Over 100 Palestinians Killed While Collecting Aid | Crooked Media
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February 29, 2024
What A Day
Over 100 Palestinians Killed While Collecting Aid

In This Episode

  • More than 100 Palestinians were killed and hundreds more injured Thursday near Gaza City as people gathered around trucks to receive much needed food and aid. Hamas said in a statement that the Gaza Health Ministry had presented “undeniable” evidence of the Israeli Defense Force directly firing at civilians. Israel, for their part, denied that soldiers shot into the large crowd.
  • Alabama’s legislature voted to protect in vitro fertilization, or IVF, following the ruling by the state’s Supreme Court earlier this month that categorized frozen embryos as “children” and said that anyone who destroys them can be held liable for “wrongful death.” The bills aimed to protect IVF providers from lawsuits and criminal prosecution in hopes that they would resume offering treatments in the state again.
  • And in headlines: the government shutdown will be delayed for another week, Texas battles the largest wildfire in its history, and Wendy’s sets the record straight on “surge pricing.”


Show Notes:





Juanita Tolliver: It’s Friday, March 1st. I’m Juanita Tolliver. 


Priyanka Aribindi: And I’m Priyanka Aribindi, and this is What a Day where we are encouraging all of our listeners to join the internet search for Kate Middleton. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yeah, the official line is that she’s recovering from a surgery, but she hasn’t been seen since Christmas Day. And the internet is worried. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Juanita, what is your working theory? 


Juanita Tolliver: You know, I’ve been working really hard to mind my business, so no comment. [laughter]


Priyanka Aribindi: Juanita’s being a good influence on us all? [music break] On today’s show, Congress reached a deal to avoid a shutdown, but only by one week. Plus, wildfires ripping through Texas have torched over one million acres so far. 


Juanita Tolliver: But first, more than 100 people were killed and hundreds more wounded yesterday near Gaza City, as Palestinians were gathered around trucks to receive much needed food and aid. This loss of life also comes as the Gazan health ministry announced that the death toll in Gaza has reached more than 30,000 people. 


Priyanka Aribindi: I mean, just staggering figures in every part of that. What do we know about what happened here as people were gathering to receive this aid? 


Juanita Tolliver: There are competing stories about exactly what happened at the aid trucks. The Israeli military claimed that civilians surrounded an aid truck and caused pushing and trampling and people being run over by trucks, but they denied shooting into the large crowd. According to Reuters, one Israeli official said there had been two separate incidents and the first, dozens were killed or injured as they tried to take aid from the trucks and were trampled or run over. He said there was a second subsequent incident as the trucks moved off and as people in the crowd approached troops, Israeli soldiers opened fire in a, quote, “limited response.” However, in a statement, Hamas said the Gazan health ministry had presented, quote, “undeniable” evidence of “direct firing at citizens, including head shots aimed at immediate killing. In addition to the testimonies of all witnesses who confirmed being targeted with direct fire without posing any threat to the occupying army.” So there are a lot of details that still need to be confirmed. But in the moments after the deadly confrontation, Gazans attempted to seek care at the Al-Shifa hospital, but given the bombardment, there were limited resources and health care workers available to help the hundreds of people who had been injured. 


Priyanka Aribindi: What has been the response to this latest tragedy? 


Juanita Tolliver: Well, according to the Guardian, the United Nations Security Council called an emergency session on Thursday night, and CNN reports that the United Arab Emirates has called for a transparent investigation. A White House national security spokesperson wrote in a statement, quote, “we mourn the loss of innocent life and recognize the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, where innocent Palestinians are just trying to feed their families.” A U.S. official also told NBC news that the Biden administration is considering air dropping aid into Gaza, given the dire need for humanitarian assistance and the slower pace of land deliveries. Of course, this deadly confrontation will have an impact on the ongoing cease fire negotiations. President Biden spoke to reporters from the White House before boarding a helicopter yesterday. Here’s what he had to say when asked if he still expects a cease fire by Monday. Take a close listen. 


[clip of President Joe Biden] Hope springs eternal. I was on the cell phone with the people [?] probably not by Monday, but I’m hopeful. 


Juanita Tolliver: Then he was asked about yesterday’s deaths at the aid truck and if it’ll complicate negotiations. 


[clip of President Joe Biden] We’re checking that out right now. There’s two competing versions of what happened. I don’t have an answer yet. 


[clip of unspecified reporter] [?] complicate these negotiations. 


[clip of President Joe Biden] I know it will. 


Juanita Tolliver: He said. I know it will. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Right. Biden still sounds hopeful, has sounded hopeful throughout this process. And I know so many people are really, really wanting to see this, but it’s very different from what the other negotiating parties have been communicating. Can you tell us–


Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. 


Priyanka Aribindi: –more about what they’ve been saying? 


Juanita Tolliver: According to Axios, a Hamas spokesperson told the mediators in the hostage talks that, quote, “the negotiations are not open ended and we won’t allow it to be used as cover for crimes against the Palestinians in Gaza.” Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at a press conference yesterday but did not address the deadly confrontation at the aid convoy. He said negotiations, quote, “have hit a brick wall because Hamas isn’t even trying to reach a zone of agreement.” Of course, we will keep you posted on all of this as the negotiations continue and we learn more about this deadly situation. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Thank you so much for that update, Juanita. Now we’re going to switch gears to another story that we’ve been following. Yesterday, Alabama State House and Senate voted to protect in-vitro fertilization or IVF. This is following the state’s Supreme Court ruling earlier this month that categorized frozen embryos as children, and said that anyone who destroys them can be held liable for wrongful death. In the wake of that ruling, IVF providers all around the state stopped offering treatments because of the potential for both providers and for the patients to be prosecuted simply for following the normal procedures of IVF. The bills that Alabama’s Republican controlled legislature passed yesterday aimed to protect IVF providers from these lawsuits and from criminal prosecutions, in hopes of prompting them to resume offering the treatment in the state. 


Juanita Tolliver: Is it as promising as it sounds like? Tell us more about what’s in these bills and how this happened? 


Priyanka Aribindi: This issue has been alarming and incredibly animating for people in Alabama and all over the country. Patients, doctors, and advocates gathered in front of the Alabama State House on Wednesday to rally and to urge lawmakers to get these clinics and these treatments restored. The state House ended up passing their bill 94 to six. And the Senate passed their version 34 to zero. This of course is in Alabama, where Republicans hold the majority in both chambers. The House bill says that the immunity that they are proposing for IVF clinics is intended to apply retroactively. And debate was opened in the chamber yesterday by saying very explicitly that the bill was for the purpose of getting IVF procedures up and running in the state once again. House Representative Terri Collins of Decatur, who introduced this bill along with one of her colleagues, said that the bill isn’t a long term solution. They expect to start work on something more long term in the next few weeks, hopefully to be passed in the next year. So to answer your question, Juanita, this is a Band-Aid. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yes. 


Priyanka Aribindi: For now, remains to be seen what will happen. But meanwhile, it’s also very important to note that Alabama passed one of the country’s most restrictive abortion laws back in 2019, and it went into effect with the fall of Roe in 2022. Abortion in the state is completely illegal, with extremely, extremely limited exceptions. So, you know, before we try to applaud these lawmakers for stepping up to protect IVF, let’s just keep that in mind. 


Juanita Tolliver: Right. Because the true intentions are from their previous behavior even before Roe v Wade was overturned. So yeah. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Absolutely. 


Juanita Tolliver: Put this new bill into context for us with the national picture as well. 


Priyanka Aribindi: The court’s decision sent alarm bells ringing all across the country. And that, in part, is because IVF has already helped hundreds of thousands of American families have kids. And we touched on this in yesterday’s show. But Republican lawmakers have been mixed in their reactions since Alabama’s decision. Many of them scrambled in the wake of that to speak out and to defend IVF. Many of those were the same people who cheered the fall of Roe, which paved the way for this to happen. So quite hypocritical. But as we reported in Thursday’s episode, when presented in the Senate with a bill by Democrats that would have established federal protections for IVF, Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi shot the whole thing down, saying that it violated religious freedoms and overshot the goal. 


Juanita Tolliver: And then what about Donald, I killed Roe v Wade all by myself, Trump? 


Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. Trump actually came out in support of IVF. He called on lawmakers in Alabama to take action. So Republicans in disarray here. They are very split. But you know who is not divided on whether American families should have a full slate of rights to fertility treatments, abortions, birth control, all of it.? You guessed it, Democrats. 


Juanita Tolliver: Surprise, surprise. [laughter] 


Priyanka Aribindi: This issue has further highlighted the vast divide between where they stand versus where Republicans are on an issue that has, time and time again animated voters as they have gone to the polls, especially in recent years. Earlier this week, an Axios Ipsos poll found that Americans as a whole opposed the decision in Alabama two to one, and an economist YouGov poll found that Americans said that embryos are not kids by a 50% to 21% margin. 


Juanita Tolliver: So consider this your weekly reminder that abortion rights are winning political issues for Democrats, and these numbers fully align with what we know for national support when it comes to abortion rights in general. So Republicans are clearly going to ignore the people. But there’s work to do. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah, we, of course, will continue to follow this story and related ones on the show. But if you want to help the cause of reproductive rights and protections for all, then be a part of Vote Save America’s Fuck Bans action plan, head to VoteSaveAmerica.com/fuckbans for more information. That is the latest for now. [music break]


Juanita Tolliver: Let’s get to some headlines. 


[sung] Headlines. 


Juanita Tolliver: The government shutdown that was set for tonight won’t happen, at least not for another week. You know, it’s our edition of kick the can. Courtesy of Republicans. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Truly. 


Juanita Tolliver: A temporary extension of government funding was approved by Congress yesterday. Getting further into the specifics of the measure, which was drafted by House speaker Mike Johnson. It funds half the government until March 8th and the other half through March 22nd. The bottom line is Congress will go through the same song and dance all over again next week, with Republicans holding the government hostage unless they get cuts and support for their policy priorities. And if you’ve been following along at home, you’ll know four continuing resolutions have now made their way through Congress in September, including the one from yesterday. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Please, let’s do something straightforward and let’s not revisit this issue every few weeks. Would love that. Let’s turn to a major issue on people’s minds right now, immigration. As we previewed for you on Wednesday’s show, Biden and Trump held dueling press conferences on the southern border yesterday in Texas to both campaign for their advantage on the issue. While they were there, a federal court blocked a Texas law that would have allowed local police to arrest and kick migrants out of the country. SB four was supposed to go into effect next week. We talked to the group that successfully filed to halt the law, Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center. Jennifer Babaie is the director of advocacy and legal services. 


[clip of Jennifer Babaie] It was a level of excitement and appreciation that the district court agreed with us that the law on its face is unconstitutional. 


Priyanka Aribindi: However, the fight is not over. Texas Governor Greg Abbott says that the state will immediately appeal the decision. Here’s Babaie again. 


[clip of Jennifer Babaie] So it’s not a win yet, but it’s a level of appreciation that we’ve stalled the law even a few days. 


Juanita Tolliver: I mean, we’ll take what we can get knowing the inhumane efforts that Governor Abbott is putting in so. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Definitely. 


Juanita Tolliver: Staying with Texas, the state is currently battling the largest wildfire in its history. The Smokehouse Creek Fire has covered over one million acres, making it bigger than the entire state of Rhode Island. And there are at least two other large wildfires ripping across the state’s panhandle. Folks have been evacuated from their homes, and Governor Abbott has issued disaster declarations for 60 counties. The full extent of the damage isn’t clear yet, but as of our recording time last night at 9 p.m. eastern, the wildfires had caused two confirmed deaths. Officials haven’t yet announced what sparked the blazes, but they have blamed wind, high temperatures, and low humidity levels for the fast spreading fires. I mean, seems like the key ingredients associated with climate change, and there’s no shortage of climate change deniers in Texas who better actually change their tune. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Seriously. Earlier this week, at a meeting with several other NATO countries, French President Emmanuel Macron commented that sending troops into Ukraine was possible. Almost immediately afterwards other NATO countries, including the U.S. and Germany, denied that that is on the table. But it still earned a stark warning yesterday from Russian President Vladimir Putin. He threatened tragic consequences for countries that send military enforcements, and said that Russia has nuclear weapons that can hit the West. [clip of Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking in Russian] The New York Times translated, quote, “all this truly threatens a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons and therefore the destruction of civilization,” and a reminder that we are also in the run up to the Russian elections, which will take place from March 15th to the 17th. No one’s really holding their breath here. 


Juanita Tolliver: Right. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Putin will obviously stay in power, but thought we’d let you know that that is on the calendar. 


Juanita Tolliver: And wrapping up with some lighter news, Wendy’s has rushed to pour a cold frosty on reports that the company would introduce surge pricing. Wendy’s fans lost their minds when the company’s CEO described menu changes on an earnings call earlier this month that seemed to suggest burgers would cost more when they were in higher demand. Even Senator Elizabeth Warren denounced the new program as, quote, “price gouging,” in a post on Twitter. But in a statement posted to its website this week, Wendy’s clarified that customers can expect discounts when demand is lower, but the company will not raise prices when lots of customers are visiting. My advice, if you want a Wendy’s item you know will be safe from peaks and valleys in demand, go with the eternal underdog, the baked potato. I feel like this shouldn’t even be an underdog though. When you put on that Wendy’s chili on top of the sour creams and chives that come with the baked potato. 


Priyanka Aribindi: I mean, it sounds amazing. 


Juanita Tolliver: It can hit the spot. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Would I eat that right now? Absolutely, yes. [laughter] The baked potato though never an underdog for me. The baked potato is number one.


Juanita Tolliver: Sprinkle a little cheese on top. 


Priyanka Aribindi: In my heart. [laughter]


Juanita Tolliver: And those are the headlines. We’ll be back after some ads to talk about developments from our favorite reality show, Love is Blind. 




Juanita Tolliver: It’s Friday WAD squad, and we’ll wrap up the week with another installment for me and Priyanka to dish yet again on the latest reality show news. It’s time for Reality Check. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Our favorite. [cheesy midi piano and stand up bass music starts playing]. 


Juanita Tolliver: The joy. 


Priyanka Aribindi: We were meant for that audio.


Juanita Tolliver: Pure joy. Today we’ll talk about a show folks love to hate, Love is blind. On Valentine’s Day, Netflix began releasing episodes for season six, and this season has been chock full of trauma and chaos. Whether it’s dishonesty about looks, which no one should have been asking about in the pods anyway. 


Priyanka Aribindi: No. 


Juanita Tolliver: Or dishonesty about why someone came home at five o’clock in the morning. This season is an entire hot mess and we love it. We love every bit of it. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Truly top to bottom, it is wild. I know there have been some less interesting seasons of this show. There have been so many seasons of it. But let me tell you, this really is one to watch. 


Juanita Tolliver: To celebrate the latest episode drop, P and I are going to highlight the cast members who have been the most frustrating for us to watch. Also, if you’re not caught up yet, this is your cue to tune out. Now that the disclaimer is done, Priyanka kick us off. Who has been most frustrating for you to watch this season on Love Is Blind? 


Priyanka Aribindi: Juanita, I think we agree on who was the most frustrating, but let’s get started with a few minor frustrations before we get into the big one. So first there is Clay. Clay who every chance he gets, not once, not twice, like at least seven times. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yes. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Has expressed his fear about cheating on his fiancé to his fiancé. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. [sigh]


Priyanka Aribindi: Which I’m sorry, I don’t know. I’ve never been in that position with someone telling me that, but that’s just red flag central. 


Juanita Tolliver: Here’s the thing though with Clay though. His dad literally took him on cheating trips that his mother still doesn’t know about, but I’m sure she knows about them now since he said it on the show. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Like it’s on TV now. It’s like you’re you’re not even going to tell her about it, but you’re going to tell all of us? Okay. 


Juanita Tolliver: Mess. 


Priyanka Aribindi: There is um Sarah and Jeremy and Laura, who like– 


Juanita Tolliver: Ugh. 


Priyanka Aribindi: That really was the craziest storyline we’ve gotten on this entire show. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yeah. 


Priyanka Aribindi: But finally, I will let you do the honors on Little Miss Chelsea here. Little Miss Megan Fox. 


Juanita Tolliver: Miss not Fox. Okay. Wow. 


Priyanka Aribindi: [sigh] Because this is just a whole a whole crazy situation. 


Juanita Tolliver: Chelsea. Chelsea. Chelsea, darling darling, you say you’ve been in therapy since filming, but nothing in this world can erase your whiny cry voice that you just break out without any notice. Every time Jimmy says anything to you, I cannot stand it. 


Priyanka Aribindi: It’s wild. I’m not even sympathetic to Jimmy. And I’m like becoming sympathetic to him because– 


Juanita Tolliver: Oh. 


–she just–


Juanita Tolliver: 100% sympathetic to Jimmy. You know why? Because whatever trauma Chelsea endured in her past before this show, in her relationship with Jimmy she is inflicting that same trauma on Jimmy. Like everything is emotionally abusive to her. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah. 


Juanita Tolliver: She gets drunk, tells him you don’t love me, exposes his business that he told her off camera.


Priyanka Aribindi: Yeah.


Juanita Tolliver: On camera. 


Priyanka Aribindi: It’s bad. 


Juanita Tolliver: And just is on a fishing expedition for anything she can grasp on to. And when they do make up, when he says I’m exhausted because I thought you really thought I didn’t love you, she says, can you make me some cookies? 


Priyanka Aribindi: Mind blowing to me. I mean, I hope you all are watching this at home. If we spoiled all of this for you, you should go back and watch it. I promise there is more. 


Juanita Tolliver: Yes. 


Priyanka Aribindi: Oh God, there’s so much. 


Juanita Tolliver: Well, I think we’ve checked everybody’s reality right now, so [laughter] we hope you have thoughts too, because we want to know. Tell us on discord and if you’re not already there, then sign up by going to Crooked.com/friends. 




Juanita Tolliver: That’s all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe, leave a review, fund the government and tell your friends to listen. 


Priyanka Aribindi: And if you are into reading and not just steady baked potato prices like me, What a Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Priyanka Aribindi.


Juanita Tolliver: I’m Juanita Tolliver.


[spoken together] And see you at the Love Is Blind reunion. 


Priyanka Aribindi: How do we get there? We need to be in that audience. 


Juanita Tolliver: Here’s the thing. I don’t need to be in the audience, but I need to write the questions because I know Vanessa and Nick are very, very terrible interviewers. [laughing]


Priyanka Aribindi: No no no. Get us in there. Get us in there. 


Juanita Tolliver: We can do the prep for you, promise. 


Priyanka Aribindi: We’ll hold their feet to the fire. [music break]


Juanita Tolliver: What a Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Our associate producers are Raven Yamamoto and Natalie Bettendorf. We had production help today from Jon Millstein, Greg Walters and Julia Claire. Our showrunner is Leo Duran and our executive producer is Adriene Hill. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.