Israel-Palestine conflict; US backs Australia against China; Greece opens for tourists

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Today on The Leaders' Brief -

  • Up till a month ago, ousting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, presently undergoing trial for criminal charges, from his seat was a likely possibility. However, Naftali Bennett, whose ultranationalist Yamina party is key to forming a coalition before President Rueven Rivlin’s 28-day mandate ends, has decided to abandon coalition talks with Yesh Atid for a wider unity coalition government. The possibility of a rotation government with both Mr Bennett and Yair Lepid serving half terms as Prime Minister would need the support of Arab legislators.

  • The USA last week announced a strongly worded support for Australia in its ongoing trade tiff with Beijing. Welcoming the USA’s support, Australian foreign minister Marise Payne said it should embolden other countries to stand up to Beijing when the Chinese government threatens their national values and interests. Miss Payne revealed that the Australian government is pushing for a more thorough investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.

  • Greece’s Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis announced the country’s reopening for international tourists who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 from last Friday. The announcement is a much-needed development for a country that sees 16-20% of its GDP dependent on the tourism industry that has been crippled by the COVID pandemic. Estimated losses from the plunge in international tourism are about $2 trillion or roughly 2% of global GDP.

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