Yeshiva World News

Driver Charged With DWI After New York Nail Salon Crash Kills 4 And Injures 9

A Long Island man has been arrested on a charge of driving while intoxicated after authorities say he crashed his SUV into a nail salon, killing four people and injuring nine others, police said Saturday. Suffolk County Police said Steven Schwally, of Dix Hills, had been speeding through the parking lot when he drove his SUV through the front window of Hawaii Nail & Spa in Deer Park at around 4:30 p.m. Friday. The salon was open and conducting business at the time of the crash, police said. Fire officials responding to the crash said Schwally was semiconscious when his vehicle came to stop nearly at the back of the store, which is located in a strip mall. Spokespersons for the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and the police department said they did not have contact information for his lawyer. Three women and a man were pronounced dead at the scene. Eight females and one man were transported to hospitals, at least two of them with serious injuries, police said. One of the injured victims was a 12-year-old girl. The remaining were all adults, police said. Schwally was transported to a hospital for treatment of injuries that were not life-threatening. Suffolk County police identified the dead victims as Jiancai Chen, 37; Yan Xu, 41; Meizi Zhang, 50 — all from Queens — as well as Emilia Rennhack, 30, of Deer Park. The New York Police Department said Rennhack was stationed at a precinct in Queens and had been on the police force since 2018. “Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of Police Officer Emilia Rennhack, whose life was taken far too soon,” Police Commissioner Edward Caban wrote on the social platform X. “Our hearts are breaking,” the New York Police Benevolent Association wrote on X. “Please join us in praying for her family, friends and coworkers. Funeral arrangements to follow.” Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney’s office said Schwally remained hospitalized as of late Saturday and will be arraigned later. (AP)

UNESCO Finds ISIS-Era Bombs In Mosque Walls In Mosul, Iraq

The U.N. cultural agency has discovered five bombs hidden within the walls of the historic al-Nouri Mosque in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq, a remnant of the Islamic State militant group’s rule over the area, UNESCO said in a statement Saturday. The mosque, famous for its 12th-century leaning minaret, was destroyed by IS in 2017 and has been a focal point of UNESCO’s restoration efforts since 2020. The U.N. agency said that five large-scale explosive devices, designed for significant destruction, were found inside the southern wall of the Prayer Hall on Tuesday. “These explosive devices were concealed within a specially rebuilt section of the wall,” the statement said. “Iraqi authorities were promptly notified, secured the area, and the situation is now fully under control.” It added that “one bomb has been defused and removed, while the remaining four are interconnected and will be safely disposed of in the coming days.” Iraqi authorities have requested that UNESCO halt all reconstruction operations at al-Nouri mosque and evacuate the entire complex until the devices are disarmed. IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared an Islamic caliphate from the mosque a decade ago on June 29, 2014, leading to its destruction when extremists blew it up during the battle to liberate Mosul in 2017. The discovery of these bombs underscores ongoing challenges in clearing Mosul of explosives and revitalizing its devastated urban areas. International efforts, supported by the United Nations, focus on mine clearance and aiding in the city’s recovery. Despite progress, much of Mosul’s old city remains in ruins, marked by minefield warning signs, highlighting the complexity of post-conflict reconstruction. UNESCO aims to complete the full reconstruction of al-Nouri Mosque by December, “finally erasing the stigma of the Daesh occupation,” the statement said, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group’s name. A decade after the Islamic State group declared its caliphate in large parts of Iraq and Syria, the extremists no longer control any land, have lost many prominent leaders and are mostly out of the world news headlines. Still, the group continues to recruit members and claim responsibility for deadly attacks around the world, including lethal operations in Iran and Russia earlier this year that left scores dead. Its sleeper cells in Syria and Iraq still carry out attacks against government forces in both countries as well as U.S.-backed Syrian fighters, at a time when Iraq’s government is negotiating with Washington over a possible withdrawal of U.S. troops. (AP)

LIVE UPDATES: Thousands Anticipated To Attend The Levaya Of Kosover Rebbe Zt”l In Boro Park And Monsey

The levaya of the Kosover Rebbe zt”l will begin at 11 AM at his Bais Medrash in Boro Park and a second at the Vizhnitz Bais Medrash in Monsey, followed by Kevurah in the nearby Vizhnitz Bais Hachaim FOLLOW THE LEVAYA OF THE REBBE IN LIVE TIME BY SIGNING UP TO BORO PARK SCOOP AND MONSEY SCOOP AT THE LINKS BELOW Boro Park Scoop Status Boro Park Scoop Groups Monsey Scoop Status  Monsey Scoop Groups

DELUSIONAL: US Trying Again To Reach Ceasefire Truce Between Israel And Hamas

Washington is working to reach an agreement between Israel and Hamas, proposing new language for parts of the proposed hostage and ceasefire deal, according to a report by Axios. The US, along with fellow mediators Qatar and Egypt, is focused on amending Clauses 8 and 14 of the deal, which concern negotiations during the six-week ceasefire and the transition between stages one and two of the agreement. Relatives of those still held captive in Gaza protested on Motzei Shabbos, urging the government to secure a deal. The Hostages and Missing Families Forum, which has been holding weekly rallies, pledged to continue calling on the government to realize the deal presented by US President Biden in May. The proposed deal would see the fighting in Gaza cease for six weeks, during which Hamas would release the remaining living female, elderly, and sick hostages. Talks would then be held to secure a second six-week truce, during which Hamas would release the remaining living hostages, including young men and male soldiers. However, if Hamas violates its commitments, Israel could resume fighting. Hamas wants talks during the first phase to focus on the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the living male hostages, while Israel also wants to discuss the demilitarization of Gaza. The US is working to find a formula that will allow a deal to be reached, with one source saying that the agreement could be sealed if Hamas okays the changes. The fate of the proposal was unclear earlier this week after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to walk back on his commitment to the deal, saying he was willing to temporarily withdraw the army from Gaza in return for a “partial deal” that would see some of the hostages returned. However, he later insisted that he was still committed to the Israeli proposal welcomed by President Biden. The US State Department characterized Hamas’s response to the Israeli proposal as a rejection, with spokesperson Matthew Miller saying that Hamas had given a written response rejecting the proposal and presenting a counter-proposal. The Hostages and Missing Families Forum, along with opposition figures, criticized Netanyahu for appearing to renege on the deal, which had been approved by Israel’s since-disbanded war cabinet. The forum said that the government must approve the deal and cannot miss the opportunity for an agreement that will bring all the hostages home. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

Haley: Republicans Better Be Ready For Biden To Be Replaced With Younger, More Vibrant Candidate

Former South Carolina Governor and Trump primary challenger Nikki Haley has issued a warning to Republicans: Democrats will replace President Biden with a younger, more vibrant candidate, and the party must prepare for the challenge. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Haley said, “They are going to be smart about it. They’re going to bring somebody younger. They’re going to bring somebody vibrant. They’re going to bring somebody tested… This is a time for Republicans to prepare and get ready for what’s to come because there is no way that there will be a surviving Democratic Party if they allow Joe Biden to continue to be the candidate.” Haley’s comments come after Biden’s debate performance against former President Trump, which some Democrats have called on him to drop out of the race. Haley also referenced the performance, saying, “Our enemies just saw that they have between now and Jan. 20 to do whatever it is they want to do.” Haley has previously called for cognitive tests for all candidates for federal office, and reiterated her stance on Saturday, saying, “America deserves the strongest leader possible… Thursday night was shocking. It’s exactly why I have been calling for mental competency tests for anyone running for office. Joe Biden owes the American people transparency about his cognitive abilities.” In response, Biden spokesperson Ammar Moussa said, “To the millions of Nikki Haley supporters who are tired of Donald Trump and his MAGA allies constantly attacking them, running moderates and independents out of the party and repeatedly refusing to commit to accepting the 2024 election results, you have a home in President Biden’s coalition.” Haley also questioned Trump’s cognitive abilities during the Republican primary, noting that he seemingly confused her with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She told the Journal that Democrats could suffer down-ballot losses if they keep Biden as the nominee, saying, “If they continue down this path, and they have Biden as their nominee, they are committed to hurting America.” (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

Elderly Chareidi Man Narrowly Escapes Lynching In Qalandiya [Videos]

An elderly Chareidi man who entered Qalandiya in the Palestinian Authority overnight Motzei Shabbos was attacked by a mob of Arabs and narrowly escaped serious injury. A mob surrounded his car and threw stones and blocks at it as he tried to escape. However, he smashed into a concrete barrier and was lightly injured. Palestinian security forces intervened and brought him outside the town, where he was transferred to IDF forces and received emergency medical treatment. He was then evacuated to Shaare Tzedek Hospital. The victim’s car was left behind and the Arabs set it on fire. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

France Is Facing An Election Like No Other. Here’s How It Works And What Comes Next

French voters are being called to the polls on Sunday for an exceptional moment in their political history: the first round of snap parliamentary elections that could see the country’s first far-right government since the World War II Nazi occupation — or no majority emerging at all. The outcome of the vote, following the second round on July 7 and an hasty campaign, remains highly uncertain as three major political blocs are competing: the far-right National Rally, President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance and the New Popular Front coalition that includes center-left, greens and hard-left forces. Here’s a closer look: How does it work? The French system is complex and not proportionate to nationwide support for a party. Legislators are elected by district. A parliamentary candidate requires over 50% of the day’s vote to be elected outright Sunday. Failing that, the top two contenders, alongside anyone else who won support from more than 12.5% of registered voters, go forward to a second round. In some cases, three or four people make it to the second round, though some may step aside to improve the chances of another contender — a tactic often used in the past to block far-right candidates. Key party leaders are expected to unveil their strategy in between the two rounds. This makes the result of the second round highly uncertain, and dependent on political maneuvering and how voters react. The far-right National Rally, ahead in all pre-election opinion polls, hopes to win an absolute majority, or at least 289 out of the 577 seats. The National Assembly, the lower house, is the more powerful of France’s two houses of parliament. It has the final say in the law-making process over the Senate, dominated by conservatives. Macron has a presidential mandate until 2027, and said he would not step down before the end of his term. What’s cohabitation? If another political force than his centrist alliance gets a majority, Macron will be forced to appoint a prime minister belonging to that new majority. In such a situation — called “cohabitation” in France — the government would implement policies that diverge from the president’s plan. France’s modern Republic has experienced three cohabitations, the last one under conservative President Jacques Chirac, with Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, from 1997 to 2002. The prime minister is accountable to the parliament, leads the government and introduces bills. “In case of cohabitation, policies implemented are essentially those of the prime minister,” political historian Jean Garrigues said. The president is weakened at home during cohabitation, but still holds some powers over foreign policy, European affairs and defense because he is in charge of negotiating and ratifying international treaties. The president is also the commander-in-chief of the country’s armed forces, and is the one holding the nuclear codes. “It’s possible for the president to prevent or temporarily suspend the implementation of a certain number of the prime minister’s projects, since he has the power to sign or not sign the government’s ordinances or decrees,” Garrigues added. “Yet the prime minister has the power to submit these ordinances and decrees to a vote of the National Assembly, thus overriding the president’s reluctance,” he noted. Who leads defense and foreign policies? During previous cohabitations, defense and foreign policies were considered the informal “reserved field” of the president, who was usually able to find compromises with the prime […]

Tragedy In Israel: Mother Of 9 Dies In Fire After Saving Children, 18 Injured

A mother of nine perished in a fire that broke out in her home overnight Motzei Shabbos on the yishuv of Kochav Yaakov in Binyamin. Adina Zahavi, a’h, and her husband rescued their children from their beds after waking up to the fire. Adina then collapsed due to smoke inhalation. She was evacuated to the hospital where her death was pronounced shortly later. Eighteen others were injured in the fire, two moderately and 16 lightly, including 12 children. A preliminary investigation revealed that the fire was caused by an electric bike that was being charged in a plug next to a couch in the home. Adina, a’h, made aliyah from the US 20 years ago and met her husband Aryeh in Israel, where they married and established a family. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

Bolivian General Accused Of Failed Coup Is Transferred To A Maximum-Security Prison

The Bolivian general accused of leading a failed coup was sent Saturday to a maximum-security prison as he faces charges of terrorism and starting an armed uprising. “At some point the truth will be known,” a handcuffed Gen. Juan José Zúñiga told journalists as he was escorted by two guards to the vehicle that will take him to the Chonchocoro maximum-security prison on the outskirts of La Paz. “The rest are innocent. The are innocent people,” he added. Two other former military chiefs, including former navy Vice Adm. Juan Arnez Salvador, were also taken to the same prison. Zúñiga, who was arrested Wednesday after the rebellion, said before being taken into custody, without providing evidence, that President Luis Arce ordered him to carry out the rebellion — something that the Bolivian leader and his government have vigorously denied. Arce told the AP on Friday that Zúñiga planned to “take over” the government and become president, and he denied once again that Wednesday’s attack on the government palace was a “self-coup” designed to garner him political points. Authorities have arrested 21 people, including Zúñiga, who were in custody in police facilities in La Paz. All of them face charges of armed uprising and terrorism. Fourteen of the detainees appeared on Saturday before a judge. Families of some of the detainees said Friday that they knew nothing of a plot, and some say that their loved ones were simply “following orders” or told they were carrying out a “military exercise.” (AP)

Expert Tells UN It Has ‘Irrefutably’ Established Missile Debris In Ukraine Is North Korean

The head of a research organization that has been tracing weapons used in attacks in Ukraine since 2018 told the United Nations Security Council on Friday it has “irrefutably” established that ballistic missile remnants found in Ukraine came from North Korea. The United States and its Western allies clashed with Russia and North Korea at the meeting, saying both countries violated a U.N. embargo on arms exports from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the country’s official name. Russia dismissed the “baseless accusations,” and the DPRK dismissed the meeting as “an extremely brazen act” to discuss “someone’s alleged ‘weapon transfers.’” Jonah Leff, executive director of Conflict Armament Research, gave the council a detailed analysis of the remnants of the missile that struck Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, on Jan. 2. He said the organization documented the missile’s rocket motor, its tail section and almost 300 components manufactured by 26 companies from eight countries and territories, and it determined the missile was either a KN-23 or KN-24 manufactured in 2023 in the DPRK. The organization reached its conclusion based on the missile’s unique characteristics — its diameter, distinct jet vane actuators that direct the missile’s thrust and trajectory, the pattern around the igniter, the presence of Korean characters on some rocket components, and other marks and components dating back to 2023, he said. “Following the initial documentation, our teams inspected three additional identical DPRK missiles that struck Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia earlier this year,” Leff said. They also observed additional conventional weapons, including an artillery rocket produced in 1977, “that had been seized on the front lines and had not been observed on the battlefield previously in Ukraine” that were manufactured by the DPRK, and might have been part of a recent larger consignment of rockets. The council discussed illegal arms transfers from North Korea at the request of France, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. The meeting followed Russia’s March 28 veto that ended the monitoring of sanctions against North Korea over its expanding nuclear program by a U.N. panel of experts. The U.S. and its European and Asian allies accused Moscow of seeking to avoid scrutiny as it allegedly violates sanctions to buy weapons from Pyongyang for its war in Ukraine. U.N. disarmament chief Izumi Nakamitsu told the council Friday that before its mandate expired, the panel of experts was reviewing a report from Ukraine on missile debris it recovered “following information about short-range ballistic missiles manufactured in the DPRK and used by Russian armed forces in Ukraine.” While the mandate of the experts, which had been extended since 2009 with Russia’s support, was terminated, Nakamitsu said “it is important to note” that the Security Council committee responsible for monitoring the implementation of sanctions against the DPRK “continues its work and will oversee the implementation of the sanctions regime.” U.S. deputy ambassador Robert Wood called Leff’s presentation with its many technical details “quite compelling,” and told the council that while Russia may have ended the panel’s monitoring with China’s “tacit support,” the briefing showed that Moscow and Beijing “cannot prevent the public from learning about the unlawful arms transfers occurring between the DPRK and Russia.” He said the independent findings by Leff’s research organization corroborate open-source reports and analyses. And he said that, in addition to the dozens of missiles Russia has transferred from the […]

Russia Presses Its Offensive In Ukraine And Issues New Threats As The West Tries To Blunt The Push

Slowly but steadily this summer, Russian troops are forging through Ukraine’s outgunned and undermanned defenses in a relentless onslaught, prompting the West to push for new weapons and strategies to shore up Kyiv. That, in turn, has brought new threats by President Vladimir Putin to retaliate against the West — either directly or indirectly. The moves by the West to blunt the offensive and the potential Kremlin response could lead to a dangerous escalation as the war drags through its third year — one that further raises the peril of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO. Russia’s probing offensive Russia took advantage of its edge in firepower amid delays in U.S. aid to scale up attacks in several areas along the 1,000-kilometer (600-mile) front. Relatively small units are probing Ukrainian defenses for weak spots, potentially setting the stage for a more ambitious push. Russia’s offensive near Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, that began in May and worried Kyiv’s Western allies has apparently lost momentum after the Ukrainian army bolstered its forces in the area by redeploying troops from other sectors. Meanwhile, Russia has made incremental but steady advances in the Donetsk region, including around the strategic hilltop town of Chasiv Yar, a gateway to parts of Donetsk still under Ukrainian control. Analysts say the fall of Chasiv Yar would threaten the key military hubs of Sloviansk and Kramatorsk. Putin declared that Moscow wasn’t seeking quick gains and would stick to the current strategy of advancing slowly. Jack Watling of the Royal United Services Institute said that by stretching Ukrainian forces along a wide front, Russia is overcoming the limitations of its military that lacks the size and training for a major offensive. The breadth of the strikes has forced Ukraine to spread out its artillery, “expending munitions to break up successive Russian attacks,” he said in an analysis. “Russia’s aim is not to achieve a grand breakthrough but rather to convince Ukraine that it can keep up an inexorable advance, kilometer by kilometer, along the front.” Michael Kofman of the Carnegie Endowment said Russia’s apparent goal is to maintain pressure and try to stretch out Ukraine’s forces. He noted that even though Ukraine managed to stabilize the front line, it had to use reserves intended to be deployed elsewhere. “It will take more and more time to actually regenerate Ukraine’s combat strength because of that,” he said in a recent podcast. Moscow also has stepped up airstrikes on Ukraine’s energy facilities and other vital infrastructure with waves of missiles and drones. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the country had lost about 80% of its thermal power and one-third of its hydroelectric power in the strikes. “This will be a growing problem when we talk about the future Ukraine’s economic viability,” Kofman said. Watling said the shortage of air defenses is giving Ukraine a difficult choice between concentrating them to safeguard critical infrastructure, or protecting troops on the front. “The persistence of Russia’s long-range strike campaign means that not only is the front being stretched laterally, but it is also being extended in its depth,” he said. The West responds, the Kremlin counters Washington and some NATO allies have responded to the offensive by allowing Kyiv to use Western weapons for limited strikes inside Russia. The U.S. has allowed Ukraine to use American weapons against […]

Only 17% Of Targets To Improve Life Around The World Are Likely To Be Reached By 2030, UN Reports

The United Nations warned Friday that only 17% of its 169 targets to improve life for the world’s more than 7 billion people are on track to be reached by the 2030 deadline. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres launched the annual report saying, “It shows the world is getting a failing grade.” World leaders adopted the 17 wide-ranging development goals from ending global poverty to achieving gender equality in 2015, and set 169 specific targets to be reached by the end of the decade. According to the report, nearly half the targets show minimal or moderate progress and over one-third are stalled or regressing — with just 17% are on track to be achieved. “The takeaway is simple,” Guterres said. “Our failure to secure peace, to confront climate change, and to boost international finance is undermining development.” The report also cited the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and said an additional 23 million people were pushed into extreme poverty and over 100 million more were suffering from hunger in 2022 compared to 2019. “In a world of unprecedented wealth, knowledge and technologies, the denial of basic needs for so many is outrageous and unacceptable,” Guterres said. On the downside, the U.N. reported that for the first time this century, per-capita GDP growth in half of the world’s most vulnerable nations is slower than that of advanced economies, threatening improvements in equality. And in 2022, it said, nearly 60% of countries faced moderate to abnormally high food prices. The goal of quality education is far offtrack. Only 58% of students worldwide achieved minimum proficiency in reading by the end of primary school, and “recent assessments reveal a significant decline in math and reading scores in many countries,” the report said. As for gender equality, it said the world continues to lag: One in five girls still marry before age 18, violence against women persists, far too many women don’t have the right to decide on their sexual and reproductive health — and at current rates it will take 176 years for women to reach parity with men in management positions. Guterres said the report also has “some glimmers of hope.” Mobile broadband is accessible to 95% of the world’s population, up from 78% in 2015. Global capacity to generate electricity from renewable has been expanding at an unprecedented 8.1% annually for past five years, the report said. Increased access to treatment has averted 20.8 million AIDS-related deaths in the past three decades. New malaria vaccines being rolled out could save millions of lives. Girls in most regions are now achieving parity with boys in education. And many women are breaking glass ceilings, it said. “But the speed and scale of the change needed for sustainable development is still far too slow,” Guterres said. He called for action to end wars from Gaza to Ukraine, Sudan and beyond, “and to pivot from spending on destruction and war to investing in people and peace.” The secretary-general also called for greater action to combat climate change and on “the green and digital transitions.” According to the report, there is a $4 trillion annual gap in the investments needed to help developing countries reach the sustainable development goals. Guterres called for stepped-up efforts to deliver the resources and also to reduce debt pressures and debt […]

Would Sen. Marco Rubio Or Rep. Byron Donalds Have To Move If Trump Picks Them For VP?

As Donald Trump narrows his options for a potential running mate, two politicians known to be on his list are from Florida, leaving open a scenario where his vice presidential nominee would have to move if the Republican ticket wins. The U.S. Constitution prohibits a president and vice president from residing in the same state. If Trump, who declared his Palm Beach estate his home in 2019, were to pick U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio or U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, the 12th Amendment could prevent the 30 Florida electors from casting their vote if Republicans win the state. There are several ways for the Trump campaign to overcome this, legal experts say, though doing so might create some inconvenience for the vice presidential candidate. “It’s just easier to run candidates from two different states,” said Sanford Levinson, a constitutional scholar at the University of Texas School of Law. “It does seem to be easy to evade any problems if you want to.” What’s the issue in the Constitution? The 12th Amendment says that members of the Electoral College shall vote for a president and vice president. It notes that one of the candidates “shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with themselves.” The amendment was added to the Constitution in 1804 when large states such as Virginia dominated the nation’s political discourse, Levinson said, as a way of limiting their power. If Trump wins Florida, the state’s 30 electors could vote for him for president, but not for another Floridian for vice president. Florida has the third most electoral votes behind California with 54 and Texas with 40. In a close election, the state’s votes could be less than the total margin. Florida’s electors could abstain from voting, which might not matter if Trump does not need those 30 electoral votes to reach the 270 required for victory. The electors could still go ahead and vote for an all-Floridian ticket, with the possibility of facing legal challenges. Has this issue come up before? In July 2000, four days before then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush selected his running mate, Dick Cheney changed his Texas residency by registering to vote in Wyoming, where he grew up, had a home and represented Congress for 12 years. The move was seen as an indication that Bush had made up his mind about Cheney joining the ticket. There were legal challenges filed against Bush, Cheney, the Texas secretary of state and the Texas electors. Ultimately, courts sided with Cheney in that he was qualified to be vice president because he had proved he was a Wyoming resident. Will Rubio or Donalds have to move? Likely yes, but not right away. The Electoral College will meet on Dec. 17. If Trump wins the Nov. 5 election, his running mate could make the switch afterward because he would be leaving his congressional office anyway. “If I were advising Rubio, I would tell him not to change his residency until after the election,” said Bob Jarvis, a constitutional law professor at Nova Southeastern University. Where might they move? Rubio was asked by CNN after Thursday’s debate between Democratic President Joe Biden and Trump if he would be willing to move. “That would be presumptuous of me to talk about that,” he said. “The job has not been […]

FREAKING OUT: Top Democrats Terrified As Biden Team Shoos Away Growing Calls For Him To Move Aside

A sense of concern is growing inside the top ranks of the Democratic Party that leaders of Joe Biden’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee are not taking seriously enough the impact of the president’s troubling debate performance earlier in the week. DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison held a Saturday afternoon call with dozens of committee members across the country, a group of some of the most influential members of the party. He did not acknowledge Biden’s weak showing Thursday night or the avalanche of criticism that followed. Multiple committee members on the call, granted anonymity to talk about the private discussion, described feeling like they were being gaslighted — that they were being asked to ignore the dire nature of the party’s predicament. The call, they said, may have worsened a widespread sense of panic among elected officials, donors and other stakeholders. Instead, the people said, Harrison offered what they described as a rosy assessment of Biden’s path forward. The chat function was disabled and there were no questions allowed. Many donors, party strategists and rank-and-file DNC members are publicly and privately saying they want the 81-year-old Biden to step aside to allow the party to select a younger replacement at the Democratic National Convention in August. As of now, though, Biden’s closest allies insist he remains well-positioned to compete against Republican Donald Trump and have given no indication they will push him to end his campaign. Those best positioned to replace him — Vice President Kamala Harris, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer among them — reiterated their support for Biden after the debate. Many are anxiously awaiting the first major round of post-debate public polling to determine their next steps. Polls from CNN and 538/Ipsos conducted soon after the debate found that most debate-watchers thought Trump outperformed Biden. But the two men’s favorability ratings remained largely unchanged, just as they did in the aftermath of Trump’s conviction on charges in New York that he illegally participated in a hush money scheme to influence the 2016 election. In a subsequent appearance on MSNBC, Harrison downplayed the significance of the conference call, which he said was part of a regularly scheduled communication “to talk about the state of the race” and the upcoming national convention with the DNC’s many elected members across the country. Biden and his campaign have sought to project confidence in the days since Thursday’s debate in which the president, who already faced serious concerns about his physical and mental stamina, offered a performance punctuated by repeated stumbles, uncomfortable pauses, and a quiet speaking style that was often difficult to understand. Just after Saturday’s DNC call, the Biden campaign released a memo from senior adviser Jen O’Malley Dillon insisting that the debate had no tangible impact on the election. “On every metric that matters, data shows it did nothing to change the American people’s perception, our supporters are more fired up than ever, and Donald Trump only reminded voters of why they fired him four years ago and failed to expand his appeal beyond his MAGA base,” O’Malley Dillon wrote. She added, “If we do see changes in polling in the coming weeks, it will not be the first time that overblown media narratives have driven temporary dips in the polls.” Meanwhile, Biden spent […]

Beryl Strengthens Into Hurricane, Forecast To Become Major Storm Entering Caribbean

Beryl strengthened into a hurricane Saturday as it churned toward the southeastern Caribbean, with forecasters warning it was expected to become a dangerous major storm before reaching Barbados late Sunday or early Monday. A major hurricane is considered Category 3 or higher, with winds of at least 111 mph (178 kph). On Saturday night, Beryl was a Category 1 hurricane, marking the farthest east that a hurricane formed in the tropical Atlantic in June, breaking a record set in 1933, according to Philip Klotzbach, Colorado State University hurricane researcher. A hurricane warning was issued for Barbados, St. Lucia, Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. A tropical storm warning was posted for Martinique and Tobago and a tropical storm watch for Dominica. “It’s astonishing to see a forecast for a major (Category 3+) hurricane in June anywhere in the Atlantic, let alone this far east in the deep tropics. #Beryl organizing in a hurry over the warmest waters ever recorded for late June,” Florida-based hurricane expert Michael Lowry posted on X. Beryl’s center was forecast to pass about 26 miles (45 kilometers) south of Barbados, said Sabu Best, director of the island’s meteorological service. Forecasters then expect the storm to cross the Caribbean on a path toward Jamaica and eventually Mexico. On Saturday night, Beryl was centered about 660 miles (1,060 kilometers) east-southeast of Barbados, with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph (130 kph). It was moving west at 22 mph (35 kph). “Rapid strengthening is now forecast,” the Miami-based U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Atmospheric science researcher Tomer Burg noted that Beryl was just a tropical depression with 35 mph winds Friday. “This means that according to preliminary data, Beryl already met rapid intensification criteria before even becoming a hurricane,” he wrote on the social media platform X. Warm waters were fueling Beryl, with ocean heat content in the deep Atlantic the highest on record for this time of year, according to Brian McNoldy, University of Miami tropical meteorology researcher. Beryl also is the strongest June tropical storm on record that far east in the tropical Atlantic, according to Klotzbach. “We remain absolutely vigilant and need to take every precaution that is possible for ourselves, for our family and for our neighbors,” Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley said in a public address Saturday night, asking that all businesses close by Sunday evening. “We do not want to put anybody’s life at risk.” She noted that thousands of people are in Barbados for the Twenty20 World Cup cricket final, with India beating South Africa on Saturday in the capital of Bridgetown. It is considered cricket’s biggest event. Some fans, like Shashank Musku, a 33-year-old physician who lives in Pittsburgh, were rushing to change their flights to leave before the storm. Musku said by phone that he has never experienced a hurricane: “I don’t plan on being in one, either.” He and his wife, who were rooting for India, found out about Beryl thanks to a taxi driver who mentioned the storm. St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves said in a public address Saturday that shelters would open Sunday evening and he urged people to prepare. He ordered officials to refuel government vehicles and asked grocery stores and gas stations to stay open later before the storm. “There […]

Wildly Popular Taryag Kids Comic Book Now Available as a FREE Audio at ArtScroll Com/taryag

With literally tens of thousands of kids across the globe becoming hooked on the Taryag Kids, ArtScroll has now begun offering an action-packed audio version of the first story in the series, Taryag Kids and the Underwater Adventure for free! Produced by YB Productions and filled with heart-thumping sound effects and voice talents, your kids are sure to enjoy the audio and will double the fun when buying the book to follow along! Visit ArtScroll.com/taryag to listen to the entire story or enjoy it on 24Six, Naki Radio Premium and all popular streaming platforms today! 

Iranian Presidential Election Heads To Runoff Between Masoud Pezeshkian And Saeed Jalili

Iran will hold a runoff presidential election pitting a little-known reformist against a hard-line former nuclear negotiator after results released Saturday showed the lowest-ever poll turnout in the Islamic Republic’s history. More than 60% of voters cast no ballot in the race that saw reformist Masoud Pezeshkian best Saeed Jalili, who competed alongside two other hard-liners. With Jalili now alone in facing the cardiac surgeon, Pezeshkian’s campaign would need to draw voters to the July 5 runoff in an election they’ve otherwise not taken part in as public anger hardens following years of Iran facing economic hardships and mass protests under its Shiite theocracy. “Let’s look at it as a protest in its own right: A very widespread choice to reject what’s on offer – both the candidates and the system,” said Sanam Vakil, the director of Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa program. “That tells us a lot about public opinion and apathy, frustration. It sort of brings it all together.” Of the 24.5 million votes cast in Friday’s election, Pezeshkian got 10.4 million while Jalili received 9.4 million, election spokesman Mohsen Eslami announced. Parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Qalibaf got 3.3 million, while Shiite cleric Mostafa Pourmohammadi had over 206,000 votes. Iranian law requires that a winner gets more than 50% of all votes cast. If not, the race’s top two candidates advance to a runoff a week later. There’s been only one other runoff presidential election in Iran’s history: in 2005, when hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad bested former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. As has been the case since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, women and those calling for radical change have been barred from running, while the vote itself will have no oversight from internationally recognized monitors. There were signs of the wider disenchantment of the public with the vote. More than 1 million votes were voided, according to the results, typically a sign of people feeling obligated to cast a ballot but not wanting to select any of the candidates. The overall turnout was 39.9%, according to the results. The 2021 presidential election that elected Raisi saw a 48.8% turnout, while the March parliamentary election saw a 40.6% turnout. There had been calls for a boycott, including from imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize laureate Narges Mohammadi. Mir Hossein Mousavi, one of the leaders of the 2009 Green Movement protests who remains under house arrest, has also refused to vote along with his wife, his daughter said. There’s also been criticism that Pezeshkian represents just another government-approved candidate. In a documentary on the reformist candidate aired by state TV, one woman said her generation was “moving toward the same level” of animosity with the government that Pezeshkian’s generation had in the 1979 revolution. Jalili, once described by CIA director Bill Burns as “stupefyingly opaque” in negotiations, likely would have won outright had the three hard-liners not split Friday’s vote. Jalili is known as the “Living Martyr” after losing a leg in the 1980s Iran-Iraq war and is famous among Western diplomats for his haranguing lectures and hard-line stances. Qalibaf, a former general in Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard and head of Iran’s police, had been thought to have a wider power base, despite being plagued by corruption allegations and his role in past violent crackdowns. He quickly endorsed Jalili in conceding […]

BARUCH DAYAN HA’EMES: Petirah Of The Kosover Rebbe, HaRav Shraga Feivish Hager ZT”L

It is with profound sadness that YWN informs you of the Petirah of the Kosover Rebbe, HaRav Shraga Feivish Hager zt”l, a luminary for tens of thousands across the globe. He was 66 years old. In January 2023, the Kosover Chassidus in Boro Park publicized that the Rebbe had fallen extremely ill and was in need of Rachamei Shamayim. In the subsequent year-plus, the Rebbe traveled to Germany for specialized treatments, which ultimately wiped out the disease, but left his internal organs severely compromised. The Rebbe was hospitalized again several weeks ago due to organ failure, and had been back-and-forth between the hospital and home in recent days and weeks as his condition deteriorated. On Friday afternoon, a Minyan was gathered around his bed. He was Niftar over Shabbos. Throughout his life, the Rebbe was a paragon of Shleimus and a shining example of Ameilus Batorah and sacrificing one’s self-needs and concerns for the sake of others. It was his Ehrlichkeit, specifically, that garnered him such wide acclaim, despite his Chassidus itself being relatively small. Rav Shraga Feivish was a posek for Chesed Shel Emes and a product of Yeshivos, Chachmei Lublin, Ponevezh, and Bais Medrash Govoha. The Rebbe left an indelible mark as a prolific Mechaber Seforim, penning seminal works such as “Avdah D’Malka” and the two-volume “Shabbos Malka Kadisha,” a masterpiece on the Kedusha of Shabbos. As the eldest son of the HaRav Avrohom Yehoshua Heshel Hager zt”l, the Kosover-Zalishchiker Rebbe of Borough Park, the Kosover Rebbe continued his father’s legacy of wisdom, kindness, and unwavering dedication to his Kehilla and all of Klal Yisroel for decades at the helm of the Chassidus. Levaya information will be published when they become available. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)

BDE: Zakein HaMekubalim HaRav Shalom Shmueli, Z’tl, Passes Away At Age 106

Zakein HaMekubalim HaGoan Hatzaddik Rav Shalom Aharon Shmueli, z’tl, passed away at the age of 106 on Shabbos morning at Shaare Tzedek Hospital. HaRav Shmueli, z’tl, a talmid of HaMekubal HaRav Mordechai Sharabi, z’tl, was a hidden tzaddik who worked as a cobbler on Rechov Aggripas. He often stopped his work to learn Kabbalah but if anyone entered the store, he would quickly hide the sefer. The Belzer Rebbe had a close connection with him and would visit him to learn Kabbalah. His entire life was dedicated to the daled amos of Torah v’avodah but in his great anavah, he always stayed behind the scenes and refused to accept any honors. His son, HaMekubal Harav Binyahu Shmueli is the Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivas Hamekubalim Nahar Shalom in the Machane Yehudah neighborhood of Jerusalem. The levaya took place at Yeshivas Porat Yosef in Geulah on Motzei Shabbos at 11 p.m. and continued to the Sanhedria Beit HaChayim, where the burial took place. (YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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