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University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Protesters reach an agreement to dismantle encampment

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Protesters at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have agreed to end their pro-Palestinian encampment following an agreement reached with the school, university officials announced on Sunday. The encampment, which had been in place for two weeks, will be dismantled by Tuesday, marking the end of what was believed to be the last standing encampment at a Wisconsin college.

University officials had allowed the encampment to remain on a patch of lawn between Mitchell Hall and a busy thoroughfare on the campus’s southern boundary, opting not to involve law enforcement. This approach differed from the response at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where police were called in to remove tents after negotiations fell through. Despite initial efforts to disband the encampment, Wisconsin-Madison eventually reached an agreement with protesters to voluntarily dismantle the camp prior to commencement ceremonies.

Chancellor Mark Mone of Wisconsin-Milwaukee stated last Wednesday that the university had exhibited “the widest possible amount of patience and restraint.” However, he also cautioned that patience was wearing thin and hinted at potential action by the school. Following discussions with the UWM Popular University for Palestine Coalition, the university agreed to advocate for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, condemn the destruction of schools and universities in Gaza by Israeli forces, and hold meetings with protest leaders regarding university investments.

Additionally, the university pledged to urge the Water Council, a Milwaukee organization of water technology companies, to sever connections with two Israeli government-owned entities, Mekorot and the Israel Innovation Authority. Chancellor Mone serves as the treasurer on the Water Council’s board of directors.

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In return for these commitments, the protesters agreed to dismantle the encampment beginning on Sunday and completing the process by Tuesday. They also agreed not to disrupt the university’s commencement ceremonies scheduled for Sunday. In a statement, the protesters expressed their satisfaction with the agreement, stating, “After hard fought edits and careful consideration by the coalition, we determined we had obtained all possible benefits from the encampment.”

The resolution of the encampment at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee represents a successful outcome of negotiations between university officials and protesters. By reaching a compromise that addresses the concerns of both parties, a peaceful resolution has been achieved, allowing for the encampment to be taken down without incident.

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Massive Landslide in Papua New Guinea Leaves Hundreds Presumed Dead

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A devastating landslide in rural Papua New Guinea has left at least three people dead and hundreds more feared to have perished under the rubble and debris. The disaster struck three villages early Friday morning, engulfing them in a massive landslide that buried homes and trapped residents. Local officials, including Sandis Tsaka, the provincial administrator for Enga, have expressed grave concerns over the high death toll expected due to the densely populated nature of the area.

The death toll could be in the hundreds, making it one of the worst natural disasters to hit the region. Prime Minister James Marape described it as possibly the country’s biggest landslide, attributing the catastrophe to prolonged and extraordinary rainfall in recent months.

Rescue efforts have been hampered by the unstable terrain and ongoing rain, complicating the search for survivors. Nearly 4,000 people inhabit the affected villages, primarily subsistence farmers in the highlands region of Papua New Guinea.

The landslide, comparable to the size of three or four soccer fields, has caused significant damage to the area, including the main thoroughfare, the Porgera Highway. International aid organizations and the country’s defense forces are mobilizing to provide assistance to the affected communities.

Despite challenges such as tribal conflicts and delays in aid delivery, efforts are underway to rescue those trapped under the debris. The region’s unstable geology, exacerbated by heavy rainfall, has made it prone to landslides, posing a constant threat to the expanding villages.

President Joe Biden and Australia’s foreign minister, Penny Wong, have pledged support for Papua New Guinea’s rescue and recovery operations. The global community is standing in solidarity with the affected population, offering assistance and aid to alleviate the humanitarian crisis.

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As the search for survivors continues and the death toll rises, it is a stark reminder of the vulnerability of communities in disaster-prone regions. The resilience and unity shown in times of crisis highlight the strength and compassion of humanity in facing such tragedies.

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