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HARD NUMBERS: Gaza hospitals in critical condition, trust in US media plummets (again), Mexican cops ambushed, autoworker strike expands, revisiting Grenada 40 years later

A medic carries a Palestinian boy killed in an Israeli strike near a hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Oct. 24, 2023.

A medic carries a Palestinian boy killed in an Israeli strike near a hospital in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip on Oct. 24, 2023.

REUTERS/Arafat Barbakh

23: After more than two weeks of siege and airstrikes by Israel, only 23 of the Gaza Strip’s 35 hospitals are still functioning, according to the World Bank. The enclave’s five main health facilities are filled beyond capacity. Gaza authorities report at least 5,700 dead in Israel’s retaliation for the Oct. 7 rampage by Hamas in southern Israel.

32: Only 32% of Americans trust the mass media, matching the historic low reached in 2016, according to a new Gallup poll. A historic high of 39% say they don’t trust mass media “at all.” Note that the survey was conducted before a number of mainstream media organizations initially misreported the Al-Ahli Arab Hospital bombing in Gaza. From a historical perspective, the highest level of trust ever recorded was 72%, back in ... 1976.

13: Gunmen in the Mexican state of Guerrero killed at least 13 law enforcement officials, including a local police chief, in an ambush on Tuesday. Overall, Mexico’s homicide rate has been gradually falling after reaching record highs during the pandemic. But Guerrero, which lies about 100 miles south of Mexico City and is home to the famous resort of Acapulco, has seen a surge of violence as drug cartels vie for turf. It’s now the second deadliest state for Mexican police.

5,000: The United Auto Workers union expanded their ongoing strike against the big three US carmakers on Tuesday, calling on some 5,000 employees at a GM plant in Texas to stop work. The plant, in Arlington, is one of GM’s most profitable. There are now some 45,000 workers on strike at facilities belonging to GM, Ford, and Stellantis. GM said Sunday the current work stoppage would cost it some $200 million per week.

40: Exactly 40 years ago, in one of the more lopsided conflicts of the Cold War, the US led an invasion of the tiny Caribbean island nation of Grenada, where a pro-Soviet regime had been in power since 1979. In the days before the invasion, Grenada’s Marxist PM Maurice Bishop was executed by a rival faction within his government. On the pretext of protecting US students in Grenada from deepening unrest, Ronald Reagan sent in several thousand Marines and special forces. Cynics noted that the invasion immediately drew US media attention away from the scene in Beirut, where two days earlier a suicide bomber had killed hundreds of US Marines in an attack that Washington blamed on Hezbollah. The Grenadian Marxist regime was overthrown after a few weeks of fighting, and elections were held several months later. Bishop’s body was never found.


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