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HeadlinesMay 09, 2024

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Israel “Chokes Off Aid” to Gaza, Rains Down More Bombs on Rafah as Families Have Nowhere to Go

May 09, 2024

Israel continues to seal off Gaza’s Rafah border crossing, as the U.N. warns it is “choking off the entry of life-saving aid.” The U.N. adds that many of the 600,000 children taking shelter in Rafah are “highly vulnerable and at the edge of survival.” Save the Children also warns humanitarian operations will “come to a complete halt” unless Israel changes course in Rafah. The aid group says three-quarters of all child patients that have been treated in a so-called safe zone near Rafah have blast injuries. Tens of thousands of Palestinians are once again on the move, though many say their next destination is unknown, with no safe place to shelter in Gaza. As Israel prepares for its full-scale ground invasion in Rafah, Palestinians continue to die under aerial attacks.

Mohammed Khalil Abu Kaynass: “We were baking bread. We came to blood and martyrs scattered. We’re gathering them in body parts and pieces. The Civil Defense members came and gathered them in pieces. My friend died. They also picked him up in pieces. Everything is in pieces.”

Biden Says U.S. Will Cut Off Some Weapons to Israel If It Goes Further into Rafah

May 09, 2024

In an interview on CNN, President Biden said the U.S. will stop supplying certain weapons to Israel if its forces invade Rafah.

President Joe Biden: “If they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities, that deal with that problem. We’re going to continue to make sure Israel is secure in terms of Iron Dome and their ability to respond to attacks like came out of the Middle East recently. But it’s just wrong. We’re not going to supply the weapons and the artillery shells used, that have been used in cities” —

Erin Burnett: “Artillery shells, as well?”

President Joe Biden: “Yeah, artillery shells.”

Israel’s extreme-right national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, posted on X this morning, “Hamas [heart symbol] Biden.”

Protesters Greet Biden During Chicago Campaign Stop; Hostage Families Clash with Police in Tel Aviv

May 09, 2024

Biden was in Chicago Wednesday for another campaign fundraiser, where he was met with protesters who blocked downtown streets.

Meanwhile, in Tel Aviv, protesting hostage families clashed with police. Two arrests were made. The sister of a hostage was hospitalized. Her mother said in a social media video, “Bring back the hostages. Stop the war with Hamas.”

Health Workers Uncover 49 More Bodies at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital

May 09, 2024

Elsewhere in Gaza, health workers uncovered another 49 bodies at the decimated Al-Shifa Hospital Wednesday. Most of the bodies were decomposed, and some were found headless. Five hundred twenty bodies have been uncovered across three Gaza Strip hospitals in recent weeks after attacks and sieges by the Israeli military. Attacking hospitals is a war crime.

Israel Demolishes 47 Bedouin Homes in Negev Desert

May 09, 2024

Israel on Wednesday bulldozed 47 homes of the Palestinian Bedouin community in the Negev Desert, home to some 500 people. Israel is planning on building a highway on the site of the demolished homes, but the approval for the construction has yet to be granted. No alternative housing has been set up for the families who have now been rendered homeless. The Regional Council of Unrecognized Villages of Negev said the demolition was unprecedented in its “scope of the destruction and the hatred.”

Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush Hold Press Conference with Students Amid Police Crackdown on Gaza Protests

May 09, 2024

Police have arrested scores more student protesters as part of a widening crackdown on encampments calling on schools to divest from Israel. At the University of Massachusetts Amherst, police raided a student encampment on Tuesday night, arresting around 130. In Washington, D.C., police deployed tear gas as they broke up an encampment at George Washington University. Thirty-three were arrested. Police also broke up an encampment at the University of Houston.

On Capitol Hill, Congressmember Rashida Tlaib held a press conference Wednesday where she praised student protesters.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib: “These students are saying, 'Save lives,' no matter faith or ethnicity. This is something that I feel like is being completely ignored. Why are they out there? This is why we’re proud. We’re proud to use our position in office to bring these voices so you all don’t forget why there are encampments, why there are movements and dissent around this country.”

Students from George Washington University and other nearby schools joined Tlaib at the press conference.

Kali: “Since day one, we have understood the monster before us. It is the collusion of academic institutions, administrations, police, Congress and the state at large to protect the interests of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. They have affirmed a blatant mischaracterization of these encampments, naming them as antisemitic and dangerous, in order to justify the carceral crackdown on student territory we’ve seen across the nation.”

Professors at The New School Launch First Faculty Encampment for Gaza

May 09, 2024

Here in New York City, faculty at The New School have launched the first faculty encampment to protest the violent police crackdown on their students. The professors named the encampment after the Palestinian poet Refaat Alareer, who was killed in an Israeli airstrike in December.

Suneil Sanzgiri: “Following police raids and violence, The New School faculty established the Refaat Alareer faculty solidarity encampment. The call from students and Palestinians in Gaza is clear. We cannot give up. We must escalate and persevere to demand our universities divest, disclose and boycott from the war profiteers and institutions justifying and aiding the genocide in Gaza.”

Universities in Barcelona, Dublin Commit to Divestment Measures After Student Protests

May 09, 2024

Overseas, students at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, have ended their encampment after school officials agreed to divest from blacklisted Israeli companies that have ties to the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

In Spain, the Senate of the University of Barcelona has approved a motion to break institutional and academic ties with Israel.

April Was 11th Straight Month to Break Global Heat Record as SE and South Asia Swelter in Heat Wave

May 09, 2024

Last month was the Earth’s hottest April on record, making it the 11th consecutive month of breaking heat records. Extreme heat has plagued large swaths of Africa and Asia in particular, forcing school closures, destroying crops and leading to hundreds of heat-related deaths. In Bangladesh, over a million Rohingya refugees living in camps in southeastern Cox’s Bazar have been dealing with temperatures as high as 107 degrees Fahrenheit, with few options for cooling down.

Nurul Islam: “This heat is unbearable, especially in our tarp-made homes. During the daytime, it has been difficult to stay inside, as the tarp soaks in the heat.”

Intense Flooding Has Killed Hundreds, Displaced 100,000s Across East Africa

May 09, 2024

Meanwhile, the U.N.’s International Organization for Migration is warning heavy rains and extreme flooding have created over 200,000 climate refugees over the past week across Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Kenya has declared a national day of mourning on Friday for the more than 200 people who have died in the country. Power Shift Africa said, “The fossil fuel industry and the politicians that fail to stand up to it have blood on their hands.”

Vermont Lawmakers Pass Bill to Make Big Oil Pay for Climate Destruction

May 09, 2024

In other climate news, back here in the U.S., lawmakers in Vermont passed a first-of-its-kind bill this week that would make fossil fuel companies pay for destruction caused by climate change. Last summer, Vermont saw historic flooding which submerged the capital Montpelier. Damage from the July storm cost the Northeast close to $2.2 billion, according to a federal estimate.

Body of Final Lethal Victim of Baltimore Bridge Collapse Is Recovered

May 09, 2024

In Baltimore, the body of the sixth and last missing construction worker killed in the March collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge has been recovered. Thirty-seven-year-old José Mynor López was originally from Guatemala. He had two young children. Last week, the body of 49-year old Miguel Angel Luna Gonzalez was found. The FBI is reportedly looking into whether the massive Dali cargo ship violated a Civil War-era seaman’s manslaughter statute when it struck the bridge, causing it to collapse.

Win Rozario’s Family Demands Justice After Release of NYPD Bodycam of His Fatal Shooting

May 09, 2024

Here in New York, the family of Win Rozario, a 19-year-old from Queens who was killed by police officers, is demanding accountability for the teenager’s death after the release last week of bodycam video showing the fatal encounter inside his home. In late March, Win called 911 while experiencing a mental health crisis. The NYPD claimed Rozario “came at” them with a pair of scissors when they fatally shot him, but the video shows the teen was on the other side of the kitchen. The officers first repeatedly tased him and then opened fire despite desperate pleas from Rozario’s mother, who attempted to shield her son as she urged the officers not to shoot.

The killing has set off protests and intense anger among the Bangladeshi community in Queens. Win Rozario’s family, elected officials and community leaders spoke at a press conference in front of City Hall yesterday to demand justice for Win. This is Win’s brother Utcho Rozario.

Utcho Rozario: “The people that’s supposed to serve and protect us are the ones that’s killing us. The police was so aggressive and reckless that they could have killed my mom and me, too, in our own house. If someone, if anyone that wasn’t a cop did what Alongi and Cianfrocco did, they would have already been in jail. But yet they’re still collecting their paycheck from the city like nothing happened.”

Win’s brother and parents also described the NYPD mistreating his family and making them feel like criminals right after their officers killed Win.

House Votes Down Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Bid to Oust Mike Johnson as Speaker

May 09, 2024

The U.S. House overwhelmingly shot down Congressmember Marjorie Taylor Greene’s attempt to oust fellow Republican Mike Johnson as House speaker. House Democrats blasted the ongoing GOP speaker saga, with Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries declaring, “Marjorie Taylor Greene and the extreme MAGA Republicans are chaos agents.”

Topics:

Mike Johnson Joined by Stephen Miller and Trump Allies to Push “Election Integrity” Bill

May 09, 2024

On Wednesday, Mike Johnson gathered with other Republican lawmakers in front of the Capitol to promote their “election integrity” bill to stop residents who are not U.S. citizens from voting. Noncitizen voting is extremely rare, and there is already a law prohibiting it. Speaker Johnson was joined by far-right figures including Stephen Miller and Republican lawmakers Chip Roy and Mike Lee, who participated in efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

RFK Jr. Once Suffered from a Parasitic Infection, Claimed a Worm Ate Part of His Brain

May 09, 2024

In campaign news, independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is facing questions about his health after The New York Times revealed he had a parasitic worm in his brain and was diagnosed with mercury poisoning over a decade ago. In a 2012 divorce deposition, Kennedy admitted he had cognitive problems including short- and long-term memory loss. He said abnormalities observed by doctors in a brain scan were believed to be due to “a worm that got into my brain and ate a portion of it and then died.” Kennedy says he has fully recovered from both issues.

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