UM News Briefs: Israel Untangled, Miami water park and changing abortion laws in Mexico

Photo credit: Roberta Macedo

Note from the news editors: UM News Briefs are a new segment from The Miami Hurricane. News briefs provide a weekly snapshot of life at the University of Miami, in Miami and sometimes around the state, country or world. Stay up to date with UM News Briefs.


Israel Untangled: A Conversation with President Frenk

University of Miami President, Julio Frenk, in a discussion with Dean of Students, Ryan C. Holmes, spoke about their experiences in Israel with American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Project Interchange (PI) at UM Hillel on Monday, Sept 11 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

PI was established in 1982 and is dedicated to connecting world leaders to Israel. The program arranges educational visits and seminars in Israel for American and international leaders in various fields.

In July, Frenk, along with four other college presidents, visited Israel to exchange ideas with Jewish State counterparts and forge partnerships with students and faculty from both nations. Holmes, who is also an ACJPI alum, will discuss Frenk’s experiences with a UM undergraduate student who recently traveled to Israel with the Canes Perspectives program.

For more information about the event, visit this link.


Miami Wilds water park delays voting after environmental warnings

On Wednesday, the Miami Wilds water park failed to gain a key vote, as the county commissioners delayed choosing between the park developers and the environmental groups that deem the project a disaster for the critical habitat that surrounds Zoo Miami.

Sponsor Kionne McGhee requested the delay on revising the project’s original 2020 lease on 28 acres of zoo parking for water slides, wave pools, restaurants and shops. The zoo would receive an estimated $3 million a year from the project. Almost half of the income would come from ending free parking, and beginning to charge $9 per vehicle.

Environmental groups crowded the meeting, urging city commissioners to reject the agreement that developers needed to continue the project. Critics say the water park will strip the endangered Florida bonneted bat of their nighttime feeding grounds in the pine rocklands forest at the edge of the development site.

Following the meeting, McGhee took to social media to address the concerns of the environmental groups.

“Those with concerns, you were heard loud and clear,” McGhee wrote. All parties “will work together to solve these issues and concerns.”


Mexico’s Supreme Court decriminalizes abortion

Mexico’s Supreme Court decriminalized abortion on Wednesday, ruling that national laws prohibiting the procedure are unconstitutional and violate women’s rights.Their sweeping decision extended Latin America’s trend of widening abortion access.

The ruling will require the federal public health service and all federal health institutions to offer abortion to anyone who requests it, without penalty.

Some Mexican states still criminalize abortion. While judges in those states will have to abide by the court’s decision, legal work will be required to remove all penalties.

Celebration of the ruling quickly spread to social media.

“Today is a day of victory and justice for Mexican women!” Mexico’s National Institute for Women wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Others in highly religious groups, however, expressed dissent with the decision.

“We’re not going to stop,” Irma Barrientos, director of the Civil Association for the Rights of the Conceived, said to the AP. “Let’s remember what happened in the United States. After 40 years, the Supreme Court reversed its abortion decision, and we’re not going to stop until Mexico guarantees the right to life from the moment of conception.”

Though Wednesday’s decision should make the process easier, abortion-rights activists will have to continue seeking legalization state by state. State legislatures can also act independently to erase abortion penalties.