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Israel’s Gantz denied extension to form Israel govt

first_imgUnity talks ‘ongoing’If no unity agreement is reached by the end of Monday, Rivlin said he would ask the Knesset to nominate a candidate to become prime minister.The Netanyahu bloc currently holds 59 of the Knesset’s 120 seats. It is therefore possible, but not certain, that the legislature would give the premier a 14-day window to form a government.  Blue and White, the centrist alliance led by Gantz, said in a statement that “the attempts by the negotiating teams to arrive at a unity government are still ongoing”.Likud said it too remained open to forming a unity government.But it also urged Rivlin to give Netanyahu a full four weeks to form a coalition.  Likud stressed that the president gave both Netanyahu and Gantz a chance to build a government following the inconclusive votes in September, and should do so again. But with Israel’s confirmed COVID-19 caseload nearing 11,000, there remain widespread calls from across the political spectrum for a unity alliance, even for a short term.University of Tel Aviv political science professor Emmanuel Navon told AFP that “a unity government remains the most likely option.”But, he added, any number of scenarios could play out, including a fourth election. Netanyahu, in office since 2009, is Israel’s longest-serving premier and the first to be indicted while in office.The premier denies charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, filed against him in January. Netanyahu critics have charged the premier will stop at nothing to make the indictments disappear, including pushing for a fourth vote in the hope of finally gaining a parliamentary majority that could push through legislation granting him immunity from prosecution.  As Navon noted, the latest polls indicate Likud could “emerge as the big winner” if another election were to be called, partly due to generally favorable views of Netanyahu’s handling of the pandemic.  The pro-Netanyahu bloc, including the veteran premier’s right-wing Likud and several religious parties, also remained short of a majority after last month’s vote. In a surprise move last month, Gantz was elected speaker of Israel’s parliament, or Knesset. With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Israel rising, he pledged to use that powerful position to seek an emergency unity alliance with Netanyahu to tackle the pandemic and unblock a grinding year-long political stalemate.While Gantz’s mandate to form a government technically runs until the end of Monday, he was no longer actively seeking to forge a coalition with himself as prime minister.  Topics : Instead, he was widely believed to be pursuing a deal that would see Netanyahu remain as premier for a defined period, possibly then handing power to Gantz.Despite reports of progress from the two sides — and from Israeli media — no deal has been announced.Late Saturday, Gantz asked Rivlin for an extension of his mandate. In response, Rivlin told Gantz “that in the current circumstances no extension would be possible”, a statement from the president’s office said.”The president made his decision after also speaking to … Netanyahu, who did not confirm in their conversation that the parties are close to signing an agreement that would lead to a unity government,” the statement said.  Israel’s president on Sunday rejected parliament speaker Benny Gantz’s request for more time to form a government, a task that could now fall to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.Ex-military chief Gantz was given the mandate to form a government four weeks ago by President Reuven Rivlin following Israel’s March 2 election, the country’s third inconclusive vote within a year.  But Gantz’s prospects for forming a stable coalition were always remote given deep divisions within the anti-Netanyahu camp. last_img read more

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NBA walkout sparks historic US sport boycott over police shooting

first_img“Over the last few days in our home state of Wisconsin, we’ve seen the horrendous video of Jacob Blake being shot in the back seven times by a police officer in Kenosha, and the additional shooting of protestors,” the Bucks players said in a statement explaining their boycott.”Despite the overwhelming plea for change, there has been no action, so our focus today cannot be on basketball.”The Bucks’ no-show prompted the NBA to scrap two other games scheduled for Wednesday: Houston’s clash with Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Lakers’ matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers.At an emergency meeting of NBA teams in Florida late Wednesday, the crisis threatened to put the entire season in jeopardy, with LeBron James’ Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers both voting to abandon the season. All other teams voted to continue. Topics : It was not immediately clear whether the Lakers and Clippers would continue the season as scheduled. A walkout by two of the NBA’s strongest teams and title contenders — as well as its biggest star — would deal a devastating blow to the credibility of the season. The NBA’s Board of Governors is meeting on Thursday to address player concerns. Dramatic escalation The NBA postponements marked a dramatic escalation in the league’s calls for social justice, which have reverberated across the sport in the months since the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd by Minneapolis police in May.Lakers superstar James voiced solidarity with the Bucks decision in a tweet shortly after the boycott was announced. “WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT,” James wrote.The NBA’s players union also backed the protest. “The players have, once again, made it clear — they will not be silent on this issue,” National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts said in a statement.Renewed anger had swept the NBA after Sunday’s shooting of Blake.The 29-year-old was shot repeatedly in the back as he attempted to get into his car, which contained his three children.Protests have erupted in Kenosha since the shooting, with two people killed after a teenager opened fire on demonstrators with an assault rifle on Tuesday. Boycotts spread The boycotts spread to other sports, with the Milwaukee Brewers’ game against the Cincinnati Reds becoming one of several Major League Baseball games to be postponed.In tennis, two-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka abruptly announced her withdrawal from the WTA Western & Southern Open semi-finals, where she was due to play on Thursday.”As a black woman I feel as though there are much more important matters at hand that need immediate attention, rather than watching me play tennis,” Osaka said.In a statement released late Wednesday, ATP/WTA organizers said all play scheduled for Thursday had been postponed in recognition of the fight against racial inequality.Elsewhere, the Women’s NBA postponed its scheduled fixtures for Wednesday, while Major League Soccer also called off five of six games. ‘Horrifying, maddening’ The NBA’s coronavirus-halted season resumed last month in Orlando against the backdrop of nationwide protests following Floyd’s death.NBA teams have knelt in protest during the pre-match playing of the US national anthem, while the words “Black Lives Matter” have been painted onto each court staging games in Florida.Players, many of whom took part in protests against Floyd’s killing, have been allowed to wear jerseys bearing social justice messages.The first hints of boycotts over Blake’s shooting came from Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse, who revealed that his players had discussed refusing to play their game with Boston on Thursday.Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens described Blake’s shooting as “horrifying.””Our thoughts are with Jacob Blake and his family and obviously that video was horrifying, awful,” Stevens said. “To think of three kids being in that car, it’s ridiculous.”These are hard times. With the pandemic going on, with this constant wave of inequality — it’s maddening.”The Los Angeles Clippers African-American coach Doc Rivers contrasted the latest shooting with the apocalyptic rhetoric at this week’s Republican Party convention.”All you hear is Donald Trump and all of them talking about fear,” Rivers said in remarks on Tuesday.”We’re the ones getting killed. We’re the ones getting shot. We’re the ones that are denied to live in certain communities.”We’ve been hung, we’ve been shot. All you do is keep hearing about fear. It’s amazing to me why we keep loving this country and this country does not love us back.” The Milwaukee Bucks led a historic sporting boycott Wednesday over the US police shooting of a black man, forcing the NBA to halt its playoff schedule and prompting a wave of walkouts across multiple sports.The NBA postponed its entire slate of Wednesday fixtures after the Bucks refused to play game five of their Eastern Conference first-round series against the Orlando Magic in protest over the shooting of African-American man Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday.Blake was seriously injured after being shot point blank in the back seven times by police officers in a confrontation captured on video.last_img read more

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Drip Espresso Bar Serves Up New Eats and Events

first_imgSubmitted by Drip Espresso BarA new year means a lot of new happenings at Drip Espresso Bar. We have added many items to our menu and have expanded many of our existing flavors, smoothies and pastries.When it comes to the new year, we know how important it can be to stick to those resolutions. Whether you are looking to save money, or eat healthier, we’ve got you covered.Are you trying to make your first cup at home in the morning? Taking up a portion of real estate on our entry counter is an assortment of freshly roasted Batdorf and Bronson coffee. We carry whole bean and pre-ground one pound bags in Dancing Goats, Guatemala and Capitol Blend. If eating healthier is your goal, our fresh fruit and veggie smoothies are perfect for breakfast or lunch.Fresh and healthy fruit smoothies are now offered at Drip Espresso Bar.Our baker, Callie has continued to impress us all with her seasonal pastries. While we carry an assortment of her delicious, fresh, exclusive treats all year, she also provides special treats around each holiday. Right now in our pastry case is a new gluten free option – a decadent blueberry crumble bar.And for the month of February, we will be offering a red velvet cupcake (with the most delicious buttercream frosting I have EVER tasted). As well as a “Sweetheart” sugar cookie that is hand iced and sure to impress that someone special in your life.Swing by Drip Espresso on February 26 to join the Pieces to Peaces pop up shop. We are hosting from this terrific local business, showcasing their handmade good from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. This is a family friendly get together showcasing their terrific products. Special treats will be provided. Coffee and other homemade pastries will also be available from Drip. Read a full ThurstonTalk article about Pieces to Peaces here.Headbands, bows, scarves and more await you at the Pieces to Peaces pop up shop at Drip on February 26.If you are still looking for a unique and memorable gift for your Valentine, on sale now are spots for our upcoming Paint & Sip event. Join us Saturday March 19 at noon at Drip Espresso Bar to create a beautiful “White Blossoms” painting with The Merlot Canvas while enjoying Drip’s espresso drinks and treats. Register or get more information here.Drip Espresso Bar1018 Capitol Way S. in OlympiaWinter hours: Monday – Friday 6:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. Facebook69Tweet0Pin0last_img read more