Israeli parties strike new deal
Human Race: A new coalition government agreement doesn’t include Benjamin Netanyahu
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A coalition of political parties agreed to a new governing coalition hours before a June 2 deadline. The deal between centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid and right-wing tech millionaire Naftali Bennett prevented Israel’s fifth consecutive election in just over two years. Days ahead of a June 13 parliament vote, the deal looked likely to end Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year rule. Lapid and Bennett agreed to rotate the prime minister position over four years. Bennett, a one-time Netanyahu ally, was to take the first two years. The coalition drew together a vast array of parties across the political spectrum, including the left-wing Meretz party and Bennett’s right-wing Yamina party. The United Arab List also became the first Arab party to join a governing bloc. Netanyahu, currently facing corruption charges, criticized the deal and claimed fraud marred a March election.
Beloved children’s author and illustrator Eric Carle died on May 23 at age 91. His most famous work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has sold more than 55 million copies in more than 60 languages since it was published in 1969. Carle wrote and/or illustrated more than 75 books. Artistic encouragement came from his kindergarten teacher and the school’s “sun-filled room, large sheets of paper, colorful paints, and fat brushes.” He attended art school in Stuttgart, Germany. In 1952 he became a graphic designer and illustrator before writing his own books.
A Pakistani appeals court on June 3 overturned the death sentence of a Christian couple facing blasphemy charges based on accusations they insulted Muhammad, the founder of Islam. Shagufta Kausar and her husband, Shafqat Emmanuel, remained in two separate prisons since their conviction in 2014. Authorities detained the couple in 2013 after accusing them of sending a blasphemous text message to a local cleric. The couple argued they were not literate enough to send the message. Blasphemy charges often incite riots and lynchings in Pakistan. Amnesty International’s South Asia deputy director, Dinushika Dissanayake, urged authorities to protect the couple and their lawyer, Saiful Malook, who also defended Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi.
F. Lee Bailey, a controversial attorney known for defending famous clients, died June 3 at age 87. He left Harvard University to join the Marine Corps and became a Marine pilot but later earned a law degree from Boston University in 1960. He made a name for himself defending the alleged Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo, from 1962 to 1964. He defended other controversial public figures, most notably O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted on murder charges in 1995. In 2001 the Florida and Massachusetts state bar associations disbarred Bailey on charges he mishandled stock owned by a convicted drug smuggler. He served six weeks in federal prison for contempt of court when he refused to turn over the stock.
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