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Israel’s Netanyahu, Gantz present unity govt, hail crisis’ end

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Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
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Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and his former rival Benny Gantz hailed the end of an unprecedented one-and-a-half-year political crisis on Sunday 17th May, 2020 as they presented their long-awaited unity government.

“This is an important day for the state of Israel,” Netanyahu told the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, hours before he would be sworn in and start a fourth consecutive term in office, and one week before his corruption trial is set to start in a Jerusalem court.

On May 7, Israel’s top court rejected petitions against the indicted premier starting a fifth term in office, removing the final obstacle for the unity government and cementing the 70-year-old’s reputation as a political wizard, who survives against all odds.

“The time has come to extend the Israeli law over (Israel’s) settlements (in the occupied West Bank) and to start a new chapter in the history of Zionism,” Netanyahu said, a step that would bring peace with the Palestinians “closer” and be carried out with the approval of the U. S.

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Former military chief Gantz justified his “difficult decision” to break his vow never to serve with the indicted Netanyahu, saying the choice had been “either unity, or kind of civil war”.

The two men were greeted by loud heckling by opposition lawmakers, one of whom was ushered out of the Knesset by security.

The festive parliament session – delayed twice in the past week – followed three inconclusive elections in a year.

The last of those was on March 2 – after which neither right-wing Likud party leader Netanyahu, nor centrist Blue and White alliance leader Gantz had proved able to muster a majority for a governing coalition.

Gantz broke his long-time vow never to serve with the indicted Netanyahu.

He said Israel needed a stable government to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout and could not afford a fourth election.

Netanyahu, the longest-serving prime minister in Israeli history – will share the premiership on a rotating basis with Gantz.

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Netanyahu will be the first to head the biggest government in Israel’s history for a period of 18 months.

He told parliament that Gantz would replace him on Nov. 17, 2021.

While Netanyahu is premier, Gantz is to serve as “alternate prime minister” – a new, specially created title – and defence minister.

Netanyahu met members of his Likud almost up until the start of the Knesset session, completing the distribution of portfolios only shortly before.

His trial on charges of corruption is set to begin on Sunday, May 24. He has denied any wrongdoing.

Incoming opposition leader Yair Lapid slammed the unprecedented size – at least 34, and up to 36 ministers – of the government as wasteful, as more than a quarter of Israel’s working population had filed for unemployment benefits amid the coronavirus lockdown.

“You can place one minister next to the bed of each coronavirus patient,” he said cynically.

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Credit: dpa/NAN

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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Foreign

UK Suspends Flights With UAE, Burundi, Rwanda Over COVID-19 From Friday – Official

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Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Trade and Investment on trade ties
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The United Kingdom Official said it has added three more countries to its “red list,” banning flights to and from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Burundi and Rwanda over the spread of the Coronavirus from Friday.

The UK Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, disclosed on Friday.

“From Friday, we’re extending our travel ban with the UAE, Burundi and Rwanda all added to the UK’s red list,” Shapps wrote on Twitter.

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Under the new regulation, people who have been in or transited through the countries in question will be denied entry.

The ban does not apply to the UK, as well as Irish and third-country nationals with a residence permit, who must self-isolate for ten days at home.

To date, the island nation has confirmed more than 3. 7 million cases of the coronavirus, including 103,126 fatalities.

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NAN

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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We Hope Biden Will Learn Lesson From Trump’s trade War – China

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China hopes that the new U.S. administration of Joe Biden will “learn a lesson’’ from the crisis that bilateral relations suffered while Donald Trump was in office, an official said.

China also urged the U.S. to seek to improve ties with Beijing, the Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said on Tuesday.

“We hope that the new U.S. administration will try to learn a lesson from the drawbacks of the Trump administration’s policy; will consider China and the Sino-U.S. relations objectively and rationally as well as adhere to the policy of a positive and constructive dialogue.

“And will, together with China, promote the return of the Sino-U.S. relations to sustainable and healthy development,’’ Zhao said at a news briefing.

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Zhao pointed out that, over the recent years, the Trump administration made numerous mistakes in relations with China, as it considered Beijing to be a rival and took steps that undermined China’s interests.

He added that the two countries should strengthen their cooperation since they shared common interests and carried the responsibility for the maintenance of international peace.

“We have repeatedly said that China and the U.S. … share common interests and bear responsibility for the protection of the international peace, stability and promotion of the global development.’’

In March 2018, Trump launched a major trade war with China and accused it of currency manipulation and theft of U.S. intellectual property.

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In 2019, Trump ordered the U.S. Department of Commerce to ban U.S. companies from doing business with China’s tech giant, Huawei.

This step was followed by further sanctions put on other Chinese media companies.

The Trump administration also publicly questioned the legitimacy of the Chinese Communist Party and stepped up relations with Taiwan, violating the consensus reached by Washington and Beijing regarding the island. (Sputnik/NAN)

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Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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Twitter now interfering in U.S. elections – Trump

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United States of America, Donald Trump
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President Donald Trump has accused Twitter of interfering in the 2020 U.S. election scheduled for Nov. 3 after the microblogging service provider tagged his tweet as misleading.

Trump also lashed out at the company for “completely stifling free speech”, saying he would never let that happen as president.

“@Twitter is now interfering in the 2020 Presidential Election.

“They are saying my statement on Mail-In Ballots, which will lead to massive corruption and fraud, is incorrect, based on fact-checking by Fake News CNN and the Amazon Washington Post.

“Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!” he tweeted in response.

Earlier on Tuesday, Twitter labelled a post by Trump as misleading, and directed the president’s followers to a fact-check page on the post.

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In the tweet, Trump had claimed that voting by mail or mail-in ballots would lead to “substantial fraud”.

It read in part: “ There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent.

“Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out and fraudulently signed.”

Under the tweet came a circled exclamation mark followed by the message: “Get the facts about mail-in ballots” in a hyperlink.

The link takes readers to a Twitter fact-check page that debunks the claim.

“Trump falsely claims that mail-in ballots would lead to ‘a Rigged Election’.

“However, fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud,” the company said.

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The move came after Twitter turned down a widower’s request to delete “horrifying lies” told by the president in a tweet about the death of his wife.

Rather, the social media giant, which had promised to warn its users about false or misleading messages posted on the platform, resorted to the use of the label on Trump.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Trump’s claim on the mail-in ballots followed his attacks, over the weekend, on the use of the voting method by several states, including California.

The states say they will use that option in November to prevent a second wave of the coronavirus disease that has taken a heavy toll on the country.

Credit: NAN/ARU/SH

Author Profile

Abdulrahman Obaje
Abdulrahman Obaje
Prince Abdulrahman Obaje is a Media and ICT Consultant, Journalist, online marketer, social media strategist, Mathematician and Computer Scientist based in Abuja, Nigeria. He is the Founder and the Publisher of The Informavores!. You can reach me on +234 805 939 5252 or send i-witness report directly to me on news@informavores.com.ng.

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