Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial is back on.
Tell me more.
Netanyahu’s been on trial since 2020 for charges of fraud, breach of trust, and bribery. He is accused of accepting expensive gifts in exchange for political favors. All of that has been on pause (along with all other non-essential cases) since Hamas launched a deadly attack on Israel on October 7. Now, the trial is restarting after nearly two months. Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, one poll found his approval rating in Israel is below 30%, with many Israelis blaming him for the security breach on October 7 and for not securing the release of all the hostages. As Netanyahu’s woes continue, so does the war in Gaza.
What’s the latest?
Yesterday, Israel again ordered Palestinians to evacuate parts of southern Gaza as it expands its military operation. The evacuation orders have put a spotlight on Khan Younis, the largest city in the south. At least 50,000 people have made their way there after evacuation orders hit northern Gaza. Since the start of the war, more than 80% of Gaza’s population has been displaced. More than 950,000 Palestinians are estimated to be seeking refuge at 99 UN facilities in southern Gaza. All while cease-fire talks are still stalled.
Netanyahu is facing a political crisis at home that could see him out of office or in prison as he tries to navigate a country at war — which many of his own citizens blame him for. All while more than 15,500 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and the humanitarian crisis continues to worsen.
What’s got hackers saying ‘MillionsandMe’...
23andMe. Yesterday, the genetic testing company confirmed hackers stole the personal information of about 6.9 million people — roughly half of 23andMe’s total customers. The company's findings come after it launched an investigation in October, when the data breach allegedly happened. 23andMe said hackers used compromised passwords to tap into customers’ Family Tree and DNA Relatives profiles. They got access to DNA info, ZIP codes, birth years, and family names, publishing some of the information online. The stolen info could help other hackers commit identity theft. Still, 23andMe says it hasn't "learned of any reports of inappropriate use of the data."
What whacked a mole…
The US. Yesterday, the Justice Department charged a former US diplomat for working as a secret agent for Cuba. Court documents allege 73-year-old Manuel Rocha worked for the State Department for more than two decades, including as an ambassador to Bolivia. More recently, he worked as an adviser from 2006 to 2012 for military officials overseeing relations with Latin American countries. Turns out, he was allegedly using those roles to funnel classified info to Cuba, though the court documents don’t say what exactly he spilled. Now, Rocha faces three charges, including conspiring to act as a foreign government agent without notifying the DOJ. Attorney General Merrick Garland said this is “one of the highest-reaching and longest-lasting infiltrations of the United States government by a foreign agent.”
Who’s in court…
Jonathan Majors. Yesterday, the actor’s criminal domestic violence trial got underway with opening arguments. Prosecutors accused the “Creed III” star of manipulating, threatening, and assaulting his ex-girlfriend Grace Jabbari. The alleged assault took place earlier this year after Jabbari said she saw a text from another woman on Majors’ phone. A prosecutor said he showed “no hesitation” in using physical force against Jabbari, leading to a fracture in her middle finger. Majors’ lawyer painted a different picture, saying Jabbari “slapped, clawed, and scratched” Majors. The actor pleaded not guilty and potentially faces up to a year in prison. The trial is expected to last two-weeks.
What’s got a nice kick to it…
Wasabi. A Japanese study found that the spicy green condiment might improve memory. After three months, the researchers found that the group of people aged 60+ who got wasabi extract at bedtime had “significant” boosts in short- and long-term memory. That’s when compared to people in the same age group who received a placebo. Researchers believe wasabi’s main active component 6-MSITC, which reduces inflammation in the area responsible for memory function, is behind the findings. “Hot Ones,” take note.
What's got gamers revving their engines...
“Grand Theft Auto VI." Yesterday, the trailer for the popular video game leaked and gave fans a look at the franchise's first female protagonist. It's been ten years since the last installment of GTA dropped, and this one will be released in 2025.
Who women are fed up with…
Lawmakers. 2024 is going to be interesting.
What’s one option for white elephant this year…
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