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Israel rocked by protest over Supreme Court reform

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These reforms would limit the Supreme Court’s power to make rulings on the parliament in a move critics argue will favour conservative and religious groups

Israel’s parliament ratified the first bill of a judicial overhaul sought by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, following the collapse of last-minute compromise efforts to ease a constitutional crisis that had gripped the country for months.

The approved amendment limits the Supreme Court’s powers to void some government decisions if it deems them “unreasonable,” passing with a 64-to-0 vote after opposition lawmakers abandoned the session in protest, exclaiming “For shame!”

The day’s demonstrations began with police forcibly removing protesters who had chained themselves to posts and blocked roads outside the parliament. By evening, thousands had taken to the streets across the country, blocking highways and clashing with police, leading to the arrest of at least 19 people.

Justice Minister Yariv Levin, a key figure behind the legislative package, portrayed the vote as a “first step” towards creating a more balanced system of government. The broader judicial changes, announced by the government in January after being sworn in, were presented as necessary to address the Supreme Court’s perceived political interventionism and overreach.

However, critics voiced concerns that the amendments would weaken checks on executive authority and potentially lead to abuses of power. The proposed changes sparked months of unprecedented nationwide protests and raised international apprehension about Israel’s democratic integrity.

In response to the vote, a political watchdog group and the centrist opposition leader announced their intention to challenge the law in the Supreme Court.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, addressing the nation on television as protests continued, expressed his willingness to engage in dialogue with the opposition to reach an all-inclusive agreement by the end of November.

“We all agree that Israel must remain a strong democracy, that it must continue protecting individual rights for everyone, that it will not become a state of (Jewish law), that the courts will remain independent,” said Netanyahu.

U.S. President Joe Biden warned Netanyahu that such drastic changes should be only enacted with broad support, or else risk instability in the country.

The crisis deeply divided Israeli society and even affected the military, with protest leaders warning that thousands of volunteer reservists would not report for duty if the government proceeded with its plans. Former military leaders also raised concerns that Israel’s war-readiness could be compromised.

Protests in Jerusalem saw demonstrators blocking highways, being forcefully removed by police using water cannons and other measures. In Tel Aviv, mounted police tried to disperse crowds, while protesters lit small fires on the main highway.

Outside the city, a disturbing incident occurred when a driver rammed into a small crowd blocking a road, resulting in three people being lightly injured. The driver was later arrested by the police.

Internationally, the White House reiterated its call for Israel’s leaders to seek “as broad a consensus as possible” through political dialogue.

The Knesset’s approval had an immediate economic impact, with Tel Aviv’s main share indices tumbling by up to 2.5%, and the shekel sliding 1% against the dollar.

In response to the controversial amendment, opposition leaders pledged to challenge the change, and the head of the Histadrut labour federation threatened to declare a general strike if the government pursued “unilateral” measures.

The situation remains tense as the country grapples with the aftermath of this significant judicial overhaul and its potential implications for Israeli democracy and stability.

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Commercial real estate targeted for producing 40% of global emissions

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Commercial real estate contributes significantly to global emissions, with reports suggesting it makes up to 40% of the total – so is there a solution in sight?

Global strategies are setting out to transform this impact by promoting the development of sustainable buildings.

As climate change continues to be a pressing global issue, the commercial real estate sector must pivot towards more eco-friendly solutions.

One of the most impactful actions that can be taken to mitigate the environmental impact of commercial real estate is the implementation of building automation systems.

Louise Monger, Vice President, Digital Buildings of Schneider Electric, joins to share her key insights into the issue. #featured

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Australia’s electricity grid faces an urgent overhaul as consumption dramatically doubles

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By 2050, AEMO has predicted that Australia’s electricity use will double due to renewable energy and electrification, prompting a necessary overhaul of the country’s aging power grid.

The adoption of renewable energy sources and electrification is set to double Australia’s electricity consumption by 2050.

The fast-adoption has created an urgent need for reconfiguration and enhancement of the nation’s century-old electricity grid.

James Hunt, Pacific Vice President of Power Systems and Services of Schneider Electric joins to discuss. #featured

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House of the Dragon season 2 profits despite review scores

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Viewership Surge: 1 Million Revisit “House of the Dragon” Ahead of Season 2.

 

HBO took a big bet on its “Game of Thrones” spin-off, with one million people rewatching the first season of “House of the Dragon” in the days leading up to the Season 2 premiere, according to Warner Bros. Discovery. However, not all reviews have been glowing. #featured #trending

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