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HeadlinesJanuary 08, 2024

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Death Toll in Gaza Tops 23,000 as U.N. Warns Gaza Has Become “Uninhabitable”

Jan 08, 2024

Israel’s bombardment of Gaza has entered its fourth month as the United Nations’ top humanitarian official warns the relentless assault has left Gaza uninhabitable. According to Palestinian health officials, the death toll in Gaza has topped 23,000, including almost 10,000 children. U.N. emergency relief chief Martin Griffiths said Gaza has become a “place of death and despair.” He said Gaza is on the verge of famine as it faces the “highest levels of food insecurity ever recorded.”

Israeli Strike Kills Two Journalists: Mustafa Thuraya & Hamza al-Dahdouh

Jan 08, 2024

Israel’s war continues to take a devastating toll on Palestinian journalists. By one count, 110 journalists have been killed in Gaza over the past three months. On Sunday, an Israeli airstrike in southern Gaza killed two journalists: Mustafa Thuraya and Hamza al-Dahdouh. Hamza was the eldest son of Al Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief, Wael al-Dahdouh, who had already lost his wife, daughter, another son and a grandson in an Israeli airstrike in October. In December, Wael was injured himself in a drone strike that killed his cameraperson, Samer Abudaqa. On Sunday, Wael al-Dahdouh decried the Israeli attacks on his family and the people of Gaza.

Wael Dahdouh: “The world must see with their own eyes, and not with Israel’s eyes. It must listen and watch all that is happening to the Palestinian people. What has Hamza done to them? And what has my family done to them? What have civilians in the Gaza Strip done to them? They have not done anything. The world is blinded by what is going on in Gaza.”

Al Jazeera journalist Hind Khoudary broke down crying on air as she talked about the death of her friend and colleague Hamza al-Dahdouh.

Hind Khoudary: “Hamza was a very beautiful man and journalist and friend. And I don’t want to cry, but I’m reporting this right now because I know that if Hamza was here, he wanted me to report, and he wanted all of his colleagues to report and to continue reporting. And I’m so proud at Hamza and everything he did and everything he reported during the 90 days and more than 90 days, and how he was very strong despite everything he went through with his father. Hamza was a great friend for everyone. And our tears today is because we miss him, and we’re going to miss him, and we’re going to miss his smile.”

Al-Aqsa Hospital in Gaza Faces Catastrophe Amid Ongoing Israeli Attacks

Jan 08, 2024

The United Nations reports there are just five doctors remaining at Al-Aqsa Hospital, the largest hospital in central Gaza, which is coming under repeated attacks by Israel. Over the weekend, Doctors Without Borders and other aid groups withdrew from the hospital. The World Health Organization says 600 patients have been forced to evacuate the hospital; the whereabouts of those former patients are now unknown. Sean Casey, the WHO medical team coordinator, spoke from inside the hospital.

Sean Casey: “There are patients coming in every few minutes, and it’s really a chaotic scene. The hospital director just spoke to us, and he said his one request is that this hospital be protected. Even though many of his staff have left, even though this hospital is under enormous pressure, the one request that the hospital director said is that the international community needs to make sure that this hospital and other hospitals like it stay protected, that they not get struck, that they not get evacuated, that they’re able to continue functioning. That’s the critical message for today.”

Israeli Families Seek Probe into Reports Israeli Tank Killed Hostages in Kibbutz Be’eri on Oct. 7

Jan 08, 2024

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz is reporting a group of family members of Israelis who were killed in Kibbutz Be’eri on October 7 are demanding a probe into how their relatives died. An Israeli brigadier general recently admitted that he ordered an Israeli tank commander to fire on a home where Hamas fighters were holding 15 Israelis hostage. Brigadier General Barak Hiram told The New York Times that he had ordered the tank commander to “break in, even at the cost of civilian casualties.” Only two of the 15 Israeli hostages survived.

Senior Hezbollah Commander Assassinated in Suspected Israeli Strike in Lebanon

Jan 08, 2024

A suspected Israeli strike in southern Lebanon killed a senior commander in an elite unit of Hezbollah earlier today in a move that further escalates tension in the region. Security sources told Reuters that Israel struck a car carrying Wissam al-Tawil and another Hezbollah fighter. Last week, Israel assassinated a Hamas leader outside of Beirut.

On Middle East Trip, Blinken Warns War in Gaza Could “Easily Metastasize” into a Regional War

Jan 08, 2024

Secretary of State Tony Blinken is back in the Middle East to meet with leaders across the region. During a stop in Qatar, Blinken warned the war in Gaza could “easily metastasize” into a regional war. While Blinken is publicly calling for deescalation, the Biden administration continues to face criticism for sending more weapons to Israel while carrying out its own attacks in Iraq and Syria, as well as targeting Houthi forces in Yemen. On Friday, the prime minister of Iraq threatened to kick out U.S. troops after a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad killed a leader of an Iranian-backed militia.

Questions Swirl over Why Lloyd Austin Kept Biden in Dark About Hospitalization

Jan 08, 2024

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is facing growing questions about why he did not inform President Biden or top Pentagon officials after he was admitted into the intensive care unit of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Austin was hospitalized last Monday, but Biden didn’t find out until Thursday. Austin’s top deputy also did not know, even though she had assumed some of his duties. The Pentagon said Austin was first hospitalized on December 22 for an elective surgery. After being discharged a day later, he was admitted again on New Year’s Day after experiencing “severe pain.” He remains hospitalized.

Boeing Grounds 737 MAX 9 Flights After Alaska Airlines Accident

Jan 08, 2024

Hundreds of Boeing 737 MAX 9 flights have been grounded or canceled after a refrigerator-sized fuselage door plug blew off an Alaska Airlines plane near Portland, Oregon, on Friday. The incident, which occurred at 16,000 feet, forced the plane to make an emergency landing. The National Transportation Safety Board has revealed Alaska Airlines had concerns about the plane prior to the incident but kept flying it. During three recent flights, the plane’s auto-pressurization fail light had illuminated. In response, Alaska Airlines had restricted the plane from flying over water to increase the chances the pilots could “return very quickly to an airport.”

In 2019, all Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets were grounded after 346 people died in crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia. We’ll speak with the mother of one of those victims who died in the Ethiopian crash, as well as a former Boeing supervisor, later in the broadcast.

Bangladeshi PM Reelected After Opposition Boycotts Vote Amid Political Crackdown

Jan 08, 2024

In Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has won a fourth straight term in a race marred with controversy after Bangladesh’s main opposition party boycotted the elections. The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party says as many as 20,000 of its members have been jailed in recent months in a nationwide crackdown. Many are speculating whether Hasina is trying to turn Bangladesh into a one-party state. She’s the daughter of the founding president of Bangladesh.

NRA Leader Wayne LaPierre Resigns Ahead of Corruption Trial in New York

Jan 08, 2024

Wayne LaPierre, the longtime head of the National Rifle Association, has announced he is resigning ahead of opening arguments in a major corruption trial. New York Attorney General Letitia James sued LaPierre and other top NRA executives for using the group as a “personal piggy bank.” The trial could result in the NRA being dissolved. LaPierre has led the NRA since 1991.

NYAG Letitia James Seeks $370 Million Fine Against Trump for Financial Fraud

Jan 08, 2024

New York Attorney General Letitia James has asked a judge to issue a $370 million fine against Donald Trump, his two adult sons and the Trump Organization for committing decades of financial fraud. In a new court filing, James also asked for Trump to be barred from the New York real estate industry.

Supreme Court to Hear Trump Appeal After Colorado Took Him Off Ballot over Jan. 6

Jan 08, 2024

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal from Donald Trump after judges in Colorado ruled the former president is ineligible to appear on the state’s primary ballot. The justices will decide whether Trump violated the insurrectionist clause of the U.S. Constitution for his role in the January 6 insurrection. Oral arguments will be held on February 8.

Meanwhile, President Biden has denounced Trump as a threat to democracy. In his first campaign speech of 2024, Biden spoke in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, on the eve of the third anniversary of the January 6 insurrection.

President Joe Biden: “Donald Trump’s campaign is about him, not America, not you. Donald Trump’s campaign is obsessed with the past, not the future. He’s willing to sacrifice our democracy, put himself in power.”

Biden is heading to Charleston, South Carolina, today to speak at the Mother Emanuel AME Church, where the white supremacist Dylann Roof shot dead nine Black parishioners in 2015.

Supreme Court Lets Idaho Enforce Strict Abortion Ban

Jan 08, 2024

The Supreme Court is allowing Idaho to enforce its strict abortion ban, lifting an injunction that protected emergency room physicians from prosecution if they provide the procedure to save a pregnant person’s life. Friday’s ruling rolled back a lower court’s decision temporarily blocking the Idaho law, which makes it a crime to perform or assist in an abortion, punishable with up to five years in prison. The ACLU said in response, “Let’s be very clear, the result will be that we will see more women like Kate Cox from Texas who was forced to flee her home state to get the critical care she needed. Other women won’t have that option, and some will die as a result of the abortion bans.”

Azerbaijan Picks Former Oil Executive to Lead Next U.N. Climate Summit

Jan 08, 2024

The government of Azerbaijan has picked a former oil executive to be the president of the next U.N. climate summit, which will be held in the oil-rich country later this year. Mukhtar Babayev spent 26 years at Azerbaijan’s state oil company before becoming the country’s ecology and natural resources minister. The recent U.N. climate summit in the United Arab Emirates was also headed by an oil executive: Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.

MSNBC Host Mehdi Hasan Resigns After Show Is Canceled

Jan 08, 2024

The acclaimed TV broadcaster Mehdi Hasan has announced he is leaving MSNBC after his show was canceled. Hasan was one of the most prominent Muslim voices on American television. In October, the news outlet Semafor reported MSNBC had reduced the roles of Hasan and two other Muslim broadcasters on the network — Ayman Mohyeldin and Ali Velshi — following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel. Then, in November, MSNBC announced it was canceling Hassan’s show shortly after he conducted this interview with Mark Regev, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mehdi Hasan: “I have seen lots of children with my own lying eyes being pulled from the rubble. So” —

Mark Regev: “Now, because they’re the pictures Hamas wants you to see. Exactly my point, Mehdi.”

Mehdi Hasan: “And also because they’re dead, Mark. Also” —

Mark Regev: “They’re the pictures Hamas wants — no.”

Mehdi Hasan: “But they’re also people your government has killed. You accept that, right? You’ve killed children? Or do you deny that?”

Mark Regev: “No, I do not. I do not. I do not. First of all, you don’t know how those people died, those children.”

Mehdi Hasan: “Oh wow.”

Mehdi Hasan announced he was resigning from MSNBC last night during the final episode of his program.

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