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No Gaza truce deal, but sides agree to temporary break in fighting

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CAIRO, July 25 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that there were still disagreements on the terminology for a Gaza truce and called for a seven-day humanitarian ceasefire for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday next week.

“We are working toward a brief seven days of peace. Seven days of a humanitarian ceasefire in honor of Eid in order to be able to bring people together to try to work to create a more durable, sustainable ceasefire for the long (term),” Kerry told a news conference in Cairo.

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Senior Hamas official Ezzat el-Rishiq who is in the group’s political wing based in Cairo said on his Twitter account that the seven-day ceasefire was “under study in motion.”

Another Hamas official Mohamed Nazzal told Aljazeera television that the current “initiative in this form is not acceptable at all.”

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, standing with Kerry at the news conference, backed the call for a pause in fighting for Eid. Ban said it could start with an extendable 12-hour stoppage.

A U.S. official said later that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Kerry that Israel will begin a 12-hour pause in Gaza hostilities starting at 7 a.m. Israeli time (0400 GMT) on Saturday. The Israeli government did not immediately comment on the report.

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The official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity, made the comment when asked about Kerry’s statement that Netanyahu had inferred to him that Israel was willing to undertake a 12-hour pause in the fighting as a goodwill gesture.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu has indicated his willingness to do that as a good face down payment and to move forward,” Kerry said.

He also said that “serious progress” had been made on a truce but there was more work to do.

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Israel may have rejected some language in a truce proposal draft, but there “was no formal proposal, or final proposal, or proposal ready (for) a vote submitted to Israel,” Kerry said.

“We still have some terminology … to work through, but we are confident that we have a fundamental framework that can and will ultimately work,” Kerry said. (Reporting By Arshad Mohammed, Yasmine Saleh and Ali Abdelaty; Writing by Oliver Holmes; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall, Susan Fenton and Andrew Hay)


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Here’s why Trump is right — a recession would likely doom his re-election

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President Donald Trump is worried that there will be a recession before the 2020 election. For once, he is right about something.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

"The Economy is strong and good, whereas the rest of the world is not doing so well. Despite this the Fake News Media, together with their Partner, the Democrat Party, are working overtime to convince people that we are in, or will soon be going into, a Recession," Trump tweeted on Friday in a clear attempt to assuage concerns. "They are willing to lose their wealth, or a big part of it, just for the possibility of winning the Election. But it won’t work because I always find a way to win, especially for the people!"

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The religious right’s embrace of the GOP and Trump is driving people away from the church: Christian author

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Appearing on CNN to promote his book "The Immoral Majority: Why Evangelicals Chose Political Power over Christian Values,” conservative columnist Ben Howe explained that the symbiotic relationship between an increasingly radicalized Republican Party and evangelical leaders is making people considering becoming Christians reconsider. Speaking with host John Berman, Howe -- who stated that he is the son of a Southern Baptist pastor who had ties to Jerry Falwell Sr. -- said the evangelical alignment with Trump -- despite all of the baggage he carries which Christians previously found offensive in former President Bill Clinton -- has been off-putting to people on the fence when it comes to joining a church.

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Christian conservative explains ‘deal with devil’ between Trump and evangelicals

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Evangelical Christians have been President Donald Trump's most loyal base of support. But the president offended their sensibilities at a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, during which he allowed the crowd to chant "Send her back!" after he falsely accused Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) of anti-semitism.

But as The Politico reported, they weren't mad about the president goading his supporters into shouting about throwing a U.S. citizen out of the country. They were offended because Trump said, "Goddam" and used other profanities.

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