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Netanyahu dissolves war cabinet as IDF announces ‘tactical pause’ in Rafah

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disbanded his war cabinet as the Israeli army announces a ‘tactical pause’ in Rafah. And Maryland’s governor is set to pardon more than 175,000 marijuana convictions. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Monday, June 17, 2024.

Netanyahu dissolves war cabinet as IDF announces ‘tactical pause’ in Rafah

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disbanded his war cabinet on Monday, June 17. The move comes just days after the departure of Benny Gantz, an opposition leader who had joined the coalition in the early days of Israel’s war with Hamas.

Over the weekend, Israel’s military said it will pause fighting in a certain section of southern Gaza during daytime hours so a backlog of humanitarian aid can be delivered. The “tactical pause” applies to a designated route only — along about 7.5 miles of road in the Rafah area. 

The pause began Saturday, June 15, and will take place daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. local time until further notice. The Israeli military said the pause came after discussions with the United Nations and other aid agencies. 

After the announcement, the Israeli Defense Forces clarified that its operations in Rafah will continue. 

An Israeli official told the media on Sunday, June 16, Netanyahu is against the pause and told his military secretary it was “unacceptable.” 

American tourist found dead on Greek island; 3 people remain missing

An American tourist was found dead near the Greek island of Corfu on Sunday, June 16. This is just the latest in a string of recent cases in which tourists in the Greek islands have died or gone missing. 

The American tourist has not been identified by authorities, but police said he was last seen alive on Tuesday, June 11, and reported missing Thursday, June 13. 

His death marks the third in recent days on the Greek islands.  

A missing Dutch tourist was found dead Saturday, June 15, on the eastern island of Samos. On Sunday, June 9, British TV anchor and author Dr. Michael Mosley was found dead on the island of Symi, close to the Turkish coast. 

Meanwhile, the search continues for two French tourists and another American, who’s been identified as a retired Los Angeles County deputy sheriff. 

Some of those missing or found dead had set out on hikes in very hot temperatures. Greece is experiencing a heatwave and has even had to shut down famous tourist sites across the country as temperatures soar past 100 degrees. 

Maryland’s governor to issue mass pardons on marijuana convictions

Maryland’s governor said he’ll be pardoning more than 175,000 people for marijuana convictions on Monday, June 17. Speaking to The Washington Post, Gov. Wes Moore, D, said he will be signing an executive order issuing the mass pardon for low-level marijuana possession charges. 

The Democratic governor said criminal records have been used to deny housing, employment and education and have disproportionately impacted people of color. 

Maryland is among 24 states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana; however, marijuana use and possession remains illegal under federal law — though in April, the Biden administration took steps to reclassify marijuana as a lower-risk substance. 

‘Possible chemical agent’ released at Baltimore Pride event, several hurt

Several people were hurt during a Pride parade event in Baltimore, Maryland after a “possible chemical agent” was released and fireworks were set off in a crowd on Saturday, June 15. Police said the possible chemical agent — possibly mace, hair spray or something else — was not deployed by them. 

Authorities did say fire officials treated people at the scene and the event was shut down. They did not clarify how many people were hurt, or if all the injuries were related to the possible chemical agent or a “mass exodus” when people began fleeing from the event. 

Police said at this time they do not believe this was a targeted attack. 

Heat wave spreads across America bringing temperatures near or above 100

The official first day of summer is later this week but already much of America is feeling the heat. Approximately 265 million people — more than 80% of the country — will be seeing temperatures of 90 degrees or more this week.

New England is already under an excessive heat watch, with temperatures expected to top 100 degrees in parts of New Hampshire

A heat wave is anticipated to bring temperatures to around 99 degrees in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

And out west, those living in Arizona and New Mexico are looking at temperatures above 100. 

In 2023, there were more than 2,300 heat-related deaths in the U.S., a 34% increase from the year before. 

Hollywood stars win on Broadway’s biggest night

It was an evening of song, dance and trophies during Broadway’s biggest night. While Sunday, June 16, night’s Tony Awards celebrated the stars of the stage, there were several well-known names from TV and movies who walked away winners. 

Jeremy Strong, known for the drama series “Succession,” won Best Lead Actor in a Play for his role in “Enemy of the People.” 

Daniel Radcliffe, who rose to fame as the star of the “Harry Potter” film series, took home the Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for his performance in the revival of “Merrily We Roll Along.” 

Sarah Paulson, known for her roles on TV, won Best Actress in a Play for her performance in “Appropriate.” 

Other big winners included “The Outsiders” for Best Musical and “Stereophonic” winning Best Play. 

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[KARAH RUCKER]

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU HAS DISBANDED HIS WAR CABINET. 

THE MOVE COMES JUST DAYS AFTER THE DEPARTURE OF BENNY GANTZ — AN OPPOSITION LEADER WHO HAD JOINED THE COALITION IN THE EARLY DAYS OF ISRAEL’S WAR WITH HAMAS. 

OVER THE WEEKEND — ISRAEL’S MILITARY SAID IT WILL PAUSE FIGHTING IN A CERTAIN SECTION OF SOUTHERN GAZA DURING DAYTIME HOURS — SO A BACKLOG OF HUMANITARIAN AID CAN BE DELIVERED. 

THE PAUSE APPLIES TO A DESIGNATED ROUTE ONLY — ALONG ABOUT 7 AND A HALF MILES OF ROAD IN THE RAFAH AREA. 

THE PAUSE BEGAN SATURDAY… AND WILL TAKE PLACE DAILY FROM 8 A-M TO 7 P-M LOCAL TIME UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. 

THE ISRAELI MILITARY SAID THE PAUSE CAME AFTER DISCUSSIONS WITH THE UNITED NATIONS AND OTHER AID AGENCIES. 

AFTER THE ANNOUNCEMENT — THE ISRAELI DEFENSE FORCES CLARIFIED THAT ITS OPERATIONS IN RAFAH WILL CONTINUE. 

AN ANONYMOUS ISRAELI OFFICIAL TOLD THE MEDIA ON SUNDAY — NETANYAHU IS AGAINST THE PAUSE — TELLING HIS MILITARY SECRETARY IT WAS “UNACCEPTABLE”.

AN AMERICAN TOURIST WAS FOUND DEAD NEAR THE GREEK ISLAND OF CORFU ON SUNDAY. 

THIS IS JUST THE LATEST IN A STRING OF RECENT CASES IN WHICH TOURISTS IN THE GREEK ISLANDS HAVE DIED OR GONE MISSING. 

THE AMERICAN TOURIST HAS NOT BEEN IDENTIFIED BY AUTHORITIES… BUT THEY SAY HE WAS LAST SEEN ALIVE ON TUESDAY AND REPORTED MISSING THURSDAY. 

HIS DEATH MARKS THE THIRD IN RECENT DAYS ON THE GREEK ISLANDS.  

A MISSING DUTCH TOURIST WAS FOUND DEAD SATURDAY ON THE EASTERN ISLAND OF SAMOS. 

AND LAST SUNDAY — BRITISH T-V ANCHOR AND AUTHOR DR. MICHAEL MOSLEY WAS FOUND DEAD ON THE ISLAND OF SYMI, CLOSE TO THE TURKISH COAST. 

MEANWHILE THE SEARCH CONTINUES FOR TWO FRENCH TOURISTS AND ANOTHER AMERICAN – IDENTIFIED AS A RETIRED LOS ANGELES COUNTY DEPUTY SHERIFF. 

SOME OF THOSE MISSING OR FOUND DEAD HAD SET OUT ON HIKES IN VERY HOT TEMPERATURES. 

GREECE IS EXPERIENCING A HEATWAVE… AND HAS EVEN HAD TO SHUT DOWN FAMOUS TOURIST SITES ACROSS THE COUNTRY AS TEMPERATURES SOAR PAST 100 DEGREES.

MARYLAND’S GOVERNOR SAYS HE’LL BE PARDONING MORE THAN 175-THOUSAND PEOPLE… FOR MARIJUANA CONVICTIONS MONDAY.  

SPEAKING TO THE WASHINGTON POST — GOVERNOR WES MOORE SAID HE WILL BE SIGNING AN EXECUTIVE ORDER ISSUING THE MASS PARDON FOR LOW-LEVEL MARIJUANA POSSESSION CHARGES. 

THE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR SAID CRIMINAL RECORDS HAVE BEEN USED TO DENY HOUSING, EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION — AND HAVE DISPROPORTIONATELY IMPACTED PEOPLE OF COLOR. 

MARYLAND IS AMONG 24 STATES THAT HAVE LEGALIZED THE RECREATIONAL USE OF MARIJUANA; HOWEVER, MARIJUANA USE AND POSSESSION REMAINS ILLEGAL UNDER FEDERAL LAW — THOUGH IN APRIL, THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION TOOK STEPS TO RECLASSIFY MARIJUANA AS A LOWER-RISK SUBSTANCE.

SEVERAL PEOPLE WERE HURT DURING A PRIDE PARADE EVENT IN BALTIMORE MARYLAND OVER THE WEEKEND AFTER A “POSSIBLE CHEMICAL AGENT” WAS RELEASED AND FIREWORKS WERE SET OFF IN A CROWD.  

POLICE SAY THE POSSIBLE CHEMICAL AGENT — POSSIBLY MACE, HAIR SPRAY OR SOMETHING ELSE — WAS NOT DEPLOYED BY THEM. 

AUTHORITIES DID SAY FIRE OFFICIALS TREATED PEOPLE AT THE SCENE AND THE EVENT WAS SHUT DOWN. 

THEY DID NOT CLARIFY HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE HURT — OR IF ALL THE INJURIES WERE RELATED TO THE POSSIBLE CHEMICAL AGENT… OR A “MASS EXODUS” WHEN PEOPLE BEGAN FLEEING FROM THE EVENT. 

POLICE SAY AT THIS TIME THEY DO NOT BELIEVE THIS WAS A TARGETED ATTACK.  

THE OFFICIAL FIRST DAY OF SUMMER IS LATER THIS WEEK – BUT ALREADY MUCH OF AMERICA IS FEELING THE HEAT. 

APPROXIMATELY 265 MILLION PEOPLE — THAT’S MORE THAN 80 PERCENT OF THE COUNTRY — WILL BE SEEING TEMPERATURES OF 90 OR MORE THIS WEEK. 

NEW ENGLAND IS ALREADY UNDER AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WATCH – WITH TEMPERATURES EXPECTED TO TOP 100 DEGREES IN PARTS OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. 

A HEAT WAVE IS ANTICIPATED TO BRING TEMPERATURES TO AROUND 99 DEGREES IN PITTSBURGH PENNSYLVANIA. 

AND OUT WEST – THOSE LIVING IN ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO ARE LOOKING AT TEMPERATURES ABOVE 100. 

IN 2023  – THERE WERE OVER 23 HUNDRED HEAT-RELATED DEATHS IN THE U.S. – A 34 PERCENT INCREASE FROM THE YEAR BEFORE.

IT WAS AN EVENING OF SONG, DANCE AND TROPHIES DURING BROADWAY’S BIGGEST NIGHT.  

WHILE SUNDAY NIGHT’S TONY AWARDS CELEBRATED THE STARS OF THE STAGE – THERE WERE SEVERAL WELL-KNOWN NAMES FROM TV AND MOVIES WHO WALKED AWAY WINNERS. 

JEREMY STRONG – KNOWN FOR THE DRAMA SERIES “SUCCESSION” – WON BEST LEAD ACTOR IN A PLAY FOR HIS ROLE IN “ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE.” 

DANIEL RADCLIFFE – WHO ROSE TO FAME AS THE STAR OF THE “HARRY POTTER” FILM SERIES – TOOK HOME THE TONY FOR BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A FEATURED ROLE IN A MUSICAL FOR HIS PERFORMANCE IN THE REVIVAL OF “MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG.” 

AND SARAH PAULSON – KNOWN FOR HER ROLES ON TV – WON BEST ACTRESS IN A PLAY FOR HER PERFORMANCE IN “APPROPRIATE.” 

OTHER BIG WINNERS INCLUDED “THE OUTSIDERS” FOR BEST MUSICAL AND “STEREOPHONIC” WINNING BEST PLAY.