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HeadlinesAugust 15, 2023

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Georgia Grand Jury Indicts Trump & 18 Others for Trying to Overturn 2020 Election

Aug 15, 2023

A grand jury in Georgia has indicted Donald Trump — and 18 others — and charged them with organizing a “criminal enterprise” to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. Trump faces a total of 13 counts in the indictment. Others indicted include former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, several of Trump’s attorneys, including Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Sidney Powell and Jenna Ellis, as well as former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark. This marks Donald Trump’s fourth indictment in just over four months. The 41 felony count indictment is built around Georgia’s RICO law, which is often used to go after organized crime. This is Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis:

Fani Willis: “Every individual charged in the indictment is charged with one count of violating Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act through participation in a criminal enterprise in Fulton County, Georgia, and elsewhere to accomplish the illegal goal of allowing Donald J. Trump to seize the presidential term of office beginning on January 20th, ’21.”

Willis opened the probe after Trump pressured Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in January 2021 to “find 11,780 votes” — the margin Trump would have needed to defeat Joe Biden in Georgia. Part of the charges also stem from a breach of voting machines in Coffee County, about 200 miles from Atlanta. The indictment alleges the criminal enterprise operated in other states, including Michigan, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Nevada and New Mexico. Fani Willis has given Trump and his co-defendants until August 25 to turn themselves in. This all comes as Trump is the Republican front-runner in the 2024 race. We’ll have more on the story after headlines.

Maui Fires: Death Toll Rises to 99; 1,300 People Remain Unaccounted For

Aug 15, 2023

In Hawaii, the death toll from the Maui fires has reached 99 and is expected to climb significantly as 1,300 people remain unaccounted for. Crews have searched for bodies in only about 25% of the devastated area. It is already the deadliest wildfire in the United States in over a century. Hawaii Governor Josh Green spoke Monday.

Gov. Josh Green: “As I shared earlier, the scale of destruction is incredible, so our hearts are broken even a little bit more than when we were together 48 hours ago, with the extra fatalities. Also, you know that we’re well over 2,200 structures that have been destroyed; 86% of them are residential.”

Montana Judge Rules in Favor of Youth Plaintiffs in Landmark Climate Case

Aug 15, 2023

In a landmark climate case, a judge in Montana has ruled in favor of a group of young people who had sued the state for violating their constitutional rights as it pushed policies that encouraged the use of fossil fuels. In her decision, Montana Judge Kathy Seeley wrote, “Plaintiffs have a fundamental constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment, which includes climate.” The judge went on to rule, “Montana’s emissions and climate change have been proven to be a substantial factor in causing climate impacts to Montana’s environment and harm and injury.” The case was brought by 16 children and young adults, ranging from 5 to 22 years of age. One of the plaintiffs, 19-year-old Grace Gibson-Snyder, recently appeared on Democracy Now! and talked about Glacier National Park in Montana.

Grace Gibson-Snyder: “Watching those glaciers melt is such a devastating thing, because it’s so iconic for the state. It’s so essential for the well-being of the people and of the environment here. And it’s just beautiful. And I would hate to be a part of a future where that’s not present, where that’s not a thing that my kids get to grow up with. And so, you know, those are my impacts. And the plaintiffs in the case have, you know, everything from respiratory illnesses that are exacerbated by climate change to a cattle ranch where the cattle are dying because of drought and famine and etc. And so, it’s been — we all have experiences in different capacities.”

NASA: Last Month Was Hottest July Ever Recorded “By a Long Shot”

Aug 15, 2023

The ruling in Montana came on the same day that NASA confirmed last month was the warmest July ever recorded on Earth. Sarah Kapnick is NOAA’s chief scientist.

Sarah Kapnick: “It was the warmest July by a long shot, specifically by more than a third of a degree Fahrenheit. That may not sound like a lot, but the margin for most global records is on the order of a hundredth of a degree or two. So last month was way, way warmer than anything we’ve ever seen.”

More Than 50 Die in Northern India Due to Heavy Rain & Landslides

Aug 15, 2023

In other climate news, more than 50 people have died in northern India after heavy rainfall caused devastating landslides. At least nine of the deaths occurred when a temple collapsed in the city of Shimla.

Another Political Leader Assassinated in Ecuador Days Before National Elections

Aug 15, 2023

In Ecuador, another political leader was killed Monday, less than a week after the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio and just days before Ecuadorians head to the polls this Sunday. Pedro Briones was fatally shot in the northern province of Esmeraldas. He was a local leader of the Citizen Revolution Movement, the party of progressive presidential front-runner Luisa González and former President Rafael Correa. González blamed the soaring wave of violence in Ecuador on President Guillermo Lasso, who dissolved Congress in May to avoid impeachment proceedings. González wrote on social media, “Ecuador is living its bloodiest moment. We owe this to the total abandonment of an inept government and a state taken over by mafias.”

Ethiopian Airstrike Kills 26 in Amhara Days After State of Emergency Declared

Aug 15, 2023

At least 26 people died in the Amhara region of Ethiopia in a military airstrike on Sunday. Eyewitnesses said the airstrike wounded at least 55 people. Ethiopia’s government declared a six-month state of emergency in the Amhara region on August 4 after clashes intensified between regional groups and the Ethiopian military. There are reports of hundreds, possibly thousands, of arrests in the region since the emergency rule began.

Explosion at Gas Station in Russian Republic of Dagestan Kills at Least 35

Aug 15, 2023

The government of the Russian Republic of Dagestan has declared a day of mourning after at least 35 people were killed and 100 injured by a massive explosion at a gas station. At least three of the dead were children. Russian authorities have begun a criminal investigation.

Israel Kills Two Palestinians, Including Teen, Near Jericho

Aug 15, 2023

In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces killed two Palestinians earlier today in a raid on a refugee camp near the city of Jericho. One of the dead was identified as 16-year-old Qusai al-Walaji. He is at least the 41st child killed by Israeli forces this year.

Palestinian Family Ordered to Pay $13,000 to Cover Costs of Their Own Eviction

Aug 15, 2023

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz is reporting a Palestinian family evicted from their home in occupied East Jerusalem has been ordered to pay around $13,000 to the Israeli police and Israeli settlers to cover the costs of their own eviction.

Egypt Marks 10 Years Since Rabaa Massacre, the “Worst Single-Day Killing of Protesters in Modern History”

Aug 15, 2023

Monday marked the 10th anniversary of the Rabaa massacre, when Egyptian forces opened fire on a sit-in where tens of thousands of people had camped out in Cairo to protest the ouster of Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi. Human Rights Watch estimates over 900 protesters were killed in what the group has described as the “worst single-day killing of protesters in modern history.” No one has been held responsible over the past 10 years. The minister of defense at the time was Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who has ruled Egypt for nearly a decade and is a close U.S. ally. Under el-Sisi, Egypt is now jailing about 60,000 political prisoners. This is the Egyptian human rights activist Hossam Bahgat.

Hossam Bahgat: “What we are demanding right now is accountability. Individual responsibility must be assigned. And we believe, and we have learned from the experiences of other countries around the world that also live under military dictatorship, that the time for justice and the time for accountability will come.”

“Goon Squad” Officers in Mississippi Plead Guilty to Torturing Two Black Men After House Raid

Aug 15, 2023

In Mississippi, six former police officers, who called themselves the “Goon Squad,” have pleaded guilty to state charges after they raided a home and tortured two Black men. On January 24, the officers burst into a home and then beat, handcuffed, waterboarded and tasered the two men, Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker. The officers also sexually abused them with a sex toy while shouting racial slurs. One of the officers put a gun in Jenkins’s mouth for a “mock execution” and pulled the trigger. The bullet lacerated Jenkins’s tongue, broke his jaw and exited through his neck. The officers then planted drugs at the scene in an attempt to cover up their act. The officers have also pleaded guilty to federal charges. Click here to see our recent interview with the victims, Michael Corey Jenkins and Eddie Terrell Parker. Some of the officers face life in prison.

Nebraska Judge Upholds Ban on Abortion & Gender-Affirming Care for Minors

Aug 15, 2023

In Nebraska, a judge has upheld a new statewide ban on abortion after 12 weeks and a ban on gender-affirming care for minors. Ruth Richardson, the CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States, decried the ruling, saying it was a “devastating blow to Nebraskans’ fundamental right to make what should be private decisions between them and their doctors.”

Report: Population of Unhoused People in U.S. Increases by Record 11%

Aug 15, 2023

The number of unhoused people in the United States has jumped 11% over the past year, the largest increase in at least 15 years, according to a tally by The Wall Street Journal. Rising housing costs and the cancellation of COVID-19 relief funds have helped fuel a rise in people unable to find or afford housing.

Smithsonian Still Holds “Racial Brain Collection” Gathered by Racist Anthropologist in Early 20th Century

Aug 15, 2023

The Washington Post has revealed the Smithsonian Institution holds a so-called racial brain collection that contains 255 brains gathered in the first half of the 20th century at the behest of a racist anthropologist who was trying to scientifically prove the superiority of white people. An investigation by The Washington Post found most of the brains in the Smithsonian collection were removed from dead Black and Indigenous people and other people of color, often taken without consent from their families.

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