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HeadlinesJune 21, 2024

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Hunger, Death, Homelessness, Orphanhood: The Unimaginable Toll of Israel’s War on Gaza’s Children

Jun 21, 2024

As Israel’s unrelenting assault on Gaza stretches into its ninth month, experts are warning of the compounding effects of the war on children. Children represent some 16,000 of the more than 37,000 Palestinians killed by Israel since October 7. They are also some of the most vulnerable to disease and the worsening hunger crisis, with thousands malnourished and facing death. Another 17,000 children have lost one or both parents. Meanwhile, over 600,000 Palestinian students have been out of school for more than eight months. Schools that have been turned into shelters for displaced Gazans have been regularly destroyed by Israel, including an UNRWA building in Khan Younis which was hit by an Israeli airstrike Thursday.

Mays Al-Masri: “There was a house next to us. They wanted to strike. And as you can see, the classroom where we shelter is damaged. I don’t know where we will sleep. We are 25 people in this classroom. Look how it’s damaged and our sleeping area. Where we will sleep? We don’t know. We will have to sleep in the yard.”

Majed Abu Maraheel, Palestine’s First-Ever Olympian, Dies Due to Israel’s Medical Blockade on Gaza

Jun 21, 2024

The first Palestinian athlete to ever participate in the Olympics died last week in Gaza’s Nuseirat refugee camp after he was unable to receive medical care for kidney failure. Majed Abu Maraheel, a long-distance runner, represented Palestine in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, where he was the flag bearer.

U.N. Warns Israel’s War on Gaza Has Led to an Unprecedented Environmental Catastrophe

Jun 21, 2024

The United Nations Environment Programme warns Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip has spawned an unprecedented environmental crisis, with worsening soil, water and air pollution, and risks of irreversible damage to Gaza’s natural ecosystems. In a new report, the U.N. finds Israeli attacks have generated 39 million tons of debris, with severe damage to Gaza’s water, sanitation and hygiene systems, the destruction of solar panels and the dispersal of heavy metals and explosive chemicals. This is Fatima al-Shenbary, a displaced Palestinian whose family is sheltering in Jabaliya.

Fatima al-Shenbary: “Every week my son stands crying because of the pollution of water here. We have hepatitis, which causes yellowing of the eyes. We also have intestinal infections — not just me, but the whole shelter. Everybody suffers from this condition. There is no clean water. The water is not suitable for drinking. We are forced to drink it even though it is not clean at all. I swear to God, we do not accept it. Even filtered water isn’t really filtered. We fool ourselves and pretend it’s filtered.”

U.S. Media Org. Rescinds Award for Celebrated Gaza Journalist Maha Hussaini

Jun 21, 2024

The International Women’s Media Foundation is under fire for rescinding its Courage in Journalism Award to Gaza-based Palestinian journalist Maha Hussaini following a smear campaign by pro-Israel groups and false accusations of antisemitism. Maha Husseini responded in an op-ed published in the Middle East Eye: “Winning a prize for 'courage' means being subjected to attacks and choosing to continue your work regardless. Regrettably, the very organization that recognized these perilous conditions and awarded me the prize chose to be uncourageous.”

Wikipedia Declares ADL an “Unreliable” Source on the Israel-Palestine Conflict

Jun 21, 2024

Wikipedia has declared the Anti-Defamation League a “generally unreliable” source on the Israel-Palestine conflict in a major PR blow for the pro-Israel group. The majority of Wikipedia editors found the ADL to be heavily biased against Palestinian rights. The label puts the ADL in the same category as Fox News and Amazon reviews, among other “unreliable” sources. Editors are also considering applying the unreliable designation to the ADL in relation to “antisemitism.”

AIPAC-Affiliated Groups Pour Record Sums into Defeating Progressive NY Rep. Jamaal Bowman

Jun 21, 2024

With New York’s primary election just four days away, a super PAC affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC, is spending roughly $17,000 an hour to defeat progressive Congressmember Jamaal Bowman, who has spoken out against Israel’s war on Gaza. That amounts to $14.5 million spent by AIPAC in around one month, making it by far the most money ever poured into a House race by an interest group.

Trump Says He Wants to Grant Green Cards to Foreign Graduates of U.S. Colleges

Jun 21, 2024

In other election news, Donald Trump has proposed granting green cards to foreign nationals who graduate from U.S. colleges, in a major departure from his usual anti-immigrant rhetoric. Trump made the remarks after being asked on a podcast about staffing U.S. companies. Following the comments, Trump’s team issued a statement reassuring his supporters that he still plans to impose the most “aggressive” immigration policies in U.S. history “to exclude all communists, radical Islamists, Hamas supporters, America haters and public charges.”

Climate Crisis Made Extreme Heat Waves in U.S., Mexico and Central America 35 Times More Likely

Jun 21, 2024

A new study finds global heating from human activity made this year’s late-spring heat wave in the U.S., Mexico and Central America 35 times more likely to happen. Meanwhile, scorching summer heat is compounding the suffering of asylum seekers at the U.S. southern border. The Sunland Park Fire Department near El Paso, Texas, has recorded the deaths of at least 13 people in the desert so far this year. This is fire chief Ramiro Rios.

Ramiro Rios: “Recently we’ve been having a lot of temperatures that have gone over 100 degrees, and we are starting to see that we are getting a lot of migrants that are going into heatstroke. And so, now we’re having to deal with having to use what we call ice baths. So, it’s a rapid cooling technique that we’re using by putting them in a body bag and then filling them up with ice water and ice so that we can bring their temperature down.”

Hawaii Agrees to Decarbonize Transportation in Victory for Youth Climate Movement

Jun 21, 2024

Hawaii has reached a legal settlement with a group of youth climate activists who sued the state over its greenhouse gas emissions. Under the legally binding agreement announced by Governor Josh Green, Hawaii agrees to fully decarbonize its transportation systems to achieve zero emissions no later than 2045.

U.K. High Court Rules New Fossil Fuel Projects Must Account for Global Heating

Jun 21, 2024

Britain’s highest court has ruled that government planners failed to consider the harmful effects of global heating when they approved a new oil well near London’s Gatwick Airport. It’s a major victory for environmentalists and a setback for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who’s pledged to “max out” the U.K.’s oil and gas reserves. Climate campaigner Sarah Finch led the legal fight against the oil well.

Sarah Finch: “In climate science, we hear a lot about tipping points, Amazon deforestation, melting permafrost, things that accelerate global warming in an unpredictable and frightening way. I think today we’ve just seen a tipping point in the other direction. No longer will any planning authority be allowed to wave through fossil fuel production without fully considering the climate impact.”

Supreme Court Rejects Billionaires’ Challenge to Tax on Overseas Investments

Jun 21, 2024

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Trump-era tax on overseas investments. The case stemmed from a challenge to the “mandatory repatriation tax” by a couple who sought to avoid paying a one-time $15,000 tax levy related to an investment in an India-based company. Senator Elizabeth Warren welcomed the decision, saying, “Right-wing billionaires hoped an obscure legal case would blow up the tax code to avoid paying what they owe, but this effort failed.” Analysts warn the ruling, however, does not resolve the constitutionality of wealth taxes, and billionaires could challenge future laws requiring them to pay their taxes.

South Korea Responds to Russia-North Korea Defense Pact as Vladimir Putin Wraps Hanoi Trip

Jun 21, 2024

Vladimir Putin met with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh in Hanoi Thursday, with the two nations pledging closer cooperation on energy and security. Meanwhile, South Korea has summoned Russia’s ambassador and said it will consider supplying weapons to Ukraine after Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un signed a mutual defense pact this week. Speaking from Hanoi, Putin said Moscow is considering lowering the threshold for use of nuclear weapons, and supplying arms to Pyongyang.

President Vladimir Putin: “We reserve the right to supply weapons to other regions of the world. Bearing in mind our agreements with the Korean People’s Democratic Republic, I don’t exclude that, either.”

Donald Sutherland, Movie Star and Antiwar Activist, Dies at 88

Jun 21, 2024

The acclaimed actor and lifelong activist Donald Sutherland has died at 88. During the Vietnam War, Sutherland, Jane Fonda and others formed an antiwar roadshow called the FTA, or Free the Army, Show. Modeled after Bob Hope’s USO tour, the group traveled to perform for soldiers who came out against the war. In 2017, declassified documents showed that Sutherland was on the National Security Agency’s “watch list” between 1971 and 1973.

On the big screen, Sutherland was known for his scene-stealing roles in ”JFK,” “The Hunger Games,” “Don’t Look Now,” “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and “Pride and Prejudice,” among others. Donald Sutherland had five children, including the actor Kiefer Sutherland. Kiefer’s maternal grandfather, Tommy Douglas, is considered the father of Canada’s single-payer healthcare system.

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