Want to catch up with the news quickly? Here are the top stories from Thursday, November 16, 2023.
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1. Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping — how did it go?
U.S. President Joe Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday in San Francisco, in an attempt to improve relations between the two nations. While addressing reporters afterwards, Biden stood by previous remarks where he referred to Xi as a "dictator," noting, "Well, look, he is."
"I mean, he’s a dictator in the sense that he is a guy who runs a country that is a communist country that is based on a form of government totally different than ours," Biden said. "Anyway, we made progress."
Expectations for major breakthroughs during Biden and Xi's meeting were low, according to political analysts, though it still represented a positive-yet-tepid step forward for international affairs. Despite Biden's remarks, he seems to have helped along at least one issue important to Americans: panda diplomacy.
2. Al-Shifa staff fight to keep newborn babies alive as Israel raids
Israel has been conducting a raid of Gaza's largest hospital, Al-Shifa, for the past two days based on unsubstantiated claims that Hamas is using it as base. World leaders and humanitarian organizations alike have condemned the assault on the hospital, which staff vehemently deny is a Hamas command center.
Over 600 patients and 2,000 refugees are currently sheltering at Al-Shifa and have been denied the ability to leave since Israeli troops surrounded the facilities over the weekend. Every hospital in Gaza City has been forced to stop taking patients due to Israel's blockade on food, water, fuel, electricity, and telecommunications.
Without power, staff at the hospital are currently trying to keep newborn babies reliant on incubators alive, six of whom have already died.
3. Maui authorities identify 100 dead after devastating wildfires
Maui police have identified the 99 victims of the wildfire that devastated the historic Hawaiian town of Lahaina in August. A 78-year-old woman who was injured also recently passed away, bringing the number of deaths to 100.
The youngest victim in the fire was 7, and the oldest was 97. Many of the area's residents were older than 70, as several lived in a low-income apartment complex for seniors.
The fire damaged or destroyed more than 2,000 structures and burned over 2,000 acres, according to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), which estimated rebuilding could cost upwards of $5 billion.
- Queering the Map in Gaza: LGBTQ+ Palestinians Pay Tribute to Deceased Loved Ones ›
- Gaza Has Become a 'Graveyard' For Children, 'Living Hell For Everyone Else:' UN ›
- Gaza Hospitals Forced to Halt Operations, 'Safe Havens' Become 'Scenes of Death' ›
- Israel Condemned For Raid on Gaza's Largest Hospital: 'Hospitals Are Not Battlegrounds' ›