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HeadlinesMarch 12, 2024

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Haiti’s PM Ariel Henry to Resign After Losing Support of Washington

Mar 12, 2024

Haiti’s unelected Prime Minister Ariel Henry has announced he will resign once a transitional council is established. Henry made the announcement after Caribbean leaders held an emergency meeting in Jamaica to discuss the crisis in Haiti, where armed groups launched an uprising against Henry last week. U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken attended the meeting and pledged $100 million to help finance the deployment of a multinational force mission to Haiti. Ariel Henry announced his plan to resign in a video message posted online.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry: “After the Council of Ministers, it’s been agreed to set up a presidential transitional council. Once chosen, the council will govern over different sectors of national life. … Haiti wants peace. Haiti needs stability. Haiti needs sustainable development. Haiti needs to rebuild democratic institutions. I’m asking all Haitians to remain calm and do everything they can for peace and stability to come back as fast as possible for the good of the country.”

The Miami Herald is reporting CARICOM has proposed a plan to set up a seven-member presidential panel that would appoint a new interim prime minister for Haiti. Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley said the panel would only include Haitians who support the deployment of a U.N.-backed security force. Last week, Ariel Henry traveled to Kenya, which is slated to lead the security mission. He has been unable to return home and was reportedly most recently in Puerto Rico.

On Monday, one of the leaders of the recent armed uprising in Haiti, Jimmy Chérizier, who is known as “Barbecue,” warned against outside forces picking Haiti’s next leader.

Jimmy Chérizier: “We take this opportunity to say to the international community that if it continues down this path, we will plunge Haiti into chaos when it chooses a small group of politicians and negotiates with them on paper to decide who can be president and what kind of government we’re going to have. Today it’s clear that it’s the inhabitants of the working-class districts and the Haitian people who know what they’re suffering at the moment, and it’s up to them to choose the person who’s going to lead them and the way he’s going to lead them.”

Gaza Health Officials: Israeli Forces Have Killed 400 Aid Seekers

Mar 12, 2024

Al Jazeera is reporting Israeli forces in Gaza have killed at least 11 people who were waiting for aid in Gaza City. More than 20 injured people were taken to Al-Shifa Hospital. Health officials in Gaza say Israeli forces have killed more than 400 aid seekers in Gaza in recent weeks.

Israel Blocks Aid Truck Bound for Gaza Because It Contained Medical Scissors

Mar 12, 2024

Israel continues to restrict aid coming into Gaza, which is on the brink of famine. The U.N. is reporting one truck was recently denied access to Gaza because it contained scissors inside medical kits. UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini criticized the decision, saying, “Medical scissors are now added to a long list of banned items the Israeli Authorities classify as 'for dual use.'” He went on to write, “The list includes basic and lifesaving items: from anesthetics, solar lights, oxygen cylinders and ventilators, water cleaning tablets, cancer medicines and maternity kits.”

Meanwhile, an aid ship bound for Gaza has set sail from Cyprus with 200 tons of food supplies. The UAE-funded mission was organized by the two aid groups, World Central Kitchen and Open Arms.

Inside Gaza, Palestinians marked the first day of Ramadan on Monday.

Fedaa Hamed: “The first day of Ramadan is very tough. We don’t know what we’re going to cook. What are we going to have for iftar, the meal breaking the fast, also at suhoor, the meal before the fast at dawn? We couldn’t cook. There’s no gas. We get out of the tent in the cold to light the fire, and it’s really cold. How are we going to cook? Also, the prices are unimaginable, prices of the tomato and the potatoes. The prices are high. We can’t get meat or chicken. Everything is very expensive. In this situation, we don’t want aid. What we want is a ceasefire.”

U.S. Intelligence Head: Gaza War Will Have “Generational Impact on Terrorism”

Mar 12, 2024

On Monday, senior U.S. intelligence officials testified before Congress. The Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines warned the war in Gaza will increase the threat of terrorism for years.

Avril Haines: “Moreover, the crisis has galvanized violence by a range of actors around the world. And while it is too early to tell, it is likely that the Gaza conflict will have a generational impact on terrorism.”

Israeli Groups Accuse Netanyahu Gov’t of Failing to Abide by ICJ Ruling on Aid

Mar 12, 2024

The Guardian is reporting 12 prominent Israeli human rights organizations have signed an open letter accusing Israel of failing to abide by a ruling of the International Court of Justice to facilitate more humanitarian aid into Gaza. In the letter, the groups wrote, “The ICJ order is a legal obligation to end the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. It must be abided by, not only to ease the urgent suffering of civilians but for the sake of humanity as a whole.”

UNRWA Says Israel Tortured & Waterboarded Staffers, Leading to False Confessions

Mar 12, 2024

The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, has accused the Israeli military of beating and waterboarding some of its staff held in Israeli prisons. UNRWA states in a new report, “Agency staff members have been subject to threats and coercion by the Israeli authorities while in detention, and pressured to make false statements against the Agency, including that the Agency has affiliations with Hamas and that UNRWA staff members took part in the 7 October 2023 atrocities.”
UNRWA has faced a crisis ever since Israel accused a number of UNRWA staff workers of taking part in the October 7 attacks. Although Israel did not share evidence to back up its claim, many countries, including the United States, cut off funding to UNRWA despite Gaza’s catastrophic humanitarian crisis. In recent days Sweden and Canada resumed funding.

India Enacts Anti-Muslim Citizenship Law Ahead of Election

Mar 12, 2024

India has enacted a controversial citizenship law that makes it easier for non-Muslims who have moved to India to become citizens. Under the law, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Parsis who moved to India before 2015 from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh would become eligible for citizenship. The law excludes Muslim immigrants. The bill’s passage in 2019 sparked deadly protests, but the law was not implemented until now, just ahead of a major election as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks a third term. Amnesty International criticized the law, saying it is “a discriminatory law that goes against the constitutional values of equality and international human rights law.”

Boeing Whistleblower Found Dead After Giving Evidence in Lawsuit

Mar 12, 2024

A former manager at Boeing who became a whistleblower has been found dead in South Carolina. According to the BBC, John Barnett had given evidence in a whistleblower lawsuit against the company in recent days. The Charleston County coroner said Barnett died of a “self-inflicted” wound on Friday. Barnett had worked at Boeing for 32 years before retiring in 2017. He later spoke to The New York Times about problems at a Boeing South Carolina plant that manufactures the 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Trump Suggests He Supports Social Security and Medicare Cuts

Mar 12, 2024

On the campaign trail, Donald Trump suggested Monday he was open to cutting spending on Social Security and Medicare. During an interview on CNBC, Trump said, “There is a lot you can do in terms of entitlements, in terms of cutting.” President Biden responded with a message on social media, saying, “Not on my watch.”
Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee has fired over 60 staffers just days after Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump became the RNC’s new co-chair as the former president strengthens his control of the party.
In other Trump news, the former president is seeking to delay the start of his upcoming hush money trial, which is slated to begin March 25 in New York. Trump has requested the trial wait until the U.S. Supreme Court reviews his immunity claim in another case.

Sen. Katie Britt Blasted for Sharing Misleading Story About Survivor of Sex Trafficking in Mexico

Mar 12, 2024

Republican Alabama Senator Katie Britt is facing backlash after telling a misleading story during her much-criticized response to President Biden’s State of the Union last week. While criticizing Biden’s border policies, Britt told the story of a 12-year-old girl who was sexually trafficked by drug cartels and repeatedly raped.

Sen. Katie Britt: “We wouldn’t be OK with this happening in a third-world country. This is the United States of America, and it is past time, in my opinion, that we start acting like it. President Biden’s border policies are a disgrace.”

What Britt didn’t tell the nation is that the incident took place during the administration of President George W. Bush, that the abuse took place in Mexico, and that drug cartels were not involved. The woman who Britt referenced, Karla Jacinto, appeared on CNN over the weekend.

Karla Jacinto: “Yes, in fact, I hardly ever cooperate with politicians, because it seems to me that they only want an image, they only want a photo. And that, to me, is not fair. … I work as a spokesperson for many victims who have no voice, and I really would like them to be empathetic, all the governors, all the senators, to be empathetic with the issue of human trafficking, because there are millions of girls and boys who disappear all the time, people who are really trafficked and abused, as she mentioned. And I think she should first take into account what really happens, before telling a story of that magnitude.”

Police in California Fatally Shoot 15-Year-Old Black Teenager with Autism

Mar 12, 2024

In California, a 15-year-old Black teenager with autism was shot dead Saturday at his home by a sheriff’s deputy. The teenager, Ryan Gainer, was reportedly holding a gardening tool when he was fatally shot by a deputy from San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. Officers had come to his home after receiving reports of a domestic incident. Attorney DeWitt Lacy said, “There are great questions as to whether it was appropriate to use deadly force against a 15-year-old autistic kid who was having an episode. We need to see the video and the moment of the shooting … but it doesn’t seem like anyone was in imminent danger of death or great bodily injury.”

Swedish Police Remove Greta Thunberg & Other Climate Activists Blocking Parliament

Mar 12, 2024

In Sweden, police have forcibly removed climate activist Greta Thunberg and dozens of other environmental protesters who were blocking the entrance to the Swedish parliament for a second day. Greta Thunberg spoke at the action.

Greta Thunberg: “Right now we are a group of young people who are blocking entrances to the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag, to protest against the ongoing destruction of our life-supporting systems and of people already been killed as a result of the climate crisis. And that needs to come to an end. We have had enough.”

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