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HeadlinesJanuary 22, 2024

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Gaza Death Toll Tops 25,000; Families Burying Deceased in Nasser Hospital Complex

Jan 22, 2024

In Gaza, the death toll from Israel’s 15-week war has topped 25,000, with at least 190 Palestinians killed over the last 24 hours. There are reports Israel is blowing up entire neighborhoods in the besieged city of Khan Younis, where Israel has targeted hospitals, ambulances and schools. Palestinian families in Khan Younis are now burying loved ones inside the Nasser Hospital complex.

Abdelkarim Ahmad: “Currently, dead bodies are being buried here inside Nasser complex. It’s very difficult to leave the complex and go to any cemetery and bury them, because we’re under siege and anyone who leaves the complex is targeted. Last night we lived through a horrifying night. The shelling wouldn’t stop for even one minute. Buildings would shake with us inside. Shrapnel would fall on us.”

WSJ: U.S., Qatar and Egypt Pushing for “Phased Diplomatic Process” to End War on Gaza

Jan 22, 2024

In more news from Gaza, The Wall Street Journal is reporting the United States, Qatar and Egypt are pushing Israel and Hamas to take part in what the paper describes as a “phased diplomatic process” involving the release of hostages in Gaza and the eventual withdrawal of Israeli forces. After the report was published, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he rejects the proposal because it calls for the war to end. Over the weekend, Netanyahu also reiterated his opposition to the formation of an independent Palestinian state despite pressure from the United States to support a two-state solution.

Families of Hamas Hostages Demand Israeli Lawmakers Do More to Free Their Loved Ones

Jan 22, 2024

This all comes as Netanyahu faces more domestic pressure to bring home the remaining 130 hostages held in Gaza. Earlier today, the Israeli Knesset was suspended after families of hostages disrupted a committee meeting, demanding lawmakers do more to free their loved ones. Protesters also blocked entrances to the Knesset. On Saturday, friends and relatives of Israeli hostages protested in Tel Aviv. This is Macabit Mayea, whose nephews Ziv and Gali Berman are still being held in Gaza.

Macabit Mayea: “Stop the war. Stop the war. Take them out. Save them. Then, after a while, there is no victory without them out. No victory. Nothing.”

On Saturday, hundreds of Israelis and Palestinians living in Israel came together to take part in an antiwar rally in Haifa, the third-largest city in Israel.

Israeli Fire Kills 17-Year-Old Palestinian American Teen Tawfiq Ajjaq in Occupied West Bank

Jan 22, 2024

In the occupied West Bank, a 17-year-old Palestinian American named Tawfiq Ajjaq was fatally shot in the head on Friday. According to the group Defense for Children International, Ajjaq was killed when an Israeli settler and soldiers opened fire on him in Ramallah. Tawfiq Ajjaq grew up in Louisiana, near New Orleans. He moved to the West Bank last year with his family. Ajjaq is at least the 93rd Palestinian child killed in the occupied West Bank since October 7. On Saturday, Tawfiq Ajjaq’s father spoke to reporters at his son’s funeral.

Hafeth Ajjaq: “But come here on the ground and see what’s going on. Come here and test and see for your own eyes what kind of life we are living here, what is the pressure they put us under, what is the women and kids, and how many fathers and mothers have to say goodbye to their children, how many more. But it will come, inshallah, one day.”

Israel Strikes Syria, Lebanon; Iranian-Backed Fighters in Iraq Strike U.S. Forces

Jan 22, 2024

Israel carried out airstrikes on Syria and Lebanon over the weekend. Israel blew up a building in Damascus, Syria, killing five advisers from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. In a separate attack, an Israeli drone struck a car near the Lebanese border. Four people reportedly died, including a member of Hezbollah.

Hours after Israel bombed Damascus, Iranian-backed militants in Iraq fired missiles at an airbase housing U.S. forces. U.S. Central Command reports a number of U.S. personnel are being evaluated for traumatic brain injuries.

U.S. Bombs Yemen for 6th Time Amid Houthi Red Sea Attacks

Jan 22, 2024

On Friday, the United States bombed Houthi targets in Yemen for at least the sixth time over the past 10 days. This comes as Houthi forces continue to target commercial ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden as part of a campaign to pressure Israel to halt its assault on Gaza.

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Ron DeSantis Drops Out of Republican Primary, Endorses Trump

Jan 22, 2024

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has dropped out of the presidential race less than a week after he lost to Donald Trump by 30 percentage points in the Iowa caucus. In a video released on Sunday, DeSantis said he would endorse Trump.

Gov. Ron DeSantis: “He has my endorsement because we can’t go back to the old Republican Guard of yesteryear, a repackaged form of warmed-over corporatism that Nikki Haley represents.”

With DeSantis out, the Republican race has essentially become a two-person contest between Trump and Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor who served as Trump’s U.N. ambassador. Over the weekend, Haley campaigned in New Hampshire ahead of Tuesday’s primary. She questioned Trump’s mental fitness after he confused her with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Joe Biden is now running an online ad questioning Trump’s mental capabilities, featuring Haley’s comments.

Nikki Haley: “Last night Trump is in a rally.”

Donald Trump: “You know, Nikki Haley — Nikki Haley — Nikki Haley” —

Nikki Haley: “And he’s going on and on, mentioning me multiple times as to why I didn’t handle January 6th better.”

Donald Trump: “Nikki Haley is in charge of security. We offered her 10,000 people. They don’t want to talk about that.”

Nikki Haley: “I wasn’t in office then. They’re saying he got confused. He got confused and said he was running against Obama. He never ran against Obama.”

Donald Trump: “And we did with Obama. We won an election that everyone said couldn’t be won. Obama wants to — he doesn’t want to talk about it.”

Brian Kilmeade: “Well, you mean President Biden. So” —

Nikki Haley: “Don’t put our country at risk like this.”

President Joe Biden: “I’m Joe Biden, and I approve this message.”

Donetsk Shelling Kills at Least 27 People as Ukraine Invasion Nears 2-Year Mark

Jan 22, 2024

In news on the war in Ukraine, at least 27 people died in the Russian-occupied city of Donetsk when a crowded market was hit by a barrage of artillery shells. Local authorities blamed Ukraine for the attack, which Ukraine has denied. On Friday, a Ukrainian drone attacked an oil storage depot inside western Russia, resulting in a major fire. The Russian facility held about 1.6 million gallons of oil.

Protesters Take to German Streets to Decry Rise of Far Right, Xenophobia

Jan 22, 2024

In Germany, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets over the weekend in nationwide protests against the rise of the far right. The protests came days after a German news outlet reported members of the far-right Alternative for Germany, or AfD, party recently took part in a meeting where a plan was discussed to mass deport immigrants and “non-assimilated citizens.” German protesters decried the growing rise of the far right.

Martin: “It is particularly important to me because I have the feeling that the same thing is happening again, as it happened with the Nazis back then. The whole shift to the right is being normalized. People would rather work with the right than with the left. And it’s important to set an example. There are left-wingers. We are here, we are many, and we are against it.”

Narendra Modi Inaugurates Hindu Temple on Site of Razed Historic Mosque

Jan 22, 2024

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated the controversial Ram temple, a massive Hindu temple built on the ruins of a historic mosque in the northern town of Ayodhya. The site was previously home to the centuries-old Babri mosque, which was razed to the ground in 1992 by a Hindu mob, triggering the most deadly religious riots since Indian independence. Over 2,000 people were killed, most of them Muslims. The opening of the new temple is seen as an unofficial kickoff for Modi’s reelection campaign for a third term, and a triumph for his Hindu nationalist agenda.

3-Month-Old Baby Dies in Queens Shelter as Migrants Across NYC Deal with Piercing Winter Cold

Jan 22, 2024

Here in New York, a 3-month-old migrant girl has died after suffering a cardiac arrest. She was staying at a migrant shelter with her family in Queens. This comes amid an ongoing housing crisis for migrants, many of whom have been left scrambling for a safe place to live after Mayor Eric Adams imposed a 60-day limit for families to stay in shelters. The limit is just 30 days for single men. In Brooklyn, around 2,000 migrants staying at the Floyd Bennett Field tent facility, many of them children, have been facing below-freezing temperatures for days. Democracy Now! was at Floyd Bennett Field this weekend and spoke to Fabiola Mendieta-Cuapio, a Brooklyn resident and immigrant justice activist, who has been organizing to help provide immigrants with essential needs and resources.

Fabiola Mendieta-Cuapio: “We’ve been receiving complaints about people getting sick, because it’s cold. They put the heat — they have heat inside. But still, you know, it’s just in the area, is — the area is cold, isolated. … Most of the people who live inside these tents, they’re new arrivals, right? I don’t think it’s fair that they’re going to get kicked out and make them go to the intake center again and reapply and wait outside in the cold. We’re talking about families with kids. I think the city should reconsider about the 60-day rule, especially for families with small kids.”

Winter Storms Kill 90 People Across the U.S.; Frozen Pipes Trigger Boil Water Order in Memphis

Jan 22, 2024

Ninety deaths have been recorded over the past week as winter storms pounded vast swaths of the country. Tens of thousands of homes lost power over the weekend in Oregon and other states. In Tennessee, a boil water notice was issued to all Memphis-area residents after water mains froze and broke.

Judge Orders Release of James Cromitie, Final “Newburgh 4” Member

Jan 22, 2024

A federal judge in New York has ordered the release of James Cromitie, who has spent the last 15 years in prison after being entrapped in a government-orchestrated bombing plot. He is the fourth and final member of the so-called Newburgh 4 to be ordered released. The men, all of them Black and Muslim converts, were sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2010 after being convicted on terrorism charges. Judge Colleen McMahon criticized the FBI sting operation, saying the men “would not have, and could not have, devised” the crime they were accused of. Click here to see all of our coverage of the Newburgh 4.

Biden Administration Cancels Another $5 Billion in Student Loans

Jan 22, 2024

President Biden on Friday canceled nearly $5 billion in student loan debt for 74,000 people. It’s the latest effort by the administration to provide much-needed relief to borrowers after the Supreme Court last year threw out Biden’s plan to erase over $400 billion in debt for millions of people. The latest move will benefit teachers, nurses, firefighters and other public service workers, among others.

Film Workers for Palestine Takes to Sundance, as Prominent Filmmakers Speak Out Against War

Jan 22, 2024

In Park City, Utah, filmmakers and community members have organized vigils and protests to coincide with the Sundance Film Festival, which is celebrating its 40th edition this year. An international coalition of filmmakers organized under the banner Film Workers for Palestine is calling for a Gaza ceasefire, an end to Israel’s occupation of Palestine, and an end to U.S. military support for Israel. Over 700 film workers have signed on to the group’s mission, including American actor Susan Sarandon; British directors Mike Leigh and Ken Loach; Palestinian American filmmaker Cherien Dabis, who was Emmy-nominated for directing “Only Murders in the Building”; Indian American filmmaker Mira Nair; and Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki. Roughly 200 people rallied on Park City’s busy Main Street on Sunday, shutting down traffic, demanding a ceasefire. Meanwhile, the group reports Sundance officials have been directing filmmakers not to publicly raise the topic of Palestine.

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