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Daily Briefing Aug. 17 – Israel takes on fires, surging pandemic… and sugar?

David Horovitz updates listeners on the third day of destructive blazes and on the COVID vaccine campaign; Zman Yisrael editor Biranit Goren explores the new sugary drink tax

Welcome to The Times of Israel’s Daily Briefing, your 15-minute audio update on what’s happening in Israel, the Middle East, and the Jewish world, from Sunday through Thursday.

Today’s panel comprises editor David Horovitz and Zman Yisrael editor Biranit Goren, along with host Amanda Borschel-Dan.

Firefighters entered their third day of battling a massive blaze in the Jerusalem and Judean Hills on Tuesday morning. We discuss Israel’s calls for international aid and compare this large-scale destruction with the 2010 Carmel Forest fire.

Some 1 million Israelis aged 50 and over have received their third vaccination against COVID. As Israel leads the world in this campaign, ahead of the September 1 school year politicians debate whether to take vaccinations to pupils. Zman Yisrael checks into what educational psychologists have to say.

And finally, part of the new budget includes a new tax on sugary and carbonated drinks. Hear why diet drinks are included in this, and which politician vehemently disagreed.

Discussed articles include:

Firefighters in race to put out dozens of hotspots near Jerusalem ahead of winds

Fire chief: Massive blaze near Jerusalem hopefully contained but may surge again

A million Israelis get third dose, with early data showing heightened protection

Israel records over 8,500 daily COVID infections as serious cases climb to 559

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