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E.U. ‘regrets’ Israeli settlement plan

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The European Union’s foreign policy chief has criticised Israel’s plan to build hundreds of homes in annexed east Jerusalem and called for it to hold fresh talks with the Palestinians.

Catherine Ashton “deeply regrets” the Israeli interior ministry decision to back the expansion of the Gilo settlement by 797 units, said a statement from her office.

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“Settlements are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible,” said the statement, which repeated the EU’s call for an end to settlements, both in the West Bank and in east Jerusalem.

Talks “continue to represent the best way forward in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” it added.

“Continuous expansion of settlements makes this all the more difficult.”

Israel’s interior ministry granted final approval for the plans on Thursday.

The move will mean the westward expansion of Gilo, which is on the southern flanks of east Jerusalem, very close to the West Bank town of Bethlehem.

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“Israel’s decision to build 800 housing units is part of an overall Israeli plan which aims to destroy the two-state solution,” negotiator Saeb Erakat told AFP on Thursday.

The only answer was for the international community to back Palestinian plans to seek upgraded UN status, he added.

A resolution to that effect is to be put to the UN General Assembly in November.

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Israel considers both west and east Jerusalem to be its “eternal, indivisible” capital, and does not view construction in the eastern sector as settlement activity.

The Palestinians, however, believe east Jerusalem should be the capital of their future state and are fiercely opposed to the extension of Israeli control over the sector.

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[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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Trump’s lies and deception are catching up to all of us as the stock market posts ‘worst point drop ever on record’

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In a muddled, dishonest, rambling news conference from the White House press briefing room, President Donald Trump for over an hour talked to reporters Wednesday evening about coronavirus in an attempt to stave off three days of market near-collapse. He lied. He twisted the truth. He displayed little grasp of basic facts. He didn’t let the experts run the show.

He instilled no confidence Wednesday night. In fact, the DOW futures dropped as Trump began speaking:

Dow Futures dropped when Trump said the market fell 2k points because of the Dem debate pic.twitter.com/cvbviB2l9a

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‘People’s lives will be lost’: Psychiatrist warns ‘sociopath’ Trump is ‘getting worse’ — and failing in coronavirus response

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President Donald Trump's psychological problems are getting worse and could be consequential as America faces a potential COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday interviewed Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

"As you pointed out, Lawrence, this man is about himself. He really is not about the country, he's not about public health," Dr. Dodes said of Trump.

"Although he has already severely damaged the country by being a psychopath or sociopath -- in many ways, he's damaged democracy -- I think people's lives will be lost now," he warned. "Individual lives will be lost because of the way he's mishandling the coronavirus issue."

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2020 Election

‘Something really rotten’: Here’s the evidence of extensive voter suppression in Georgia’s notorious 2018 election

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As the 2020 presidential campaign cycle grinds on, there’s renewed concern about the 21st century’s newest form of warfare: cyber-sabotage of government systems, including elections and online disinformation intended to incite unrest. But as Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, a documentary from Brave New Films, makes clear, partisan voter suppression tactics with 20th-century roots remain and can thwart multitudes of voters from changing their state’s political leaders.

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