NEW YORK NEWS
An Israeli student was stabbed and lightly injured in what is being investigated as a suspected hate crime in Crown Heights. The incident occurred at 2 a.m. when two men approached the student and asked if he was Jewish before stabbing him in the arm, likely with a screwdriver. Despite the trauma, the victim expressed gratitude for not sustaining more severe injuries.
The student called Hatzalah and was taken to the hospital for treatment before returning home. The incident has raised concerns in the community, and the NYPD is conducting a thorough investigation to apprehend the perpetrators. Anti-Jewish hate crimes have been a recurring issue in New York City, with Jews being targeted more than any other group throughout the year. In 2022, there were 262 confirmed hate crimes against Jews in the city.
Police are searching for two men who vandalized two neighboring synagogues in Brooklyn by spray-painting graffiti on their walls. Surveillance footage captured one suspect in a black hoodie defacing a synagogue in the Manhattan Beach section while another photo showed a second suspect dressed in black with his face partially covered. The incidents occurred after midnight on May 14, with the first synagogue, Congregation Sha’arey Torah, being damaged at 12:05 a.m., followed by Temple Beth El-Manhattan Beach less than three hours later. The authorities have assigned the case to the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force.
Long Island is experiencing a high number of shark bites this year, and it is likely to surpass the previous record of eight attacks in 2022. Five swimmers have been bitten off the South Shore beaches since Monday, but experts are urging people to remain calm. They emphasize that no lives have been lost or limbs severed, and none of the victims required hospitalization. According to Bradley Peterson, a professor at Stony Brook University, sharks are following their prey, such as bunker fish, into shallow waters where it is more difficult for the fish to escape. The sharks bite something they don’t want and then move away. Peterson humorously reminds people that there were 12,000 bites in New York last year, all of which came from humans, so beachgoers should be more concerned about their fellow swimmers.
The New York City Council is preparing to hold a hearing to examine Mayor Eric Adams’ response to the smoke from the Canadian wildfires. On June 7, the smoke from the wildfires caused the skies to turn orange in the city and extended to New England, leading to air quality alerts being issued by U.S. authorities. Mayor Adams advised residents to minimize outdoor activities except for essential needs. However, some lawmakers argue that the mayor was slow to respond despite expert warnings about the situation.
Food delivery platforms DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats are challenging New York City’s new minimum wage law for app food delivery workers in court. The companies argue that the law would have negative consequences for delivery workers. DoorDash and Grubhub filed a joint lawsuit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, while Uber Eats filed a separate lawsuit. The law, set to take effect on July 12, would increase the minimum pay for delivery workers and adjust it annually for inflation. The companies claim that the law is legally flawed and unfairly targets meal-delivery services. New York City officials defend the law, stating that it aims to support delivery workers and lift them out of poverty. The dispute comes as the popularity of online meal delivery services has surged during the pandemic.
A slow-moving storm system caused heavy rainfall across a wide area of New York State on Sunday, resulting in street flooding, numerous water rescues, and at least one fatality. The Hudson Valley region was particularly affected, with some areas receiving between five and eight inches of rain. The storm centered on West Point, the U.S. Military Academy, which experienced around eight inches of rain. The flooding led to collapsed bridges, impassable roads, and significant damage to infrastructure. Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency for Orange and Ontario Counties, and flash flood warnings were issued for various parts of the state. The extent of the damage and rescue efforts prompted by the flooding were described as severe and life-threatening.
A cameraman who was struck by an errant throw during a New York Yankees game has returned home after suffering an orbital fracture, as confirmed by his network, YES Network. The incident occurred when Orioles rookie shortstop Gunnar Henderson’s throw flew over the first baseman’s head and hit Pete Stendel, the cameraman, on the head. Play was stopped for around 17 minutes as medical personnel attended to Stendel, who was later carted off the field while raising a peace sign to the crowd. Stendel received a standing ovation and was greeted with chants of “MVP” from the crowd. YES Network provided an update, stating that Stendel is now resting at home after being diagnosed with an orbital fracture.
Former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray announced their separation after nearly three decades of marriage. They do not plan to divorce and will continue living together in their Park Slope townhouse. The couple shared the news in a three-hour interview with the New York Times. De Blasio’s biracial marriage and family were a significant part of his political identity, with their relationship becoming central to his political brand.
President Joe Biden defended his decision to provide cluster munitions to Ukraine, claiming it was a difficult but necessary move to support Ukraine’s fight against Russia. The decision has drawn criticism from allies at the NATO summit, as many member countries have banned the use of cluster bombs due to their history of causing civilian casualties. Biden stated that the munitions were provided based on the Defense Department’s recommendation and after discussions with allies and lawmakers. He emphasized that Ukraine was running out of ammunition and that the cluster bombs would temporarily aid in stopping Russian tanks. The move has sparked debate among Democrats and Republicans in Congress, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressing gratitude for the defense aid package. The use of cluster munitions has been condemned by the UN human rights office, calling for an immediate halt to their use.
A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction ordering certain Biden administration agencies and officials not to communicate with social media companies about removing content that contains protected free speech related to Covid-19 disinformation. The ruling is a win for GOP states in a lawsuit accusing the government of overreaching in its efforts to combat disinformation. The injunction specifies that the government can still communicate with social media companies regarding illegal activity and national security threats. The order applies to agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and officials including the Surgeon General and White House press secretary. The judge, a Trump appointee, highlighted social media platforms such as Facebook/Meta, Twitter, YouTube/Google, and TikTok in the lawsuit. The Biden administration is reviewing the injunction, while social media companies declined to comment. The lawsuit, brought by Missouri and Louisiana attorneys general, accuses the administration of censorship by pressuring private social media companies. While the judge has not ruled on the merits of the claims, this injunction marks a significant victory for the states.
New Hampshire has become the 37th state in the United States to implement an anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) action. Republican Governor Chris Sununu signed an executive order prohibiting the state from investing in companies that boycott Israel or its trade partners. The signing ceremony was attended by Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan, who praised the move as an important step in creating an “economic Iron Dome” to protect shared progress and prosperity. The executive order, similar to that of New York State, does not carry the force of law and can be modified or revoked by future governors. Anti-BDS laws have been passed in the other 35 states through their legislatures.
Contract negotiations between UPS and the union representing its 340,000 workers have broken down, with each side blaming the other for walking away from talks. The Teamsters union accused UPS of presenting an unacceptable offer, while UPS claimed that the union abandoned negotiations. With the contract set to expire at the end of July, a strike by UPS workers is looming, which would be the first since a walkout 25 years ago. The union has said it will not negotiate past the contract expiration, and a strike could have far-reaching implications for the economy, particularly the supply chain.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign has announced that it raised over $20 million since its launch in late May, while the super PAC supporting him has received an additional $130 million. These fundraising totals are fueling an expensive Republican presidential race, with DeSantis and others challenging former President Donald Trump. The official fundraising reports will be filed with the Federal Election Commission later this month. DeSantis’ campaign did not provide details on spending or remaining funds. The super PAC, Never Back Down, raised most of its funds from a previous campaign supporting DeSantis’ re-election bid as Florida governor. Former President Trump also raised over $35 million in joint fundraising efforts during the second quarter, although the breakdown of funds between his campaign and leadership PAC was not specified.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has launched a new app called Threads, which aims to provide a space for real-time conversations online, similar to Twitter’s core functionality. The app received 30 million sign-ups within a short time after its launch. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Meta, expressed his vision for Threads to create a public space for conversation and hopes that it will become a platform with over one billion users. The app allows users to follow and connect with creators and like-minded individuals, with a 500-character limit for messages. It combines elements of Twitter’s layout with Instagram’s aesthetic and offers integration with Instagram Stories. The launch of Threads adds to the growing competition against Twitter and comes amid recent turmoil at the platform, including temporary tweet-reading limits and restrictions imposed on users due to data scraping concerns. The rivalry between Meta and Twitter has also escalated, with Twitter owner Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg exchanging jabs on social media.
An Israeli soldier from the elite Egoz commando unit, Sgt. First Class David Yehuda Yitzhak, was killed after being shot in the West Bank city of Jenin during an Israeli operation. Israeli forces began to withdraw from the area, and the soldier was treated at the scene but was declared dead at a hospital in Israel. The IDF is investigating if the soldier was hit by friendly fire or Palestinian gunfire. The operation in Jenin aimed to crack down on terrorism in the area, focusing on the local wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other armed groups. The operation resulted in casualties on both sides, with 12 Palestinians killed and numerous wounded.
The Knesset has voted to postpone the elections for the Chief Rabbinate and extend the tenure of the current rabbis until April 2024. The bill proposing the postponement passed its final reading with a vote of 52-29. Religious Services Minister Michael Malkieli raised concerns that municipal voting scheduled for October could interfere with the rabbinical elections. The Chief Rabbinate elections involve a council of 150 people, mostly rabbis affiliated with local rabbinate offices, who select the Ashkenazi and Sephardic chief rabbis of the country.
A pregnant woman who was injured in a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv on July 4 has tragically lost her baby, according to the Israeli embassy in Washington. The attack, which involved a stabbing and car ramming, left a total of seven people injured. The embassy emphasized that acts of Palestinian terrorism are driven by an ideology of anti-Semitic hatred. The incident has drawn condemnation from officials, including Melissa Lantsman, a Jewish member of the Canadian Parliament, who described it as another horrific act of terror that the world should condemn.
Israel’s parliamentary coalition, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has given initial approval to a controversial bill that aims to limit the oversight powers of the Supreme Court. The legislation, part of a broader judicial overhaul plan proposed by Netanyahu’s ultranationalist and ultra-Orthodox allies, has sparked sustained protests from opponents who argue that it threatens democratic values and could lead to authoritarian rule. The bill, which curbs the court’s ability to scrutinize decisions made by elected officials, passed its first reading by a narrow margin and still requires two more readings to become law. Activists have called for nationwide mass demonstrations in response to the vote.
Thousands of protesters in Israel blocked Tel Aviv’s main highway and major roads in various parts of the country in response to the forced resignation of the city’s popular police chief, Ami Eshed. Eshed cited political pressure as the reason for his departure and mentioned his efforts to prevent a civil war. The protesters, who have been demonstrating against the government’s plans to overhaul the judicial system, disrupted traffic, lit bonfires, and clashed with police. The protests have been ongoing since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government announced the proposed changes, which critics argue would concentrate power and undermine checks and balances. Netanyahu’s allies have resumed pushing for the overhaul after previous suspension and failed talks with the opposition.
Israel’s Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and Jewish Tradition has signed an agreement with the Society for the Reconstruction and Development of the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City to invest $68 million over the next five years. This is the largest budget allocated to the neighborhood thus far. The funds will be used for the development of sites and infrastructure, as well as organizing tours, events, and shows for visitors. The program aims to restore and reconstruct the Tifaret Israel Synagogue, build a “Wall Elevator” for easier access to the Western Wall, enhance accessibility to various historical sites, develop the archaeological garden and the Davidson Center, improve the Cardo complex, restore infrastructure, and enhance the overall appearance of the Jewish Quarter. The ministry’s director general expressed excitement about participating in the development of this significant area for the Jewish people.
Liberia has announced plans to establish an embassy in Israel, according to President George Weah during a meeting with Israel’s Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in Jerusalem. Cohen welcomed the decision, highlighting Liberia’s status as one of Israel’s great friends on the African continent. The move follows Liberia’s opening of a trade office in Jerusalem last year. The two countries discussed deepening cooperation in various fields, including energy, agriculture, and water. Israeli President Isaac Herzog also met with Weah, emphasizing the potential for increased bilateral cooperation and expressing support for Liberia’s establishment of a permanent embassy in Israel.
Remnants of Munich’s main synagogue, destroyed by the Nazis in 1938, have been discovered during construction work on a river weir. The find, including columns from the synagogue and a stone tablet inscribed with the Ten Commandments, has surprised and moved the city’s Jewish community. The stones represent both the “happy times” of Jewish community growth and the tragic destruction of Jewish life under Nazi rule. The rubble from the synagogue had been used in construction work on the weir in the 1950s, and some of it had been dumped in the river. The Jewish community hopes to reclaim and preserve the discovered artifacts, but it remains uncertain how much of the synagogue can be recovered. Munich’s deputy mayor acknowledges the importance of returning the artifacts as part of acknowledging the city’s history and the Jewish community’s integral role in it.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that an Israeli-Russian researcher, Elizabeth Tsurkov, who went missing in Iraq in March, is being held captive by a Shia militia. Tsurkov, a PhD student at Princeton University, was conducting research in Baghdad when she was kidnapped. The group responsible for her captivity is believed to be Kataib Hezbollah, a powerful Iraqi Shia militia supported by Iran. Israel holds Iraq responsible for Tsurkov’s safety, but the specific demands of the captors have not been disclosed. Iraq and Israel have no diplomatic relations, and last year Iraq passed a law criminalizing attempts to normalize ties with Israel. Tsurkov’s family and the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy, where she is a fellow, have expressed concern and called for intervention to secure her release. The US, Russia, Iran, and Iraq have yet to officially comment on the situation.
A toxic gas leak caused by an illegal gold processing operation in South Africa’s Angelo settlement has resulted in the death of 17 people, including three children. The leak, attributed to a nitrate gas, occurred in Boksburg, on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Ten people have been hospitalized, and bodies were left on the ground as authorities conducted investigations. The incident has prompted President Cyril Ramaphosa to express condolences and emphasize the tragic loss of innocent lives. Illegal mining activities are prevalent in the gold-rich areas surrounding Johannesburg, often leading to fatal accidents and contributing to crime in local communities.