Your Daily Spiel for August 27

U.S. Senator John McCain (Gage Skidmore Flickr photo)

U.S. Senator John McCain died on Saturday following a lengthy battle with brain cancer. In a statement, David Harris, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, said “Throughout his congressional career Sen. McCain stood with Israel because throughout his life he stood up for America’s allies and our shared democratic values.”

A Jewish gunman, David Katz, opened fire at a video game tournament on Sunday, killing two people and wounding 11 others before turning the gun on himself. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said that Katz was a competitor in the Madden 19 American football eSports tournament and used “at least one handgun” to carry out the shooting.

Saudi Arabia’s reaction to Canada’s call for the release of two activists and the easing of arrests of others was “ferocious” and “utterly over-the-top,” but also self-defeating, feels international human rights lawyer and former justice minister Irwin Cotler. Cotler, legal counsel to imprisoned Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, told The CJN the dispute between Canada and Saudi Arabia is “almost inexplicable,” given that Ottawa’s statements were nothing new.

Neil Simon, the Pulitzer-Prize winning Jewish playwright, has died at 91. The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park scribe received four Academy award nominations and 17 Tony award nominations during his career.