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HeadlinesJanuary 12, 2024

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U.S., U.K. Launch Strikes in Yemen, Killing at Least 5, Amid Escalating Middle East Tensions

Jan 12, 2024

The United States and Britain have launched dozens of strikes from the air and sea targeting Yemen in a move many fear could trigger a broader regional war. At least five people were killed. The strikes targeted areas in Yemen controlled by Houthi forces who have been attacking Israeli-linked ships in the Red Sea to protest Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. So far the Houthis have not killed anyone aboard the ships, but the group’s actions have disrupted a key global trade route.

In a statement, President Biden said, “These targeted strikes are a clear message that the United States and our partners will not tolerate attacks on our personnel or allow hostile actors to imperil freedom of navigation.” President Biden is the fourth U.S. president in a row to bomb Yemen.
Houthi officials have vowed to retaliate against the strikes and continue targeting Israeli-linked ships in the Red Sea until a ceasefire in Gaza is declared.

Abdel-Malek al-Houthi: “We say to all countries, to Asian countries, like China and others, we say to European countries in the West, we say to everyone in the world: There is no problem for you to traverse and pass through the Red Sea. The only targets, exclusively, are ships linked to Israel.”

The Houthis, who control parts of Yemen, are seen as a member of the Iranian-backed Axis of Resistance — a loose-knit group of forces in the region that also include Hamas and Hezbollah.

Meanwhile, in Washington, President Biden is facing pushback from some lawmakers for bombing Yemen without congressional approval. In a message on social media, Congressmember Rashida Tlaib said the president is violating Article I of the Constitution. She went on to say, “The American people are tired of endless war.”

Rallies in South Africa Support Nation’s Genocide Case Against Israel at World Court

Jan 12, 2024

At the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Israel has rejected claims by South Africa that it is committing genocide against Palestinians. On Thursday, South Africa demanded an emergency suspension of Israel’s aerial and ground assault on Gaza, which it said was intended at bringing about “the destruction of the population of the territory.” Earlier today in court, Israel accused South Africa of distorting the situation in Gaza.

Tal Becker: “If there have been acts that may be characterized as genocidal, then they have been perpetrated against Israel. If there is a concern about the obligations of states under the Genocide Convention, then it is in relation to their responsibilities to act against Hamas’s proudly declared agenda of annihilation.”

On Thursday, pro-Palestinian rallies were held in South Africa as the ICJ hearing began. Many South Africans praised their government for supporting the people of Gaza.

Phil Mogosti: “South Africa is very brave to have done what it’s done. And I am hoping that this does not work against us as a country, but really it works to ensure that Palestine, the people of Palestine get the justice that they deserve.”

Over 10,000 Children Have Been Killed in Israel’s Onslaught on Gaza

Jan 12, 2024

In more news on Gaza, the NGO Save the Children says more than 10,000 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel’s assault — that is 1% of the total child population in Gaza. At least 1,000 children have lost one or both of their legs.

This comes as doctors warn conditions inside Gaza’s remaining hospitals continue to deteriorate amid Israeli attacks and dwindling supplies.

Dr. Khaled Abu Awaimer: “Today the area around Al-Aqsa was hit. All ambulances were destroyed. We even started to run out of medical supplies. And sadly, we have cases we can’t do anything about. We have nothing to offer, so we feel completely helpless. This is very sad and bad, to be honest. We hope that any side will be able to at least ensure the ability for the medical staff to work.”

Meanwhile, a new report by Oxfam finds that the daily death toll in Gaza from Israel’s attack “massively exceeds the daily death toll of any other major conflict of recent years.” Oxfam said Israel is killing on average 250 Palestinians a day — that is about five times the daily death toll reported in Iraq, Ukraine and Sudan, and more than double the daily death toll in Syria.

“More Evidence of U.S. Complicity in Genocide”: Report Finds U.S. Air Force Provided Intel to Israel

Jan 12, 2024

The Intercept has obtained documents suggesting the U.S. Air Force sent officers to Israel in November to help provide intelligence, including satellite data, to help Israel pick targets to bomb in Gaza. The document from November 21 references the deployment of an Air Defense Liaison Team to Israel. Craig Mokhiber, a former U.N. official who resigned over the war in Gaza, said The Intercept’s report is “more evidence of U.S. complicity in genocide.”

Trump Goes on Courtroom Rant as NY Civil Fraud Trial Wraps Up

Jan 12, 2024

Here in New York, Donald Trump’s $370 million civil fraud trial wrapped up Thursday with Trump insulting the judge overseeing the case, and accusing New York Attorney General Letitia James of persecuting him, and saying she should pay him for what he called a “political witch hunt.” As the extraordinary courtroom scene unfolded, Justice Arthur Engoron, who had denied Trump’s request to deliver his own closing statement, instructed his lawyer to “control your client.” Attorney General James spoke to reporters outside the courthouse.

Attorney General Letitia James: “This is our own last day in our case against Donald Trump for persistent and repeated fraud, illegality. This case has never been about politics or personal vendetta or about name calling. This case is about the facts and the law. And Mr. Donald Trump violated the law. And as you know, the judge has already found that he in fact violated the law for repeated fraud over a period of years.”

Ohio Jury Declines to Charge Brittany Watts with Felony for Having a Miscarriage

Jan 12, 2024

In Ohio, a grand jury has refused to indict a woman who was charged with felony abuse of a corpse after having a miscarriage at her home. Thirty-four-year-old Brittany Watts was then treated in the hospital, where a nurse called the police after Watts said she had to dispose of the contents of her miscarriage. She was criminally charged two weeks later. She had been refused abortion care prior to her miscarriage. Brittany Watts spoke to supporters at a rally Thursday.

Brittany Watts: “I want to thank my community, Warren — Warren, Ohio. I was born here. I was raised here. I graduated high school here. And I’m going to continue to stay here, because I have to continue to fight.”

The Lever: GOP Hopeful Nikki Haley Involved in Blocking Boeing 2020 Transparency Initiative

Jan 12, 2024

The Federal Aviation Administration has launched an investigation into Boeing and whether the company “failed to ensure” its 737 MAX 9 planes were safe, following last week’s incident in which a cabin panel blew off during an Alaska Airlines flight, causing the cabin to depressurize. The FAA has since grounded the MAX 9 pending inspection of the aircrafts. Meanwhile, passengers from Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 have sued Boeing for injuries sustained during the ordeal.

In related news, The Lever is reporting Republican presidential hopeful and former Boeing board member Nikki Haley helped quash a proposal to compel Boeing to be more transparent about its spending. The measure sought to uncover whether Boeing’s lobbying led to more lax regulations in the wake of two major crashes in 2018 and 2019, which killed 346 people in total.

Pentagon Failed to Track Over $1B in Military Equipment to Ukraine

Jan 12, 2024

The Pentagon’s inspector general says the agency has failed to track some $1 billion in military equipment provided to Ukraine for its fight against Russia’s invasion. The weapons in question include Javelins, Stinger missiles, night-vision devices and one-way attack drones. This comes as the White House said Thursday U.S. support to Ukraine “has now ground to a halt” amid stalled negotiations over a new funding package that congressional Republicans are demanding be conditioned on further militarizing the U.S.-Mexico border.

Taiwan Prepares to Vote in Highly Anticipated Election Amid U.S.-China Tensions

Jan 12, 2024

In Taiwan, voters are preparing to cast ballots Saturday in a high-stakes presidential and parliamentary election that’s being closely watched by China and the U.S. Three candidates are in a tight race to succeed President Tsai Ing-wen, who is not eligible to run again after serving her two four-year terms. The election could help decide whether Taiwan continues to assert its autonomy and strengthen ties to the U.S., moves closer to China, or takes what one candidate calls a “middle path.”

New Trial Kicks Off in Greece for Humanitarian Workers Who Helped Refugees

Jan 12, 2024

A retrial is underway on the Greek island of Lesbos for 16 rescue workers who helped save the lives of refugees who crossed the Mediterranean Sea in 2015 and 2016. Greek authorities have accused the aid workers of crimes including espionage in what has been slammed as the criminalization of humanitarian work. Just this week, at least three migrants died after their boat sank off Lesbos.

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