Rail company agrees $600 million settlement for East Palestine derailment – National & International News – TUE 9Apr2024


Rail company agrees $600 million settlement for East Palestine derailment.

AZ court rules state must enforce near-total abortion ban.

Report: Iran pressing Biden for Israel ceasefire.


Rail company agrees $600 million settlement for East Palestine derailment

It’s been over a year since a Norfolk-Southern train carrying huge amounts of toxic and flammable substances derailed in East Palestine, OH. The rail company has agreed to pay $600 million to settle a class-action lawsuit, which still must be approved by a judge. According to a statement from Norfolk-Southern, the settlement would include:

  • $104 million for community assistance, including $25 million for a regional safety center;
  • $21 million for a park;
  • $21 million in direct payments to residents;
  • $9 million to first responders;
  • $4.3 million to improve water infrastructure;
  • $2 million for “community-directed projects”;
  • $500,000 grant for economic development.

Local residents have reported ongoing health and environmental effects. Residents say this was due to the decision to blow up remaining cars containing burning chemicals, which the NTSB said was unnecessary. The community has since suffered persistent contamination of surrounding waterways

Norfolk-Southern has denied that they made this decision, not with safety in mind, but to clear the train tracks faster and get freight moving again, as Ohio Senator JD Vance has alleged.

President Biden visited East Palestine in February to mark the one-year anniversary of the derailment. He pledged ongoing support for the community and accountability for Norfolk-Southern. But a year on, Congress has yet to move on legislation aimed at improving freight rail safety. In the aftermath of the disaster, Norfolk-Southern spent $2.3 million lobbying Congress, a 30% increase over what it had spent in 2022.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


AZ court rules state must enforce near-total abortion ban

Arizona’s Supreme Court has ruled that the state must enforce ban on nearly all abortions dating to before the state joined the union. The law, which dates back to 1864, imposes a prison sentence of two to five years for anyone who provides an abortion, except in cases where an abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother.

The State’s governor and attorney general, both Democrats, decried the “draconian” ruling. State Attorney General Kris Mayes said, “Today’s decision to reimpose a law from when Arizona wasn’t a state, the Civil War was raging, and women couldn’t even vote will go down in history as a stain on our state”. Mayes also said the law would not be enforced as long as she is attorney general.

Some Arizona Republicans also expressed dismay about the ruling, including Trump loyalist Kari Lake, who lost a 2022 bid for governor and is now running for Senate. Lake called on Arizona’s Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs and the state’s legislature to come up with a “common sense” solution.

Despite being a major rallying cry for the Republican party for decades, many Republicans have moderated their stances since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. Many believe the backlash to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health ruling was key in thwarting a predicted wave of Republican victories in Congressional and state races across the country.

In recent elections, previously red Arizona has become a purple state and is a closely watched swing state in the coming Presidential election. Yesterday, former President Trump ruled out a nationwide abortion ban if he wins in November, saying the matter should be left to the states.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Report: Iran pressing Biden for Israel ceasefire

Last week, Israeli F-35s struck the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, according to Syrian officials. The strike flattened the consulate and killed several high-ranking Iranian military officials. Iran vowed to retaliate against Israel and even warned that Israel’s diplomatic facilities were no longer safe, with Israel having now breached the Vienna Convention.

It was reported last week that US and Iranian officials have been in communication through intermediaries. Following those communications, American and Israeli authorities said they were preparing themselves for a retaliatory strike by Iran within Israel itself. New reports now suggest that Iran may have presented the Biden administration with a proposal: Iran would forgo its right to retaliate against Israel if Biden secured a ceasefire in Gaza. These reports have not been confirmed by Iranian officials, and the US has denied that any such proposal was made.

Whether reports about the proposal are true or not, there have been some recent developments in Gaza. Yesterday, Israel announced its troops were withdrawing from Southern Gaza. Israeli authorities insisted that this was only to allow them to rest and regroup for a final push into Rafah and denied that the drawdown had any broader significance. Coincidentally, or not, there are renewed peace talks between Israel and Hamas, involving the US and Arab partners. Hamas has demanded a permanent ceasefire and the full withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza. 

After months of denial from Israel that it was blocking aid from getting into Gaza, over 300 aid trucks were allowed in on MondayThis was the highest single-day total since Oct. 8., but even more entered today. However, the UN says many of these trucks were only half full. Still, no aid trucks are getting into Northern Gaza, where the situation is most dire.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.