Hunter Biden gun trial jury begins deliberations – National & International News – MON 10Jun2024



Hunter Biden gun trial jury begins deliberations.

US backs UNSC resolution for ceasefire in Gaza.


Hunter Biden gun trial jury begins deliberations

Prosecution and defense attorneys presented closing arguments in the federal gun trial against President Joe Biden’s son Hunter. The case hinges on whether or not Hunter was being truthful when he answered ‘No’ to a question asking whether he was a user or addicted to illegal drugs on an application to purchase a revolver in a Delaware gun shop. The prosecution used testimony to show that Hunter had been a habitual user of crack cocaine for years before he purchased the gun in October 2018 and continued to struggle with addiction for some time afterward.

Hunter’s defense argues that at the time, Biden was attempting to get clean and did not consider himself to be an addict, or was in deniable about at that point. Defense attorney Abbe Lowell pointed out that while federal prosecutors had ample evidence of Hunter’s drug use prior to 2018, they had no direct or indirect evidence that he was using at the time in question. 

After receiving instructions from the judge, the jury deliberated for about an hour before being dismissed for the day. They will resume deliberating tomorrow morning.

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US backs UNSC resolution for ceasefire in Gaza

In an unusual move, the US delegation to the UN Security Council has backed a resolution regarding Israel which Israel’s leadership doesn’t seem altogether happy with. With 14 votes in support and only 1 abstention (from Russia), the Council adopted Resolution 2735, which: “Welcomes the new ceasefire proposal announced on May 31, which Israel accepted, calls upon Hamas to also accept it, and urges both parties to fully implement its terms without delay and without condition”.

The resolution then goes on to spell out the terms of the agreement, which could potentially lead to a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and a release of all hostages, something Hamas has repeatedly called for and Israel has repeatedly rejected.

However, as Russia’s delegate pointed out: “The decision is ambiguous and hinges on agreements managed by mediators. We don’t know what they’re negotiating or what Israel has agreed to”. Indeed it seems possible that Israel’s negotiators did propose the deal but Israel’s leadership is now seeking to back away from it, not for strategic reasons but for political ones.

Shortly after the UNSC vote, Hamas issued a statement welcoming the resolution and saying they looked forward to working with mediators to ensure the plan is implemented. Meanwhile, Israeli officials are rejecting it and claiming that the terms of the deal are not what Israel agreed to. 

IDF massacres 274 Gazans while rescuing four hostages

On Saturday, the IDF mounted an operation to recover four Israeli hostages in Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. Accounts on the ground are conflicting, but what is certain is that a massive airstrike was called in to open a corridor into the camp to allow IDF soldiers and captives to leave the camp. Some accounts have it that they blasted their way in as well. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, there were over 274 deaths, dozens of children among them, and well over 600 grievous injuries.

Hamas has claimed that during this rescue operation, the IDF actually killed three of their own hostages, one of them an American citizen. Neither the US or Israel has confirmed or denied this report.

Reports from survivors and witnesses in the camp also claimed that it was US Special Forces and not IDF soldiers which stormed at least one of the homes where one of the hostages was being held. It’s no secret that US Special Forces have been in Israel since shortly after October 7. The US has not explicitly denied combat involvement, but has said its support for Israel’s hostage recovery missions has primarily taken the form of intelligence-sharing. Officials declined to comment further on other aspects of US support.

“Genocidal intent turned into action”

The US has denied reports that its aid pier was used in the operation, despite video circulating online of an IDF helicopter taking off from the pier’s staging area on Saturday.

Francesca Albanese, the UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, commented on Twitter that the IDF had used a humanitarian aid truck as camouflage to enter the camp. This would qualify as “perfidy“, a serious war crime. The IDF has denied this claim. 

Albanese went on to say that, “Israel could have freed all hostages, alive and intact, 8 months ago when the first ceasefire and hostage exchange was put on the table. Yet, Israel refused in order to continue to destroy Gaza and the Palestinians as a people. This is genocidal intent turned into action. Crystal clear.”


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