Jul 08 2014

Daily News Flash with Robert Jensen on Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge,” Afghanistan’s Election Troubles, and Senate’s Passage of Gun Proliferation Act

Uprising’s guest expert Robert Jensen, an author and a professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Israel launches Operation “Protective Edge” against Gaza, with 50 air strikes hitting the occupied territory overnight. The military operation by Israeli forces is being described as “open-ended,” and officials say it is in response to dozens of rockets from Hamas militants aimed at Israeli towns and cities. But the attacks come in the immediate wake of major Palestinian protests over the killing of a 16 year old Palestinian boy and the savage beating of his cousin, an American citizen. Israel has subjected what many are calling “collective punishment” against Palestinians for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, whose perpetrators are as yet unknown. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the story.

Afghanistan’s run-off Presidential election results were announced yesterday and one of the two candidates didn’t like what emerged. Abdullah Abdullah* has declared the vote fraudulent and vows not to recognize his rival, former World Bank official, Ashraf Ghani, as the winner. He has accused President Hamid Karzai of helping Ghani win, saying it amounted to a “coup.” Thousands of Abdullah’s supporters rallied this morning calling on him to form a parallel government. US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that any such move would result in the loss of US aid. Click here for a Reuters article about the story.

Here in the US, the Senate passed a bill that makes it easier for people to shoot guns on public lands, by an overwhelming vote of 82-12. In a chamber dominated by Democrats, this means the liberal party has thrown its weight behind gun proliferation even though a majority of Americans support gun control. Despite years of horrific mass shootings, gun control legislation has barely been able to move through Congress. The law in question is called the Sportsman Act, similar to a bill already passed by the House. According to the Guardian, “its list of sponsors closely matches those Democrats facing the stiffest Republican challenges in November’s mid-term election.” Click here for a Guardian article about the story.

* ERRATUM: Abdullah Abdullah is former Foreign Affairs Minister of Afghanistan, not Vice President as initially stated.

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