Thursday, July 18, 2024

Israeli Lawmakers Vote Against Palestinian Statehood

By Jessica Corbett 

"In essence, the Israeli Knesset voted to continue to wipe Palestine off the map," said one critic.

While Israel's troops wage what has been widely decried as genocide on the Gaza Strip, Israeli lawmakers on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a resolution opposing "the establishment of a Palestinian state" west of the Jordan River.

The measure passed Israel's legislature, the Knesset, 68-9. It was spearheaded by Knesset Member Zeev Elkin of New Hope - The United Right, who shared the key messages from the resolution on social media along with a photo of the final tally.

According to Religious Zionism-affiliated Israel National News:

The proposal says, "The Israeli Knesset firmly opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan. The establishment of a Palestinian state in the heart of the land of Israel will pose an existential threat to the state of Israel and its citizens, perpetuate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and destabilize the region."

"It will only be a matter of a short time until Hamas takes over the Palestinian state and turns it into a base of radical Islamic terrorism, working in coordination with the axis led by Iran, to eliminate the state of Israel."

"The promotion of the idea of the Palestinian state will be a reward for terrorism and will only encourage Hamas and its supporters who will see this as a victory thanks to the massacre of October 7, 2023, and a prelude to the takeover of jihadist Islam in the Middle East," the proposal reads.

Since the Hamas-led October attack on Israel, Israeli forces have killed at least 38,794 Palestinians and wounded another 89,364, according to Gaza's Ministry of Health. Thousands more remain missing and believed dead beneath the rubble of bombed buildings.

In addition to destroying civilian infrastructure across the Hamas-governed coastal enclave, Israel has restricted the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza, even as people starve and the remaining hospitals operate at a limited capacity.

Israel faces a South Africa-led genocide case at the International Court of Justice and International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and three Hamas leaders.

"What is happening in Gaza is going down as the most documented genocide in history," Riyad Mansour, Palestine's permanent observer at the United Nations, told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday. "When will the world denounce the crimes and stop tolerating their reoccurrence?"

The Knesset vote against a two-state solution comes as Netanyahu prepares for a trip to the United States—whose government has provided political and weapons support for Israel's war. The prime minister is supposed to meet U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House next Monday before addressing a joint session of Congress, though the American leader is isolating after testing positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday.

"The measure was intended as a way to apply pressure on Netanyahu, since he is likely to face opposite pressure from U.S. officials on a hostage deal that could include future discussions of Palestinian sovereignty," The Jerusalem Postreported Wednesday. "Netanyahu himself was not present at the vote."

As the newspaper detailed:

Notably, National Unity chairman MK Benny Gantz supported the proposal alongside three other members of his party, which is considered centrist. The three were MKs Michael Biton, Pnina Tameno-Shete, and Chili Tropper.

Gantz said after the vote, "National Unity is committed in any future political scenario, as long as it exists, to preserve the Jewish and democratic identity of the state of Israel, and to stand up for its historical right and security interests."

Members of various other parties—Netanyahu's Likud, Otzma Yehudit, Religious Zionism, Shas, United Torah Judaism, and Yisrael Beytenu—also voted in favor of the resolution.

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Part I: Was Eric Garner resisting arrest or resisting harassment?

By Charles Brooks

Last week, the body of Mr. Eric Garner was laid to rest after funeral services were held in Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Garner was the latest victim of NYPD's use of excessive force. His death attracted international attention and triggered considerable outrage for several reasons. Mr. Garner was an unarmed African American,  accused for selling cigarettes individually out of the pack – a long time practice called selling “loosies” – or as media reports state – selling untaxed cigarettes. For that, he was placed in an illegal police maneuver, the notorious chokehold.  Although NYPD officials say he “resisted arrest”, the question that needs to be asked is whether Mr. Garner was actually resisting repeated police harassment?  

Mr. Garner is the latest victim killed by police in general, and by NYPD in particular. Across the country, there have been countless incidents of brutality and murder – just in recent weeks alone there have been several incidents caught on video for all to see.  Both black men and women viciously attacked by the police - a disregard of their humanity - and their human rights. Mr. Garner's case is one that simply unnerves you a bit because of that gnawing question around whether Mr. Garner’s death was preventable? With his last gasps of life - he cried out that he couldn’t breathe - several times, hoping the police officers would have some sense of humanity and allow him to regain his breathing.

No, the officers refused to hear Mr. Garner’s call for them to recognize his humanity as he struggled to breathe his last gasps of air. He finally died after the officers pressed their collective weight on a seemingly dying body.  There was a video tape and although the Police Benevolent Association Union president says the tape is not enough – he is wrong. 

It didn’t take long at all for NYPD’s Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch to warn against reading too much into videos of arrests.  Mr. Lynch stated: "Videotapes never present all of the facts in a situation.  They never capture the criminal act or offense that brings police action to the scene.  They present an isolated period of a police interaction but never the entire scenario.  That's why it is necessary when video tapes surface to have a complete review of the facts in every case before arriving at any conclusion." Mr. Lynch also said that officers cannot walk away when they have to make an arrest and that what people are interpreting as a chokehold is actually the officers bringing a non-compliant arrestee to the ground in order to rear cuff him and that no conclusions can be drawn until all the facts are determined by an investigation.

But the tape shows us enough to know what happened in the critical moments before Mr. Garner was met with a violent death.

In the few seconds before Mr. Garner was placed in an illegal chokehold and wrestled to the ground, you can see one of the officers with handcuffs in hand and approaching Mr. Garner. Perhaps it’s the low audio of the videotape but what is not clear is the officers’ adamant demand that he turn around and place his hands behind him.

In the beginning of the incident, you can slightly hear the officer say to Mr. Garner that they were going to take him in – and Mr. Garner’s reaction to that. But the officers clearly were not moving in on Mr. Garner at that point – they let Mr. Garner say his peace – while maintaining their distance.  The question here is what was the turning point – what was said to Mr. Garner in those critical moments before the officers became violent. The video indicates that Mr. Garner is reacting to the officers moving in on him – and his hands, his open palms were in clear view – and were not used to assault the police officer.  Mr. Garner’s resistance to arrest is not so evident but his resistance to the apparent harassment – the stop and frisk encounters – is clearly evident.  Furthermore, what is not so clear - why was the illegal chokehold used on Mr. Garner? Was there no other way to secure and contain Mr. Garner without the inevitable loss of his life?

NYPD’s Patrol Guide clearly states: “Members of the New York City Police Department will NOT use chokeholds. A chokehold shall include, but is not limited to, any pressure to the throat or windpipe, which may prevent or hinder breathing or reduce intake of air.”

The Patrol Guide code also states: Members of the service are required to maintain control or intervene if the use of force against a subject clearly becomes excessive. Failure to do so may result in both criminal and civil liability. EXCESSIVE FORCE WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. All members of the service at the scene of a police incident must:

 a. Immediately establish firearms control

b. Use minimum necessary force

c. Employ non-lethal alternatives, as appropriate.

But we can see from the video there is also some history between Mr. Garner and the officers in question: “…Every time you see me you want to wrestle with me. I’m tired of it…it stops today…I’m minding my own business officer, please leave me alone…I told you the last time, please leave me alone…”  The ‘it’ reflects the harassment that Mr. Garner was subjected to or targeted for.

At this time, this is what we know: Medical examiners have not yet determined the cause of death, but police said he went into cardiac arrest on the drive to the hospital. Daniel Pantaleo, the officer who killed Mr. Garner with the illegal chokehold has had his gun and badge taken away and he’s reassigned to desk duty; Mr. Pantaleo was sued twice for alleged civil rights violations; the other officer, Justin Damico has been taken off street duty but still holds his gun and badge; four emergency workers have been suspended without pay; the investigation is being conducted by the Staten Island District Attorney, NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau, New York Inspector General of police and the Civilian Complaint Review Board.  The Wall Street Journal has reported the  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder saying the Justice Department is "closely monitoring" these on-going investigations into the Mr. Garner’s death. In addition, NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has ordered a “thorough review” of NYPD’s training procedures.

We also know that NYPD banned chokeholds in 1994 after the death of Anthony Baez, who was killed by an officer who used the illegal maneuver.

But we also know that in despite of the ban against the illegal chokeholds, there were nevertheless over one thousand complaints filed with the NY Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB) in the last four years between 2009 and 2013.  The CCRB has announced they will conduct a comprehensive study of the chokehold complaints.  

 

 

 

Part II: Eric Garner: Resisting arrest or Resisting harassment

By Charles Brooks


The tragic death of Mr. Eric Garner that came as a result of the choke hold, an illegal police maneuver banned since 1994, continues to provoke nationwide outrage, particularly in black communities across the country.  Consider for a moment the reasons igniting this outrage – the excessive use of force leading to yet another death of an unarmed black man, along with the political support for police in the face of a blatant lack of accountability to these seemingly routine acts of police misconduct and murder.  But there’s deeper factor to consider, the historical roots that branches out to the limbs of indifference afforded to black life.

Mr. Garner’s death continues to spark outrage because of the many people who can relate and connect through personal experience – the thousands who have been stopped and harassed by the police - and lived to talk about it. The thousands of stories about controlling that feeling that just grips you when you see the bright flash of the red and blue lights in your rear view mirror. Or the harassment that comes with being repeatedly stopped and frisked.  Or the feeling of being fully aware that even the slightest encounter with the police can turn bad…and sometimes fatal.  This connection was played out when the video was being played over and over again to the collective nods of approval. People are outraged because they connected with Mr. Garner when he crossed his arms in front of him and told the police officers that it stops today…we all knew what he meant by ‘it’. Mr. Garner said to the officers: "...Every time you see me you want to wrestle with me.  I'm tired of it...it stops today...I'm minding my own business officer. Please leave me alone...I told you for the last time, please leave me alone."

 This is why Mr. Garner’s death continues to resonate with the public consciousness - because of their connection to a shared experience.  The outrage grew in the aftermath of Mr. Garner’s death when more videos displaying similar criminal acts by NYPD were released as well as chokehold statistics – 1022 chokehold incidents between 2009-1013.

There is nationwide  as well as international outrage at the indifference the police officers and medical personnel granted to Mr. Garner – they killed him and then watched him die. And thank goodness the indifference to Mr. Garner’s humanity was captured on video for all to see. Think about it for a second or two, despite all that occurred in the last 30 seconds or so before he was brought down to the ground – Mr. Garner thought the police would recognize his humanity, his cry out for help, seven or eight times he said he couldn’t breathe – but instead, the world witnessed the failure of the police officers to recognize his humanity.  The dismissal of Mr. Garner’s human rights for all to see has clearly struck a raw nerve in the collective public consciousness.

The video shows the police officers continuing to apply the pressure of their collective weight on him as he slowly breathed his last gasps of air. Then to further compound the tragedy – medical personnel appeared on the scene – and did nothing.  Further proof of Mr. Garner’s human rights denied for all to see, thanks to yet another video shot on the scene.  In the few minutes before Officer Daniel Pantaleo would apply the notorious chokehold that led to Mr. Garner’s death, you heard Mr. Garner say that ‘it’ stops today.  The ‘it’ rang loudly for all those who experienced encounters with the police – understanding that each encounter with NYPD is a possible life and death situation.  The ‘”it” represented the hundreds of thousands of incidents stemming from the harassment that came with being stopped and frisked.   What the public witnessed was not what appears as a resistance to arrest but a deeper resistance to police harassment. The people clearly understood what Mr. Garner said – and that he spoke for everyone who was harassed and killed by NYPD.   There is a considerable amount of weight behind Mr. Garner’s words when he said that I’m tired of this.                                         

The issue of police brutality has long roots in the black community going back many years when the police were the enforcers of Jim Crow and legal segregation.  The police were on the front lines of resistance to black liberation during the social movements of the Sixties – the socially transformational Civil and Black Power movements.  The police departments were an integral part of the COINTELPRO program.  The ‘it’ spoke to the long history of contentious relations between minority communities, particularly black communities and the police, not just in New York City but nationwide as well. But the ‘it’ also spoke to the nationwide capacity to protect the impunity of police violence visited on predominately black communities and the political support of the right to exert that police hostility and police violence. Oh yes, when Mr. Garner said, it stops today – he was speaking to and for all of us.

While there’s a fierce battle for the public perception around Mr. Garner’s death – the resistance to police brutality must frame these acts of police murder as human rights violations and recognize the humanity of black life.  There must be indictments and incarceration that comes with accountability – but this must be framed within a human rights context.  So the next time you hear or read news coverage about Mr. Garner’s resistance to arrest – just for a moment think to yourself: Was he resisting arrest or was he resisting harassment”? 


Resisting arrest or Resisting harassment (Part I)


65% of Democratic Voters Want Biden to Step Aside: Poll

 
A majority of respondents said they want both Biden and Trump to quit the race, and were not confident in the mental fitness of either candidate.

A majority of U.S. voters want both President Joe Biden and Republican nominee Donald Trump to drop out of the 2024 presidential contest, with nearly two-thirds of Democrats favoring the Democratic incumbent's withdrawal amid mounting concerns over his mental fitness, a poll published Wednesday revealed.

The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey of 1,253 U.S. adults conducted between July 11-15 found that 70% of all respondents want Biden to step aside in favor of an alternative nominee and 57% think Trump should quit the race. Broken down by partisan affiliation, 73% of Republicans, 70% of Independents, and 65% of Democrats want Biden to stand down, while 26% of Republicans, 51% of Independents, and 86% of Democrats say Trump should withdraw.

"I just feel like these two individuals are a sad choice," Alexi Mitchell, a 35-year-old civil servant in Virginia and self-described Democratic-leaning Independent, toldThe Associated Press, adding that Biden has "put us in a bad position where Trump might win."

Black Democrats are Biden's strongest supporters—50% want Biden to continue running—while only 25% of all Democratic voters aged 18-44 want him to stay in the race.

A majority of respondents said they were not confident in the mental fitness of either candidate. Seventy percent of voters said they had little or no confidence in Biden's "mental capacity to be an effective president," while 51% said the same thing about Trump.

The former president was recently convicted of 34 felony charges in New York state related to the falsification of business records regarding hush money payments to cover up sex scandals during the 2016 presidential election. Trump still faces dozens of federal and state charges in connection with his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, cases that could be impacted by a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling granting presidents "absolute immunity" for acts committed in their official capacity.

Earlier this week, a Trump-appointed federal judge dismissed a case involving Trump's alleged mishandling of classified documents—a decision Special Counsel Jack Smith, who has led the case since Trump announced his current campaign, is appealing.

Trump was also impeached twice by the House of Representatives—but not convicted by the Senate—during his first presidential term.

A separate survey by Data for Progress published Wednesday found that "swing" voters are increasingly more concerned about Biden's age than Trump's criminal charges.

According to Data for Progress:

Before the debate and before Trump was found guilty on 34 felony counts, we found that swing voters were more concerned about Trump's criminal charges (48%) than Biden's age (41%), with 11% unsure.

After the debate, swing voters have flipped. Now, 53% say they are more concerned about Biden's age, a 12-point increase from our last survey of swing voters. Only 37% say they are more concerned about Trump's criminal charges, an 11-point decrease.

Notably, the new AP-NORC survey was conducted before Saturday's attempted assassination of Trump at a Pennslyvania campaign rally. The deadly shooting seemed to take some wind out of the sails of the burgeoning movement of Democrats urging Biden to withdraw from the race: In the four days before the incident, over a dozen Democratic U.S. lawmakers called on Biden to step aside. In the four days since the assassination attempt, only one more has joined the list, Rep. Adam Schiff of California.

"Our nation is at a crossroads," Schiff told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday. "A second Trump presidency will undermine the very foundation of our democracy, and I have serious concerns about whether the president can defeat Donald Trump in November."

A Pew Research Center poll published last week showed that more than 6 in 10 U.S. voters see both Biden and Trump as "embarrassing" choices and nearly 9 in 10 said that the 2024 election campaign "does not make them feel proud of the country."

This article originally appeared in Common Dreams on July 17th, 2024

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Hundreds of Kenyan police arrive in Port-au-Prince, establishing the latest foreign military occupation of Haiti

June 26, 2024 by Pablo Meriguet

The Kenyan officers arrived to Port-au-Prince to establish the UN-authorized Multinational Security Support Mission to fight against gang violence in Haiti

400 Kenyan police officers arrived on June 25 in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. The deployment of 600 more is expected to follow in the coming days and weeks. The arrival of the Kenyan police force was authorized by the United Nations Security Council, which last year approved the dispatch of foreign law enforcement forces to the Caribbean country. The dispatch occurred the same day that Kenyan police killed eight protesters in Kenya who were protesting the unpopular neoliberal Finance Bill 2024.

The armed mission in Haiti supposedly to stop the advance of gangs, which in recent months have controlled, according to some estimates, up to 80% of the territory of the capital and many other surrounding areas. Foreign police agents will be allowed to detain Haitian citizens with the local police.

Kenyan President William Ruto said a day before their deployment, “Our police officers’ presence in Haiti will give relief to the men, women and children whose lives have been broken by gang violence. We will work with the international community to bring lasting stability in Haiti.”

The mission was announced in a White House communiqué, which affirmed that the mission is fully supported by the United States and several other countries. The new military intervention in Haitian territory is intended, according to the same statement, to bring into Haitian territory about 2,500 police and security personnel: “I congratulate, and am deeply grateful to all the countries that have committed personnel and financial support for this mission that will eventually have a multinational staff of 2,500, led by Kenya and including Benin, Jamaica, Bahamas, Belize, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Algeria, Canada, France, Germany, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Spain. For our part, the United States is the largest financial contributor to this mission, providing more than USD 300 million and up to USD 60 million in equipment. And we will continue our diplomatic outreach to encourage more countries to join this effort because what happens in Haiti is in the interest of its neighbors, the region, and the world.”

Following the resignation of Haiti’s de facto president and prime minister Ariel Henry, who took over after the assassination of Jovenel Moïse, Ruto’s government had announced a temporary halt to the deployment but continued ahead shortly after.

Ruto challenged Kenyan courts to achieve deployment


Kenya’s president, William Ruto, who engineered the agreement, had to maneuver through several major legal obstacles to achieve the troop deployment yesterday. Diverse sectors in Kenya, especially the judiciary, had lodged serious challenges to his unilateral agreement. At the end of January, the High Court in Kenya declared the deployment of personnel to Haiti unconstitutional, ruling that the country’s National Security Council did not have the authority to deploy police officers outside the country. The order was the extension of interim measures first issued by the court in October, which Kenya’s parliament defied to authorize the mission. Ruto’s government obtained such authorization, but the Kenyan High Court stated that a “reciprocal agreement” is required for the sending of troops not to be considered a unilateral “invasion.” In the end, Kenya reached an agreement with Haiti on March 1, 2024.

Kenyan Lawyer Wallace Nderu, a member of the International Commission of Jurists (CIJ), had told VOA that despite having an agreement between the two countries, the act is problematic, as there are questions about the legitimacy of the President of Haiti: “The reason for this request is that when the then Prime Minister of Haiti was signing this agreement with Kenya, there was no recognized government in Haiti. The president [Jovenel Moïse] had been assassinated, there were no elected leaders in Haiti. So where does this lead, the mandate to negotiate an agreement on behalf of your country, Haiti, is in question.”

Set up to fail?

Another concerning aspect of the deployment raised by analysts is whether the Kenyan police will even be able to carry out effective operations in Haiti. The Kenyan officers do not know the territory and do not speak the language spoken by the local population. The gangs now have very established positions in the capital and other areas and it is possible that openly confronting the armed groups could lead to an exponential increase in violence and increased hardship for the civilian population. Notably, the vast majority of the weapons used by the gangs are smuggled from the United States.

In addition, the Kenyan police have been singled out and accused by several human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, of having committed excessive acts of repression and extrajudicial executions in Kenya. The police carried out brutal repression against the ongoing anti-government protests on the same day that the first units landed in Port-au-Prince. According to the International Peoples’ Assembly, “The deployment of the Kenyan police force, who are trained by Israel, comes at a moment when the people of Kenya are mobilizing against the neoliberal policies of the US-backed government in the country.”

Read more: “We will fight in the streets of Nairobi for our brothers and sisters in Haiti” 

In August 2023, Amnesty International wrote an an open letter to the Security Council, expressing its concern: “There is a troubling record of abuses and impunity associated with previous multinational or foreign interventions in Haiti, such as the cholera epidemic, unaccountable sexual exploitation and abuse, and excessive use of force.”

No to foreign military occupation

The mission has also been widely condemned by movements and organizations in Haiti, Kenya, and across the world as another instance of foreign intervention in the Caribbean country.

In a statement released by ALBA Movimientos, they said, “All of the missions that entered Haiti have left negative results. They brought economic setbacks and deepened the social crisis of the Haitian people. Only the Haitian people will decide the solution to the current situation and only a democratic and sovereign resolution to the crisis, without meddling, can guarantee peace, stability, and well being for the majority. We make an international call for the defense of Haiti and respect to the self determination of its people: out with any ‘mission’ of occupation.”

Haiti has a long history of foreign invasions that have failed to solve the serious problems the country has faced since it was isolated and forced into debt by western powers, such as France and the United States, immediately after its anti-slavery and independence struggle (1791-1804).

Almost a century later, in 1915, Woodrow Wilson, president of the United States, ordered the invasion of Haiti to protect the interests of the companies that invested money in the Caribbean country. The presence of the Marines lasted until 1934, a period during which the occupying US armed forces carried out several massacres of peasants and anti-colonial political leaders.

Between September 28 and October 8, 1937, around 15,000-20,000 Haitians were killed by the army of the neighboring Dominican Republic under the rule of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. From 1957 to 1971, Francios Duvalier, better known as Papa Doc, governed Haiti as a dictator with the open support of the United States. His son, Jean-Claude Duvalier, Baby Doc, succeeded him in office until 1986.

In 2004, former US Attorney General, Ramsey Clark, proved that the US and Dominican Republic governments were involved in supplying weapons and military training to several Haitian rebels, which would provoke political and social chaos that served as a pretext for the 2006 UN Blue Helmets occupation of the country until 2017. The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) was responsible for grave atrocities, including massacres, mass rape and the introduction of cholera into the country, leading to the death of 30,000 people.

Read more: International Colloquium denounces crimes of UN Mission in Haiti

In the coming weeks and months, more Kenyan police as well as troops from other countries will continue to arrive in Haiti and the “security mission” will begin to embark on its uncertain fight against gang violence. Faced with this reality, the people of Haiti have vowed to continue their struggle against foreign occupation and for true national sovereignty and respect.


This article originally appeared in Peoples Dispatch on June 26th, 2024

Please support the news you can use and visit The Brooks Blackboard's website for more news!   

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Monday, July 15, 2024

Biden’s aid pier in Gaza to shut down after 2 months of operation

The troubled project is set to close down after less than two months since installation, without addressing any concerns around ongoing genocide in Gaza

July 12, 2024 by Peoples Dispatch

After less than two months since its installation, the United States is set to close Biden’s failed “humanitarian aid pier” in Gaza, which was first announced during the US President’s State of the Union address in March, amid heightened Palestine solidarity protests. The pier served as Biden’s response to growing outrage around the death toll of Israeli attacks in Gaza, the lack of humanitarian aid entering the enclave, and the United States’ sustained political and military support for Israel.

Some police officers leave big cities for smaller towns to avoid heightened scrutiny

 By Amanda Hernandez

Larger departments struggle to hire, despite big salaries and bonuses.

Four years after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the police murder of George Floyd, many big-city law enforcement agencies are struggling to fill their ranks.

Departments have tried offering hiring bonuses, expediting background checks and increasing salaries. Some have dropped bans on visible tattoos, lowered physical fitness exam requirements and expanded eligibility to noncitizens. Yet the hiring that has happened is not enough, data shows. Some law enforcement agencies don’t face a shortage of officers but need other key personnel, such as crime analysts and victim advocates.

Gaza: fresh airstrikes reported in centre, south, as conflict intensifies

New Israeli airstrikes reportedly struck southern and central areas of Gaza on Monday as UN humanitarians and partners continued to treat the victims of a deadly strike on Al Mawasi in southwest Gaza on Saturday that reportedly left at least 90 dead and around 300 injured

In an update from Nasser Medical Complex in Khan Younis where victims have been admitted, veteran UN aid official Scott Anderson reported witnessing “some of the most horrific" scenes he had experienced in his nine months in Gaza.

“With not enough beds, hygiene equipment, sheeting or scrubs, many patients were treated on the ground without disinfectants, ventilation systems were switched off due to a lack of electricity and fuel, and the air was filled with the smell of blood,” said Mr. Anderson, Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator and Director of the UN agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

The Sahel stands up and the world must pay attention

July 08, 2024 by Vijay Prashad

This past weekend the heads of state from Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger met in the first summit of the Alliance of Sahel States.

On July 6 and 7, the leaders of the three main countries in Africa’s Sahel region—just south of the Sahara Desert—met in Niamey, Niger, to deepen their Alliance of Sahel States (AES). This was the first summit of the three heads of state of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger, who now constitute the Confederation of the AES. This was not a hasty decision, since it had been in the works since 2023 when the leaders and their associates held meetings in Bamako (Mali), Niamey (Niger), and Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso); in May 2024, in Niamey, the foreign ministers of the three countries had developed the elements of the Confederation. After meeting with General Abdourahmane Tiani (Niger), foreign minister Abdoulaye Diop (Mali) said in May, “We can consider very clearly today that the Confederation of the Alliance of Sahel States is born.”

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Was Biden’s Debate Fiasco a Gift?

Should Biden persist, the remaining four months of the campaign will be consumed by questions of his ability to govern to the end of this term.

Over the weekend, LA Progressive took the quick pulse of its readers about the controversy around President Joe Biden’s terribly weak debate performance and how people opposed to another Donald Trump election think we should move forward.

Of course, no one should confuse this push poll to LA Progressive subscribers with a scientific sampling across all voters, all Democratic Party voters, or any other group save the 194 LAP readers who chose to respond.