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Daily News Flash with Rahul Mahajan on Ukraine Warplanes Being Downed, Obamacare Rulings Over Subsidies, and Arizona Execution; Plus Update on Gaza

Uprising’s guest expert Rahul Mahajan, a sociologist and news analyst and author of Full Spectrum Dominance: US Power in Iraq and Beyond, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Two Ukrainian planes have been shot down this morning in the same part of the country that the Malaysian Airlines passenger flight was downed last week killing hundreds of people. The aircraft that were downed were war planes deployed by the Ukrainian armed forces and they were apparently struck by anti-aircraft missiles. It is not known whether the two pilots, who were the only inhabitants on-board, survived. The Ukrainian army has been carrying out a ground operation against cities held by pro-Russian separatists. Russia claims Ukraine carried out airstrikes near the crash site, thereby violating a ceasefire. Meanwhile, the remains of the nearly 300 people killed on the passenger plane were finally being flown to the Netherlands. Click here for a Washington Post article about the story.

Here in the US, the battle over Obamacare continues even after millions of Americans have bought into health plans made available by the law. Two conflicting federal court rulings over subsidies for low-income Americans to buy insurance leave the law’s fate in question. One federal appeals court has ruled against the subsidies depending upon which exchange the plans were purchased through, while another appeals court hours later, separately decided that the IRS should decide who gets subsidies. The rulings originate from a number of lawsuits that have been brought against the Affordable Care Act. Click here for an Al Jazeera article about the story.

The Supreme Court has struck down a stay for an Arizona man on Death Row named Joseph Wood. Wood’s lawyers appealed his execution on the premise that they do not know the contents of the lethal drug cocktail that Arizona uses, or whether those carrying out the executions are qualified. An Oklahoma death row inmate named Clayton Lockett made headlines earlier this year when his execution went horribly wrong and he died of cardiac arrest 40 minutes after it began. According to USA Today, “State officials said, in court filings, that they need to maintain secrecy because publicity has made it more difficult to obtain the drugs needed to carry out executions.” Wood is scheduled to be executed at 9 am this morning. Click here for a USA Today article about the story.


Israeli strikes have killed more than 650 Palestinians in Gaza as the war enters its third week. About a quarter of those killed are children. Four thousand people have been injured as Israel continues to target hospitals. Israel has lost 28 soldiers and 3 civilians killed by rocket fire – one of the civilians was a Thai migrant worker. US Secretary of State John Kerry is in Cairo saying he has made progress in talks between Israeli authorities and the UN Secretary General. But Israel shows no sign of backing down even as international condemnation for its actions have reached an all-time high.

Operation Protective Edge is the third time in 5 years that Israel has launched a brutal military campaign against Gaza which has also been under a debilitating blockade. The deputy speaker of Israel’s Knesset Moshe Feiglin opined in a paper this week that his solution for Gaza was to attack all of Gaza “using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations.” Feiglin also envisioned emptying Gaza of all its Palestinian civilians because according to him, “Gaza is part of our [meaning Israel’s] Land and we will remain there forever.” His sentiments came on the heels of another Israeli politician Ayelet Shaked who openly wrote of wanting to see all Palestinian mothers be killed.

Critics of Israel who point out that it’s operation falls clearly within the parameters of racial apartheid and borders on all-out genocide, are increasingly finding reception to the idea, if only by what Israeli politicians themselves are saying.