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A sticker and a banner of election campaign, depicting former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other politicians, are seen in Tel Aviv.

Reuters

Israel’s fifth election in under four years: Will anything change?

We’ve seen this movie before: An ill-suited coalition government collapses, electioneering kicks off, and Israelis drag their feet to the polls.

On Tuesday, Israelis vote to elect a new government for the fifth time since April 2019. Former longtime Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu is looking to make a comeback nearly 18 months after he was relegated to opposition status. Accustomed to the trappings of PM life, Bibi has made no secret of the fact that he despises the indignity of playing second fiddle and desperately wants his old gig back.

As Israel votes yet again, what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, and what are the likely outcome(s) of round five?

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Sri Lankans celebrate the resignation President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo.

REUTERS/Adnan Abidi

What We're Watching: Sri Lanka swears in new leader, Bolsonaro spends big, Biden to kiss the ring

Sri Lanka has a new acting president

Gotabaya Rajapaksa finally resigned — by email — on Thursday as president of Sri Lanka, a country rocked by months-long mass protests, economic collapse, and political turmoil over his rule. He fled the country on Tuesday, likely to avoid arrest, and is now in Singapore, but Rajapaksa’s final destination remains unclear. Ranil Wickremesinghe, the sitting PM Rajapaksa appointed interim president before getting out of Dodge, was sworn in as acting president on Friday. Wickremesinghe’s ability to govern, however briefly, is uncertain given that protesters also want him out. Parliament’s process for selecting the new leader now begins, with a vote coming as early as next week. MPs will have to come up with an alternative candidate to serve out the remainder of Rajapaksa's term until 2025, or hold a snap election. Whoever becomes president will then have to pick a prime minister to lead a government that'll need to pass tough economic reforms to secure an IMF bailout, the only way Sri Lanka can salvage its ruined economy. Demonstrators ignored a new curfew to publicly celebrate Rajapaksa’s resignation overnight, and all eyes are on what happens next on the streets of Colombo.

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REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

What We’re Watching: Contentious SCOTUS decisions, Russia's Snake Island retreat, Israel’s new PM, G7's topless fantasies

SCOTUS hands Biden a win and a loss

The US Supreme Court on Thursday handed down decisions in two closely watched cases. First, the court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency can’t enforce rules limiting carbon emissions at existing power plants. The six conservative justices who backed the majority opinion said only Congress should regulate climate policy. The long-running case – which made its way through the courts during the Obama, Trump, and Biden presidencies – is emblematic of the broader fight between coal-loving Republican states and Democrats pushing for more action on climate change. The decision will also complicate Biden’s pledge to switch the power grid to clean energy by 2035 – and to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Crucially, the US is the world’s second-largest carbon emitter after China. SCOTUS’s subsequent ruling, however, went in Biden’s favor: two conservative justices joined the court’s progressive wing to scrap the “Remain in Mexico” policy, a Trump-era immigration law requiring some migrants to wait in Mexico while their asylum claims are processed. Still, a federal judge has blocked Biden from lifting another Trump-era immigration restriction, so this ruling is unlikely to have a significant impact on the immigration landscape ahead of November’s midterms.

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Ari Winkleman

Déjà vu in Israel: Another government crumbles

Political tumult is again the order of the day in Israel, where the fifth election cycle in three years is about to kick off. Crippled by dysfunction and tribalism, Israel has joined the ranks of countries like Italy and Greece, where general elections have been known to occur with infuriating frequency.

What sparked the latest government collapse, and how might Israel overcome this period of chronic stalemate?

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Israel's historic (and fractious) post-Bibi government

After four elections in two years, Israel is finally on the brink of forming a new government. But for the first time in 12 years it won't be headed by someone named Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu.

The new power-sharing coalition is likely to be one of the most ideologically-diverse in the country's history. How, after years of dysfunction and deadlock, did we get here, and how might this new government shape Israeli politics and policymaking?

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