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HeadlinesFebruary 15, 2024

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1 Dead, 22 Injured in Shooting at Super Bowl Victory Parade in Kansas City

Feb 15, 2024

In Kansas City, Missouri, at least one person died and 22 were wounded during a shooting at a parade to celebrate Sunday’s Super Bowl victory by the Kansas City Chiefs. A beloved local DJ and mother named Lisa Lopez-Galvan was killed in the shooting. She hosted a show called “Taste of Tejano” on the local community radio station KKFI that also airs Democracy Now! The Kansas City Fire Department said eight of the shooting victims suffered “immediately life-threatening injuries.” Nine of the shooting victims were children. Police have detained three people in connection to the shooting. Police are still determining a motive but have ruled out terrorism. This is Kansas City Police Chief Stacey Graves.

Police Chief Stacey Graves: “I’m angry at what happened today. The people who came to this celebration should expect a safe environment. We had over 800 law enforcement officers, Kansas City and other agencies, at the location to keep everyone safe. Because of bad actors, which were very few, this tragedy occurred, even in the presence of uniformed law enforcement officers, who, again, ran towards them and took them into custody.”

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said he and his wife had to run for safety during the shooting.

Mayor Quinton Lucas: “Parades, rallies, schools, movies — it seems like almost nothing is safe. And we had hundreds of law enforcement there working hard today.”

Missouri has some of the weakest gun control laws in the country, with no universal background checks, no assault weapon restrictions, no ban on large-capacity magazines, no waiting periods to purchase a gun and no domestic violence gun laws.

Kansas City Mass Shooting Came on Sixth Anniversary of Parkland School Massacre

Feb 15, 2024

The shooting in Kansas City came on the sixth anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, school massacre, when a 19-year-old gunman shot dead 17 people and injured 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

To mark the anniversary, gun control advocates traveled to Washington to play for lawmakers a series of AI-generated audio messages featuring the voices of students killed in Parkland. This is an AI-generated message from Joaquin Oliver, who was shot dead at the age of 17.

AI-generated voice of Joaquin Oliver: “Hello. I am Joaquin Oliver. Six years ago, I was a senior at Parkland. Many students and teachers were murdered on Valentine’s Day that year by a person using an AR-15. But you don’t care. You never did. It’s been six years, and you’ve done nothing — not a thing — to stop all the shootings that have continued to happen since. The thing is, I died that day in Parkland. My body was destroyed by a weapon of war. I’m back today because my parents used AI to recreate my voice to call you. Other victims like me will be calling, too, again and again, to demand action. How many calls will it take for you to care? How many dead voices will you hear before you finally listen? Every day your inaction creates more voices. If you fail to act now, we’ll find someone who will.”

The AI-generated audio appears on a new website called “The Shotline,” where the recordings can be sent to lawmakers. On Wednesday, Joaquin Oliver’s parents, Manny and Patricia, were set to appear on CNN to talk about this new project when news broke about the shooting in Kansas City.

Brianna Keilar: “We had an entirely different interview that we were going to do here, just to talk about some of the work that you guys are doing on Capitol Hill trying to bring about awareness and change. And you see this happening as you were here visiting Washington. What is on your mind as you’re watching this?”

Manuel Oliver: “I’m not surprised at all. It’s like, literally, 'We interrupt this interview because we have another mass shooting going on.' Then you might be interrupting that one because it was going to be another one. So it never stops.”

Israeli Forces Raid and Bomb Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis

Feb 15, 2024

In news from Gaza, Israeli forces have bombed and raided Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, which the World Health Organization has described as the “backbone of the health system in southern Gaza.” The raid comes a day after Israel ordered thousands of displaced Palestinians and patients to evacuate. One doctor inside the hospital recorded an audio message from inside the hospital on Wednesday.

Doctor: “And now the drones’ speakers, they’re announcing for all doctors inside the hospital to move outside the hospital. Israeli soldiers and tanks are surrounding the hospital from all sides. Shootings and bombings still continue.”

Canada, Australia and New Zealand Warn Israeli Attack on Rafah Would Be “Catastrophic”

Feb 15, 2024

Israel is facing growing international pressure to call off plans to launch a ground invasion of Rafah, where over a million displaced Palestinians have sought refuge. The leaders of Canada, Australia and New Zealand have issued a joint statement calling for an immediate ceasefire, warning that a military operation into Rafah would be “catastrophic.”

Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour spoke on Wednesday at the United Nations.

Riyad Mansour: “Our effort is to do everything possible to stop Israel from committing this crime of depopulating the Gaza Strip, and stopping the war immediately. The guarantee to do that is to have a resolution calling for a ceasefire. And we hope that the Security Council would elevate itself to that responsibility.”

Palestinian Journalist Mutaz Al-Ghafari Killed with Wife & Child in Gaza City

Feb 15, 2024

In other news from Gaza, Palestinian journalist Mutaz Al-Ghafari was killed on Wednesday in Gaza City in an Israeli airstrike that also killed his wife and child. By one count, 125 journalists have been killed in Gaza since October 7.

Netanyahu Blocks Israeli Negotiators from Returning to Cairo for Ceasefire Talks

Feb 15, 2024

Ceasefire talks in Egypt have broken down after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly blocked Israeli negotiators from returning to Cairo for follow-up talks to secure the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza. In response, relatives of hostages have held protests outside the home of Netanyahu and other members of Israel’s war cabinet. In a statement, one group of relatives said, “This decision amounts in effect to sacrificing knowingly all of the hostages’ lives.”

11 Killed in Lebanon as Israel Launches Heaviest Strikes Since Oct. 7

Feb 15, 2024

At least 11 people, including six children, have been killed in southern Lebanon in a wave of Israeli strikes as tension along the Israeli-Lebanon border escalates. Israel’s attack came hours after a missile attack from Lebanon killed an Israeli soldier and wounded eight others.

Ukrainian Strike Kills 5 at Russian Shopping Mall

Feb 15, 2024

In news from Russia, at least five people have died in a suspected Ukraine air attack on a shopping mall in the Russian city of Belgorod. Eighteen people were reportedly injured in the attack. This comes a day after Ukrainian forces blew up a Russian landing ship off the coast of occupied Crimea.

Australian Parliament Approves Motion Calling for Release of Julian Assange

Feb 15, 2024

Australia’s Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a motion calling for the release of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is an Australian citizen. The vote came ahead of a critical appeal hearing before the British High Court of Justice in London next week. Supporters of the resolution included Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who has urged the United States to drop its request to extradite Assange, who faces up to 175 years in prison for publishing classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Assange has been held in London’s infamous Belmarsh Prison since 2019 awaiting possible extradition to the U.S. Prior to that, he spent seven years inside Ecuador’s Embassy in London. Australian MP Andrew Wilkie introduced the resolution.

Andrew Wilkie: “This will be the time for all of us to take a stand, to stand up and to take a stand, and to stand with Julian Assange, stand for the principles of justice, stand for the principles of media freedom and the rights of journalists to do their job. … This has gone on too long, that it must be brought to an end. And I’m confident if this Parliament can support this motion this afternoon, Deputy Speaker, it will send a very powerful political signal to the British government and to the U.S. government.”

Click here to see the two Belmarsh Tribunals that were held at the National Press Club last year.

California Air Regulators Win “Decisive Victory” Over East Bay Oil Refineries

Feb 15, 2024

In news from California, the Bay Area Air Quality Management Agency says it has won a “decisive victory” in a years-long legal battle against two oil refineries in the East Bay. In a pair of settlements, Chevron and the Martinez Refining Company have agreed to cut emissions and pay up to $138 million in penalties and fines for violating agency rules regulating airborne particulate matter.

Uber & Lyft Drivers Hold Largest Ride-Share Strike in U.S. History

Feb 15, 2024

Thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers took part in a strike on Wednesday demanding better pay and working conditions in what organizers say was the largest ride-share strike in U.S. history. Delivery workers from DoorDash also took part. The Valentine’s Day strike came on the same day that Uber’s stock price jumped to a new high after the company announced it would buy back up to $7 billion worth of company shares in a move that will benefit shareholders.

In other labor news, flight attendants picketed at 30 airports Tuesday in a national day of action demanding higher wages and a new contract.

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