Marjorie Taylor Greene files motion to oust Speaker after government shutdown averted – National & International News – FRI 22Mar2024


Marjorie Taylor Greene brings motion to oust Speaker after government shutdown averted.

ISIS claims responsibility for Moscow attack that killed at least 40.

UN: Russia, China veto sham US Gaza “ceasefire” resolution.



Marjorie Taylor Greene brings motion to oust Speaker after government shutdown averted

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has filed a motion to vacate the Speaker’s chair after the House succeeded in passing a budget bill with just hours to spare to avert a partial government shutdown. Greene and other members of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus have repeatedly expressed displeasure with Speaker Mike Johnson’s efforts to pass key legislation in a divided Congress. Like his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, a compromise budget bill was apparently the final straw.

Greene has not said when she will call a vote, though it may not be until early April. Greene said she wants to give the Republican Caucus time to find a new speaker “that will stand with Republicans and our Republican majority instead of standing with the Democrats”.

This may prove even more difficult now than when Johnson took the gavel in October last year. After McCarthy’s ouster, it took several weeks of failed votes to elect Johnson. Since then, a handful of Republican members have left the chamber, and a seat held by disgrace NY Rep. George Santos flipped to Democrat during a special election. This week, Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) announced that he too would be leaving the chamber in April. Once he departs, Republicans will only be able to afford to lose one vote on any measure if the Democrats are united on a vote.

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ISIS claims responsibility for Moscow attack that killed at least 40

Explosions and gunfire sent hundreds of spectators running for their lives at a concert venue outside Moscow. Video captured at least 4 gunmen, armed with Kalashnikovs, firing into the crowd at a sold-out concert for the Russian rock band Piknik. One witness said he believed there were at least 5 “bearded” gunmen who undertook the attack with military precision. Guards at the exits were killed first and then the doors were sealed, trapping the concertgoers. At least two explosions were heard and images from outside show flames and smoke billowing from the building.

As of now, at least 40 people are dead and there were over 100 people wounded. It’s unclear whether the gunmen were apprehended or whether they escaped. 

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. Russian forces have been assisting the Syrian government in fighting ISIS for over a decade. Earlier this month, the US Embassy in Moscow issued a warning to US citizens in Russia to avoid large public events. They said that extremists had “imminent plans” to strike large public gatherings in Moscow.

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Russia, China veto sham US Gaza “ceasefire” resolution at UNSC

Earlier today, the UN Security Council held a vote on a US-backed ceasefire resolution for Gaza. Most of the 15-member council either supported the measure or abstained, but Algeria and permanent members Russia and China voted it down. Following the vote, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield lambasted Russian and China for their “obstruction”.

Thomas-Greenfield claimed they had “cynical” reasons for their veto. Firstly, she claimed Russia and China didn’t want to condemn Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack, which Thomas-Greenfield called “outrageous”. However, both Russia and China had previously supported a resolution from Brazil for an immediate, permanent ceasefire, the language of which strongly condemned Hamas (the US vetoed that measure).

Secondly, she claimed that Russia and China were “petty” and voted the measure down simply because it was brought by the US. Thomas-Greenfield claimed China and Russia “would rather see us fail than see this council succeed”. She accused Russia of putting “politics over progress”.

Ironically, Thomas-Greenfield followed up these condemnations by warning that the US would veto any ceasefire resolution that didn’t endorse the “diplomacy on the ground”- referring to a US-led effort to broker a temporary ceasefire with terms that are extremely favorable to Israel. Hamas has rejected the terms repeatedly, demanding instead a permanent ceasefire before returning its Israeli hostages.

A “hypocritical spectacle”

Russia’s UNSC representative Vasily Nebenzya said even before the vote that his government could not support it because, in part, the resolution would have “ensured the impunity of Israel, whose crimes are not even assessed in the draft”. The resolution strongly condemned and proscribed actions such as carving up parts of Gaza to create “buffer zones”. It also condemned “calls by government ministers for the resettlement of Gaza and rejects any attempt at demographic or territorial change in Gaza”.

However, at no point did the US resolution name the Israeli government as the government responsible for these actions. Nebenzya also mocked the US for talking of a ceasefire after “Gaza has been virtually wiped off the face of the Earth”. He called the resolution a “hypocritical spectacle”.

While the resolution was stronger than previous US resolutions on Israel, its wording and language were weak and passive. Rather than demanding an immediate ceasefire, the resolution “determines the imperative of an immediate and sustained ceasefire” and calls for the UNSC’s “unequivocal support” for the ongoing US-led negotiations.

The resolution also stopped short of demanding that Israel call off its planned incursion into Rafah, where over a million displaced and starving Gazans have been sheltering in makeshift tents for months. Earlier drafts were stronger on this point, but the final version confined itself to expressions of “concern” in the preamble, rather than in the operative text.

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