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HeadlinesApril 23, 2024

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More Bodies Uncovered at Nasser Hospital Grave as U.N. Warns of Intergenerational Trauma in Gaza

Apr 23, 2024

Civil Defense workers in Gaza have now recovered at least 310 bodies buried in a mass grave at the Nasser Medical Complex in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. Earlier today, U.N. Human Rights Chief Volker Türk said he was “horrified” by the mass grave which was found two weeks after Israeli forces ended its siege on the hospital. Some of the bodies found had their hands tied behind their backs.

Today marks 200 days since Israel launched its assault on Gaza. On Monday, the U.N. special rapporteur on the right to health, Tlaleng Mofokeng, warned the impact of the Israeli war will be felt for generations.

Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng: “Mental health, intergenerational trauma, the kinds of acute assistance, medical debriefing, psychological debriefing, that many children still have not received, is of serious concern. And often, of course, we see the physical injury, and because it’s physical, one can appreciate the severity of it. But the acute mental distress, that will then turn into anxiety and other kinds of mental illnesses later on in life, is really, really important to start thinking intentionally about.”

U.N. Commission Says Israel Still Has Not Provided Evidence of Oct. 7 Allegations Against UNRWA

Apr 23, 2024

An independent U.N. commission headed by a former French foreign minister says Israel has offered no evidence to back up its allegations that employees of the U.N. aid agency UNRWA participated in the October 7 attacks by Hamas. The report states,”the Israeli government has not informed Unrwa of any concerns relating to any Unrwa staff based on these staff lists since 2011”.

Allegations by Israel led many countries to temporarily cut off funding just as the humanitarian crisis was intensifying in Gaza. U.S. lawmakers have banned UNRWA funding for the next year.

Gaza Solidarity Encampments and Protests Burgeon Across College Campuses Amid Police Crackdown

Apr 23, 2024

Palestinian solidarity protests and encampments are spreading on college campuses across the country, inspired by the Gaza Solidarity Encampment at Columbia University. Here in New York, police raided a student encampment at New York University Monday night. Police arrested more than 150 people, including students and faculty members. Earlier on Monday, police at Yale University arrested 60 protesters, including 47 students who had set up a campus encampment to demand the school divest from weapons manufacturers.

At Columbia University, the student encampment has entered its seventh day. On Monday night, about 100 student protesters and faculty took part in a Gaza Liberation Seder to mark the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Student encampments are now in place at numerous other schools, including the University of Michigan, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Maryland, MIT and Emerson College in Boston. Yasser Munif is a professor at Emerson.

Yasser Munif: “I want Emerson to listen to the students, hear them, understand their perspective, also open space for a discussion of Palestine, the discussion of the genocide in Palestine, in Gaza, and allow the students to express themselves — freedom of speech, academic freedom.”

PEN America Forced to Cancel Awards Ceremony Amid Fallout over Gaza Stance

Apr 23, 2024

In more protest news, PEN America has canceled its awards ceremony after roughly half of this year’s nominees withdrew from literary prizes to protest what they called “PEN’s complicity in normalizing genocide.” The estate of Jean Stein, which awards a $75,000 prize each year, requested the money be directed instead to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund.

Google Fires Another 20 Employees in Retaliation for Project Nimbus Protest

Apr 23, 2024

Google has fired another 20 employees in retaliation for last week’s protest against Project Nimbus, Google’s cloud computing contract with Israel. The firings reportedly included workers who were simply bystanders during the sit-in. Google has now fired some 50 workers in connection with the protest.

Prosecution and Defense Offer Opening Arguments in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

Apr 23, 2024

In a Manhattan courtroom, both the prosecution and defense delivered opening statements Monday in Donald Trump’s criminal hush money case — the first of four criminal cases Trump is facing. Prosecutors said Trump’s $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016 — and his efforts to cover it up by falsifying business records — constituted “election fraud, pure and simple.” Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyer Todd Blanche argued the former president did not do anything illegal, saying, “There’s nothing wrong with trying to influence an election.” The court heard briefly from the prosecution’s first witness, David Pecker, former publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid. He is taking the stand again today. The court will also consider arguments from prosecutors that Trump has repeatedly violated his gag order.

Meanwhile, Trump’s valet Walt Nauta, a co-defendant in Trump’s classified documents case, was reportedly told he would be pardoned if he lied to the FBI and Trump was reelected as president.

Liberal Justices Challenge Oregon City’s Homelessness Ban as SCOTUS Considers Key Case

Apr 23, 2024

The conservative-ruled U.S. Supreme Court appeared to side with an Oregon city’s crackdown on unhoused people in a key case that could have devastating implications nationwide. The case centers around the small city of Grants Pass, Oregon, which has banned people from sleeping with a blanket or pillow on any public land, despite not having public shelters. Those who violate the ban can face hundreds of dollars in fines. Liberal Justice Elena Kagan highlighted the absurdity of the city’s ban.

Justice Elena Kagan: “Well, sleeping is” —

Theane Evangelis: “Regulations are very” —

Justice Elena Kagan: — “a biological necessity. It’s sort of like breathing. I mean, you could say breathing is conduct, too, but, presumably, you would not think that it’s OK to criminalize breathing in public.”

Fellow liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor also challenged the Grants Pass attorney, arguing the city does not arrest babies or stargazers who bring blankets to public parks.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor: “Where do we put them, if every city, every village, every town lacks compassion” —

Theane Evangelis: “We” —

Justice Sonia Sotomayor: — “and passes a law identical to this? Where are they supposed to sleep? Are they supposed to kill themselves, not sleeping?”

Outside the Supreme Court, hundreds of housing justice activists gathered to demonstrate. Among those addressing the crowd were Bishop William Barber of the Poor People’s Campaign.

Bishop William Barber II: “Laws that make it a crime to be poor are unjust. Laws that would penalize homeless folk for sleeping in public parks is unjust, excessive and cruel and unusual punishment, and it has no place in America.”

Two Mexican Mayoral Candidates Killed in One Day, Less Than 2 Months Away from Elections

Apr 23, 2024

In Mexico, two mayoral candidates were killed Friday: Noé Ramos Ferretiz in Tamaulipas state and Alberto García in Oaxaca. Seventeen candidates have been murdered in the run-up to the June 2 election in Mexico, where drug cartels often target mayors as they seek to control local police departments and municipal authorities.


Biden Administration Issues Rule Protecting Privacy of Reproductive Healthcare

Apr 23, 2024

The Biden administration on Monday issued a new rule protecting the privacy of patients seeking reproductive healthcare. The rule, which bars the disclosure of patients’ medical records, applies even when someone travels out of state for an abortion, IVF or other reproductive healthcare.

Biden Announces $7B Solar Energy Plan, Including Thousands of American Climate Corps Jobs

Apr 23, 2024

President Biden announced a $7 billion investment in solar energy on Monday, Earth Day. The money, which comes from the Inflation Reduction Act, will fund dozens of solar projects around the country and create an estimated 200,000 jobs. Biden made the announcement in Virginia’s Prince William Forest Park, flanked by Senators Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey and Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

President Joe Biden: “I will put tens of thousands young people to work at the forefront of our climate resilience and energy future, clean energy future. Today, I’m proud to announce that Americans across the country can now apply — now apply — to become the first members of the American Climate Corps. We’re recruiting for over 2,000 positions in 36 states, to start with, in Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, with many on the way.”

Black and Indigenous Climate Leaders Organize Against Citigroup’s Funding of Fossil Fuels

Apr 23, 2024

Environmental activists from around the world are gathered in New York this week, where they held a first-of-its-kind Earth Day hearing on Citigroup’s environmental racism Monday. Citibank is the world’s second-largest funder of coal, oil and gas. Roishetta Ozane is a Black environmental leader from Sulphur, Louisiana, who has been leading the fight against the Citibank-funded LNG buildout in her community.

Roishetta Ozane: “We are calling for Citibank to commit to end funding and financing services for new and expanding liquefied methane gas projects and their parent companies, including all projects that have already been built and those that have not been built or those that have not reached a final investment decision. This is a critical time for Citi to assess climate, community and human rights impacts of the methane gas sector.”

Students File Complaints Against Universities’ Ties to Fossil Fuel Industry

Apr 23, 2024

Students from Columbia, Tulane and the University of Virginia filed complaints with their states’ attorneys general, arguing their universities’ fossil fuel investments are illegal and counter to their missions. The students cite a law which requires nonprofit institutions to prioritize “charitable purposes” when they invest. They also highlight the hypocrisy of the colleges conducting climate research while helping to financially fuel the crisis.

South Korean Youth Activists Take Government to Court over Climate Crisis

Apr 23, 2024

In South Korea, a court heard from youth climate activists and their families, who accuse the government of failing to meaningfully act on climate change. It’s believed to be the first such case in Asia; similar cases have been filed in Europe and the U.S. This is the mother of two children plaintiffs.

Lee Donghyun: “Carbon emission reduction keeps getting pushed back as if it is a homework that can be done later. But that burden will be what our children have to bear eventually.”

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