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Palestine deserves ‘full recognition,’ Abbas tells UN

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Palestine deserves full membership and recognition as a state at the United Nations, Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas told the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

Abbas delivered his address ahead of a ceremony to raise the Palestinian flag at the world body for the first time, alongside those of the UN’s 193 member states.

“Palestine, which is an observer state in the United Nations, deserves full recognition and full membership,” he said.

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Abbas appealed to “those countries that have not yet recognized the state of Palestine yet, to do so.”

The General Assembly voted September 10 to allow the flags of Palestine and the Vatican — both have observer status — to be raised at the United Nations.

The resolution was backed by 119 countries, with 45 abstentions and eight votes against, includingAustralia, Israel and the United States.


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Pennsylvania county socked with big special election bill after GOP lawmaker busted for child porn

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Lebanon County, Pennsylvania will need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to hold a special election following the resignation of a Republican state legislator.

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced he had arrested state Sen. Michael Folmer for possession of child pornography. Folmer had allegedly uploaded a child pornography image to Tumblr.

“This defendant serves as a state Senator and was entrusted to honor and represent his community in the Pennsylvania Capitol,” Shapiro said in a statement. "Tonight, our Office arrested Mr. Folmer for possession of child pornography and charged him with Sexual Abuse of Children, Possession of Child Pornography, and Criminal Use of a Communication Facility. I will continue to say it—no one is above the law, no matter what position of power they hold."

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It’s ‘Clinton Cash’ all over again as the media blow the Trump whistleblower story

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

We would praise the reporters who revealed the content of a whistle-blower’s complaint that the Trump regime has refused to turn over to Congress as the law requires. But it appears that the outlines of the story were already known in DC political circles. Two weeks before the whistleblower story broke, The Washington Post ran an editorial noting that Donald Trump was withholding $250 million in military aid to Ukraine, and that while “some suspect Mr. Trump is once again catering to Mr. Putin, who is dedicated to undermining Ukrainian democracy and independence,… the president has a second and more venal agenda: He is attempting to force [Ukrainian president Volodymyr] Zelensky to intervene in the 2020 U.S. presidential election by launching an investigation of the leading Democratic candidate, Joe Biden." The authors added, "Mr. Trump is not just soliciting Ukraine’s help with his presidential campaign; he is using U.S. military aid the country desperately needs in an attempt to extort it.”

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Dems in Congress can publicly punish Trump — and Mitch McConnell would be powerless to stop them

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The revelation that President Donald Trump repeatedly demanded Ukraine officials work with his personal lawyer to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden has led to a fresh wave of calls for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to support an expedited impeachment effort — something that she is still resistant to doing.

But as Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty noted in a new op-ed, there is another method Democrats can use to punish Trump on the House floor — and unlike impeachment, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would have no say over it whatsoever: a formal censure.

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