Netanyahu Tells High Court AG’s Position on His Judicial Conflict of Interest Is ‘Unacceptable’:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem on January 29, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the High Court that Israel’s attorney general’s position that he should avoid intervening in the judicial system due to a conflict of interest is “unacceptable.” He further requested two weeks to respond to the AG’s letter. In a long-awaited legal opinion that was issued on Thursday, Baharav-Miara said that Justice Minister Yariv Levin and Netanyahu’s plan to overhaul the judicial system will cause “severe harm” to the checks and balances between the branches of government in an official opinion issued on Thursday, warning that the proposals might amount to a regime change. Since being sworn in as prime minister in late December, Netanyahu’s right wing government has pushed for legislation that would permit the Knesset to override Supreme Court decisions by a very slim majority of 61 votes in the 120-seat parliament, as well as legislation to tip the balance on the Judicial Appointments Committee in favor of politicians. Currently, the judges and the politicians on the committee have veto power over the appointments of Supreme Court justices, meaning that they need to work out a compromise acceptable to both sides.
Europe bans Russian diesel, other oil products over Ukraine:
A fuel trucks drive along a highway in Frankfurt, Germany on Jan. 27 Michael Probst/Associated Press
On Sunday, Europe imposed a ban on Russian diesel fuel and other refined oil products, cutting energy dependency on Moscow and seeking to further limit the Kremlin’s fossil fuel earnings. The ban comes along with a price cap agreed upon by the Group of Seven allied democracies. This will allow Russian diesel to flow to countries like China and India to avoid hurting consumers worldwide while reducing the profits funding Moscow’s budget and war. The new sanctions create uncertainty about prices as the 27-nation European Union finds new supplies of diesel from the US, Middle East, and India to replace those from Russia, which at one point delivered 10% of Europe’s total diesel needs. The price cap of $100 per barrel for diesel, jet fuel, and gasoline is to be enforced by barring insurance and shipping services from handling diesel priced over the limit. Most of those companies are located in Western countries. It follows a $60-per-barrel cap on Russian crude that took effect in December and functions the same way. The diesel price cap will not bite immediately because it was set at about what Russian diesel trades for. Russia’s chief problem now will be finding new customers, not evading the price ceiling. However, the cap aims to prevent Russian gains from any sudden price spikes in refined oil products.
Britain faces largest ever healthcare strikes as pay disputes drag on:
People hold placards during a strike by NHS nurses and other medical workers, amid a dispute with the government over pay, in London, Britain, January 18, 2023. REUTERS/Toby Melville
Britain is facing its largest ever strike by health workers as tens of thousands of nurses and ambulance workers walk out in an escalating pay dispute. The two groups have been striking separately on and off since late last year but Monday's walkout involving both, largely in England, will represent the biggest in the 75-year history of the National Health Service. Health workers are demanding a pay rise that reflects the worst inflation in Britain in four decades, while the government says that would be unaffordable and only fuel further price rises. The NHS, historically a source of pride for most Britons, is under extreme pressure with millions of patients on waiting lists for operations and thousands each month failing to receive prompt emergency care. The RCN initially asked for a pay rise of 5% above inflation and has since said it could meet the government "halfway", but both sides have failed to reach an agreement despite weeks of talks. Around 500,000 workers, many from the public sector, have been staging strikes since last summer, adding to pressure on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to resolve the disputes and limit disruption to public services such as railways and schools.