5 issues you must know on Monday

A new era in Israel when Naftali Bennett becomes Prime Minister

Naftali Bennett is the new Prime Minister of Israel after the twelve-year term of office of Benjamin Netanyahu ended on Sunday with a wafer-thin 60-59 vote. Bennett, a far-right politician, has made a name for himself through relatively extreme positions on the Palestinian conflict. He has vowed to do “everything in his power” to block Palestinian statehood and supports the annexation of 60% of the West Bank. Bennett, who once served on his predecessor’s staff, was “very much in the form of Netanyahu,” said Osamah Khalil, a historian on US foreign affairs and the modern Middle East at Syracuse University. Bennett’s appointment as prime minister is part of a ruling coalition seeking to break the country’s political deadlock. Bennett will serve as prime minister for the next two years and then centrist Yair Lapid will serve for the next two years. Bennett and Lapid have agreed not to pursue controversial policies that divide them and instead focus on home affairs.

US on the verge of 600,000 deaths from COVID-19

The United States is on the brink of yet another dire milestone on Monday: 600,000 deaths from COVID-19. The United States has more than 33.4 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 599,750 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 143 million Americans have been fully vaccinated – 43.1% of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and President Joe Biden’s goal is that 70% of all adults receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine until July 4th. On the other hand, a recent briefing from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation found that COVID-19 variants, after months of decline, could lead to an increase in falls in the US if more people are not vaccinated.

Authorities in 3 states are looking for suspects following weekend shootings

On Monday, searches for suspects were ongoing in separate shootouts that took place over the weekend in Georgia, Illinois and Texas. Authorities in Savannah, Georgia are looking for a rifleman who opened fire in front of an apartment building, killing one person and injuring seven. Police Chief Roy Minter Jr. said a driver opened fire on Friday in a “disruptive and pointless” attack, possibly related to an ongoing argument between two groups. In Chicago, Illinois, police were looking for two men who were shooting on the south side of the city early Saturday. The shooting killed a woman and injured nine people standing on the sidewalk in Chatham neighborhood, police said. A third shooting occurred early Saturday in Austin, Texas, in which one person was killed and 13 injured. One suspect was arrested in connection with the shooting while another is still at large.

Harris travels to South Carolina on a national vaccination tour

Vice President Kamala Harris travels to Greenville Monday to launch a statewide vaccination course for senior government officials. The goal? By July 4th, 70% of US adults will be shot in the arms. First Lady Jill Biden, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, and members of the Cabinet also stop and visit North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Louisiana all week. The tour is part of the Biden government’s “Action Month” to accelerate the country’s vaccination efforts. Officials will stop by pop-up clinics, visit churches and university campuses, and delve into historically underserved communities. If the shots continue at their current rate – 64% in adults – the US will miss Biden’s target.

Biden travels to NATO headquarters: what you should know about the summit

President Joe Biden is on his way to NATO headquarters in Brussels on Monday, the second stop on his three-part trip to Europe. During his stay in Belgium, Biden will attend meetings with NATO leaders where they will publicly re-commit to jointly address threats to defense and security. Topics include bold cyberattacks; Resource scarcity and migratory flows exacerbated by a changing climate; Russian disinformation; Moscow’s support, including recent military exercises, for separatists in eastern Ukraine; China’s Rise and Taliban Resurgence in Afghanistan. Biden has spent the past few days attending a Group of Seven summit in the UK, with the White House designing the trip as an opportunity for the president to reaffirm ties with close allies while reaffirming US multilateral values.

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