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US envoy Nikki Haley attacks Arab, Islamic states over Palestinian aid

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 U.S. envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Tuesday slammed Arab and Islamic states for talking a lot about supporting the Palestinians but not giving more money to help, calling out countries like Egypt, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

Haley listed how much those countries, along with Algeria, Tunisia, Pakistan, Oman, Iran and Turkey, had given – or not given – to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which helps Palestinian refugees. Washington, long the biggest donor, cut its aid to $60 million from a promised $365 million this year.

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“No group of countries is more generous with their words than the Palestinians’ Arab neighbors, and other OIC member states,” Haley told a U.N. Security Council meeting on the Middle East, citing the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

“But all of the words spoken here in New York do not feed, clothe, or educate a single Palestinian child. All they do is get the international community riled up,” she said.

Palestinian U.N. Ambassador Riyad Mansour said Haley had insulted U.S. allies “in an arrogant way.”

Haley also called out China and Russia for talking “a big game about the Palestinian cause” but providing only $350,000 and $2 million respectively to UNRWA in 2017. China’s U.N. Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu told the council: “We have no intention of competing with any other countries.”

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Haley said it was time for the “regional states in particular to step up.”

According to IRIN, a nonprofit that reports on humanitarian issues, the UAE and Kuwait were ranked in the top five most generous aid donors compared with national income globally in 2017, while the United States came in at 16.

“Sometimes the numbers and facts talk for themselves,” said Kuwait’s U.N. Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi.

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UAE U.N. Ambassador Lana Nusseibeh agreed with Haley that real action was needed to assist the Palestinian people.

“With our total donation of more than $125 million just last year, we believe that we are doing our part to address the immediate needs of the Palestinians,” she said.

U.S. President Donald Trump withheld UNRWA aid after questioning its value and saying the Palestinians needed to agree to renew peace talks with Israel, while the State Department said UNRWA needed to make unspecified reforms.

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Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser, said late last month that Washington would announce its Middle East peace plan soon.

“It is now gone about a year since we discussed this here and we were informed about plans and we haven’t seen it yet, Sweden’s U.N. Ambassador Olof Skoog, president of the Security Council for July, told reporters. “I think there is a problem that there’s no credible plan on the table.”

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Dan Grebler

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Accused child molester Roy Moore defends Brett Kavanaugh: ‘I too was the object of false allegations’

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Accused child molester Roy Moore on Wednesday came to the defense of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault.

Moore's remarks came after The New York Times published accounts from a new book, which found that two of Kavanaugh's accusers were credible.

In a statement to the press, Moore defended Kavanaugh on Wednesday.

"I too was the subject of false allegations, but unlike Justice Kavanaugh and others who have suffered the ire of the left, I filed suit against my accusers and their conspirators," Moore said. "For over two years, I have not seen nor been able to question any of those who went on national television tol tell their false stories just 32 days before the election in December 2017, and ironically I have been sued for defamation for merely denying their false and malicious accusations."

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Trump says ‘many options’ on Iran response

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US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he has "many options" in addition to military strikes against Iran and that details of newly announced sanctions will come within 48 hours.

Asked by reporters about a possible US attack on Iran, Trump said "there are many options. There's the ultimate option and there are options a lot less than that."

He explained that by "ultimate option" he meant "war."

Trump said that the specifics of sanctions he announced earlier would be made public "over the next 48 hours."

US ally Saudi Arabia says Iran was behind a missile or drone attack setting ablaze major oil facilities last weekend.

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Bermuda braces for Hurricane Humberto

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Residents of the tiny British archipelago of Bermuda battened down the hatches on Wednesday ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Humberto, a major category 3 storm packing fierce winds and punishing rain.

The Miami-based US National Hurricane Center put the center of the storm about 225 kilometers (140 miles) west of Bermuda at 1800 GMT, with maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour.

The core of the large storm was expected to pass to the northwest of Bermuda later in the day or overnight, dumping as much as 15 centimeters (six inches) of rain. A heightened storm surge is possible.

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