Cramm for 5/12/21


The attacks between Israel and Hamas continue to escalate. 



Lately, all eyes have been on Israelis and Palestinians. Over the past few days, there have been rising tensions and violence in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah and Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem as police have responded to protests and stone-throwing with rubber bullets and stun grenades. Around 700 Palestinians were injured. Then, on Monday, Hamas - an internationally recognized terrorist organization - began firing rockets into Israel, which soon carried out air strikes in Gaza - a majority-Palestinian region currently occupied by Israel. 



Those rocket attacks and air strikes still haven’t let up. As of now, at least 43 people are dead in Gaza, including 13 kids and dozens of civilians. And in Israel, 4 adults and 1 kid have been killed. 



This marks the greatest escalation of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle since 2014. And there’s still no resolution in sight. The US and the European Union have both called for a de-escalation of violence, while some countries in the Middle East are denouncing the actions of Israeli police in Jerusalem. The United Nations is condemning both the Israeli air strikes and the Hamas rocket attacks - and warning that the violence could soon turn into a “full-scale war” if the fire doesn’t stop.  



TBD on whether some sort of ceasefire is within reach. 


CORONAVIRUS: The global pandemic death toll could be nearly as high as 7 million, according to a new analysis. That’s double the current official death toll. Meanwhile, the variant originating in the UK now accounts for 72 percent of coronavirus genetic sequences in the US. Not a typo. In vaccine news, kids aged 12 to 15 could start to get the shot in the US as soon as today. Expect an announcement on that from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention within the next few hours. And on that note: the Biden team just reached a deal with Uber and Lyft to provide free rides to vaccination sites through July 4, when the gov hopes to have 70 percent of the adult population fully inoculated. 


POLITICS: Just hours ago, House Republicans voted to remove Rep Liz Cheney (R-WY) as a conference chair. The why: Cheney’s been pretty critical of ex-Prez Trump, particularly over his role in the Capitol attacks and his claims of a stolen election. Now, it looks like Rep Elise Stefanik (R-NY) could be set to take Cheney’s place as part of the House GOP leadership team. In other news, a judge just handed a major loss to the National Rifle Association (aka the NRA). The NRA is currently being sued by New York’s attorney general, so a couple months ago, they filed for bankruptcy and tried to reincorporate as a Texas nonprofit. But now, a judge is dismissing that bankruptcy case, forcing the org to face the lawsuit. And last but not least, Arizona’s governor is signing a controversial voting restriction into law. 


WORLD: Recently, Cameroon jailed two transgender women for “attempted homosexuality” and sentenced them to five years in prison - the maximum sentence. You read that right. Cameroon is among 31 African countries that criminalizes gay sex. Now, the two women plan to appeal against the verdict. Meanwhile, the Taliban just captured an Afghan district near the capital of Kabul, about a day before a ceasefire is set to begin. It’s the second district in a week to be seized by the Taliban. This comes as the US and NATO plan to pull troops out of Afghanistan. In other news, 178,000 migrants were reportedly encountered at the US-Mexico border in April. Yes, really. It’s the highest one-month total in two decades. But it looks like the number of unaccompanied migrant kids at the border is down. 


7 out of 15:” how many of the latest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees are women. Think: Tina Turner, Carole King, and the Go-Go’s. 


“A monstrous-looking fish normally found thousands of feet deep in the ocean washed up on a California beach” - an actual headline. No, thank you. 

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