The virtual Kehilla of Orthodox Jewry of Greater Montreal

BAD NEWS FOR TRUMP: Half Of Independent Voters Think He Should Drop Out After Guilty Verdict

A poll conducted by Morning Consult on Friday has shed light on how voters are responding to the historic guilty verdict against Donald Trump for falsifying business records. The poll’s findings indicate that a substantial number of Republicans and Independents believe Trump should withdraw from the presidential race, while a majority of registered voters approve of the jury’s decision. According to the poll, 54% of registered voters either “strongly” or “somewhat” approve of the guilty verdict, compared to 34% who disapprove. Notably, 49% of Independents and 15% of Republicans think Trump should end his campaign due to the conviction. In a hypothetical one-on-one matchup with President Biden, the poll found the race to be effectively tied nationally, with Biden at 45% and Trump at 44%. While a majority of voters agree with the guilty verdict, the poll revealed that 49% believe Trump should receive probation, whereas 44% think he should go to prison. Additionally, 68% of registered voters believe the punishment should be a fine. The poll also exposed deep-seated distrust in the criminal justice system. 75% of Republican voters reported feeling less confident in the system following the verdict. Moreover, 77% of GOP voters and 43% of Independents believe the conviction was motivated by a desire to harm Trump’s political career. (YWN World Headquarters – NYC)
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Energy Shutdowns Hit Ukraine After Russian Attacks Target Infrastructure

Ukraine imposed emergency power shutdowns in most of the country on Sunday, a day after Russia unleashed large-scale attacks on energy infrastructure and claimed it made gains in the eastern Donetsk province. The shutdowns were in place in all but three regions of Ukraine following Saturday’s drone and missile attack on energy targets that injured at least 19 people. Ukraine’s state-owned power grid operator Ukrenergo said the shutdowns affected both industrial and household consumers. Sustained Russian attacks on Ukraine’s power grid in recent weeks have forced the government to institute nationwide rolling blackouts. Without adequate air defenses to counter assaults and allow for repairs, though, the shortages could still worsen as need spikes in late summer and the bitter-cold winter. Among the most significant recent strikes were an April barrage that damaged Kyiv’s largest thermal power plant and a massive attack on May 8 that targeted power generation and transmission facilities in several regions. Following Saturday’s barrage, Ukraine’s air force said Sunday that air defenses had shot down all 25 drones launched overnight. Russia claimed Sunday that it had taken control of the village of Umanske in the partially Russian-occupied Donetsk region. Russia’s coordinated new offensive has centered on Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region, but seems to include testing Ukrainian defenses in Donetsk farther south, while also launching incursions in the northern Sumy and Chernihiv regions. In Russia, six people were injured in shelling in the city of Shebekino in the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine, regional Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov said Sunday. He also said that a local official, the deputy head of the Korochansky district, had been killed by “detonation of ammunition.” He gave no details. In the neighboring Kursk region, three people were injured Sunday when an explosive device was dropped from a drone, according to acting regional head Alexey Smirnov. Speaking at Asia’s premier security conference in Singapore, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused China on Sunday of helping Russia to disrupt an upcoming Swiss-organized peace conference on the war in Ukraine. (AP)
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Charedim Hold Protests Ahead Of Israeli High Court Decision On Draft Exemptions

Dozens of Charedi protesters blocked roads in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak on Sunday as Israel’s Supreme Court heard arguments in a landmark case challenging a controversial system of exemptions from military service granted to lomdei torah. The court is looking at the legality of the exemptions, which have divided the country and threatened to collapse Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition. A decision is expected in the coming weeks. Most Jewish men and women in Israel are required to serve mandatory military service at the age of 18. But Charedim have traditionally received exemptions if they are studying full-time in Yeshivos. These exemptions have infuriated the wider general public, especially as hundreds of soldiers have been killed in the war with Hamas. During Sunday’s arguments, government lawyers told the judges that forcing Charedi men to enlist would “tear Israeli society apart.” The court suggested a target of enlisting 3,000 Charedi men a year – more than double the current levels but still less than 25% of their overall numbers. In Jerusalem, Israeli police cleared protesters from roads, and forcefully removed those who briefly blocked the city’s light rail. Demonstrators chanted “to prison and not to the army.” In March, the court ordered an end to government subsidies for many Charedi men who do not serve in the army. Netanyahu faces a court-ordered deadline of June 30 to pass a new law that would end the broad exemptions. But he depends on Charedi parties to prop up his government, and ending the exemptions could cause them to leave and trigger new elections. (AP/YWN)
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Biden Finalizing Plans For Migrant Limits As Part Of A US-Mexico Border Clampdown

The White House is finalizing plans for a U.S.-Mexico border clampdown that would shut off asylum requests and automatically deny entrance to migrants once the number of people encountered by American border officials exceeded a new daily threshold, with President Joe Biden expected to sign an executive order as early as Tuesday, according to four people familiar with the matter. The president has been weighing additional executive action since the collapse of a bipartisan border bill earlier this year. The number of illegal crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border has declined for months, partly because of a stepped-up effort by Mexico. Still, immigration remains a top concern heading into the U.S. presidential election in November and Republicans are eager to hammer Biden on the issue. The Democratic administration’s effort would aim to head off any potential spike in crossings that could occur later in the year, as the fall election draws closer, when the weather cools and numbers tend to rise, two of the people. They were not authorized to speak publicly about the ongoing discussions and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The move would allow Biden, whose administration has taken smaller steps in recent weeks to discourage migration and speed up asylum processing, to say he has done all he can do to control the border numbers without help from Congress. The talks were still fluid and the people stressed that no final decisions had been made. The restrictions being considered are an aggressive attempt to ease the nation’s overwhelmed asylum system, along with a new effort to speed up the cases of migrants already in America and another meant to quicken processing for migrants with criminal records or those who would otherwise be eventually deemed ineligible for asylum in the United States. The people told the AP that the administration was weighing some of the policies directly from a stalled bipartisan Senate border deal, including capping the number of encounters at an average of 4,000 per day over a week and whether that limit would include asylum-seekers coming to the border with appointments through U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s CBP One app. Right now, there are roughly 1,450 such appointments per day. Two of the people said one option is that migrants who arrive after the border reaches a certain threshold could be removed automatically in a process similar to deportation and would not be able to return easily. Migrants were able to more easily return to the border if they were expelled under the pandemic-era policy known as Title 42. Under that arrangement, Mexico agreed to take back some non-Mexican nationalities, including migrants from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Migrants, especially families, claiming asylum at the southern border are generally released into the U.S. to wait out their cases. But there are more than 2 million pending immigration court cases, and some people wait years for a court date while they live in limbo in the U.S. Anyone can ask for asylum regardless of whether they arrive illegally at the border, but U.S. officials are increasingly pushing migrants to make appointments, use a legal pathway that avoids the costly and dangerous journey, or stay where they are and apply through outposts in Colombia, Guatemala and Costa Rica. The Biden administration has grown ever more […]
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Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Registers For June 28 Presidential Election

Iran’s hardline former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad registered Sunday as a possible candidate for the presidential election, seeking to regain the country’s top political position after a helicopter crash killed the nation’s president. The populist former leader’s registration puts pressure on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In office, Ahmadinejad openly challenged the 85-year-old cleric, and his attempt to run in 2021 was barred by authorities. The firebrand, Holocaust-denying politician’s return comes at a time of heightened tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran’s rapidly advancing nuclear program, its arming of Russia in its war on Ukraine and its wide-reaching crackdowns on dissent. Meanwhile, Iran’s support of militia proxy forces throughout the wider Mideast have been in increased focus as Yemen’s Houthi rebels attack ships in the Red Sea over the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip. Ahmadinejad is the most prominent candidate to register so far. Speaking after his registration, he vowed to seek “constructive engagement” with the world and improved economic relations with all nations. “The economic, political, cultural and security problems are beyond the situation in 2013,” Ahmadinejad said, referring to the year he left the presidency after two terms. After speaking to journalists in front of a bank of 50-odd microphones, Ahmadinejad said, his finger in the air: “Long live the spring, long live Iran!” Before his arrival at Iran’s Interior Ministry, his supporters chanted and waved Iranian flags. They quickly surrounded Ahmadinejad, 67, shouting: “Allahu Akbar!” He descended the stairs at the ministry, showing his passport as is custom to dozens of photographers and video journalists on hand for the registration process. As a woman processed his candidacy, he sat, turned to the journalists, nodding and smiling for the cameras. He was expected to give remarks after concluding his registration. An election is planned June 28 to replace Khamenei’s hardline protégé President Ebrahim Raisi, who died in a helicopter crash in May along with seven other people. Former parliament speaker Ali Larijani, a conservative with strong ties to Iran’s former relatively moderate President Hassan Rouhani, has already registered, as has former Iranian Central Bank chief Abdolnasser Hemmati, who also ran in 2021. Who else will seek to run remains in question. The country’s acting president, Mohammad Mokhber, previously a behind-the-scenes bureaucrat, could be the front runner because he has already been seen meeting with Khamenei. Also discussed as a possible aspirant is former reformist President Mohammad Khatami, but, as with Ahmadinejad, whether he would be allowed to run is another question. The five-day registration period will close on Tuesday, and the Guardian Council is expected to issue its final list of candidates within 10 days. That will allow for a shortened two-week campaign before the vote in late June. Ahmadinejad previously served two four-year terms from 2005 to 2013. Under Iranian law, he became eligible to run again after four years out of office, but he remains a polarizing figure even among fellow hardliners. His disputed re-election in 2009 sparked massive “Green Movement” protests and a sweeping crackdown in which thousands of people were detained and dozens were killed. Abroad, he became a caricature of the Islamic Republic’s worst attributes, including denying the Holocaust and hinting Iran could build a nuclear weapon if it chose to do so. But Ahmadinejad remains popular among the poor for […]
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