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HeadlinesFebruary 26, 2024

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2-Month-Old Infant Dies of Starvation as Israel Blocks Aid, Gazans Face Famine

Feb 26, 2024

A 2-month-old Palestinian boy has died of starvation as U.N. officials warn of a looming famine in Gaza. The U.N. relief agency UNRWA says it has been unable to deliver aid to northern Gaza in over a month. Palestinian officials say nearly 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s ongoing assault on Gaza. Israel is continuing to carry out strikes on Rafah, where over a million displaced Palestinians have sought refuge. On Friday, one 17-year-old Palestinian girl described losing six members of her family in an Israeli attack.

Dena Jargun: “My mother died. Two of my brothers and my sister with her daughter and son, they were all martyred. Only my father, two of my brothers and I and three girls are left. There is no one left. There is no one left. Oh god, there is no one left. Oh god, may they rest in peace.”

Netanyahu Reaffirms Plan to Take Control of Gaza; Palestinian Prime Minister Shtayyeh Resigns

Feb 26, 2024

On Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlined his plan for a postwar Gaza: He called for Israel to maintain full security control of the entire Gaza Strip while opposing the future creation of a Palestinian state. This comes as negotiations continue over a possible six-week pause to the fighting as part of a deal to free the remaining hostages in Gaza.

In other developments, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and his Cabinet have resigned. He said, “I see that the next stage and its challenges require new governmental and political arrangements that take into account the new reality in Gaza and the need for a Palestinian-Palestinian consensus based on Palestinian unity and the extension of unity of authority over the land of Palestine.”

Biden Administration Condemns Israeli Plans for Settlement Expansion in Occupied West Bank

Feb 26, 2024

The Biden administration has spoken out against Israel’s plan to build 3,000 new housing units in settlements in the occupied West Bank. In a reversal of a policy put in place by Donald Trump, Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the U.S. views settlement expansion as “inconsistent with international law.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “New settlements are counterproductive to reaching an enduring peace. They’re also inconsistent with international law.”

“I Will No Longer Be Complicit in Genocide”: U.S. Military Member Dies After Setting Himself on Fire in Protest

Feb 26, 2024

An active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force set himself on fire outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, saying he could no longer be complicit in genocide. Twenty-five-year-old Aaron Bushnell live-streamed his own self-immolation. In the video, he could be heard screaming “Free Palestine” as the fire spread. Bushnell, who was wearing his Air Force uniform, spoke on the live stream prior to setting himself on fire.

Aaron Bushnell: “I am an active-duty member of the United States Air Force, and I will no longer be complicit in genocide. I am about to engage in an extreme act of protest, but compared to what people have been experiencing in Palestine at the hands of their colonizers, it’s not extreme at all. This is what our ruling class has decided will be normal.”

Authorities in Washington said Aaron Bushnell died after succumbing to his injuries.

In December, a protester with a Palestinian flag self-immolated outside the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta, Georgia.

NYT Investigating Israeli Freelancer’s Anti-Palestinian Social Media History

Feb 26, 2024

The New York Times has reportedly launched an internal investigation of a freelance Israeli reporter after she liked multiple posts on social media advocating for violence against Palestinians, including one that called for turning Gaza into a slaughterhouse. In December, the reporter, Anat Schwartz, co-authored a widely criticized article for The New York Times alleging that members of Hamas committed widespread sexual violence on October 7. The Intercept recently reported that doubts over the accuracy of the article led the Times to shelving an episode about the issue on its podcast, “The Daily.”

U.S. and U.K. Air Forces Attack Houthi Targets as Yemenis Take to Street in Solidarity with Gaza

Feb 26, 2024

American and British fighter jets attacked Yemen again on Saturday. Military officials said 18 Houthi targets were struck. The U.S. has carried out near-daily attacks on Yemen over the past month as Houthi forces continue to target ships in the region to protest Israel’s assault on Gaza. On Friday, a massive pro-Palestinian protest was held in Sana’a.

Abdelazim Ezz-Aldin: “Of course, we went out today to continue on our path in support of Gaza and in support of Palestine. It is our first cause, and we will never abandon it. By God, even if we are all killed, we will not abandon this issue, as it is the central issue for all free peoples, for all free peoples, for all the peoples of the Islamic nation.”

Trump Beats Nikki Haley on Her Home Turf of South Carolina, Winning 60% of GOP Primary Votes

Feb 26, 2024

Donald Trump has moved a step closer to securing the Republican presidential nomination after defeating Nikki Haley in South Carolina’s primary. Trump won about 60% of the vote. Haley, who had served as South Carolina’s governor, received just over 39%. She spoke to supporters on Saturday.

Nikki Haley: “I said earlier this week that no matter what happens in South Carolina, I would continue to run for president. I’m a woman of my word.”

In another setback for Haley, a key political network funded by billionaire Charles Koch announced it would end its financial support for her candidacy.

Trump: Black People Like Me Because I Have Been Indicted Multiple Times

Feb 26, 2024

Donald Trump’s victory in South Carolina came just days after a New York judge ordered him to pay $454 million in a civil fraud case. On Saturday, Trump told supporters his multiple criminal indictments have helped him win support in the Black community.

Donald Trump: “And then I got indicted a second time and a third time and a fourth time. And a lot of people said that that’s why the Black people like me, because they have been hurt so badly and discriminated against, and they actually viewed me as I’m being discriminated against. It’s been pretty amazing. But it possibly — I don’t know, maybe there’s something there.”

President Biden’s campaign co-chair Cedric Richmond responded to Trump’s comment, saying, “Donald Trump claiming that Black Americans will support him because of his criminal charges is insulting. It’s moronic. And it’s just plain racist.”

Ukraine Marks 2nd Anniversary of War with Russia, Which Has Killed 31,000+ Ukrainian Soldiers

Feb 26, 2024

The prime ministers of Italy, Canada and Belgium traveled to Kyiv on Saturday as Ukraine marked the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has acknowledged 31,000 Ukrainian troops have been killed over the past two years, but many experts believe that to be an undercount. The anniversary comes as Zelensky and other Ukrainian officials urged U.S. lawmakers to approve the $60 billion aid package requested by President Biden.

Burkina Faso Church Attack Kills at Least 15 People

Feb 26, 2024

In Burkina Faso, at least 15 people were killed after an attack at a local Catholic church as worshipers gathered for Mass. No one has claimed responsibility for the shooting in the village of Essakane, located in northern Burkina Faso, where violence between armed groups has been on the rise. The number of people killed by armed groups has nearly tripled recently, while over 2 million have been displaced by the violence.

South Korea Gives Striking Doctors Until End of February to Return to Work

Feb 26, 2024

The South Korean government has issued a warning to doctors on strike, saying they have until the end of the month to end their protest and return to work, or risk suspension of their licenses and possible prosecution. Doctors have been protesting the government’s plan to increase medical school admissions by around 65%. Young doctors and student doctors resigned en masse following the news, and thousands have walked off the job, causing delays and cancellations of surgeries at hospitals. They say they want the government to prioritize their demands for higher pay and a more manageable workload.

Ryu Ok Hada: “Trainee doctors usually work over 100 hours per week. While some may think we start our shifts at 8 or 9 a.m. in the morning, in reality, we begin at 4 or 6 a.m. in the morning. We earn around $1,500 to $3,000 per month, not tens of thousands of dollars. The current medical system in South Korea, which is a great one, is run by making cheap trainee doctors keep grinding.”

Protesters in the Philippines Condemn President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s Plans to Change Constitution

Feb 26, 2024

In the Philippines, thousands of protesters gathered across the country Sunday to oppose President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s plans to amend the constitution. The protests took place on the 38th anniversary of the People Power Revolution, also known as the EDSA Revolution, that ousted his father, U.S.-backed dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr. Critics say President Marcos's proposed charter is designed to keep him in power. Marcos says he is seeking to make improvements to the economy. His father’s regime is remembered for its corruption, imposing martial law, and its deadly crackdown on critics, which killed, jailed and tortured tens of thousands of people, including religious leaders, journalists and students.

New York Jury Finds Ex-NRA Chief Wayne LaPierre Used Group’s Money to Fund Lavish Lifestyle

Feb 26, 2024

A New York jury on Friday found former National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre had mismanaged the group’s funds, diverting $5.4 million for personal benefit. LaPierre must repay over $4 million; he already paid back around $1 million. New York Attorney General Letitia James brought the case against LaPierre, accusing him of using NRA money to fund luxury trips, expensive clothing and insider contracts. The jury also found two other top NRA executives acted inappropriately.

Man Convicted of Murdering Trans Woman Dime Doe in First Such Federal Hate Crime Trial

Feb 26, 2024

A jury found a South Carolina man guilty of murdering Pebbles LaDime “Dime” Doe, a Black transgender woman, in 2019. It’s believed to be the country’s first federal hate crime trial for a gender identity-based murder. Daqua Lameek Ritter faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. Prosecutors say Ritter murdered Doe after she made their secret relationship public. The Human Rights Campaign said, “Anti-transgender stigma is exacerbated by callous or disrespectful treatment too often seen from media, law enforcement and our highest elected officials. This epidemic of violence that disproportionately targets transgender people of color — particularly Black transgender women — must cease.”

Vigils Held for Late Gender-Nonconforming Teenager Nex Benedict

Feb 26, 2024

Vigils were held across the nation this weekend for Nex Benedict, an Oklahoma nonbinary 16-year-old who died the day after they were attacked in the Owasso High School bathroom by three girls. Authorities said last week Benedict did not die as a result of trauma, though full details from their autopsy have not been made public and investigations are ongoing. While being treated at the hospital, Nex Benedict spoke to a police officer about what happened.

Nex Benedict: “We went to the bathroom.”

Police officer: “OK.”

Nex Benedict: “And I was talking with my friends. They were talking with their friends. And we were laughing, and they had said something like 'Why do they laugh like that?' And they were talking about us in front of us. And so I went up there, and I poured water on them.”

Police officer: “OK.”

Nex Benedict: “And then all three of them came at me. … They came at me. They grabbed onto my hair. I grabbed onto them. I threw one of them into a paper towel dispenser. And then they got my legs out from under me and got me on the ground, started beating the [bleep] out of me.”

Police officer: “OK.”

Nex Benedict: “And then my friends tried to jump in and help, but I’m not sure. I blacked out.”

Nex Benedict identified within the Two Spirit, transgender and gender-nonconforming umbrella. Family members said they had faced bullying since last year. In 2022, Oklahoma lawmakers passed a law banning transgender students from using bathrooms that correspond to their gender identity.

“The Apartheid Has to End”: Director Yuval Abraham Highlights Palestinian Plight in Berlinale Speech

Feb 26, 2024

The Palestinian-Israeli film “No Other Land” has taken the prize for best documentary at the Berlin film festival, the Berlinale, in Germany. The film looks at Israel’s mass expulsion of Palestinians living in Masafer Yatta in the occupied West Bank. The film was made by a Palestinian-Israeli collective. One of the filmmakers, the Israel journalist Yuval Abraham, said he has received death threats after making these comments about him and his Palestinian co-director Basel Adra at the film festival’s award ceremony.

Yuval Abraham: “In two days, we will go back to a land where we are not equal. I am living under a civilian law, and Basel is under military law. We live 30 minutes from one another, but I have voting rights, and Basel is not having voting rights. I am free to move where I want in this land. Basel is, like millions of Palestinians, locked in the occupied West Bank. This situation of apartheid between us, this inequality, it has to end.”

Johan Galtung, “Father of Peace and Conflict Studies,” Dies at 93

Feb 26, 2024

The Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung has died at the age of 93. He is widely credited as the principal founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies. He was a past winner of the Right Livelihood Award. He appeared on Democracy Now! numerous times.

Johan Galtung: “I look forward to the U.S., instead of intervening militarily, starting solving conflicts. You have so many bright people in this country, so many well-educated people. And, you see, solving conflict, you have to talk with the other side, or the other sides.”

Click here to see all our interviews with the late Johan Galtung.

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