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HeadlinesJuly 10, 2023

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Biden Visits U.K. Ahead of NATO Summit Amid Condemnation of Plan to Send Ukraine Cluster Bombs

Jul 10, 2023

President Biden declared the U.S.-U.K. relationship is “rock solid” as he meets with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in London today, ahead of the two-day NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania. Over the weekend, Sunak told reporters the U.K. opposes cluster munitions as a signatory to the international convention banning their use. Biden’s decision to send cluster bombs to Ukraine has sparked intense criticism, including from the U.N., due to the danger they pose to civilians. We’ll have more on cluster munitions after headlines.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is stepping up his campaign for NATO membership. On Friday, he visited Turkey as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated Ukraine “deserves NATO membership.” Zelensky said he hopes to expedite Ukraine’s accession to NATO and “get clear security guarantees” during this week’s summit. Meanwhile, President Biden told CNN Sunday Ukraine would not be ready to join the alliance until Russia’s invasion — which marked its 500th day Saturday — is over.

President Joe Biden: “I don’t think there is unanimity in NATO about whether or not to bring Ukraine into the NATO family now, at this moment.”

The U.N. is urging parties to prioritize global food security and ensure the Black Sea grain deal is extended, allowing the continued export of food and fertilizer from Ukrainian ports. Russia has threatened to quit the deal, which is due to expire in one week, on July 17.

U.S. Destroys Final Chemical Weapons More Than a Decade Behind Schedule

Jul 10, 2023

President Biden said Friday the U.S. has destroyed the last of its arsenal of banned chemical weapons, in a claim corroborated by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Under the Chemical Weapons Convention, which took effect in 1997, the U.S. was supposed to have destroyed its vast stockpile of chemical munitions, including the nerve agents VX and sarin, by 2012. U.S. law enforcement agencies continue to stockpile and deploy large quantities of tear gas, a chemical weapon that’s banned in warfare.

White Nationalist Mass Murderer Who Killed 23 People at El Paso Walmart Gets 90 Life Sentences

Jul 10, 2023

In Texas, the white nationalist gunman who killed 23 people at an El Paso Walmart in 2019 has been sentenced to 90 consecutive life terms, after pleading guilty to federal hate crimes and weapons charges. The gunman still faces murder charges in a state trial that could bring him the death penalty. The mass shooting nearly four years ago was the deadliest attack on the Latinx community in modern U.S. history. Shortly before the massacre, the shooter published a racist online manifesto echoing President Trump’s rhetoric about an “invasion” of immigrants crossing the southern border.

Dozens Killed in South Asian Flooding; Torrential Downpours Hit Northeast U.S

Jul 10, 2023

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry is sounding the alarm after scientists reported the Earth logged its four hottest days in recorded human history last week.

John Kerry: “If you listen to the scientists, which not enough people are, the last week they have described as 'terrifying' and as 'uncharted territory.' When you see the risks of what is happening already, with global ice melt, with challenges of fires, of mudslides, of heat, people dying from the level of heat, the quality of air, people are dying around the world — in the millions, by the way. About 8 million people a year die from that.”

In Pakistan, authorities report at least 50 people have been killed in floods and landslides since the start of the monsoon season on June 25. In India, at least 18 people were killed over the weekend as torrential rains swept northern parts of the country.

Here in the United States, a massive, slow-moving storm system brought torrential rains to northeastern states on Sunday, where officials warned flooding could rival 2011’s Hurricane Irene. One person died of drowning in New York’s Hudson Valley, which received up to eight inches of rain.

Tennessee Court Reinstates Ban on Transgender Healthcare

Jul 10, 2023

In Tennessee, a panel of federal appeals court judges is allowing a new state law banning gender-affirming care for transgender youth to take effect immediately. The measure had been previously blocked by a lower court following a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of three families and a doctor. Saturday’s ruling marks the first time a federal court has allowed a ban on gender-affirming care to be enforced in the United States. Similar legislation has been blocked by federal courts in Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Indiana and Kentucky.

U.N. Warns Sudan Could Plunge into “Full-Scale Civil War” as Airstrikes Kill Dozens

Jul 10, 2023

In Sudan, nearly two dozen people were killed Saturday in military airstrikes on a residential area of Omdurman, Sudan’s most populous city. It was one of the deadliest attacks in an urban area since fighting erupted in April between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces. At least 17 other people, including five children, were killed in an army air raid in Khartoum last month. The U.N. has warned Sudan is on the brink of a “full-scale civil war” as Egypt is hosting talks in Cairo this week on how to end the violence.

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Pentagon Claims U.S. Airstrikes in Somalia Killed 10 al-Shabab Fighters and No Civilians

Jul 10, 2023

The Pentagon says U.S. forces killed at least 10 al-Shabab fighters in overnight airstrikes in a remote area of Somalia Saturday. U.S. and Somali officials claim no civilians were injured or killed.

Pentagon Claims Drone Strike Killed Islamic State Leader Osama al-Muhajer

Jul 10, 2023

The Pentagon said Sunday a U.S. drone strike killed Islamic State leader Osama al-Muhajer in eastern Syria. U.S. Central Command said in a statement that no civilians were killed in the drone strike, but said it was assessing reports of a civilian injury. The claims could not be independently verified. CENTCOM said the U.S. strike was carried out by the same MQ-9 drones that were harassed by Russian military aircraft in separate incidents last week in Syrian airspace.

La Jornada Journalist Luis Martín Sánchez Iñiguez Found Murdered in Mexico

Jul 10, 2023

In Mexico, another journalist has been found dead. Luis Martín Sánchez Iñiguez, a staff reporter for the newspaper La Jornada, had been missing since Wednesday. His body was found Saturday near the city of Tepic in the state of Nayarit. Local officials said his body showed signs of violence, with two handwritten signs affixed to his corpse, though they didn’t reveal what the messages said.

Dutch Government Collapses over PM Mark Rutte’s Harsh Anti-Immigrant Policies

Jul 10, 2023

The government of the Netherlands collapsed on Friday after failing to reach an agreement on stricter rules for asylum seekers. Prime Minister Mark Rutte said he is quitting politics but will serve as a caretaker leader until general elections are held in November. His ruling coalition came apart after two parties objected to plans by Rutte to restrict the rights of migrants whose asylum claims had already been approved — barring them from reuniting with their children. Rutte has denied those reports. Rights groups have blasted Rutte’s government for closing government-run asylum centers and for dangerous and unsanitary conditions at existing centers that violate European Union standards.

Afghan Ex-Interpreter for U.S. Forces Killed During Shift as Lyft Driver in Washington, D.C.

Jul 10, 2023

An Afghan U.S. military interpreter who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover in 2021 was shot dead last week while working as a Lyft driver in Washington, D.C. Thirty-one-year-old Nasrat Ahmad Yar had resettled in Virginia with his wife and four children, the youngest one just 15 months old. A crowdfunding campaign has been set up to help them. A report last year by the group Gig Workers Rising found at least 50 drivers for Uber, Lyft and DoorDash were killed between 2017 and early 2022.

Protesters at U.N. Demand Israel Release Palestinian Political Prisoner Walid Daqqah

Jul 10, 2023

Here in New York, protesters rallied in front of the U.N. headquarters Friday demanding the release of 62-year-old Palestinian political prisoner, writer and organizer Walid Daqqah, who has been in Israeli custody since 1986. Daqqah completed his time for the 1984 killing of Israeli soldier Moshe Tamam this year, but he was sentenced to two additional years in 2017 for smuggling phone devices into Ktzi’ot prison. This is organizer Munir Atalla speaking at Friday’s action.

Munir Atalla: “Walid has developed a rare form of bone marrow cancer, and he has essentially been dealt a death sentence by the Israeli courts, because — by the Israeli prison systems, because he’s being denied medical care for this life-threatening cancer. And his family has also been denied visitation to see him. So we call — he’s in a state of crisis, and we call on them to release him immediately. And we’re pushing the U.N. to push the Israeli regime to do so.”

Biden Announces Crackdown on “Junk” Health Insurance Plans

Jul 10, 2023

President Biden announced new measures Friday to lower healthcare costs by cracking down on so-called junk insurance plans which were expanded under the Trump administration, and which typically don’t cover so-called preexisting conditions. The proposed rules take aim at short-term plans by limiting their duration to just a few months and mandating they clearly disclose the limits of the coverage provided.

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Oklahoma Judge Tosses Reparations Suit by Last Known Survivors of Tulsa Race Massacre

Jul 10, 2023

A judge in Oklahoma has dismissed a reparations lawsuit from the last three living survivors of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, in which a white mob burned down what was known as “Black Wall Street,” the thriving African American neighborhood of Greenwood. An estimated 300 Black Americans were killed. The three plaintiffs — Lessie Benningfield Randle, Viola Fletcher, and Hughes Van Ellis — all over 100 years old, could still appeal the ruling. Next month, 109-year-old Viola Fletcher is releasing her memoir, “Don’t Let Them Bury My Story.”

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