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Israeli Defense Minister fired over concerns on judicial overhaul plan
In this issue: turmoil over court overhaul in Israel; Ukraine calls for UN meeting over Russian nuclear missile movements; North Korea continues weapon testing
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired Defense Minister Yoav Gallant after he warned that a judicial overhaul planned by Netanyahu's government could damage Israel's security. Gallant, a member of Netanyahu's Likud party, called for the legislative process to be halted, arguing that it poses a threat to the country's security. Netanyahu has proposed the overhaul to curb what he sees as the excessive power wielded by unelected Supreme Court justices. Thousands of Israelis have protested the judicial overhaul for months, and tens of thousands took to the streets after Gallant's dismissal. Universities across Israel will be shutting down on Monday, while some doctors are considering going on strike.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS — Ukraine demands emergency UN meeting over Putin nuclear plan
Ukraine has called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council in response to Russia's plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. The move has been condemned by Ukraine, with one official accusing Russia of taking Belarus "as a nuclear hostage." The announcement follows a U.K. decision to provide Ukraine with armor-piercing rounds containing depleted uranium. Putin argued that Russia was following the lead of the United States, which has nuclear weapons based in several allied countries. Meanwhile, an explosion deep inside Russia on Sunday was blamed on a Ukrainian drone by Russian authorities, heightening tensions between the two nations.
North Korea launched two ballistic missiles into the sea off its east coast on Monday morning, according to South Korea's military. Japan's Coast Guard said two projectiles believed to be North Korea-fired missiles fell in waters that were most likely landed outside Japan's exclusive economic zone. The North Korean missiles flew to an altitude of 50 kilometres and covered a range of 350km. This is the latest in a series of weapons tests by North Korea, including the firing of multiple cruise missiles on Wednesday, and the testing of a new nuclear-capable underwater attack drone on Friday. The launches come amid military drills by the U.S. and South Korea, which Pyongyang has long criticized. South Korea and the United States say the exercises are defensive.
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