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HeadlinesJanuary 17, 2024

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Pakistan Condemns Iran for Attack and Violating Its Airspace; U.S. Attacks Houthis for 3rd Time

Jan 17, 2024

Pakistan has condemned Iran for violating its airspace and killing two children in air attacks, less than a day after Iranian attacks in Iraqi Kurdistan killed at least four people. Iranian media said two bases of the Jaish al-Adl militants in Balochistan were destroyed late Tuesday, though there has been no official confirmation from Tehran of its responsibility. Pakistan recalled its ambassador from Iran and said that the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan would be barred from returning.

This comes amid escalating tensions that are spreading throughout the Middle East. The U.S. carried out its third strike against Yemen’s Houthi forces Tuesday. The White House also announced it is redesignating the Houthi militia as a terrorist group and reimposing penalties on the Iran-backed group in retaliation for their attacks in the Red Sea, which have led to no casualties but have disrupted global trade. The group has vowed to continue its campaign in the Red Sea as long as Israel continues to attack Gaza. On Tuesday, a Greek vessel headed to Israel was hit by a Houthi missile. We’ll have more on the possibility of a wider conflict later in the broadcast.

Israeli Attack on Al Nasser Hospital Sends Displaced Families Fleeing

Jan 17, 2024

In Gaza, displaced civilians are again fleeing as intense Israeli bombardment rains down on Khan Younis, including the area around its main hospital Al Nasser. Israeli ground forces have also been reported in the area. Overnight, Palestinian journalist Bisan Owda was able to post a video from the hospital despite a five-day-long communications blackout. Bisan Owda said she feared it could be her final update.

Bisan Owda: “The medical staff, the ambulances, many people also evacuated the hospital, and that’s so dangerous. This is the last functioning hospital in Gaza. That means that thousands of injuries are still now alone in the hospital. This place, people are alone in the hospital. They are besieged. We are besieged. I don’t know if I can survive this or go anywhere. I’m just alone, alone as thousands, alone as many in other hospitals were before.”

Bisan Owda did survive the night and called on her followers to observe a global strike against the war next week.

Qatar, France Broker Deal for Gaza Aid, Medicine for Remaining Hostages

Jan 17, 2024

Qatar and France have brokered a deal for medicine to enter Gaza for the remaining Israeli hostages in exchange for aid for Palestinians. This comes amid a worsening humanitarian catastrophe as a U.N. rights expert asserted “every single person in Gaza is hungry.” The death toll has topped 24,000.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said Tuesday his country could recognize Israel if the conflict is resolved and includes Palestinian statehood.

Deadly Israeli Attacks, Home Demolitions Continue Across Occupied West Bank

Jan 17, 2024

Israel’s deadly attacks in the occupied West Bank continue, with at least seven Palestinians killed over the past day. On Tuesday, mourners attended the funeral of 21-year-old Ahed Muhammed in Dura, near the West Bank city of Hebron, after she was killed during an Israeli raid Monday. This is her sister.

Sumoud Muhammed: “Ahed was martyred here on the rooftop of her parents-in-law’s house, where there was supposed to be a wedding next Friday. In our tradition, people come to arrange stuff for the bride. This is why Ahed was here. … Ahed has a 6-month-old daughter. Her name is Aylul. She left Aylul behind. She left her to be a daughter of a martyr with no memories with her mother, because they didn’t have the chance to make memories together.”

The Palestinian Health Ministry says Israeli forces have killed some 350 West Bank Palestinians since October 7. In addition, at least 94 houses have been destroyed across the occupied territory, displacing 602 Palestinians, including 263 children, since October 7, according to the U.N.

Two Palestinians Arrested After Car Ramming, Stabbing Attack Kills 79-Year-Old Israeli Woman

Jan 17, 2024

On Monday, an elderly Israeli woman was killed and 17 people injured, including children, after a ramming and stabbing attack in the central Israeli city of Ra’anana. A Palestinian man and his nephew have been detained as suspects.

Senate Votes Down Bernie Sanders’s Resolution to Require Reporting on Israeli Violations

Jan 17, 2024

Here in the U.S., senators voted against a resolution advanced by Senator Bernie Sanders Tuesday that would have required the Biden administration to provide Congress with a report on how U.S. arms are being used in Israel and its human rights violations in Palestine. Just 11 senators backed Sanders’s measure. Of the 11 backers, only three have called for a ceasefire in Gaza: Elizabeth Warren, Peter Welch and Jeff Merkley. Dick Durbin is the other U.S. senator to call for a ceasefire.

Ben & Jerry’s Calls for Ceasefire; 100+ Mennonites Arrested for Protesting Gaza War on Capitol

Jan 17, 2024

Ben & Jerry’s has joined calls for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza. Ben & Jerry’s board chair Anuradha Mittal said in an interview with the Financial Times the ice cream company has long stood by the principle of peace.

Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, some 130 Mennonite protesters were arrested Tuesday during a peaceful sit-in in the Cannon House Office Building. Demonstrators sang hymns and chanted “Let Gaza live!”

Indiana University Cancels Exhibition by Prominent Palestinian Artist Samia Halaby

Jan 17, 2024

In the latest crackdown by U.S. colleges on Palestinian voices, Indiana University canceled the first U.S. retrospective of renowned artist Samia Halaby. Halaby, who is an Indiana University alum, was informed that her social media posts on the Israeli assault, expressing solidarity with Gazans under attack, was the reason for the cancellation. The exhibition had been in the works for over three years.

A Mother and Her 2 Young Children Die While Crossing the Rio Grande

Jan 17, 2024

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is facing more condemnation for his support of anti-immigrant and border enforcement policies that led to the recent deaths of another three asylum seekers attempting to cross the Rio Grande near the border city of Eagle Pass. The mother and her two young children have been identified as 33-year-old Victerma de la Sancha Cerros, Yorlei Rubi and Jonathan Agustín Briones de la Sancha, who were 10 and 8 years old. They were from Mexico. Their drowning Friday came just days after Texas troopers took over about 2.5 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, including Shelby Park near Eagle Pass — a city park on the banks of the Rio Grande — denying access to U.S. Border Patrol attempting to respond to rescue calls. The area has also been blocked off with fencing, gates and razor wire.

The Biden administration has given Abbott until today to remove the barriers after the Justice Department on Friday petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene against Texas. Texas Congressmember Joaquin Castro said, “This is what Operation Lone Star looks like on the ground. Texas officials blocked Border Patrol agents from doing their job and allowed two children to drown in the Rio Grande. Governor Abbott’s inhumanity has no limit. Everyone who enables his cruelty has blood on their hands.”

Bipartisan Lawmakers Propose $78 Billion Funding Bill That Would Revive Child Tax Credit

Jan 17, 2024

Bipartisan congressmembers agreed to a $78 billion short-term funding bill that would avert a partial government shutdown on Friday, while expanding the child tax credit and restoring business tax breaks, among other things. The deal was put forward by Democrat Ron Wyden, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and Republican Jason Smith, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. But it’s not clear if the measure can garner enough support to pass. Some Democrats say the child tax credit does not go far enough, and are pushing for the same deal as during the pandemic-era American Rescue Plan. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities forecasts the plan would lift some 400,000 children out of poverty in its first year.

Meanwhile, President Biden is expected to meet with congressional leaders at the White House today amid deadlocked talks over his request for $100 billion in supplemental funding for Ukraine and Israel’s military and Taiwan, which Republicans have insisted be tied to further militarizing the U.S. southern border.

U.N. Warns Alabama Plan to Execute Prisoner Via Nitrogen Gas Violates Intl. Treaties

Jan 17, 2024

The U.N. Human Rights Office is calling on Alabama to halt its first planned execution of a prisoner using nitrogen gas asphyxiation later this month.

Ravina Shamdasani: “We have serious concerns that Smith’s execution in these circumstances could breach the prohibition on torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, as well as his right to effective remedies. These are rights that are set out in two international human rights treaties that the U.S. is bound by.”

Kenneth Eugene Smith is scheduled to be executed next Thursday, January 25, after losing his appeal at the Alabama Supreme Court. In November 2022, prison officials called off another execution attempt against Smith, after they were unable to establish an IV line for his lethal injection. Smith’s lawyers argued subjecting him to a second execution attempt constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

Law Enforcement Investigating Roger Stone Comments Hoping for Death of Powerful Dems in 2020

Jan 17, 2024

The Capitol Police and FBI are investigating statements attributed to longtime Trump associate Roger Stone, who reportedly said two top Democratic lawmakers and Trump critics “have to die” weeks before the 2020 election. The website Mediaite reports the comments, targeting Eric Swalwell and Jerry Nadler, were made to Stone associate Salvatore Greco, a former New York City policeman, and posted audio of the encounter.

Roger Stone: “Either Swalwell or Nadler has to die before the election. They need to get the message.”

Mediaite reports an unnamed source believed Stone was “not joking around.” Roger Stone has dismissed the reports and the recording as “AI manipulation.”

Oxfam Report Finds the Ultra-Rich Are Still Getting Richer as 5 Billion People Become Poorer

Jan 17, 2024

As world leaders are gathering in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum, Oxfam issued a new report showing that the world’s five richest billionaires have seen their wealth double over the past four years while 5 billion others have become poorer. Oxfam is predicting the world could have its first trillionaire in a decade. Oxfam’s interim executive director, Amitabh Behar, spoke in Davos.

Amitabh Behar: “I certainly feel angry. You know, I would say having billionaires is a failure. Very often when we’re here at the World Economic Forum, you end up celebrating billionaires. But I think it’s a sign of failure that we have 800 million people — 10% of the global population — sleeping hungry. They do not have enough food to eat, 800 million people. And on the other hand, you have these billionaires with their private yachts, private jets and a lifestyle which cannot even be understood.”

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