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HeadlinesSeptember 15, 2023

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UAW Launches Unprecedented Strike Against Big Three U.S. Auto Makers

Sep 15, 2023

The United Auto Workers has launched a historic strike against the Big Three U.S. automakers. At midnight, about 12,700 workers committed to a work stoppage at three locations: a GM factory in Missouri, a Stellantis complex in Ohio and a Ford assembly plant near Detroit, Michigan. The union says up to 146,000 workers could ultimately join the strike unless auto executives end a two-tier system for wages and benefits and agree to improve pensions and working hours. Joining the picket lines was Michigan Congressmember Rashida Tlaib, whose father was a longtime assembly line worker at Ford and a UAW member.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib: “Now we got tiers. We don’t got cost of living adjustment, which has been part of every UAW contract since 1948 until 2009, when they said, 'Look, we'll sacrifice. We’ll take a hit so we can keep you all afloat.’ Now that they need help to stay afloat, the Big Three is literally turning their backs on them. They’re making record profits. It’s about time to reward the very people for the reason they were even able to, again, survive, again, the Great Recession.”

Confirmed Death Toll from Libya Floods Tops 11,000 as U.N. Says Catastrophe Could Have Been Averted

Sep 15, 2023

In Libya, the death toll from catastrophic flooding in the coastal city of Derna has soared to 11,300. More than 10,000 others remain missing. Al Jazeera reports the two dams that burst early Monday amid unprecedented heavy rains were more than a half-century old and had not undergone maintenance since 2002. On Thursday, the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization said most of the deaths could have been avoided if Libya had a normally operating meteorological service able to launch evacuations.

Exxon Leaders Secretly Undermined Science After Publicly Acknowledging Climate Crisis

Sep 15, 2023

Internal documents from Exxon reveal that executives — including former CEO Rex Tillerson — secretly worked to sow doubt about the severity of climate change, even as the oil giant publicly acknowledged the link between fossil fuels and the climate crisis. Tillerson would go on to become secretary of state under former President Trump. The Wall Street Journal reports between 2006 and 2016, Exxon executives in their internal communications worked to counter the notion that humans should curtail oil and gas use to help the planet.

In a statement, the Center for Climate Integrity demanded Exxon be held accountable, adding, “This damning new evidence of Exxon’s climate lies shows that for decades it has been official company policy for executives to undermine climate science, minimize the dangers of their oil and gas business, and protect company profits at all costs — with no concern for the catastrophic impact their actions would have on humanity.”

Climate Activists Block Entry to NYC’s Citibank Ahead of Global Actions to #EndFossilFuels

Sep 15, 2023

In New York, hundreds of climate activists blocked the entrances to Citibank’s headquarters in Manhattan Thursday. At least 25 protesters were arrested. Democracy Now! spoke to organizer Alec Connon after he was released from police custody.

Alec Connon: “Just this week, there are thousands, potentially tens of thousands, of people that have died in Libya from extreme flooding that is being driven by the climate crisis. And the climate crisis, we know, is being driven by the fossil fuel industry. And the fossil fuel industry cannot survive without the financial backing of banks like Citibank.”

Thursday’s action was part of a series of planned climate protests culminating in Sunday’s March to End Fossil Fuels here in New York City. That march is part of the larger Global Fight to End Fossil Fuels, which will see actions take place around the world.

Hunter Biden Indicted on Federal Gun Charges

Sep 15, 2023

Federal prosecutors have indicted President Biden’s son Hunter Biden on felony charges of illegally possessing a handgun and making false statements in order to obtain a revolver in 2018. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and fines of up to $750,000. Special counsel David Weiss brought the charges after a Trump-appointed federal judge in July rejected a deal that would have seen Hunter Biden plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax counts in order to escape more serious charges. It’s the first time in U.S. history that the Justice Department has criminally charged the child of a sitting president.

Thousands of Asylum Seekers Arrive in Italy’s Lampedusa

Sep 15, 2023

In Italy, the small island of Lampedusa is asking the Italian government for help after 7,000 asylum seekers arrived by boat over a two-day period this week and are living in precarious conditions. The island’s population is typically just over 6,000 people. Arrivals in Spain’s Canary Islands also tripled in the first half of the month. Racist rhetoric against Black Africans by Tunisian President Kais Saied has helped drive the increase in asylum seekers hoping for a safer home in Europe.

Migrant Survivors Sue Greece over Shipwreck That Killed Hundreds

Sep 15, 2023

Forty survivors of a refugee shipwreck have filed a lawsuit accusing the Greek coast guard of deliberately neglecting to save passengers, and likely causing their fishing boat to capsize when sailors attempted to tow the vessel. Hundreds of people perished in the June 14 tragedy. This is one survivor’s account.

Mohamed: “They put out a rope and pulled us. It had weight, with a big number of people. They quickly pulled us, and the boat capsized. It moved to the right, to the left, to the right, and it capsized. People started to fall on each other. It totally capsized. … Because the people were on top of each other, people were screaming. People were drowning each other. It was nighttime, and there were waves. It was scary.”

Wisconsin GOP Attempts to Oust Top Election Official Ahead of 2024 Presidential Vote

Sep 15, 2023

In Wisconsin, the Republican-controlled state Senate voted Thursday to oust Meagan Wolfe, the state’s top election official. Wisconsin’s Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul immediately filed a lawsuit seeking to block her ouster. The elections administrator position is a nonpartisan office, but after Donald Trump narrowly lost in Wisconsin to Joe Biden in 2020, Republicans and far-right interests began harassing Meagan Wolfe and spreading misinformation about election fraud.

Democrats Push for $16 Billion in Child Care Funding as Pandemic Relief Runs Out

Sep 15, 2023

On Capitol Hill, Democrats have introduced legislation to provide $16 billion in emergency child care funds annually for the next five years. This comes just two weeks before billions of dollars in pandemic-era funding for daycares is set to expire — potentially forcing tens of thousands of child care programs to shut down, impacting over 3 million children. Senator Patty Murray co-authored the bill.

Sen. Patty Murray: “We have a child care crisis in America. And that crisis could soon go from bad to worse as essential relief for the sector expires at the end of this month. So we are here today to sound the alarm and put forward a commonsense solution, before child care providers might have to close their doors, before kids lose their child care slots, and before parents face higher costs or simply be forced to leave their jobs to take care of their kids.”

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