Israel Daily News Podcast
Tues. Jan 19, 2021
Just in: Lockdown to extend until end of January; Pregnant women to get immunized & Israeli chef’s Paris restaurant gets Michelin star.
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Music: Little Queen of Spades, Cover by Maor Farnesi. Exclusive to IDNP.
- The Health Ministry is likely to recommend that pregnant women, which is a high-risk population, get vaccinated for coronavirus now. Until this point, neither the World Health Organization nor Pfizer have recommended allowing pregnant women to get the vaccine because the clinical trials did not include pregnant people. But medical specialists are now encouraging pregnant women to get vaccinated, as more of them are appearing in serious condition at COVID intensive care units. More than 30 pregnant women around the country are hospitalized with the virus, and 10 are in critical condition. Recently, there have been several premature C-section deliveries for women who had to be intubated. Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, the head of Sheba Medical Center’s Infectious Disease Unit, says “getting COVID while you are pregnant is worse than getting a vaccine that does not seem to be endangering pregnant women in any way.” Fertility specialists are concerned that there hasn’t been enough research to see how the vaccine could effect fertility, pregnancy and childbirth. A decision on the matter is said to be finalized by Wednesday.
- Israel has approved a request made by the Palestinian Authority for 5,000 doses of the Russian coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik, to be transferred into the Palestinian territories through the Allenby Crossing, which is between Jordan and the West Bank. These doses are just the first of 4 million vaccines the PA announced they purchased and are expecting from Russia. They made the order back in December and plan to vaccinate health care workers in the region first. Israel’s approval for the vaccines to be let into the West Bank comes right after recent media accusations that there is an imbalance between Israelis and Palestinians receiving the vaccine. However, Palestinians have yet to publicly ask Israel for help.
- Israeli company, StoreDot, has developed the world’s first car battery that can be fully charged in just five minutes. The invention will take time to become commercially feasible though, since it requires more higher-power chargers than are currently available. Electric cars have faced the challenge of batteries taking hours to fully charge. This gave rise to “range anxiety”, the fear of a battery running out mid-journey, leaving the driver stranded at a charging station. But now, if charging stations can undergo a major upgrade, juicing an electric car could become just as quick as stopping for gas. About 1,000 of the batteries developed by StoreDot have already been manufactured in China. The company’s CEO, Doron Myersdorf, says they’re “on the cusp of achieving a revolution in the electric vehicle charging experience. The new technology is expected to help reduce the high costs of a battery charger.
- Israeli Chef, Assaf Granits, has received the first Michelin star for his Paris restaurant called Shabour. When it opened in 2019, it only took the restaurant three months to receive a rating as Paris’ best restaurant. Shabour is one of Granits’ four restaurants in Europe. Two of them are located in London, while the fourth restaurant is also located in Paris. Granits and his partners learned the news while sitting in their Machneyuda restaurant in Jerusalem, watching a live stream of a ceremony on Youtube. Granits says that he still sees young people traveling around with michelin guide books so it still has a lot of influence over where people choose to eat.
- On a personal note, I will share that the Israeli government has responded to my request to re-enter Israel and return home. They say I can ask for permission to enter after the lockdown. Only problem is that the lockdown is supposed to end Thursday but may be extended another week. We’re now waiting for the cabinet to deliberate. The issue for me is that I left for a visit to the uS before my citizenship was finalized. And with the mutation of the coronavirus and an all time high 10,000 Covid cases as of yesterday, borders are sealed shut to all non citizens, even if you have a home and business in the Holy Land. Prime Minister Netanyahu is calling for an extension of the lockdown past Thursday with ministers saying it shouldn’t go much past 10 days extra. It is not confirmed yet, but rumor has it ministers are considering keeping the economy closed until the 31st and handing out fines of 2500 shekels of 772 dollars to anyone entering the country without proof of a recent negative Covid 19 test.
- I’ll be heading into Manhattan tomorrow (Wednesday) to cover the inauguration of President Joe Biden to the United States. I’ll be asking residents of New York City questions about what they expect the new president’s relationship with Israel will be like and if they are in support of it. I’ll also be doing some coverage for the Jerusalem Post on their Facebook live feed. So look out for that tomorrow and send me any tips if you’r listening from New York City and have any leads on stories or action happening in the Big Apple. This coverage follows riots on the US capitol in Washington DC January 6th. Rioters said they were seeking justice and a fair election, which in their eyes, would have kept current sitting president US Trump in office for another term. Protesters caused mass destruction, left the capitol building in disarray with items stolen. 5 people in total died from the event, including an officer. Dozens were injured. The shock was felt around the globe as prominent leaders questioned the stability of US democracy. Prime Minister Netanyahu called the attack a disgrace, referring to it as the opposite of American and Israeli values, saying that American democracy has inspired millions including Israelis. He says he expects democracy will, however, prevail because it always has in the past.