Israel’s Netanyahu given chance to form new government

JERUSALEM — Israel’s president on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a new government, giving the longtime leader the difficult task of breaking a post-election deadlock that has paralyzed the country’s political system.

After a divisive campaign, Netanyahu called for a “broad unity government” with his chief rival former military chief Benny Gantz. But he faces an uphill struggle, with his future clouded by a likely corruption indictment and his opponents opposed to sitting with him.

President Reuven Rivlin announced his decision late Wednesday after a second meeting aimed at brokering a unity deal between Netanyahu and Gantz ended without an agreement.

Standing alongside Rivlin, Netanyahu said it was clear that neither his Likud party nor Gantz’s Blue and White could put together a coalition on its own, and that the only option was to band together.

Juul to end product advertising and replace its CEO

Juul Labs will no longer promote its e-cigarettes in print, digital and TV advertisements and is replacing its CEO amid an escalating backlash against vaping nationwide.

The nation’s largest e-cigarette maker also pledged Wednesday not to lobby against a sweeping ban on vaping flavors proposed by the Trump administration earlier this month.

Juul announced its CEO, Kevin Burns, will step down and be replaced by a senior executive from Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes. Altria took a 35% stake in Juul in December at a cost of $13 billion.

Juul and hundreds of smaller e-cigarette companies are fighting for their survival as they face two public health debacles linked to vaping: a mysterious lung illness and rising use of e-cigarettes by teenagers.

Police: Woman killed disabled grandson with drug overdose

BRADENTON, Fla. — An 87-year-old Florida woman told police she gave her disabled 30-year-old grandson a fatal dose of drugs because she fears she’s near death and there will be no one else who can take care of him.

Bradenton police detectives took Lillian Parks into protective custody Sunday for an evaluation and medical treatment, spokesman Brian Thiers said in a Tuesday afternoon news conference.

Joel Parks lived with his grandmother on weekends and at a group home during the week. He was not able to take care of himself, Thiers said.

On Sunday, Joel Parks’ sister came to check on him and called 911 when she discovered his body at the grandmother’s apartment.

The Bradenton Herald reports Joel Parks’ father is dead and his mother is estranged.

Investigators say Lillian Parks will likely be charged with second-degree murder once she’s released from a doctor’s care. They’re awaiting a toxicology report to reveal the substance used to kill Joel Parks.

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