Top News Stories For Today – Dec 6, 2017
US will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
On Wednesday, President Trump will announce that US will formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a campaign promise he made to evangelical Christians and pro-Israel supporters. He also plans on moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but will sign a national security waiver to keep the embassy where it is for the next six months, White House officials said.
Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and other Arab leaders on Tuesday, telling them of his decision, and he was told by several, including Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, that the move will anger Muslims around the world and could derail the already shaky peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The New York Times
Time announces person of the year
Time magazine has named “The Silence Breakers,” representing people who came forward to report sexual misconduct, as its Person of the Year on today. It’s a recognition of the cultural reckoning this year and the #MeToo movement, which represents the people, mostly women, who have fueled a worldwide discussion about sexual harassment and assault.
President Trump was the runner-up for Person of the Year. Chinese President Xi Jinping came in third. Last year Time awarded Person of the Year to Trump, who had just won the election. Time called him the “President of the Divided States of America.” The president tweeted last month that he was “probably” going to be given the title, adding that he “took a pass” because he would have had to agree to an interview and a photo shoot. Time called that account false. CNN
Russia banned from winter Olympic
Russia has been banned from the 2018 Winter Olympics. The International Olympic Committee made the decision after it determined that the Russians have engaged in state-sponsored doping. It’s the harshest punishment the IOC’s ever handed out to a participating nation.
Individual Russian athletes can participate in the upcoming Games in South Korea, but they have to prove that they’re clean, and they’ll have to compete under the title “Olympic Athlete from Russia.” If they win medals, it’ll be the Olympic — and not the Russian — anthem that will play at the ceremony. Some Russian officials have called for a total boycott of the Games. CNN
Jihadist plot to kill British PM thwarted
Two men appeared in court Wednesday in London on terror charges over an alleged plot to kill British Prime Minister Theresa May, according to British government officials. Officials say the men conspired to launch a suicide-knife attack on Downing Street, the official home of the Prime Minister. Britain’s domestic intelligence service MI5, Andrew Parker, briefed and informed the cabinet that his service had thwarted nine terrorist attacks this year.
Both of the conspirators were arrested last week in London and Birmingham. They are Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, and Mohammed Aqib Imran, 21. According to officials, both men were plotting a bomb assault on the security gates protecting the entrance of Downing Street. Rahman then allegedly planned to storm Number Ten, wearing a suicide vest and using pepper spray and a knife, in an effort to kill Theresa May. VOA
Alabama Senate race getting intense
The special election to fill Alabama’s Senate seat is less than a week away, and things are getting pretty intense. Steve Bannon came to town to campaign for GOP candidate Roy Moore, and he brought the fire against the whole GOP establishment. Democratic candidate Doug Jones focused on the sexual assault and harassment allegations against Moore, saying men who do things like that deserve to be in jail, not the US Senate. And Jones got an unexpected boost from an unlikely ally, Sen. Jeff Flake. The Arizona Republican tweeted out a photo of a $100 check addressed to Jones with the caption “Country over Party.”
Meantime, CNN’s Poppy Harlow told Roy Moore spokeswoman Janet Porter to “leave my child out of this, after Porter brought up the news anchor’s unborn child — twice — during an interview while talking about Moore’s stand against abortion. CNN
Rep. John Conyers retires after sexual harassment scandal
The House’s longest-serving member, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), announced that he would retire Tuesday following reports that he inappropriately touched female staffers and that he used taxpayer money to settle a sexual harassment and wrongful dismissal complaint in 2015.
Conyers, 88, endorsed his son, John Conyers III, to replace him. Conyers has denied all allegations and when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called on him to resign last week, his lawyer fired back that she “did not elect the congressman and she sure as hell won’t tell the congressman to leave.” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) accepted Conyers’ resignation Tuesday afternoon. The Detroit News, The Week
Santa Ana winds are expected to pick back up today, making it that much harder to fight the wildfires that are torching Southern California. More than 65,000 acres have burned this week, fueled by strong winds and dry conditions.
There are at least five blazes burning right now, adding to a devastating year in California for wildfires. The largest blaze is the Thomas Fire, tearing through Ventura County, just north of Los Angeles. Almost 200,000 people have been evacuated across the region. CNN
Toxic air puts 17M babies’ brains and lungs at risk
About 17 million babies worldwide live in areas where outdoor air pollution is six times the recommended limit, and their brain development is at risk, the UN children’s agency (UNICEF) said on Wednesday. The majority of these babies — more than 12 million — are in South Asia, it said, in a study of children under one-year-old, using satellite imagery to identify worst-affected regions.
Air pollution is closely associated with asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and other respiratory infections, it said. Scientific findings about the links with brain development are not yet conclusive, but rapidly growing evidence is definitely reason for concern, UNICEF’s Nocholas Rees said. Brain development in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life is critical for their learning, growth and for them “being able to do everything that they want and aspire to in life,” he said. VOA
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