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Palestinians protest as Trump prepares to unveil Middle East peace plan ‘favouring Israel’ | World News

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The Israeli military is reinforcing parts of the West Bank with extra infantry as Donald Trump prepares to reveal his long-awaited peace plan for the region.

Palestinians are protesting in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip ahead of the US president’s announcement, which is expected to strongly favour Israel.

Demonstrators in Gaza City burned pictures of Mr Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and raised a banner reading “Palestine is not for sale”.

Palestinians protest as tires burn ahead of the announcement by U.S. President Donald Trump of his long-delayed Mideast peace plan, in Gaza City January 28, 2020. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
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Thousands of Palestinians are protesting in Gaza City
A Palestinian demonstrator burns a picture depicting U.S. President Donald Trump during a protest ahead of the announcement by Trump of his long-delayed Mideast peace plan, in Gaza City January 28, 2020. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
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A Palestinian demonstrator burns a picture depicting Donald Trump in Gaza City

In a statement, the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) said it had decided to reinforce the Jordan Valley area of the West Bank with infantry troops following an “ongoing situation assessment”.

The Jordan Valley constitutes a strip of land in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and is home to both Palestinians and Israeli settlers.

The status of the Jordan Valley is likely to form one central part of Mr Trump’s so-called “deal of the century”, a peace proposal for the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The details of the plan will be released on Tuesday night at a White House meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Netanyahu, who was formally indicted in court earlier on corruption charges.

Israeli soldiers patrol past closed-down Palestinian shops along the Israeli-controlled Shuhada street in the flashpoint city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank on January 28, 2020. (Photo by HAZEM BADER / AFP) (Photo by HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images)
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Israeli soldiers on patrol in Hebron in the West Bank

The plan is the consequence of three years of work by a small White House team led by Mr Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Palestinian academics and analysts have been consulted through the process but no Palestinian Authority officials are in Washington for the unveiling.

U.S. President Donald Trump and White House senior advisor Jared Kushner leave the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 22, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner led the US team behind the peace plan

Leaks from the American plan to the Israeli media have suggested that it will be heavily weighted towards Israel.

In the leaks, it is suggested that the plan will propose that all Israeli settlements in the West Bank would become sovereign Israeli territory.

Israeli sovereignty would also be given to the whole of Jerusalem with the city being officially recognised as the Israeli capital.

Palestinians would be granted statehood but only on condition that they recognise Jerusalem as being the capital of the Jewish State of Israel and subject to Gaza being demilitarised with Hamas giving up its weapons.

A Palestinian woman stands in a veranda, covered with metal meshing, as she stands next to a protest sign reading in English "Arabs are prohibited, this is Apartheid St.", from her house overlooking the Israeli-controlled Shuhada street (whose main entrance is blocked) in the flashpoint city of Hebron in the occupied West Bank on January 28, 2020. (Photo by HAZEM BADER / AFP) (Photo by HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images)
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A Palestinian woman stands next to a protest sign in Hebron in occupied West Bank

The Palestinian leadership has rejected the plan outright.

Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), said: “President Trump is trying to make peace between Netanyahu and [opposition leader Benny] Gantz, in order for the three of them to dictate an apartheid regime on the Palestinian people.

“They know what is the best for the Palestinian people more than the Palestinians. This is the hoax and fraud of the century.”



Israel's separation barrier







Bethlehem’s struggle for peace

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called for a meeting of Palestinian officials at his headquarters in Ramallah for 7pm.

The Palestinian Authority have refused to talk to the Americans since the Trump administration moved the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, giving legitimacy to the Israeli claim that Jerusalem is the capital of their Jewish state.

In a highly unusual move, leaders of the Hamas movement, who govern Gaza, have also been invited to the Ramallah meeting.

Hamas and Fatah, who govern the West Bank, are themselves bitterly divided.

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Helen Reddy: Australian singer of feminist anthem I Am Woman dies | Ents & Arts News

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Helen Reddy, the singer best known for the feminist anthem I Am Woman, has died aged 78.

Australia-born Reddy died in Los Angeles on Tuesday, according to a statement from her family.

Reddy had a prolific career and won a Grammy in 1973
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Reddy had a prolific career and won a Grammy in 1973

“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved mother,” the singer’s daughters, Traci and Jordan, said.

“She was a wonderful mother, grandmother and a truly formidable woman. Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.”

Reddy moved to the US and had success with the 1971 song I Don’t Know How to Love Him from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. She then signed to Capitol Records.

She had a prolific career with other hits including Ain’t No Way To Treat A Lady, Delta Dawn, Angie Baby and You And Me Against The World.

Her TV series, The Helen Reddy Show, provided early national exposure for Albert Brooks and The Pointer Sisters.

Reddy in London in 1978 where she performed at the Palladium
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Reddy in London in 1978 where she performed at the Palladium

In the mid-1980s, Reddy embarked on a new career in the theatre, working mostly in musicals such as Anything Goes, Call Me Madam and in Blood Brothers that opened on Broadway and in the West End.

But it was I Am Woman for which Reddy is best known. The song became a feminist anthem and won her the best female vocal pop performance Grammy in 1973.

I Am Woman was also the name of the 2019 biopic about Reddy’s life.

The film’s director, Unjoo Moon, paid tribute on Twitter: “Thank you Helen for teaching me to be strong & invincible as an artist a woman & a mother. You paved the way for so many.

“The lyrics that you wrote for #Iamwoman changed my life like they have done for so many people and will continue to do for generations to come.”

Actress Jamie Lee Curtis said introducing Reddy at the 2017 Women’s March in Los Angeles was the “honour of my life”.

A message posted by the official Twitter account of 1970s R&B group The Pointer Sisters said: “We are so sad to hear that #HelenReddy has passed away. Our first television appearance was on her show. #RIPHelenReddy Condolences to her family, friends and fans.”

Reddy announced her retirement in 2002 and moved from California back to Australia to be with her family.

At a ceremony in August 2006 Reddy was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Hall of Fame by actress Toni Collette, who described I Am Woman as “timeless”.



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US presidential debate: Trump v Biden – the seven defining moments | US News

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The first presidential debate happened overnight, and whether you missed it or want a recap, we’ve rounded up the defining moments and tried to gauge who came out on top.

Here are the seven moments that stood out:

1. Interruptions – ‘Will you shut up, man?’

The early exchanges – and middle and late ones – were notable for the amount of interruptions, mainly from Donald Trump.

At one point the moderator, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, seemed to have had enough, telling the president that his campaign team had agreed to the rule that both candidates should have two minutes uninterrupted during each section – and urging the him to abide by it.

By the end of the first of six sections, Joe Biden was already looking weary. “Why don’t you shut up, man?” he moaned.



Joe Biden told President Trump to 'shut up' during an exchange over the Supreme Court







Joe Biden told President Trump to ‘shut up’ during an exchange over the Supreme Court

2. The insults started early, too

“Everything he’s saying here is simply a lie, everybody knows he’s a liar,” Mr Biden said during an exchange about healthcare. He also called Mr Trump “the worst president this country has ever had”.

Not to be outdone, Mr Trump got in plenty of digs as well, firing at his adversary: “There’s nothing smart about you Joe. 47 years, you’ve done nothing.”

Spoiler alert: there’s more insults coming later.









Trump on Biden: ‘There’s nothing smart about you, Joe’

3. It could be months before the result is known

Mr Trump said: “I hope it’s going to be a fair election. But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated I can’t go along with that. It means you have a fraudulent election.”

The president also said he would be prepared to go to the Supreme Court – which could lean heavily to the right if his pick Amy Coney Barrett is approved by the Senate.

Mr Biden was more measured: “No one has established at all that there is fraud related to mail-in ballots. He has no idea what he’s talking about.

“The fact is, I will accept it and he will too. You know why? Because once the winner is declared after all the votes are counted, that will be the end of it.”

US correspondent Cordelia Lynch gave her thoughts: “The hard truth is we might not know the winner of this election for days or weeks after election night.

“Trump’s suggestion we might not know the result for months is more a threat than speculation. It’s going to be an ugly road to the inauguration.”









Both candidates were asked about whether they would accept the election result if the result is delayed

4. Trump is asked to condemn white supremacist groups – but instead focuses on the left. This got a lot of traction on social media

“He doesn’t want to calm things down,” Mr Biden said, adding that the president wanted to “pour gasoline on the fire”.

Asked to condemn white supremacist and militia groups, Mr Trump said: “Sure I’m willing to do that, but almost everything I see is from the left-wing.

“I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace.”

Pressed further, Mr Trump said: “What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name?”

Finally, he said: “Proud Boys – Stand back, stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not right-wing problem… This is a left wing problem.”

Proud Boys, a neo-Nazi organisation, appeared to use Mr Trump’s “stand back, stand by” call in a new logo posted on Telegram shortly after the debate.









President Trump refused to condemn white supremacists who have been clashing with Black Lives Matter protesters

5. Inevitably, Trump’s taxes comes up

Asked if it was true that he paid just $750 in income tax in 2016, as reported by The New York Times, Mr Trump said: “I paid millions of dollars in taxes, of income tax.”

“Show us your tax returns,” Mr Biden interjected.

Lynch felt a sense of deja vu: “Trump’s answer on his tax returns is exactly the same as it was four years ago during the debate with Hillary Clinton,” she wrote.

“Then: ‘As soon as the audit’s finished, it will be released.’

“Tonight: ‘You’ll see it as soon as it’s finished.'”









How much tax did you pay? Millions of dollars

6. Good news – the US is weeks away from a coronavirus vaccine, according to the president

“The president has no plan, he hasn’t laid out anything,” Mr Biden said of his opponent, pointing out that 200,000 Americans had died during the pandemic.

Mr Trump said millions would have died if Mr Biden was in charge – and claimed his early action to ban travel from China saved thousands of lives.

The president said the US was “weeks away” from a vaccine and his administration had done a “great job”.

7. Insults – part two

The president brought up Mr Biden’s son, Hunter, claiming the mayor of Moscow’s wife gave him millions of dollars and raising questions over his links with Ukraine.

Mr Trump also mentioned Hunter’s drug problems.

“His family we can talk about all night,” Mr Biden hit back, having claimed “it’s hard to get any word in with this clown – excuse me, this person”.

The pair later clashed about Mr Biden’s now deceased son Beau and his military service.









Biden on Trump: ‘You’re a clown’

So who won?

A CBS News instant poll found 48% thought Mr Biden won – 41% Mr Trump.

Many had a different view of the real loser – that being the American people.

“I’m afraid that this feels like the worst presidential debate ever. Substance starved, a playground slanging match,” wrote Lynch.

“It was arguably the most anticipated in 30 years. It was unlikely to be the most consequential. It is most certainly a low point.”



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US presidential debate: Biden and Trump clash on coronavirus and healthcare | US News

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President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden began the first presidential debate with heated exchanges over coronavirus and health care.

The two men frequently interrupted each other with angry interjections, with Mr Biden eventually snapping at his opponent: “Will you shut up, man?”

As the discussion about the Supreme Court quickly turned to coronavirus, Mr Trump claimed, without evidence, two million people would have died if his opponent were president.

Live stream and updates from the first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News pleaded with Mr Trump, stating that COVID-19 would be discussed later in the debate.

He then asked Mr Trump about whether he had a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, and the president said: “First of all, I guess I’m debating you, not him, but that’s OK. I’m not surprised.”

Mr Biden laughed at his opponent’s jabs, but also appeared to get upset at times.

“Here’s the deal, the fact is that everything he’s saying so far is simply a lie,” Mr Biden said. “I’m not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he’s a liar.”

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