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HeadlinesSeptember 28, 2023

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GOP Presidential Candidates Attack an Absent Trump, Each Other at Chaotic Debate

Sep 28, 2023

Seven Republican presidential candidates squared off at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California Wednesday at the party’s second primary debate. But once again the race’s front-runner, Donald Trump, did not participate. The former president was criticized multiple times for skipping the debate. This is former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Chris Christie: “And I want to look at that camera right now and tell you: Donald, I know you’re watching. You can’t help yourself. I know you’re watching. OK? And you’re not here tonight, not because of polls and not because of your indictments; you’re not here tonight because you’re afraid of being on the stage and defending your record. You’re ducking these things. And let me tell you what’s going to happen: You keep doing that, no one up here is going to call you Donald Trump anymore; we’re going to call you Donald Duck.”

Trump Calls on Unions to Support Him in 2024 as He Addresses Nonunion Auto Plant

Sep 28, 2023

Instead of going to the debate, Trump headed to Detroit, Michigan, where he spoke at a nonunionized auto parts supplier. Trump’s visit came a day after President Biden made history by joining striking autoworkers on the picket line. During a rally on Wednesday, Trump called for unions to support him in 2024.

Donald Trump: “Do me a favor: Just get your union guys, your leaders, to endorse me, OK? And I’ll take care of the rest.

UAW President Shawn Fain refused to meet with Trump during his trip to Detroit. Fain said, “I see no point in meeting with him because I don’t think the man has any bit of care about what our workers stand for, what the working class stands for. He serves a billionaire class, and that’s what’s wrong with this country.”

Las Vegas Hotel and Casino Workers Overwhelmingly Vote to Authorize Strike

Sep 28, 2023

In Las Vegas, unionized hospitality workers overwhelmingly voted to authorize a citywide strike against hotels and casinos. Amid record industry profits in recent years, hospitality workers are demanding wage increases, on-the-job safety protections, more humane workloads, increased job security, and training on new technology, as well as protections if technology displaces workers.

U.S. Gov’t on Cusp of Shutdown Amid Republican House Dysfunction

Sep 28, 2023

The U.S. government appears to be barreling toward another shutdown as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is refusing to bring a Senate stopgap bill to the floor for a vote and does not have enough support to pass his own short-term House measure. Many Republicans oppose the short-term Senate bill, in part because it contains aid for Ukraine and disaster relief. McCarthy remains beholden to the far-right faction of his caucus, which is pushing for steep cuts to social spending that would hit essential food programs, education and housing. Missouri Democratic Congressmember Cori Bush said, ”MAGA Math is cutting food assistance for millions of children and families while simultaneously increasing tax cuts for billionaires. Once again, Republicans’ greed is taking the food out of hungry children’s mouths. Shameful.” McCarthy had previously agreed to current spending levels as part of the debt-ceiling deal.

Meanwhile, government workers are bracing to again lose their paychecks. This is Everett Kelley, head of the union representing federal workers.

Everett Kelley: “It’s a detriment to our economy. It’s a detriment to our communities and to the workforce. And we need to be stable. We need to be able to know that we got a job and that we’re able to provide for our families.”

The government will shut at midnight on Saturday if no deal is reached.

Meanwhile, far-right Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene passed an amendment to the defense bill to reduce U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s salary to $1.

Nagorno-Karabakh’s Gov’t to Self-Dissolve by Jan. 1 as 50,000 People Flee

Sep 28, 2023

The president of the self-declared Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh says the government of the contested region will dissolve itself by January 1. The announcement comes just days after Azerbaijan carried out a military blitz to seize the territory, which is mostly made up of ethnic Armenians. Over 50,000 people in Nagorno-Karabakh have fled to Armenia in recent days — that’s more than half of the region’s population. On Wednesday, Azerbaijan arrested the former head of the Nagorno-Karabakh government as he was trying to cross into Armenia.

Burkina Faso Military Coup Leaders Say They Thwarted Another Coup Attempt

Sep 28, 2023

Burkina Faso’s military leaders say the country’s security and intelligence services thwarted a coup attempt by rogue officers. Burkina Faso is currently ruled by interim President Ibrahim Traoré, an army captain who himself seized power a year ago following a military coup. The junta vowed to hold democratic elections by July next year. Earlier this week, hundreds of people took to the streets in the capital to show their support for the military leadership.

North Korea Expels Soldier Travis King Back to the U.S.

Sep 28, 2023

A U.S. soldier who crossed into North Korea in July has arrived back in the United States after being expelled by Pyongyang. U.S. Army Private Travis King had been held for two months after crossing the DMZ. North Korean authorities had said King, who is Black, had “harbored ill feeling against inhuman maltreatment and racial discrimination within the U.S. Army and was disillusioned about the unequal U.S. society.” The White House thanked the Swedish Embassy in Pyongyang and the Chinese government for their role in facilitating his release and return home. It is unclear what disciplinary action King may now face by the military.

Meanwhile, North Korea’s parliament has voted to enshrine its nuclear weapons program as part of the country’s constitution.

Palestinian Rights Advocates Condemn U.S. Visa Waiver for Israeli Travelers

Sep 28, 2023

The United States has admitted Israel into its visa waiver program. It joins 40 other countries which enjoy visa-free travel to the U.S. The move was quickly met with condemnation from Palestinian rights activists. Author and journalist Ali Abunimah said it was “Rewarding and encouraging Jewish supremacist apartheid, ethnic cleansing and racial terror against Palestinians.” Meanwhile, James Zogby, the president of the Arab American Institute, said in a statement, “By prioritizing a political perk to a foreign country over the equal rights and safety of American citizens, the Biden Administration has agreed to continued, blatant discrimination against Arab Americans, including Palestinian Americans, and others who advocate for Palestinian human rights.”

Ethiopian Researchers Verify at Least 1,329 Hunger Deaths in Tigray

Sep 28, 2023

In Ethiopia, local researchers say they have verified over 1,300 hunger deaths in the war-torn northern Tigray region since the November ceasefire was enacted. A major contributing factor is the suspension of food aid by the U.S. and the U.N. after they said food supplies were being seized by military units. The Ethiopian government has faced accusations of weaponizing humanitarian aid.


Justin Trudeau Apologizes over Nazi Soldier Applause After House Speaker Steps Down

Sep 28, 2023

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has formally apologized after he and the House of Commons gave a standing ovation for a Canadian Ukrainian veteran who fought in a Nazi SS unit during World War II. Ninety-eight-year-old Yaroslav Hunka was honored on Friday during a visit by Ukrainian President President Volodymyr Zelensky, who also applauded him. He had been invited by the speaker of the House of Commons, Anthony Rota, who has since resigned from his post. Trudeau spoke on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “The speaker was solely responsible for the invitation and recognition of this man and has wholly accepted that responsibility and stepped down. This was a mistake that has deeply embarrassed Parliament and Canada. All of us who were in this House on Friday regret deeply having stood and clapped, even though we did so unaware of the context.”

Justin Trudeau made the apology after Canada’s Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre described the event honoring the former Nazi soldier as the “biggest single diplomatic embarrassment” in the country’s history.

Dutch Climate Activists Have Been Blocking a Major Highway for 20 Days

Sep 28, 2023

In the Netherlands, a massive climate protest is now in its 20th day as activists blockade the A12, a major highway. Over 6,000 people have been arrested since the action started. Activists are demanding the Dutch government end its over $40 billion in annual subsidies for fossil fuel companies. Demonstrators say police are using increasingly violent tactics to quell their movement. Extinction Rebellion Netherlands is taking authorities to court in a bid to ban the use of water cannons against peaceful protesters.

Environmentalists Slam U.K. Approval of Rosebank Oil Project in North Sea

Sep 28, 2023

In the U.K., climate activists have slammed the government after it gave the green light to develop its largest untapped oilfield in the North Sea, just off the northwest coast of the Shetland Islands. The Rosebank project will be operated by Norwegian company Equinor and British firm Ithaca Energy. This is climate lawyer and director of the group Uplift, Tessa Khan.

Tessa Khan: “If we’re going to stay within a safe climate, which is that internationally agreed goal of 1.5 degrees of temperature rise, there is no room for new oil and gas fields. Existing oil and gas reserves and fossil fuel infrastructure are enough to take us past that critical threshold, so we simply can’t afford to add more oil and gas to that existing pile.”

European Court Hears Historic Case from Portuguese Youth Suing 32 Nations over Climate Crisis

Sep 28, 2023

In Strasbourg, France, a historic hearing unfolded Wednesday at the European Court of Human Rights as six young people from Portugal challenged 32 European governments over their failure to combat the climate crisis, which they argue is a violation of their human rights. This is one of the lawyers for the Portuguese youth.

Alison MacDonald: “Today’s case is about the young. It is about the price that they are paying for the failure of states to tackle the climate emergency. It is about the harm that they will suffer during their lifetimes unless states step up to their responsibilities.”

The case is being closely followed by climate activists around the world. If successful, the 32 countries could be legally required to rapidly reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. A ruling is expected in the first half of next year.

Bob Menendez and Co-Defendants Plead Not Guilty to Bribery as 30 Dems Calls for His Resignation

Sep 28, 2023

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, his wife and two of his business associates have pleaded not guilty to federal bribery and extortion charges. Menendez was indicted on Friday, accused of using his position to increase U.S. assistance to Egypt and to do favors for New Jersey businessmen in exchange for mortgage payments, a luxury car, bars of gold and thousands of dollars in cash. It’s the second time in under a decade Menendez has been indicted on federal bribery and corruption charges. He has refused calls from at least 30 fellow Democrats to resign.

Outrage in Philadelphia After Judge Dismisses Charges Against Cop Who Shot and Killed Eddie Irizarry

Sep 28, 2023

In Philadelphia, protesters took to the streets after a judge dismissed all charges, including first-degree murder, against former police officer Mark Dial in the August killing of Eddie Irizarry. Dial fatally shot Irizarry at near point-blank range as he sat in his car after being pulled over. Prosecutors have vowed to appeal the ruling. Irizarry was reportedly suffering from mental health challenges at the time. His family expressed outrage following the ruling. This is his aunt speaking to The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Zoraida Garcia: “The way I feel, the way the family feel, is everybody’s upset because of the decision that this judge made today. You know, she said we didn’t have — the DA didn’t have enough evidence towards. Though how much more evidence do you need if the evidence was there? All the videos was there. The whole city have all the videos. So, for you to sit here and say it was not enough evidence, then that was wrong. You know, it proved today that a police officer can kill somebody and get away with murder.”

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