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Daily Briefing: Israel faces a key vote – and a crisis



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s sudden hospitalization is a dizzying twist to an already dramatic series of political events that have bitterly divided Israel. Also in the news: Wildfires have forced tourists to evacuate in Rhodes and other parts of Greece and vending machines are providing an unexpected aid to contraceptive access.

🙋🏼‍♀️ I’m Nicole Fallert, Daily Briefing author. Do you have these gadgets packed for your summer trip?

Now, here we go with Monday’s news.

Netanyahu leaves hospital as Israel faces a key vote

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was released from the hospital on Monday after an emergency heart procedure, facing an unprecedented national crisis ahead of parliament’s vote on the first major piece of legislation to remake the country’s justice system.

Businesses shuttered and demonstrators, many of whom feel the very foundations of their country are being eroded by the government’s plan, stepped up their opposition, blocking a road leading up to parliament.

‘Barbeheimer’: Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’ becomes 2023’s biggest movie

The social media-fueled fusion of Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer” brought moviegoers back to the theaters in record numbers during the weekend, vastly outperforming projections and giving a glimmer of hope to the lagging exhibition business, amid the sobering backdrop of strikes. Warner Bros.’ “Barbie” claimed the top spot, with a massive $155 million in ticket sales from North American theaters from 4,243 locations, as the biggest opening of the year and broke the first weekend record for a film directed by a woman. Universal’s “Oppenheimer” also soared past expectations, raking in $80.5 million. Read more

An attendee points at her Barbenheimer shirt in San Diego, California, on July 20, 2023.

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19,000 evacuate as wildfires rage near hotels in Rhodes, Greece

Firefighters struggled through the night to contain 82 wildfires across Greece, 64 of which started Sunday, the hottest day of the summer so far. The most serious fire is on the island of Rhodes, where some 19,000 people have been evacuated from several locations as wildfires burned for a sixth day, Greek authorities said. Additional evacuations took place overnight on the islands of Corfu and Evia and on the southern mainland. Heat wave conditions are expected to persist through Thursday. Read more

A man carries a child as they leave an area where a forest fire burns, on the island of Rhodes, Greece, Saturday, July 22, 2023.

As abortion bans grow, colleges find vending machines as an answer to contraceptive access

As student advocates across the country increasingly call for easily accessible morning-after pills on their campuses, some have turned to a new source: vending machines.  At least 39 colleges and universities across 17 states have implemented emergency contraception vending machines on their campuses, including in some places that have largely banned or restricted abortion access. This move is gaining steam in schools located in or near contraceptive deserts – areas that lack reasonable access to health centers. Read more

A vending machine that dispenses emergency contraception pills, commonly known as morning-after pills, was installed George Washington University's campus this month after a student-led effort to make the pills more accessible.

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Germany v. Morocco joins competitive match-ups on World Cup Day 5 

Eight more teams including Germany and Brazil face-off in the 2023 FIFA World Cup on Monday – making Day 5 another session of late night or early morning viewing, depending on where you tune in. Italy, which is ranked No. 16 in the world, plays Argentina; Germany, ranked No. 2, starts its action against unranked Morocco and South Korea (No. 17) and Colombia (No. 25) play each other. Brazil, the No. 8-ranked team, will be the favorite against unranked Panama. Read more

Alexandra Popp (2nd L) of Germany heads to score her team's second goal during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Group H match between Germany and Morocco at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on July 24, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia.

Quick hits

Photo of the day: Brian Harman’s first career win at British Open

Harman, 36, won the British Open Sunday at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England, by six strokes in one of the most commanding performances in the history of the championship. He shot a 1-under par 70 on a soggy Sunday to close out his weekend and finish 13-under par for the tournament. Harman, the No. 26 player in the World Golf Rankings, had entered Sunday with only two career victories on the PGA Tour, none of which had come this season. Read more

Brian Harman of the United States kisses the Claret Jug whilst celebrating winning the The Open on the 18th green on Day Four of The 151st Open at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, on July 23, 2023.

Nicole Fallert is a newsletter writer at USA TODAY, sign up for the email here. Want to send Nicole a note? Shoot her an email at or follow along with her musings on Twitter. Support journalism like this – subscribe to USA TODAY here.

Associated Press contributed reporting.

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