Archive For October 17, 2020

A Biden Win Could Mean A Loss For Israel’s Netanyahu

By |

A Biden Win Could Mean A Loss For Israel’s Netanyahu

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu has been one of President Trump’s closest allies, with each of them helping the other’s political fortunes. Now that could be in doubt.


MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

NPR has been looking at what the election might mean for some of President Trump’s allies, and there might be no closer ally than Benjamin Netanyahu. The conservative Israeli leader has thrown in his lot with Trump so much that he could face trouble at home if Joe Biden becomes the next president. NPR’s Daniel Estrin reports from Jerusalem.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Praying in Hebrew).

DANIEL ESTRIN, BYLINE: When President Trump caught the coronavirus, a top Israeli rabbi prayed for the speedy recovery of Donald John, son of Fred.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Praying in Hebrew).

ESTRIN: Many in Israel are also praying Trump wins the elections. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would have a lot to gain. His connection to Trump plays well with many Israelis, and he’s given Trump political support in turn. A month after entering the White House, Trump was blamed for a wave of anti-Semitism in the U.S., and Netanyahu came to Trump’s defense.

(SOUNDBITE OF PRESS CONFERENCE)

PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU: There is no greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than President Donald Trump. I think we should put that to rest.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Thank you very much – very nice. I appreciate that very much.

ESTRIN: Trump won over Israelis doing things like recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, though Palestinians claim part of the city for their capital. And as Netanyahu faced a series of elections, Trump gave him a boost, tweeting his support and hosting him at the White House. Now with Trump running for reelection, Netanyahu went back to the White House to sign peace deals with Arab countries.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

NETANYAHU: Israel has never had a better friend than you – the greatest friend that Israel has ever had in the White House.

(APPLAUSE)

ESTRIN: Over the last decade, Netanyahu has curried favor with Republican leaders and evangelical groups while angering Democrats. But now Israeli officials are trying to play both sides.

DANNY DANON: I think both of them would be good with Israel.

ESTRIN: Danny Danon recently served as Israel’s ambassador to the U.N.

DANON: Vice President Biden proved it with his long service in the Senate, and then President Trump proved it in the last four years.

ESTRIN: But can Netanyahu create inroads with a Biden administration? We asked Ayelet Frisch, senior adviser to the late Israeli president Shimon Peres. She sat in on private meetings with Biden.

AYELET FRISCH: (Through interpreter). I don’t believe that Biden and Netanyahu have the same trust relationship that Trump and Netanyahu have.

ESTRIN: She mentions that Netanyahu’s aides have become close confidants of Trump’s aides.

FRISCH: (Through interpreter) They created such a dramatic fabric of influence. I don’t believe there will be the same influence under a Biden administration.

ESTRIN: Biden says his administration could rejoin the Iran nuclear deal that Trump left, and it would reverse steps Trump took against Palestinians. Mitchell Barak is a pollster in Jerusalem.

MITCHELL BARAK: They’re going to start to try and make it a little more even-handed or to look more even-handed. And the free lunches that we’ve been getting up until now – we’re going to have to pay for some of those things. And then Netanyahu does not have the advantage because it’s going to be more of an antagonistic relationship.

(SOUNDBITE OF DEMONSTRATION)

ESTRIN: A Trump defeat would come at a bad time for Netanyahu. His approval ratings are slipping, and he’s on trial for corruption. And there are weekly demonstrations calling for his resignation. Left-wing protester Nehama Yehoshafat says the two right-wing leaders enable each other.

NEHAMA YEHOSHAFAT: I fear the relationship of two egomaniac, psychotic leaders who are driving the world into chaos for their own personal whims and interests. I think they deserve each other, but we don’t deserve them.

ESTRIN: A win for Biden could be a loss for Netanyahu in Israel.

Daniel Estrin, NPR News, Jerusalem.

MARTIN: Tomorrow, Daniel brings us a very different view from Palestinians about what they are seeking from the U.S. election.

Copyright © 2020 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read more »

New Zealand PM Ardern Wins Re-Election In Best Showing For Labour Party In Decades

By |

New Zealand PM Ardern Wins Re-Election In Best Showing For Labour Party In Decades

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, right, is congratulated by her partner Clarke Gayford following her victory speech to Labour Party members at an event in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday.

Mark Baker/AP

Mark Baker/AP

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won re-election in a landslide.

The win wasn’t surprising; Ardern’s leadership has helped New Zealand become one of the most successful countries in handling the coronavirus pandemic. Going into the election, polls showed Ardern’s Labour Party with a wide lead over the nearest competitor, the conservative National Party.

With most of the votes counted, Ardern’s liberal Labour Party has won 49%. It’s the best showing for the Labour party in at least 50 years. It’s also the highest result for any party since the country switched to a proportional representation system in 1996.

The Labour Party was projected to win 64 seats of the 120-member Parliament, giving it the ability to govern without the coalition building that typically characterizes proportional representation. With 27 percent of the vote, the National Party took 35 seats; the libertarian ACT New Zealand and the left-wing Green Party each took 10 seats; and the Maori Party — a center-left party focused on indigenous rights — secured one seat.

It’s yet to be seen how forcefully Ardern and her Labour Party will move to enact progressive policies. In her victory speech, Ardern acknowledged that while her party has “a very strong and a very clear mandate,” she promised to be a voice for all New Zealanders.

“We are living in an increasingly polarized world,” the 40-year-old Ardern told hundreds of cheering supporters. “A place where, more and more, people have lost the ability to see one another’s point of view. I hope that this election, New Zealand has shown that this is not who we are. That, as a nation, we can listen and we can debate. After all, we are too small to lose sight of other people’s perspective.”

“Elections aren’t always great at bringing people together,” Ardern added. “But they also don’t need to tear one another apart. And in times of crisis, I believe New Zealand has shown that.”

Labour’s win marked a major defeat for the National Party, which lost 21 seats. “We will take time to reflect and we will review and we will change,” said party leader Judith Collins. “National will reemerge from this loss a stronger, disciplined and more connected party.”

Other items on the ballot included two major referendums that reflect sweeping social change in the island nation of 5 million. One would legalize recreational cannabis — the first apparent effort by any country to hold a national popular vote on whether to okay marijuana without a medical purpose.

Preliminary results won’t be released until the end of the month, but if the measure passes, then New Zealand would join Canada, Georgia, South Africa and Uruguay on the list of countries to have legalized consumption of pot on the national level. Parliament would still have to approve the measure.

The other referendum asks whether New Zealanders support the End of Life Choice Act. That act, passed by Parliament in 2019, legalizes euthanasia for those who have terminal illnesses, have less than six months to live, and are enduring “unbearable” suffering. It will only come into force if approved by a majority of voters.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read more »

Women’s Marches Being Held In Washington, D.C., Cities Nationwide

By |

Women’s Marches Being Held In Washington, D.C., Cities Nationwide

Protestors rally during the Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

Carol Guzy for NPR

Carol Guzy for NPR

Women’s Marches were underway Saturday in Washington, D.C. and hundreds of cities across the country.

The latest iteration of the protest event — first held the day after President Trump’s 2017 inauguration — comes as the Senate is moving toward a confirmation vote on the president’s third Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Jade Tisdol from Boston takes part in the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 17, 2020.

Carol Guzy for NPR

Carol Guzy for NPR

The controversial election year nomination is expected to be a central focus during this year’s events, motivating rallies and marches throughout the day. If confirmed, Barrett would succeed the feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a champion of gender equality during her nearly three-decade long tenure on the court.

Saturday’s tent-pole event in Washington was permitted for 10,000 attendees. Organizers said that in total, some 380 events were planned throughout the country.

The presidential election and the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court are some of the issues being protested. Barrett would fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Carol Guzy for NPR

Carol Guzy for NPR

With Election Day now less than a month away, mobilizing the women’s vote is among this year’s themes alongside other women’s rights issues.

In D.C., Sonja Spoo, a reproductive rights activist, said “Donald Trump is leaving office and there is no choice for him — it is our choice — and we are voting him out come November 3rd.”

A dog named Rocky attends the Women’s March in Washington, D.C.

Carol Guzy for NPR

Carol Guzy for NPR

Sarah McCammon contributed to this report.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read more »

Nine People Detained Over Beheading Of Teacher In Paris Suburb

By |

Nine People Detained Over Beheading Of Teacher In Paris Suburb

Authorities in France say they’ve detained nine people in connection with the decapitation of a history teacher in a Paris suburb on Friday. The teacher had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad to his class, authorities said.

Michel Euler/AP

Michel Euler/AP

Officials in France say they’ve detained nine people in connection to the brutal beheading of a teacher who had allegedly shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad during a civic lessons.

Police say the teacher was near his school in the Paris suburb of Conflans-Sainte-Honorine on Friday when an 18-year-old Chechen refugee attacked him and cut his throat. Authorities say the attacker was later shot dead by police after he failed to respond to commands to disarm and acted threateningly.

Citing French media, the BBC reports that the teacher began receiving death threats following a lesson on freedom of expression in which the caricatures were said to be shown. The lesson was set in the context of an ongoing trial over the 2015 killings at Charlie Hebdo, the satirical newspaper that came under attack for its caricature of the Prophet Muhammad.

Fourteen suspects are currently on trial for giving logistical support to the assailants, who killed 12 people in that attack.

Speaking at the teacher’s school on Friday night, French President Emmanuel Macron called the decapitation, an “Islamist terrorist attack.”

“One of our compatriots was murdered today because he taught … the freedom of expression, the freedom to believe or not believe,” Macron said.

France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor, Jean-Francois Ricard, said a terror investigation has been opened, the Associated Press reported.

Police have detained nine people since the attack, including the suspect’s parents, grandfather and teenage brother, according to the AP.

Ricard told reporters that the attacker was living in Normandy on a 10-year residency and was not known to intelligence services. During his standoff with the police, he had been armed with a knife and air-soft gun which fired plastic pellets.

A text claiming responsibility for the attack, the prosecutor said, and a picture of the victim were found on the attacker’s phone, according to the AP.

Officials and Muslim leaders throughout France expressed outrage at the slaying.

“We are all affected, all touched by this vile assassination,” said Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer in a video message, according to the AP.

“A civilization does not kill an innocent person, barbarism does,” Tareq Oubrou, imam of a mosque in Bordeaux, told French media, the BBC reports.

The Guardian reports that a man claiming his daughter was in the victim’s class posted to social media, saying that during a lesson, the teacher had shown an image of a naked man and called him “the Muslim prophet.” Depictions of the Prophet Muhammad are prohibited by the Muslim faith.

Before showing the caricatures, the teacher had reportedly asked Muslim students to raise their hands, allowing them to leave the room if they wished. The caricatures had been published in Charlie Hebdo, the Guardian reported.

Parents, former students and locals shared the remorse over the teacher’s death. Flowers appeared outside his school on Saturday. Several also took to social media to express grief.

The French Presidential Palace said a national tribute would also be held for the teacher at a later date.

NPR’S Eleanor Beardsley contributed to this report.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read more »

The Phillipine-born Singer Who Got ‘Coffee’ Stuck In Your Head Has A New Album

By |

The Phillipine-born Singer Who Got ‘Coffee’ Stuck In Your Head Has A New Album

NPR’s Scott Simon talks to Philippine-born singer Bea Kristi, better known as “Beabadoobee” about her new album Fake It Flowers.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read more »

AdSense
Wordpress SEO Plugin by SEOPressor