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  • Amid Sexual Harassment Probe, Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen Won't Seek Re-Election

    Golocal247.com news

    Democratic Nevada Rep. Ruben Kihuen said on Saturday he won’t seek re-election in 2018 just one day after the House Ethics Committee said it would investigate allegations of sexual harassment from two women.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 17:18:17 -0500
  • Mystery swirls around powerful North Korea official as Hwang Pyong-so remains missing

    Golocal247.com news

    A North Korean official widely deemed as the nation’s second most powerful figure has been missing for some time, raising speculation that he has been executed.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 22:55:35 -0500
  • Manchin: 'I wanted to be more involved' in crafting tax bill

    Golocal247.com news

    Sen. Joe Manchin tells Chuck Todd in an exclusive interview that he believes Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) convinced the president to pursue a partisan strategy to pass the tax bill, rather than work with Democrats.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 01:32:19 -0500
  • This Cat Named D-O-G Helps Train Pups To Be Service Dogs

    Golocal247.com news

    Not many cats get to have a career as a dog trainer, but one Missouri feline is doing just that.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 18:12:22 -0500
  • Track Palin, son of politician Sarah Palin, arrested in Alaska

    Golocal247.com news

    The elder son of former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin was in jail on Sunday, facing assault and burglary charges in her home state of Alaska. Track Palin, 28, appeared in state court in Palmer, Alaska, earlier in the day, on a felony burglary charge and misdemeanor assault and criminal mischief charges, court records showed.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 23:31:44 -0500
  • 63 Percent Of Americans Believe Donald Trump Tried To Obstruct Russia Probe

    Golocal247.com news

    A new poll has found that 63 percent of Americans believe President Donald Trump has tried to “impede or obstruct” the investigations into Russian interference in the U.S. election and possible links between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 23:36:43 -0500
  • Billionaire founder of Canada drug firm in 'suspicious' death

    Golocal247.com news

    Canada's global pharmaceutical giant Apotex has confirmed the death of its billionaire founder Barry Sherman, after police reported two "suspicious" deaths at the couple's upscale Toronto home. Police did not identify the victims, who were found on Friday, but Canadian media named them as Sherman and his wife Honey, prominent Canadians whose deaths sparked an outpouring of grief among the country's political elite. "We've been informed of the tragic news that Barry and Honey Sherman have unexpectedly passed away," said the Twitter account of Apotex, which Sherman founded in 1974.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 05:29:45 -0500
  • The Vatican Bans Sales of Saints' Body Parts in Updated Relic Rules

    Golocal247.com news

    The new rules govern how body parts and cremated remains are to be handled

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 11:37:35 -0500
  • Trump administration prohibits CDC from using certain words

    Golocal247.com news

    According to a Washington Post report, the Trump administration is banning the Center for Disease Control from using certain words in their official documents including fetus, transgender and diversity.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 05:05:45 -0500
  • When The Fire Comes And There's No Home To Evacuate And Nowhere To Go

    Golocal247.com news

    In some parts of Santa Barbara County, the Thomas fire has caused apocalyptic scenes.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 05:45:24 -0500
  • Former leader of Chile Sebastian Pinera returns to office after beating left-wing opponent 

    Golocal247.com news

    Former Chilean leader Sebastian Pinera on Sunday night became president elect for the second time after comfortably winning an election that was expected to came down to the wire. Mr Pinera, a conservative billionaire businessman who held office between 2010 and 2014, beat Alejandro Guillier, a journalist turned politician from the centre left.  With more than 90 percent of the vote in, Mr Guillier congratulated his opponent while conceding defeat with 45.4 percent of the vote to Pinera's 54.5 percent. “My rival knew how to adopt our flags,” Guillier said. “Chile has changed and that change is forever. But we have to be self-critical; we have received a hard defeat.” It was a defeat for Guillier  Credit: Claudio Reyes /AFP The 68-year-old's victory provides a mandate to reverse four years of economic and political reform put in place by President Michelle Bachelet whose previously popular presidency fell under a cloud when her daughter in law became embroiled in a corruption scandal in 2015. Both candidates promised to keep in place Chile's longstanding free-market economic model, but Pinera has promised lower taxes to boost growth  and create 600,000 jobs, ease industry regulations and narrow the budget deficit. Guillier wanted the government to press on with Bachelet's overhaul of education, taxes and labor. On Sunday evening, supporters gathered to celebrate Pinera's win at his Santiago campaign headquarters. The win signals the country's shift to the right in line with other Latin American nations in recent years. A decade ago, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Uruguay and Venezuela were all governed by left-wing leaders. But in recent years, conservatives have come to power in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay and Venezuela.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 18:45:39 -0500
  • Santa’s workshop comes to life in Brooklyn, New York

    Golocal247.com news

    Fifty years ago, Lou Nasti gained fame when he built a robot that landed him on the front page of the New York Times. Now his skill can be seen in his detailed animatronic Christmas workshop in Brooklyn, New York and on display all around the world.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 11:12:09 -0500
  • Relief, Bitterness And Frustration: Another Year Of Obamacare Enrollment

    Golocal247.com news

    Since the first open enrollment period for the Obamacare exchanges began in the fall of 2013, these health insurance markets have been a godsend, a disaster or something in between for consumers.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 08:00:30 -0500
  • End of days comes for Ohio man's 'zombie Nativity' scene

    CINCINNATI (AP) — A ghoulish holiday tradition outside of Cincinnati will soon come to a close after an Ohio man said he won't put up his "zombie Nativity" scene after this year.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 15:55:41 -0500
  • Camille Grammar Says She Was ‘Nervous’ About Getting Married After Her Divorce

    Golocal247.com news

    Camille Grammer opened up about her engagement to lawyer David C. Meyer and how she was nervous about marriage after her split from famous ex Kelsey Grammer

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 15:33:56 -0500
  • British embassy worker found murdered in Lebanon: official

    A British woman employed at the UK embassy in Lebanon has been found murdered, a senior official said Sunday, adding that the crime did not appear to be political. According to her social media profiles, she was employed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID).

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 13:08:42 -0500
  • Third Sea Lion Attack in a Week Prompts Swimming Ban at San Francisco Park

    "I haven’t had a single sea lion or wildlife attack like this."

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 10:35:12 -0500
  • Trump to say in security speech that China is competitor: officials

    By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump will lay out a new U.S. national security strategy on Monday based on his "America First" policy and will, among other items, make clear that China is a competitor, two senior U.S. officials said on Saturday. Trump has praised Chinese President Xi Jinping while also demanding that Beijing increase pressure on North Korea over its nuclear program and to change trade practices to make them more favorable to the United States. The national security strategy, to be rolled out in a speech by Trump, should not be seen as an attempt to contain China but rather to offer a clear-eyed look at the challenges China poses, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 16:42:36 -0500
  • Mario Batali Apologizes For Sexual Harassment With Cinnamon Rolls

    Golocal247.com news

    Mario Batali, the former host of “The Chew” who stands accused of sexual misconduct, issued an apology to fans on Friday through his newsletter and inexplicably ended it with a recipe for cinnamon rolls.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 13:03:25 -0500
  • Cake for 'joyful' pope on his 81st birthday

    Pope Francis celebrated his 81st birthday Sunday with a hero cake and a message urging the world -- and children in particular -- to join in the holiday mood and be joyful. The Argentine pontiff thanked the crowds gathered in Saint Peter's Square for the Angelus prayer as they sang happy birthday, and was expected to slice into his birthday cake after lunch. The artist -- whose real name is Mauro Pallotta -- famously depicted Francis as Superman in 2014 and has since begun supporting Vatican charitable projects by selling T-shirts bearing the flying pope.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 19:35:11 -0500
  • France Promises To 'Defend Net Neutrality' In Wake Of FCC Vote In U.S.

    Golocal247.com news

    In the aftermath of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s vote to repeal net neutrality last week, the French government has spoken up in support of a free and open internet.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 10:40:47 -0500
  • Firefighters Take Advantage of Calmer Winds to Dig In and Contain Californian Wildfires

    Golocal247.com news

    "Everything's holding really well," fire information officer Lisa Cox said

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 23:48:18 -0500
  • AP PHOTOS: Best of 2017 for the Middle East

    Golocal247.com news

    In 2017 the Islamic State group was driven from its last strongholds in Iraq and Syria at an enormous cost, Pakistanis broke their silence to speak about sexual abuse in Islamic schools, and the U.S. declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel ignited widespread protests.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 06:00:43 -0500
  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte backs same-sex marriage

    Golocal247.com news

    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has declared himself in favour of same-sex marriage in an about turn that will put him on a collision course with the country's powerful Catholic Church. Speaking at the weekend at a gathering of the LGBT community in his home city of Davao, southern Philippines, he vowed to protect their rights and invited them to nominate a representative to work in his government. "I am for (same) sex marriage if that is the trend of modern times," he said. "If that will add to your happiness, I am for it." Profile | Rodrigo Duterte Mr Duterte was quoted previously in the local media as opposing same-sex marriage, using the gender issue to attack liberal Western countries who allow it, especially those criticising his brutal war against drugs which has killed thousands of Filipino citizens. But according to the local Inquirer, Mr Duterte dramatically backtracked from earlier remarks in his latest speech, revealing that he had gay family members and joking that he once toyed with the idea of being bisexual. "Why impose a morality that is no longer working and almost passe," he said, adding that "there will be no oppression" during his term in office and that his government would recognise the LGBT community's "importance in society". His shift will put him at odds with the Catholic Church who have already strongly criticised his bloody crackdown on drugs. The country's powerful bishops earlier this year voiced concern about any moves to legalise same-sex unions. While most Western countries have legalised same-sex marriage, with Australia being the latest to do so, the LGBT community still faces widespread discrimination across Asia. Only Vietnam and Taiwan have made progress towards marriage equality but have yet to enshrine the right to marry a member of the same sex in law.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 23:19:20 -0500
  • The Myth That Urbanization Means Prosperity

    Golocal247.com news

    When it comes to cities and urbanization, it is generally thought that bigger is better. But a pair of recent studies suggests that although industrialized nations may have benefited from larger cities, the same is not true for the rapidly urbanizing areas of the developing world. In these parts of the globe, there really might be such a thing as too much urbanization, too quickly.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 08:00:00 -0500
  • 93-Year-Old Woman Spends 2 Nights In Jail After Eviction From Senior Housing

    Golocal247.com news

    Florida authorities released an elderly woman from jail on Thursday after police arrested her for allegedly not paying rent at the senior housing community where she had lived since 2011.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 13:58:37 -0500
  • Republicans confident tax bill to become law this week

    By Amanda Becker and Lindsay Dunsmuir WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top U.S. Republicans said on Sunday they expected Congress to pass a tax code overhaul this week, with a Senate vote as early as Tuesday and President Donald Trump aiming to sign the bill by week's end. John Cornyn, the No. 2 U.S. Senate Republican, said in an interview on ABC's "This Week" that he was "confident" the Senate would pass the legislation, "probably on Tuesday." Republican Representative Kevin Brady said he believed his party had the votes to pass the bill. "I think we are headed - the American people are headed - for a big win on Tuesday," Brady, the House of Representatives' top tax writer, said on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo." "We've worked hard to make sure that those strange Senate rules don't hang this up in any way," Brady added.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 20:56:44 -0500
  • P&G appoints Peltz to board despite losing proxy battle

    Procter & Gamble Co said it appointed Nelson Peltz to its board despite the activist investor narrowly losing a months-long proxy fight, the biggest ever involving a U.S. company. Immediately after its annual meeting in mid-October, P&G said it beat Peltz by a slim margin, but a preliminary tally by an independent election inspector, released a month later, showed otherwise. "Because the election results were so close, and because a large number of shareholders voted for Nelson Peltz to be a director, the board has engaged in numerous discussions with Mr. Peltz regarding a board seat," P&G said on Friday.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 05:38:11 -0500
  • High and dry: Pakistan's penchant for hash

    Golocal247.com news

    Niaz Ali is a deeply religious man: He prays five times a day and visits the mosque as frequently as possible. A sacred intoxication," says Ali, who asked to use a pseudonym, after taking a fresh rip off a hookah packed with pungent hash in Pakistan's bustling northwestern town of Peshawar. While Ali freely acknowledges using hash runs counter to the tenets of Islam, he insists it has its advantages.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 22:47:09 -0500
  • Russia and NATO: Headed for a Missile Arms Race in Europe?

    Golocal247.com news

    The NATO alliance is urging Moscow to return to compliance with the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces bilateral U.S.-Russia treaty, which bans land-based missiles that have ranges between 500km and 5,500km. “Allies have identified a Russian missile system that raises serious concerns,” reads a statement from the alliance.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 08:36:00 -0500
  • Pope says media sin by dredging up old scandals

    Golocal247.com news

    Father Jonathan Morris shares his thoughts.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 08:58:12 -0500
  • Chile Has Elected Former President Sebastian Pinera in a Return to the Right

    Golocal247.com news

    The former airline magnate previously governed Chile from 2010 to 2014

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 22:02:38 -0500
  • In sex assault laws, definition of consent varies widely

    Golocal247.com news

    For two months now, as accusations of sexual misconduct have piled up against Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced mogul has responded over and over again: "Any allegations of nonconsensual sex are unequivocally denied."

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 20:47:12 -0500
  • How virtual bitcoin production is 'killing the planet'

    Golocal247.com news

    Existing only in the digital sphere but currently worth a fortune, it is the virtual currency that has gone mainstream in recent weeks.  However, it has emerged that the production of bitcoins uses so much energy it threatens to seriously harm the planet. In recent months investors have flocked to the currency that exists only in cyberspace and is traded directly from person to person. But its very success had led to fears about the environmental impact of the Bitcoin phenomenon. The process by which the currency is produced in the digital world uses an enormous amount of energy, much of it coming from the carbon fuels that cause the most pollution. Total electricity use in bitcoin mining has increased by 30 percent in the past month, according to accounting firm PwC. Bitcoin electricity consumption Alex de Vries, an analyst for at PwC, who started the Digiconomist blog to show the potential pitfalls in cryptocurrency, said: “The energy-consumption is insane. If we start using this on a global scale, it will kill the planet.” One major producer, Bitmain Technologies Ltd, runs a server farm in Erdors, Inner Mongolia, housed inside eight 100-meter-long metal warehouses, with about 25,000 computers dedicated to solving the encrypted calculations that generate each bitcoin. The entire operation runs on electricity produced with coal, as do a growing number of cryptocurrency “mines” popping up in China. Bitcoin | Your essential guide The global industry’s use of power is thought to equal that required for three million U.S. homes, topping the individual consumption of 159 countries, according to the Digiconomist Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index. And as more bitcoin is created, the difficulty rate of token-generating calculations increases, as does the need for electricity. Christopher Chapman, a London-based analyst at Citigroup Inc, said: “This has become a dirty thing to produce.”. Bitcoin was devised by an unknown individual or group under the name Satoshi Nakamoto as a system that awards virtual coins for solving complex puzzles and uses an encrypted digital ledger to track all the work and every transaction. As the market grew from one limited to gamers in 2009 to a global phenomenon this year, ever-more computing power was needed by large networks. Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as ‘mining’ and can be exchanged for other currencies, goods and services. Prices have surged more than 2,000 percent in the past year on some exchanges and touched a record of more than $17,900 on Friday. Bitcoin price: last 365 days But according to a recent study of the industry by experts at Cambridge University, China - which gets about 60 percent of its electricity from coal - is the biggest operator of computer “mines” and probably accounts for about a quarter of all the power used to create cryptocurrencies. About 58 percent of the world’s large cryptocurrency mining pools were located in China, followed by the U.S. at 16 percent, the study found. Bitcoin server farms in provinces such as Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Heilongjian are heavily reliant upon coal-generated electricity for powerl. Estimates of how much electricity goes into making cryptocurrencies vary widely -- from the output of one large nuclear reactor to the consumption of the entire population of Denmark. Analysts agree that the industry’s power use is expanding rapidly -- especially after a price rally that made bitcoin almost four times more valuable than just three months ago. Some analysts dismiss claims of bitcoin’s environmental impact as alarmist, noting that even the highest estimates of demand account for only about 0.1 percent of what the world uses. Meet the real-life 'everyday' Bitcoin investors However, bitcoin’s algorithm dictates that after a certain number of tokens are created, more work is required for the next batch, said James Butterfill, head of research and investment strategy at ETF Securities Ltd. in London. Using estimates of electricity prices and the rising speed with which calculations must occur, Mr Butterfill estimates the marginal costs of each bitcoin will more than double from $6,611 in the fourth quarter to $14,175 in the second quarter of 2018. At the start of 2017, the cost was $2,856. With costs rising, there’s a greater risk for investors should prices tumble. FAQ | Bitcoin “You’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere where it isn’t profitable to mine,” said Mr Butterfill,  who set up computers at his home to mine tokens in his spare time and joined a network of 120,000 others to boost processing capacity and returns. “But if you’re investing in a bitcoin rig, you have to look at the long term, and with the volatility as high as it is, it probably still doesn’t make sense to mine bitcoin in Europe.” Not all cryptocurrency mining is dirty. Computers in Iceland are powered by geothermal plants. Even in China, some are clustered around hydroelectric facilities in Sichuan and Yunnan. In Austria, Hydrominer IT-Services GmbH put servers inside hydro-power plants. Michael Marcovici, the firm’s founder said: “It is bad for bitcoin to have this news all the time about this dirty energy. People don’t want dirty energy to be used. But the problem is, in Europe, the energy is just too expensive.”

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 09:26:16 -0500
  • Pastor Blasts Supreme Court’s Gay Wedding Cake Case In Unhinged Rant

    Golocal247.com news

    A conservative pastor known for producing controversial Facebook videos is back with a blistering defense of Christian businesses who turn away same-sex couples.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 15:00:41 -0500
  • US public health 'word ban' sparks outrage

    Golocal247.com news

    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's reported move to ban words including "fetus," "diversity" and "transgender" in budget-related documents triggered outrage, astonishment and calls for the decision to be reversed Saturday. "Among the words forbidden to be used in @CDCgov budget documents are 'evidence-based' and 'science-based.' Here's a word that's still allowed: ridiculous," the American Association for the Advancement of Science wrote on its Twitter account. "To prevent the agency from losing its legitimacy, CDC Director Fitzgerald must speak up now to reinforce the centrality of science to the agency’s work," Halpern wrote in a blog post.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 22:48:16 -0500
  • Landslides kill 26 in storm-hit Philippine province: local officials

    At least 26 people were killed while several residents were missing in an island province in central Philippines after tropical storm Kai-tak brought heavy rains that triggered landslides, local authorities and media said on Sunday. Kai-tak cut power supplies in many areas, forced the cancellation of several flights, stranded more than 15,000 people in various ports in the region and prompted nearly 88,000 people to seek shelter in evacuation centers. The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of Biliran island said 26 residents had died, but the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has yet to make any official announcement about fatalities.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 09:37:37 -0500
  • Spain Arrests Suspect Wanted in Italy for Multiple Killings

    He was arrested after three were killed in Spain, including two Civil Guards

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 14:54:42 -0500
  • Will U.S. Marines Fight the North Koreans in 'Pajamas?'

    Golocal247.com news

    If the U.S. actually goes back to war with North Korea, American troops are going to need a uniform that is lightweight, breathable, and provides adequate camouflage in the forest, complete with a solid pair of boots for humping up and down all of those big mountains. Fortunately for Marines, the Corps has been working hard to ensure they’ll have both. Lt. Col. Christopher Madeline of Marine Corps Systems Command told Marine Corps Times on Dec. 9 that tropical uniforms and boots should be available starting in late 2018.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 23:25:00 -0500
  • Kyle Richards Reveals Why Kim Won't Be Returning To RHOBH Season 8

    Golocal247.com news

    Kim Richards won’t be appearing on the 8th season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and costar and sister Kyle Richardson shared why

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 16:54:47 -0500
  • US Senator John McCain to miss key tax vote

    Golocal247.com news

    US Senator John McCain will miss a key vote on the Republican tax bill because of a viral infection, further narrowing the already-thin margin of support for the controversial plan. The veteran Republican lawmaker, 81, will not return to Washington until January, his office said Sunday. With McCain absent, the Republicans -- who have a 52-48 majority in the Senate -- can only afford one defection to pass the tax bill, with a vote expected in the coming days.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 22:06:41 -0500
  • A Mysterious Charity is Giving Away $86 Million in Bitcoin

    Golocal247.com news

    It involves pineapples. Kind of.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 22:39:08 -0500
  • South Africa ruling party's fight for its future kicks off

    Golocal247.com news

    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The fight to replace South Africa's scandal-prone President Jacob Zuma began Saturday as thousands of delegates of the ruling African National Congress gathered to elect a new leader, with Zuma acknowledging "failures" that have threatened the party's future.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 12:10:15 -0500
  • Hundreds of People Fell Sick on a Royal Caribbean Cruise

    Golocal247.com news

    Some passengers told local media they were happy to get off the ship

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 12:28:52 -0500
  • Check Out This Model S Wagon Rendering

    Golocal247.com news

    One collector has commissioned his own custom Tesla wagon. Here's what it'll look like.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 12:14:18 -0500
  • Second bitcoin futures debut could lure volume to wild market

    Bitcoin investors expect futures volumes to perk up when CME Group Inc, the world's largest derivatives exchange operator, launches its own contract to wager on the cryptocurrency on Sunday. The second U.S. bitcoin futures launch is seen as another step towards big institutional investors warming up to a volatile asset that had until recently been accessible only via largely unregulated markets. Like the futures contract launched last week by rival Cboe Global Markets, CME's will be cash settled.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 01:04:58 -0500
  • Toll rises to three dead after Indonesia quake

    Golocal247.com news

    At least three people have been killed following a strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake on Indonesia's main island of Java, an official said Saturday. The quake struck at a depth of 91 kilometres (56 miles) just outside the coastal town of Cipatujah on Java island late Friday, the US Geological Survey said. A 62-year-old man in Ciamis and an 80-year-old woman in Pekalongan city were killed when the buildings they were in collapsed, national disaster mitigation agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said, while a 34-year-old woman from the city of Yogyakarta died when she fell while running out of her house.

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 04:22:45 -0500
  • Recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital is good for peace. Britain should do so too

    Golocal247.com news

    Following the United States’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas responded by saying that the Americans can no longer have “any role” in the peace process. In this country, too, the White House’s decision has been criticised by some MPs and in parts of the press. Are these objections really justified? The Oxford English Dictionary succinctly defines a “capital” as “the city or town that functions as the seat of government and administrative centre of a country or region”. Jerusalem meets this definition exactly. Since 1949, all three branches of Israel’s government – executive, legislative and judiciary – have been based in Jerusalem. When international statesmen and foreign diplomats come to meet our prime minister and our president, they do so in Jerusalem. It is an accepted norm in international relations that every sovereign state has the right to decide its own capital city. Even when some countries have changed their capital – as did Turkey in 1923, China in 1949, Brazil in 1960 and Germany in 1999 – this norm has been upheld, and embassies have been relocated accordingly. Only in the case of the Jewish state has this norm not been applied. Furthermore, the White House’s decision helps to advance peace by eroding the dangerous fantasy that the Jews can somehow be wrested from Jerusalem, and that we have neither a valid claim to the city, nor a right to a capital there. This is precisely the type of extremist thinking that renders peacemaking all but impossible. Whenever the international community has put forward comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace plans over the past 20 years, they have consistently acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. For President Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, which officially claims to seek statehood alongside Israel within pre-1967 lines, Jerusalem’s status as established in 1949 should be beyond contention. Figures on the Palestinian side have stirred up anger at the decision Credit: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP Some have opposed the United States’s decision on the grounds that it risks encouraging violence. It is true that since the announcement, “Days of Rage” were declared by the Palestinian leadership and Hamas, with the latter also calling for an “intifada against the Zionist enemy”. Iranian-controlled Hizbollah has this week called for “millions of martyrs” to sacrifice themselves for Jerusalem. Unfortunately, this is nothing new: terror groups such as Hamas and Hizbollah have repeatedly made such declarations over the years. Those who wished to murder innocent civilians before the American decision will still want to do so after the decision. We should therefore be clear where the moral blame for violence lies: with the perpetrators themselves. In Jerusalem today, religious freedom is strongly upheld: all sacred sites are rigorously protected, as are the rights of all believers. Each faith community autonomously administers its own holy places: the Rabbinate oversees the Jewish sites, the Islamic Waqf oversees the Muslim holy sites, and the relevant churches oversee their respective Christian holy sites. In a region plagued by extremism and intolerance, where in recent years all too many religious sites have been desecrated or destroyed, and where religious minorities have been forced to flee persecution, contemporary Jerusalem stands out as a beacon of tolerance and freedom. Jerusalem today is a diverse, pluralistic and modern capital with ancient roots. Anyone who is aware of Jewish history and heritage knows the centrality of Jerusalem to the Jewish people, as has been the case for the past three millennia. The words of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben Gurion, in 1949 still ring true today: “The attempt to sever Jewish Jerusalem from the State of Israel will not advance the cause of peace in the Middle East or in Jerusalem itself.” Indeed, there can be no peace without Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Other countries, including the United Kingdom, should follow the US in recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving their embassies there. In contrast to much of the perceived wisdom surrounding this issue, such a move would be both just and good for peace. Mark Regev is the Israeli ambassador to the UK

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 14:26:02 -0500
  • Egypt Reopens Ancient Library Holding Thousands of Centuries-Old Manuscripts

    The library holds thousands of religious and historical manuscripts

    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 16:59:16 -0500
  • Argentina navy chief sacked over sub tragedy

    Golocal247.com news

    Argentina dismissed its naval chief on Saturday, the most high-profile officer to be fired a month after a submarine went missing with 44 crew members on board. It's a political decision," a navy officer told AFP on condition of anonymity about the decision to remove Admiral Marcelo Srur during an ongoing investigation into the sub's disappearance. Srur is the fifth senior officer to have been relieved of his functions so far over the ARA San Juan's disappearance.

    Sun, 17 Dec 2017 01:50:35 -0500
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