Biden turns 81, gets more bad poll numbers over Israel support.
Mysterious, potentially deadly, illness strikes hundreds of dogs in several states.
Right-wing candidate wins Argentina presidency.
Media skeptical of IDF claims of Hamas base in Gaza hospital.
Biden turns 81, gets more bad poll numbers over Israel support
There’s more bad news for President Biden with new numbers showing that his approval rating has dropped to 40%, with his greatest drop among younger voters. Biden is also polling slightly behind Trump in a nationwide one-to-one match up. Last week, a poll showed Biden trailing Trump in several key swing states.
Comments indicate that Biden’s support for Israel’s military campaign in Gaza was a final insult for many young Democrats who were already frustrated by other shortcomings. Recent polling shows a majority of Americans want a ceasefire in Gaza.
Voters have voiced dissatisfaction with the state of the economy as well as Biden’s failure to deliver on several key campaign promises such as action on climate and healthcare.
Another key issue for many young voters was student debt relief. After a 3-year hiatus, student borrowers are now having to resume payments on debt that many hoped would be either gone or drastically reduced by this point. Defaults on payments are expected to rise significantly over 2019 despite several steps taken by the Department of Education to make repayments more manageable for low-income borrowers.
Political commentators have said that it’s too early to worry about poll numbers. However, given Trump’s numerous criminal indictments and the possibility he could be in prison by next November, it should be troubling that Biden doesn’t have at least a comfortable lead even at this early date.
Mysterious, potentially deadly, illness strikes hundreds of dogs in several states
Veterinarians are sounding the alarm over the emergence of an unknown respiratory illness in dogs. So far, possible cases of the illness have been found in California, New Hampshire, Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, Washington, Idaho and Oregon. It’s unclear what is causing the illness but vets say it is unresponsive to antibiotics, leading them to suspect a virus of some sort. Affected dogs experience a mild to moderate cough that may last six to eight weeks. This may coincide with pneumonia. Other symptoms to be on the lookout for are sneezing, discharge from the nose or eyes and lethargy.
Cases are more common among dogs that have been boarded or are in doggy day-care. Dogs in private homes with less exposure to other dogs are less likely to be affected. Vets are encouraging dog owners planning holiday travel to avoid boarding dogs if possible and to make sure dogs are up-to-date on vaccines.
Right-wing candidate wins Argentina presidency
Far-right candidate Javier Milei has won the presidency in Argentina with an over 11% margin. Milei has gained notoriety internationally for his bombastic, uncouth and sometimes extreme rhetoric, as well as his unabashed admiration for former Pres. Trump. Trump was among the first to celebrate Milei’s win on social media, saying Milei would “Make Argentina Great Again”.
Argentina has been experiencing economic upheaval with inflation now topping 143%. Milei’s opponent, Economy Minister Sergio Massa, has presided over this major downturn in the economy but leaned into criticizing Milei and his unorthodox and potentially disastrous economic policies. One of the planks of Milei’s platform was to abandon the Argentine peso in favor of the US dollar. He also said he plans to make drastic cuts to public services, including education and healthcare. Milei will assume the presidency on December 10.
International media skeptical of Israel claims of Hamas base in Gaza hospital
Ever since Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza began 6 weeks ago, numerous clinics and hospitals in the strip have been bombarded. Last week, the IDF’s ground war in Gaza picked up steam with fighting intensifying at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City. Al-Shifa is one of Gaza’s largest and best equipped hospitals and became a place of refuge for thousands of people whose homes had been destroyed by Israeli shelling.
The shelling around the hospital killed hundreds of people and jeopardized the lives of hundreds of patients and medical staff. The IDF justified the siege of the hospital by claiming Hamas was using it as a command-and-control center. They suspected Hamas was using tunnels underneath the hospital that were built during an expansion of the hospital during the 1980s, at which time Gaza was under Israeli control. IDF officials previously released a computerized schematic of a vast network of tunnels underneath Al-Shifa and an impressive array of Hamas military equipment they expected to find there.
The IDF took control of the hospital six days ago and the sophisticated command center Israel envisioned has so far failed to materialize. Members of the press have had only very limited access to the facility were fairly unimpressed with what Israel claimed to have found there. An IDF spokesman said they’d uncovered some 15 rifles as well as a few grenades. After all the build-up and all the death, commentators said it didn’t seem like much of a payoff.
Media raises questions
Analysis by the BBC also show some sleight of hand, at the very least, in a video produced by the IDF purporting to show the find spots of some of these weapons. One portion of the video also showed a laptop and some CD-ROMs which the IDF claimed would provide valuable intelligence. The IDF released two versions of the video, the second of which was edited to obscure some key details, including the fact that the laptop was of a type that doesn’t have a CD drive. CNN also found evidence that some of the weapons had been moved around in the hours between the time the IDF shot the video and hours later when they rushed the reporters through.
Today, the IDF released videos that it claims were from Al-Shifa’s surveillance, purporting to show two of the Israeli hostages being brought to the facility on October 7, the day that Hamas launched its attack on Israel. All media outlets were careful to say that they could not independently verify when and where the footage was from, nor could they confirm that the individuals shown in the video were hostages. In one brief clip, several men are shown rushing another man in through the entrance and down a hallway. The second clip shows a wounded man in his underwear being brought in for treatment at the hospital. The IDF claims these videos are proof that Al-Shifa was a Hamas base while Hamas says it merely shows doctors rendering treatment.