Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin buried for trying to work with a GOP that’s been ‘hollowed out and pillaged by Trumpism’
Recalcitrant senators Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) haven't been willing to back the Democratic voting rights legislation or end the filibuster, and have instead offered their own competing plans and insisted on overcoming Republican obstruction to their party's agenda.
Both Sinema and Manchin have been unwilling to back the For The People Act without the support of at least 10 GOP senators -- which is basically impossible -- and, in a new Daily Beast column, Democratic strategist Max Burns urged Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to challenge them to find 10 Republicans to back their competing voting rights bills or lose the filibuster fight.
"Voter suppression is one of the few unifying ideas left in a Republican Party hollowed out and pillaged by Trumpism," Burns wrote. "Manchin has as much chance at persuading them to undermine their own electoral fortunes as he does at convincing Elizabeth Warren to pass a tax cut for Big Tech."
Republican legislatures have imposed new restrictions on voting after President Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump, and Burns said Senate Democrats must do whatever they can to protect those rights.
"When Sinema and Manchin fail to deliver on their big talk about the power of bipartisanship, Schumer and Senate Democrats must be prepared to force a serious effort to kill the filibuster," he wrote. "Without it, GOP efforts to undermine the vote in 2022 and 2024 will proceed with impunity, undermining the marginalized communities that delivered a Democratic Senate and White House on the explicit promise that they would be protected from Republican reprisals."
"Those reprisals are now here," Burns added, "and Senate Democrats are nowhere to be found."
The square in front of Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris has been closed to the public after tests again revealed high concentrations of toxic lead particles, the Paris police department said Tuesday.
The fire that ravaged the 13th-century monument two years ago melted some 300 tonnes of lead panelling in the roof, spewing the metal across large swathes of the city.
Exposure risks prompted authorities to forbid access to several areas and even some schools during extensive clean-up operations, with blood tests urged for children and pregnant women.
The square was reopened a few weeks after the fire, with officials promising regular testing of the site.
"Results from the most recent tests showed lead dust concentrations higher than the normal levels for Paris at certain points in the square," the police department said in a statement.
It will reopen after a new cleaning operation and "all readings are back to sufficiently low levels", it said.
While the spire collapsed and much of the roof was destroyed on the evening of April 15, 2019, the efforts of firefighters ensured the great medieval edifice survived the blaze.
But the lead risks delayed work on clearing debris and launching the restoration effort for the gothic landmark, which President Emmanuel Macron wants open for visitors in time for Paris's hosting of the 2024 Summer Olympics.
Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the blaze, but they have said an accident, possibly caused by a short circuit or discarded cigarette butt, remains the most likely explanation.
© 2021 AFP
Israeli airstrikes in the center of the occupied Gaza Strip on Monday caused severe damage to the territory's lone coronavirus testing lab and the offices of the Palestinian Ministry of Health, an attack that was immediately condemned as a war crime.
"The international community must hold the occupation accountable for its heinous and ongoing crimes against medical personnel and health institutions."
—Dr. Yousef Abu al-Rish, Palestinian Ministry of Health
Citing eyewitnesses to the bombing, Middle East Eye reported that Israeli war planes hit the six-story Ghazi al-Shwwa building with "at least three missiles, completely destroying the upper floors."
MEE noted that the bombing damaged "dozens of adjacent buildings, including Gaza's main coronavirus laboratory, an orphanage, a female high school, and the Palestinian Ministry of Health offices."
"If the Ministry of Health is not safe, then there is no safe place in the Gaza Strip," said Abu Hamed Abufoul, an eyewitness to the airstrikes. "This is a war crime and the world cannot remain silent."
Speaking in front of the impacted buildings on Monday, Dr. Yousef Abu al-Rish—the undersecretary of Gaza's health ministry—said the Israeli attack rendered the testing facility inoperable, badly wounded several health workers, and disrupted the territory's ability to administer Covid-19 vaccines, compounding the difficulties caused by Israel's blockade.
"Targeting the Ministry of Health building, al-Remal Clinic, and the medical staff is a heinous crime aimed at preventing the ministry from continuing its humanitarian work in saving the lives of the wounded and providing health care to citizens," al-Rish said. "The international community must hold the occupation accountable for its heinous and ongoing crimes against medical personnel and health institutions."
"Horrifying," MSNBC's Mehdi Hasan tweeted in response to the bombing. "It was bad enough when Palestinians in Gaza weren't able to get vaccinated, but now to reportedly lose their only coronavirus testing lab is... beyond words."
The airstrikes came shortly after Israeli bombs killed two of Gaza's senior doctors, including one of the officials leading the besieged territory's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
As the Washington Post reported last week, Israel's latest assault—which has thus far killed more than 200 people and injured at least 1,300 in the occupied coastal strip—began as coronavirus infections and deaths in Gaza had started to decline after reaching record highs in April.
"The horrendous attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure that we are witnessing in Gaza are inexcusable and intolerable."
—Ely Sok, Médecins Sans Frontières
"The violence has had an immediate effect: Medical facilities, triaging the flood of new injuries, have for the most part paused coronavirus testing and vaccinations," the Post noted. "And a crop of hospitalized Covid-19 patients who were nearing recovery were released over the past two days to make room for the growing number of war wounded."
On Sunday, a wave of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City that killed 42 people also damaged a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) clinic that treats trauma and burn wounds, prompting outrage from the organization's staff.
Ely Sok, MSF's head of mission for the occupied Palestinian territories, said in a statement Monday that "the horrendous attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure that we are witnessing in Gaza are inexcusable and intolerable."
"The number of wounded and displaced people is mounting while additional humanitarian personnel and supplies still cannot enter Gaza," said Sok. "The local health authority is reporting being 24 hours away from running out of blood bags, meaning they cannot transfuse patients with blood, a key intervention in caring for war-wounded."
"Israel needs to stop these attacks in the heart of Gaza, as we have seen time and again that they kill civilians no matter how 'targeted' they are, as in such a densely populated place it is not possible to limit the effects of the bombing," Sok continued. "Safe access for humanitarian staff and supplies also needs to be urgently arranged."
During a Monday call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—who has pledged to keep up the bombardment of Gaza indefinitely—U.S. President Joe Biden expressed support for a cease-fire amid growing pressure from the international community. A day earlier, the U.S. single-handedly blocked the release of a United Nations Security Council statement demanding an immediate cease-fire.
"Finally!" U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweeted in response to Biden's new position. "Our delay in supporting a cease-fire has caused the slaughter of children and destruction of lives. Now Biden has to push for an end to the occupation."
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month