Israeli workweek will be shortened by one hour: the original bi-monthly extended weekend was nixed by legislators in the Knesset in favor of an hour less each week. The idea behind the law is to minimize worker burnout by getting closer to the OECD 40 hours a week instead of 43 that Israel has presently. The law is expected to pass after the holiday recess.
Bnei Brak vs. Light Rail Consortium: the light rail consortium is a Government chartered company which is building the light rail in Tel Aviv and surrounding municipalities. It has a contract signed and sealed prohibiting it from work on Shabbat and Holidays. Other municipalities have turned a blind eye to Shabbat violations but the Bnei Brak municipality places a higher value on Shabbat than to let that happen. They were alarmed to learn that the company may even dig for the rail way on Yom Kippur! They turned to the courts to make sure the government company doesn’t violate the government’s own statutes about Shabbat and holiday work.
International Heart Day will take place this week on Friday: Israel’s’ mortality rate from heart disease dropped these past 16 years. In 2000 a full 20% of heart disease patients died and in 2016 only 7.5% died. Heart disease is the 2nd leading cause of death in Israel, cancer is 1st. Among developed countries Israel is of the few that doesn’t list heart disease as the number 1 cause of death. There is still a lot to improve in cardiac care in Israel but most of the problems are in getting the patient to the hospital and not in the level of care administered in the hospital.
The tougher the better: President Trump added 3 more countries to those restricted from entry to the US; Chad, North Korea and Venezuela. Not all the countries listed will have the same restrictions. Some will be totally restricted and some will only have their leaders and politicians restricted. The President when asked about his immigration policies yesterday answered, “The tougher the better”.
Riots rock major German towns after extreme right gets into the Bundestag: The extreme right AfD Party (Alternative for Deutschland) got 12% of the vote earning them a presence in the Bundestag. In Munich, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Mainz there were riots of thousands reacting to this ugly reality as well as riots in many more cities. People walked around with placards that said: “If you’re silent you’re an accomplice”, “Nazi’s out” or “They are not my party”. The mainstream conservative party still won the majority followed by mainstream labor but they both garnered an all-time low of votes leaving room for the extreme right to grow.