Saturday 24 August 2019

Kushner's Palestine plan promises boost

The much-anticipated Trump regime's economic plan for Palestine is set to be formally announced next week - but Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner yesterday revealed that the $50bn Middle East economic plan calls for creation of a global investment fund to lift the Palestinian and neighbouring Arab economies, and construction of a $5bn transportation corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza. The "economy first" approach toward reviving the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process could be a hard sell to a largely sceptical region.

The plan includes 179 infrastructure and business projects. More than half of the $50bn would be spent in the dirt-poor Palestinian territories over 10 years, while the rest would be split between Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan. Some of the projects would be in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, where investments could benefit Palestinians in the adjacent and impoverished coastal enclave of Gaza.

Skydiving plane crash kills 11 on board

A skydiving plane crashed and burst into flames just after takeoff from a small seaside airfield on the island of Oahu, killing 11 people, officials said yesterday. Authorities initially reported that nine people died in the crash Friday evening and that three of them were customers of a skydiving company and six were employees. But the Hawaii Department of Transportation tweeted last night that officials later "confirmed there were 11 people on board the plane" and no survivors. The twin-engine Beechcraft King Air plane took off from Dillingham Airfield on the north shore of the island and officials believe that there were a number of tandem jumps planned which saw 11 people on board.

Seven dead after collapse in Cambodia

A seven-storey building collapsed in Cambodia yesterday, killing at least seven people with at least 21 people injured - several critically.

The search for survivors at the under-construction building in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continued into the evening.

The building was owned by a Chinese company. In recent years, Sihanoukville has been transformed by the construction of Chinese hotels and casinos.

Hong Kong justice secretary apologises

Hong Kong justice secretary Teresa Cheng yesterday said she rejected calls to investigate claims of police brutality during ongoing mass protests in the territory.

However, she did apologise for the Hong Kong executive's handling of the extradition bill which is at the root of the unrest.

Police vowed a "stringent" response to the latest protest, when their HQ was besieged for 15 hours. Demonstrators only melted away in the early hours of yesterday.

Trump - 1990s rape allegations 'fiction'

US President Donald Trump has dismissed allegations that he raped a woman in a department store dressing room in the mid-1990s as "fiction".

The US president says he never met E Jean Carroll and accuses her of making up the allegation to sell a new book. Ms Carroll says she did not report the alleged attack at the time after being advised by a friend she had no chance of winning in court. Her story was published in New York Magazine last Friday.

More than a dozen women have previously made sexual misconduct allegations against Mr Trump, which he has denied.

Seven Marine bikers killed in US collision

Motorcyclists with a club comprised of ex-United States Marines collided with a pickup truck on a rural highway last Friday, killing seven and leaving the biker community reeling.

New Hampshire State Police said a 2016 Dodge 2500 pickup truck collided with the riders on a two-lane highway in Randolph. The cause of the collision is not yet known. The pickup truck, which appeared to be carrying a flatbed trailer, was on fire when emergency crews arrived. Witnesses described a "devastating" scene as bystanders tried to help riders lying in the road.

Sunday Independent

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