News Briefs 03. 22. 23

UN Security Council Again Fails to Pass Resolution Demanding Gaza Ceasefire.

This morning, the Security Council failed to pass a United States sponsored resolution calling for a ceasefire in Gaza, with vetoes from Russia and China. 

The resolution had been widely criticized by activists, journalists and rights groups for using the language of a ceasefire to endorse the current and negotiations taking place in Qatar. The Russian ambassador noted that the resolution supports only the “imperative” of an “immediate and sustained ceasefire to protect civilians on all sides.” He called it an “effective greenlight” for an Israeli assault on the Palestinian city of  Rafah, the last refuge for millions of people who have fled the invasion. 

Israel Attacks on Al-Shifa Hospital Kill More Than 140 People, Including Patients.

For the last week, the Israeli army has sacked and occupied the Al-Shifa hospital in Northern Gaza, killing at least 140 people including 13 patients, who died from their untreated ailments. Reportedly, soldiers have been blindfolding and stripping journalists and medical staff, as well as forcing thousands of patients and refugees out under threats of destruction. 

This comes as 32,000 people have been reported killed in Gaza, with more than 74,000 injured. The death toll is expected to continue to rise as thousands of bodies buried beneath rubble have not been counted for. The toll of famine and disease related deaths continues to rise as well, with almost the entire population of the Gaza strip now critically food insecure, reduced to eating scraps of animal feed. 

Germany Legalizes Marijuana Possession In Small Amounts.

Today, the Bundesrat of Germany passed a bill allowing for the possession and use of cannabis for people over the age of 18, adding to the burgeoning legal marijuana market that now exists in The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Malta and a few others. 

Going into effect on April 1st, it will be legal to obtain 25 grams of weed per day for personal use as well as keep up to 3 plants at home. This bill has been widely debated due to the conservative opinions around drug use in sections of Europe though the German Health Minister endorsed legalization as a safer way to obtain and use the substance than from the black market. 

Justice Department Sues Apple For Alleged Monopoly in Smartphone Industry.

Yesterday, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a sweeping antitrust lawsuit against Apple for practices that have created a monopoly over sections of the Smartphone Industry. 

Garland explained in a press briefing that “Apple carries out its exclusionary anti-competitive conduct in two principal ways. First, Apple imposes contractual restrictions  and fees that limit the features and functionality that developers can offer iPhone users. Second, Apple selectively restricts access to the points of connection between third party apps and the IPhone’s operating system, degrading the functionality of non-Apple apps and accessories.”

Green New Deal For Public Housing Act Reintroduced to Congress by Progressives.

Also on Thursday, Representatives Alexandria [Oh-casa-si-o] Ocasio-Cortez, otherwise known as AOC, and [deal-lia] Delia Ramirez and Senator Bernie Sanders reintroduced the Green New Deal For Public Housing Act into Congress. 

The Bill seeks to renew, expand and decarbonize the public housing of the country, significantly enlarging investment into public housing and repealing Federal legislation that currently limits the construction of public housing. 

In a press conference, [Oh-casa-si-o] Ocasio-Cortez claimed that if passed, the act would [quote] “invest up to two hundred thirty four Billion Dollars over 10 years to preserve, upgrade and expand our public housing stock. It would bring public housing down to zero carbon emissions, while creating two hundred eighty thousand jobs in America.”

News Briefs Written by Tim Perrin