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HeadlinesJuly 05, 2023

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Israel Kills at Least 13 Palestinians in Worst West Bank Raid in 2 Decades

Jul 05, 2023

Israel says it has withdrawn from the occupied West Bank city of Jenin following a brutal two-day raid that killed at least 12 Palestinians in Jenin and one in Ramallah. Scores more were injured. It was the worst Israeli attack on the West Bank in 20 years. Thousands are taking part in a funeral procession today for the victims. Jenin’s mayor lamented that the U.N. has “failed us,” and accused Israel of war crimes. The raid came after over a year of deadly Israeli military attacks. This is an injured elderly resident of Jenin, speaking while the assault was still ongoing.

Hussein Zeidan: “They are attacking unarmed people. They use planes and rockets. This is not supposed to happen in the camp. … Nothing is safe in the camp. They dug up the camp with bulldozers. Why? What did the camp do?”

Meanwhile, Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza earlier today in response to rocket fire from the besieged enclave.

On Tuesday, Israel’s far-right national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, called on civilians to carry guns after a car ramming and stabbing attack in Tel Aviv, claimed by Hamas. At least eight people were wounded.

On Sunday, Israel announced it is buying an additional 25 F-35 Lockheed Martin stealth fighter jets from the U.S., bringing its arsenal to 75 jets. The deal is financed through U.S. military aid to Israel.

Unrest Grows in France Following Police Killing of Arab Teen as Country Reckons with Its Racism

Jul 05, 2023

France remains roiled by nationwide protests following the police killing last week of Nahel Merzouk, a teenager of North African descent. Some 3,400 people have been arrested in recent days as hordes of police descended on French streets. Thousands of vehicles have been burned, and homes and businesses damaged. Prosecutors are investigating the death of a 27-year-old who was hit by a projectile, likely fired by riot police, during street clashes. The killing of Merzouk has thrust long-simmering tensions around racism and the French police into the spotlight.

Protester: “Imagine if that had been my brother, my little or my big brother, in the street because he refused to comply. I mean, we are not safe here. We should be safe with the police, but we are scared of them. That is not normal.”

Ukraine Mourns Killing of Writer Victoria Amelina in Russian Attack as War Rages On

Jul 05, 2023

In Ukraine, at least 43 people, including 12 children, were injured in a Russian attack in the northeastern Kharkiv region today.

Russia has accused Ukraine, aided by the U.S. and NATO, of launching a drone attack on Moscow, leading to the temporary closure of an international airport Tuesday. Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for the attack. Meanwhile, Ukraine has been holding emergency drills after warning Russia may blow up the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

On Saturday, Ukrainian writer Victoria Amelina died as a result of injuries from a Russian strike on a restaurant in Kramatorsk last week, which killed 13 people. Amelina was part of a human rights group, Truth Hounds, investigating Russian war crimes. She was remembered by her peers during a funeral service in Kyiv Tuesday.

Svitlana Povalialieva: “It was important to her to travel to deoccupied areas and gather testimonies about Russia’s crimes and tell the world about it as much as she can. We did not only lose a writer and poet in her prime, but also a human rights defender, an honest and shining voice on the international stage.”

Veteran Russian Journalist Elena Milashina Brutally Attacked While Reporting in Chechnya

Jul 05, 2023

Prominent Russian journalist Elena Milashina was violently attacked, along with attorney Alexander Nemov, while on their way to the court sentencing of a human rights activist in Grozny, Chechnya’s capital. Unknown assailants beat them, shaved off Milashina’s hair and doused her in blue-green liquid iodine. Milashina, who reports for the Novaya Gazeta and exposed Chechnya’s attacks on LGBTQ people, described the harrowing attack from the hospital where she was being treated.

Elena Milashina: “It was like a classic kidnap, like the ones they used to do. It just hasn’t happened in a long time. They came, threw the taxi driver out of the car. They got in, put my head down and tied my hands. They put me on my knees and a pistol to my head.”

Click here to see our 2009 interview with Elena Milashina.

SCOTUS Blocks Biden’s Student Debt Relief Plan as Administration Pivots to “New Path”

Jul 05, 2023

Back in the United States, the Supreme Court on Friday blocked President Biden’s student debt relief plan, which sought to cancel up to $20,000 in individual loans, adding up to over $400 billion of federal student debt. The 6-3 decision by the ultraconservative-led court came as a major blow to some 40 million qualified borrowers. President Biden announced his administration would pursue a “new path” for debt relief.

President Joe Biden: “The so-called Higher Education Act, that will allow Secretary Cardona, who is with me today, to compromise, waive or release loans under certain circumstances. This new path is legally sound. It’s going to take longer, but, in my view, it’s the best path that remains to providing for as many borrowers as possible with debt relief.”

Meanwhile, three civil rights groups filed a complaint against Harvard with the Department of Education, arguing Harvard’s “legacy” admissions policy discriminates against applicants of color, after the Supreme Court ruled last week colleges cannot use affirmative action in their admissions. Seventy percent of legacy students at Harvard are white, and candidates with family ties are more than five times as likely to be admitted than non-legacy applicants.

SCOTUS Sides with Christian Web Designer Who Wants to Discriminate Against LGBTQ Clients

Jul 05, 2023

In another setback for equal rights, the Supreme Court also ruled Friday in favor of a Christian Colorado web designer who refused to create websites for same-sex couples even though the state bans such discrimination. The justices were again divided 6 to 3 along ideological lines. Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in the dissent that the decision was “heartbreaking” and a “reactionary exclusion.”

Following Friday’s rulings, California Congressmember Ro Khanna and other Democrats reintroduced a bill imposing 18-year term limits on Supreme Court justices and giving presidents two appointments during a White House term. President Biden last week said the current Supreme Court is “not a normal court,” but rejected calls to expand it. We’ll have more on the latest Supreme Court rulings later in the broadcast.

At Least 15 Gun Deaths Mar July 4th Festivities in Mass Shootings Across U.S.

Jul 05, 2023

It was another deadly Independence Day weekend as at least 15 people were killed in a spate of shootings across the U.S. In Philadelphia, an AR-15-toting gunman in a bulletproof vest shot and killed five people and injured two boys in an apparently random mass shooting Monday. In Fort Worth, Texas, an armed attack following Independence Day festivities claimed another three lives. These came after two people were killed and at least 28 injured, including many children, by gunfire at a Baltimore block party. At least five people were shot dead across Chicago over the holiday weekend.

During a speech at the National Education Association on Tuesday, President Biden again called on Congress to pass stricter gun control legislation.

President Joe Biden: “Arming teachers is not the answer. Arming teachers is not the answer. Banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, extensive background checks, they’re part of the answer.”

U.S. Judge Blocks Part of Florida’s New Voter Suppression Law

Jul 05, 2023

A federal judge has blocked parts of Florida’s new election law, including a provision barring non-U.S. citizens and people convicted of certain felonies from collecting or handling voter registration materials. U.S. District Judge Mark Walker slammed the law as “Florida’s latest assault on the right to vote.”

World Records Highest-Ever Average Global Temperature

Jul 05, 2023

Tuesday, July 4, was the hottest day ever recorded, with the average global temperature reaching 62.92 degrees Fahrenheit, according to data from the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction. The previous record of 62.62 degrees was reached one day earlier, Monday, as heat waves scorch multiple regions across the globe. Here in the U.S., millions of people have been under excessive heat warnings in the south and west of the country. Meanwhile, wildfire smoke from Canada continues to plague large sections of the U.S. Wildfires are also burning in Colorado and Washington state.

U.N. Nuclear Agency Greenlights Japanese Plan to Dump Fukushima Radioactive Waste Water into Pacific

Jul 05, 2023

The International Atomic Energy Agency has approved Japan’s plan to dump over 1 million metric tons of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean. The water has been in storage following the 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster. This is IAEA chief Rafael Grossi.

Rafael Grossi: “It’s not the IAEA decision; it’s a decision by the government of Japan. If the government decides to proceed with it, the IAEA will be permanently here reviewing, monitoring, assessing this activity for decades to come.”

The plan has drawn ire from China and South Korea, as well as smaller Pacific Island nations, environmentalists and a large section of people in Japan. The treated water still contains tritium, a byproduct of nuclear fission, which has been linked to cancer.

U.N. to Withdraw Troops from Mali Amid Ongoing Insecurity

Jul 05, 2023

The U.N. Security Council voted to end its decade-long peacekeeping presence in Mali after the country’s military junta told the 13,000-troop international force to leave. Mali has suffered deadly attacks from armed rebel groups across its north and central regions following an uprising in 2012. The security crisis has led to back-to-back coups in 2020 and 2021. In addition to the U.N. forces, an estimated 1,000 fighters from Russia’s Wagner mercenary group remain in Mali. Earlier this year, a U.N. report found Wagner soldiers took part in an attack on the village of Moura last year, which killed 500 people, mostly civilians.

Guatemala Reviews Ballots After 1st Round Sends Progressive Bernardo Arévalo to Presidential Runoff

Jul 05, 2023

Guatemala has begun a review of ballots from its presidential election after the party of front-runner Sandra Torres, former first lady, and her allies challenged the results of June’s first round. Protests erupted in Guatemala City over the weekend after the Constitutional Court suspended the certification of the results, which put progressive candidate Bernardo Arévalo of the Semilla party in second place, sending him to the runoff in August against Sandra Torres. Rights groups have urged the court to respect the will of the millions of Guatemalans who took to the polls last month. This is a Semilla attorney.

Juan Guerrero: “What is clear is that the slogan of the official party, supported by parties close to the ruling party, is to manage to open as many boxes as possible that will allow them to declare the electoral process null and void so that the election can be repeated.”

Bernardo Arévalo is the son of former President Juan José Arévalo, Guatemala’s first democratically elected leader, who pushed for revolutionary social reforms when he was in office from 1945 to ’51.

Brazilian Court Bars Jair Bolsonaro from Public Office Until 2030

Jul 05, 2023

In Brazil, former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has been banned from running for public office until 2030. Brazil’s electoral court found Bolsonaro guilty of abuse of power and fueling disinformation in last year’s presidential election, which he lost to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

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