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Cramm for 1/29/20
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

Trump unveiled his Mideast peace plan. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

For forever, there’s been debate over what parts of Israel belong to whom. Palestinians currently have the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, but Hamas (which has been labelled a terrorist group) has attacked Israel for years - leading to lots of violence and death on both sides. In retaliation, Israel started building settlements in Palestinian territories - a move that’s been criticized by much of the world. Scene, set. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

ICYDK, for months, Jared Kushner (Prez Trump’s son-in-law) has been working on a Mideast peace plan. That plan was unveiled yesterday by Trump and Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. We’ll fill you in. The plan gives Israel nearly full control of Jerusalem and lets it seize about 30% of the West Bank. Palestinians would get the other 70% - plus the Gaza Strip and a capital in East Jerusalem. Oh, and the deal calls for $50 billion in investments in the Palestinian economy. 

 

THE REACTION. 

Kushner says this is a “big opportunity” for Palestinians - while Trump is calling this a “win-win.” Palestinian leaders disagree. And have already shaken their heads to the plan. All of this comes just after Trump was impeached and Netanyahu was indicted over alleged corruption and bribery - leading some to see this plan as a distraction. 

 

SO…?

So far, it doesn’t look like Palestinians are on board with this plan. TBD on what comes next. 


THE ACTION

POLITICS: Yesterday, the Senate wrapped up opening arguments in Trump’s impeachment trial, with Trump’s defense team arguing that his actions are not impeachable. Now, everyone’s holding their breath for Friday, when the Senate will debate on whether to call witnesses. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly told lawmakers he doesn’t have the votes to block witness testimony, but it’s still not entirely clear. Suspense, thick. In other news, Prez Trump’s expected to sign off on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement today - aka Trump’s replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement. 

 

HEALTH: The Wuhan coronavirus has now infected over 6,000 people, with the death toll currently at 132. Multiple countries are now airlifting their citizens out of Wuhan, which is under lockdown - including the US, which evacuated 240 Americans. British Airways is halting all flights to and from China, with other airlines considering doing the same. No word yet on whether the US will follow. Meanwhile, 50 US service members have now been diagnosed with concussions and traumatic brain injuries following Iran’s missile attack on US forces in Iraq a couple weeks ago. That’s an increase of 16 from just a few days ago. Stay tuned. 

 

WORLD: The US has Tibet on its mind. Reminder: Tibet is an internationally recognized autonomous region within China. In English: Tibet is a region inside China’s borders - but it’s self-governing. So yesterday, the US House of Reps said ‘let’s keep it that way’ and approved a bill that would update the 2002 Tibetan Policy Act and make it clear that the succession of Tibetan Buddhist leaders is entirely up to the Tibetan Buddhist community. It also lets the US slap sanctions on China if the country tried to meddle. No word yet on this from China. Speaking of which, the UK is nodding its head to letting Huawei - a Chinese telecom biz - help it build its 5G network. This comes after the US attempted to warn the UK away from Huawei. 


WHAT TO KNOW

A name tag:” what Brad Pitt wore to the Oscars luncheon. Brad who?


SAY WHAT?

“People see even fonts as liberal or conservative” - the results of a new study. That’s unfontunate. 

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