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Israel

Reelected But Weakened, Israel's Netanyahu Must Seek Broad Coalition

JERUSALEM POST, HAARETZ (Israel), BBC NEWS (UK), CNN, NEW YORK TIMES (USA)

Worldcrunch

JERUSALEM – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu"s narrow victory for a third term as Israel's prime minister will force him to reach out to the surprise centrist challenger as he now faces the complex task of forming a new coalition.

Netanyahu’s Likud-Beitenu right-wing alliance lost a quarter of its Parliamentary seats in the Knesset, a humbling rebuke for Netanyahu who himself called the early elections as an overwhelming favorite with no obvious challenger, according to the New York Times.

Still, the Likud-Beitenu lineup still remains the largest grouping with 31 to 33 of the 120 Knesset seats.

This election’s biggest surprise came from the Yesh Atid party, a new centrist movement founded by television celebrity and political novice Yair Lapid, which came in second with 19 seats, according to the exit polls.

BBC News expects President Shimon Peres will soon ask Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attempt to form a new government; coalition talks – notably with the Yesh Atid party -- may begin as early as next week.

"According to the exit polls, it is clear that Israelis decided that they want me to continue serving as prime minister, and that I form as broad a government as possible," Netanyahu is quoted as saying by the Jerusalem Post.

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Newly reelected PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid - Wikimedia

Speaking shortly after his narrow reelection, Netanyahu cited a number of principles his new government will embrace: security, preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, economic responsibility in the face of the global financial crisis, increasing equality in sharing burdens and lowering the cost of living, notably housing costs, CNN reports.

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Economy

How Fleeing Russians (And Their Rubles) Are Shaking Up Neighboring Economies

Russians fled the war to neighboring countries, bringing with them billions of dollars worth of wealth. The influx of money is both a windfall and a problem.

How Fleeing Russians (And Their Rubles) Are Shaking Up Neighboring Economies

January 2023, Saint Petersburg, Russia. Sberbank logo seen on a residential building during the sanctions against Russian banks

Maksim Konstantinov / SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
Important Stories

Posting a comment on a Kazakhstani real estate listing and sales website this past fall, one user couldn't contain his enthusiasm: "It's unbelievable, hasn't happened since 2013 — the market has exploded! ... Yippee! I don't know who to kiss!"

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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The boom of demand — and dollars — in Kazakhstan, and other countries in the region, is traced directly to the incoming Russians and their wealth who have arrived since the war in Ukraine began.

The ongoing wave of fleeing Russians is likely the largest emigration from the country in 100 years. There are no accurate estimates of how many Russians have left the country, much less where they will settle or how many of them will eventually return home. But between March and October, up to 1.5 million people left Russia. A conservative estimate suggests half a million haven't returned.

The main flow passed through Georgia, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan (which has the longest land border with Russia). In these countries, the Russian language is widespread and visas are unnecessary. Russians can even enter Kazakhstan and Armenia without a passport.

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