Outside News Briefs: While You Were Away…

BP Photo by Meg Feitelberg

Colleen Bazak, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Records broken at 2012 Olympics

July 27-Aug 12: Twenty-nine new world records were set during the London Olympics which ended Aug. 12, according to Yahoo Sports. The United States led the medalcount, bringing home 46 gold medals and a total of 104 medals. US swimmerMichael Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time. He now holds 22Olympic medals, six which were earned in London. The United States men’sbasketball team won gold for the second Olympics in a row, and the US women’sgymnastics team won the team all-around for the first time since 1996.

A highlight for Jewish viewers was the success of gymnast Aly Raisman, a Jewish high school student from Needham, Mass., who won the gold for floor exercise dancing to the Jewish folk song “Hava Nagila.”  Aly told reporters later that the music wasn’t done intentionally to honor the Munich 11, the Israeli olympians who were killed by the Black September militia in the 1972 Munich olympics.

“The fact [that] it was on the 40th anniversary is special, and winning the gold today means a lot to me,” she said.

This year, the International Olympic Committee refused to hold a moment of silence during the opening ceremonies to honor the Munich 11.

“If there had been a moment’s silence,” Aly said, “I would have supported it and respected it.”


Romney chooses Ryan for VP

Aug. 11: Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney chose Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate. Ryan, 42, is chairman of the House Budget Committee and wants to erase deficits through a transformation of the federal government. Two days after the announcement, the Obama campaign released an ad targeting Ryan’s Medicare plan. Ryan is a native of Janesville, Wisc., and was elected to Congress at 28. He is now in his seventh term.


Netanyahu’s coalition collapses

July 17: After only 10 weeks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s latest governing coalition fall apart. Netanyahu’s Likud Party, which has had the majority since 2009, had joined with Shaul Mofaz and his Kadima Party in May. This agreement created a broad coalition with Mofaz as Deputy Prime Minister. However, the issue of military service for Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews, who don’t serve in the army, began to cause problems. Mofaz wanted an 80 percent increase of drafts for Haredim over the next four years, but Netanyahu disagreed. Kadima then decided to leave the coalition.


Supreme Court mostly upholds national health care plan

June 28: Most of President Obama’s health care overhaul was approved by the Supreme Court. The vote was five to four. The Affordable Care Act allows Congress to place tax penalties on individuals without health insurance. The Supreme Court also limited the law’s expansion of Medicaid, which provides health care to the disabled and poor. President Obama called the decision a “victory for people all over this country.” However, Republican presidential nominee Romney and Congressional Republicans renewed their pledges to undo the law.



Bulgaria attack targets Israelis

July 18: Five Israeli tourists were among those killed in a suicide bomb attack in Bulgaria that killed seven and injured 30. The attack was carried out on a tour bus, and the bomber had a fake Michigan driving license with the name Jacque Felipe Martin and the address of a Baton Rouge casino. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Hezbollah and Iran for the attack, and President Obama called the attack“barbaric.” Bulgarian officials released a surveillance video showing the European-looking bomber carrying a large backpack and wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses.