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HeadlinesJune 13, 2024

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“Famine-Like Conditions” Spread Across Gaza Amid Lagging Ceasefire Deal, Rising Death Toll

Jun 13, 2024

The official death toll in Gaza has topped 37,200 people — nearly 16,000 of those children — with more than 85,000 injured. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organization, warned famine is spreading in Gaza.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus: “A significant proportion of Gaza’s population is now facing catastrophic hunger and famine-like conditions. Despite reports of increased delivery of food, there is currently no evidence that those who need it most are receiving sufficient quantity and quality of food.”

This comes as deadly Israeli attacks continue across the Gaza Strip. Fresh attacks on the Nuseirat refugee camp have killed at least five, while Israeli soldiers are using explosives to level buildings in the center of Rafah.

Meanwhile, Israel’s far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said this week he will confiscate some $35 million in Palestinian tax revenues and transfer the money to Israeli families who have lost relatives in Palestinian attacks.

U.S. Blames Hamas for Ceasefire Stalemate, But Israel Has Yet to Address Deal

Jun 13, 2024

On the diplomatic front, world leaders from the G7 nations are meeting in Italy, where the U.S. says it will push its allies to back its proposed Gaza ceasefire deal. Hamas has responded to the proposal, but on Wednesday U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said some of the group’s requested changes were “not workable.” Hamas responded in a statement, “While [Antony] Blinken continues to talk about ’Israel’s approval’ of the proposal, we have not heard any Israeli official voicing approval.”

House GOP Holds Attorney General Garland in Contempt of Congress

Jun 13, 2024

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio of President Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur. The Justice Department has already released the full transcript of the interview. Hur was tasked with investigating Biden’s handling of classified material. He did not bring any charges against Biden, but Republicans claim they need the audio as part of their impeachment effort against the president. New York Democrat Jerry Nadler blasted his Republican colleagues as he spoke from the House floor.

Rep. Jerry Nadler: “The Judiciary Committee, under Republican control, has spent the last 18 months and 20 million taxpayer dollars in a desperate search to find something — anything — that they can use to damage President Biden and to protect Donald Trump.”

The Justice Department — which Garland oversees — is not expected to prosecute Garland.

Democrats Push Ethics Legislation for “Captured and Corrupted” SCOTUS

Jun 13, 2024

In other news from Capitol Hill, Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked a Democratic bid to pass ethics and transparency legislation for the Supreme Court amid mounting corruption scandals around the court’s far-right justices.

Meanwhile, in the House, Congressmembers Jamie Raskin and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have announced a new ethics bill for the Supreme Court, which AOC said has been “captured and corrupted by money and extremism.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “The constitutional and democratic crisis and threat that this current corruption crisis on the court presents is a threat not just to American way of life and American democracy, but it is a threat to our lives. People have died and are dying after the Dobbs decision. People have died and can die with the rollbacks of environmental provisions.”

This comes as newly published audio recordings show Justice Samuel Alito lashing out at the ProPublica news outlet, which exposed Clarence Thomas for accepting lavish gifts from conservative billionaire Harlan Crow over decades. We’ll have more on this story after headlines with ProPublica reporter Justin Elliott and documentarian Lauren Windsor, who went undercover to record Alito’s remarks.

Southern Baptist Convention Votes to Ban IVF

Jun 13, 2024

The Southern Baptist Convention has voted to oppose in vitro fertilization. A statement approved Wednesday by delegates to the church’s annual meeting in Indianapolis calls on Southern Baptists to “reaffirm the unconditional value and right to life of every human being, including those in an embryonic stage.” Southern Baptists are the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., with nearly 13 million members. Their opposition to IVF comes just months after Alabama’s Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos have the same rights as children.

Climate Activists Disrupt Congressional Baseball Game, Block NYC’s Citibank

Jun 13, 2024

In climate news, Capitol Police arrested eight climate activists Wednesday after they rushed the field at the annual Congressional Baseball Game in Washington, D.C. Ahead of the protest, the group Climate Defiance blasted game organizers for allowing Chevron to co-sponsor the event and noted Congress has failed to pass a single climate change bill this year.

This comes a day after police in New York arrested dozens of climate activists as they held a protest outside the headquarters of Citibank, which continues to invest hundreds of billions of dollars in the fossil fuel industry. Among those arrested was Dr. Sandra Steingraber, a senior scientist with the Science and Environmental Health Network.

Reporter: “Why are you getting arrested?”

Sandra Steingraber: “I’m a biologist. I’m not interested in writing eulogies for the species that I study. I’m a biologist.”

Indigenous Climate Leaders Demand Biden Admin Stop DAPL as It Greenlights MVP

Jun 13, 2024

Indigenous-led climate activists rallied outside the White House this week demanding President Biden halt the flow of oil through the Dakota Access Pipeline. This is Doug Crow Ghost, water director of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

Doug Crow Ghost: “We come to you as Standing Rock and Cheyenne River youth, members of this country, members before the United States was even the United States. Before states were states, we were a people of this country, this nation, this Indigenous land. We are Indigenous children. We are here to protect the water, the land, the air and the environment.”

The protests came as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave the go-ahead for the highly contested Mountain Valley Pipeline to begin operating. The 300-mile pipeline is set to carry 2 billion cubic feet of fracked gas daily through Virginia and West Virginia, despite vocal opposition from local communities and environmental groups.

Swiss Lawmakers Toss Landmark European Ruling in Favor of Older Women Affected by Climate Change

Jun 13, 2024

In another setback for the global climate movement, Swiss lawmakers have rejected a landmark ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, which found in April that Switzerland violated the rights of older women by failing to impose policies curbing the climate crisis. The group of women plaintiffs called the Swiss government’s response “a betrayal.”

DRC: Officials Report 42 Deaths After ADF Attack on Same Day Shipwreck Killed 80 Passengers

Jun 13, 2024

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, officials say at least 42 people were killed by suspected rebels with the Allied Democratic Forces in the eastern province of North Kivu.

This comes as more than 80 people were killed in a shipwreck on the Kwa River. The DRC has far fewer paved roads than other nations, leading residents to more frequently travel by boat, often in unsafe conditions.

Kuwait Fire Kills at Least 49, Mostly Migrant Workers from India

Jun 13, 2024

In Kuwait, at least 49 people were killed when a fire swept through an overcrowded six-story building housing immigrant workers in the city of Mangaf. Dozens more have been hospitalized for burns and smoke inhalation. Most of the victims were Indian nationals. Under Kuwait’s “kafala” system, foreign workers — who make up the majority of the private sector workforce — have weak labor protections and are barred from forming unions.

Argentine Senate Approves Milei’s Plan for “Economic Shock Therapy” Amid Mass Protests

Jun 13, 2024

Argentina’s Senate has narrowly passed far-right libertarian President Javier Milei’s highly contested reform bill. As lawmakers debated the measure on Wednesday, protesters outside the National Congress in Buenos Aires were met with riot police who deployed tear gas and made multiple arrests. Among other things, the bill imposes sweeping austerity and privatization measures and slashes labor rights. Opposition Senator Martín Lousteau spoke during Wednesday’s debate.

Sen. Martín Lousteau: “This bill gives everything, instantly and forever, to the big companies, and it tells pensioners to wait. The big companies get less taxes and tax stability for 30 years. In the tax package, Argentina’s biggest millionaires get less taxes and stability for 15 years. But pensioners who contributed for 30 years don’t even know how much money they’ll get next month.”

Among the planned spending cuts is the dissolution of the government office dealing with gender violence. The head of that office, Claudia Barcia, resigned last week.

The bill must now go back to the lower house, which already approved an earlier version in April. The measure could be fully approved later today.

Ecuadorian Workers and Students Take to Streets to Protest Govt’s Economic Policies

Jun 13, 2024

In Ecuador, activists are holding two days of protests to oppose plans by the government of Daniel Noboa to cut fuel subsidies. This is Nelson Erazo, leader of the General Union of Workers of Ecuador.

Nelson Erazo: “The homes of the workers cannot stand another blow to their economy. The measures adopted, such as a rise in the value-added tax, caused an elevation to the already-high cost of living. Consequently, that incremented the price of fuel. This condemns most Ecuadorian households to poverty and misery.”

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