Sunday’s top stories
Israel has a new prime minister for the first time since 2009 after a power-sharing government led by Naftali Bennett survived a confidence vote on Sunday. Bennett was sworn in as prime minister.
Why it matters: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving prime minister and the man around whom Israeli politics have revolved for a decade, will now become opposition leader. Bennett, a right-wing former Netanyahu protege, will lead the most ideologically diverse government in Israeli history.
President Biden touched down in Brussels on Sunday evening ahead of two days of talks with NATO and European Union leaders as part of his first foreign trip as president.
Driving the news: Biden was greeted on the tarmac by Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and a slate of other officials, including Douglas Jones and Mark Libby, the U.S. Permanent Representatives to NATO and the EU respectively.
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The CEO of the world's largest container-shipping company cautions that international firms have to be careful of taking political stances.
- What they're saying: "We cannot run a global business if we start to have views on politics in every single country that we are in," Maersk CEO Søren Skou tells "Axios on HBO."
U.S. Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Suzanne Clark told me on "Axios on HBO" that the business group was right to endorse vulnerable House Democrats last year, despite the flak that resulted from Republicans.
- Clark, who took over the top job in March, said those House Democrats "had really helped push business's number one priority, which was the free trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, over the finish line."
- "All of the Republicans that we work with on tax, on regulation — those people are really, really important to us," she added: "So we have to be willing to have a different coalition on every issue."
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency tells "Axios on HBO" that it's "essential" to have a nuclear deal with Iran because otherwise "we are flying blind."
Driving the news: Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi sat down with "Axios on HBO" at IAEA headquarters in Vienna, ahead of Iran's June 18 presidential election and a June 24 extension on negotiations seeking to restore curtailed surveillance of Iranian nuclear sites and salvage the 2015 deal.
Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., told me on "Axios on HBO" that President Biden will be candid, frank — and tough — during this week's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- "The president will make clear to the Russians that they cannot harbor cyber terrorists and criminals in their country and not be held accountable for it," she added. "And they need to take the responsibility for dealing with this issue."
If a bipartisan group of lawmakers fails to strike a deal on the infrastructure proposal it's negotiating with the White House, ramming through a package using the partisan reconciliation process isn't a guaranteed solution.
Why it matters: Getting 51 Democratic votes would be a long, uphill battle. And moderates within the party are balking at the cost of President Biden's spending — even as progressives openly lament that the "transformational" change they seek is slipping out of reach.
Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., has argued over her 39-year diplomatic career that educating and empowering women and girls is an investment in peace and security for their nations.
- "I will always push for women to be part of negotiation teams," she told me in the State Department Treaty Room, during an interview for "Axios on HBO."
- "I notice ... when they're not in the room. ... Sometimes I'm the only one," she added with a laugh. "And I will call it out."
“Starfield,” the next big game from the makers of “Fallout” and “The Elder Scrolls” will be released on Nov. 11, 2022 for Xbox consoles and PC — and not for PlayStation, according to a new trailer.
Why it matters: “Starfield” is about as big as it gets in terms of upcoming blockbuster games and will likely be ace for Microsoft commercially.
President Biden and the first lady met on Sunday with Queen Elizabeth at Windsor Castle.
Driving the news: The Bidens were greeted by the Queen's Guard of Honor and then retired to a private tea within the castle. Biden spoke warmly about their meeting, saying the queen "reminded him of his mother" and that she was "very gracious," according to pool reports.
The Group of Seven leaders ended their summit on Sunday by demanding that Russia take action and investigate the use of chemical weapons within its territory and hold accountable those behind ransomware attacks and other cyber crimes.
Why it matters: The allied language come as all eyes turn to President Biden's Wednesday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Geneva.
Hours before a vote to oust him, outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused President Biden of endangering Israel's security by taking a soft line on Iran, and claimed his successor, Naftali Bennett, would be too weak to stand up to Washington.
Why it matters: Netanyahu waged a desperate but unsuccessful campaign to stop a "change coalition" from joining together to replace him after an inconclusive election in March. Facing an imminent demotion to opposition leader, he foreshadowed a willingness to damage the U.S.-Israel relationship to put his rival under pressure.
Group of Seven leaders on Sunday announced they have agreed work together to challenge China’s “non-market economic practices” and to press Beijing to respect human rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
Why it matters: President Biden went into the summit hoping to present a united front against Beijing.
The Pine Island Glacier on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is responsible for more than a quarter of Antarctica's contribution to global sea level rise over the past decades. Now, a new study shows it is more vulnerable to rapid melting than thought, because climate change is weakening its natural braking system.
Why it matters: At stake is the future of a glacier containing about 160 trillion tons of ice, which if it were all to melt into the ocean would cause about 1.6 feet of global sea level rise.
American workers have been losing power since 1980 — but now the tables are turning.
Why it matters: The 2010s gave us the gig economy and left millions of workers stranded seemingly forever on the precipice of financial ruin. The 2020s could be the decade when workers seize back the reins of power.
Thousands of teachers and other educators held protests across the U.S. Saturday against the actions of "at least 15 Republican-led states" that aim to restrict teaching about racism in class, the Washington Post reports.
Driving the news: There were demonstrations in at least 22 cities for the "Day of Action" to raise awareness about moves to limit students' exposure to critical race theory, which links racial discrimination to the nation's foundations and legal system, per Axios' Russell Contreras.
A federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit brought by 117 Houston Methodist staff over the hospital's policy requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Why it matters: This is the first federal court ruling on a coronavirus vaccine mandate. Attorney Jared Woodfill, representing the plaintiffs, told KHOU 11 it's "the first battle in a long fight," as he vowed to file another lawsuit soon.
G7 leaders are set to announce Sunday a range of measures to tackle climate change, including "ending almost all direct government support" for fossil fuels and phasing out gasoline and diesel cars.
Driving the news: The plan was outlined in a British government announcement Saturday, which states that the leaders will also agree to halting "all unabated coal as soon as possible."
Mass shootings in three states overnight has taken the total number of such events for this year to 267, the Gun Violence Archive announced Saturday.
Driving the news: The nonprofit research group has since Friday recorded seven incidents of gun violence across the U.S. that meet its definition of a mass shooting — when four or more people have been shot.