A new prime minister in Israel
Yesterday, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, officially ousted Benjamin Netanyahu, whose 12-year reign as prime minister was the longest in the country’s history. The Knesset approved a new coalition government with one vote: 60 to 59, with one abstention.
He was replaced as Prime Minister by Naftali Bennett. Often described as more to the right than Netanyahu, Bennett sees no path to a Palestinian state and believes Israel should annex much of the occupied West Bank. Center leader Yair Lapid, who helped negotiate the deal, will take his place as prime minister in two years.
The eight coalition parties, which span the political spectrum, have little in common. They plan to stay away from issues that would divide them, such as the conflict with the Palestinians, and promise a national focus: patching up budgets, fixing roads and rebuilding the clumsy economy.
Shipment from Tel Aviv: Ecstatic Israelis descended on Rabin Square on Sunday for a celebration marking the swearing-in of the new government.
Netanyahu: The 71-year-old has no plans to retire and could still lead the powerful Likud party. In a self-righteous speech on Sunday, he listed his accomplishments and vowed revenge, pledging to lead his supporters “in a daily battle against this evil and dangerous left-wing government, and to bring it down.”
The G7 summit comes to an end
President Biden and his fellow Western leaders have concluded the first in-person Group of 7 summit since the start of the pandemic. They issued a conflicting joint statement on the behavior of the Russian and Chinese governments, even though they disagreed on other crucial issues.
China: Biden urged his fellow leaders to offer hundreds of billions in loans to developing countries, in a direct challenge to Beijing’s Belt-and-Road initiative and as a “democratic alternative” to the push for lending and investment in the country. China.
Climate change: The leaders have not set an expiration date for burning coal, although they have promised to halve collective emissions by 2030. The G7 countries together produce about a quarter of the world’s pollution.
Diplomacy: Leaders openly hailed Biden and the return to international diplomacy after Donald Trump’s contempt for alliances. On Sunday, after the summit, the Bidens headed to Windsor Castle for tea with the Queen.
Angela Merkel: The German Chancellor, known for her commitment to compromise, has joined the world’s top Democratic leaders for the last time. His absence will be keenly felt, analysts said.
Biden’s next moves: Biden will meet this week with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin. Although Biden has said relations with Moscow are at a “low point,” he is open to collaboration on humanitarian aid to the Syrians and on Putin’s proposal to extradite cybercriminals from each other.
A drop in virus testing in the United States
Coronavirus tests continue to decline in the United States from a peak in mid-January of around 1.8 million daily tests, making it more difficult for the country to identify outbreaks and track the spread of variants highly contagious.
Testing and public health experts attribute the decline to decreased spread in the community, due to vaccinations, as well as pandemic fatigue. But with just 43% of Americans fully vaccinated, they said collecting accurate data remains essential to tackle the virus as states reopen and travel resumes.
Quote: “We’re not done with this,” said Dr. Susan Butler-Wu, of the University of Southern California. “The tests are really critical because you are flying blind without it.”
Here are the latest pandemic updates and maps.
In other developments:
Only 60,000 residents of Saudi Arabia will be allowed to attend the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca next month.
Vaccine avoidance resulting from fears over Sputnik fire is exacerbating a new wave in Russia.
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“These things happen,” the Mexican president said after a train in Mexico City fell 40 feet from an overpass to traffic below in May, killing 26 people. But a Times investigation revealed serious flaws in the base construction of the metro that appear to have directly led to its collapse.
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Lilibet: Trend or follower?
Baby names often grow and fall over the decades. Right now, parents are in an arms race for idiosyncratic or ancient names.
Take Lilibet, the name Prince Harry and Meghan chose for their second child. It may sound old-fashioned – it’s Queen Elizabeth II’s childhood nickname – but the name is distinctly modern in its uniqueness, argued Pamela Redmond, co-author of 10 Name Books and founder of Nomberry.
Names that start with L, many of which have warm connotations, are also gaining popularity, as Lily, Lola, Lila, and Luna soar. (Letter groupings are also common: J dominated the 1970s and 1980s with Jennifer and Jason, while K’s names skyrocketed in the 2000s, possibly thanks to the Kardashians.)
And the names of relatives are also becoming more and more popular. “Today people want real last names. In the ’80s, there were these fake last names, like Parker and Morgan, “Redmond said,” that looked like last names but weren’t.
To learn more, check out this quiz on the names of the last US election.
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