You turn to us for voices you won't hear anywhere else.

Sign up for Democracy Now!'s Daily Digest to get our latest headlines and stories delivered to your inbox every day.

HeadlinesFebruary 14, 2024

Watch Headlines
Media Options

South Africa Urges ICJ to Take Action over Israel’s Planned Invasion of Rafah

Feb 14, 2024

South Africa has urged the International Court of Justice to take action if Israel goes ahead with its planned ground invasion of Rafah, where over a million displaced Gazans have sought refuge. In a statement, the South African government said it is concerned Israel’s actions in Rafah will “result in further large-scale killing, harm and destruction” and breach the Genocide Convention. In January, the ICJ ordered Israel to take steps to prevent genocide in Gaza. On Tuesday, the U.N.’s top humanitarian chief warned an assault on Rafah could “lead to a slaughter in Gaza.”

In an interview with Reuters, International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan spoke about the situation in Rafah.

Karim Khan: “Half the population of Gaza are concentrated around Rafah, the population reportedly six times its normal concentration. And when you have a population that is 60% children and women, by all accounts, the risks to civilians is profound. And I’m concerned, and I had to underline the fact that there’s no blank check. There is an active investigations. And all people, all parties are on notice. The Israeli government is on notice, the officials. Members of the military are on notice that we are investigating. If there are crimes, we will get to the bottom of it. And we have our judges also here at the ICC to make sure that there is no room for impunity.”

Meanwhile, Politico is reporting the Biden administration is not planning to punish Israel if it launches a military campaign in Rafah without ensuring civilian safety, despite public calls by President Biden to protect civilians. Displaced Palestinians in Rafah say there are no safe places for them to go to.

Nahla Jarwan: “We hope the war ends, ends quickly. We’re tired of fleeing from one city to another. We’re so tired, I swear to God. People are tired. I’m hoping the world stands with us and looks at us with a kind, merciful eye. We’re tired. We’re always crying. Martyrs, shelling, destruction, death, starvation, thirst. There is no food.”

Israel Blocks Flour Shipment to Gaza; Siege on Gaza Hospital Intensifies

Feb 14, 2024

While the United Nations is warning Gaza is on the brink of famine, Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has admitted he is blocking a U.S.-funded shipment of flour into Gaza despite a promise that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu personally made to President Biden several weeks ago. Smotrich blocked the flour shipment after learning it would be distributed by the U.N. aid agency UNRWA.

In the city of Khan Younis, the Israeli army has forced hundreds of patients, staff and displaced Palestinians to evacuate Nasser Hospital, which has been under an Israeli siege for weeks. Israeli snipers killed at least three people at the hospital on Tuesday.

Two Al Jazeera Journalists Seriously Wounded in Israeli Drone Strike in Gaza

Feb 14, 2024

In other news from Gaza, an Israeli drone struck a pair of Al Jazeera journalists on Tuesday, seriously injuring correspondent Ismail Abu Omar and his cameraman Ahmad Matar, who were rushed to the European Gaza Hospital in Khan Younis. Doctors had to amputate Abu Omar’s right leg. He also suffered severe bleeding and still has pieces of shrapnel in his head and chest. The pair were injured while reporting on displaced Palestinians in the Rafah region. Al Jazeera accused Israel of deliberately targeting the journalists. According to Palestinian officials, at least 126 journalists have been killed in Gaza since October 7. On Tuesday, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the killing of journalists in Gaza.

Secretary-General António Guterres: “I am deeply troubled by the number of journalists that have been killed in this conflict. Freedom of press is a fundamental condition for the people to be able to know what’s really happening everywhere in the world.”

Israel Shoots Dead 17-Year-old Palestinian American in Occupied West Bank

Feb 14, 2024

The U.S. State Department has confirmed a 17-year-old Palestinian American teenager with U.S. citizenship was shot dead on Saturday in the town of Biddu in the occupied West Bank. According to the group Defense for Children International, Mohammad Ahmed Mohammad Khdour was shot in the head by Israeli forces while he was sitting in a car with a relative in a wooded area where local residents often pick mushrooms and sage. Mohammad was a senior in high school. Israeli forces and settlers have killed 98 Palestinian children in the occupied West Bank since October 7. Another U.S. citizen, 17-year-old Palestinian American Tawfiq Hafez Ajjaq, was shot dead last month.

Israel Demolishes Home of Palestinian Activist Who Campaigned Against Eviction Efforts

Feb 14, 2024

In news from occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli forces have raided and demolished the home of Fakhri Abu Diab, a prominent community leader who has campaigned for years to fight the eviction of Palestinians living in the area of Silwan. Al Jazeera reports Israel has long sought to push out 130 Palestinian families to make room for a biblical theme park.

Palestinian Human Rights Lawyer Held Without Charge in Israeli Prison

Feb 14, 2024

In more news from the region, Al Jazeera is reporting the Palestinian human rights lawyer Diala Ayesh has now spent nearly a month in jail without charge. She was detained on January 17 at an Israeli checkpoint. Prior to her arrest, she had helped form a new collective of women lawyers to work on the unprecedented number of Palestinians being jailed in the West Bank and Jerusalem following the October 7 Hamas attack.

Hezbollah Vows to Keep Attacking Israel Until “Aggression Stops Against Gaza”

Feb 14, 2024

Tension remains high on the Israel-Lebanon border. Earlier today, one Israeli was killed and eight others injured in a rocket attack by Hezbollah. Israel responded by firing a barrage of rockets into southern Lebanon. On Tuesday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah vowed attacks would continue until Israel ends its aggression in Gaza.

Hassan Nasrallah: “We are fighting in southern Lebanon with our eyes on Gaza. When the aggression stops against Gaza and when the shooting stops in Gaza, we will stop the shooting in the south.”

Ex-General Prabowo Subianto Appears Headed to Victory in Indonesian Presidential Election

Feb 14, 2024

In Indonesia, Prabowo Subianto appears to have won today’s election in a landslide. Initial results show Prabowo has received well over the needed 50% to avoid a runoff. Prabowo is a former general who has been implicated in mass killings in East Timor, Papua and Aceh, as well as the kidnapping and torture of activists in Jakarta. Prabowo is a longtime U.S. protégé and the son-in-law of former Indonesian dictator Suharto. Critics fear his rise to power could result in the return of military rule in Indonesia. Click here to watch our interview on Tuesday with journalist Allan Nairn on the Indonesian election.

House Republicans Vote to Impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

Feb 14, 2024

House Republicans voted to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, making him the first sitting Cabinet member ever to be impeached. The final vote was 214 to 213. Republicans accused Mayorkas of failing to uphold immigration laws at the U.S.-Mexico border. Following the vote, President Biden issued a statement saying, “History will not look kindly on House Republicans for their blatant act of unconstitutional partisanship that has targeted an honorable public servant in order to play petty political games.” Three Republicans voted against impeaching Mayorkas. Congressmember Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, who just announced he will not seek reelection, warned the vote will “set a dangerous new precedent that will be weaponized against future Republican administrations.” The Democratic-controlled Senate is expected to reject the charges against Mayorkas, which would allow him to remain in office. In 1876, the House voted to impeach War Secretary William Belknap, who resigned just before the vote.

Democrat Tom Suozzi Wins in House Election to Fill Seat of George Santos

Feb 14, 2024

Former New York Democratic Congressmember Tom Suozzi won a special election Tuesday to fill the open seat left by disgraced Republican Congressmember George Santos. Suozzi won nearly 54% of the vote, defeating Mazi Pilip, a Nassau County legislator who was born in Ethiopia and later served in the Israeli military. Pro-Palestine protesters disrupted Suozzi’s victory speech.

Protester 1: “You’re supporting genocide! Stop supporting genocide! Stop supporting genocide!”

Protester 2: “You support genocide! Ceasefire now!”

Tom Suozzi’s win leaves the Republican Party with a narrow 219-to-213 edge over Democrats in the House.

Biden Pushes for House to Vote on Ukraine & Israel Military Aid as U.S. Arms Sales Face Scrutiny

Feb 14, 2024

President Biden is urging Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson to allow for a House vote on the $95 billion foreign aid package approved by the Senate on Tuesday. The bill provides $60 billion in military aid for Ukraine, $14 billion for Israel and $5 billion for allies in the Pacific, including Taiwan. The bill also strips U.S. funding for UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. The Senate approved the measure by a vote of 70 to 29, with 22 Republicans voting in favor. Three members of the Democratic Caucus — Bernie Sanders, Peter Welch and Jeff Merkley — voted against it.

The Senate vote came just hours after the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, urged the United States and other nations to stop providing arms to Israel.

Josep Borrell: “How many times have you heard the most prominent leaders and prime ministers around the world saying, 'Too many people are being killed'? President Biden said this is too much, on the top, it’s not proportional. Well, if you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide less arms in order to prevent so many people being killed.”

“It’s Dangerous. It’s Un-American”: Biden Blasts Trump for Encouraging Russia to Attack NATO Allies

Feb 14, 2024

President Biden has blasted Donald Trump for encouraging Russia to attack NATO allies who do not pay enough on military spending.

President Joe Biden: “Can you imagine a former president of the United States saying that? The whole world heard it. And the worst thing is he means it. No other president in our history has ever bowed down to a Russian dictator. Let me say this as clearly as I can: I never will. For God’s sake, it’s dumb. It’s shameful. It’s dangerous. It’s un-American.”

Crackdown Intensifies in Senegal Following Postponement of Presidential Election

Feb 14, 2024

The U.N. has warned of escalating tensions in Senegal as the government intensifies its crackdown on protesters who’ve taken to the streets since last week denouncing President Macky Sall’s postponement of February’s election. Sall’s government has again cut off mobile internet access and banned a large mobilization that had been planned for Tuesday. This comes as Amnesty International reported Senegalese security forces recently killed at least three protesters, including a 16-year-old teen, in the capital Dakar.

Ethiopia Accused of Killing 45 During Raid in Amhara

Feb 14, 2024

Ethiopia’s army killed at least 45 people last month as they carried out door-to-door home raids, in what’s been described as one of the worst recent acts of violence in the region of Amhara. That’s according to Ethiopian human rights advocates, who said government forces accused the civilians of supporting the armed group Fano. A pregnant woman was among those shot, according to witnesses. The extrajudicial killings in the town of Merawi come after months of violence between Fano and Ethiopia’s military, which had jointly fought the Tigray People’s Liberation Front until that conflict ended in November 2022. Details of January’s massacre only emerged in recent days due to a months-long internet blackout in most of Amhara. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission said the death toll could be higher.

Texas Megachurch Shooter Legally Bought AR-15 Despite History of Mental Illness

Feb 14, 2024

Authorities in Texas say the shooter who opened fire at a megachurch in Houston on Sunday had legally bought an AR-15-style rifle in December despite having a criminal record and a history of mental illness. Police identified the shooter as Genesse Ivonne Moreno, who was shot dead by off-duty police officers working inside Christian pastor Joel Osteen’s church. Two other people were injured, including the shooter’s 7-year-old son, who was shot in the head by guards. He remains in critical condition.

CDC Considers Ending Guidelines for 5-Day Isolation Period for New COVID Infections

Feb 14, 2024

In health news, The Washington Post is reporting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering loosening its COVID isolation guidelines. The CDC currently recommends individuals who test positive to stay home from work and school for five days. Under the proposed guidelines, individuals would not need to isolate if they have mild symptoms and have been fever-free for 24 hours. California and Oregon have already moved away from specific isolation times.

Paramount to Lay Off 800, Days After Record-Breaking Super Bowl Broadcast

Feb 14, 2024

In media news, the parent company of CBS, Paramount Global, has announced plans to lay off 800 workers, including 20 employees at CBS News. The announcement came just two days after the CBS broadcast of the Super Bowl became one of the most profitable and watched television events in history.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation