It looks like bye-bye Bibi. A corruption scandal caught up with Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday, uniting his foes to oust Israel’s longest-serving prime minister after four elections in two years. It’s a desperate deal among eight factions, some philosophical opposites, that for the first time includes an Islamist Arab party — with the paradoxical result of seating Jewish nationalist Naftali Bennett, who opposes any Palestinian state, as prime minister for two years. Then, if the coalition holds, centrist Yair Lapid would take over. But MPs have to vote on it in the coming days, giving Netanyahu a chance to peel away members from the slimmest of majorities.
2. As Meat Recovers From Hack, Other Attacks Emerge
Multinational meat processor JBS said its plants were back in action yesterday, but the fallout from its ransomware hack and new threats persist. In addition to last month’s fuel shortage-fomenting Colonial Pipeline hack, ransomware has hit transportation infrastructure such as New York’s transit system and even ferry services. The White House said the attackers were likely a Russia-based criminal group that succeeded in stopping production at plants supplying a quarter of U.S. beef and a fifth of its pork, clogging supply chains and driving up meat prices. Asked about retaliation, President Joe Biden said officials were “looking closely at the issue.”
It’s a “broken system.” That’s the ironic argument put forth by lawyers representing former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, convicted of second-degree murder in the May 2020 killing of George Floyd. Yesterday’s court filing sought to counter that of prosecutors, which is seeking 30 years’ imprisonment for the crime that “shocked the nation’s conscience” and included aggravating factors of cruelty and happening in the presence of children. Sentencing in Minnesota state court is set for June 25, but defense attorneys are expected to appeal on the grounds that the publicity surrounding the case made a fair trial impossible.
4. Iranian Refinery, Warship Hit By Mysterious Fires
Was it Israel? Iranians were quick to suspect their archenemy yesterday after the Islamic Republic’s largest warship caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Oman, while a blazing refinery clouded the Tehran sky. Happening during talks to revive the country’s nuclear agreement, suspicions regarding Israel, which opposes any deal and periodically targets Iran, are inevitable. The supply ship Kharg was evacuated as it burned for 20 hours before sinking off of Iran’s southern coast. Later Wednesday, a leaking liquid gas pipeline was blamed for the refinery blaze that apparently caused Iranians to line up for fuel in anticipation of shortages.
A second Capitol riot defendant has pleaded guilty to a felony, obstruction of Congress, and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The former U.S. president’s blog, “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump,” has been shut down with little explanation. And after three decades of ignoring the solar system’s second planet, NASA says it’s planning to send two probes to Venus, in part to search for microbial life floating above the furnace-like atmosphere.
Coronavirus Update: Despite the city remaining in a pandemic state of emergency and a majority of Japanese wanting the games canceled, the head of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee today ruled out a postponement.
Love him or hate him, the impact Jake Paul has made on digital entertainment is undeniable. The infamous boxer and YouTuber joins Carlos to discuss his journey in the boxing ring and tutelage under Mike Tyson, as well as mistakes and successes on his fast rise to stardom. Get to know the man who says he will absolutely be running for president in 2032 by watching now.
This caged bird still sings. Yesterday Elon Musk retweeted the “Baby Shark Dance” video, demonstrating his unbridled market power. The post goosed its Korean music producer’s stock, just as the multibillionaire’s repeatedly done with Tesla, which reportedly admitted that its lawyers twice hadn’t vetted Musk’s microblogging when it affected his own company’s stock. It was only his “personal opinion” a year ago when he called Tesla’s share price “too high.” While the SEC hasn’t levied a penalty, experts say regulators and corporations are working through how to handle social media market impacts, so Musk’s memes may forge new precedents.
This is bound to get a powerful reaction. Bill Gates and billionaire pal Warren Buffett are collaborating on a new type of nuclear power plant, and they’ll do it on the site of a closing coal mine somewhere in Wyoming. Appearing in the state yesterday, Gates said that Natrium, a $1 billion, 345-megawatt sodium-cooled reactor, offers the “fastest and clearest course” to fighting climate change. While atomic power doesn’t generate carbon, experts warn that such advanced nuclear plants require more highly enriched nuclear fuel — a tempting target for terror groups or rogue states looking to develop weapons of mass destruction.
Does the urgency of stopping climate change justify building more nuclear plants? Answer our PDB poll.
3. Is This Why the US Bombed China’s Embassy?
Tom Clancy couldn’t have dreamed this up. When American B-2 stealth bombers attacked China’s embassy in Belgrade during NATO’s Kosovo war, then President Bill Clinton conveyed “sincere regret” over the “mistaken” 1999 attack. But now Beijing has allowed articles to circulate on Chinese social media explaining why: The embassy was hoarding components of a U.S. F-117 stealth fighter downed weeks before. The theory isn’t new, but it’s the first hint that China’s admitting to such espionage. While that looks bad internationally, it could, Japan’s Nikkei Asia reports, help convince Chinese citizens that the country has evolved from that “humiliation” into a global power.
4. ‘Chocolat’ Soldier’s Saga Wins Global Booker Prize
The trenches of World War I were harrowing enough. But imagine being a ‘Chocolat’ recruit — the name given to soldiers from France's African colonies. That’s what Senegalese French author David Diop imagined with At Night All Blood is Black, which yesterday won the International Booker Prize, awarded for books translated into English. Diop was inspired by seeing Great War veterans marching in Dakar parades, but remaining largely unheralded in France, the nation they were defending. The chair of the judging panel called the tale, which features the protagonist dismembering enemy kills, “frightening” and “appalling,” but praised its hypnotic storytelling — which has helped make the novel a hit in France.
An epic epoch is ending. College basketball’s greatest coach announced Wednesday that he’ll be retiring after next season. Mike Krzyzewski, 74, has won five national championships at the university he’s coached since 1980, and notched an NCAA record 1,170 wins between Duke and Army, which he helmed for five years. “He’s just been phenomenal in everything he’s done,” said University of North Carolina’s rival coach Roy Williams, who announced his retirement two months ago, leaving a gaping void in the hoops-obsessed state. Associate head coach John Scheyer, a former Duke player, will reportedly take over for Krzyzewski in 2022.