Impact of Trump-orchestrated Middle East peace deals hits new high

President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, in the East Room of the White House to unveil details of the Trump administration’s Middle East Peace Plan. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

The Middle East peace agreements the Trump administration brokered between Arab nations and Israel were accomplished despite the doubts by the “deep state” in Washington.

So far, Morocco, Bahrain, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates have reached agreements to normalize relations with Israel.

But now there’s a new development that shows how right the Trump administration was to abandon the policy of appeasing the Palestinians and push forward with Arab peace proposals regardless of the opposition of Palestinian factions.

The Middle East Media Research Institute reported that because of the peace deals, Palestinian officials want to restart the negotiations with Israel and renew security and civilian coordination.

Also, they have ceased their attacks on the Arab countries that have normalized relations with Israel, the MEMRI said.

MEMRI said the PA’s opposition to negotiations with Israel produced a “deep political and economic crisis” that led to the suspension of American aid, the termination of the Oslo Accords and all ties with Israel. Funding has been so tight the PA’s employees have not been getting full pay.

“The Arab media, and especially the Palestinian media, directed harsh criticism at the PA, accusing it of lacking political vision and of taking a hardline stance that is ineffective and undermines the wellbeing of its citizens. It appears that the election of Biden provided the PA with a way out of the crisis and an opportunity to renew the contacts with Israel.”

MEMRI said the “renewal of the civilian coordination with Israel enabled the PA to receive the tax revenues collected by Israel on its behalf, and for the time being Israel has apparently stopped deducting from these revenues the cost of the stipends paid by the PA to terrorists and their families. At the same time, the PA is seeking a way to continue paying these stipends while avoiding Israeli and American sanctions. So far, it seems to be eying administrative measures aimed at disguising the payments and deceiving Israel and the West, who oppose them.”

The affirmation that PA leadership now is ready to renew talks with Israel came right after the U.S. presidential election.

“In statements on November 4, 2020, one day after the election, PA President Mahmoud ‘Abbas and Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh stressed the Palestinian leadership’s willingness to renew negotiations based on international law and under the auspices of the UN,” the report said.

A short time later, PA Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said “the state of Palestine is willing to renew its contacts with the new U.S. administration, based on the initial contacts that have been recently made with it, and based on the stated position of the president- and vice president-elect.”

And PA officials have stopped criticizing the nations that have made peace deals.

The criticism, the report said, likely was isolating the PA in the Arab world.

“This is not to say that the PA leadership has stopped expressing opposition to the agreements with Israel, but it is doing so through quiet diplomatic channels,” the report said.

And the PA has renewed coordination with Israel on several issues, it said.

The report noted several issues remain unresolved, such as taxes,

President Trump has been nominated for a Nobel prize based on his work on the agreements.

When the fourth deal came through, he said: “Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!”

WND columnist Michael Brown said America is watching “history unfold before our eyes.”

“And it is America that is brokering these deals with Israel and these Muslim nations,” he pointed out.

“On one of my recent trips to Israel, I was struck by the degree of enthusiastic support for Trump from the man on the street, among both the religious to the irreligious. (There are plenty of both in Israel!),” he wrote. “In the rough and tumble world of Israeli politics, Trump’s worst qualities hardly raise a concern. Instead, for them, they saw results, tangible results. And some of those results were the difference between life and death.”

Content created by the WND News Center is available for re-publication without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@wndnewscenter.org.

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The post Impact of Trump-orchestrated Middle East peace deals hits new high appeared first on WND.



Source: WND Politics, Impact of Trump-orchestrated Middle East peace deals hits new high

VIDEO: Nashville tattoo shop destroyed in Christmas Day bombing – WZTV

  1. VIDEO: Nashville tattoo shop destroyed in Christmas Day bombing  WZTV
  2. Nashville Police Officer on Responding to Explosion  Bloomberg Quicktake: Now
  3. US officials: Suspect in Nashville explosion died in blast  WBRZ
  4. Metro Nashville Police Department shares video of Christmas morning explosion  WJHL-TV News Channel 11
  5. Anthony Quinn Warner identified as Nashville bomber  CNN
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, VIDEO: Nashville tattoo shop destroyed in Christmas Day bombing – WZTV

'908 Coalition' of bipartisan, bicameral lawmakers tell Trump to 'sign relief package or veto it immediately'

A group of bipartisan and bicameral lawmakers, dubbing themselves the “908 Coalition,” signed a public letter on Sunday, urging President Donald Trump to sign a much-needed COVID-19 emergency relief package or “veto it immediately.”

Source: Fox News, ‘908 Coalition’ of bipartisan, bicameral lawmakers tell Trump to ‘sign relief package or veto it immediately’

"Their Careers Are Over": Cornell Student Reps Targeted For Opposing Efforts To Defund/Disarm Campus Cops

“Their Careers Are Over”: Cornell Student Reps Targeted For Opposing Efforts To Defund/Disarm Campus Cops

Authored by Jonathan Turley,

We have been discussing student editors and student government leaders using their positions to retaliate against the exercise of free speech by other students with the support of faculty. This trend is hardly surprising as journalism deans call for censorship and journalism professors call for the rejection of neutrality in the media. Universities have generally remained passive as students and faculty harass and punish those with opposing views.  The latest such example was detailed in a column on the site College Fix on how students at Cornell University moved to oust student representatives who voted against disarming and defunding campus police.

According to the report, students failed to pass a resolution calling for the defunding and disarming of the Cornell Police Department. After the measure failed, student leaders called for the removal of opposing leaders from committees or the student government as a whole.

Uchenna Chukwukere, the Student Assembly vice president of finance declared

“These 15 student assembly members watched us pour out our traumas and fears on the floor practically begging them to vote no, and finally send a message to the university that we can no longer allow these oppressive institutions to keep us down. Many of these assembly members are white-cis-het men and women who quite literally laughed and danced in our faces when the resolution failed…Their faces are all over social media…We will never forget… their campus careers are over… We must disarm, defund, and disband the Cornell University Police Department.”

Eventually, after a series of failed votes, the student organizers were able to pass Resolution 30, calling to disarm campus police by two votes.

Student Dakota Johnson, a Marine veteran, recounted a confrontation with a government leader where he was allegedly told that:

“As a white man, you cannot be the arbiter of what is and isn’t racist and who is a good or bad person. … You will never be the arbiter because you are a white man.”

The question is the responsibility of universities when students use their positions to deny the free speech of other students or punish those who hold opposing views. There has been a conspicuous silence from faculty ad administrators as both free speech and academic freedom has been attacked in recent years. It is a disgraceful failure to protect the foundational values for academia. Many are afraid of being the next to be targeted by campaigns like those directed against the students at Cornell.  This silence has continued even as faculty are hounded for their views or writings.  We have been discussing these cases across the country including a similar effort to oust a leading economist from the University of Chicago as well as an effort at Harvard targeting a leading academic.  It is part of a wave of intolerance sweeping over our colleges and our newsrooms — a campaign that will devour its own in the loss of academic freedoms and free speech.

Even if we will not protect our colleagues, we have a duty to protect the students who come to our campuses to learn and develop their own views and values. That includes protecting them from being formally punished or ousted for their viewpoints. If we do not fight for them and their rights, we have become entirely untethered from any principle other than our personal advancement and safety.

Tyler Durden
Sun, 12/27/2020 – 18:55

Source: Zero Hedge, “Their Careers Are Over”: Cornell Student Reps Targeted For Opposing Efforts To Defund/Disarm Campus Cops

UK’s Raab says pursuing trade deals with Australia, U.S., Indo-Pacific region

December 27, 2020

(Reuters) – With Britain and the European Union having clinched a deal, the United Kingdom is now pursuing trade deals with Australia, the United States and countries in the Indo-Pacific region, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab wrote in The Telegraph late on Sunday.

“We are pursuing trade deals from Australia to the U.S. and around the world – particularly in the Indo-Pacific region, a huge growth market for the future,” Raab wrote in the newspaper https://bit.ly/3aKYeyM.

“In January, the Prime Minister will visit India to boost our economic ties with the world’s biggest democracy, and will join Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India’s Republic Day celebrations,” he added.

Chinese banks to feel fund-raising pain as investors fear bad loans

December 27, 2020

By Ryan Woo, Cheng Leng and Zhang Yan

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinese banks are expected to face headwinds raising funds next year as profit-conscious investors cling to the sidelines, expecting a wave of bad loans to hammer the sector and erode already slimming margins.

The sector is ending its worst annual performance in years after putting aside record provisions due to COVID-19 while Beijing urged banks to sacrifice profits to help the economy.

Next year as lenders end pandemic-related loan forbearance – which let borrowers suspend repayments or pay less in interest – banks must bolster their capital against loans previously not classified as nonperforming.

Big and medium-sized lenders also need to improve their capital adequacy as demanded by global and domestic watchdogs.

China’s banks raised 1.2 trillion yuan ($18 billion) in the first 11 months of the year, off the pace of 1.5 trillion yuan for all of 2019, data from Fitch Ratings shows.

The 26 listed banks may need to replenish at least 1.25 trillion yuan of capital in 2021, Shenzhen-based brokerage Guosheng Securities estimates.

“The pressure of capital-raising for the whole banking industry is still pretty big,” said Vivian Xue, Fitch’s director of Asia-Pacific financial institutions. “China’s largest banks will need to raise substantial capital or loss-absorbing debt over the next few years.”

The four largest – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of China – face a shortfall in this loss-absorbing debt of 4.7 trillion yuan by the end of 2024 to meet requirements set by the Basel-based Financial Stability Board, according to Fitch.

In the scenario, Fitch assumes risk-weighted assets including loans will grow 8% annually.

The Group of 20 big economies adopted “total loss-absorbing capacity” in 2015 as a standard to help ensure the world’s largest financial institutions have the resources for any restructuring while minimising support from public funds.

SMALLER BANKS

But China’s more than 4,000 smaller and unlisted banks have more acute funding needs, analysts say, despite 200 billion yuan of local government special bonds this year aimed at helping recapitalise regional banks.

“Smaller banks will have a bigger gap,” said analyst Wang Jian at Guosen Securities.

Fund-raising tools include tier-two bonds, perpetual bonds for bigger banks, public share offerings, strategic capital injections and government-led investments for smaller lenders.

Despite the array of options, banks face challenges in gaining investors’ interest.

“Small banks will have trouble winning recognition from investors,” said analyst Wang Yifeng at Everbright Securities.

Investors have been lukewarm to bank IPOs due to their poor share performance, said Dai Zhifeng, an analyst with Zhongtai Securities.

Mainland banking shares have fallen 6.5% this year, even as China’s broader market surged 22%.

Concern about credit risks at smaller lenders, following the seizure of Baoshang Bank, has also chilled confidence in capital instruments issued by regional banks, Dai said.

On the retail end of fund-raising, mainly via deposit products, big lenders will be favoured over regional ones.

Urban and rural commercial banks will have a harder time attracting deposits due to a weak client base and regulatory crackdowns on high-yield deposits.

($1 = 6.5302 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Cheng Leng, Zhang Yan and Ryan Woo; Editing by William Mallard)

Equity Futures Surge Off Weak Open After Trump Tweet, Gold Gains

Equity Futures Surge Off Weak Open After Trump Tweet, Gold Gains

After opening down around 150 points, Dow futures went panic-bid after President Trump tweeted “Good news on Covid Relief Bill. Information to follow! “

We also note this headline printed about 30 mins before the futures open…

  • *ASTRAZENECA CEO: COVID VACCINE EFFECTIVE AGAINST NEW STRAIN

But futures opened down hard before Trump’s tweet lifted them 250 points amid negligible liquidity to take out Thursday’s highs…

We suspect now those stops are run, we retest the lows as the algos exhausted themselves on the nothingburger tweet since there is nothing coming aside from the $2,000 bill amendment vote that Republicans have (in enough numbers) been negative about.

We do note that gold ran higher on the tweet…

…and the dollar is down a smidge…

Tyler Durden
Sun, 12/27/2020 – 18:44

Source: Zero Hedge, Equity Futures Surge Off Weak Open After Trump Tweet, Gold Gains

Trump to hold rally in Georgia ahead of Senate runoffs | TheHill – The Hill

  1. Trump to hold rally in Georgia ahead of Senate runoffs | TheHill  The Hill
  2. Warnock and Loeffler work to consolidate voters for runoff  Yahoo News
  3. Georgia Senate Candidates rake in recordbreaking fundraising hauls  CBS News
  4. Christianity is on the ballot in the Georgia Senate runoff between Warnock and Loeffler  USA TODAY
  5. Distinguished pols: Three Democrats make the most of a Christmas gift  The Washington Post
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Trump to hold rally in Georgia ahead of Senate runoffs | TheHill – The Hill

Reacting to the Clippers' blowout loss to Luka Doncic & the Mavericks | SportsCenter – ESPN

  1. Reacting to the Clippers’ blowout loss to Luka Doncic & the Mavericks | SportsCenter  ESPN
  2. Mavericks hand Clippers worst loss in franchise history behind an NBA-record 50-point first-half margin  Yahoo Sports
  3. MAVERICKS at CLIPPERS | FULL GAME HIGHLIGHTS | December 27, 2020  NBA
  4. Dallas Mavericks set record for largest halftime lead by putting LA Clippers in 50-point hole  ESPN
  5. People React After Dallas Mavericks Set NBA Record for Largest Halftime Lead Against Clippers  Yahoo Entertainment
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Reacting to the Clippers’ blowout loss to Luka Doncic & the Mavericks | SportsCenter – ESPN

Alibaba shares in Hong Kong drop; other Asia-Pacific markets edge higher – CNBC

  1. Alibaba shares in Hong Kong drop; other Asia-Pacific markets edge higher  CNBC
  2. China Tells Ant to Return to Its Payment Roots, Places Curbs  Bloomberg
  3. China Tells Ant to Return to Payments Services Origins  Bloomberg Markets and Finance
  4. A $280 Billion Unicorn Just Had its Legs Broken  Bloomberg
  5. Alibaba Group Upsizes Share Repurchase Program to US$10 Billion  Business Wire
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Alibaba shares in Hong Kong drop; other Asia-Pacific markets edge higher – CNBC

Forensic investigators combing Nashville in wake of Christmas morning bombing

Forensic investigators descended on Nashville to collect evidence following a Christmas Day explosion. Executive director of the National Forensic Science Technology Center and director of the Global Forensic and Justice Center at Florida International University Kevin Lothridge joins CBSN to discuss what they would be looking for and how it would help the investigation.

Source: CBS, Forensic investigators combing Nashville in wake of Christmas morning bombing

Senate runoff exposes deep-seated issues surrounding race and religion in Georgia

Georgia’s January 5 Senate runoff will decide which party controls the Senate for the first two years under the incoming Biden administration. As we get closer to the final day of voting, the election has exposed some deep-seated issues surrounding race and religion within Georgia’s Christian population. Christian Science Monitor correspondent Patrik Jonsson joins CBSN to discuss the impact the race is having on religious observers across the state.

Source: CBS, Senate runoff exposes deep-seated issues surrounding race and religion in Georgia

At the last minute, Trump 'changed his mind' about authorizing relief for millions of Americans in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a source says

On Christmas Eve, staff at Mar-a-Lago made preparations for President Donald Trump to sign the Covid-19 relief package and government funding bill, a holiday gift of relief to millions of Americans suffering in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.



Source: CNN, At the last minute, Trump ‘changed his mind’ about authorizing relief for millions of Americans in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a source says

Trump's plans to sign relief bill on Christmas Eve were scrapped last minute – CNN

  1. Trump’s plans to sign relief bill on Christmas Eve were scrapped last minute  CNN
  2. Sen. Toomey says need for coronavirus relief outweighs bill’s problems: ‘Time is running out’  Fox News
  3. Countdown to shutdown: Here’s what happens if Trump doesn’t enact the stimulus law by midnight Monday  The Washington Post
  4. Unemployment benefits expire for millions  Yahoo News
  5. GOP lawmaker asks Trump to sign Covid-19 relief bill  CNN
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Trump’s plans to sign relief bill on Christmas Eve were scrapped last minute – CNN

Nashville bombing suspect killed in explosion: FBI – ABC News

  1. Nashville bombing suspect killed in explosion: FBI  ABC News
  2. Anthony Quinn Warner identified as Nashville bomber  CNN
  3. AT&T service issues remain Sunday in Alabama following Nashville explosion  AL.com
  4. Knoxville native among six Nashville officers recognized for evacuating people before RV explosion on Christmas Day  WKRN News 2
  5. The Latest: AT&T aims to fully restore service Sunday night  Yahoo News
  6. View Full Coverage on Google News



Source: Google News, Nashville bombing suspect killed in explosion: FBI – ABC News