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HeadlinesMarch 11, 2024

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Death Toll in Gaza Tops 31,000; Israel Continues Assault as Ramadan Begins

Mar 11, 2024

Israel is continuing its attacks on Gaza as Palestinians mark the first day of Ramadan. The death toll from Israel’s five-month-long assault has topped 31,000. Health officials in Gaza say at least 27 Palestinians have starved to death due to Israel’s ongoing blockade of aid deliveries. Over the weekend, five Palestinians died in northern Gaza as a pallet of food aid crushed them after a parachute failed to open.

The United States has begun shipping parts to build a temporary port off the coast of Gaza to increase aid, following President Biden’s announcement during his State of the Union last week. But many groups say the plan will take too long and is insufficient to address the looming famine in Gaza. The head of Doctors Without Borders in the U.S. said, “The U.S. plan for a temporary pier in Gaza to increase the flow of humanitarian aid is a glaring distraction from the real problem — Israelis’ indiscriminate and disproportionate military campaign and punishing siege.” Inside Gaza, Palestinians are struggling to find any food to eat.

Sufian al-Yazji: “I came here to buy, but I can’t find anything to buy. There is nothing. There are no dates or milk or anything. One can’t find anything for their children. How are we supposed to have suhoor, the meal before the fast starts at dawn? How are we supposed to have iftar, the meal that breaks the fast? With canned goods? All these canned goods are full of germs that infect the stomach. We need vegetables and fruits to feed our children because they’ve weakened and died from hunger.”

Biden Vows to Keep Supporting Israel But Says Netanyahu Is “Hurting Israel More Than Helping”

Mar 11, 2024

During an interview on MSNBC, President Biden criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by saying he is “hurting Israel more than helping Israel.”

President Joe Biden: “He has a right to defend Israel, a right to continue to pursue Hamas. But he must, he must, he must pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost as a consequence of the actions taken. He’s hurting — in my view, he’s hurting Israel more than helping Israel by making the rest of the world — it’s contrary to what Israel stands for. And I think it’s a big mistake. So I want to see a ceasefire.”

In the same interview with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart, Biden warned Netanyahu against invading Rafah. But he also vowed to keep arming Israel regardless of what it does in Gaza.

Jonathan Capehart: “What is your red line with Prime Minister Netanyahu? Do you have a red line? For instance, would invasion of Rafah, which you have urged him not to do — would that be a red line?”

President Joe Biden: “It is a red line, but I’m never going to leave Israel. The defense of Israel is still critical. So there’s no red line I’m going to cut off all weapons so that they don’t have the Iron Dome to protect them, they don’t have — but there’s red lines that if he crosses and they continue — you cannot have 30,000 more Palestinians dead.”

Netanyahu responded by vowing to defy Biden’s red line on Rafah, saying, “We’ll go there. We’re not going to leave.”

Haiti: CARICOM Holds Emergency Meeting as Calls Grow for Ariel Henry to Resign

Mar 11, 2024

Caribbean leaders are holding an emergency meeting in Jamaica today to discuss the political and humanitarian crisis in Haiti, where armed groups are attempting to force the resignation of Haiti’s unelected Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who has long been a U.S. ally. Henry has been stranded in Puerto Rico since last week, unable to return home as increasing violence has left Haitians struggling to secure food and water. Over the weekend, the U.S. flew a team of marines into Haiti as the security situation around the U.S. Embassy deteriorated. Nonessential staff at the embassy were airlifted out of the country. We will have more on Haiti after headlines.

Pope Francis Urges Ukraine to Negotiate and Have “Courage of the White Flag”

Mar 11, 2024

Pope Francis has called on Ukraine to have the courage to wave the white flag and begin negotiations with Russia. The pope made the comment in an interview with the Swiss broadcaster RSI.

Pope Francis: “It is one interpretation, it’s true, but I think that the strongest one is the one who looks at the situation, thinks about the people and has the courage of the white flag, of negotiating. And today you can negotiate with the help of the international powers. There are some. … The word 'negotiate' is a courageous word. When you see that you are defeated, when things are not going well, you have to have the courage to negotiate. One may feel shame, but how many dead will the war end up with? And it will end even worse. One should negotiate in time, find a country that can be a mediator.”

Several Ukrainian and European officials criticized the pope’s call for negotiations.

Jury Convicts Ex-Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández on Drug Trafficking Charges

Mar 11, 2024

In New York, former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández was found guilty of cocaine trafficking after a two-week trial. Federal prosecutors had accused Hernández of ruling the Central American country as a narco-state, accepting millions of dollars in bribes from drug traffickers in exchange for protection. Celebrations erupted following Friday’s verdict. This is a Honduran activist speaking outside Manhattan’s federal courthouse.

Lida Perdomo: “The rotten political class we have has brought the country to total collapse. And everyone we see here, this entire community thirsting for justice, is a clear example of a society in total collapse that has been trampled on and sunk by corrupt politicians.”

Hernández was arrested in February 2022, less than a month after his presidential term ended, and extradited to the U.S. in April of 2022. He was a longtime U.S. ally. His brother is already serving a life sentence in the U.S for smuggling cocaine. Juan Orlando Hernández faces life in prison, as well. We’ll have more on the trial later in the show.

U.N. Security Council Pushes for Ramadan Ceasefire in Sudan

Mar 11, 2024

The Sudanese military has rejected U.N. calls for a truce in fighting with its rival Rapid Support Forces during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The RSF had said it welcomed the truce. The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution Friday urging an end to nearly one year of fighting. The U.N. also expressed grave concern over the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Sudan. This is China’s deputy U.N. ambassador speaking Friday.

Dai Bing: “The lives of all the people in the world are precious. While adopting a resolution on a ceasefire during the month of Ramadan in Sudan, the Security Council must not forget that the people of Gaza are still suffering under bombardment. The international community must push forward for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the conflict in Gaza to give the people some hope for survival and provide the basic security necessary for all religious activities by the Muslims there.”

Biden: I Regret Describing Immigrant as “Illegal” During State of the Union

Mar 11, 2024

In an interview with MSNBC, President Biden said he regrets using the word “illegal” during his State of the Union to describe a Venezuelan immigrant accused of killing Laken Riley, a Georgia nursing student.

President Joe Biden: “An undocumented person. And I shouldn’t have used 'illegal.' I should have — it’s 'undocumented.'”

Jonathan Capehart: “So you regret using that word?”

President Joe Biden: “Yes.”

During a campaign rally in Georgia, former President Donald Trump attacked Biden over the issue.

Donald Trump: “I say he was an illegal alien. He was an illegal immigrant. He was an illegal migrant. And he shouldn’t have been in our country, and he never would have been under the Trump policy.”

During the same speech, Trump mocked President Biden’s stutter.

Donald Trump: “Wasn’t it — didn’t it bring us together? [inaudible] bring the country to — to — to — to — together. I’m going to bring it together. No, no.”

Trump Meets & Praises Hungary’s Authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán

Mar 11, 2024

Donald Trump’s rally in Georgia came a day after he hosted Hungary’s authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at Mar-a-Lago. Trump openly praised Orbán’s autocratic style of rule.

Donald Trump: “There’s nobody that’s better, smarter or a better leader than Viktor Orbán. He’s fantastic. He’s the, as you know, the prime minister of Hungary and does a great job. He’s a noncontroversial figure because he said, 'This is the way it's going to be,’ and that’s the end of it, right? He’s the boss.”

U.N.: Iran Responsible for Death of Mahsa Amini

Mar 11, 2024

A U.N. fact-finding mission has found Iran is responsible for the “physical violence” that killed Mahsa Amini in September 2022, sparking historic nationwide protests for months. Mahsa Amini was a 22-year-old Kurdish woman who was arrested by Iran’s so-called morality police allegedly for not wearing a hijab properly. Hundreds of people were arrested in demonstrations that erupted after Amini’s death. In a recent report, U.N. officials also accuse Tehran of committing “crimes against humanity” while employing “unnecessary and disproportionate use of lethal force” to crack down on the protests. Hundreds were killed by Iranian police forces, while at least nine demonstrators have been executed.

180,000 Protest in Mexico City Against Femicide on International Women’s Day

Mar 11, 2024

Millions of people across the globe took to the streets Friday marking International Women’s Day. Marches took place in Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Spain, Ukraine, Brazil and dozens of cities around the world. In a historic move, France enshrined abortion rights in its constitution as crowds gathered in Paris Friday. Meanwhile, over 180,000 people rallied in Mexico City denouncing rampant gender violence and femicides as nearly 10 women were killed every day in Mexico in 2023.

Sara Flores: “I worry about my friends. I am worried something might happen to my daughter when she goes out to the street. I am worried for all the women who never returned home and the families who are looking for them.”

Protesters Calling for Ceasefire in Gaza Block Traffic & Delay Start of Oscars

Mar 11, 2024

Hundreds of protesters calling for a ceasefire in Gaza blocked traffic on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood Sunday, forcing a short delay to the start of the Oscars. Several actors and musicians wore red Artists4Ceasefire pins, including Billie Eilish, Ramy Youssef and Mark Ruffalo, who arrived late to the ceremony due to the protests.

Mark Ruffalo: “It’s starting. We’re late. We’re late. The Palestinian protests shut down the Oscars tonight. Humanity wins.”

Oscars: Director of “The Zone of Interest” Condemns Israeli Occupation

Mar 11, 2024

During the Oscars ceremony, filmmaker Jonathan Glazer condemned the Israeli occupation after his Holocaust film “The Zone of Interest” won an Oscar for best international film.

Jonathan Glazer: “Our film shows where dehumanization leads at its worst. It’s shaped all of our past and present. Right now we stand here as men who refute their Jewishness and the Holocaust being hijacked by an occupation which has led to conflict for so many innocent people, whether the victims of October the — whether the victims of October the 7th in Israel or the ongoing attack on Gaza, all the victims of this dehumanization. How do we resist?”

“20 Days in Mariupol” Wins Oscar for Best Documentary

Mar 11, 2024

The Oscar for best documentary went to “20 Days in Mariupol” about Russia’s siege on the Ukrainian city. The film was directed by Mstyslav Chernov, a Ukrainian video journalist with the Associated Press.

Mstyslav Chernov: “This is the first — this is the first Oscar in the Ukrainian history. And I’m honored. I’m honored. But probably I will be the first director on this stage who will say I wish I would never made this film. I wish to be able to exchange this to Russia never attacking Ukraine, never occupying our cities.”

Click here to see our coverage of ”20 Days in Mariupol” and ”The Zone of Interest.”

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