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 22, 2024

Watch Headlines
Media Options

“Gaza Has Become a Death Zone” Amid Soaring Hunger, Death and Illness

Feb 22, 2024

The situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate, with the World Health Organization calling the besieged territory a “death zone.” Israeli attacks continue on mosques, shelters, health facilities and humanitarian aid sites. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights reported the killing of human rights defender Nour Naser Abu al-Nour and seven of her family members, including her 2-year-old daughter, in an Israeli airstrike. Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders said an Israeli attack on its shelter in al-Mawasi killed family members of its staff.

Despite soaring hunger rates, satellite images show hundreds of food and aid trucks have been waiting at the Rafah border crossing to enter Gaza. Palestinian officials say those in northern Gaza have only had access to animal feed for the past three weeks.

Itamar Ben-Gvir Calls for More Weapons for Civilians After West Bank Shooting Kills One Israeli

Feb 22, 2024

In the occupied West Bank, a shooting attack on a highway near an illegal settlement killed at least one Israeli and injured several others. Two of the three Palestinian gunmen were shot and killed on the scene. Israel’s extreme-right Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir seized on the attack to call for even more restrictions on Palestinian movement and for more weapons to be distributed to Israeli vigilantes.

Itamar Ben-Gvir: “A very big disaster was prevented here, thanks to the fact that all police officers in the Israeli police are carrying weapons and thanks to the fact that citizens have weapons. We are handing out more and more weapons.”

This comes amid ongoing military raids across the occupied West Bank and attacks by Israeli settlers. At least 400 West Bank Palestinians have been killed since October 7. More than 7,000 others have been arrested.

U.S. Addresses ICJ in Lonely, Unconvincing Defense of Israel’s Occupation of Palestinian Lands

Feb 22, 2024

In The Hague, hearings continue at the International Court of Justice over Israel’s occupation of Palestine. State Department lawyer Richard Visek presented arguments for the U.S. yesterday.

Richard Visek: “Under the established framework, any movement towards Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza requires consideration of Israel’s very real security needs. We were all reminded of those security needs on October 7, and they persist. … The court should not find that Israel is legally obligated to immediately and unconditionally withdraw from occupied territory.”

Alongside Fiji, the U.S. is the only country participating in the World Court hearings in favor of allowing Israel’s decadeslong occupation of Palestine to continue. Earlier today, an official from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Ma Xinmin, addressed the court.

Ma Xinmin: “In pursuit of the right to self-determination, Palestinian people’s use of force to resist foreign oppression and complete the establishment of an independent state is an inalienable right well founded in international law.”

Biden Weighing Executive Action to Bar Asylum Seekers Who Enter Through Unofficial Ports of Entry

Feb 22, 2024

President Biden is facing more backlash over his handling of the humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border following reports the White House is considering executive action to deny the right to request asylum for migrants who enter through unofficial ports of entry. The authority was previously invoked by the Trump administration. In response, Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal said, “Cruel enforcement-only policies have been tried for 30 years and simply do not work. Democrats cannot continue to take pages out of Donald Trump and Stephen Miller’s playbook — we need to lead with dignity and humanity.”

Texas Sues Shelter for Assisting Migrants in Need

Feb 22, 2024

In related news, Texas has sued a faith-based shelter in the border city of El Paso over its work providing humanitarian aid to migrants. The targeting of Annunciation House, which provides food and housing for migrants and asylum seekers, is the latest attack by the administration of Republican Governor Greg Abbott as he intensifies his border and immigration crackdown. Earlier this month, Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton ordered the group to turn over documents including personal information on asylum seekers they’ve assisted.

Haitian Asylum Seekers Go to Court over Abuse by Federal Agents at U.S.-Mexico Border

Feb 22, 2024

In more immigration news, a court in Washington, D.C., is hearing arguments today in a lawsuit accusing the Biden administration of racial discrimination and rights violations of Haitian asylum seekers. The suit was brought by the Haitian Bridge Alliance in 2021 on behalf of 11 Haitian asylum seekers, who described being abused by U.S. border agents as more than 15,000 people, mostly from Haiti, were forced to stay in a makeshift border encampment on the banks of the Rio Grande near the Acuña-Del Rio International Bridge in Texas. One of the plaintiffs is Mirard Joseph, who was photographed as a Border Patrol agent on horseback lashed him with split reins, grabbed his neck and gripped Joseph by the shirt collar. After the assault, Joseph and his family were detained and deported to Haiti.

Drug Trafficking Trial of Ex-Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández Starts in New York

Feb 22, 2024

Here in New York, the drug trafficking trial of former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández is underway. Prosecutors accuse Hernández of ruling Honduras like a “narco-state” as he accepted millions of dollars in bribes from cocaine traffickers in exchange for protection. In the months after his presidential term ended in 2022, Hernández was arrested and then extradited to the U.S. He was a longtime U.S. ally who received unconditional backing during his eight-year term despite mounting reports of serious human rights violations and accusations of corruption and involvement with drug smuggling.

New Evidence of NYPD Plot to Assassinate Malcolm X Unveiled on 59th Anniversary of Death

Feb 22, 2024

In more news from New York, two former members of Malcolm X’s security team have revealed details of their entrapment and imprisonment by New York police just days ahead of the 1965 assassination of Malcolm X. Yesterday, one of the two men and family members of Malcolm X appeared at a press conference on the 59th anniversary of Malcolm’s murder. This is lawyer Benjamin Crump.

Benjamin Crump: “Was it 59 years later? And they still won’t give up the documents of their surveillance on Malcolm X, their reports generated about Malcolm X and their actions and orders delivered from J. Edgar Hoover himself regarding Malcolm X.”

We’ll have more on this story later in the broadcast with attorneys Benjamin Crump and Flint Taylor.

Biden Cancels Additional $1.2 Billion in Student Loans

Feb 22, 2024

President Biden announced another $1.2 billion in student loan debt cancellation for over 150,000 borrowers. The move will benefit those who took out $12,000 or less in loans and have been making repayments for at least 10 years. The Biden administration has canceled $138 billion in student loans for some 3.9 million people. Last year, the Supreme Court threw out Biden’s plan to erase over $400 billion in federal student debt.

NYC Trans Leaders Respond After Catholic Church Condemns Funeral of Trans Icon Cecilia Gentili

Feb 22, 2024

New York City’s queer and transgender community is demanding an apology after the Archdiocese of New York condemned the funeral of late transgender leader Cecilia Gentili held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral last week. Some 1,500 people gathered at St. Patrick’s to pay tribute to Gentili, a beloved activist, author and actor who dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of sex workers, LGBTQ+ and immigrant communities. This is Ceyenne Doroshow, community leader and founder of GLITS, Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society, responding to the recent attacks by the church.

Ceyenne Doroshow: “So, what they’re not telling you, a transparent Catholic Diocese, is that canon law was her right to a free and equal funeral. She was not given that. It was cut. We heard it on the mics. The world needs to know. … Cecilia’s legacy, if I have to say anything, was her work. And without her work, a lot of kids would have failed. They would have died. They would have been on the side of the road. My work is about saving people, sustaining people, getting people in college, in schools, in housing. Is the Catholic Diocese doing that? Is the Catholic Diocese creating better people to be better leaders, to be better icons? Because we are doing that as a community. The Catholic Church needs to be ashamed of itself, period.”

Chicago Sues Big Oil over Climate Crisis

Feb 22, 2024

The city of Chicago is suing six oil and gas giants, as well as an industry trade group, which “funded, conceived, planned, and carried out a sustained and widespread campaign of denial and disinformation about the existence of climate change and their products’ contribution to it.” Progressive Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson filed the lawsuit Tuesday against ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips, Phillips 66 and the American Petroleum Institute. The suit lays out the climate crisis impacts faced by Chicago, including more frequent and intense storms, flooding, droughts, extreme heat waves and shoreline erosion. Chicago joins eight other states, the District of Columbia and multiple municipalities across the U.S. that have filed similar lawsuits against Big Oil over their role in exacerbating the climate crisis.

“We Deserve a Livable Future”: Climate Defiance Disrupts Event with Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte

Feb 22, 2024

In Washington, D.C., climate activists disrupted an event with Montana Governor Greg Gianforte, condemning his policies promoting coal extraction and exacerbating the climate crisis.

Climate Defiance activist: “We will not stand to sit here and listen to governors talk about things that do not concern us when the pressing concerns are coming in on all sides. We deserve a livable future. His children deserve a livable future. All the children of America and of the world deserve a livable future.”

The governor was forced to leave the event after the activists took to the stage. Among other things, Gianforte enacted a law last year barring Montana from calculating the climate impacts of major projects.

Fire Burns Down Mississippi John Hurt Museum

Feb 22, 2024

In Avalon, Mississippi, a fire burned down the Mississippi John Hurt Museum Wednesday, just hours after it received landmark status. The museum honors country blues singer and guitarist John Hurt and was one of the last sites marking the town’s history as a formerly all-Black community. Authorities are investigating the fire, which the Mississippi John Hurt Foundation blamed on arson.

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