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HeadlinesMarch 01, 2024

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Israeli Attacks Continue Unabated After Gaza Food Aid Massacre, 4 More Children Starve to Death

Mar 01, 2024

In Gaza, the official death toll has topped 30,200 as Israeli forces continue their deadly attacks, one day after soldiers fired on people waiting for aid in northern Gaza. Over 112 people were killed and 760 injured. Harrowing survivor accounts have emerged in the wake of the massacre.

Injured Palestinian: “We went to get food and flour, and they started shooting at us. Then we threw ourselves into the streets, and no one looked for us. Eventually, people brought us here. There are martyrs lying around, and no one is looking for them.”

Northern Gaza resident: “If aid is to come to us in this way, we do not want it. We do not want to live on the blood of our children. If our children will die and be harmed in exchange for aid, we do not want aid.”

Gaza’s Health Ministry announced today at least another four children have died of starvation and dehydration in northern Gaza.

Defense Sec. Austin Refuses to Draw Line in Sand for Israel After Food Aid Massacre in Gaza

Mar 01, 2024

On Capitol Hill, California Congressmember Ro Khanna grilled Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin over ongoing U.S. support for Israel in light of Thursday’s massacre of Gazans waiting for food aid.

Rep. Ro Khanna: “If Israel again ever stops American-paid aid from getting into Gaza, will you commit to not sending future arms sales?”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin: “Again, that’s — that’s not my decision.”

Rep. Ro Khanna: “We need some consequences when another country is defying you, defying the national security adviser, defying the president, defying National Security Memorandum-20. There has to be some consequence.”

Austin refused to say the U.S. would ever hold Israel accountable for killing Palestinians and violating international law. During questioning, Austin also said “over 25,000” Palestinian women and children have been killed by Israel since October 7. Though that figure is likely close to the true death toll, the Pentagon was later forced to walk back Austin’s statement, claiming he was referring to the total death toll, not just women and children.

Washington’s Largest Union Backs Democratic Vote for “Uncommitted” Ahead of Primary

Mar 01, 2024

In labor news, Washington state’s largest union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, endorsed a primary vote for “uncommitted” rather than President Biden in the March 12 primary, citing a need to “end U.S. funding toward this reckless war.”

Lebanese PM Says Gaza Ceasefire Would End Conflict on Its Border with Israel

Mar 01, 2024

Yemen’s Houthi movement warned it’s planning “surprise” military operations in the Red Sea against Israeli, U.S. and other targets over the assault on Gaza.

Meanwhile, Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said a ceasefire in Gaza would trigger negotiations to halt fighting between Hezbollah and Israeli forces.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati: “We are saying, God willing, if we are able to reach a cessation of military activities in Gaza, then I believe that we will have ahead of us weeks packed with negotiations, so that we can reach what I have always called long-term stability in the south of Lebanon.”

New Jersey Community Members Warn Against Synagogue’s Plan to Host Israeli Real Estate Event

Mar 01, 2024

In New Jersey, residents of Teaneck say they will organize public protests if the Keter Torah Synagogue goes ahead with a plan to host a March 10 real estate event to sell housing units in illegal West Bank settlements. This is local activist Rich Siegel.

Rich Siegel: “If we allow this sale to go through, we are enabling a local synagogue to violate both domestic anti-discrimination laws and international law. Now, there’s other reasons we shouldn’t allow it, OK? There’s a genocide going on right now.”

Texas Judge Halts Draconian Immigration Law as Biden and Trump Make Dueling Trips to Border

Mar 01, 2024

In Texas, President Biden and former President Trump traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border Thursday in competing trips to tout their ever-harsher immigration policies. Trump visited Eagle Pass with Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott, while Biden spoke from Brownsville, where he appealed to Trump to work together to lobby Congress on a border deal.

President Joe Biden: “Here’s what I would say to Mr. Trump: Instead of playing politics with this issue, instead of telling members of Congress to block this legislation, join me, or I’ll join you, in telling the Congress to pass this bipartisan border security bill. We can do it together. You know and I know it’s the toughest, most efficient, most effective border security bill this country has ever seen.”

Their visits came on the same day a federal judge temporarily blocked a sweeping new Texas law that would have allowed police to arrest anyone suspected of entering the U.S. without authorization. SB 4 had been set to go into effect next week.

Human Rights Panel Holds First U.S. Hearing on Climate Crisis-Driven Migration in the Americas

Mar 01, 2024

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights held a special hearing Thursday on climate change-fueled displacement. It’s part of an effort to have the organization formally recognize forced migration due to the climate crisis and establish legal protections for climate refugees and internally displaced people. Higinio Alberto Ramírez from Honduras is a survivor of last year’s deadly fire at a migrant jail in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, which killed 43 people. He was trying to make his way to the U.S. after he lost his livelihood when the shrimp farm where he worked was destroyed due to rising sea levels. This is part of his father’s testimony, voiced over by an interpreter.

Higinio Ramírez Ortega: “Let us not be looked at askance, saying, 'Oh god, here come some more immigrants. Block the border.' We have human rights. We simply are hoping for the chance of a better life. That’s all we want. And I can only hope, pray God, that the governments would get together and understand the situation and somehow find some decent, some humane way to address the problem.”

Smokehouse Creek Fire Kills 2 as It Grows to Texas’s Largest Wildfire, U.S.’s 2nd Largest

Mar 01, 2024

In the Texas Panhandle, at least two people have been killed as the Smokehouse Creek Fire continues to rage. On Thursday, it merged with another wildfire, becoming the largest-ever fire in Texas history and the second largest in U.S. history as it spreads into Oklahoma. The flames have engulfed over 1 million acres, razing entire neighborhoods to the ground. It’s just 5% contained. The climate crisis is making wildfires more frequent and more devastating. Greenpeace said, “As the largest oil driller and producer in the United States, oil companies in Texas are literally fueling the flames on their doorstep.”

Pakistan Swears In New Parliament as Imran Khan’s Allies Protest Alleged Vote Rigging

Mar 01, 2024

In Pakistan, the National Assembly swore in newly elected members of Parliament Thursday amid protests by lawmakers from the party of ousted and jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan. Khan’s supporters got up and shouted “Vote-thief!” as Shehbaz Sharif entered the chamber with his brother Nawaz Sharif. Both men are also former prime ministers. Shehbaz Sharif is expected to form a new government after none of the major parties won a majority of parliamentary seats in February’s election. Supporters of Imran Khan have accused the military of election tampering.

Here in the U.S., over 30 congressmembers sent an open letter to President Biden asking him to withhold U.S. recognition of the new Pakistani government until a “thorough, transparent, and credible investigation of election interference has been conducted.”

Iran Holds First Elections Since 2022 Uprising; Low Turnout Expected

Mar 01, 2024

In Iran, polls have opened in the first elections since an anti-government uprising rocked the country in 2022 following the death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody. Voters are casting ballots for 290 parliamentary seats and 88 seats on the Assembly of Experts, which appoints the supreme leader of Iran. But turnout is expected to be low amid calls for a boycott and voter disenchantment.

Alleged Pentagon Leaker Jack Teixeira to Plead Guilty

Mar 01, 2024

Jack Teixeira, a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, is expected to plead guilty to charges of leaking a series of highly classified Pentagon intelligence documents to a group of gamers on the messaging app Discord. He was indicted last year under the Espionage Act and has been jailed since April 2023. The 22-year-old is scheduled for a Monday hearing in Boston to change his plea.


The Intercept, Raw Story and AlterNet Sue OpenAI and Microsoft

Mar 01, 2024

In media news, The Intercept, Raw Story and AlterNet have sued OpenAI and Microsoft, accusing their generative artificial intelligence products of copyright violations. The outlets say their copyrighted content was plagiarized and used to develop and operate the popular AI tool ChatGPT. Raw Story and AlterNet CEO John Byrne said in a statement, “It’s important to democracy that a diverse array of news sites continue to thrive. OpenAI’s violations, if not checked, will further decimate the news industry, and with it, the critical news reporters who affect positive change.”

Ghana’s Parliament Passes Bill Further Persecuting LGBTQ+ Communities

Mar 01, 2024

In Ghana, rights groups are sounding the alarm as lawmakers passed a new bill targeting LGBTQ+ communities. It includes prison sentences of up to three years for anyone convicted of identifying as LGBTQ+, up to 10 years for advocacy campaigns aimed at children, and a maximum five-year sentence for establishing or funding an LGBTQ+ group. Same-sex intercourse is already banned in Ghana. President Nana Akufo-Addo has said he would sign the measure into law if the majority of the population supported it.

Thousands Gather at Alexei Navalny Funeral Amid Heavy Police Presence

Mar 01, 2024

In Moscow, thousands of mourners gathered outside a church for Alexei Navalny’s funeral amid heavy police presence, but mourners say it was important for them to be there.

Mourner: “I could not not come, because I think that I have to give my last respect to this man.”

Reporter: “Were you afraid?”

Mourner: “We were very afraid. We arrived early and were standing here for a long time hiding our flowers and cameras. But now I realize that we need to do this and speak up.”

Hundreds of people have been arrested for publicly mourning Navalny in the two weeks since his death at an Arctic prison. The U.S., rights groups and others have blamed President Putin directly for Navalny’s death. Among those spotted at the funeral were recently disqualified antiwar Russian presidential candidate Boris Nadezhdin and prominent Putin critic and former mayor of Yekaterinburg, Yevgeny Roizman, as well as U.S., French and German diplomats.

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