Israel’s Courts, Libya’s Floods, & Life On Another Planet?
September 13, 2023
They’re Hearing Too Much From Netanyahu
On Tuesday, Israel’s Supreme Court began hearings on a law that would limit the court’s own powers. The law, passed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his right-wing government, would block the Supreme Court’s ability to use the legal standard of “reasonableness” to nullify government actions. It’s part of a larger set of judicial reforms expected to be examined by the judiciary in the coming months. Tuesday’s hearings mark the first-ever time that all 15 Israeli Supreme Court justices were present at a meeting together, showing just how important the case is to the nation.
The hearing is the first of what’s likely to be a series of legal battles between Netanyahu and the Supreme Court. The reforms come as the right-wing coalition government sees the Supreme Court as a barrier to establishing a more conservative, nationalist Israel. The opposition, however, sees the judiciary as one of the few protectors of secularism and Israeli minority groups in a country with weak checks and balances. If there was no court to contest issues, the single legislature, ruled by the prime minister, would be in control of the entire country, given the Israeli president’s mainly ceremonial role and the nation’s lack of a real constitution.
Netanyahu’s other reforms include a law passed earlier this year making it more difficult for Israel’s attorney general to declare a prime minister unfit and remove him from office, as well as a case where the country’s Justice Minister refused to convene the committee that selects Israel’s judiciary. Critics say that the minister’s refusal is part of an effort to bring in justices more sympathetic to Netanyahu’s overhaul. “The court has never before faced such an extreme threat,” said one Israeli law expert.
Some Good News
- Delta passenger’s dog who went missing at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport found safe after 3 weeks (CNN)
- ‘Amazing to be above ground’: American rescued from cave in Turkey after being trapped for days (CNN)
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China’s Daily Neighborly Check-Ins
- On Tuesday, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry claimed it had monitored 22 Chinese warplanes and 20 warships moving near the self-ruled island over the span of just 24 hours. Beijing, according to Taiwan, has been ramping up its military visits near the island over the past year, with military ships and warplanes buzzing around off Taiwan’s coast almost daily.
- Major General Huang Wen-Chi, the assistant deputy chief of the General Staff for Intelligence of Taiwan’s Defense Ministry, said, “The information we have received is that all-important military bases along the coast … are being continuously updated.” He cited recent improvements to three military airfields in China’s southeast as an example of this – one of those bases is just 135 miles from Taiwan’s shores.
Devastating Dam Breakages
- According to a spokesperson for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, up to 10,000 people are missing following devastating floods in the North African nation of Libya. Heavy rains from Mediterranean storm Daniel became a full-on disaster when the storm waters broke two different dams. The worst damage hit the coastal city of Derna, where 5,300 have been confirmed dead so far. A spokesperson said that “the humanitarian needs are huge and much more beyond the abilities of the Libyan Red Crescent and even beyond the abilities of the government.”
- The country is currently controlled by two separate governments: the eastern government is based in Benghazi, while the western government is headquartered in Tripoli. Years of conflict between the rival governments had already destabilized Libya even before the massive floods. International aid has already begun streaming into the country, with the internationally-recognized Western government declaring that it will cooperate in sending humanitarian efforts to the eastern regions as well.
Additional World News
- Biden accused of sidelining Vietnam and India rights over strategic interests (Reuters)
- Justin Trudeau: Stranded Canadian PM leaves India after plane snag fixed (BBC)
- A Russian passenger jet with a hydraulics problem makes a safe emergency landing in an open field (ABC)
- Residents mobilize in search of dozens missing after Nigeria boat accident (ABC)
- Iran identifies 5 prisoners it wants from US in swap for Iranian-Americans and billions in assets (AP)
- Ukraine conducted drone attack near nuclear plant (Reuters)
- Maria Ressa: Philippine Nobel laureate acquitted of last tax evasion charge (CNN)
“Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” – Ronald Reagan
Armed, Extremely Dangerous, And Still On The Loose
- Danelo Cavalcante, 34, was spotted on Monday night in Chester County’s South Coventry Township, and he is now considered “armed and extremely dangerous” after being spotted with a stolen rifle. Cavalcante stole the rifle from a local homeowner, who said he fired several shots at the fugitive as he got away.
- Pennsylvania State Police gave the update in a news conference on Tuesday, outlining the search area again. “Residents should secure buildings, property and vehicles. Report sightings or related activity immediately to 911,” state police tweeted on Tuesday evening.
September Showers Bring School Closures
- Both Leominster and North Attleborough, Massachusetts, saw torrential rain and flash flooding on Monday night so extensive that the towns were forced to declare a state of emergency. Between six and nine inches of rain fell on Monday in Worcester County, and the flash flood warning stretched into Tuesday morning.
- In Leominster, the flood caused school closures and rerouting of commuter rail lines. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency said on social media on Tuesday that it would send 3,000 sandbags to Leominster and some additional staff to help at shelters for evacuated residents.
- In North Attleborough, the flooding caused “significant damage” to homes and roads, according to Town Manager Michael Borg. The city saw about “five inches of rain in a span of three to four hours,” but had already faced a major downpour on Saturday as well. Gov. Maura Healey of Massachusetts called the flooding “catastrophic.”
Additional USA Reads
- Sen. Feinstein family legal drama sent to private mediation (Politico)
- McCarthy orders impeachment inquiry into President Biden (ABC)
- Trump files motions to dismiss charges in Georgia election case (NBC)
- An epic Supreme Court fight on congressional districts? Alabama asks court to weigh in (USA Today)
- Virginia election candidate responds after leak of tapes showing her performing sex acts with husband: “It won’t silence me” (CBS)
- Hillary Clinton is stepping over the White House threshold in yet another role (ABC)
- Trump faces another 14th Amendment candidacy challenge, this time in Minnesota (CNN)
Did We Just Find Another Earth?
- According to NASA, the agency’s James Webb Space Telescope has spotted carbon-bearing molecules including methane and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of a massive exoplanet. The discovery suggests that the planet could be a Hycean exoplanet, meaning it might feature a hydrogen-rich atmosphere and, more excitingly, a liquid water ocean.
- The exoplanet, named K2-18 b, is 8.6 times the size of Earth and orbits in the hospitable zone of a cool dwarf star 120 light years away from our home planet. Webb’s instruments also might have detected a molecule called dimethyl sulfide (DMS), which on Earth is only produced by life – more specifically, phytoplankton living in marine environments.
- “Our findings underscore the importance of considering diverse habitable environments in the search for life elsewhere,” said Nikku Madhusudhan, an astronomer at the University of Cambridge and lead author of the paper announcing the discovery. “Traditionally, the search for life on exoplanets has focused primarily on smaller rocky planets, but the larger Hycean worlds are significantly more conducive to atmospheric observations.”
- A boss who uses a ‘coffee cup test’ to filter candidates in job interviews is being accused by some social media users of playing ‘mind games’ (Business Insider)
- Cash bail disproportionately impacts communities of color. Illinois is the first state to abolish it (AP)
- Astronaut Frank Rubio sets US record for longest trip in space (CNN)
- Powerful ULA rocket launches national security mission after hurricane delay in Florida (USA Today)
- Tell-all book lifts the lid on troubled beauty brand Glossier (CNN)
- More than 70 crocodiles set loose by heavy flooding in southern China (CNN)
- Australia weighs cat curfews and neutering requirements to rein in feral felines (NPR)
We are hosting the Consumer Con: Consumer Commerce Conference (C3) on Friday, September 15, 2023, and will take place from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm at The Marines Memorial Club in San Francisco.
We have over 100 founders, investors, & executives attending. Here are a few topics that will be covered at the event:
- Founder & Investor Perspective: Raising Capital
- Customer Acquisition
- Investor Perspective: Investing in Consumer Brands
- Content, Community, & Owned Media: Email, SMS, Blogs/Content, & Events
- Founder & Investor Perspective: Consumer Commerce Trends
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