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HeadlinesMay 14, 2024

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Israel Strikes UNRWA School, Intensifies Air and Ground Attacks Across Gaza

May 14, 2024

In Gaza, Israeli bombs came down on the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza overnight, landing on a house and an UNRWA school housing displaced people. At least 14 people were killed, including children. Survivors desperately searched through the rubble for signs of life.

Abu Mohammed: “This is madness. They are targeting people, civilians. They have nothing to do with the resistance or with anything. They are children. I swear to God, they are children. She is the friend of my girl. They play together each day.”

This is an employee of the U.N. refugee agency UNRWA that was hit in Nuseirat.

Abu Abdaullah Zuhair Abu Rahma: “It happened around 2:05 a.m. in a place sheltering displaced people. They came to the school to be safe, and the school was hit without any warning. One of the school’s staff members was martyred, and it seems that there is no safe place in the Gaza Strip. There is no power nor strength except with God. This is enough. It’s enough. We ask God for safety.”

Elsewhere in the Gaza Strip, Israeli ground forces have surrounded evacuation zones and shelters in Jabaliya as Israel escalates attacks in the northern region.

20+ U.S. Medical Workers Trapped in Gaza, Face Severe Health Issues, After Israel Shuts Rafah Border

May 14, 2024

A new Human Rights Watch Report finds Israeli forces have attacked humanitarian aid convoys and buildings at least eight times since October 7 despite being given their coordinates, and without warning. This comes as U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday called for a full investigation after a U.N. aid worker was killed and another injured when their clearly marked vehicle was attacked in Rafah as they traveled to the European Hospital. More than 190 U.N. staff have been killed in Gaza since October 7.

Meanwhile, inside Rafah’s European Hospital, over 20 U.S. medical volunteers are now reportedly trapped and unable to return home after Israel sealed off the Rafah border crossing last week. Like many Gazans, the U.S. medical workers are now facing dehydration and other deadly health conditions. The Intercept’s Ryan Grim questioned State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel over the fate of the U.S. doctors.

Ryan Grim: “What does it say about conditions more generally in Rafah and in Khan Younis if American doctors, only arrived recently, are already suffering from dehydration and malnutrition?”

Vedant Patel: “So, look, we have not been unambiguous about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. It is a crisis. No amount of humanitarian aid at this moment is enough.”

The State Department spokesperson also criticized Israeli settlers who were seen in a video blocking a Jordanian aid convoy headed toward Gaza, throwing food into the road and setting fire to vehicles at the Tarqumiya checkpoint near Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

Hashem Ghazal, Leading Figure in Palestine’s Deaf Community, Killed with Wife in Israeli Airstrike

May 14, 2024

As the death toll in Gaza tops 35,000, Palestinians mourned on Monday the killing of Hashem Ghazal, a disability rights advocate who was known as Gaza’s “Godfather of the Deaf.” Hashem Ghazal was killed in an Israeli airstrike along with his wife. They had nine children, seven of whom were reportedly severely injured in the strike.

U.S. Army Officer Resigns over “Enabling and Empowering the Killing and Starvation of Palestinians”

May 14, 2024

A U.S. Army officer working at the Defense Intelligence Agency has resigned to protest what he called the United States’ “unqualified support” for Israel’s war on Gaza. Major Harrison Mann wrote in a post online that the U.S. has “enabled and empowered the killing and starvation of tens of thousands of innocent Palestinians.” He went on to write, “As the descendant of European Jews, I was raised in a particularly unforgiving moral environment when it came to the topic of bearing responsibility for ethnic cleansing.”

At Least 10 Israeli Military Members Have Died by Suicide Since Oct. 7

May 14, 2024
Image Credit: Israel Defense Forces/Flickr

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz is reporting at least 10 Israeli officers and soldiers have died by suicide since October 7. The total number of suicides is likely even higher since the list does not include soldiers who died after they were discharged.

“This Was All About the Campaign”: Michael Cohen Testifies in Trump Hush Money Trial

May 14, 2024
Image Credit: Jane Rosenberg

Michael Cohen took the stand Monday in Donald Trump’s criminal election interference trial and testified that Trump, his former boss, instructed him to make a $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels in order to protect his 2016 presidential run. The arrangement, which was made between Cohen, Trump and then-Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, included a plan to reimburse Cohen for the payment, which involved falsifying business documents by classifying them as “legal expenses” — falsely claiming they were payments to Cohen for his services as Trump’s “personal lawyer.”

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former fixer, told the court Trump said, “Women will hate me … This is going to be a disaster for the campaign.” Cohen also said, “He wasn’t thinking about Melania — this was all about the campaign.” According to Cohen, Trump also urged him to drag out negotiations with Daniels past the November election, saying, “If I win, it has no relevance because I’m president, and if I lose, I don’t really care.”

Democrats May Investigate Trump Comments Suggesting Quid Pro Quo with Oil Execs If Reelected

May 14, 2024

Democratic senators say it’s “highly likely” they will investigate the former president following reports that Trump told oil executives he would enact environmental policy rollbacks in exchange for $1 billion in campaign contributions. Trump reportedly made the offer at a dinner at his Mar-a-Lago Club last month.

Blinken in Ukraine to Show U.S. Support Amid Russian Advances in East

May 14, 2024

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Ukraine on a surprise visit in his first trip to Kyiv since Congress approved $61 billion in additional military aid for Ukraine. Blinken’s trip comes days after Russia launched a new ground offensive targeting Ukraine’s Kharkiv region.

Australia Sentences Whistleblower to 5+ Years; U.K. Court Ruling Expected on Assange Extradition

May 14, 2024
Image Credit: David McBride

In Australia, former military lawyer and whistleblower David McBride was sentenced to over five years in prison for sharing classified material about Australian war crimes in Afghanistan. The sentencing comes seven years after ABC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, published the leaked information in a report called “The Afghan Files.”

In related news, a court in London is expected to rule next Monday on whether to accept U.S. government assurances that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will receive First Amendment protections if extradited to the U.S. and put on trial for espionage and that he won’t be executed if found guilty.

Death Toll from Brazilian Floods Mounts as Residents Question Livability of Region

May 14, 2024

In Brazil, the death toll from ongoing flooding in Rio Grande do Sul has reached 147. Over 100 people are missing, and half a million others have been displaced. Authorities warn more floods and landslides could be on their way as rain continues to plague the southern state. This is a resident in one of the stricken towns.

Maria Marlene Venancio: “I’ll be quite honest, I think that in the future, Muçum will become a river. This flood left a lot of soil, a lot of sand, took a lot of trees into the town. We really have to think that it is going to be very difficult for us to live here.”

Climate Protesters Disrupt Italian Open

May 14, 2024
Image Credit: Ultima Generazione

Climate protesters disrupted the Italian Open on Monday. Members of the group Last Generation poured white paint and threw confetti on the tennis court during a match while other activists cemented their feet to the stands. The action comes as Italy is facing a major drought.

5,000+ Mercedes-Benz Workers in Alabama Voting on Whether to Join UAW

May 14, 2024

Back in the U.S., over 5,000 workers at two Mercedes-Benz plants in Alabama are voting this week on whether to join the United Auto Workers union. Workers say Mercedes has repeatedly engaged in union busting, and Republican leaders, including Governor Kay Ivey, have also tried to stymie their efforts. But UAW says it believes workers will prevail, as it hopes to see its second major victory in the South since Volkswagen employees in Chattanooga, Tennessee, voted overwhelmingly last month to join the union.

Last night, employees of a Hyundai plant in Alabama joined Rev. William Barber’s Moral Monday mass in Montgomery to push their own union campaign.

Hyundai worker: “We give our all to the company, but we have no pension, no retirement, no healthcare. This is just wrong. And we’re going to try to make things right when we win our union.”

University of California Union Could Strike to Protest Violent Crackdown on Campus Encampments

May 14, 2024
Image Credit: United Auto Workers

In other labor news, unionized workers at the University of California have begun voting to authorize a strike to protest the violent crackdown on Gaza encampments at UCLA and other UC campuses. UAW said, “Our members have been beaten, concussed, pepper sprayed, both by counter-protestors and by police forces.”

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