Australia news LIVE updates: Gareth Ward steps down as NSW Disability Minister following sexual violence allegations as Israel-Palestine conflict escalates

Australia news LIVE updates: Gareth Ward steps down as NSW Disability Minister following sexual violence allegations as Israel-Palestine conflict escalates

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  • Israeli PM to deploy military amid escalating violence in Gaza
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Israeli PM to deploy military amid escalating violence in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he has ordered police to adopt emergency powers and will bring in military forces amid violent clashes between Jewish and Arab Israelis.

At least 83 people have been killed in Gaza since violence escalated on Monday, Gaza’s Health Ministry said. Another seven residents of Israel have also been killed, the Israeli Army said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the “anarchy” of Jewish-Arab violence in cities across the country.Credit:AP

“What is happening in Israel’s cities over the past few days is unacceptable,” Netanyahu said on Twitter of the worst Jewish-Arab violence inside Israel in decades.

“This is something that we cannot accept; it is anarchy,” Netanyahu said. “Nothing justifies this, and I will tell you that nothing justifies the lynching of Jews by Arabs, and nothing justifies the lynching of Arabs by Jews.”

Read the full story here.

Budget reply focuses on affordable housing, clean energy

Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese used his budget reply speech on Thursday night to pledge support for social and affordable housing and clean energy projects.

An apprenticeships policy, costed at $100 million, would support 10,000 new positions to encourage clean energy projects in areas like rooftop solar, green hydrogen and renewable energy generation, chief political correspondent David Crowe writes.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese is applauded by colleagues after delivering the Budget reply. in the House of RepresentativesCredit:Alex Ellinghausen

The New Energy Apprenticeships would give young workers $2000 on the commencement of their jobs and $2000 a year for up to four years afterwards.

The idea is similar to a pledge by former Labor leader Bill Shorten two years ago, shortly before the last election, to support 10,000 apprentices in renewable and clean energy industries as part of a broader $75 million training package.

Labor also promised a $10 billion housing future fund for social and affordable housing.

But Crowe writes that Labor has played it safe when big ideas are needed. Read his full analysis here.

Welcome to our live coverage of the day’s events

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of national news on Friday, May 14.

I’m Michaela Whitbourn and I’ll be keeping you informed of the morning’s need-to-know news and analysis.

Israeli police patrol during clashes between Arabs, police and Jews, in the mixed town of Lod, central Israel.Credit:AP

A lot has happened overnight. Here’s what you need to know now:

  • Hostilities between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that runs Gaza, have escalated dramatically and are at their worst point since 2014. The United Nations has called for a cease-fire and warned that “we’re escalating towards a full scale war”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced he will deploy the military to quell the “anarchy”, amid clashes on the streets Jewish and Arab Israelis.
  • A NSW government minister, Gareth Ward, has joined the cross bench after sex crime detectives said on Thursday a strike force was investigating an MP in relation to alleged sexual violence-related offences dating back to 2013. Mr Ward, who stood aside Families, Communities and Disability Services Minister, revealed himself to be the subject of the criminal inquiry and denied any wrongdoing. He said he had not been contacted by police about the allegations. No charges have been laid.
  • Federal Opposition leader Anthony Albanese delivered his budget reply speech on Thursday night, including a centrepiece $10 billion “housing future fund”, which would be used to build 30,000 social and affordable houses amid soaring house prices.
  • A temporary ban on arrivals from India will lift tomorrow. The Federal Court rejected a narrowly-framed legal challenge to the ban on Monday. A wider constitutional challenge to the ban was contemplated but did not proceed. The first repatriation flight since the ban is scheduled to arrive at the Northern Territory’s Howard Springs quarantine facility on Saturday.
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