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THE BIG NEWS
Furor As Israel Admits to Killing 3 Hostages
On Friday, the IDF admitted that its soldiers shot and killed 3 Israeli hostages who had escaped Hamas custody and were shirtless and waving a white flag of surrender. "Help, 3 hostages" was painted, in Hebrew, on the flag. The father of one of the dead hostages said that the IDF "murdered" his son. Israelis protested again in Tel Aviv, calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli officials acknowledged the deaths as accidental and apologized. IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi released a video of himself in battle dress admonishing soldiers to "take two seconds" before shooting unarmed civilians. The overall effect has been to emphasize the IDF's indiscriminate use of violence in Gaza, no matter if the targets are shouting in Hebrew and trying to surrender.
More than the killing of thousands of innocent Palestinians, the deaths of these Israeli hostages seems to have galvanized the latest round of criticism among Israel's allies, who are encouraging Netanyahu's government to wind down its military campaign, which has devastated Gaza and threatened to spawn a wider regional war. In just the last few days, the IDF killed an Al Jazeera cameraman; surrounded a church with tanks and snipers and began shooting people inside; and bombed a home where a French diplomatic employee was sheltering, killing him. Netanyahu seems undeterred. “I’m proud that I prevented the establishment of a Palestinian state," he said at a news conference over the weekend. With 90 percent of Gazans now displaced from their homes, that state seems farther away than ever.
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
Migrant Numbers Soar As Biden Admin Considers Asylum Ban
The Biden administration has reportedly been considering deep concessions to Republicans on border and immigration policy in exchange for approval of another multi-billion dollar military aid package for Ukraine. The new draconian immigration measures would include significant bureaucratic limitations and, in many cases, outright bans on asylum seekers. The administration would increase deportations of those deemed to be in the United States illegally.
"The policies resemble ones that President Donald Trump’s Republican administration tried to implement to cut border crossings, but many of them were successfully challenged in court," according to the Associated Press. "If Congress were to make them law, it would give immigration advocates very little legal ground to challenge the restrictions for those seeking asylum."
More than 500,000 migrants have crossed through the perilous Darien Gap on their way toward the United States this year. During the month of September, more than 250,000 people were arrested by US border agents at the US-Mexico border. Once they arrive in the US, migrants face mistreatment, arbitrary and lengthy immigration procedures, and the possibility of being bused to New York as part of political stunts by racist southern governors. Now they are bargaining chips in a debate over military spending.
- Trump Calls Immigrants a "Poison" At a campaign rally in New Hampshire, former President Donald Trump said that immigrants were "poisoning the blood of our country." The textbook fascist comments come as some polls show Trump beating Biden in next year's election. via CNN.
- Swedish Unions Won't Pick Up Tesla's Trash As part of a solidarity movement supporting Tesla workers in Sweden, the local transport union said it would stop collecting trash at Tesla plants. Musk recently told the New York Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin – who he called Jonathan – that he wasn't keen on unions, calling them a "lord and peasants situation." via The New York Times and Reuters.
- Florida Republican Party Defrocks Chairman The executive committee of the Florida Republican Party declared their chairman, Christian Ziegler, unfit for office and slashed his salary to $1. Ziegler is being criminally investigated for sexually assaulting a woman with whom he and his wife, a co-founder of Hitler-loving advocacy group Moms for Liberty, previously had a consensual affair. via The New York Times.
- Pilots Struggling With Mental Health Issues Worried about violating FAA standards and losing their jobs, pilots are concealing mental health issues and resisting seeking treatment. "The system is so broken," said one pilot. via The Washington Post.
That's how many employees that Spotify has fired this year. The music streaming company is more popular than ever, adding tens of millions of users in 2023, but the company still can't make a consistent profit while paying out meager fees to musicians. Of course, the almighty market gods aren't bothered: Spotify's stock is up 134 percent this year.
ON THE SHOW TODAY
12/18: Happy Monday! Sam and Emma speak with Diane Winston, Professor of Journalism and Communication at the University of Southern California, to discuss her recent book Righting the American Dream: How the Media Mainstreamed Reagan’s Evangelical Vision.
DON'T MISS MR CLIPS
Emma and Sam talk to WaPo's Carol Leonnig about her new book on "Trump's catastrophic final year."
Somehow, fear of rampaging communists is still a thing.
“It was almost like he was documenting everything so we can’t go against him.”
-- From a Russian model who was abused by Jeffrey Epstein, the sex trafficker-financier. A new Wall Street Journal report shows how, up until his death, Epstein manipulated scores of women, many of them eastern European immigrants with few resources, coercing or forcing them into sex, cultish dependency, and becoming mistresses for his prominent friends. While the article doesn't say which friends, it does chronicle Epstein taking his young female "assistants" to meetings with numerous famous men.
Quickie Discount Code Corner
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