A United Nations Security Council sanctions committee is considering a U.S. proposal to streamline and lengthen exemptions from U.N. sanctions on North Korea for humanitarian aid groups working in the isolated Asian state. The updates to an implementation assistance note - first issued in August 2018 - will be approved by the council's 15-member North Korea sanctions committee on Friday if there are no objections, diplomats said. "The U.S. proposal allows humanitarian organizations to fast-track exemption requests for urgent humanitarian assistance, such as aid to respond to pandemics or natural disasters," said a Security Council diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity.
President Donald Trump pardoned former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday despite Flynn’s guilty plea to lying to the FBI about his Russia contacts. The pardon, coming in the waning days of the Trump administration, takes direct aim at a Russia investigation that he has long insisted was motivated by political bias. “It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon," Trump tweeted.
— Millions of Americans are traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday despite warnings from health officials that family gatherings could make a bad situation worse. — More people are applying for unemployment benefits as the economy remains burdened by the coronavirus.
The gunman charged over a foiled 2015 train attack told a French court Wednesday that he had targeted only American soldiers, after refusing instructions from an Islamic State ringleader to kill members of the European Commission he was falsely told were in the train car. Ayoub El Khazzani, who had been armed with an arsenal of weapons including a Kalashnikov assault rifle, said the attack on the fast train from Amsterdam to Paris was planned as an act of vengeance for bombings of civilians in Syria, which he saw during a brief stay there. El Khazzani risks life in prison if convicted.
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Four years ago, Maliha Javed, an immigrant from Pakistan, was not paying attention to politics. A community college student in suburban Atlanta, she was busy paying for books and studying for classes. She did not vote that year.But the past four years changed her. The Trump administration's Muslim travel ban affected some of her friends. The child separation policy reminded her of living apart from her parents for three years during her own move to the United States. Then, this summer, the discovery that she was pregnant made it final: On Election Day, she marched into the Amazing Grace Lutheran Church near her house and voted for the first time in her life. She chose Joe Biden."I want it to be a better country for him to grow up in," said Javed, who is 24 and is having a boy.Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York TimesJaved is part of a small but powerful new force in Georgia politics: Asian American voters. She lives in Gwinnett County, Georgia's second-most populous county and the one with the largest Asian American population. Biden, who narrowly defeated President Donald Trump in Georgia, won Gwinnett County by 18 percentage points, a substantial increase over Hillary Clinton's performance four years ago and only the second time the county went blue since the 1970s.The county is also the heart of the only tightly contested House seat in the entire country that Democrats flipped this year -- Georgia's 7th Congressional District. A survey of Asian American early voters in that district found that 41% reported voting for the first time, said Taeku Lee, a political science professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who helped conduct it.The emergence in Georgia of Asian American voters is a potential bright spot for a Democratic Party counting on demographic changes to bring political wins across the country. Asian Americans are the fastest-growing segment of eligible voters out of the major racial and ethnic groups in the country, according to the Pew Research Center; their numbers, nationally and in Gwinnett County, more than doubled between 2000 and 2020.Families of Asian descent in the United States come from dozens of countries, but according to Pew, a vast majority of the voting population comes from just six. China, the Philippines and India account for more than half, followed by Vietnam, Korea and Japan.But interviews with Asian Americans in Gwinnett County showed that their political preferences are fluid. While many voted for Biden, they are hardly a done deal for the Democratic Party. A large portion are socially conservative, often observant Christians and owners of small businesses.Many new voters were drawn to the presidential race because it had loomed so large in American culture. But that also means they are no guarantee for Democrats in Georgia's runoffs for two critical U.S. Senate seats in January, in which control of the upper chamber hangs in the balance."People are like, 'What?'" said Cam Ashling, 40, a Democratic activist, referring to new voters' responses when she raises the runoffs, which she referred to as "a giant uphill battle."She added: "We have to try very hard to keep Georgia blue. It is not solid."As a group nationally, Asian Americans tend to prefer Democrats, but that masks deep differences by ethnic origin and generation. AAPI Data, a data analytics firm that focuses on Asian Americans, has found that many Vietnamese immigrant voters lean Republican, for instance, while very few Bangladeshi voters do. And American-born Vietnamese voters lean less toward Republicans than do their foreign-born parents.Two-thirds of all eligible Asian American voters in 2018 were naturalized citizens, according to Pew, the highest ratio of any major racial or ethnic group."I would love to be a Republican, but right now they're just crazy," said Jae Song, 50, an IT worker who was picking up lunch at Vietvana Pho Noodle House in Duluth, an upscale town in Gwinnett County that is 24% Asian American. Song, a Korean immigrant, said he loved Trump on the economy, but hated him on the coronavirus. His daughter in New York has had racist slurs flung at her. But he said he was also confused by Democrats' priorities.He had heard a lot of the phrase "Black Lives Matter," and he understood that. But this also led him to wonder, "What about us?"Surveys suggest a substantial increase in Asian American votes this year, a jump that follows the expansion of the group's population in the state. About 2.5% of Georgia's voters were Asian American this year, up from 1.6% in 2016.The Asian American population in Georgia is mixed economically. Some are doctors and upper-income professionals, but others are owners of beauty supply stores, restaurants, mobile phone franchises and laundromats.James Woo, 35, who immigrated from Seoul to Meridian, Mississippi, in the late 1990s, said Korean immigrants had a saying that whatever the business of the person who picked you up at the airport would become yours, too. His father was picked up by his brother-in-law who owned a beauty supply store. Now Woo's extended family owns more than two dozen beauty supply stores in Georgia and Louisiana.In the early years, being Asian American was not easy, and Woo, who moved to Georgia in sixth grade and worked at his parents' shop on the weekends up through college, had searing experiences of discrimination."I saw that growing up, the discrimination, and I don't want that for my kids," he said. "I want them to feel like we belong. Because we do. This is our home."He said he realized that the way to achieve that was to elect more Asian Americans to office in Georgia. He now works full time as the Korean outreach leader for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, an advocacy group. He said about half of the voters he helped this cycle were voting for the first time."For me it's not about the state turning blue or belonging to one party or another," he said. "It's seeing people who look like me with similar backgrounds to mine get elected."For years, the few Asian Americans in elected office in Georgia were often Republicans, and organizing was more focused on raising money from economically established immigrant voters than registering working-class immigrants. Nationally, voter participation among Asian Americans has historically been low: In 2016, they had the second-lowest turnout after Hispanics of all major groups."Voter participation had always been an iffy question because those communities had not matured politically and the younger generation had not really become active," said Baoky Vu, former commissioner to George W. Bush's Presidential Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, who lives in DeKalb County.Today, Asian immigrants have reached a critical mass and their children, entering their 30s and 40s and many of them educated in the United States, are pushing for representation. In Gwinnett County, about 12% of people are of Asian heritage, according to William Frey, senior demographer at the Brookings Institution.When Stephanie Cho moved to Georgia from California in 2013, "there were lots of Asians but they had very little power," she said. Cho, who is now the executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta, said she remembered walking the halls of the State Legislature and seeing just two Asian Americans: a Republican named Byung J. Pak and a member of his staff.Now there will be six Asian Americans in the Statehouse, including Michelle Au, a Chinese American doctor who was elected to the state Senate as a Democrat this month, the result of aggressive voter registration and turnout efforts. In this election, Woo put ads in Korean-language newspapers, started chats with dozens of voters on KakaoTalk, an app popular among Korean immigrants, and made announcements at his church.Bee Nguyen, a Democrat who was elected to Georgia's House District 89 in 2017, said she only realized just how ignored Asian voters had been in 2016 when she was canvassing for Sam Park, the first openly gay Korean American to run for a State House seat."The pattern we saw when we were knocking on doors was that no one had ever talked to these people before," said Nguyen, 39, who was born in Iowa to Vietnamese refugees.An important turning point for Asian American voters came in 2018, several Democratic activists said, when Stacey Abrams in her race for governor had a staff member assigned to Asian immigrant communities. Exit polls later showed that 78% of Asian American voters cast their ballots for her.But not all Asian Americans are Democrats. According to AAPI Data, about a fifth of Korean immigrants in the country voted for Trump in 2016, and a number in Gwinnett County this month said they trusted him more on the economy.Kyung Baek, 58, a Korean immigrant who sells shoes and cloth flowers in the H Mart in Duluth, said she voted for Trump because she liked his tough talk against Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, whom she sees as a bully, and also because Trump looked past the "smaller issue" of the virus to the "bigger one" of the economy."Trump's concern is big things, not small things," she said. The economy, she said, is the top priority: "When America is rich, I can be rich."The generational divide is particularly pronounced among Vietnamese Americans. Many of the older generation came to the United States after the fall of Saigon, and a fear of communism runs deep."If you went to a Viets for Trump rally they spoke with broken English and if you went to a Viets for Biden rally they spoke broken Vietnamese," said Ashling, 40, who came to Georgia in 1988 as a Vietnamese refugee.This year has stood out, second-generation Vietnamese-Americans said in interviews, because of a flood of misinformation targeting older Vietnamese voters in the form of videos in Vietnamese that have cast Biden as a communist.Ashling said she had found countering it nearly impossible.She prefers to spend the weeks that remain before Georgia's crucial Senate runoff elections on more persuadable voters. Javed, the community college student from Lawrenceville, was one. She said she had become increasingly furious about the cost of higher education, feelings she said she would channel into a vote for each of the Democrats.She has already marked down Election Day for the runoff races, Jan. 5, in her calendar.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
The House of Representatives quietly paid $850,000 this year to settle wrongful termination claims by five Pakistani-American technology specialists, after a set of routine workplace allegations against them morphed into fodder for right-wing conspiracy theories amplified by President Donald Trump.Together, the payments represent one of the largest known awards by the House to resolve discrimination or harassment claims, and are designed to shield Congress from potentially costly legal action.But aides involved in the settlement, which has not previously been reported, said it was also an attempt to bring a close to a convoluted saga that led to one of the most durable -- and misleading -- story lines of the Trump era. The aides said its size reflected a bid to do right by a group of former employees who lost their jobs and endured harassment in part because of their Muslim faith and South Asian origins.Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York TimesWhat started as a relatively ordinary House inquiry into procurement irregularities by Imran Awan, three members of his family and a friend, who had a bustling practice providing members of Congress with technology support, was twisted into lurid accusations of hacking government information.In 2018, Trump stood next to President Vladimir Putin of Russia at a now-infamous news conference in Helsinki, and implied that one of the employees involved in the House case -- a "Pakistani gentleman," he said -- could have been responsible for stealing emails of Democratic officials leaked during the 2016 campaign. His own intelligence agencies had concluded that the stolen emails were part of an election interference campaign ordered by Moscow."It is tragic and outrageous the way right-wing media and Republicans all the way up to President Trump attempted to destroy the lives of an immigrant Muslim-American family based on scurrilous allegations," said Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., who had employed Awan and is chairman of the Ethics Committee."Their names were smeared on cable TV, their children were harassed at school, and they genuinely feared for their lives," Deutch added. "The settlement is an acknowledgment of the wrong done to this family."The case originated in 2016, when officials in the House, then controlled by Republicans, began investigating claims that the specialists had improperly accounted for purchases of equipment and bent employment rules as they worked part-time for the offices of dozens of Democratic lawmakers.In the hands of the chamber's inspector general and later the Capitol Police, the investigation slowly expanded to include concerns that the workers had illicitly gained access to, transferred or removed government data and stolen equipment.In early 2017, the House stripped their access to congressional servers, making it impossible for them to continue their work. One by one, the lawmakers terminated them.But as the inspector general's findings were shared with Republican lawmakers and trickled into conservative media in early 2017, they began to take on a life of their own. The Daily Caller, which led the way, published allegations that the workers had hacked into congressional computer networks, and other right-wing pundits speculated that the group were Pakistani spies.Trump, in addition to his comments in Helsinki, repeatedly amplified conspiracy theories about the investigation on Twitter, where he referred to a "Pakistani mystery man." At one point, he publicly urged the Justice Department not to let one of the workers "off the hook."But in the summer of 2018, the department did just that, taking the unusual step of publicly exonerating Awan. The department concluded in a court filing that after interviewing dozens of witnesses, and reviewing a Democratic server and other electronic records, it had found "no evidence" that Awan illegally removed data, stole or destroyed House equipment, or improperly gained access to sensitive information.The statement came during a sentencing hearing for an unrelated offense -- that Awan had lied about his primary residence on an application for a home-equity loan, for which he was sentenced by judge to one day of time served and a three-month supervised release.House officials and the Capitol Police revisited their investigation of Awan and his colleagues after the Justice Department's findings became public. The review found that the original investigation had reached certain conclusions about misbehavior that were not necessarily supported by facts, but upheld the ban on their access to the House computer network, preventing their reinstatement, congressional aides said.Awan's lawyers approached the House after Democrats took control of the chamber in 2019 to discuss a possible settlement. Many of the lawmakers who had employed him pushed their leaders to strike a deal.The resulting agreement was signed by Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, the chairwoman of the Administration Committee, in January and paid out this summer. It resolved claims brought by Awan and the other four staffers under the Federal Tort Claims Act that House officials behaved negligently in their second inquiry after the Justice Department found no evidence of illegal conduct.The settlement also resolved claims that House officials inflicted emotional distress on the group, and that the initial investigation was motivated by the employees' religion, national origin, race, or political affiliation.In a statement, Lofgren said that the employees had threatened to sue various House members, offices and other employees, "seeking millions of dollars in compensatory and punitive damages." She said the House decided to settle "due to the likelihood of an unfavorable and costly litigation outcome," although she asserted that based on the information it had at the time, the House had been right to revoke their network access.Awan declined to comment on the settlement. Peter Romer-Friedman, one of the Awans' lawyers, said that they would "never forget the courage and kindness" of lawmakers who had stood by his clients.Awan was born in Pakistan in 1980 and moved to Northern Virginia in 1997. While in college, he worked as an intern for a company that provided IT services to congressional offices. He was hired directly by the office of Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida after graduating and worked setting up email accounts and new equipment like phones and laptops for staff members.Over the years, other Democratic members of Congress hired Awan to perform similar work under an arrangement that made him a "shared employee" and for which he was typically paid $20,000 each year per member of Congress. As the workload grew, Awan brought on two of his brothers, his wife and a friend to assist him, and they became shared employees as well. Together they eventually worked for more than 30 members of Congress.Their employers included Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and Rep. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, who was recently named by President-elect Joe Biden to a top White House position. The connection to Wasserman Schultz, who was the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee at the time of the 2016 email hack, is what prompted the baseless theories seized on by Trump that Awan, not the Kremlin, was responsible.House investigators found that Awan and his four co-workers violated certain administrative rules -- for example, working as a team in which they would provide services to offices that didn't technically employ them, and breaking up payments for equipment like iPads into increments that were below $500, the point at which a purchase would trigger a more cumbersome procurement process.But Joshua Rogin, Deutch's chief of staff, said in a declaration accompanying a separate defamation lawsuit brought by the Awans against the Daily Caller and others that he did not believe that the arrangements violated House rules and that he was unaware that the rules the five were accused of violating had been enforced against any other House employees."I understood this investigation to be both politically motivated and based on bias over their nationality, ethnicity and religion," he said in the declaration.Conservative outlets have continued to spin out unsupported theories about Awan.In January of 2019, Luke Rosiak, a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation who had written more than two dozen stories about Awan, published a book in which he reported that one or more of the family members had hacked congressional servers, stolen cellphones and laptops and sent equipment to government officials in Pakistan. The book also refers to Imran Awan as a "mole."In an interview with the Epoch Times in July of that year, he referred to Awan as "basically an attempted murderer, an extortionist, a blackmail artist, a con man."Awan and the family members and friend who worked with him on Capitol Hill are suing Rosiak, The Daily Caller and Salem Media Group, the owner of Rosiak's book publisher, Regnery, for defamation and unjust enrichment. The case is currently pending in court.This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
A leading Saudi women’s rights activist who’s been imprisoned for 2 1/2 years and drawn attention to the kingdom’s hard limits on dissent will be tried by a court established to oversee terrorism cases, her family said Wednesday. The referral of Loujain al-Hathloul's case to the Specialized Criminal Court is a setback for efforts to push for her swift release and means she will face charges related to terrorism and national security. According to a 53-page report released earlier this year by Amnesty International, the court has been used as “a weapon of repression” to imprison peaceful critics, activists, journalists, clerics and others.
The United States will temporarily require visitors from Iran, Myanmar and a number of African nations to pay up to $15,000 in visa bonds in a new hardline immigration measure enacted late in Donald Trump's presidency.
This was first published in The Telegraph's Brexit Bulletin newsletter. For more analysis from The Telegraph's unrivalled Brexit team, sign up to the Brexit Bulletin here and we'll post it to your inbox every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The European Research Group (ERG) of Conservative MPs – which did so much last year to oppose Theresa May's Brexit deal and so ushered in the premiership of Boris Johnson – has maintained a Trappist vow of silence while the Brexit talks have been ongoing. The only eruption was over the Internal Markets Bill, which breaks the law in a "specific and limited way" if a trade agreement is not agreed with the European Union by the end of next month. I texted several well-known members of the group last night to ask what the ERG was planning next. If I had done that 18 months ago, my phone would have been pinging with splenetic invective about Mrs May's handling of the Brexit talks. But this time – not a peep. Then a source got in touch. The truth is that the ERG is biding its time as they know there will almost certainly have to be a vote on the new deal before it comes into force, they said. Ministers can ratify any UK-EU treaty (which is what the final agreement would be) under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 (CRAG), which requires it to be laid before Parliament. It then automatically becomes law if MPs don’t vote against it within 21 days of the date of laying. However, the Government is under no obligation to call a vote on any treaty – it removed its previous commitment to hold a vote on the final UK-EU treaty from the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020, which was passed in January.
Millions of Americans took to the skies and the highways ahead of Thanksgiving at the risk of pouring gasoline on the coronavirus fire, disregarding increasingly dire warnings that they stay home and limit their holiday gatherings to members of their own household. While the number of Americans traveling by air over the past several days was down dramatically from the same time last year, many pressed ahead with their holiday plans amid skyrocketing deaths, hospitalizations and confirmed infections across the U.S.
Andy Larsen is a sports writer, but with so many games scratched during the pandemic he has spent a lot of time digging into coronavirus data and its sobering implications. Then on Monday, while he was sorting his spare change — some from a childhood piggy bank shaped like SpongeBob SquarePants — it struck him: Other people in Utah could use the money more than he could. It kept snowballing as Utah Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox retweeted it, calling the effort “very cool.”
Swiss federal police said Wednesday a woman suspected of carrying out a knife attack that injured two other women and is being investigated as possible terrorism had formed a relationship online with a jihadi in Syria, and had attempted to travel there. The 28-year-old woman, a Swiss citizen, was arrested after Tuesday's attack in a department store in the southern city of Lugano. Fedpol, as the police agency is known, said investigations in 2017 revealed that the woman had been blocked that year by Turkish authorities while trying to cross Turkey's border to enter Syria.
Australian-British academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert has been freed in Iran after more than two years in jail for spying, in what the Islamic republic said Wednesday was a swap for three Iranian prisoners.
Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip has cost the seaside territory as much as $16.7 billion in economic losses and sent poverty and unemployment skyrocketing, a U.N. report said Wednesday, as it called on Israel to lift the closure. The report by the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development echoed calls by numerous international bodies over the years criticizing the blockade. Israel imposed the blockade in 2007 after Hamas, an Islamic militant group that opposes Israel’s existence, violently seized control of Gaza from the forces of the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority.
Unemployment is set to rise to its highest level since the financial crisis by the middle of 2021, official forecasters have predicted. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) said 2.6 million people, or 7.5 per cent of the workforce, would be out of work by the middle of next year if Tier 2 or 3 restrictions remain until the vaccine. The forecaster suggested the rate could be as high as 11 per cent if vaccines are not effective and the Government’s test and trace system does not work as planned. The worst of the impact of the pandemic had fallen on hospitality, transport, and entertainment, while financial services, energy, and agriculture were “spared the worst economic consequences,” it OBR said. The latest dire set of statistics came as Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, announced more than £4bn of support measures to target joblessness. Measures include an extension to the Government’s apprenticeship hiring incentive that pays employers £2,000 for every new apprentice they take on, £2.9billion for a “Restart” scheme to help the long-term unemployed and £1.4billion for Job Centres. For those in work, the national living wage will increase by 2.2 per cent to £8.91 an hour and the minimum wage will also rise. Mr Sunak said that the OBR’s modelling predicted unemployment would fall in every year after 2021, reaching 4.4 per cent by the end of 2024. The rate currently stands at 4.8 per cent, its highest level since 2016. Unemployment peaked at 8.5 per cent during the financial crisis, in the third quarter of 2011. The previous highest peak was 10.7 per cent at the end of 1992, following the Black Wednesday crash. Speaking in the House of Commons on Wednesday, the Chancellor noted that the UK’s rate was lower than Italy, France, Spain, Canada and the United States, but warned: “We cannot protect every job.” Mr Sunak said the Government had taken “extraordinary measures to protect people’s jobs and incomes,” adding: “It is clear those measures are making a difference”. The OBR also warned that employment would suffer further in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The forecaster added another 0.8 per cent to its unemployment forecast if no deal is reached before the end of the transition period, bringing the total to 8.3 per cent by the third quarter of 2021. Mr Sunak’s latest measures to target unemployment were welcomed by industry leaders. Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "Measures to help people return to work at this challenging time will help limit long-term unemployment, but Government must waste no time in putting these plans into action. "Government and business will need to work together to re-train and re-skill the UK workforce. Investment in the Kickstart Scheme, in which Chambers are playing a leading role, and the launch of the Restart scheme, will be critical in helping to achieve that. "With an uncertain winter ahead, the Government will need to maintain an open mind on providing further support to businesses struggling to survive." Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the Confederation of British Industry, said stark forecasts pointed to "tough times ahead", adding: "The Chancellor has made some bold autumn decisions to power a spring recovery.” But Anneliese Dodds, the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, accused Mr Sunak of taking a “sledgehammer” to consumer confidence. Job search support “ultimately only works if sufficient new jobs actually exist,” she said. Labour called for “ambitious action to boost our economy and to support our businesses,” including in the green sector.
US officials believe the Nord Stream 2 pipeline connecting Russia to northern Germany is an irresponsible reward for President Vladimir Putin.
President-elect Joe Biden will not receive pressure from his European counterparts to rush back into the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, The Wall Street Journal reports.Officials from France, Germany, and the United Kingdom told the Journal that their countries are still supportive of the deal, but they don't think it will be possible or even desirable to achieve a full return to the agreement before Iran's presidential elections in June. Like several analysts, they think it's better to wait and see how things unfold before giving up any leverage.Diplomats in Europe reportedly believe Iran will elect a more hard-line president than the comparatively moderate incumbent, Hassan Rouhani. If Biden successfully hurries the U.S. back into the deal while Rouhani remains in office, it could lead to his successor quickly reversing it on Tehran's end, making it much more difficult to reach a broader agreement that would prompt Iran to reverse its expanded nuclear activities.What Europe does seem to want is for the Biden administration to ease the tensions and sanctions that have defined President Trump's relationship with Iran and offer Tehran "some tangible economic benefits" before the vote, theoretically creating incentive for the next government to negotiate. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.More stories from theweek.com Our parents warned us the internet would break our brains. It broke theirs instead. In pre-Thanksgiving address, Biden urges Americans not to 'surrender to the fatigue' Trump's staffers are reportedly now avoiding him to stay out of legal jeopardy
Israeli forces Wednesday shot and killed a Palestinian motorist who police say tried to carry out a car-ramming attack at a West Bank checkpoint. In a statement, police said the man presented false documents at the checkpoint, and when he was questioned about them, sped his car toward an Israeli soldier. Police said that forces opened fire and stopped the man, who was later pronounced dead at a Jerusalem hospital.
Cleaning wipes are harder to find on store shelves, and businesses are reassuring customers with stepped up sanitation measures. In New York, the subway system is shut down nightly for disinfecting. “It’s important to clean surfaces, but not to obsess about it too much in a way that can be unhealthy,” said Dr. John Brooks, chief medical officer for the COVID-19 response at the U.S. Centers for Disease and Control.
Allies of Joe Biden have made clear that he expects to see a Brexit trade deal concluded swiftly as he seeks to rebuild a "coalition of the West" to respond to the growing spectre of China. The Telegraph understands that John Kerry, who has been appointed as Mr Biden's climate envoy, has signalled privately that the new administration wants to see a "positive outcome" from the talks. It suggests Mr Biden's incoming administration is ratcheting up the pressure on Boris Johnson to strike an agreement as UK and EU officials seek a compromise on the issues of fishing rights and "level playing field" guarantees for business. While both sides believe a deal could be struck as early as next week, the UK continues to insist it is prepared to walk away if Brussels fails to soften its red lines. However, in an intervention on Tuesday Mr Biden reiterated that he did not want to see a "guarded border" on the island of Ireland as a result of no deal. The Government's controversial Internal Market Bill has no deal clauses related to Northern Ireland overriding the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, which prevents the return of a hard border on the island. A trade deal with Brussels would remove the need for the clauses, which break international law. Although Mr Johnson has reassured the president-elect that he is committed to preventing a hard border, Mr Biden told reporters that "the idea of having a border north and south once again being closed is just not right, we've just got to keep the border open".
When it filed for bankruptcy last year, Purdue Pharma agreed to an innovative plan: It would make $200 million available immediately to help those those harmed by its signature painkiller, OxyContin, and ease the effects of the opioid crisis. “The money is just sitting in Purdue’s bank account collecting dust,” said Ed Neiger, a lawyer representing opioid victims. It's not Purdue that is holding up the money.
A big Biden family Thanksgiving is off the table for President-elect Joe Biden because of the pandemic. In remarks billed as a Thanksgiving address to the nation, the Democrat urged Americans to “hang on” and not “surrender to the fatigue” after months of coping with the virus. Biden said he knows how hard it is to give up family traditions but that it’s very important this year given the spike in virus cases, averaging about 160,000 a day.
The White House is considering rescinding entry bans for most non-US citizens who recently were in Brazil, Britain, Ireland and 26 other European countries, five US and airline officials told Reuters. The Trump administration imposed the bans in a bid to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic. It is not considering lifting separate entry bans on most non-US citizens who have recently been in China or Iran, the officials said. The plan has won the backing of White House coronavirus task-force members, public health and other federal agencies, the people briefed on the matter said, but President Donald Trump has not made a final decision and the timing remains uncertain. The White House, Department of Homeland Security and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not comment. Many administration officials argue the restrictions no longer make sense given that most countries around the world are not subject to the entry ban. They contend lifting the restrictions would be a boost to struggling U.S. airlines, which have seen international travel fall by 70 per cent, according to airline industry data. Mr Trump may still opt not to lift the restrictions, given the high number of coronavirus infections in Europe. One potential hurdle is the fact that European countries are not likely to immediately allow most Americans to resume visits, officials said. The European countries that are subject to the US entry restrictions include the 26 members of the Schengen area that allow travel across open borders.
Congress is bracing for President-elect Joe Biden to move beyond the Trump administration’s state-by-state approach to the COVID-19 crisis and build out a national strategy to fight the pandemic and distribute the eventual vaccine. The incoming administration’s approach reflects Democrats’ belief that a more comprehensive plan, some of it outlined in the House’s $2 trillion coronavirus aid bill, is needed to get the pandemic under control. With the nation on edge but a vaccine in sight, the complicated logistics of vaccinating hundreds of millions of Americans raise the stakes on the major undertaking.
Iran freed jailed British-Australian academic Kylie Moore-Gilbert on Wednesday after more than two years imprisonment on contested spying charges, in an exchange for three Iranian prisoners held abroad, Iranian media reported. Melbourne University lecturer Dr Moore-Gilbert was held for 804 days after being arrested in September 2018. In a secret trial, she was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on spying charges that the Australian government maintains were politically motivated. "An Iranian businessman and two Iranian citizens who were detained abroad on baseless charges were exchanged for a dual national spy named Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who worked for the Zionist regime," said a statement on the website of the Young Journalist Club, a news outlet affiliated to Iranian state television. Who facilitated the exchange was not immediately clear but the case is likely to reinvigorate debate over Iran’s use of prisoners as bargaining chips. Footage purporting to show the exchange was broadcast on state television. It shows Dr Moore-Gilbert, 33, wearing a grey headscarf and briefly pulling down a surgical mask to show her face. Iranian flags are draped on the three men apparently exchanged, one of whom is a wheelchair-bound double amputee. Telegram channels affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) identified the men as Saeed Moradi, Mohammad Khazaei and Masoud Sedaghat Zadeh, according to a tweet by New York Times correspondent Farnaz Fassihi. Two of them had apparently been jailed for terrorism in Thailand over an attempted bomb plot against the Israeli ambassador in 2012.
“Donald Trump defeated Donald Trump.”
“The victory was a vindication of a style of American politics that many feared was gone forever.”
“Mr. Biden’s victory — and Mr. Trump’s defeat — is a testament to the resilience of American democracy.”
“Trump’s 2020 reelection bid was doomed by his boorish behavior. Time and again, he refused to act like a president.”
“Biden took the opportunity to unite the Democratic Party.”