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HeadlinesApril 04, 2024

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José Andrés Condemns “Systematic Targeting” of World Central Kitchen Aid Workers

Apr 04, 2024

The founder of World Central Kitchen, Chef José Andrés, has accused Israel of systematically targeting the seven aid workers who were killed Monday in a series of drone strikes in Gaza. Chef Andrés spoke to Reuters on Wednesday.

José Andrés: “At the end, it’s what we know, what everybody knows, that seven team members between the specialty security people we have — three British individuals and three international crew, plus one Palestinian — that they were targeted systematically, car by car.”

The killing of the aid workers has sparked global outrage. World Central Kitchen and other aid groups have halted aid deliveries at a time when northern Gaza is facing famine. The United Nations has temporarily halted all operations at night in Gaza for at least 48 hours to reassess security protocols. According to the U.N., 196 aid workers have been killed in Gaza since October 7.

President Biden is scheduled to speak with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today as the official death toll in Gaza tops 33,000.

Biden has said he was outraged by the attack on the aid workers, but the U.S. is continuing to arm Israel. Palestinians say the attack on the aid workers is part of a broader campaign to starve the people of Gaza.

Hiyam Mouamer: “They bombed the World Central Kitchen to starve the Palestinian people, so that the Palestinian people do not survive in their land and homeland. We call on all Arab peoples to stand with us and witness what has happened to the Palestinian people. The Palestinian people are humiliated. Their dignity was stripped away. We no longer have homes or anything. The Palestinian people have been living in humiliation from the 1948 war until now.”

Israeli Military Uses AI to Target Palestinians for Assassination

Apr 04, 2024

The Israeli publication +972 has exposed how the Israeli military has used an artificial intelligence program known as Lavender to develop a “kill list” in Gaza that includes as many as 37,000 Palestinians who were targeted for assassination with little human oversight. A second AI system known as “Where’s Daddy?” tracked Palestinian men on the kill list. It was purposely designed to help Israel target individuals when they were at home at night with their families.

Palestinians Search Ruins of Al-Shifa for Loved Ones After Israel Obliterates Hospital

Apr 04, 2024

The World Health Organization is warning many patients could soon die if they are not evacuated from Al-Shifa Hospital, which has been left in ruins after a two-week Israeli military siege. Medical crews have found hundreds of bodies scattered across the medical complex. Palestinians are still searching the grounds for loved ones.

Abdullah Abu Elouf: “I am now searching for six people we lost in the war: my sister, all of her children, and my niece, Alma. May Allah have mercy on her. I have found no trace of them. They were buried here, and we don’t know what happened to their bodies or where they went. We don’t know anything. Here we find a number of uncovered bodies, and they are unidentified. We don’t know what to do with them.”

Netanyahu’s Main Rival Benny Gantz Calls for September Elections in Israel

Apr 04, 2024

Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz has called for early elections to be held in September. Gantz is the top political rival to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who continues to face daily protests in Israel.


U.K. Under Pressure to Halt Israeli Arms Sales; Spain to Recognize Palestinian Statehood by July

Apr 04, 2024

In Britain, pressure is growing on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to suspend arms sales to Israel. Three former British Supreme Court justices have joined hundreds of lawyers, legal academics and retired judges to warn that continued arms sales could make Britain complicit in genocide. This is David Lammy, foreign policy chief of the opposition Labour Party.

David Lammy: “All of the British public can see the scenes coming out of Gaza, children lying in rubble, deep concerns being made about international human rights law. And for all of those reasons, that advice should be published. And if it is the case that international law has been contravened, then it is absolutely right that offensive arms are suspended to Israel.”

Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez says his country will recognize Palestinian statehood by July. This comes as Palestine’s U.N. representatives have renewed a push for full membership at the international body.

Here in New York, tallies from Tuesday’s primary election show around 12% of Democratic voters in New York state cast a blank ballot instead of voting for President Biden over his support for Israel’s assault on Gaza.

Russian Drones Kill 4 People in Kharkiv, Including Rescue Workers

Apr 04, 2024

In Ukraine, Russian drones hit multiple apartment buildings in Kharkiv early this morning, killing at least four people, including rescue workers. This is a 77-year-old survivor of the attack.

Zhanna Kravchenko: “It is dark there, impossible to see. All the windows are broken, everything blown out. Nothing is left. It’s good that we are alive. Thank God.”

NATO members met Wednesday to discuss long-term military funding for Ukraine. NATO is weighing a possible $100 billion, five-year fund in what’s seen as a “Trump-proof” way of ensuring continued support to Kyiv.

In related news, Ukraine is lowering its conscription age from 27 to 25 as the war grinds on for a third year following Russia’s invasion.

Russian Court Sentences Pussy Riot Activist Pyotr Verzilov to 8 Years in Absentia

Apr 04, 2024

In Russia, a court has sentenced in absentia Russian Canadian artist and Pussy Riot activist Pyotr Verzilov to eight years in prison for social media posts condemning the invasion of Ukraine. Verzilov announced last year he had joined the Ukrainian army fighting against Russian forces, though his current whereabouts are uncertain.

Turkey Restores Election Victory of Pro-Kurdish Mayoral Candidate Following Unrest

Apr 04, 2024

Turkey’s top election authority says it is reinstating the victory of Abdullah Zeydan of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Equality and Democracy Party, after his removal led to protests and a crackdown by police. Zeydan won over 55% of the vote in the eastern city of Van in Sunday’s elections, but the city’s election board denied him victory, saying he was disqualified due to a previous conviction. The local election board had said the mayorship should instead go to the candidate of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AK Party, who won just 27% of the vote. Abdullah Zeydan’s reinstatement is the latest blow to President Erdoğan after the opposition Republican People’s Party won mayoral races in Turkey’s five largest cities Sunday.


Kenya’s Public Sector Doctors Enter Third Week on Strike

Apr 04, 2024

In Kenya, public hospital doctors are in their third week of a nationwide strike over pay issues. The doctors’ union has taken their protest to the street as it demands the Kenyan government pay them for past wages they are still owed, and hire over 3,000 unemployed medical interns.

Alphonse Otieno: “Medical services are not free. You cannot tell us that medicine is a calling. Apart from being a calling, medicine is a career. It is a career. We need to be paid. We are human beings.”

The ongoing strike has led to major disruptions in healthcare across Kenya, but the government says they don’t have the funds to fulfill strikers’ demands as it navigates a looming debt crisis.

Zimbabwe Declares National Disaster over Drought; Philippines Schools Close Amid Extreme Heat Wave

Apr 04, 2024

Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has declared a national disaster over the protracted drought plaguing the region, warning some 2.7 million people will face hunger this year. Zambia and Malawi have also declared states of disaster related to the drought, which has triggered a massive grain shortage.

In the Philippines, hundreds of schools were forced to close this week due to extreme heat and an elevated risk of heat stroke. The heat index hit over 111 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas.

Scientists have confirmed this March was the hottest ever recorded. It was also the 10th consecutive month to set a global heat record.

New York Judge Overseeing Trump Hush Money Case Rejects Bid to Delay April 15 Trial

Apr 04, 2024

New York Judge Juan Merchan has denied Donald Trump’s latest attempt to use a presidential immunity defense, this time in his criminal hush money case. Merchan also rejected Trump’s bid to delay the trial’s April 15 start.

109-Year-Old Survivors of Tulsa Race Massacre Appeal to Oklahoma Supreme Court in Reparations Case

Apr 04, 2024

The last two survivors of the 1921 Tulsa race massacre appeared at Oklahoma’s Supreme Court this week in a bid to revive their reparations lawsuit. An estimated 300 Black people were killed when a white mob burned down what was known as “Black Wall Street,” the thriving African American neighborhood of Greenwood. Viola Fletcher and Lessie Benningfield Randle are now both 109. In a statement, the two women said, “We are grateful that our now-weary bodies have held on long enough to witness an America, and an Oklahoma, that provides Race Massacre survivors with the opportunity to access the legal system. … The Oklahoma Supreme Court has the power to open the doors of justice.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Was Assassinated 56 Years Ago, April 4, 1968

Apr 04, 2024

Today marks the 56th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., who was shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. King’s family members are holding their annual wreath-laying ceremony today in Atlanta.

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