Tens of thousands of people who oppose a plan to limit the Supreme Court’s power marched on Jerusalem on Saturday.Credit…Menahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
A looming vote in Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition is set to pass a law today that would limit the ways in which Israel’s Supreme Court can overrule the government. The plan has become a proxy for a broader emotional and even existential battle about the nature of the Israeli state, who controls it and who shapes its future.
The law would bar the court from using the contentious legal standard of “reasonableness” to block government decisions. The government says the change would enhance democracy by making elected lawmakers freer to enact what voters chose them to do. The opposition insists it would remove a key check on government overreach, paving the way for the governing coalition — the most conservative and nationalist in Israel’s history — to create a more authoritarian and less pluralist society.
The dispute reflects a painful schism in Israeli society about how to maintain Israel’s self-image as a Jewish and democratic state. President Biden has cautioned Netanyahu against pursuing the plan.
Months of mass protest: On Saturday, tens of thousands of demonstrators who oppose the legislation marched on Jerusalem, some of them having walked for days to get there. More than 10,000 military reservists, among them the backbone of Israel’s flying corps, have threatened to resign from duty, raising fears about Israel’s military readiness.
In other news: Netanyahu was taken to the hospital over the weekend for an emergency procedure to implant a heart pacemaker. The prime minister was doing “very well,” his doctors said. Netanyahu released a video statement saying that he would be in Parliament today.
An inconclusive result in Spain’s election
Spain was thrust into political uncertainty yesterday after national elections left no party with enough support to form a government. Neither the governing Socialist Party of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez nor his conservative opponents won enough ballots to govern alone in the 350-seat Parliament.
While the conservatives came out ahead, they did not have an absolute majority, and the allies in the hard-right Vox party with whom they might have partnered to form a government saw their support crater, as Spaniards rejected extremist parties. See the full results.
The outcome was an inconclusive election and a political muddle that has become familiar to Spaniards since their two-party system fractured nearly a decade ago. It seemed likely to leave Spain in political limbo at an important moment, when it holds the rotating presidency of the European Council as it faces down the threat of Russian aggression in Ukraine.
A political survivalist: Sánchez defied expectations, increasing his party’s seats in Parliament and gaining enough support with his left-wing allies, for now, to block the formation of a conservative government.
Ukraine’s halting counteroffensive
Times journalists spent a month reporting on Ukraine’s fight to gain ground against Russia. They found a violent stalemate, with Ukraine facing an array of obstacles — weary soldiers, unreliable munitions — as it confronts a determined opponent.
Despite Ukraine’s adaptations, it has made marginal progress in its ability to coordinate directly between its troops closest to Russian forces on the so-called zero line and those assaulting forward. As casualties mount, soldiers in the trenches are often older and have less training. Ammunition is in short supply, and the communication system can be slow. Many countries have given Ukraine munitions, but accuracy varies wildly among the various shells.
Quotable: “We’re trading our people for their people, and they have more people and equipment,” said one Ukrainian commander.
Russian strikes killed one person in Odesa, damaging homes and historic landmarks, including an Orthodox cathedral.
Belarus’s crackdown on dissent has only deepened, three years after President Aleksandr Lukashenko claimed victory in a widely disputed election.
THE LATEST NEWS
Other Big Stories
For almost a week, firefighters on the Greek island of Rhodes have been battling blazes that have trapped thousands of people.
The party of Hun Sen, Cambodia’s longtime prime minister, declared victory yesterday in parliamentary elections that have paved the way for his son’s dynastic rule.
The release of the films “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” over the weekend blew past box office expectations to collect a combined $235.5 million in the U.S. and Canada.
Jeff Bezos has become more involved in The Washington Post, which he owns and which is on pace to lose $100 million this year.
In the Women’s World Cup, the U.S. beat Vietnam, 3-0. Sweden and the Netherlands both won their games, and France drew against Jamaica. Here’s the schedule.
Maureen Dowd explains why A.I. is a key issue in the actors’ and writers’ strikes.
There’s a growing understanding in Britain that quitting the E.U. was a grave error, Michelle Goldberg says.
Nicholas Kristof asks: Does it really make sense for the U.S. to provide Israel, a wealthy country, with $3.8 billion annually?
Read “In Memory of Those Still in the Water,” a poem by Amanda Gorman about those lost when the migrant boat Adriana capsized last month.
Vladimir Putin should understand that China’s loyalties have a history of collapsing when a strategic partner’s usefulness wanes, Sergey Radchenko argues.
A Morning Read
In 2004, the drugmaker Gilead stalled on a promising H.I.V. therapy, allowing it to extend the patent life of a blockbuster line of medications, internal documents show.
“We should all take a step back and ask: How did we allow this to happen?” said James Krellenstein, a longtime AIDS activist who has advised lawyers suing Gilead. “This is what happens when a company intentionally delays the development of an H.I.V. drug for monopolistic purposes.”
The singer Tony Bennett, known for his jazz-influenced phrasing, audience-embracing persona and warm interpretations of musical standards, died on Friday at 96.
SPORTS NEWS FROM THE ATHLETIC
Lionel Messi and the free kick: He announced his U.S. arrival in style.
Making history: Nouhaila Benzina is in line to be the first woman to wear a hijab while playing at a World Cup, something not possible in France.
Inside the world of female e-sports: What it’s like for a woman trying to make it.
From The Times: Watch amateurs race against the Tour de France’s top climbers (sort of).
ARTS AND IDEAS
A $220 light switch by the English company Forbes & Lomax. Ostentatiously low-key baubles from the storied Munich jeweler Hemmerle. A seemingly generic men’s sports coat made from an ultrafine wool harvested from llamalike animals in Bolivia.
For those with New Old Money — that is, great fortunes made, often in tech, in a time frame bracketed by Myspace and TikTok — wealth display is noticeable, but only to those who know what they’re looking for.
“It’s the Loro Piana effect and it’s a smokescreen,” said William Norwich, a novelist and editor, referring to an Italian luxury brand. “You telegraph status without seeming to do it.”
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
Start your week with this easy vegetarian sheet-pan dinner.
What to Listen to
Can you understand bird song? Test your recognition of calls.
What to Read
“Empress of the Nile” tells the story of the female archaeologist who broke into the men’s club of Egyptology.
Now Time to Play
Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Grouping of socks, earrings or gloves (four letters).
And here are today’s Wordle and the Spelling Bee.
You can find all our puzzles here.
That’s it for today’s briefing. Thanks for joining me. — Natasha
P.S. Did you follow the news this week? Take our quiz to see how well you stack up with other Times readers.
Friday’s episode of “The Daily” is on the new “Barbie” movie.
You can reach Natasha and the team at [email protected].