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HeadlinesJanuary 05, 2024

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Gaza Death Toll Tops 22,600 as Israel Intensifies Attacks on Refugee Camps

Jan 05, 2024

In Gaza, the death toll from Israel’s 90-day bombardment has topped 22,600, with another 7,000 people reported missing and presumed dead. Health officials in Gaza say Israel killed at least 162 Palestinians over the past 24 hours as the IDF intensifies its attacks on refugee camps in central and south Gaza — areas once deemed by Israel to be safe zones. Doctors in Gaza described horrific conditions inside the few hospitals still open. Yasser Khan is a Canadian ophthalmologist who is working in the European Hospital in Khan Younis.

Dr. Yasser Khan: “Almost every hour someone is coming in with an explosive injury or a serious injury. People are losing their legs, their eyes, their lives. And the people, the healthcare workers that are working here 24 hours every single day with nothing, with no resources, nothing, no medications, anesthetics. Everything is out.”

Israel Hold Talks with African Nations as Officials Push “Voluntary Migration” from Gaza

Jan 05, 2024

Israeli officials have reportedly held talks with a number of African nations, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Chad, about accepting Palestinians pushed out of Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and some of his Cabinet members have promoted what they call “voluntary migration” from Gaza, but Palestinians and human rights groups have decried the plan as ethnic cleansing.

This comes as Israel’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Tzipi Hotovely, has openly embraced destroying the whole of Gaza. She made the comment during an interview on the London radio station LBC.

Tzipi Hotovely: “One of the things we realized, that every school, every mosque, every second house has an access to tunnel. So, this is — and, of course, ammunition.”

Iain Dale: “But that’s an argument for destroying the whole of Gaza, every single building in it.”

Tzipi Hotovely: “So, do you have another solution how to destroy the underground tunnel city, that this is the place where the terrorists hide?”

Biden Administration Claims South Africa Genocide Case Against Israel Is “Meritless”

Jan 05, 2024

The Biden administration has criticized South Africa for filing a genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice. National Security Council coordinator Admiral John Kirby was asked about the case on Wednesday.

Reporter: “South Africa has filed this 84-page lawsuit against Israel, accusing them of genocide. Israel says that this is blood libel. Does Washington agree? And where does this put Washington and Pretoria in terms of their relations?”

John Kirby: “We find this submission meritless, counterproductive and completely without any basis in fact whatsoever.”

Former Israeli Hostage Calls on Netanyahu to Declare a Ceasefire in Gaza

Jan 05, 2024

An Israeli woman who was held hostage by Hamas for 51 days is calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare a ceasefire. Aviva Siegel spoke to ”PBS NewsHour.”

Aviva Siegel: “But he can’t keep the war going and get the hostages out. He needs to keep — he needs to go to a ceasefire and then get them out. And he needs to get them out now, as quick as possible.”

U.S. Admits Carrying Out Drone Strike in Baghdad Targeting Iran-Backed Militia Leader

Jan 05, 2024

The Iraqi government is blasting the United States after a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad killed a top commander in an Iran-backed militia. An Iraqi military spokesperson described Thursday’s attack as a dangerous escalation and an assault on Iraq. Pentagon spokesperson Brigadier General Patrick Ryder claimed the U.S. was acting in self-defense.

Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder: “This individual was actively involved in planning and carrying out attacks against American personnel. And as we have long said, we maintain the inherent right of self-defense, and we’ll take necessary action to protect our personnel.”

Islamic State Takes Responsibility for Twin Blasts in Iran Near Tomb of Soleimani

Jan 05, 2024

In Iran, funerals have begun for the 84 people killed on Wednesday in a pair of bomb blasts in the city of Kerman. On Thursday, the Islamic State took responsibility. The group said two suicide bombers had attacked the crowd, which was gathered near the tomb of the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. The bombings occurred on the fourth anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination in Iraq by the United States.

Japan Earthquake Toll Rises to 94; Over 220 Still Missing

Jan 05, 2024

In Japan, the death toll from this week’s massive earthquake has risen to 94, with over 220 people still missing and feared to be trapped under rubble. Earlier today an 80-year-old woman was pulled from the rubble more than 72 hours after the quake.

Al Sharpton Protests Outside Office of Bill Ackman for Role in Ouster of Harvard President

Jan 05, 2024

Civil rights leader Al Sharpton led a protest Thursday outside of the New York office of the billionaire investor Bill Ackman, who helped lead a campaign that led to this week’s ouster of Claudine Gay, Harvard University’s first Black president. Ackman is a Harvard alum and major donor to the university who has publicly railed against Harvard and other schools for supporting DEI — diversity, equity and inclusion — programs. Al Sharpton vowed to keep protesting outside Ackman’s office.

Rev. Al Sharpton: “We have started these weekly one-hour protests in front of Mr. Ackman’s office. He has said that the resignation of Dr. Gay at Harvard is not the end of it. They are going to keep fighting 'til they end DEI, which is diversity, equity and inclusion. That's declaring a war on all of us — Blacks, women, gays. DEI was designed to bring fairness and equality to people that had been historically marginalized and eliminated.”

As part of his campaign to oust Claudine Gay as Harvard president, Bill Ackman helped amplify allegations that Gay had committed plagiarism in her academic work. But now Bill Ackman’s wife, MIT professor Neri Oxman, is facing a plagiarism scandal of her own. Business Insider has revealed Oxman plagiarized parts of her doctoral dissertation at MIT. On Thursday, Oxman apologized and admitted making mistakes.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams Sues 17 Bus Companies for Transporting Migrants from Texas

Jan 05, 2024

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has sued 17 charter bus companies for $700 million, accusing them of illegally transporting over 30,000 migrants from Texas at the behest of Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott. Adams accused Abbott of using the migrants as political pawns.

Mayor Eric Adams: “These companies have violated state law by not paying the costs of caring for these migrants, and that’s why we are suing to recoup approximately $700 million already spent to care for migrants bused here in the last two years by the state of Texas.”

House Democrats Accuse China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar of Paying Millions to Trump Businesses

Jan 05, 2024

A new report by House Democrats accuses former President Donald Trump of “repeatedly and willfully” violating the foreign emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution. The report found foreign countries, including China, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, spent at least $7.8 million on apartments and hotels at Trump-owned properties while Trump was president. Congressmember Jamie Raskin of Maryland accused Trump of “elevating his personal financial interests and the policy priorities of corrupt foreign powers over the American public interest.”

Saturday Marks Third Anniversary of Jan. 6 Insurrection

Jan 05, 2024

Saturday marks the third anniversary of the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. President Biden is planning to mark the anniversary by giving a speech today near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, the Revolutionary War site where George Washington and the Continental Army camped over the winter of 1777-1778, enduring harsh conditions.

Meanwhile, voters in Massachusetts and Illinois have filed paperwork challenging Donald Trump’s eligibility to run for office, citing the insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment. Trump is already appealing decisions in Colorado and Maine to remove him from the ballot.

Report: Bill Clinton Pressured Vanity Fair Not to Write About Jeffrey Epstein

Jan 05, 2024

Newly unsealed documents related to the deceased convicted sex trafficker and financier Jeffrey Epstein include a reference to reports that former President Bill Clinton once threatened Vanity Fair magazine against reporting on Epstein. One new document contains an email sent by Virginia Giuffre, who had accused Epstein of trafficking her to Prince Andrew when she was 17 years old. In the email, Giuffre writes about why she was worried about speaking to Vanity Fair. She wrote, “it does concern me what they could want to write about me considering that B. Clinton walked into VF and threatened them not to write sex-trafficking articles about his good friend J.E.” Former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter has denied the incident ever took place.

Sixth-Grader Dies in School Shooting in Perry, Iowa

Jan 05, 2024

In Iowa, a sixth-grade student died Thursday in a school shooting in the town of Perry on the first day of classes after winter break. Five other people were injured, including the school’s principal. Police say the gunman was a 17-year-old student who came to school armed with a pump-action shotgun and a small-caliber handgun. Police say the shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police Raid People’s Park in Berkeley to Clear Way for UC Berkeley Student Housing

Jan 05, 2024

In Berkeley, California, police raided the historic People’s Park early Thursday morning, ending a long standoff between the University of California, Berkeley and community activists. There are reports at least seven people were arrested and many unhoused people were displaced. In the 1960s, People’s Park was at the center of the antiwar and free speech movements in Berkeley. The UC Berkeley officials have now placed shipping containers around the perimeter of the park, where the school plans to build new student housing.

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