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HeadlinesJanuary 19, 2024

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Mexico and Chile Call on ICC to Investigate Israel’s Assault on Gaza as Death Toll Nears 25,000

Jan 19, 2024

Mexico and Chile have requested the International Criminal Court investigate Israel for committing war crimes against civilians in Gaza, as outrage grows over Israel’s 15-week assault on the besieged territory, which has killed nearly 25,000 Palestinians. Around 10,000 of those are children. On Thursday, the EU Parliament passed a resolution calling for a Gaza ceasefire on the condition that all hostages be released and Hamas be dismantled. This comes as Gaza enters its eighth day under a near complete communications blackout — the longest blackout to date. Israel is continuing to attack areas across the Gaza Strip. This is a Palestinian mother in Khan Younis after learning her son had been killed in an Israeli strike.

Ibtisam Mohammed Gabr Al-Qurra: “I’m hurting like a burning blaze. I told my husband, ’Let’s pray for Abdallah. He will come back.’ But it was my last goodbye for him. May God have mercy on his soul. … They took my heart from me. I was waiting for my son, but he didn’t come back. I hadn’t slept for three nights praying for him. They told me he’s in the European hospital, and I was praying that it wouldn’t be true.”

Netanyahu Rejects Palestinian Statehood, Says Israel Must Control Region from the River to the Sea

Jan 19, 2024

In news from Israel, police have arrested seven people after they blocked a major highway in Tel Aviv during a protest calling for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reach an agreement that would secure the release of the remaining 132 hostages held in Gaza.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu has publicly rejected calls by the Biden administration for the future establishment of a Palestinian state; he called for Israel to be in control of the region from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Therefore, I clarify that in any arrangement in the foreseeable future, with an accord or without an accord, the state of Israel must have security control over the entire territory west of the Jordan River. That’s a necessary condition. It clashes with the principle of sovereignty. What can you do?”

Many commentators noted Netanyahu was essentially calling for Israel to control the land from the river to the sea — a phrase many Palestinian supporters have been denounced for using even when calling for the formation of a single state where everyone has equal rights.

Biden Says U.S. Will Continue to Bomb Yemen Even Though Strikes Have Not Stopped Houthi Attacks

Jan 19, 2024

The United States has bombed Yemen for the fifth time over the past week. On Thursday, President Biden acknowledged the U.S. strikes, which were conducted without congressional authorization, have failed to stop Houthi forces from Yemen from attacking ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

President Joe Biden: “Well, when you say 'working,' are they stopping the Houthis? No. Are they going to continue? Yes.”

Hours after the latest U.S. airstrike, Houthi forces attacked a U.S.-owned chemical tanker in the Gulf of Aden. The Houthis have vowed to keep targeting ships until Israel stops attacking Gaza.

Congress Sends Stop-Gap Spending Bill to Pres. Biden’s Desk

Jan 19, 2024

The House and Senate passed a short-term spending bill Thursday to avert a partial government shutdown ahead of today’s midnight deadline. The measure extends funding for some federal agencies and programs, as well as the Pentagon, through early March. At the 11th hour, the far-right Freedom Caucus unsuccessfully attempted to add border crackdown measures to the House bill. The hard-line lawmakers vowed to retaliate against Speaker Mike Johnson by thwarting upcoming legislative action.

DOJ Report Details “Cascading Failures” in Response to 2022 Uvalde Massacre

Jan 19, 2024

The Justice Department pointed to a series of “cascading failures” in the response to the 2022 school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 children and two teachers. Hundreds of law enforcement officers stood by as the massacre unfolded for 77 minutes. As he revealed the findings of his agency’s investigation, Attorney General Merrick Garland said “lives would have been saved” had officials followed standard protocol.

Families of the victims spoke after the release of the 600-page report. This is Kimberly Mata-Rubio, who lost her 10-year-old daughter Lexi.

Kimberly Mata-Rubio: “I hope that the failures end today and the local officials do what wasn’t done that day, do right by the victims and survivors of Robb Elementary — terminations, criminal prosecutions — and our state and federal government enact sensible gun laws, because Robb Elementary began the day an 18-year-old was allowed to purchase an AR-15.”

Along with other grieving family members, Kimberly Mata-Rubio founded the gun control advocacy group Lives Robbed. We’ll have more on Uvalde after headlines.

Haitian Gangs Besiege Port-au-Prince Neighborhood as Violence Spirals

Jan 19, 2024

In Haiti, a neighborhood in the capital Port-au-Prince has been under siege for at least four days in an ongoing attack by gang members. The sound of automatic weapons echoed through the streets of Solino while many community members remained trapped inside their homes behind flaming barricades.

Gang violence victim: “I’m on the street because of armed gangs. They took my house. I was sheltering in another neighborhood, but they invaded it, too. I’m in the street now. I don’t know where to go.”

Violence in Haiti has been escalating for months under interim Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who is backed by the United States, forcing thousands to flee. Henry became de facto ruler following the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse in 2021.

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Iran Sentences Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Narges Mohammadi to Another 15 Months

Jan 19, 2024

In Iran, authorities have sentenced Nobel Peace Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi to an additional 15 months in prison, accusing the human rights leader of spreading propaganda while behind bars. Her family says this is Mohammadi’s fifth criminal conviction since 2021. Narges Mohammadi has been in and out of prison for the last two decades over her activism.

L.A. Times Workers Walk Out over Planned Job Cuts

Jan 19, 2024

In California, unionized staff at the Los Angeles Times are holding a one-day, multi-city walkout today to protest massive planned job cuts. It’s the first-ever newsroom work stoppage in the history of the L.A. Times. Over 100 journalists, or about 20% of the newsroom, are reportedly at risk of losing their jobs. This comes less than a year after the paper cut 74 newsroom jobs. The L.A. Times is owned by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong.

Labor Dept. Fines Poultry Plant After Death of 16-Year-Old Worker

Jan 19, 2024

A Mississippi poultry plant faces over $200,000 in fines for the death of a teenage worker who was killed in 2023 after being pulled into a chicken deboning machine. The Department of Labor cited 17 violations against the Mar-Jac Poultry plant. The death of 16-year-old Duvan Pérez was the second fatality recorded at the factory in just over two years. The teen was from Guatemala.

Winter Storms Kill at Least 40 People Across U.S.

Jan 19, 2024

At least 40 people have died across nine states over the past week amid widespread winter storms and record wind chills. Tennessee has seen the highest death toll, with 14 fatalities. More snow and freezing temperatures are expected today from the Midwest to the East Coast.

Researchers and Patients Affected by Long COVID Appeal to Senate for More Gov’t Support

Jan 19, 2024

The Senate held its first-ever hearing on long COVID, amid a winter surge in infections. Patients and health experts appealed for more funding and research into the condition, as well as proper insurance coverage, while detailing its debilitating effects, which can include extreme fatigue, chronic pain and what is often described as “brain fog.” This is long COVID researcher Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly.

Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly: “Long COVID affects at least 20 million Americans. It affects people across the lifespan. We have kids with long COVID; we have people 100 years old with long COVID. It affects people across the lifespan and across demographic groups. The burden of long COVID, the burden of disease and disability from long COVID, when you measure it, is on par with the burden of cancer and heart disease.”

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