Abbas vows to continue paying prisoners and their families
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that attempts to separate the Gaza Strip from the West Bank will not succeed, and vowed to continue payments to Palestinian security prisoners held by Israel and their families. Abbas was referring to continued efforts by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations to achieve a truce agreement between Israel and Hamas.
Netanyahu defends allowing Qatari funds to Gaza
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the decision to permit Qatar to pay the salaries of thousands of civil servants in Gaza “the right step” on Saturday night. Speaking to reporters as he set off for Paris to join World War I commemorations alongside other world leaders, Netanyahu said the deal with Qatar, approved for humanitarian reasons, was backed by both the military and his top-level political security cabinet.
DR Congo Ebola outbreak: Death Toll
More than 200 people have now died in the latest outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to health officials. About half the victims were from Beni, a city of 800,000 in the North Kivu region, the national health authority said. A vaccination programme has so far inoculated about 25,000 people.
Jo Johnson: ‘Democratic travesty’ not to have another Brexit vote
The UK needs to “pause and reflect” before doing something “irrevocably stupid” over Brexit, Jo Johnson said a day after quitting as a minister. On BBC Radio 4’s Today he called again for another referendum, saying what was being offered fell “spectacularly short” of what had been promised. The ex-transport minister said it would be a “democratic travesty” to not have another vote.
Brazil: Mudslide in Rio de Janeiro state kills 10
Rescuers are searching for survivors from a Brazilian landslide that killed 10 people, including at least one child. The incident happened in Rio de Janeiro state in the early hours of Saturday, following two days of heavy downpour. A boulder slid down a slope and hit a group of houses in the city of Niterói, according to the local fire service.
California wildfires: Death toll rises to 25
The death toll in the wildfires raging through California has risen to 25, according to officials. This comes after 14 more bodies were discovered in or near the decimated town of Paradise in the state’s north, bringing the number of confirmed dead there to 23. Two more people were killed in the south, near Malibu.
Lodi Man Gets Second Chance At Life When Brain Tumor Vanishes
It’s a medical mystery that’s left several doctors scratching their heads. A suspected malignant brain tumor vanishes without treatment giving a patient a second chance at life. It happened to a Lodi man who turned to his faith and the very community he has spent years helping. Several months ago, Lodi father and community volunteer Paul Wood realized something just wasn’t right.
Google Search Says Republican Women Are ‘Enablers’
Republican women are “enablers,” according to Google search results. Google’s search results for the National Federation of Republican Women, the nation’s largest Republican women’s group, displayed the organization’s name instead as the “National Federation of Republican Enablers.” Google cited Wikipedia for the disparaging description, though Wikipedia’s page for the women’s group doesn’t contain that description.
France to hunt for tax cheats on social media
France’s tax administrators will start searching through social media accounts in early 2019, a pilot project in the fight against tax avoidance, Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin told weekly business TV show Capital. The idea is to identify potential frauds by analyzing publicly-available data on individuals’ social media accounts, Darmanin said, according to excerpts of the show to be broadcast on Sunday.
Robots will soon match humans in creativity, emotional intelligence
As if we didn’t already have enough to worry about when it comes to artificially intelligent machines being able to perform many tasks faster and better than humans can, potentially stealing our jobs in the future and presenting what some technologists worry is an existential threat to humanity, now it appears AI will soon be able to match humans at being, well, human, too.
Recount to begin in Florida Senate and governor’s races, in echo of 2000 presidential election
Three statewide contests in Florida — including the closely watched Senate race — headed for history-making recounts…with the lead by Gov. Rick Scott (R) over Sen. Bill Nelson (D) in the marquee contest shrinking to 12,562 votes out of nearly 8.2 million cast. The 0.15 percent margin is narrow enough to not only trigger a machine recount, which by law must be completed by Thursday, but is likely to result in a recount by hand across the state…
U.S. on a Course to Spend More on Debt Than Defense
In the past decade, U.S. debt held by the public has risen to $15.9 trillion from $5.1 trillion, but financing all of that debt hasn’t been a problem. Low inflation and strong global demand for safe U.S. Treasury bonds held the government’s interest costs down. That’s in the process of changing. Interest rates are rising as inflation normalizes around the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.
Trump, Macron agree on defense after ‘insulting’ European army spat
U.S. President Donald Trump and France’s Emmanuel Macron agreed on Saturday on the need for more European defense spending, papering over an earlier Trump tweet that had described Macron’s call for a European army as “very insulting”. Meeting for talks at the Elysee a day before commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, Macron welcomed Trump under rainy Parisian skies with a firm handshake.