In Israel, Pompeo discusses West Bank and coronavirus with Netanyahu

first_imgBut appearing to dismiss reports that annexation talks were the purpose of Pompeo’s visit, a senior State Department official said: “I do think that we should dispel the notion that we flew halfway around the world to talk about annexation.”The Palestinians have rejected Trump’s plan, under which the vast majority of West Bank settlements would be incorporated into “contiguous Israeli territory”.The plan envisages a Palestinian state under near-complete Israeli security control, made up of stretches of land in the West Bank, as well as the Gaza Strip on the Mediterranean coast and two expanses of territory in Israel’s southern Negev desert.In televised remarks on Wednesday night, President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinians would review their peace accords with Israel and agreements with the United States should Israel annex West Bank land.”We will hold the American and Israeli governments responsible for all the consequences,” Abbas said.Violence The Palestinians deem Israel’s settlements illegal under international law, as do most world powers. Israel and the Trump administration dispute that view.With Palestinian leaders warning that annexation could imperil the already limited cooperation between the sides, there has been a spike in violence in the West Bank.On Wednesday, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian teenager during a raid near the city of Hebron, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. The Israeli military said Palestinians had thrown rocks and fire-bombs at the soldiers, slightly injuring one of them.A day earlier, a Palestinian rock-thrower killed an Israeli soldier who was taking part in an arrest raid near Jenin city.The Palestinians have tried to rally European states to oppose any Israeli annexation, as France pushes for the European Union to consider punitive economic measures should Israel declare sovereignty in the West Bank.Arab countries have cautioned against Israeli annexation, including Jordan and Egypt, Israel’s neighbors and the only two Arab countries to sign peace treaties with it.Friction over China Trump and his senior officials have engaged in a war of words with China over the coronavirus crisis and Pompeo did so again on Wednesday.Addressing Netanyahu at the start of their three-hour meeting, Pompeo said: “You’re a great partner, you share information – unlike some other countries that try and obfuscate and hide that information – and we’ll talk about that country, too.”Pompeo did not name China and did not give specific examples of Israeli cooperation in the fight against coronavirus.Israeli business ties with China are an irritant in Netanyahu’s usually close relationship with the Trump administration.The United States has previously cautioned Israel against potential security threats from Chinese investment in its economy, prompting the Netanyahu government to set up a committee last October to vet such projects.US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus briefly summed up the Pompeo-Netanyahu meeting as a discussion of “our nations’ ongoing efforts to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and counter Iran’s destabilizing influence in the region, as well as the steadfast US commitment to Israel’s security.”Trump’s pro-Israel moves have been widely seen as an effort to bolster his appeal to evangelical Christian voters, an important part of his political base that he is counting on to help him win re-election in November.  US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke on Wednesday of the complexities of Israel’s planned de facto annexation of the occupied West Bank, saying after talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the move must be done in accordance with a US peace plan.During a one-day visit to Israel, Pompeo took another swipe at China over what he said was Beijing’s lack of transparency about the outbreak of the new coronavirus in Wuhan late last year. China rejects allegations by US President Donald Trump’s administration that it withheld information about the virus.Pompeo held talks with Netanyahu and his political rival turned designated coalition partner Benny Gantz, a day before the inauguration of their new government. Topics :center_img The new government plans in July to begin debating extending sovereignty to Israeli settlements and the strategic Jordan Valley in the West Bank, territory Israel captured in a 1967 war and that Palestinians seek for a future state.In an interview with the Israel Hayom newspaper, where he was quoted in Hebrew, Pompeo said the West Bank territorial moves were an Israeli decision that Netanyahu and Gantz have a right to make.But Pompeo noted the issue was complex and required coordination with Washington, which has formed a joint team with Israel to map out new territorial lines in the West Bank in accordance with Trump’s Middle East plan.He said he and the Israeli leaders also talked “about many other issues related to it – how to deal with all parties involved, and how to make sure the move is done properly” under Trump’s plan.last_img read more

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Governor Wolf Orders Commonwealth Flags at Half-Staff to Honor the Victims of the Shooting in Thousand Oaks, California

first_img November 08, 2018 Flag Order,  National Issues,  Press Release,  Public Safety Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf has ordered all commonwealth flags on the Capitol Complex, at Commonwealth facilities, and throughout the state lowered to half-staff, effective immediately. This order is being issued as a mark of respect for the victims of the attack in Thousand Oaks, California.All commonwealth flags should be flown at half-staff until sunset on Saturday, November 10, 2018.Per an order from the White House, the United States Flag has been ordered to fly at half-staff until sunset on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Governor Wolf Orders Commonwealth Flags at Half-Staff to Honor the Victims of the Shooting in Thousand Oaks, Californiacenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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Editorial: Discussion of real sex can counter ‘rape culture’

first_imgNZ Herald 16 March 2017Family First Comment: The NZ Herald actually gets it right this time…“Internet porn knows no boundaries and places no barriers of cost or embarrassment in the way of access to it. The young people outside Parliament on Monday would have seen more sides of human sexuality than previous generations would have imagined at the same age.But what they probably have not seen, yet, is real sex, respectful sex, the kind that comes naturally to people in love. That is why pornography is so harmful to the very young and why it was subject to an age restriction when that was possible.”www.porninquiry.nzThe teenage school pupils who marched on Parliament on Monday to protest at “rape culture” knew what they were talking about, and so does everybody else.Their protest was not prompted by an actual rape but by juvenile jokes about rape exchanged online between some Wellington College students.That incident alone would not warrant a mass demonstration but it represents something far more dangerous and insidious in the lives of children growing up today.Pornography abounds on the internet and it is not the pornography that young men of previous generations saw in the pages of magazines, or the film censor approved for video hire.Internet porn knows no boundaries and places no barriers of cost or embarrassment in the way of access to it. The young people outside Parliament on Monday would have seen more sides of human sexuality than previous generations would have imagined at the same age.But what they probably have not seen, yet, is real sex, respectful sex, the kind that comes naturally to people in love. That is why pornography is so harmful to the very young and why it was subject to an age restriction when that was possible.Now parents and schools need to devise different ways of countering the distorted sexual messages young people are receiving so that their ability to form and maintain intimate relationships might not be permanently damaged.The risk is not only that young men will mistake virtual sex for the real thing but that they will prefer it to the little reality they have experienced.The task of parents and schools – and authors, film-makers, song writers and cultural leaders – is to enable young people to realise the richness of genuine relationships.Film-makers in particular could do much better. Too often they depict sex as a casual diversion rather than a high point in a credibly developing attraction.Schools are doing better on the evidence of the pupils who marched to Parliament. Those young people, male and female, clearly knew their age group was being fed a false and damaging distortion of sexuality on the internet.READ MORE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/education/news/article.cfm?c_id=35&objectid=11818899last_img read more

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