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Newsflash: Israel Strikes Gaza, Climate Change Kills in Texas, Oklahoma, and India, FIFA Officials Arrested on Bribery Charges

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

The Israeli Air Force bombarded 4 areas in the besieged Gaza strip with airstrikes earlier today, apparently in retaliation for rockets fired by the group Islamic Jihad into Israel. Israeli officials blamed Hamas for the rockets, inspiring fears within Gaza of yet another war, less than a year after Israel’s devastating 2014 attack. Meanwhile, Amnesty International has just accused Hamas of committing serious crimes during that war last summer. The rights group claims that Hamas used the cover of the war to conduct summary executions to “settle scores,” after accusing victims of collaborating with Israel. In the midst of all this, Israeli officials are celebrating the fact that the US just blocked an expansion of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that would have shone a light on Israel’s nuclear weapons stockpile. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked US Secretary of State John Kerry in person. Click HERE for a The Guardian, HERE for a The Times of Israel and HERE for a Common Dreams article on this story.

Seventeen people are reportedly dead in Texas and Oklahoma over the Memorial Day weekend as severe storms hit the two states. Firefighters rescued hundreds of people who were trapped in their cars due to unexpected flooding. Houston, Texas, alone, received a foot of rain in a short time. Rick Flanagan, the emergency management coordinator for the city said, “Given the magnitude and how quickly it happened, in such a short period of time, I’ve never seen this before.” More than 1,000 homes have been destroyed and more than a dozen people are missing. Meanwhile in India, an unprecedented heat wave is killing people and even melting roads. Temperatures of nearly 122 degrees Fahrenheit have led to 1,100 deaths across a number of states, in particular Andhra Pradesh. Elderly and homeless people, as well as those working outdoors in the construction industry, have been hit the hardest. Indians are waiting desperately for the annual monsoons to provide some relief. Click HERE for an Aljazeera America and HERE for a Time.com article on this story.

And finally early this morning in Switzerland, authorities arrested at least 8 FIFA officials, sending shockwaves through the world of international sports. FIFA is the global governing organization for soccer, and oversees the World Cup, the most popular sporting event in the world. The arrests took place as FIFA officials convened in Switzerland for their annual meeting, and were conducted at the behest of the US Department of Justice, for accepting $150 million in bribes over more than 20 years. US prosecutors are alleging that officials “shut out competitors and keep highly lucrative contracts for themselves through the systematic payment of bribes and kickbacks.” At stake are the processes by which FIFA awarded the 2018 and 2022 World Cup locations to Russia and Qatar. FIFA President Sepp Blatter was not among those arrested. The US Attorney General is expected to hold a press conference today to explain more. Click HERE for a NY Times and HERE for a The Guardian article on this story.