For the second time this year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a new government. It is the first time in nearly ten years that Netanyahu has lost his grip on Israeli politics. Though he has increased his control over his Likud party and formed a coalition with the Zionist and ultra-Orthodox parties under his leadership, he has been unable to achieve a decisive electoral win two times in a row.
Currently, a possible indictment in ongoing corruption investigations is also hanging over the PM. This could spell trouble by the end of the year, jeopardizing Netanyahu’s streak as the longest-serving leader in the nation’s history.
Netanyahu’s failure paves the way for his political opponent, Benny Gantz, to have a chance at forming a government of his own. Gantz, leader of the Blue and White Party, can expect to receive a mandate from President Reuven Rivlin after parliamentary factions inform him of their choice to form the next government.
After narrowly securing a second term as Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau ruled out forming a coalition after his Liberal Party fell short of securing a majority. Canada’s general election saw the Liberals’ representation in the House of Commons decrease from 177 to 157 seats, just 13 short of forming a majority. On Wednesday, Trudeau announced he would be meeting with other party leaders to discuss support for his minority government.
In his first public appearance after the election, Trudeau said he would be concentrating legislative efforts on issues like climate change and cost of living.
39 Bodies Found
39 bodies were found dead in a refrigerated truck in England, who were believed to be Chinese citizens. According to Essex Police, eight of the dead are women and 31 are men in what seems to be the latest case of human trafficking in the U.K. Each body will undergo thorough examination to identify the victims and establish a cause of death.
As of now, four people have been arrested in connection to the crime. The truck driver, a Northern Irish man, was arrested Wednesday based on suspicion of murder. The other three – two men and one woman – were arrested on Friday on suspicion of manslaughter and trafficking-related offenses.
During a nationally televised address, President Trump announced that a commando raid in Syria targeted and resulted in the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. According to Trump, al-Baghdadi was chased toward the end of a tunnel as American military forces pursued him. Al-Baghdadi, accompanied by his three children, then detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and the children.
Though al-Baghdadi’s body was mangled by the blast, Trump said a test confirmed his identity. No Americans were killed in the operation.
Trump, under the pressure of possible impeachment, seemed eager to take credit for the raid, engaging in a lengthy Q & A session with reporters where he walked them through the details and compared himself favorably against former presidents.
Unrest in Ethiopia
This week, Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia and this year’s winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, has come under harsh criticism for his continued silence in the face of protests that resulted in 67 casualties.
The protests were initiated by a prominent critic of Ahmed, Jawar Mohammed, who accused the police of plotting an attack on him. The critic claimed that there was a plan to have him arrested and possibly killed at his house in Addis Ababa.
Jawar Mohammed’s accusations have fueled long-standing ethnic tensions involving the Oromo, Ethiopia’s largest ethic group, and the Amhara, its second-largest group. They have also driven hundreds of Mohammed’s ethnic Oromo supporters to gather outside his house.
Thirteen of those who died were killed by security forces, and the rest were killed by sporadic fighting between rival groups. An additional 213 people were injured.
At the onset of the protests, Ahmed was at a summit meeting in Sochi, Russia.
Thumbnail courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.