Dec 24, 2018

Israel to hold early elections amid Netanyahu corruption cases

Photo: Lior Mizrahi via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the heads of the other coalition parties decided this morning to dissolve the Knesset and hold early elections on April 9th, 2019. The elections were supposed to be in November 2019.

Why it matters: This high-stakes political drama is connected to the attorney general's upcoming decision whether to indict Netanyahu on three separate cases of bribery. Last week, the state prosecutor said a decision on the Netanyahu cases will be made in the next several months. The decision to go for early elections might influence his timetable.

Just a month ago, after the resignation of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Netanyahu fought hard to keep his coalition together, warning in a press conference that the Israeli security situation was very unstable and early elections would be dangerous. Today, Netanyahu tossed aside this talking point and announced early elections.

The bottom line: The early elections in Israel are very meaningful for the White House and its involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian process, with Netanyahu being one of President Trump's staunchest allies in the international community. A senior White House official told me, "The upcoming election in Israel on April 9 is one of many factors we are considering in evaluating the timing of the release of the peace plan."

Go deeper: Netanyahu is fighting for his political survival

Go deeper

Republicans sue California over mail-out ballot plan

California Gov. Gavin Newsom during a February news conference in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

President Trump accused Democrats of trying "Rig" November's general election as Republican groups filed a lawsuit against California over in an attempt to stop Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) from mailing ballots to all registered voters.

Driving the news: Newsom signed an executive order this month in response to the coronavirus pandemic ensuring that all registered voters in the state receive a mail-in ballot.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 5,383,582 — Total deaths: 344,077 — Total recoveries — 2,158,031Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 1,640,972 — Total deaths: 97,679 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,195Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Federal judge strikes down Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before voting

Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: oe Raedle/Getty Images

A federal judge on Sunday ruled that a Florida law requiring convicted felons to pay all court fines and fees before registering to vote is unconstitutional.

Why it matters: The ruling, which will likely be appealed by state Republicans, would clear the way for hundreds of thousands of ex-felons in Florida to register to vote ahead of November's election.