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HeadlinesSeptember 13, 2023

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Rescue Efforts Continue in Libya’s Inundated Derna as Bodies Line the Ground Outside Main Hospital

Sep 13, 2023

In Libya, rescue efforts continue in the eastern city of Derna following the catastrophic flooding brought about by Storm Daniel’s torrential rains, which caused two dams to burst. An estimated 6,000 people have died, though that number is expected to go up. Bodies have been buried in mass graves. In front of Derna’s hospital, people are searching for their loved ones amid the dead bodies lined up on the ground. This is the hospital’s manager, Mohamad al-Qabisi.

Dr. Mohamad al-Qabisi: “The number of dead in this particular section is 1,700 deaths so far. We counted them as they were lying in the hallways. Whoever is identified is then buried. There are some who have not been identified, so we started photographing them and assigning numbers to them, then burying them, as well. On the other side, they buried 500 people. Things are very bad. The hospital is dilapidated.”

Derna’s mayor said the city’s dams have not been maintained since 2002. Much of Libya’s infrastructure has crumbled during the years-long war and political instability — fueled by U.S. and foreign intervention — that has gripped the nation. After headlines, we’ll speak with a climate activist in Tripoli.

Kevin McCarthy, Under Pressure from GOP’s Far Right, Orders Impeachment Inquiry Against Biden

Sep 13, 2023

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has ordered three congressional committees to launch an impeachment inquiry into President Biden.

Speaker Kevin McCarthy: “It appears that the president’s family has been offered special treatment by Biden’s own administration, treatment that not otherwise would have received if they were not related to the president. These are allegations of abuse of power, obstruction and corruption, and they warrant further investigation by the House of Representatives.”

The move came under pressure from far-right Republicans who threatened to remove him as speaker. House investigations led by Republicans have not produced any evidence that Biden personally benefited from his son Hunter Biden’s business deals. McCarthy did not schedule a full House vote on opening the inquiry, as some more moderate Republicans have opposed the action. This all comes as McCarthy is trying to gain his party’s support for a deal to keep the government funded beyond a looming September 30 deadline. Florida’s far-right lawmaker Matt Gaetz threatened Tuesday to bring a motion that could oust McCarthy over the spending bill, investigations into the Bidens and other issues.

Rep. Matt Gaetz: “Mr. Speaker, you are out of compliance with the agreement that allowed you to assume this role. The path forward for the House of Representatives is to either bring you into immediate total compliance or remove you pursuant to a motion to vacate the chair.”

The White House said the impeachment inquiry was “extreme politics at its worst,” while House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries dismissed it as “illegitimate” and “a kangaroo court, fishing expedition, and conspiracy theater rolled into one.”

Kim Jong-un Vows “Unconditional Support” to Vladimir Putin as Leaders Meet in Russia

Sep 13, 2023

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin met earlier today at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in far-eastern Russia. Just hours before the leaders met, Pyongyang fired two short-range ballistic missiles off its east coast. Kim spoke as the brief summit opened.

Kim Jong-un: “Russia is now in the sacred fight against hegemonic forces in order to protect its sovereignty and security interests. We have constantly expressed our full and unconditional support for all the decisions taken by the president and the Russian leadership, and I want to assure you that we will always be together with Russia in the fight against imperialism.”

The details of their private meeting are not known, but North Korea and Russia are expected to be in talks over the trade of weapons and defense technology.

Meanwhile, during a speech at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok Tuesday, Putin said Donald Trump’s prosecution shows the “rottenness” of U.S. politics.

Hanoi Apartment Building Fire Kills at Least 30 People, Including Children

Sep 13, 2023

In Vietnam, dozens of people are feared dead after a massive fire broke out late Tuesday at a nine-story apartment building in the capital Hanoi. An official death toll has not been released, but local outlets say at least 30 people were killed, including children, as the blaze was extinguished in the early hours of this morning. More than 50 others were severely injured and taken to the hospital. Witnesses who live near the apartment building described hearing residents screaming for help as they tried to flee the building, which reportedly only had one exit. The small apartment balconies were also surrounded by iron bars. One witness said a small boy was thrown out from the building as the flames consumed the complex. Several others reportedly jumped out to escape.


Filipina Nobel Laureate Maria Ressa and Her News Site Rappler Cleared of Final Tax Evasion Charge

Sep 13, 2023

In the Philippines, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and journalist Maria Ressa and her website Rappler have been acquitted of their final tax evasion charge. They were acquitted of four other tax evasion charges in January. Maria Ressa had been systematically persecuted for her work by former President Rodrigo Duterte. Ressa still faces three other cases, including a six-year sentence for cyber libel from 2020, which she is now appealing at the Supreme Court. Click here to see our interviews with Maria Ressa.

Child Poverty Rates Doubled in 2022 After GOP, Joe Manchin Allowed Child Tax Credit to Expire

Sep 13, 2023

Here in the U.S., new data shows the poverty rate among children more than doubled last year due to record inflation and the expiration of the child tax credit. The pandemic relief helped decrease the child poverty rate to a historic low of 5.2% in 2021; that figure surged to over 12% after conservative Democratic Senator Joe Manchin and congressional Republicans opposed an extension of the relief. Manchin was a decisive vote. He falsely claimed some low-income parents used the payments to buy drugs, when data showed most families used the money to buy food and help with rent. The Debt Collective said on social media, “Joe Manchin’s legacy includes artificially manufacturing child poverty for no reason other than his callous disregard for human beings.” Overall poverty also increased in 2022 to 12.4%, up from 7.8% in 2021, with more than 37 million U.S. residents living in poverty. It’s the largest single-year jump ever recorded in the U.S.

Patients, Doctors Sue over Denial of Care Due to Abortion Bans in Idaho, Tennessee and Oklahoma

Sep 13, 2023

The Center for Reproductive Rights filed lawsuits on behalf of eight patients and four OB-GYNs in three states: Idaho, Tennessee and Oklahoma. The plaintiffs argue abortion bans led to doctors refusing to provide the procedure even in emergency situations, over fears of prosecution and other penalties. One of the patients, Nicole Blackmon, was forced to carry out her pregnancy after doctors in Tennessee refused to provide an abortion, even though there was no chance the fetus would survive. She went on to suffer from preeclampsia, which can be fatal, and delivered a stillborn seven months into the pregnancy. Nancy Northup, head of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said, “No one should have to be at death’s door to receive essential health care, but that is exactly what happens when doctors are forced to practice medicine under threat of imprisonment. … The women standing up today survived, but it is only a matter of time before someone does not.”

Five Ex-Memphis Officers Indicted on Federal Charges for Murder of Tyre Nichols

Sep 13, 2023

In Tennessee, a federal grand jury indicted five former Memphis police officers for the beating death of Tyre Nichols in January. In addition to state second-degree murder charges, the officers now also face federal civil rights, conspiracy and obstruction charges. Video footage shows the men brutally beating, tasing and pepper-spraying the 29-year-old Black father during a traffic stop, which led to his death three days later. Tyre Nichols’s father Rodney Wells spoke Tuesday following the new indictment.

Rodney Wells: “This is a long time coming, and we’re so glad that we have reached this point. Now the next milestone is the actual convictions.”

Benjamin Crump: “Amen.”

Supporter: “That’s right.”

Benjamin Crump: “Yeah.”

Supporter: “Justice for Tyre!”

Supporters: “Justice for Tyre!”

Supporter: “Justice for Tyre!”

Supporters: “Justice for Tyre!”

Family Demands Justice for Police Killing of Pregnant Black Mother Ta’Kiya Young

Sep 13, 2023

In Ohio, the family of Ta’Kiya Young is demanding justice, weeks after the 21-year-old pregnant mother was shot dead as she was attempting to drive away from a Kroger grocery store parking lot. The police pursued the young Black woman after accusing her of shoplifting. Bodycam video was released Friday. The family’s lawyer, Sean Walton, said, “What is clear is that petty theft does not justify murder, and comply or die is not the rule of law in this country. The fact that an unarmed woman was shot unjustifiably, then dragged from her car and handcuffed after being shot, should shock the conscience of everyone.”

Justice Department’s Antitrust Case Against Google Opens This Week

Sep 13, 2023

Opening arguments took place in a D.C. courtroom Tuesday in the closely watched antitrust case brought by the federal government and 38 states and territories against Google. They accuse Google of illegally protecting its search engine monopoly by paying billions of dollars to Apple and other smartphone companies and web browsers to be their default search engine. It’s the largest antitrust lawsuit brought by the U.S. government against a major tech company since the Justice Department sued Microsoft over 20 years ago.

U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta is presiding over the case. He could theoretically order the breakup of Google should the company lose, though analysts say it’s more likely Google would be forced to change its business practices. A loss for the government could have implications for its ability to regulate tech and other industry monopolies. The trial is expected to last 10 weeks.

New York University to Divest from Fossil Fuels After Years of Student Organizing

Sep 13, 2023

In a major victory for climate activists, New York University plans to divest from fossil fuels. Student organizers have been pushing for the divestment for nearly two decades. The Guardian reported the chair of the NYU board of trustees announced the decision in an August letter addressed to Sunrise NYU. The group wrote on social media, “This is a huge win for climate justice! Congratulations to every student organizer who made this happen.”

Indigenous Activists Gather in D.C. to Demand Release of Political Prisoner Leonard Peltier

Sep 13, 2023

In Washington, D.C., at least 34 Indigenous activists were arrested as they rallied in front of the White House, calling on President Biden to grant clemency to political prisoner and Indigenous leader Leonard Peltier. Peltier has maintained his innocence over the 1975 killing of two FBI agents in a shootout on the Pine Ridge Reservation. His conviction was riddled with irregularities and prosecutorial misconduct. This is Indigenous writer and historian Nick Estes speaking at yesterday’s action, which took place on Peltier’s 79th birthday.

Nick Estes: “All Leonard Peltier was fighting for is the future of our people as Indigenous people, because they tried to take that away with boarding schools. They tried to erase our children. It’s not just about taking them and making them speak English. When you steal youth, you try to steal the future.”

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