November 18, 2020
Action Alert Digest
Israel Rebuked For 'Biggest Demolition of Palestinian Homes in Years'

The United Nations has rebuked Israel for carrying out what it said was the biggest demolition of Palestinian homes in the occupied West Bank for a decade. Some 73 people, including 41 children, were made homeless when their dwellings were knocked down in the Bedouin settlement of Khirbet Humsa, in the Jordan Valley, the UN said. MORE
US Announces Further Drawdown of Troops in Afghanistan and Iraq 

Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller has announced that the US will withdraw thousands more US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by January 15, 2021 -- just days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. Miller said the withdrawal, "does not equate change" to US policies or objectives. Currently, there are approximately 4,500 US troops in Afghanistan and 3,000 troops in Iraq. MORE
Trump Sought Options for Attacking Iran to Stop Its Growing Nuclear Program

President Trump asked senior advisers last week whether he had options to take action against Iran’s main nuclear site in the coming weeks. The meeting occurred after reports of a significant increase in the country’s stockpile of nuclear material. A range of senior advisers dissuaded the president from moving ahead with a military strike. They warned that such action could easily escalate into a broader conflict in the last weeks of Mr. Trump’s presidency. MORE
New START, Explained

After Joe Biden became the president-elect, the nuclear non-proliferation community released a sigh of relief. Many hope that President Donald Trump’s threat of a new nuclear arms race will give way to a more stable nuclear posture.  But even with Biden at the helm on January 20, New START, America’s last remaining nuclear treaty with the Russian Federation, is set to expire February 5, 2021. That’s less than 16 days after Biden enters the White House. MORE
TAKE ACTION: Tell President-elect Biden: Make Family Reunification a Top Priority

To this day, 666 children separated from their parents in 2017 have never been reunited. These children's parents were deported after being separated from them, and our government didn't keep tabs on their whereabouts. Families Belong Together invites us to sign a petition to President-elect Biden telling him to make family reunification a top priority. TAKE ACTION
Federal Judge Rules Trump Administration's DACA Order Invalid

President Trump's top homeland security official, Chad Wolf, did not have the legal authority to restrict an Obama administration program that protects hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors from deportation, a federal judge ruled this past weekend. MORE
Making the Case for Ending Immigration Detention

Immigration detention has expanded in the past decade, driven largely by large private prison companies whose sole motivation is to maximize their profit margins—not care for those in U.S. government custody. The high cost of immigration detention—and the need for meaningful alternatives—became starkly apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Community organizations are already providing effective, safer, humane less costly alternatives.  MORE
TAKE ACTION: Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The Trump administration is finalizing plans to sell out the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas corporations on their final hoorah before leaving office. The Arctic is ground zero for climate change; temperatures there are rising at twice the rate of the rest of the world. Greenpeace urges us to tell the Bureau of Land Management and the incoming administration that the Arctic Refuge is not for sale. TAKE ACTION
Trump Rolled Back 100+ Environmental Rules. Biden May Focus on Undoing Five of the Biggest Ones

The Trump administration has rolled back more than 100 environmental regulations in the last four years—including rules on offshore drilling, management of water pollution at coal power plants, monitoring air pollution at oil refineries, and permits for pipeline construction. Experts say President Biden will have his work cut out for him to reverse the damage done. To be successful, he's going to need to focus on a smaller number of very high-impact actions. MORE
42 Catholic Institutions to Divest from Fossil Fuels, Bring Total to Over 200

For the second time this year, a group of 40-plus faith-based organizations committed to avoiding investments in fossil fuels, pushing the number of Catholic groups making such public pledges to over 200. This week, 47 religious institutions — 42 of them Catholic — announced they will end or continue to eschew financial holdings in coal, oil, and natural gas, the energy sources that are driving increasing climate change on the planet. MORE
170 People Charged in Tallahassee Child Sex Trafficking Network

A two-year investigation by the Tallahassee Police Department into the horrific sexual exploitation of a young teenage girl netted a staggering amount of arrests — with more than 170 people charged over recent months. Local law enforcement announced results of Operation Stolen Innocence, a highly secretive investigation into the commercial sex trafficking of the girl, who was 13 and 14 when the alleged offenses occurred. MORE
New Human Trafficking Routes Identified in Kenya

A new report has identified new smuggling routes, revealing Kenya’s intricate web of extensive criminal activity with well-established local and international networks. Kenya is rated as one of the worst countries in the world for human trafficking. Kenyans are trafficked to Saudi Arabia, Germany, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, and India. Victims are exploited most frequently in domestic work, sex, hospitality and food services, marriage, and begging. MORE
Palm Oil Labor Abuses Linked to World’s Top Brands, Banks

Millions of laborers from some of the poorest corners of Asia are involved in the production of palm oil. Many of them endure various forms of exploitation, with the most serious abuses including child labor, outright slavery, and allegations of rape. Palm oil is virtually impossible to avoid. It can be found in roughly half the products on supermarket shelves and in most cosmetic brands. It’s in paints, plywood, pills, animal feed, biofuels, and even hand sanitizer. MORE
Sexual Abuse A Problem for the Whole UN System: Victim’s Rights Advocate

As the UN’s first-ever Victims’ Rights Advocate, Jane Connors has to confront an uncomfortable reality: sexual abuse and exploitation – or SEA for short - carried out by UN personnel. Her most recent report detailed eighty SEA cases at peacekeeping and political missions in 2019, and 95 allegations recorded at other UN entities.  Connors says that, since she began in 2017, it has become more apparent that the on-going issue goes well beyond the peacekeeping sector. MORE
Sex-Abuse Claims Against Boy Scouts Now Surpass 82,000

More than 82,000 people have come forward with sex-abuse claims against the Boy Scouts of America, describing a decades-long accumulation of assaults at the hands of scout leaders across the nation. The claims, which lawyers said far eclipsed the number of abuse accusations filed in Catholic Church cases, continued to mount ahead of a deadline established in bankruptcy court, where the Boy Scouts had sought a bid to survive the demands for damages. MORE
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Fund Homelessness Programs in New Spending Packages

Congress has returned to Washington to consider two key spending bills – continued funding for government operations, and the long-delayed COVID relief package. Critical homelessness and housing funds are proposed in both bills, but there’s no guarantee that Congress will make the needed investments. The National Alliance to End Homelessness urges us to tell Congress to Support COVID Relief and FY2021 Funding for Homelessness Programs. TAKE ACTION
Food Insecurity Still High Amid Pandemic in City, Suburbs and Rural Areas Alike

One of the many devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past several months has been a dramatic increase in food insecurity. The Northern Illinois Food Bank says it’s seen a 50 percent increase in need and has been providing more than 300,000 meals a day through its network of 900 sites in suburban and rural areas. Many people don’t think food insecurity is a problem in the suburbs, and that people often feel ashamed to ask for help.   MORE
TAKE ACTION: Tell the Justice Department - No Lame-Duck Executions

President-elect Joe Biden won the election on a platform of ending the death penalty. The voters have spoken -- yet the Trump administration still plans to kill three more people this year. Human lives shouldn't be left in a political lame duck limbo. Faithful America invites us to sign a petition to the U.S. Department of Justice to immediately cancel all currently scheduled federal executions. TAKE ACTION
SCHEDULED EXECUTIONS

Orlando Hall is scheduled to be executed on November 19 by the U.S. Department of Justice for the murder of Lisa Rene. Please hold Orlando, Lisa, and their families in prayer. TAKE ACTION

Lisa Montgomery is scheduled to be executed on December 8 by the U.S. Department of Justice for the murder of Bobbie Jo Stinnett. Please hold Lisa, Bobbie Jo, and their families in prayer. TAKE ACTION

Brandon Bernard is scheduled to be executed on December 10 by the U.S. Department of Justice for the murder of Todd Bagley and Stacie Bagley. Please hold Brandon, Todd, Stacie, and their families in prayer. TAKE ACTION