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Millions could lose access to food stamps due to a new Trump administration rule; Israel begins a controversial demolition of Palestinian housing on the edge of east Jerusalem.


3 million people to lose food stamp eligibility

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  • The Trump administration has rolled out a new rule that would drastically cut the number of food stamp recipients. [CNN / Tami Luhby]
  • The US Department of Agriculture said it wanted to close a “loophole” where those receiving federal benefits through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families can automatically qualify for food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Forty-three states practice this measure. [NPR / Pam Fessler]
  • Under the current policy, states have the flexibility to raise income eligibility limits so that a low-income family can receive help affording food if housing and child care expenses take up a sizable share of their income. [Washington Post / Laura Reiley]
  • Under the new rule, however, TANF recipients would have to undergo a thorough income and assets review to determine their SNAP eligibility. [Fox News / Edmund DeMarche]
  • By taking away food stamp eligibility from more than 3 million people, the government would save $2.5 billion a year. Currently, about 40 million people — 12 percent of the population — receive food stamps. [Reuters / Tom Polansek and Humeyra Pamuk]
  • Experts argue that it will be harder for low-income families to work their way out of poverty because they will no longer be able to save funds while receiving aid through food stamps. [USA Today / Ledyard King]
  • Working families who earn just above the SNAP income cutoff will be hit hard by the new rule, which will increase food insecurity. [CBS News / Aimee Picchi]

Israel begins demolition of Palestinian housing

  • Israel has begun demolishing Palestinian housing on the edge of east Jerusalem on Monday, ramping up tensions in an already precarious situation. [UPI / Nicholas Sakelaris]
  • Israel said the buildings are too close to the West Bank separation barrier, and an Israeli court agreed that the structures were a security threat by providing potential cover to suicide bombers and other terrorists. [NYT / Isabel Kershner]
  • Residents, however, have said the buildings were erected lawfully because they were built on West Bank land that is technically under Palestinian jurisdiction with construction permits from the Palestinian Authority. [BBC]
  • According to the United Nations, 17 people have been displaced due to the demolitions and about 350 people have lost property that was still under construction or unoccupied. [France 24]
  • The Palestinian Authority has denounced the demolitions as a war crime and said it would complain to the International Criminal Court. Both the UN and the European Union have criticized Israel for the demolition. [Al Jazeera]
  • As demonstrated by the situation, conflict over land is at the key of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Israel claimed both east Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 war. The international community sees both as occupied land, although Israel disputes these claims. [AP / Alon Bernstein]
  • The relationship between Israel and Palestine has become increasingly delicate in recent years, and the demolitions put pressure on already strained peace talk attempts. [NYT / Isabel Kershner]

Miscellaneous

  • The long North Carolina “bathroom bill” battle is now over: In a Tuesday settlement, a judge ruled that transgender individuals have the right to use whichever bathroom matches their gender identity. [NPR / Merrit Kennedy]
  • The NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights group, has unanimously voted to support the impeachment of President Donald Trump, adding more pressure on Democratic leaders to take action. [Washington Post / Colby Itkowitz and Wesley Lowery]
  • When a Tennessee man was trapped in his car with his son during a standoff with ICE officers, his neighbors came to the rescue, providing him with fuel, water, and food. The officials eventually left “to de-escalate the situation.” [CNN / Catherine E. Shoichet and Theresa Waldrop]
  • $48 million worth of elephant ivory and pangolin scales was seized in Singapore on its way from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Vietnam. It’s Singapore’s largest seizure to date. [BBC]
  • Junk food companies’ strategy to promote their food during an era of healthy eating: “mindful snacking.” Some tips include focusing on your senses, chewing thoroughly, and minimizing distractions. [WSJ / Ellen Byron]

Verbatim

“I built this house stone by stone. It was my dream to live in this house. Now I am losing everything.” [Fadi al-Wahash, 37, who lost his unfinished three-story home during Israel’s demolition of Palestinian buildings]


Listen to this:

Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans are demanding Gov. Ricardo Roselló resign. David Begnaud from CBS News reports from San Juan. [Spotify]


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