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HeadlinesFebruary 21, 2024

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U.S. Vetoes UNSC Gaza Ceasefire Resolution for Third Time

Feb 21, 2024

The U.S. vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. It was the third ceasefire veto issued by the U.S. at the U.N. body. This is Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour.

Riyad Mansour: “The message given today to Israel with this veto is that it can continue to get away with murder. Israel cannot and should not and will not get away with it. We will not allow it. This veto does not absolve Israel of its obligations, nor of those who shield it.”

The U.S. circulated its own resolution proposal this week calling for a “temporary ceasefire as soon as practicable.”

WFP Pauses Life-Sustaining Food Delivery in Northern Gaza Amid Worsening Hunger

Feb 21, 2024

The death toll and humanitarian crisis in Gaza continue to mount. The World Food Programme has been forced to pause food aid to northern Gaza due to the chaotic conditions. UNICEF has warned at least one in six children in the north are acutely malnourished. In southern Gaza, the World Health Organization on Tuesday completed a second evacuation mission from the beleaguered Nasser Hospital, which was rendered “nonfunctional” after Israeli attacks. This is the WHO’s Julio Martinez.

Julio Martinez: “If you can think about the worst situation ever, you multiply by 10, and this is the worst situation I have seen in my life. It’s the debris, the light — working in the darkness, patients everywhere.”

The WHO says there are still some 150 patients and medical workers who remain on site at the hospital in life-threatening conditions.

Lebanese media has said one woman was killed in Israeli shelling in the town of Majdal Zoun in southern Lebanon. Israeli missiles also hit the Kafr Sousa district in the Syrian capital Damascus.

Back in the U.S., Jewish American activists and others condemned President Biden as he attended a lavish fundraiser hosted by pro-Israel megadonor, billionaire Haim Saban in Los Angeles.

Yemen’s Houthis Escalate Attacks Against U.S. and Israeli Targets over Gaza Assault

Feb 21, 2024

Yemen’s Houthi movement said Tuesday it struck an Israeli cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden with missiles and targeted a number of U.S. warships in the Red and Arabian seas. The Houthis also claimed attacks at several sites in the southern Israeli town of Eilat. The latest assaults come after U.S. officials reported Monday Houthi fighters had also shot down a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone flying near Yemen. The Houthis have vowed to keep targeting ships until Israel stops its attacks on Gaza.


Biden to Issue New Russia Sanctions over Nalvany Death Amid Widespread Accusations of Assasination

Feb 21, 2024

The Biden administration said it is preparing “major sanctions” against Russia in response to the death of Alexei Navalny, which it has blamed on President Vladimir Putin. Meanwhile, in Russia, Navalny’s family is building pressure for Russian prison authorities to release the body of the deceased opposition leader. The X social media account of Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, was temporarily suspended after she posted a video statement accusing Putin of killing Navalny and hiding his body to cover up the assassination. Navalnaya has vowed to take over from her husband and lead the opposition movement.


Russian Defector Maxim Kuzminov Killed in Spain

Feb 21, 2024

In Spain, the body of a man who was found shot dead last week is believed to be a Russian pilot who defected to Ukraine in a military helicopter six months ago. Maxim Kuzminov’s body was reportedly found in an underground garage with multiple bullet wounds. In response to the news, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service director referred to Kuzminov as a “traitor” and “moral corpse.”

U.K. High Court Hears U.S.’s Extradition Case Against Julian Assange in 2nd Day of Pivotal Appeal

Feb 21, 2024

In London, lawyers for the U.S. government are arguing before the British High Court that Julian Assange should be extradited to the United States, where he faces espionage charges and life in prison for publishing classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The appeal is likely the last chance for the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder to avoid extradition. Julian’s wife Stella Assange debriefed crowds of supporters on Tuesday after the defense presented its case to the court.

Stella Assange: “Whatever happens in the coming days, it’s now been aired in court — the murder plot, the political motivation coming out of Mike Pompeo’s obsession with killing Julian, and the murders that Julian exposed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the torture program that European countries willingly participated in. We free Julian, we regain our democracy.”

Coalition Gov’t Announced in Pakistan as Top Official Makes Stunning Admission of Election Tampering

Feb 21, 2024

In Pakistan, two major parties, the Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, have agreed to form a coalition following intense negotiations. Elections earlier this month ended without any party receiving a parliamentary majority, though ousted and jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s PTI party secured the most seats in a major upset. Another former prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, has been named as the coalition’s candidate for prime minister.

This comes as a top administrative official confessed to vote tampering and resigned. After making the stunning admission, he expressed regret for “stabbing the country in its back.” Imran Khan’s party has accused the powerful military of rigging the vote against him.


U.S. Airstrike in Somalia Killed Two Cuban Doctors

Feb 21, 2024

In Somalia, the U.S. is facing accusations it killed two Cuban doctors during a recent airstrike targeting the militant group al-Shabab. The Cuban doctors had been kidnapped by al-Shabab five years ago. They had been serving in Kenya as part of a program where Cuba sends medical professionals across the globe to help improve access to healthcare. The doctors have been identified as Assel Herrera Correa and Landy Rodríguez Hernández.

Hunger and Violence Grips Democratic Republic of Congo as Tensions Mount with Rwanda

Feb 21, 2024

Authorities in Rwanda have rejected calls by the U.S. government to withdraw its troops and missile systems from eastern Congo as clashes escalate in the region. Rwanda is accused of supporting the M23 militia. The intensifying conflict between the Democratic Republic of Congo’s army and M23 has disrupted food supply lines to the eastern city of Goma, impacting more than 2 million people.

Esperance Nyota: “This will result in famine, because all of us in Goma depend on the Minova road for agricultural products. They must do everything to reopen this road. I am convinced that opening this road will resolve the problem, and everything will be fine. The country’s authorities must do everything in their power to end the war. It’s sure that after the war, everything will be fine. They must do everything to end this war.”

Congolese protesters have called out Western countries’ complicity in the worsening violence and humanitarian crisis in eastern Congo as millions have been displaced.

SCOTUS Turns Down Case on VA High School Admissions Policy Which Increases Diversity

Feb 21, 2024

Back in the U.S., the Supreme Court rejected a case challenging the admissions policy at a prestigious Virginia high school which has increased the school’s diversity. The Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology — frequently ranked the country’s top school — changed its admissions policy in 2020, resulting in a 6% increase in Latinx students and an 8% boost in Black students. The new policy also allowed for more low-income students, English-language learners and girls to be accepted into the school. Plaintiffs argued the policy discriminates against Asian Americans, whose representation in the student body fell from roughly 70% to 50%. In 2023, the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action in college admissions.

Alabama Supreme Court Rules Frozen Embryos Are People

Feb 21, 2024

In a decision that has shocked many in the medical community, the Supreme Court of Alabama has ruled that frozen embryos should be considered people. The ruling came in a case filed by a couple who sued a fellow patient who accidentally dropped a test tube, destroying the frozen embryos of the couple. The Alabama justices ruled the frozen embryos should be afforded the same protection as babies under the Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. Reproductive rights advocates say the ruling could result in the end of in vitro fertilization in Alabama and some other states.

Nonbinary Oklahoma Teen Dies After Being Assaulted by Fellow Students

Feb 21, 2024

In Oklahoma, a 16-year-old nonbinary high school sophomore died earlier this month a day after they were assaulted by three girls in a high school bathroom. The student, Nex Benedict, reportedly suffered severe head injuries during the fight, but officials at Owasso High School reportedly did not call an ambulance. According to one account, Nex Benedict died due to “complications from brain trauma.” Family members said Nex faced bullying since last year. In 2022, Oklahoma lawmakers passed a law banning transgender students from using bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.

Ex-FBI Informant Who Lied About Bidens’ Ties to Ukrainian Co. Says Russia Gave Him False Info

Feb 21, 2024

More information has emerged about the ex-FBI informant who was indicted for lying about President Biden and his son Hunter Biden receiving millions of dollars from the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. Prosecutors say Alexander Smirnov blamed Russian intelligence agents for sharing the false information on the Bidens. A judge in Las Vegas ordered Smirnov’s release on bond Tuesday pending trial. He is also required to surrender his U.S. and Israeli passports. The lies about the Bidens are central to Republican efforts to impeach the president.

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