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HeadlinesJuly 09, 2024

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Thousands Flee Gaza Homes and Hospitals as Israel Issues New Mass Expulsion Order

Jul 09, 2024

In the Gaza Strip, tens of thousands of Palestinians have been forced out of their homes and makeshift shelters after Israel’s military issued a new mass expulsion order covering several areas of Gaza City. On Monday, thousands of patients and medical workers were seen evacuating the Patient’s Friends Benevolent Society Hospital and the al-Ahli Arab Baptist Hospital ahead of an Israeli ground assault. The closures drew condemnation from the United Nations and the Episcopal Church, which operates al-Ahli Hospital. The Palestine Red Crescent Society says some 90% of Gazans — about 2 million people — have been internally displaced by Israel’s war, many of them multiple times.

Meanwhile, Israeli attacks across Gaza have killed at least 50 people over the past 24 hours. Among the dead are five children who were reportedly killed by an Israeli drone as they were playing in the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza.

Meanwhile, hundreds of trucks loaded with food and other humanitarian supplies remain stranded on the Egyptian side of Gaza’s border, even as 2.3 million Gazans go hungry. Some truck drivers in the Sinai Peninsula say they had to discard entire truckloads of food that spoiled in the sweltering summer heat.

Elsayed el-Nabawi: “Before this shipment, we came here and stood idle for more than 50 days. Eventually, the load of food had to be returned, after it had spoiled. We had to turn around and offload it. We loaded another batch, and here we are standing idle again. Only God knows if this cargo will make it into Gaza before it, too, expires.”

Hamas Accuses Netanyahu of Creating Obstacles to Ceasefire Talks

Jul 09, 2024

On Monday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of creating obstacles to negotiations aimed at ending the assault on Gaza. His criticism came after Israeli media reported Netanyahu caught senior Israeli officials off guard over the weekend when he announced a list of so-called non-negotiables for ceasefire talks. One unnamed official told the Times of Israel, “Negotiations have to be conducted behind closed doors — not in press releases, and definitely not the moment before the start of a meeting to determine the next stage of talks.”

U.N. Rights Monitor Blames Russian Missile for Attack on Kyiv Children’s Hospital

Jul 09, 2024

A United Nations human rights monitor says Monday’s deadly strike on a children’s hospital in Ukraine’s capital was likely caused by a direct hit from a Russian missile — rather than damage from a missile intercepted by Ukraine. The attack destroyed two floors of the hospital, killing at least two people and injuring 16 others while damaging oncology and intensive care units. On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said he expected a forceful response from his allies. He spoke from Warsaw after meeting with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

President Volodymyr Zelensky: “First of all, I expect very concrete answers and steps from our partners from the NATO summit. We will have a meeting on strengthening Ukraine’s air defense, our civilian infrastructure and energy grid. I expect concrete steps.”

Biden Welcomes NATO Leaders to Washington, D.C., for 75th Anniversary Summit

Jul 09, 2024

President Biden is welcoming more than three dozen world leaders to Washington, D.C., this evening as the annual NATO summit gets underway, marking the 75th anniversary of the nuclear-armed military alliance. Ahead of the talks, NATO’s outgoing Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said allies were finalizing language stating that Ukraine is on an “irreversible” path to NATO membership.

The NATO summit is opening after Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed Indian President Narendra Modi to Moscow for formal talks.

This comes as more than 700 members of the Union of Concerned Scientists signed an open letter to President Biden urging cancellation of the Air Force’s Sentinel weapon system, a new generation of intercontinental ballistic missiles that’s expected to cost more than $130 billion. In a statement, the Union said, “These weapons — stored in silos across the Plains states — place a target on communities and increase the risk of nuclear war while offering no meaningful security benefits.”

2 Million Lose Electricity as Hurricane Beryl Slams into Texas Coast 

Jul 09, 2024

In Texas, at least seven people were killed and millions were left without electricity Monday after Hurricane Beryl made landfall south of Galveston with sustained winds of 80 miles per hour. The Category 1 storm brought a month’s worth of rain to parts of the Houston metro area in less than six hours. Two million people are without power with a heat index forecast of 105 degrees. This month, Beryl became the earliest-ever major hurricane in the Atlantic, at one point strengthening to a Category 5 storm as it tore through the Caribbean, killing at least 11 people.

June Sets Global Heat Record for 13th Consecutive Month

Jul 09, 2024

2024 is on track to become the hottest year in human history, after scientists confirmed June set another global heat record, putting the planet on a 13-month record-breaking streak.

Here in the U.S., the extreme temperatures are set to continue this week, especially across southern and western states. In Phoenix, Arizona, heat-related deaths have nearly doubled since the same period last year, with 175 deaths likely due to heat recorded so far.

Elsewhere, heavy monsoon rains and flash floods in Nepal have been linked to at least 47 deaths. In Indonesia, torrential downpours triggered a deadly landslide at an illegal gold mining site on Sulawesi island. Authorities say at least 23 people have been killed, with dozens of others missing.

Woman Dies of Heatstroke at Sweltering California Prison Amid Record-Breaking Heat Wave

Jul 09, 2024

In California, advocates are demanding justice for a woman who died while incarcerated at a prison in Chowchilla as a blistering heat wave swept across the region. The woman died over the weekend, two days after being hospitalized. Her cause of death is still undetermined, but the group California Coalition for Women Prisoners blamed prison neglect and heat exhaustion. They said the woman “became incoherent” and “dropped to the ground” while she took a shower to try to cool off. The group has received several other reports of unbearable heat inside the Central California Women’s Facility with people suffering “widespread headaches, vomiting and other dangerous physical symptoms.”

Climate Activists Arrested at Protest Demanding Citibank Divest from Fossil Fuels

Jul 09, 2024
Image Credit: Planet Over Profit

Here in New York, police arrested 46 elder climate campaigners Monday as they staged a nonviolent civil disobedience protest near Citigroup’s Manhattan headquarters. Among those arrested was Bill McKibben, founder of the climate justice group 350.org. Organizers with the Summer of Heat activist network are demanding Citi end its investments in fossil fuel expansion. A recent report found Citi provided more than $200 billion in financing for new fossil fuel projects since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2015.

Biden Says He Will Not Withdraw from Election in Letter to Democrats 

Jul 09, 2024

President Biden on Monday sent a letter to congressional Democrats, doubling down on his intention to remain their presidential candidate and calling for an end to questions about whether he should stay in the race. Biden wrote, “We have one job. And that is to beat Donald Trump.” Despite Biden’s defiance, the feverish debate appears far from over. On Monday, Congressmember Adam Smith, the ranking Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, joined calls for Biden to end his campaign. Congressmember Smith spoke on CNN.

Rep. Adam Smith: “I think he should step aside. I think it’s become clear that he’s not the best person to carry the Democratic message. … And look, a lot of Democrats are saying, 'Well, let's move on. Let’s stop talking about it.’ We’re not the ones who are bringing it up. We’re not the ones who said, 'Anytime, anyplace.' And only Joe Biden was on that stage with Donald Trump. Our constituents are bringing it up; the country is bringing it up. And the White House — sorry, campaign strategy of 'Be quiet and fall in line and let's ignore it’ simply isn’t working right now.”

On the progressive flank of the Democratic Party, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar have publicly backed Biden to stay in the race. Meanwhile, visitor logs show neurologist Dr. Kevin Cannard, a renowned Parkinson’s disease expert, visited the White House eight times between last July and March of this year. The White House declined to give details but said he examined President Biden three times as part of his annual physicals.

Mass Deportations, State-Led Abortion Bans: GOP Adopts Trump’s Convention Platform

Jul 09, 2024

Delegates from the Republican convention adopted Donald Trump’s proposed platform Monday after speaking to the presumptive nominee. The platform retreats from the Republican campaign to enshrine a federal ban on abortions, leaving that to individual states. The platform also reinforces anti-trans policies, plans for mass deportations, pledges additional support to Israel and proposes shutting down the Education Department.

Sudanese Flee Southeastern Sennar State as Fighting Spreads 15 Months into Bloody Civil War

Jul 09, 2024

Sudanese political rivals traveled to Cairo, Egypt, for talks over the weekend, but the meetings ended without any hopes of an end to the bloodshed which has devastated Sudan since April of last year. The Sudanese military and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces remain locked in a battle for territory and power which has killed tens of thousands and displaced some 10 million people in what the U.N. says is the world’s worst displacement crisis. The southeastern state of Sennar, which many people had fled to seek safety, has been under attack from the RSF since June, creating a new wave of displacement. Some 25 people drowned in the Nile River last week while attempting to escape the fighting in Sennar.

Fighting also continues in El Fasher, the last stronghold of the Sudanese army in Darfur. The U.N. warns 14 areas are at risk of famine, while three-quarters of a million people are now facing catastrophic levels of extreme hunger.

Brazil Ratifies Trade Agreement with Palestine

Jul 09, 2024

Brazil has ratified a free trade agreement with the Palestinian Authority as the Occupied Territories are hit with a worsening economic crisis due to Israeli violence and restrictive policies. Israel has also blocked all commercial exports from Gaza since last September. The trade agreement was formally adopted during meetings of the Mercosur trade bloc in Paraguay over the weekend, where Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva spoke.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva: “We are proud to be the first country in the bloc to ratify the free trade agreement with Palestine. But I cannot help regret that this occurs in a context in which the Palestinian people are suffering as a result of a completely irrational war.”

It’s unclear whether other Mercosur nations, which includes Argentina, will follow suit. Far-right Argentinian President Javier Milei, an ally of Israel, was notably absent from the Mercosur talks as he attended a rally in support of former far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil.

Bolsonaro Indicted for Money Laundering in Brazil; Lula Relaunches Probe into Ex-Dictatorship

Jul 09, 2024

Former far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been indicted on charges of money laundering and criminal association in connection with undeclared diamonds from Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Lula has reinstated a special commission to investigate crimes committed during Brazil’s military dictatorship. The commission, established in 1995 to probe disappearances and other human rights abuses committed by the military regime between 1964 and 1985, had been dismantled by Bolsonaro, a former army captain who served during the dictatorship.

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