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HeadlinesApril 08, 2024

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Palestinians Return to a Decimated Khan Younis as Hunger Grips Gaza, Death Toll Tops 33,100

Apr 08, 2024

Palestinians are returning to the devastated city of Khan Younis after Israel withdrew troops from southern Gaza to prepare for an attack on Rafah. Residents of Khan Younis say the city has been largely reduced to rubble and smells like death. The temporary troop withdrawal comes six months after Israel began its assault on Gaza following the Hamas attack on October 7.

The official death toll in Gaza has topped 33,100, but many fear the actual number is far higher. The Guardian reports tens of thousands have disappeared in Gaza over the past six months with their whereabouts unknown.

On Friday, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres repeated his call for a ceasefire and the release of all hostages still held in Gaza.

Secretary-General António Guterres: “More than half the population — over a million people — are facing catastrophic hunger. Children in Gaza today are dying for lack of food and water. This is incomprehensible and entirely avoidable. Nothing can justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people.”

On Friday, the head of Save the Children U.S., Janti Soeripto, addressed the U.N. Security Council.

Janti Soeripto: “Three hundred and fifty thousand children under the age of 5 are at risk of starvation as we speak. The world is staring down the barrel of a man-made famine. The hunger in the north is of a particular concern, where people have now resulted to eat animal feed or tree leaves. If we continue down this path of all parties to conflict flagrantly breaching the rule of war and international humanitarian law, zero accountability, powerful nations refusing to use the levers of influence at their disposal, then the next set of mass deaths of children in Gaza will not be from bullets and bombs. It will be from starvation and malnutrition.”


“Al-Shifa Has Become a Graveyard”: Video Reveals Complete Destruction of Gaza Hospital by Israel

Apr 08, 2024

More video has emerged from Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, which was largely destroyed during Israel’s two-week siege. This is Jonathan Whittall of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs speaking on the grounds of Al-Shifa.

Jonathan Whittall: “We’re here in what used to be Shifa Hospital in the north of Gaza, in Gaza City. Hospitals should always be places of safety. Hospitals should always be protected, places of healing. And yet I’m standing around in the midst of utter devastation. Shifa has literally become a graveyard. There are bodies still in this courtyard. The buildings have been completely destroyed.”


Nicaragua Accuses Germany of Enabling Genocide in Gaza at World Court

Apr 08, 2024

The International Court of Justice has begun a hearing in The Hague to decide whether Germany has violated the Genocide Convention by providing military and financial aid to Israel. The case was brought by Nicaragua, which accused Germany of facilitating the commission of genocide in Gaza. Nicaraguan Ambassador Carlos José Argüello Gómez addressed the court earlier today.

Carlos José Argüello Gómez: “In the present case, Nicaragua is also requesting the court to order that Germany should cease providing support to Israel in its campaign of destruction of the Palestinian people. But in the present case, Nicaragua is acting not only on its own behalf on the basis of the rights and obligations conferred by the peremptory norms invoked, but also on behalf of the Palestinian people, that is being subjected to one of the most destructive military actions in modern history.”

The ICJ hearing is being held as Al Jazeera reports a group of 600 civil servants in Germany has written to Chancellor Olaf Scholz calling on him to immediately cease arms deliveries to Israel.

40 Democratic Lawmakers, Including Pelosi, Urge Biden to Halt Arms Transfers to Israel

Apr 08, 2024

In Washington, 40 Democratic members of Congress, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have written to President Biden, urging him to halt new arms transfers to Israel following Israel’s killing of seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen last week. The lawmakers wrote, “In light of the recent strike against aid workers and the ever-worsening humanitarian crisis, we believe it is unjustifiable to approve these weapons transfers.”

Ceasefire Talks Continue in Cairo as Gaza Death Toll Mounts

Apr 08, 2024

Talks over a ceasefire and hostage deal are continuing in Cairo, but there are conflicting reports on how much progress has been made. Israel and Hamas both sent negotiators on Sunday, a day after CIA Director William Burns arrived in Cairo.


Israelis Escalate Protests Against Benjamin Netanyahu

Apr 08, 2024

In Israel, as many as 100,000 protesters rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday calling for a deal to release the hostages and for new elections.


Prominent Palestinian Political Prisoner and Novelist Walid Daqqa Dies of Cancer

Apr 08, 2024

One of the most prominent Palestinian prisoners jailed has died from cancer in an Israel prison. The novelist Walid Daqqa had spent the past 38 years locked up after being arrested for involvement in the killing of an Israeli soldier. Rights groups had been pressuring Israel to release Daqqa, saying he was in dire need of medical attention. Last month, Amnesty International called for his release, saying that since October 7, he had been tortured, humiliated and denied family visits.

20 Pomona College Students Arrested After Occupying President’s Office

Apr 08, 2024

Protests over Israel’s assault on Gaza continue across the globe. In California, 20 students at Pomona protested the removal of a mock Apartheid Wall that had been built on campus. The students were also calling for Pomona College to divest from companies aiding Israel’s occupation.

IAEA Warns Drone Attacks on Zaporizhzhia Could Lead to Nuclear Disaster

Apr 08, 2024

The International Atomic Energy Agency is warning recent drone strikes on a nuclear reactor at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia plant in Ukraine could increase the risk of a major nuclear accident. The IAEA did not say who carried out the strikes, but Russia has accused Ukraine of carrying out three recent drone strikes on Zaporizhzhia, the largest nuclear plant in Europe.

In other news from Ukraine, Russia is continuing to intensify its attacks on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. On Saturday, at least seven people died in drone strikes that hit residential areas. Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned Ukraine could soon run out of air defense missiles.

President Volodymyr Zelensky: “The current intensity of Russia is quite high. As of today, we have a reserve of air defense missiles, but I believe we need to think about tomorrow. The intensity could stay the same, and then we wouldn’t have enough. If they keep hitting Ukraine every day the way they have for the last month, we might run out of missiles.”

Zelensky’s comments come as Republican lawmakers in Washington remain deeply divided over sending more military aid to Ukraine. Embattled Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson is expected to unveil a new Ukraine funding bill in the coming days.

Biden to Host Japanese & Filipino Leaders as Nations Hold War Games in South China Sea

Apr 08, 2024

The United States, Japan, Australia and the Philippines are holding their first joint war exercises in the South China Sea. On Thursday, President Biden is planning to host Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. at the White House. On Sunday, the Chinese military held surprise navy drills in the South China Sea to counter the U.S.-led war games. Over the weekend, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang in Beijing. Yellen said U.S.-China relations are now on a “more stable footing.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen: “As I have said, the United States seeks a healthy economic relationship with China that benefits both sides. But a healthy relationship must provide a level playing field for firms and workers in both countries.”

During an interview on CNBC, Yellen refused to rule out tariffs on Chinese green exports as China ramps up production of solar power technology, electric vehicles and lithium batteries.

Mexico Cuts Diplomatic Ties with Ecuador After Raid on Mexican Embassy in Quito

Apr 08, 2024

Mexico has cut diplomatic ties with Ecuador and withdrawn its embassy personnel from Quito after Ecuadorian police and military forces raided the Mexican Embassy Friday to arrest former Ecuadorian Vice President Jorge Glas, who had taken refuge there for months. Mexico had granted Glas asylum protections just hours before dozens of police and military forces stormed the Mexican Embassy. Glas served under former leftist Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. Glas is being investigated for corruption and was previously convicted on graft charges, which he and allies have denounced as politically motivated. The raid on Mexico’s Embassy in Quito has sparked condemnation across Latin America and the world. This is Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Bárcena.

Alicia Bárcena: “Mexico repeats its condemnation of the violation of the immunity of its embassy in Quito and the aggression toward its staff. … As per instructions of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, we are coordinating the return of all of our diplomatic staff in Ecuador, along with their families, after the violent attack carried out by Ecuadorian police in our embassy on the night of Friday, April 5th.”

“International Community Failed All of Us”: Rwanda Marks 30 Years Since 1994 Genocide

Apr 08, 2024

Rwanda is holding a week of commemorations marking the 30th anniversary of the 1994 genocide, during which up to 1 million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by militia members. Rwandan President Paul Kagame said in a speech Sunday the international community “failed all of us.” This is Allan Ngari of Human Rights Watch.

Allan Ngari: “I think it’s the responsibility of the international community that this should never happen again. And we have a classical example of a country that at the time was seen to be of no strategic importance when the lives of so many people were at stake. We had a United Nations peacekeeping operation that was effectively dismantled, and its size was reduced drastically at the point where the Rwandan people really needed the international community to speak up and actually reinforce that peacekeeping operation. And because the international community failed to do so, then we lost over 800,000 people.”

In 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron acknowledged France’s role in failing to stop the genocide.

Declassified U.S. documents show the Clinton administration refused to label the 1994 mass killings in Rwanda as a genocide. One State Department document read, “Be careful … Genocide finding could commit the U.S. government to actually 'do something.'”

Israeli President Isaac Herzog traveled to Rwanda for the 30-year commemoration, where he met with President Kagame. Kagame has been president since 2000 and has led a harsh crackdown on the press. He is also accused of fueling deadly violence in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Trump Raises $50M in Lavish Fundraiser as He Promises More Billionaire Tax Cuts If Reelected

Apr 08, 2024

Donald Trump pulled in $50 million at a campaign fundraiser hosted by the billionaire hedge fund investor John Paulson. At the fundraising dinner in Florida, Trump told supporters he would extend his 2017 tax cuts which aided billionaires.

Meanwhile, ProPublica is reporting Trump’s legal team may have violated ethics rules by not telling an appellate court that a billionaire financier had agreed to help Trump post the full $464 million bond set by the court in his civil fraud case. Despite the offer from billionaire Don Hankey, Trump’s lawyers told the court it was a “practical impossibility” to pay the original bond, which was then lowered to $175 million.

Police Arrest Suspect in Act of Arson on Bernie Sanders’s Vermont Office

Apr 08, 2024

In Vermont, a man has been arrested over a suspected act of arson on Senator Bernie Sanders’s office in Burlington. Authorities say security footage captured the suspect spraying what appeared to be accelerant outside the office door Friday morning. A motive has not been identified.

FAA Probing Loss of Engine Cover During Takeoff on Southwest Airlines Boeing Aircraft

Apr 08, 2024

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating after the engine cover on a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane fell off during takeoff, striking the wing flap and forcing the aircraft to return to Denver International Airport. It’s the latest high-profile incident on a Boeing aircraft as the beleaguered company comes under mounting scrutiny over its safety failures.

6 New York Inmates Will View Eclipse from Prison Courtyard After Winning Case Against Lockdown

Apr 08, 2024

Millions of people across the U.S., Canada and Mexico will be donning protective glasses this afternoon to witness a much-anticipated solar eclipse. In New York’s Sullivan County, six prisoners at the Woodbourne Correctional Facility will be among those gathering outside to view the rare event, after winning a lawsuit that argued forcing them to remain indoors was a violation of their religious beliefs. The prison has issued a lockdown during the time of the eclipse, which will peak in New York around 3:25 p.m.

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