NEW YORK NEWS
A violent altercation between two men near Yeshiva Siach Yitzchok in Far Rockaway resulted in a stray bullet being fired through a window of the yeshiva building. Fortunately, no injuries were reported and the building was not believed to be a target in the incident. The NYPD is currently searching for two black males, one of whom they believe has been identified. Despite the visible bullet hole in the window, administrators at Siach Yitzchok have stated that it will be repaired promptly and will not affect the students’ learning.
Detective Troy Patterson, a New York City police officer, who had been in a vegetative state for more than three decades after being shot in the head during a botched robbery in Brooklyn, died on Saturday, according to Detectives Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo. Patterson was approached by three young men who demanded $20 while he was off-duty washing his car. One of the robbers, who was 15 years old, shot Patterson, resulting in a catastrophic injury. Patterson remained in a vegetative state for the next 33 years, during which the NYPD held an annual vigil in his honor. Patterson was promoted to detective in 2016, and supporters held out hope that he would regain consciousness. Patterson’s legacy will be one of service and sacrifice, and the DEA will ensure he and his family are never forgotten, said DiGiacomo. The three robbers all served prison time for charges related to the shooting and have since been released.
Yeshiva University is set to host a Jewish studies conference at the Mohammed Bin Zayed University for Humanities in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on May 4, in collaboration with Dubai’s Crossroads of Civilization Museum. The conference, titled “Interacting philosophies, shared friendships,” is the first of its kind between a US Jewish university and a UAE university, and aims to promote academic partnerships between the institutions and facilitate dialogue between Jews and Muslims in the region. The conference will feature discussions on philosophical interactions and mutual influences between Judaism and Islam, focusing on the medieval Jewish scholar Moses Maimonides. Attendees will include local officials, religious leaders, and scholars and students from the two universities, with a kosher dinner provided.
New York City officials have ordered four parking garages to be at least partially vacated due to structural problems that posed an immediate threat to public safety. These discoveries came following inspections conducted by the Buildings Department after the collapse of a garage on Ann Street in Lower Manhattan on April 18, which left its manager dead and five others injured. The inspections revealed that two Manhattan and two Brooklyn garages had deteriorated to the point of posing an immediate safety risk. One garage, located beneath a 25-story apartment building in Battery Park City, had extensively corroded concrete and spalled concrete on the underside of two floor slabs. The department ordered 60% of the structure to be vacated and for the owners to install a protective pathway for drivers to reach their cars safely in the remaining part of the garage. The department also ordered the owners to retain a professional engineer to compile a structural report on the garage. The Buildings Department found no reason for the apartments above the garage to be vacated.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced on Sunday that the city will be distributing 500 Apple AirTags to residents in neighborhoods where car thefts are prevalent, such as the Bronx neighborhood that has seen over 200 car thefts this year alone. The AirTags, which cost $29 individually, are small tracking devices that can be placed in personal items, including cars, and allow users to track their location through an iPhone app. The Mayor said that certain models of cars, such as Kias, Hyundais, and Hondas, are being stolen more frequently than others. The NYPD will not track the AirTags, but when a car is reported stolen, the police can track the vehicle with the owner’s permission.
First Republic Bank, the third midsize bank to fail in less than two months, was seized by regulators on Monday and sold to JPMorgan Chase in a government-orchestrated deal aimed at stabilizing the U.S. banking system. The sale included all of First Republic’s deposits and most of its assets, with its 84 branches opening as branches of JPMorgan Chase on the same day. This marks the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history, with only Washington Mutual’s collapse during the 2008 financial crisis being larger. Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, stated that he believed “this part of this (banking) crisis is over” during a conference call with both reporters and investors. However, First Republic’s shareholders are expected to be wiped out as part of the deal.
Francisco Oropesa, a 38-year-old illegal alien from Mexico, was deported from the U.S. five times before allegedly murdering five of his neighbors in Cleveland, Texas. Oropesa reportedly shot his neighbors after they asked him to stop shooting his gun late at night because they had a baby trying to sleep. Despite offering a $130,000 reward, law enforcement officials have no leads on Oropesa’s whereabouts. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has notified state officials to alert Operation Lone Star soldiers and troopers to be on the lookout for Oropesa and any attempts he may make to cross the border back into Mexico.
Three soldiers died and another was injured after two Army Apache helicopters collided midair and crashed while returning to Fort Wainwright in Fairbanks, Alaska, after a training flight. The names of the soldiers have not been released, and the cause of the crash is under investigation. Two soldiers died on-site while the third soldier died while en route to the hospital. The injured soldier is being treated at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. Maj. Gen. Brian Eifler, commanding general of the 11th Airborne Division, expressed his condolences and pledged to support the families and fellow soldiers of the victims. The Chief of Staff of the United States Army has announced that all pilots not involved in critical missions will be grounded until they complete mandatory training.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new law, titled “Public Nuisances,” aimed at curbing a disturbing rise in anti-Semitism across the state. The measure makes it a felony to harass people for their religion or ethnicity, and it also penalizes leaving flyers with hateful images, messages, or any other credible threat on a person’s private property. While some argued that the new bill hampers people’s First Amendment rights, it was passed with unanimous support from both chambers of the Legislature. The law comes amid an all-time high in hate acts against Florida Jews, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which tracked 269 anti-Semitic incidents in the state in 2022 — a 42% increase from the year prior and more than double the number in 2020. Governor DeSantis signed the bill during an overseas stop in Jerusalem while flanked by its two Republican sponsors, Delray Beach Rep. Mike Caruso and Palm Bay Rep. Randy Fine, along with Republican Miami Sen. Alexis Calatayud who carried a similar version of the bill in the Senate. The new law has been praised by the Agudath Israel of America for taking concrete action against anti-Semitism.
The Los Angeles Times denied submitting questions in advance to the White House for President Biden’s Wednesday press conference, following a photo of Biden’s cheat sheet showing a general summary of a question asked by the paper’s reporter. The vice president of communications for the LA Times stated that the reporter did not submit any questions beforehand, but she is in regular contact with the White House press office for information. The White House has not commented on the incident, but reporters noted that it’s not unusual for briefing materials to be prepared for the president. Some Republicans have seized on the incident to highlight Biden’s age. A CNN panel also discussed concerns about Biden’s age, with one commentator noting that holding cheat sheets during press conferences raises legitimate concerns.
Thousands of Hollywood writers have gone on strike, halting television production as they demand pay increases and structural changes to a business model they say has made it increasingly difficult to make a living. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers says its offer included “generous increases in compensation for writers,” but that union proposals that would require companies to staff TV shows with a certain number of writers for a specific period of time, “whether needed or not,” are a sticking point. Late-night talk shows are among the first programs to be affected, and scripted drama and comedy series may be forced to cut their seasons short or delay filming altogether.
At least 26 rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip towards southern Israel. Two of these rockets hit the city of Sderot, wounding at least seven civilians, while the rest landed in open fields or were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. The rocket fire began shortly after the death of Khader Adnan, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad official who had been on a hunger strike in administrative detention. Both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. The Israeli Defense Forces responded with tank fire on a Hamas military position, but did not activate the Iron Dome during the first round of rocket fire. Later that afternoon, another 22 rockets were launched, causing sirens to go off in several towns. Four rockets were intercepted and 16 landed in open fields, but two hit urban areas, including a construction site and a home in Sderot, where several people were injured. Children were forced to shelter in place at schools and daycare centers until their parents could come to get them. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant both issued statements condemning the attacks and signaling a strong response. Gallant warned that “anyone who tries to harm Israel’s citizens will regret it.”
The “March of the Million” pro-judicial reform rally took place near the Knesset in Jerusalem. The organizers claimed that 600,000 people attended, while the police estimate was 200,000. The rally aimed to support judicial reform, and it gave backing to the beleaguered government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Those who favor reform worry that the negotiations with the opposition under the auspices of President Isaac Herzog will result in a watered-down version of the legislation. Justice Minister Yariv Levin of Likud and Knesset Member Simcha Rothman of the Religious Zionism Party were the chief architects of the reform and received the biggest cheers from the crowd. Netanyahu did not attend due to security reasons but tweeted his appreciation for the support. The pro-reform rally was festive, and the optimism was palpable, with many young people in attendance. Israel’s right argues that the Supreme Court turned activist in the 1990s under then-Supreme Court President Aharon Barak, and the government’s judicial reform program seeks to restore the balance of power between the three branches of government.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy led a bipartisan congressional delegation to Israel to celebrate its 75th anniversary of independence, where he became the second US speaker to address the Israeli Knesset - following Newt Gingrich in 1998. McCarthy received a standing ovation for his remarks, reinforcing US-Israeli relations and announcing the formation of a House-Knesset parliamentary friendship group. The group will facilitate direct engagement between the House and the Israeli Parliament, enabling members to travel to Israel to strengthen existing relationships and host Knesset members traveling to the US. McCarthy said that this friendship group will mark a new chapter in US-Israeli relations.
May Day protests erupted across Asia, Europe, and the Americas on Monday, as people expressed their discontent with economic injustice and rising inflation. French police clashed with radical protesters, as unions called for the scrapping of a higher retirement age. South Koreans demanded higher wages, while Spanish lawyers protested for the right to take days off. In Lebanon, migrant domestic workers marched in the midst of an economic crisis. While May Day is traditionally marked as a celebration of labor rights, this year’s rallies highlighted broader frustrations, such as climate change activism, protests against violence targeting women and LGBTQ+ people in Germany, and political tensions in Pakistan and Turkey. These events allowed people to unleash their pent-up frustration after years of Covid-19 restrictions.
In Paraguay’s recent election, the Colorado Party maintained their 70-year grip on power, with Santiago Peña, their presidential candidate, receiving 43% of the votes. This was more than the 27% held by his closest opponent, Efraín Alegre of the opposition coalition Pact for a New Paraguay. The Colorado Party also won 15 out of 17 governorships and majorities in both houses of Congress. Despite widespread frustration over high levels of corruption and failures in the health and education systems, which were exacerbated by the pandemic, a significant number of non-Colorado voters backed Paraguayo Cubas, a right-wing populist outsider who garnered 23% of the vote. This victory makes Peña, a 44-year-old economist, Paraguay’s youngest president since the return of democracy in 1989.
By QJL Staff