Western water crunch worsens as Colorado River dries up; more skeletal remains found in Lake Mead. Cheney loses re-election bid, eyes 2024 presidential run. Palestinian leader accuses Israel of “50 holocausts”.
Western water crunch worsens as Colorado River dries up
The federal Bureau of Reclamation has imposed cuts on water allocation from the Colorado River to two states and Mexico. Officials in those and other states that draw water from the river failed to come to a deal after the federal government gave them nearly a year to do so. With the water shortage worsening and its impacts on agriculture and hydroelectric power growing, the federal government had to step in and split the baby. The new cuts reduce water allocation from the river to Arizona by 21%, Nevada’s by 8% and Mexico’s by 7%.
Ultimately, more cuts to more states may be necessary and several Western states must plan for a future with less water. The river system provides water to Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, California, Nevada, Arizona and parts of Mexico.
More skeletal remains found in receding Lake Mead
Lake Mead, one of the largest reservoirs in the Colorado River system, is rapidly drying up. At present, it’s only about one-quarter full. The lake provides drinking water to about 20 million people in Arizona, California, Nevada and parts of Mexico. It’s also a popular destination for water sports and other recreation.
As the waters of the reservoir recede, it’s also verifying a long-rumored reputation for being favorite dumping ground for bodies. The reservoir is about 30 miles outside of Las Vegas. Back in May, the discovery of a body from the 1980s in a metal barrel made headlines. Since then, there have been at least four other discoveries of human remains in the lake, including two just in the last two weeks.
Cheney mulls presidential run after losing House re-election bid
Congresswoman Liz Cheney (R-WY) has lost a Republican primary vote in her state against a challenger backed by Trump. Because of her support for the probe into Trump’s role in stoking the Jan. 6 riot, House Republicans have already stripped her of her committee positions (apart from her co-chair position on the Jan. 6 Committee), and the Wyoming Republican party has officially censured her.
Cheney’s roughly 30-point loss to her opponent would seem to be a final rebuke by Republican voters in her state. Her loss was not unexpected, as she was about 20 points behind in the polls ahead of yesterday’s election. But during her concession speech, Cheney struck a defiant note, saying that her party has “embraced [Trump’s] cult of personality”.
On Wednesday, Cheney told NBC that she’s “thinking about” a 2024 presidential run, which will likely pit her against Trump once again. Cheney called Trump “a very grave threat and risk to our republic,” and said defeating him will require “a broad and united front of Republicans, Democrats and independents — and that’s what I intend to be part of”.
The enemy of my enemy?
Indeed, many Democrats and liberal thinkers have been, somewhat bizarrely, eager to embrace Cheney. There was even a push to have Democratic voters register as Republicans to vote for her in this week’s primary.
Democrats have chosen a very strange bedfellow in Cheney, considering that she voted with Trump nearly 100% of the time he was in office, never saw a war she didn’t like (much like her father, former VP Dick Cheney), and holds a hard-right stance on every other issue, including abortion. On the day the Supreme Court announced its reversal of Roe v. Wade, Cheney tweeted: “I have always been strongly pro-life. Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court returns power to the states and the people of the states to address the issue of abortion under state law”.
Palestinian leader accuses Israel of committing “50 holocausts”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Fatah Party, was in Germany yesterday as part of a tour of Europe. Abbas is meeting European heads-of-state in hopes of reviving the continent’s interest in the peace process between Israel and Palestine. The US had long played a leading role in this until Trump’s presidency when the US threw its weight fully behind the Israeli government.
Palestinian leadership has expressed disappointment that the Biden administration has done little to reverse course. With all peaceful avenues toward change closed off to them, Palestinians have become increasingly radicalized and are now resorting more and more to deadly violence, prompting Israel to come down on them with even greater violence.
During a joint conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Scholz scolded Abbas’ characterization of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians as perpetuating an “apartheid state”. However, numerous international rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have also declared that Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians amount to apartheid.
A German journalist asked Abbas if he would apologize for the killing of Israeli athletes and a German policeman by Palestinian militants during the 1972 Munich Olympics. Abbas answered, “If we want to dig further into the past, yes, please, I have 50 massacres that were committed by Israel. Fifty massacres, 50 Holocausts, and to this day, every day, we have dead people killed by the [Israeli Defense Forces], by the Israeli army”.
Abbas’ statements, predictably, have earned him condemnation from Germany and Israel’s government. Today, Scholz said “For us Germans in particular, any relativization of the singularity of the Holocaust is intolerable and unacceptable. I condemn any attempt to deny the crimes of the Holocaust.”
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