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Scottish athlete Callum Hawkins collapses as he leads Commonwealth Games marathon



Scottish athlete Callum Hawkins has been taken to hospital after dramatically collapsing while leading the Commonwealth Games’ marathon.

The 25-year-old was just over a mile from the end of the race in Australia’s Gold Coast when he began weaving across the road and fell to the ground.

He struggled for a number of minutes without medical attention in distressing scenes in the 27C (80F) heat, before eventually being taken away in an ambulance.

Callum Hawkins collapsed with just over a mile left in the race
The athlete collapsed with just over a mile left in the race

Hawkins, who had a lead of 41 seconds at the time of his fall, was passed by Australia’s Michael Shelley who won the race.

In a statement after the race, British Athletics said: “Callum Hawkins is conscious following his fall and has been taken away in an ambulance.

“We all wish Callum a speedy recovery.”

Hawkins had to wait several minutes before paramedics arrived
Hawkins had to wait several minutes before paramedics arrived

During the event, BBC commentator and former athlete Steve Cram said it was “a disgrace” it took so long for any paramedics to attend to Hawkins.

“This is a guy in real distress and someone needs to recognise it for his health at this point,” he said.

“Where on earth is the help? You cannot just wait at the finish line. They’ve got radios. And finally somebody arrives. I think it’s disgraceful.”

Hawkins was taken to hospital for treatment
Hawkins was taken to hospital for treatment

Former marathon runner Paula Radcliffe said there were “big questions to answer” over the medical response, adding: “That should never happen.

“The marathon is brutal and a heart breaker but there is a lot more to come from this brave champion.”

Mark Peters, chief executive of Games’ organisers GOLDOC, promised to investigate the lack of immediate on-course medical care for Hawkins.

“Obviously we need to check the facts. We can’t have medical people on every corner of the road,” he said.

“Certainly there’s no reason for a deliberate delay.”

More from Commonwealth Games 2018

Hawkins, who finished fourth in the World Championships last year, was looking set to claim his first major medal.

Uganda’s Munyo Solomon Mutai finished the marathon in second place, with Robbie Simpson of Scotland claiming the bronze.

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US election 2020: Trump says he’s up for a presidential debate… hosted by Joe Rogan | US News



Donald Trump has said he is willing to take part in a presidential debate hosted by the comedian and podcast star Joe Rogan.

The idea was mooted by Rogan on a recent episode of his show, which frequently ranks near the top of global podcast charts.

“First of all, I want no one else in the room, just the three of us,” he said.

“And you’d have to stream it live so no one can edit it, and I would want them in there for hours.

“If they wanted to do that – they both wanted to come here in Austin, sit down and have a debate – I would 100% do it.”

Rogan’s guest on the podcast, MMA fighter Tim Kennedy, tweeted about the idea and asked “who wants this?”, to which the US president replied: “I do!”

Three debates are already scheduled between Mr Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden, with the first on 29 September in Cleveland.

A podcast debate would be a break from tradition, but could see the two candidates reach a new audience.

How to win a US presidential election

How to win a US election

However, Mr Biden has so far not responded to the suggestion.

That may be because Rogan – who previously backed Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination – has been scathing of the 77-year-old.

The broadcaster has previously said Mr Trump would “eat that guy alive” – and also compared Mr Biden to “having a flashlight with a dying battery and going for a long hike in the woods”.

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Earlier this year, the stand-up comedian signed an exclusive deal with Spotify believed to be worth $100m (£77m).

The tie-up was criticised by some who said musicians on the service would have to get more than 20 billion listens to get the same payout.

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Belarus protests: Alexander Lukashenko in Russia for talks with Vladimir Putin following mass demonstrations | World News



Belarus’ embattled president Alexander Lukashenko has landed in Russia for face-to-face talks with Vladimir Putin.

The meeting is the first between the two leaders since protests broke out in the Eastern European country over the controversial re-election of Mr Lukashenko for a sixth term last month.

Mr Putin has publicly supported the 66-year-old – dubbed “Europe’s last dictator” – as the country’s leader, despite claims Belarus’ election on 9 August was rigged.

The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, and the President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko
Mr Lukashenko and the Russian president have had a fraught relationship at times

Mr Lukashenko is visiting Russia in a bid to secure more loans and political support as demonstrations against the extension of his 26-year rule enter a sixth week.

The talks will be held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi – a day after an estimated 150,000 people flooded the streets of the Belarusian capital, Minsk, demanding his resignation.

Belarus’ interior ministry said 774 people were arrested in Minsk and other cities around the country for holding unsanctioned rallies on Sunday.

Moscow has promised to send military forces to intervene if the protests escalate.

Mr Lukashenko has dismissed protesters as Western puppets, and rejected demands from the US and the EU to conduct a dialogue with the opposition.

In a bid to win Moscow’s support, Mr Lukashenko – who insists he won 80% of the election vote fairly – has tried to cast the protests as an effort by the West to isolate Russia.


Tens of thousands protest in Belarus

Mr Putin sees neighbouring Belarus as a key bulwark against NATO and a major conduit for energy exports to Europe.

Russia and Belarus have a union treaty envisaging close political, economic and military ties, but they have often engaged in acrimonious disputes.

Before the election, Mr Lukashenko repeatedly accused the Kremlin of pressing Belarus to abandon its independence.

But with the US and the EU criticising the election as neither free nor fair, and readying a package of sanctions, Mr Lukashenko now has to rely squarely on Russia’s support.

The Kremlin is thought to fear the prospect of the protests forcing the resignation of Mr Lukashenko, fearing it could embolden Mr Putin’s critics at home.

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Several of Belarus’s outspoken activists have been arrested or forcibly removed from the country.

Last week, opposition leader Maria Kolesnikova said she was forced into a van by masked men in Minsk and driven more than 200 miles to the Ukranian border.

The 38-year-old is in jail in the capital on a charge of undermining national security.

Moscow has also signalled it is ready to discuss the restructuring of Belarus’ £772.6 million debt to Russia, a key issue in today’s talks between the leaders.

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Trump’s UAE – Israel deal has shifted Middle East politics, but the core conflict remains | World News



At the White House today, Donald Trump is trying to get as close as he can to emulating a moment that happened 27 years this week.

On 13 September 1993 President Bill Clinton brought together two foes. On the White House lawn, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, the chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, shook hands.

It was seen, at the time, as an irreversible moment in peacemaking; the first face-to-face meeting between the Israelis and the Palestinians and an agreement on a framework that would lead to the resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

13 September, 1993: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shakes hands with PLO leader Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn
13 September, 1993: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shakes hands with PLO leader Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn

It didn’t work. Years of renewed bloodshed followed which have morphed into low-intensity conflict, a dire equality imbalance and a political stalemate that endures to this day.

The Palestinians continue their struggle for a nation state – a largely peaceful struggle in the West Bank, less so in Gaza. The Israelis manage a status quo which, some argue, suits them just fine.

Enter Donald Trump. With no prospect of getting the Israelis and the Palestinians to repeat that historic handshake, but eager to be seen as the ultimate deal maker, he has pulled off a different feat. It’s not one to be dismissed.

With his son-in-law Jared Kushner as the broker, he has persuaded two Gulf Arab countries to recognise the Jewish State of Israel.

Context is vital here. Until last month, only two Arab countries recognised Israel. Egypt signed a deal in 1979 and Jordan signed one in 1994.

However, the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 was explicit that no other Arab countries would recognise Israel unless it withdrew fully from the Occupied Palestinian Territories (Gaza and the West Bank) and allowed the establishment of a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital.

That initiative held until last month when the United Arab Emirates agreed a normalisation deal with Israel.

In return, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu promised to put on hold his plan to annex parts of the West Bank.

Building work at an Israeli settlement in the West Bank
Building work at an Israeli settlement in the West Bank

So, rather than demanding Israel reverse a fact on the ground in exchange for diplomatic ties, the UAE flipped the offer -if you don’t follow through on annexation, we’ll recognise you.

Bahrain then followed and other Arab countries may do too. It represents a paradigm shift in the geopolitics of the region and it strengthens the alliance against Iran – a common enemy for Israel and many gulf Arab nations.

The prospects for trade and tourism are huge. There’ll be flights between the countries; embassies and ambassadors too.

It is a coup for President Trump. His administration has overseen a process in which the regional dial has moved. That is much more than his predecessor, Barack Obama, can claim.

He has brought Israeli-Arab hands together this week and it makes the perfect re-election image. Donald Trump the deal maker.

But peacemaker? What about the issue at the core of all this? The one that was supposed to be solved with that handshake in 1993?

Well, for the political protégés of Yasser Arafat, the deals amount to a deep betrayal by their Arab brethren. It represents the biggest crisis in the history of the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinians have been left out. The Americans and the Israelis openly say they are fed up with waiting for the Palestinians to accept their vision for peace – one in which Israel does not need to withdraw from the West Bank and one in which the Palestinians don’t get their own capital in East Jerusalem.

The Israeli security forces control over 60% of the West Bank
The Israeli security forces control over 60% of the West Bank

A drive though the West Bank, and it’s extremely hard to see how, at the moment at least, an Israeli-Gulf accord does anything to bring resolution to the Palestinian issue.

Look at it through the hardened eyes of those living there – both Palestinians and Israeli Jewish settlers.

Khairi Hannoun is in his sixties. I met him a day after he was wrestled to the ground by an Israeli soldier.

With a flag and a walking stick, but nothing more, he had been protesting the continued expansion of illegal Israeli settlements into the West Bank.

He refused to move on and faced the consequences.

“They don’t want to keep a single [Palestinian] citizen in this land,” he told me when we met.

“The Israeli occupation differs from any other occupation worldwide. It is an occupation of substitution. This means they want to take over where you are and kick you out of this land. They don’t have solutions. If they tell you they have a solution, they are lying.”

Khairi Hannoun being restrained by an Israeli soldier
Khairi Hannoun being restrained by an Israeli soldier

When I told the Israeli military I was interviewing Mr Hannoun they said they would send me a statement.

“Khairi Hannoun is known as an inciter. He has been a regular and reoccurring provocateur in the Judea and Samaria region [the Israeli name for the West Bank], regularly attacking soldiers and using violence against IDF troops, and has been incarcerated in Israeli prison over the years on at least seven occasions due to violence against IDF troops. Since 1979, he was incarcerated for a number of years in Israeli prison.”

The Israeli security forces control over 60% of the West Bank and three quarters of a million Israeli Jewish settlers live in the area.

That is more than triple the number who were in the West Bank in 1993 when that White House handshake promised a peace which never came.

At a bus stop for the exclusive use of Israelis settlers, not Palestinians, I met Rachel Gordon, from London originally.

“When we moved here about 20 years ago, that Arab town was very very small and it’s grown exponentially.” she said, pointing to a nearby Palestinian town.

“But do you not see that you are being a bit hypocritical in the sense that you’re saying the Arab town has grown, but your town wasn’t here at all?” I asked, referring to the Israeli settlement she lives in.

“As far as I am concerned, it’s Israeli territory and the whole of Israel belongs to the Jewish people,” she said.

For decades the Palestinian quest has been their own state – with East Jerusalem as their capital and with Jewish settlers moving back out of the West Bank.

But is that still achievable? Or should Israel’s deal with Gulf Arabs prompt a new Palestinian strategy?

“I think what we have to do as Palestinians is recognise that there is an apartheid one state reality. Accept that as a starting point but not accept that as our future,” Dr Yara Hawari, a policy analyst at Al Shabaka, the Palestinian Policy Network told me.

“[The deal with the Gulf Arabs] really stresses the need for a recalibration of the Palestinian struggle… that we can’t rely on people that we thought were allies, that we have to sort of seek out allyship, friendship, interconnectedness with other struggles, other peoples around the world.”

There are hints of that with parallels drawn between injustices here and elsewhere. ‘Palestinian Lives Matter’ is a slogan you hear more and more.

Donald Trump’s deal should not be dismissed. It represents a characteristic coach and horses through convention. It’s changing the relationship between Israeli Jews and (some) Arabs and it has focused minds among Palestinians.

And so, one day we may be able to draw a line from this moment to peace in the Holy Land. But I can’t quite see its outline yet.

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