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HeadlinesJuly 02, 2024

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Supreme Court Grants Trump Broad Immunity from Criminal Prosecution

Jul 02, 2024

The United States Supreme Court ruled Monday that Donald Trump has immunity from prosecution for “official” actions taken as president. The 6-3 ruling by the court’s right-wing majority — including all three justices appointed by Trump — was issued on the final day of the Supreme Court’s term and just four months ahead of November’s presidential election. It will further delay Trump’s criminal trial for leading the January 6 insurrection. The ruling upends more than two centuries of legal precedent, for the first time shielding U.S. presidents from criminal accountability.

In a scathing dissent signed by Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote, “Never in the history of our republic has a president had reason to believe that he would be immune from criminal prosecution if he used the trappings of his office to violate the criminal law. Moving forward, however, all former presidents will be cloaked in such immunity.”

Donald Trump celebrated the ruling on social media, writing, ”BIG WIN FOR OUR CONSTITUTION AND DEMOCRACY. PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN!” President Biden denounced the ruling in a five-minute speech from the White House.

President Joe Biden: “This nation was founded on the principle that there are no kings in America. Each, each of us is equal before the law. No one, no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States. But today’s Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity, that fundamentally changed.”

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez to File Articles of Impeachment Against Supreme Court Justices

Jul 02, 2024

Monday’s landmark ruling follows a series of high-profile corruption scandals at the Supreme Court, and after Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas refused to recuse themselves from the case over conflicts of interest. That’s sparked some Democrats to call for their impeachment. On Monday, New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote, “The Supreme Court has become consumed by a corruption crisis beyond its control. Today’s ruling represents an assault on American democracy. It is up to Congress to defend our nation from this authoritarian capture. I intend on filing articles of impeachment upon our return.” We’ll have more on Monday’s momentous Supreme Court ruling after headlines.

Israel Orders Another Mass Expulsion of Palestinians from Khan Younis

Jul 02, 2024

Israel’s army has ordered a mass expulsion of Palestinians from Khan Younis, Gaza’s second-largest city, as it prepares another ground invasion. Parts of Khan Younis were already destroyed in a previous Israeli assault. The order set off a panicked evacuation of patients from the Gaza European Hospital, one of the last functioning medical centers in Gaza. This comes as the Palestinian Red Crescent Society reports at least eight people were killed and over 30 others wounded in renewed strikes on southern Gaza.

Freed Palestinian Prisoners Describe Torture and Degrading Treatment in Israeli Jails

Jul 02, 2024

On Monday, Israel freed the director of Gaza’s largest medical center after detaining him without charge for seven months. Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya of Al-Shifa Hospital said after his release that his Israeli captors broke his fingers and repeatedly struck him in the head as part of daily torture he and other Palestinians endured.

Dr. Muhammad Abu Salmiya: “The prisoners are undergoing extremely harsh conditions, from scarcity of food and drink, as well as physical torture. The prisoners are all facing brutal conditions right now. … Hundreds of medical staff, including doctors, nurses, radiation specialists and others, were targeted and are stuck in occupation army prisons being tortured.”

Dr. Abu Salmiya said prisoners lost an average of 25 kilos, or 55 pounds, of body weight after they were denied adequate food and water.

“A Full-Fledged War Crime”: Rights Groups Condemn Israeli Military over Human Shields

Jul 02, 2024

Human rights groups are condemning Israel’s army for using Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank as “human shields” during combat. Video published by Al Jazeera shows Israeli soldiers attaching body cameras to handcuffed Palestinian civilians and forcing them into dangerous combat zones. More video shows soldiers tying a wounded and bleeding Palestinian man onto the hood of a military vehicle during a raid on the city of Jenin. Israel’s military admitted its soldiers carried out at least two other similar incidents, first revealed by the BBC on Sunday. The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor wrote, “Each of the aforementioned acts of criminal, brutal, and inhumane behavior constitutes a grave violation of the rules of international humanitarian law, and is a full-fledged war crime.”

Beryl Becomes Earliest-Ever Category 5 Hurricane After Devastating Windward Islands

Jul 02, 2024

Hurricane Beryl has strengthened into an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane after devastating the Windward Islands in the Caribbean. Grenada’s prime minister said the small island of Carriacou had been “flattened” by the immense storm. A quarter of Barbados residents were left without power. Meanwhile, at least two people were killed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said 90% of houses on Union Island were severely damaged or destroyed. Forecasters warn Beryl is likely to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane as it threatens Jamaica and the Cayman Islands ahead of a possible landfall in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. It’s by far the earliest Category 5 storm ever observed in the Atlantic and comes as climate scientists predict an “extremely active” 2024 hurricane season.

Pakistan Resumes Mass Expulsion of Afghans; Taliban Joins U.N.-Led Talks in Doha

Jul 02, 2024

Pakistan has begun the second phase of a contested campaign to expel undocumented Afghan refugees. Some 800,000 Afghans are expected to be forcibly returned; another half-million Afghans were expelled from Pakistan last November after authorities raided their homes and makeshift shelters. Many fear having to live under Taliban rule and say they have nothing to go back to in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Taliban representatives have arrived in Qatar to participate in U.N.-led talks, alongside delegations from over two dozen countries, aimed at reintegrating Afghanistan into the international community. It’s the first time the Taliban will be present at such meetings. No country has officially recognized the Taliban’s rule, and the U.N. has said it won’t do so until Afghanistan lifts bans on female education and employment.

Newly Sworn Panamanian President Touts Deal with U.S. to Crack Down on Migrants

Jul 02, 2024

In Panama, President José Raúl Mulino was sworn in Monday, vowing to block asylum seekers from crossing through the treacherous Darién jungle as they head north to the United States. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was among those who attended the inauguration. Mulino announced an agreement with the Biden administration to deport migrants who are apprehended in the Darién Gap, while the U.S. helps cover the cost of deportation flights.

President José Raúl Mulino: “Today the number of migrants passing through the Darién Gap is staggering. Plus, international criminals use this region as their operations base. I will appeal to international solidarity in regards of the cause of the problem. And I will seek solutions with the involved countries, especially the United States, as it’s the final destination of migrants.”

Mulino is Panama’s former public security minister.

Venezuela’s Maduro Agrees to Direct Talks with U.S. over Devastating Economic Sanctions

Jul 02, 2024

Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro has agreed to resume direct negotiations with the United States as part of ongoing talks to ease U.S. sanctions, which have devastated Venezuela’s economy and driven millions of people to leave the country. Maduro spoke from Caracas Monday.

President Nicolás Maduro: “For two months I’ve received a proposal from the government of the United States to restore conversations and direct dialogue. After mulling it over for two months, I have accepted. Next Wednesday, conversations with the government of the United States will restart.”

This comes less than a month before Venezuela’s presidential election, scheduled for the end of July, in which Maduro seeks a third term in office.

ACLU Finds 95% of Asylum Seekers’ Deaths in ICE Custody Were Preventable

Jul 02, 2024

Here in the United States, most of the deaths that have occurred in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, in recent years could have been prevented if detained migrants and asylum seekers were given adequate medical care. That’s according to a new report by the ACLU and other rights groups which looked at 52 deaths of immigrants held in ICE detention centers between 2017 and 2021, and pointed to gross medical and mental healthcare neglect by ICE as causing preventable deaths, including suicides. The report said, “ICE’s current oversight and accountability mechanisms regarding death in detention are critically flawed and do little to prevent future deaths.”

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