Israeli president picks Netanyahu to try to form government

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s president has asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to try to cobble together a governing majority. Reuven Rivlin’s announcement in Jerusalem on Tuesday nudges forward the twin dramas over the country’s future and Netanyahu’s fate as he stands trial on corruption charges. In his decision, Rivlin acknowledged moral misgivings of having a criminal defendant led the country. But he said the law did not prevent this and said he had concluded that Netanyahu has the best chance of putting together a majority coalition in the fragmented parliament. Netanyahu denies all charges against him. He now has up to six weeks to form a coalition.