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HeadlinesMay 07, 2024

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Israel Begins Ground Invasion of Rafah After Hamas Agrees to Ceasefire

May 07, 2024

Palestinians in Rafah say they are trapped as Israeli tanks have taken over the crossing on Gaza’s border with Egypt. The U.N. says Israel is denying access to the southern Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing, as aid groups warn of impending catastrophe amid chaotic scenes of families fleeing with no safe option for shelter. The area came under heavy aerial bombardment again overnight as Israel vowed to continue its attacks on Rafah even after Hamas said it had accepted a ceasefire proposal advanced by Qatari and Egyptian mediators Monday. Israel rejected the ceasefire but said it would send a delegation to Cairo for further talks. We’ll go to Rafah later in the broadcast to get the latest from Palestinian journalist Akram al-Satarri.

Israel Used U.S. Weapons in Lebanon Attack That Killed 7 Health Workers

May 07, 2024

A Guardian investigation found Israel used a U.S.-made weapon in the March 27 airstrike which killed seven emergency healthcare workers in southern Lebanon. Rights groups say the attack was a violation of international law.

Students Continue Gaza Solidarity Protests, Defying Arrests, Suspensions

May 07, 2024

Gaza solidarity protests continue at college campuses across the nation — as does the police crackdown. On Monday, 43 arrests were reported at UCLA. At the University of California San Diego, video shows a crowd of student protesters blocking a police bus from leaving with arrested students. This comes after UC Riverside protesters announced Friday it has become the first UC campus to reach a deal with the school to start evaluating its ties with Israel.

Harvard and MIT Students Defy Deadlines for Ending Protests, Receive Faculty Support

May 07, 2024

At Harvard, students and faculty members rallied Monday after the administration threatened mass expulsions for hundreds of arrested protesters. This is Issa, a Palestinian student at Harvard who’s lost over 120 family members in Gaza.

Issa: “Over the last six months, more than 124 people in my family have been brutally killed by the Israeli occupation forces.”

Protesters: “Shame!”

Issa: “For the last six months, I have had to wake up to messages of my cousin being shot on his bike, of my aunt going blind because she can’t get medication for her blood pressure, of my entire uncle’s house falling down on them. … There is nothing, nothing this country can do, nothing the police can do, nothing this administration can do to me, that will scare me from fighting for justice!”

Harvard professor Walter Johnson spoke to students in solidarity with their protest.

Walter Johnson: “There’s no room for reasoned discussion about this action, if Harvard will not disclose its investments in the Occupied Territories, in the Israeli military and in Gaza.”

Nearby, students from a dozen high schools in the Boston area joined the MIT protest Monday as students there also defied a deadline to clear their encampment.

SUNY Purchase Agrees to Student Demands; Columbia Cancels Commencement Ceremony

May 07, 2024

Students at SUNY Purchase in New York state celebrated late Monday as Gaza solidarity activists announced the school had met protesters’ demands “to disclose and cut ties with war crimes and genocide.”

Here in New York City, Columbia has canceled its main, university-wide graduation ceremony on May 15 amid mounting fallout from its mishandling of the protests. Students across New York and other protesters marched through city streets Monday, culminating in a rally near the glitzy, celebrity-filled Met Gala ceremony, where they were met with a heavy police presence.

Gaza Solidarity Encampments Form in Copenhagen, Barcelona; French High Schoolers Join Movement

May 07, 2024

Student protests and encampments are continuing to spread around the globe, as well, including in Denmark, where students have occupied Copenhagen University. In Spain, students at Barcelona University are also demanding their school divest from Israel.

Daniele Vico: “We want to firmly condemn the genocide that is happening right now. And we believe that as Western people and Western young people, we have a privilege which we have to put at the service of the people who do not have a voice.”

In France, high school students have started to join in the protest movement, organizing strikes and demonstrations.

Belgian Police Arrest 132 Climate Activists During Act of Peaceful Civil Disobedience

May 07, 2024

In Belgium, over 100 students have begun a peaceful occupation at Ghent University demanding the school sever ties with companies connected to Israel’s military and enact urgent actions to deal with the climate crisis.

In related news, at least 132 climate activists were arrested Saturday in a peaceful blockade calling on European governments to declare a climate emergency and end fossil fuel subsidies. Many of the activists glued themselves to the ground. The group Extinction Rebellion denounced excessive police violence against protesters, describing police actions as “illegal and authoritarian.”

Bomb Attacks on IDP Camps In Democratic Republic of Congo Kill 12 People, Incl. Children

May 07, 2024

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, at least 12 people, including children, were killed in two bomb attacks on camps for internally displaced communities near the city of Goma. Congolese and U.S. authorities blamed the bombings on Rwandan forces and the M23 armed group. Rwanda has refuted the accusations, saying the assaults were likely carried out by militias backed by the Congolese army. Intensifying violence in the eastern DRC has forced hundreds of thousands to flee. The U.N. described the attacks as a “flagrant violation of human rights and international humanitarian law and may constitute a war crime.”

Voters in Chad Cast Presidential Ballots 3 Years After Military Takeover

May 07, 2024

In Chad, voters went to the polls Monday in the Sahel region’s first election since a wave of coups in recent years. Chad’s current leader, President Mahamat Idriss Déby, is largely expected to win. He took power after his long-ruling father, Idriss Déby, was killed on the battlefield in 2021. Ten candidates were disqualified from the election, leading to a call to boycott the polls. Critics and opposition politicians have blasted the “dynastic dictatorship.” Voters say they want a leader who can improve the dire economic situation in Chad and guarantee peace.

Gali Doubaye: “We need peace. We’ve suffered enough in this country. We want a change. We really want a change, someone who can lead the country, who won’t have the conscience to ignore the suffering of Chadian youth. Chadian youth are suffering. Our parents send us to school, and we come back to fight in the neighborhoods. We’re fed up. There has to be a change.”

Chad is also home to over 1 million refugees, many of them from neighboring Sudan. The election results will take several weeks to be announced.


Russia to Launch Drills for Possible Deployment of Tactical Nuclear Weapons

May 07, 2024

In Moscow, Vladimir Putin was sworn in today for his fifth term as Russian president. Officials from the U.S. and many European Union nations were absent from the lavish Kremlin ceremony.

This comes a day after Russia said it will conduct missile drills near Ukraine for the possible use of tactical nuclear weapons in response to “threats” by Western leaders. Moscow said the escalation is motivated by recent comments by French President Emmanuel Macron, who again refused to rule out sending French troops to Ukraine, as well as U.K. Foreign Secretary David Cameron, who said last week Ukraine could use British weapons inside Russia. NATO blasted Russia’s move as “irresponsible.”

Tunisian Police Raid Refugee Encampments; Hundreds Reportedly Bused Then Abandoned in the Desert

May 07, 2024

In Tunisia, hundreds of refugees, including children and babies, are missing after police raided and dismantled several makeshift migrant tent camps in the capital Tunis over the weekend. It is believed the refugees, mostly from Sudan, were forcibly taken and abandoned in the desert near the border with Algeria. Some of the babies were born in Tunisia from refugee parents. One of the encampments had been built in an alleyway outside the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration office as refugees pleaded for help.

Heavy Rains Kill at Least 17 People in Haiti, Flood Thousands of Homes

May 07, 2024

In Haiti, at least 17 people have been killed after days of torrential rains and floods. Some 4,000 homes have been submerged in water as Haitians are already struggling with a spiraling economic and security situation. Much of the destruction is centralized in Haiti’s northern region. Residents remain on high alert.

Enoc Jean Batis: “We sleep badly, and we eat badly. Everything is complicated. For example, when it rains, we can’t sleep. We have to stay standing because water flows below us, so everybody stays standing. There’s no way we can lie to rest.”

Judge Merchan Fines Trump for Violating Gag Order for the 10th Time, Threatens Jail

May 07, 2024

The judge overseeing Donald Trump’s criminal 2016 election interference case in New York fined Trump $1,000 for his 10th violation of his gag order and threatened him with jail if he continues to violate the order. Trump has been barred from publicly speaking out about potential witnesses and members of the court or the New York District Attorney’s Office. Judge Juan Merchan said, “The last thing I want to do is put you in jail,” adding, “You are the former president of the United States and possibly the next president, as well.” But Merchan concluded, “At the end of the day, I have a job to do.”

On Monday, the 12th day of the trial, the court heard from two Trump Organization accounting employees who laid out the paper trail of hush money payments to Stormy Daniels via Trump’s former fixer and attorney Michael Cohen.

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