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Today, the IPCC released its last report under the Sixth Assessment Cycle after approval by government delegates in Interlaken. The Synthesis Report covers the major findings from the last three Assessment reports and the Special Reports, and provides a comprehensive scientific framework for understanding the climate crisis and solutions to it.
In response, Romain Ioualalen, Global Policy Campaign Manager, Oil Change International, said:
“The IPCC’s Synthesis Report once more raises the alarms to code red: we need urgent action on the climate crisis. With nearly 3.6 billion people worldwide highly climate vulnerable, there is no alternative to a rapid fossil fuel phase-out. We must replace our extractive, inequitable energy system with one built on renewable, regenerative solutions. Yet, this report shows that, even now, governments and corporations are investing more in fossil fuels causing this crisis than the solutions we need to tackle it. Any government leader who sees this science yet keeps slow-walking solutions, doing the bidding of big polluters, will be complicit in mass devastation and death.
“The United Nations Secretary-General’s response to the IPCC report makes it abundantly clear that the time when countries can pretend to be climate leaders while expanding oil and gas production is over. This is why the Biden administration’s reckless decision to approve the Willow oil project in Alaska deserves international condemnation. We commend Secretary General Guterres for laying out clear expectations for all countries to ban new oil and gas projects immediately while charting a just and equitable transition away from fossil fuels and towards clean energy for all. This question must be at the heart of the Secretary General’s September summit and COP28.
“The IPCC report should be a rallying cry, and today should be a turning point for urgent action, not simply a warning signal. We have the solutions to the climate crisis: we must divest from existing fossil fuel projects, cancel scheduled ones, and invest in renewables. The clock is ticking, and we cannot afford to waste any more time. Every day we delay action on climate change is a day lost in the fight for a livable future. We urge world leaders to take bold action. Together, we must work towards a just and sustainable future for all. COP 28 will be the opportunity for governments to double down on their climate commitments. The time for action is now.”
Oil Change International is a research, communications, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the ongoing transition to clean energy.(202) 518-9029
"We were particularly alarmed by the situation of Palestinian human rights defenders," reads the report, "who are routinely subject to a range of punitive measures as part of the occupation regime."
Civil society groups in Israel and Palestine face serious human rights violations by Israeli authorities seeking to perpetuate an illegal occupation and apartheid regime, according to a report published Thursday by the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The report—authored by the Independent International Commission Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory—examines "attacks, restrictions, and harassment of civil society actors by all duty bearers," including the Israeli government and occupation forces, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and Hamas in Gaza.
"We concluded that all duty bearers are engaged in limiting the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful association," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement. "We were particularly alarmed by the situation of Palestinian human rights defenders, who are routinely subject to a range of punitive measures as part of the occupation regime."
\u201c\ud83d\udea8According to \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf3 UN Commission of Inquiry, rights of civil society members in Israel & OPT are being violated by authorities in all areas through:\n\u27a1\ufe0fharassment\n\u27a1\ufe0fthreats\n\u27a1\ufe0farrests\n\u27a1\ufe0finterrogations\n\u27a1\ufe0farbitrary detention\n\u27a1\ufe0ftorture\n\u27a1\ufe0fdegrading treatment \n\ud83d\udc47\nhttps://t.co/1vFwjdbuBK\u201d— UN Palestinian Rights Committee (@UN Palestinian Rights Committee) 1686247724
The commission found that "the Israeli authorities' silencing of civil society voices that challenge government policies and narrative is intrinsically linked to the goal of ensuring and enshrining the permanent occupation at the expense of the rights of the Palestinian people."
"This includes criminalizing Palestinian civil society organizations and their members by labeling them as 'terrorists,' pressuring and threatening institutions that give a platform for civil society discourse, actively lobbying donors, and implementing measures intended to cut sources of funding to civil society," the report states.
According to the publication:
The Israeli authorities' use of anti-terror legislation to categorize civil society organizations as terrorist organizations aims to delegitimize and isolate them and undermine their activity, and to harm their international funding and support. The commission concludes on reasonable grounds that the designations by Israeli authorities of six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations and a seventh Palestinian NGO as unlawful were unjustified, undertaken to silence civil society voices, and violate human rights, including freedom of association, freedom of expression and opinion, and the rights to peaceful assembly, to privacy, and to fair trial.
Israeli officials claim the six humanitarian groups—Addameer, AlHaq, the Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International—Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women Committees—have ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a secular political movement with an armed wing that has carried out resistance attacks against Israel. The groups deny the accusation, and a probe by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency found no evidence supporting Israel's claim.
The report further states that "Israeli authorities are increasingly using surveillance to monitor the activities of human rights defenders, including through spyware planted on mobile phones," including by planting Pegasus spyware manufactured by the Israeli company NSO Group on the phones of Palestinian human rights workers and Israeli activists participating in 2020 protests against the last Netanyahu government.
A section of the report on the far-right government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu notes:
In late 2022, a new government in Israel was sworn in, with a stated mission of weakening the judiciary and increasing government control of the media and freedom of expression, which would have a significant impact on civil society in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. In February 2023, the government started enacting new legislation to weaken judicial independence amid large-scale countrywide demonstrations. The proposed changes would dismantle fundamental features of the separation of powers and of the checks and balances essential in democratic political systems. Legal experts have warned that they risk weakening human rights protections, especially for the most vulnerable and disfavored communities, including Palestinian citizens of Israel, asylum-seekers, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer persons.
The report states that Israeli authorities are subjecting both Israeli and Palestinian journalists to monitoring and harassment, with Palestinians being "particularly targeted" for intimidation, "attacks, arrests, detention, and accusations of incitement to violence, seemingly as part of an effort to deter them from continuing their work."
According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, Israeli forces have killed 20 journalists this century, with none of the killers ever facing prosecution. These include at least one U.S. citizen, Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead by an Israeli sniper while covering a May 2022 raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank. Al Jazeera producer Ali Samodi was shot in the back but survived. An independent international probe subsequently concluded that Abu Akleh's "extrajudicial killing" was "deliberate."
On Wednesday, 22-year-old Palestinian photojournalist Momen Samreen, who was covering Israeli forces' demolition of a suspected Palestinian militant's family home—an illegal act of collective punishment—was shot in the head with a "less-lethal" projectile and was hospitalized in serious condition.
\u201c\ud83d\udea8Breaking news:\n\n A Palestinian journalist in full uniform, Momen Samreen, was deliberately shot in the head by Israeli occupation forces, during his work in Ramallah. His condition is serious!\n\nMomen is a very known journalist & works with various Palestinian media outlets\u201d— Younis | \u064a\u0648\u0646\u0633 (@Younis | \u064a\u0648\u0646\u0633) 1686183857
The Israeli government—which maintains that the commission of inquiry "has no legitimacy"—rejected the report's findings. Israel's U.N. mission in Switzerland said that "Israel has a robust and independent civil society which is composed of thousands of NGOs, human rights defenders, [and] national and international media outlets, that can operate freely."
The report also states that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas are targeting human rights defenders "with the aim of silencing dissenting opinions," and that activists, journalists, and others have been harassed, intimidated, and in some cases arbitrarily arrested and jailed.
"The commission has received information on the use of torture and ill-treatment to punish and intimidate critics and opponents by internal security officials in Gaza and intelligence services, preventive security officials, and law enforcement officials in the West Bank," the report says. "The frequency and severity, and the absence of accountability, suggest that such cases are widespread."
"It would be political malpractice to have students repay student loans under Biden when Trump provided the relief. This is not rocket science," said Rep. Ro Khanna.
Progressive Reps. Ro Khanna, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have reportedly urged Biden administration officials to prepare a backup plan to relieve the student debt burden of tens of millions of Americans in case the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the White House's cancellation plan.
Such an outcome, paired with the looming end of the student loan repayment moratorium, would be an economic disaster with huge political implications.
Khanna (D-Calif.) toldThe Washington Post that "it would be political malpractice to have students repay student loans under Biden when Trump provided the relief," noting that the repayment freeze began under the former president—though the Trump administration also attempted to preemptively sabotage any effort by the Biden Education Department to unilaterally cancel student debt.
"The White House must figure out how to make sure there is an extension on the moratorium," Khanna said.
The Post's Jeff Stein reported Friday that Khanna "has told Biden administration officials, including Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, to press forward with a new plan to cancel student debt should the court invalidate Biden's existing plan," which would wipe out up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.
Khanna confirmed to the Post that he has made such a push. Stein reported that Pressley (D-Mass.) and Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) have "privately made similar remarks to administration officials."
"Spokespeople for Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—two outspoken advocates for student debt relief — declined to comment on if they are urging the White House to prepare a backup plan," Stein wrote. "Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley also declined to comment."
Heightening the urgency of calls for a backup plan is the fact that, under newly passed debt ceiling law negotiated by House Republican leaders and the Biden White House, the student debt repayment pause is set to end in late August.
The law, which could complicate any future effort by the Biden administration to implement a new moratorium, sets the stage for a nightmare scenario the Supreme Court blocks student debt cancellation and payments resume, leaving already struggling borrowers with hundreds of dollars in additional obligations each month.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau warned earlier this week that millions of student loan borrowers are behind on other debt payments and "have risk factors that suggest they could struggle when scheduled payments resume."
\u201cWith SCOTUS ruling imminent, @RoKhanna has privately urged WH to prepare a backup plan to try to cancel student debt if Biden\u2019s plan is struck down. \n\nAOC, Pressley have privately made similar requests\n\nKhanna:\nhttps://t.co/5NpGFhYumc\u201d— Jeff Stein (@Jeff Stein) 1686313996
During oral arguments earlier this year, the Supreme Court's conservative supermajority signaled it is poised to side with right-wing challengers and strike down the Biden administration's debt cancellation program.
A decision from the high court is expected before the end of the month, but the White House has yet to provide any indication that it has an alternative plan.
In a statement to the Post, White House spokesman Abdullah Hasan said the administration remains "confident in our legal authority to provide relief under the HEROES Act."
Student debt campaigners have outlined what a viable backup plan could look like.
For months, advocates have criticized the Biden administration for opting to use more limited emergency authority under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students (HEROES) Act of 2003 instead of invoking the Higher Education Act of 1965 to cancel federal student loan debt, which is carried by more than 40 million people in the U.S.
"Biden could have directed the education secretary to cancel people's debts using the 'compromise and settlement' authority granted in the Higher Education Act of 1965, but instead his administration invoked a different and more limited legal authority," Astra Taylor, a co-founder of the Debt Collective, wrote for The Guardian late last year.
"They also chose to make borrowers apply for the program, instead of automatically issuing cancellation—a slow-moving process that bought their billionaire-backed opponents valuable time to cook up legal arguments, find plaintiffs, and line their cases up with sympathetic, Trump-appointed judges poised to toe the conservative line," Taylor added. "The White House needs to learn from its mistakes and play hardball."
In June 2021, more than a year before Biden unveiled his debt relief plan, the Debt Collective released a draft executive order that would cancel all outstanding federal student loan debt using Higher Education Act authority.
"President Biden can cancel all federal student loan debt with a simple executive order. So, we wrote the entire executive order for him," the group said at the time. "It's not a magic trick. With the flick of his pen, he can make all federal student loan debt disappear."
The former Republican president and his associate Walt Nauta are charged in a 38-count indictment, according to the unsealed document.
The criminal indictment against Donald John Trump was unsealed on Friday by the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to the document, Trump is being charged with 37 counts related to the government documents he was not authorized to retain or share with others after leaving office.
An associate who worked for Trump as a personal aide at Mar-a-Lago, Waltine "Walt" Nauta, is also included in the indictment and is charged with six counts, including making false statements to federal investigators.
According to the New York Times:
The indictment outlines a number of incidents when Trump obstructed the Justice Department's investigation, including "suggesting that his attorney falsely represent to the FBI and grand jury" that he did not in fact have documents called for by a subpoena.
The unsealed indictment also accuses Trump of showing classified documents to other people not authorized to see them on two separate occasions. A pdf of the full indictment can be found here. Read the full document below:
Federal Indictment Against Donald J. Trump by Common Dreams on Scribd