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HeadlinesMarch 07, 2024

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Ceasefire Talks Falter as Famine Plagues Gaza, Aid Remains Blocked by Israel

Mar 07, 2024

A Gaza ceasefire before the start of Ramadan on Monday appears increasingly unlikely, after Hamas delegates left Cairo talks without an agreement after accusing Israel of thwarting efforts put forward by mediators. Hamas says negotiations will nonetheless continue. Israel reportedly boycotted the recent talks.

The official death toll in Gaza has topped 30,800 in the five months since Israel’s assault began. At least another 72,000 Palestinians have been wounded. The group Refugees International is warning Israel’s persistent blocking of humanitarian aid into Gaza has created “apocalyptic” conditions inside the besieged territory. At least 20 Gazans have starved to death; the youngest victim was just one day old. As a number of countries have started conducting airdrops into Gaza, the World Food Programme cautioned, “Airdrops are a last resort and will not avert famine.” This is a soup kitchen volunteer in Rafah.

Mohammed Al-Dalu: “Our hearts are being squeezed when a child comes over and says, 'I want to have rice and chicken.' We are unable to provide rice, let alone chicken, in light of the war that we are experiencing. This is not only a war on civilians. It is a war on food, on starvation. People here in the Gaza Strip cannot find bread to eat.”

South Africa Asks ICJ to Help Stop “Imminent Tragedy” in Gaza; Canada to Resume UNRWA Funding

Mar 07, 2024

South Africa has requested the International Court of Justice take additional emergency measures in Gaza, including ordering a ceasefire. South Africa, which brought the genocide case against Israel at the ICJ, said, “The threat of all-out famine has now materialized. The court needs to act now to stop the imminent tragedy.”

Canada says it will resume funding to UNRWA, after it halted support for the U.N. agency in January following Israeli claims 12 UNRWA staff were involved in the October 7 attacks. Sixteen countries suspended their funding for UNRWA, bringing it close to collapse amid the spiraling humanitarian disaster in Gaza.

Meanwhile, a new investigation by The Washington Post reveals the Biden administration has quietly approved over 100 weapons sales to Israel while publicly calling for restraint and decrying the mounting civilian death toll.

Houthi Attack Kills 3 People in First Known Fatalities in Campaign Against Red Sea Trade Ships

Mar 07, 2024

U.S. military officials said Wednesday a Houthi missile attack on a commercial ship in the Gulf of Aden killed at least three people. It’s the first known deaths as a result of the Houthi campaign against Israel- and U.S.-linked vessels. The ship that was attacked appears to have been Barbados-flagged, Greece-operated and Liberia-owned. U.S. and U.K. forces have launched multiple attacks inside Yemen since the Houthi strikes started in protest of Israel’s war on Gaza.

Palestinian Americans Share Stories of Loved Ones in Gaza Killed by Israel

Mar 07, 2024

Here in New York, a delegation of Palestinian Americans who have lost relatives to Israeli attacks in Gaza joined U.N. Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour at a Security Council press conference Wednesday. This is Dr. Rula El-Farra, who lost over 150 family members since October 7.

Dr. Rula El-Farra: “In December, one of our family members, Sabri El-Farra, was murdered in his home by an Israeli airstrike with his nine young children. His unfortunate wife survived. She was eight months pregnant. She was displaced to an evacuation camp, where she gave birth to her baby boy one month later, in January. … Her child, her newborn infant, died 20 days later from the cold and the harsh conditions in the camps. … Every minute signifies the loss of a life, the starvation of a child. And so, we need an immediate and permanent — not temporary, permanent — ceasefire now.”

Activists in D.C. Line Israeli Embassy with Palestinian Flags, Banners Condemning Gaza Genocide

Mar 07, 2024

In Washington, D.C., activists have set up a protest in front of the Israeli Embassy. Israeli American activist Miko Peled says the protest has disrupted embassy business, and is calling on more people to join the action until the embassy is forced to shut down.

Miko Peled: “Palestinian flags have clearly taken over the other flag that’s being flown here. The flag of hope has clearly taken over the flag of hate and apartheid. This is the apartheid embassy. And look. Look at all this. Just brilliant, as far as the eye can see.”

Miko Peled is the son of a famous Israeli general.

Musicians Pull Out of SXSW over Gaza; Brazilian Union Calls for End to Military Cooperation

Mar 07, 2024

In Austin, Texas, at least five musical acts have pulled out of the upcoming South by Southwest festival over its ties to the U.S. military and defense contractors, including RTX Corporation, formerly known as Raytheon. RTX supplies weapons to Israel.

Outside the United States, Brazil’s Central Workers’ Union, which represents over 7.4 million workers, has called on the Brazilian government to cancel all military cooperation with Israel.

In Canada, rights groups are suing the global affairs ministry for exporting military goods and technology to Israel during its assault on Gaza.

Deadly Russian Strike Rattles President Zelensky and Greek PM Mitsotakis During Odesa Visit

Mar 07, 2024

In Ukraine, a Russian attack on the port city of Odesa killed at least five people, according to the Ukrainian Navy. The strike came as President Volodymyr Zelensky was taking Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on a tour of the war-ravaged city, where 12 people, including children, were killed in a drone attack last week. The Greek prime minister spoke after Wednesday’s attack, which the two leaders heard as they were getting into their cars following the tour.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis: “And I think this is one more reason why all European leaders should come to Ukraine, because it is one thing to see, to hear the description from the mass media or from President Zelensky, with whom we regularly communicate, and it is completely different to experience the war firsthand.”

Yulia Navalnaya Urges Russians to Protest Putin When Voting on March 17

Mar 07, 2024

In Russia, Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of the late opposition leader Alexei Navalny, is urging voters to protest President Vladimir Putin at the polls in the March 17 election.

Yulia Navalnaya: “We need to use the election day to show that we exist and there are many of us, we are real, we are alive, we exist, and we are against Putin. We need to come to the polling station on the same day and time: noon of March 17. It is up to you to choose what to do next. You can vote for any candidate but Putin. You can spoil the ballot. You can write on it, in big letters, 'Navalny.'”


U.S. Reportedly Pressuring Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry to Step Down Amid Mounting Crisis

Mar 07, 2024

The Miami Herald is reporting the Biden administration is pressuring Haiti’s unelected Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign amid an armed uprising against his rule. According to a U.S. document obtained by the Miami Herald, the Biden administration has proposed Henry “step down” in the near future. The State Department pushed back on the report, but U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield confirmed the U.S. has asked Henry to form a transitional council that would involve the appointment of a new prime minister. Over the past three years, the U.S. has been a key backer of Henry, who is deeply unpopular in Haiti. Last week, Henry visited Kenya to discuss a plan to send 1,000 international police officers to Haiti. Henry is now in Puerto Rico, unable to safely return home.


Nikki Haley Ends Presidential Run; Mitch McConnell Endorses Trump

Mar 07, 2024

Nikki Haley suspended her presidential campaign Wednesday after losing all but one state to Donald Trump on Super Tuesday. Haley declined to endorse Trump, or any other candidate, as she announced the end of her campaign.

Nikki Haley: “In all likelihood, Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee when our party convention meets in July. I congratulate him and wish him well. … It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond it who did not support him. And I hope he does that.”

President Biden made a pitch to Haley’s supporters, saying, “I know there is a lot we won’t agree on. But on the fundamental issues of preserving American democracy, on standing up for the rule of law, on treating each other with decency and dignity and respect, on preserving NATO and standing up to America’s adversaries, I hope and believe we can find common ground.”

On Capitol Hill, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who is leaving his leadership post in November, endorsed Donald Trump. In 2021, McConnell said Trump was “morally and practically responsible” for the January 6 insurrection and called Trump’s actions a “disgraceful dereliction of duty.”

In more related news, the Supreme Court has set April 25 as the date to hear arguments over whether Trump is immune from criminal prosecution for trying to overturn his 2020 election loss.

UAW’s Shawn Fain, Palestinian Who Lost 35 Relatives in Gaza Among Guests Invited to SOTU

Mar 07, 2024

President Biden will deliver his State of the Union address tonight before a joint session of Congress. Biden is expected to call for increasing taxes on billionaires and corporations. First lady Jill Biden’s guests include United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain and the prime minister of Sweden. Numerous lawmakers are inviting relatives of hostages held in Gaza. Congressmember Cori Bush is bringing Dr. Intimaa Salama, a Palestinian dentist and graduate student from St. Louis University who has lost 35 relatives in Israel’s assault on Gaza. Republican Thomas Massie has invited the brother of Julian Assange, the imprisoned WikiLeaks editor who is facing U.S. extradition. Senator Tim Kaine is bringing Elizabeth Carr, the first woman born by IVF in the United States. And Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson has invited the parents of Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter imprisoned in Russia.

Alabama Passes Law Protecting IVF Providers from Prosecution

Mar 07, 2024

Alabama Republican Governor Kay Ivey signed into law a bill protecting in vitro fertilization clinics and doctors from lawsuits and prosecution. Lawmakers scrambled to pass the legislation after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled last month that frozen embryos have the same rights as children, sending shockwaves through the medical community. At least three clinics suspended treatments in response to the ruling. Two of those said they will now resume treatment. Reproductive rights advocates cautioned the new law does not fully resolve the issue as it does not address whether a frozen embryo can be considered a child.

“A Promise Made to the Future”: France Enshrines Abortion Rights into Constitution

Mar 07, 2024

France became the first country in the world to enshrine the right to abortion in its constitution. Following the 780-72 vote, the Eiffel Tower was lit up with the phrase “my body my choice.” Abortion has been legal in France since 1975, but lawmakers decided to take the additional step in direct response to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in 2022. This is leftist lawmaker Mathilde Panot.

Mathilde Panot: “We are celebrating a historic victory. Our vote is a promise made to the future: Never will our children, our grandchildren, our great-grandchildren have to relive the torment that has preceded them. Our vote is also a promise to all women around the world who are fighting for the right to have control over their bodies, in Argentina, in the United States, in Andorra, in Italy, in Hungary, in Poland. Like an echo, today’s vote tells them that their fight is ours and that this victory is theirs.”

“A Page Out of the Giuliani Playbook”: NY Gov. Hochul Sends National Guard to Patrol Subways

Mar 07, 2024

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced a plan to deploy 1,000 members of the National Guard and state police to patrol New York City subway stations and to check bags of passengers. New York Civil Liberties Union head Donna Lieberman condemned the plan, saying, “These heavy-handed approaches will, like stop-and-frisk, be used to accost and profile Black and Brown New Yorkers, ripping a page straight out of the Giuliani playbook. Today’s announcement fails to address longstanding problems of homelessness, poverty, or access to mental health care.”

Jury Finds “Rust” Armorer Guilty in 2022 On-Set Killing of Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins

Mar 07, 2024

In New Mexico, a jury found Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the weapons handler on the film “Rust,” guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the 2022 killing of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins by a loaded prop gun. Jurors agreed that Gutierrez-Reed, whose father is a prominent armorer in Hollywood, displayed “willful disregard for the safety of others.” She faces up to 18 months in prison. Alec Baldwin, who fired the gun during a rehearsal, is the star and a producer of “Rust”; he will face his own manslaughter trial in July.

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