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Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulls a fire alarm ahead of a budget vote. He's set to lose in this month's New York primary. Image: Capitol Police.

Today’s News Briefs: Fire alarm “squad” member set to lose; Ukraine blackouts; Sandy Hook graduates; Gaza money

Today’s news briefs include the graduation of classmates of Sandy Hook victims, Urkaine blackouts, more aid to Gaza and squad member set for walloping in June New York Democrat primary.

Sandy Hook classmates graduate today

The classmates of the 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 will graduate today without their childhood friends. Also absent are the six teachers who died in the school shooting. “It’s just going to be heartbreaking,” Grace Fischer told CNN. “I can’t imagine that 20 kids are not graduating with us and that they’re not having the opportunity to walk across the stage.” Newtown High School’s Class of 2024 will be wearing green and white ribbons on their graduation gowns, each inscribed with “Forever In Our Hearts” to remember.

Squad member headed towards crushing primary loss

New York Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who was caught pulling a Capitol Hill fire alarm ahead of a Congressional vote, is losing badly in polling for the upcoming June 25 primary. His Democratic opponent George Latimer now leads 48 to 31 percent. Bowman was blasted for denying the murders and rapes of women and children by Hamas on Oct. 7 and has repeatedly parroted anti-semitic tropes.  Popular Democrat and former Rep. Mondaire Jones endorsed Latimer, infuriating “Squad” leader Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) who all but formerly called him a traitor.  According to the New York Times, “Jones said “that he could not sit by while Mr. Bowman positioned himself as a leading critic of Israel, saying that his former ally had sown ‘pain and anxiety’ among Jewish New Yorkers and had torn ‘at the fabric of our community and our civil rights coalition.’”

Ukraine extends blackouts after Russian attacks

Ukraine is in the dark much of the night as the country struggles to provide electricity after extensive damage from Russian bombing. Rolling blackouts now extend to eight hours in an effort to conserve precious power.  President Volodymyr Zelensky said Tuesday that Russia had destroyed half of his country’s electricity-generating capacity, since it began pummelling its energy facilities in late March. Residents its capital Kyiv, with a population of three million, have been hardest hit. Residents in highrise apartment buildings have been forced to climb dozens of floors of stairs while hospitals, malls, and shopping centers are filled with the hum of generators. The worst-case scenario, if Russia continues to attack power plants, is that come winter Ukrainians could be spending up to 20 hours a day without power and heating. Part of the issue is that Ukraine’s thermal and hydroelectric power stations are difficult and expensive to fix. “Some will take years to repair, and others might never be brought back online” said Maria Tsaturian from Ukrenergo, Ukraine’s national energy operator.

$404 million more for Gaza

The State Department says it has provided $674 million in aid to Gaza and Palestinians in the last eight months. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has promised an additional $404 billion to Palestinians in a meeting with King Abdullah II at an aid conference. The new aid brings the total that the Biden administration has provided to Palestinians since 2021 up to $1.8 billion, he said. Recent documents discovered in bombed-out mansions Gaza reveal much of the money has been stolen by Hamas leadership whose wealth now exceeds such notable US celebrities as Taylor Swift and Oprah Winfrey. The Biden administration is pressuring Israel into a ceasefire just as IDF commanders say they are close to destroying the remaining Hamas battalions operating in the terrorist enclave.


–Dwight Widaman and news services

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