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Germany says two states ‘only solution’ to Israeli-Palestinian conflict

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Germany’s top diplomat on Sunday reaffirmed his country’s support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ahead of a long-awaited US peace plan.

“We are still in agreement that reaching a two-state solution through negotiations is the only solution,” Heiko Maas said during a press conference in Amman with his Jordanian counterpart.

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Washington is gearing up to roll out economic aspects of its plan at a conference in Bahrain later this month, but it is not yet clear when its political details will be unveiled.

The Palestinians have already rejected the deal, citing a string of moves by US President Donald Trump they say show his administration is irredeemably biased.

“We and Germany agree that the two-state solution is the only way to end the conflict,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said.

Mass and Safadi met a day after US ambassador to Israel David Friedman was quoted by the New York Times as saying Israel had the “right” to annex at least parts of the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian leaders said the US envoy’s comments showed “extremists” were involved in White House policy on the issue.

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Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War and its construction of settlements there is viewed as a major stumbling block to peace as they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.

Friedman has in the past been a supporter of Israeli settlements as has the family of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser leading efforts to put together the peace deal.

Kushner has hinted that it will not endorse international calls for the creation of a Palestinian state.

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Several UN resolutions have enshrined the two-state solution, which envisages separate homelands for Jews and Palestinians, as the path to a peace settlement.

Both ministers also stressed the importance of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, just weeks after the US called for it to be dismantled after cutting its roughly $300 million annual donation.

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Jordan is home to nearly 2.2 million Palestinian refugees, who make up almost half of the kingdom’s population.

Separately, Mass said Germany would give Jordan a $100 million loan to help cope with economic difficulties in the kingdom where IMF-backed fiscal reforms sparked mass protests last year.

Jordan, whose stability is seen as vital for the volatile Middle East, also hosts some 1.3 million refugees from neighbouring war-torn Syria.

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Expert: NRA had to be obliterated by New York for one very important reason

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The New York attorney general's aggressive moves against the National Rifle Association might have been handled by the U.S. Department of Justice, according to a former federal prosecutor.

State attorney general Letitia James filed a lawsuit to dissolve the powerful lobbying group over claims of rampant fraud, but former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade's new column for The Daily Beast calls out the Justice Department's inaction.

"Like other cases of corruption, this easily could have been framed as a criminal case," McQuade wrote. "Filing false registration and disclosure documents as part of a scheme to defraud can serve as the basis for federal mail or wire fraud, and often does in public corruption cases. When I served as a federal prosecutor, my former office brought public corruption cases on such theories in similar cases in which officials misused funds for personal benefit."

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2020 Election

Trump-loving media’s attacks on Joe Biden have all been epic flops so far: data

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Pro-Trump media websites have been trying to pull the same trick on Joe Biden that they pulled on Hillary Clinton in 2016 -- but so far, none of their attacks on the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee have gained traction.

Axios reports that data from right-wing news websites shows that reader engagement on three key anti-Biden stories -- his alleged mental decline, his son Hunter Biden's former job with Ukrainian energy company Burisma, and sexual assault allegations by Tara Reade -- have all fizzled.

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2020 Election

Trump aides frustrated by his ‘nonsensical’ Biden attacks in Ohio: AP reporter

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During a segment on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Associated Press White House correspondent Jonathan Lemire stated that aides close to President Donald Trump thought the president made some good points about the U.S. economy on Thursday -- only to have his message overlooked when he attacked former Vice President Joe Biden.

Speaking with co-host Willie Geist, Lemire said there were other problems with the Ohio visit -- including Republican Gov. Mike DeWine being unable to attend because he tested positive for COVID-19 -- but Trump stating Biden "hurts God" made the economic points the president made secondary in a state where he needs votes.

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