ll keep pushing for our sanctuary policies to make sure that immigrants and migrants know that they are safe here, that they are welcome here. One-point-three million immigrants make up the city of Los Angeles. They are the nervous system, the heart of the city, and we have their back.”

Texas Governor Signs Bill Restricting Trans Athletes in College Sports

Jun 16, 2023

Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill Thursday barring transgender college athletes in Texas from competing on sports teams that align with their gender identities. This follows other anti-LGBTQ legislation recently passed in Texas, including a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors.

In Ohio, Republican lawmakers have merged two anti-LGBTQ bills into a single piece of legislation. The Ohio House is set to vote next week on the combined bill, which would ban puberty blockers or hormones for everyone under 18, bar transgender women and girls from female-only sports teams in Ohio schools and colleges, and forbid Medicaid from paying for gender-affirming care for youth. It would also limit discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation in classrooms. The ACLU reports it’s tracking 491 anti-LGBTQ bills in the U.S. during this year’s legislative session. 

Supreme Court Affirms Indian Child Welfare Act in Major Victory for Tribal Sovereignty 

Jun 16, 2023

The Supreme Court has upheld the Indian Child Welfare Act in a ruling that protects Native children from being removed from their tribal communities for adoption or foster care in non-Native homes. In a 7-2 ruling, Justice Amy Coney Barrett rejected an argument from Republican-led states and white families who argued the system is based on race, writing, “In sum, Congress’s power to legislate with respect to Indians is well established and broad.” Indigenous leaders are celebrating Thursday’s ruling, saying the 1978 law helps to preserve their families, traditions and cultures. After headlines, we’ll speak with Rebecca Nagle, Cherokee writer, award-winning journalist and host of “This Land” podcast. 

3 Killed, Over 75 Injured as Tornado Strikes Texas Panhandle

Jun 16, 2023

In Texas, at least three people were killed Thursday as a tornado tore through a trailer park in the Panhandle city of Perryton. More than 75 people were injured, and about 200 homes destroyed. There’s triple-digit heat in the forecast for the region this weekend, with temperature records set to fall in Houston and New Orleans, and 10 million people under excessive heat warnings through Saturday night.

Mass Death of Birds on Mexico’s Coast Caused by Warm Ocean Temperatures

Jun 16, 2023

Authorities on Mexico’s Pacific coast say hundreds of wild birds that have washed up along the shore died as a result of abnormally warm ocean waters resulting from the climate crisis and the warming trend known as El Niño. Mexico’s health ministry reports at least six people have died this year from heat-related illnesses, with more extreme temperatures forecast for this weekend.

U.N. Leader Calls Fossil Fuels “Incompatible with Human Survival” as Temperatures Pass 1.5°C Threshold

Jun 16, 2023

On Thursday, the European Union’s climate agency said global surface air temperatures briefly rose by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels earlier this month for the first time ever. That’s the maximum global temperature rise agreed to under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Here in New York, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Thursday countries must immediately phase out the burning of coal, oil and gas, calling them incompatible with human survival. Guterres also accused fossil fuel companies of attempting to “knee-cap” progress on the climate crisis.

Secretary-General António Guterres: “Current policies are taking the world to a 2.8 degree temperature rise by the end of the century. That spells catastrophe. Yet the collective response remains pitiful. We are hurtling towards disaster, eyes wide open, with far too many willing it all on wishful thinking, unproven technologies and silver bullet solutions. It’s time to wake up and step up.”

African Leaders Visit Kyiv, Pressing for Ukraine-Russia Peace Negotiations

Jun 16, 2023

As Secretary of State Tony Blinken makes his way to China to discuss the war in Ukraine and other issues, Russia has fired a fresh volley of missiles on Ukraine’s capital. Earlier today, explosions rang out across Kyiv, where Ukraine’s military claims it shot down six hypersonic missiles, six cruise missiles and two reconnaissance drones. The daytime attacks came as seven African heads of state, led by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, visited Kyiv in a bid to kickstart peace talks between Ukraine and Russia.

As Ukraine’s Military Suffers Heavy Losses, U.S. Leaders Ask Allies to “Dig Deep” on Arms Shipments

Jun 16, 2023

Top Pentagon officials called Thursday for U.S. allies to continue pouring weapons into Ukraine. Speaking from a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group in Belgium, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asked allies to “dig deep” to provide Ukraine with air defense systems and more ammunition. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair, Gen. Mark Milley acknowledged Ukraine’s military is suffering heavy losses as it presses a counteroffensive against entrenched forces in eastern Ukraine.

Gen. Mark Milley: “There are several hundred thousand Russian troops dug in in prepared positions all along the frontline, and Ukraine has begun their attack, and they’re making steady progress. This is a very difficult fight. It is a very violent fight. And it will likely take a considerable amount of time, and at high cost.”

Accused Pentagon Leaker Jack Teixeira Indicted on Same Espionage Charges Faced by Donald Trump

Jun 16, 2023

A federal grand jury has indicted 21-year-old Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira on six counts of willful retention and transmission of classified information over the recent leak of highly classified Pentagon intelligence documents. Teixeira has been jailed since April. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison for each charge. Teixeira is accused of violating the same part of the Espionage Act used by federal prosecutors to charge Donald Trump over his mishandling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago. Trump was released without having to pay bond after pleading “not guilty” at his arraignment in a Miami federal court on Tuesday. 

West Coast Dockworkers Agree to Tentative Union Contract

Jun 16, 2023

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has reached a tentative agreement on a six-year labor contract covering some 22,000 dockworkers at all 29 ports along the West Coast. The deal, which is subject to ratification by members, caps more than a year of negotiations after the union’s previous contract expired last July. 

Nevada Lawmakers Approve $380 Million in Public Funding to Move Oakland A’s to Las Vegas Stadium

Jun 16, 2023

Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo has signed legislation allocating $380 million in public funds for a new Major League Baseball ballpark in Las Vegas. The bill clears the way for the Athletics to apply to the MLB to relocate from Oakland, California, where the team has played for over half a century. Oakland A’s executives hired more than a dozen lobbyists to press lawmakers in Nevada’s capital, Carson City, to approve a $1.5 billion stadium, arguing it will create jobs and boost Las Vegas’s economy. Writing about the move in The Nation magazine, sports editor Dave Zirin commented, “This is about billionaire sports owners demanding socialism for the rich and seasonal service industry work for the laboring class. They are urban hostage takers, demanding a king’s ransom from the public trough.”

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