Less than an hour before 7:00 a.m. this morning, when the six-day truce between Hamas and Israel was due to expire, a 24-hour extension was reached with the help of external mediators. Meanwhile, people in Gaza are waiting for the continuation of Israel’s relentless bombardment. “The first day of the pause, I cleared rubble from my sister’s house. The next two, I queued for cooking gas. Now, I’m counting down the hours until the bombing restarts. I’m extremely worried,” said Tarneem in a testimony shared by Medical Aid for Palestinians. During the six-day pause, the Palestine Red Crescent (PRC) “successfully distributed 254 aid trucks” during the six days of the truce; however, only 21 were delivered to northern Gaza.
Over the past month and a half, with each passing day, more Israeli bombs have fallen on Gaza. More bodies have been blown apart and buried under the rubble. Close to 2 million Palestinians have been displaced from their homes. The world has borne witness to a genocidal military campaign to clear out Gaza once and for all. And every day, every hour, it feels like the chance to stop one of humanity’s most inhumane crimes is slipping through our fingers. And, even with this week’s temporary “humanitarian pause” and exchange of prisoners and hostages, the powers that be have shown no interest whatsoever in listening to the thundering calls for a permanent ceasefire that are coming from governments and mass demonstrations around the world, particularly the Biden administration here in the United States, the increasingly fascistic Netanyahu government in Israel, and the arms manufacturers and war profiteers who are raking in billions from manufacturing mass death.
The United States, Japan, and South Korea will fully operationalize a missile warning system “by the end of December.” While justified as a means to counter North Korea’s missile launches, more worrisome, it escalates tensions in the region with China through the “NATOification” of all three countries, agreed upon in the “Spirit of Camp David” agreement. The agreement was hailed as a “new era of trilateral partnership” during the August 18 press conference following a meeting between the heads of state of all three countries. Western media echoed the sentiment, calling it “historic” and “unprecedented.” China, listed in the agreement as a regional concern, accused the United States of creating a “mini NATO in Asia.”
After nearly 2 years of portraying the ongoing conflict in Ukraine as unfolding in Kiev and the collective West’s favor, a sudden deluge of admissions have begun saturating Western headlines noting that Ukraine is not only losing, but that there is little or nothing its Western backers can do to change this fact. What had been a narrative of Ukraine’s steady gains and indomitable fighting spirit has now been replaced by the reality of Ukraine’s catastrophic losses (as well as net territorial losses) and a steady collapse of morale among troops. What had been narratives of Russian forces poorly trained and led, equipped with inadequate quantities of antiquated weapons and dwindling ammunition stockpiles, have now been replaced by admissions that Russia’s military industrial base is out-producing the US and Europe combined while fielding weapon systems either on par with their Western counterparts, or able to surpass Western capabilities entirely.
Want to understand why the media we consume is either owned by billionaires or under the thumb of governments? The latest developments in the reporting of who was behind the explosions that destroyed the Nord Stream pipelines that brought Russian gas to Europe provide the answer. Although largely forgotten now, the blasts in the Baltic Sea in September 2022 had huge and lasting repercussions. The explosion was an act both of unprecedented industrial sabotage and of unparalleled environmental terrorism, releasing untold quantities of the most potent of the greenhouse gasses, methane, into the atmosphere.
The Black misleadership class casts a very wide net. This group is not just composed of elected officials and organization heads. The misleaders have a media team too and they have already begun the process of herding Black voters into the Democratic Party wing of the duopoly and getting them to cast ballots for Joe Biden without any question or complaint. The media misleaders are getting an early start on the 2024 presidential campaign season. Despite the fact that Biden has no competition from any democrat and the party has already said there will be no debates even if a competitor appears, Biden’s weak approval ratings and poor showing in polls vis a vis Donald Trump, have them running scared.
As a national, grassroots, social justice organization that organizes locally in the struggle for national single payer health care in the U.S., united by the common principles that health care is a human right, must be free from corporate profit, and must be achieved through national legislation, the Steering Committee of National Single Payerfeels it is our moral duty to take a stand on what is happening to the hospitals, health care providers, patients, and civilians in Gaza. Our voice is small, and our statement will alienate some, nevertheless, it is our sincere belief that we are witnesses to a time in history when our principled voice must be heard, loud and clear.
The Starbucks Workers United are here to stay. After Buffalo-area stores organized in 2021, unionization caught on like wildfire at franchise locations across the nation. (That year, the median Starbucks employee made under $13,000 while the company’s then-CEO Kevin Johnson took home $20.4 million) Since then, the organizing workers haven’t let up, roasting former CEO Howard Schultz in a high-profile Senate hearing and escalating their campaign. President Biden’s National Labor Relations Board has issued landmark rulings in the union’s favor against the company’s cruel union busting. Now, over 9,000 workers constitute SBWU’s ranks at over 300 stores across America.
When Hurricane Katrina touched down in New Orleans in late August 2005, nine-year-old Nia Burnett was too young to realize that her life would never be the same. Nia's family had chosen to stay in the city and wait out the storm. They all headed to a local hospital for safety. What they found were corpses lining the hallways. The whole building smelled like rotten flesh. Nia remembers later standing on the roof after the hospital started flooding, waiting to be rescued. Below her, she watched as all the neighborhoods she used to play in with her friends were swallowed up by the rising waters. Meanwhile, even more bodies floated around the hospital. It wasn't until 11 years after the storm that Nia was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Laney Graduate School students have voted to unionize after years of advocacy, making Emory University the first private university to have a graduate-worker union in Georgia and the second in the South. EmoryUnite! is now officially recognized as a union under the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), meaning Emory administration is required to enter negotiations with graduate students. EmoryUnite! announced the results in a Nov. 28 Instagram post. In total, 909 students (92.6%) voted in favor of unionization while 73 students (7.4%) voted against unionization during the election on Oct. 17 and 18, according to the post. Of the approximately 1,700 Laney Ph.D. students eligible to vote in the election, 982 (57.8%) participated.
To many of us, thinking about climate change brings about existential dread, panic, or even climate anxiety. The largest ever U.N. climate change conference of the parties, COP 28, will occur this week — and many of us are hoping against hope that the world’s leaders come up with a solution for us all. Climate change, though, is hyperlocal. So, too, are many of the solutions. And cities are tackling climate change with an inspiring vigor that, alongside global leadership, could help to reduce emissions and foster a healthier planet. Ordinary people have been at the heart of these local movements. Among these solutions are citizens’ assemblies, which bring together a randomly selected group of people in a community to deliberate on a societal challenge and identify policy solutions.
While many of the people in Gaza are spending Wednesday, the last day of the temporary truce, trying to collect basic necessities like food and cooking oil in preparation for the Israeli bombardment to resume, political leaders are discussing yet another extension. Under the four-day truce deal, which began on Friday and has already been extended by two more days, Hamas has released 60 of about 240 captives from the Gaza Strip, and Israel has released 180 Palestinian political prisoners, all women and children. Another round of hostage exchanges is expected to take place on Wednesday evening. Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, says the group has been working “very hard” with the mediating countries to “reach a compromise” and “extend the ceasefire.”
Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields. You’ve heard the claim echoed ad nauseam in Western corporate media. Yet numerous reports from Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other human rights groups have found the allegations, which are brought to bear by Israeli officials nearly every time Gaza hits the news, to not only be untrue, they’ve discovered that Israel itself has consistently engaged in wanton use of Palestinian civilians, including children, as human shields. In 2014, Amnesty International said of allegations that Hamas was using human shields: Amnesty International is monitoring and investigating such reports, but does not have evidence at this point that Palestinian civilians have been intentionally used by Hamas or Palestinian armed groups during the current hostilities to “shield” specific locations or military personnel or equipment from Israeli attacks.
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken among other high level White House officials have repeatedly stated since October 7 that one of their major objectives is to prevent the regionalization of the upsurge of resistance to the State of Israel in Gaza. However, it is Washington which has laid the groundwork for an already broad area of conflict throughout West Asia from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. In the specific case of Yemen, the Pentagon, under successive administrations, has engaged in occupations, bombing operations and proxy wars. Between 2015 and 2022, the U.S., backing Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), coordinated a genocidal war against the people of Yemen resulting in one of the worst humanitarian crises on a global scale.