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Donald Trump used Twitter and an appearance on Fox Business on Thursday to make a series of sexist comments targetting television hosts and Kamala Harris , the Democratic vice presidential candidate, who he labelled “a mad woman” less than 48 hours after calling her “nasty”, “phony” and “weak”.

The US president also admitted that US Postal Service support had held-up negations in Washington DC over the latest coronavirus aid package, after saying on Wednesday that it “[doesn’t] have the money to do the universal mail-in voting” because his administration would not accept Congressional Democrat demands to provide the postal service with billions and secure mail-in voting systems prior to November’s election amid the pandemic.

That unsubstantiated attack on mail ballots on was followed by claims that the Democratic party wanted to abolish “any kind of animals” and tear down New York’s famed Empire State Building.

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Discussions between Israel and UAE accelerated in past six weeks after Israel agreed to end efforts to bring Israeli law to West Bank

“Israel was discussing with us, providing, taking Israeli law and sovereignty to areas of the West Bank and applying it, we were having these discussions and over the last six weeks discussions between UAE began accelerating about this being a potential different path,” Kushner said.

“A new course, a new option was created that was discussed that both countries thought was a much more viable option to go forward. Israel has agreed to suspend those efforts at this time.”

Israel agreed to a two-state solution with the Palestinians 

“And for the first time in history to agree to a map that outlined the territory that they would be willing to work with in order to see that happen,” Kushner said.

“That showed a lot of people in the region that Israel was serious about really moving forward and making peace, and also showed them that president Trump’s leadership and diplomacy could make things happen that hadn’t happened previously.”

Background on Israel/UAE deal

Has been in discussion for more than a year and a half, Kushner says.

White House begins press conference to discuss Israel UAE deal

Jared Kushner is the first speaker. 

US unemployment drops below one million for first time since pandemic hit

The number of workers in the US applying for unemployment aid fell below one million last week for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit the nation.

Weekly applications declined to 963,000, the second straight drop from 1.2 million the previous week, the Labour Department said on Thursday.

The figure is still over 250,000 more than the pre-pandemic levels of around 700,000, as the economic impact of the virus continues to render people unemployed.

The numbers come just at supplemental coronavirus jobless aid expires throughout the country, with negotiations to extend the benefit having collapsed in Congress.

“Another larger-than-expected decline in jobless claims suggests that the jobs recovery is regaining some momentum, but…much labour market progress remains to be done,” said Lydia Boussour, senior economist at Oxford Economics.

Louise Hall reports.

Trump will claim a diplomatic victory — but the one thing the UAE-Israel deal does is make Middle East diplomacy ever more complicated

For Indy Voices, Chris Stevenson writes that while the three leaders involved will take the kudos from it, Palestinian officials will not be happy.

‘You’re a f**king ‘Trumpster’, grocery store employee says to man in ‘superhero’ mask

Well that escalated quickly.

Today in the viral video world, three employees of a Smith’s grocery store unleash a verbal abuse tirade on a customer wearing a coronavirus mask over his eyes before promising that, in a fight, the customer would be “the one going down”.

As Fox 13 reports, a Smith’s spokesperson said they have “addressed” the employees involved and were “disappointed in the manner this incident was handled as it does not reflect our values or standards of service”.

The video starts when a woman, who appears to be a Smiths employee, tells a man wearing a mask over his eyes that he’s not wearing his “mask probably”.

“It doesn’t say properly,” said the customer.

Fast forward through seven-minute video and things heat up as the three apparent employees get graphic. 

Here are the lowlights:

  • “Why don’t you get a f**king job and get out!” – employee
  • “Trumpster, just leave… just leave!” — employee
  • “I’m in America” — customer
  • “It makes you an a**hole” – employee
  • “Get you’re a** out of this store,” – employee
  • “You’re going to be 86’d from every f**king Smith’s in the world” – customer
  • “Because you’re a f**king a**hole” – employee
  • “You guys aren’t even doing your social distancing” — customer
  • “Because you’re a f**king a**hole,” – employee
  • “You’re not American, you’re being a piece of sh*t right now,” – employee
  • “You’re turning into a little Nazi,”- customer
  • “You’re a f**king Trumpster,” – employee 
  • “Well it doesn’t matter who I support” – customer 
  • “f**king redneck, I’m about ready to throw you out” – employee
  • “It’s our way or the highway, and obviously the highways coming your way” — employee

The employees, according to Smith’s, “were re-trained on de-escalation and expected customer service”.

Polling officials warn they will run out of money before election as Trump holds up funding

Election officials in the United States have warned they need extra funding to be able to handle the 2020 election.

State and local officials told CNN that the pressures placed on voting by the coronavirus pandemic has stretched already thin budgets. They called for extra funding from Congress to prepare for polling season.

“There are enough things to worry about with this election. The last thing we should worry about is will we be able to pay for it,” Gerry Pelissero, the county clerk for Gogebic County, Michigan, told CNN.

Experts have estimated that it will cost $4bn to make the changes necessary, which include the hiring of more poll workers, protective equipment for those workers and other changes to deal with an increase in mail-in ballots.

Negotiations over election funding have become a sticking point between Democrats and Republicans in recent months.

Richard Hall reports.

Immigrants are being doused in toxic industrial disinfectant at Trump-funded ICE detention center over Covid, activists say

The Independent’s Louise Boyle reveals how detainees at the Adelanto facility in California have allegedly had chemicals sprayed directly at them.

Immigrants being held at a Trump administration-funded detention facility in California are allegedly being doused with an industrial disinfectant in confined spaces in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus, according to activists on Thursday.

Adelanto Immigrant Detention Facility, outside of Los Angeles, is reportedly spraying detainees with HDQ Neutral, a potent and potentially toxic disinfectant, which can cause severe skin burns and serious eye damage.

The chemical is only supposed to be used outdoors or in well-ventilated areas while wearing protective gloves, clothing and eye and face protection, according to the manufacturer Spartan Chemical Company.

Detainees have shared stories of the chemicals being sprayed every 20-30 minutes in close proximity and, at times, directly at them, Shut Down Adelanto Coalition and environmental law non-profit, Earthjustice, said in a statement.

Read the full story.

Terror group calls Israel UAE peace deal ‘stab in the back’

The Hamas militant group has accused the United Arab Emirates of stabbing the Palestinians in the back by agreeing to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel.

The reaction came shortly after President Donald Trump said on Thursday that the UAE and Israel have agreed to full diplomatic relations as part of a deal to halt the annexation of occupied land sought by the Palestinians for their future state.

“This announcement is a reward for the Israeli occupation’s crimes,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum. “The normalization is a stabbing in the back of our people.”

The Islamic militant Hamas movement seeks Israel’s destruction and has fought three wars and has fought three wars against Israel since seizing control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Associated Press

What does one focus on after working on bringing peace to the Middle East?

Sports and socialism, of course.

Soon after announcing a historic deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Trump returned to what Trump does best — tweeting out his stream of consciousness.


Pompeo on Israel, UAE deal

Reporters caught up with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Austria to get his hot take on the Israel/UAE deal.

“This is an enormous, historic step forward,” Pompeo said shortly before taking off from Slovenia for Austria’s capital Vienna, according to Reuters, adding that it was a historic opportunity for the Middle East to be stable and peaceful. “Peace is the right path forward.”


 BREAKING: ‘The President is afraid of the American people’: Pelosi says Trump is trying to rig election by undermining USPS because he knows he can’t win

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has accused Donald Trump of trying to undermine the 2020 US presidential election by sabotaging the US Postal Service, an essential agency for states looking to expand mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The president is afraid of the American people. He knows that on the legit, it will be hard for him to win,” Ms Pelosi told reporters on Thursday in response to a question about why she thought Mr Trump was trying to diminish an essential government operation during a pandemic.

“You’d have to ask [Republicans]” why they’re toeing Mr Trump’s line, Ms Pelosi said.

Follow the story as it unfolds.

Palestinian official against Israel, UAE deal

Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi wrote on Twitter — “We are no body’s fig leaf”


Palestine to follow after UAE, Israel deal, Trump says

Trump said today that progress between Palestine and Israel would follow after today’s announcement on UAE.

“I think you’ll be seeing some very exciting things including ultimately with the Palestinians, I’ll think that’ll be happening at some point, because it makes a lot of sense for them to let it happen,” Trump said.

Asked whether he supports annexation of Palestinian land by Israel, Trump said he’s “talking to Israel about that right now actually”.

“Like and love”, Trump says of conversation between Israel and UAE

Announcing the Israel and UAE deal today, Trump said the conversation between Israel and UAE was “like and love” after their tense relationship improved.

“It was like and love. It was a tremendous relationship built up over the last, I would say a year, before that it was very tense. Like everything in the Middle East is it’s a very tense place but it’s becoming less tense,” Trump said.

“It was tense but the relationship has become a very good one between UAE and Israel.”

Katie Holmes’ sensual response to Biden-Harris ticket prompts confusion from fans

… and yet they can’t look away.

As The Independent’s Chelsea Ritschel reports, Katie Holmes has expressed a unique reaction to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden choosing Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate.

On Tuesday, Holmes reacted to the news on Instagram, where she posted a photo of herself in a black dress leaning against what appears to be a bathroom sink with her head thrown back in bliss.

“#BidenHarris2020,” the 41-year-old captioned the photo.

The actress’s suggestive response prompted a range of reactions on social media, with many of her followers wondering what the picture has to do with the upcoming presidential race.

“So unclear what’s happening here,” one person commented.

Another said: “Strange photo for the moment.”

Others shared their displeasure at Holmes’ support for the Democratic nominees, with many of the commenters responding with some version of “Trump 2020.”

“This is a disgusting choice of a picture to go with a disgusting candidate,” one follower wrote.

Read the full story.

Read the full statement from the US, Israel and UAE 

Here is the full joint statement from the three countries on today’s historic announcement, via the White House.

UAE formally recognises Israel in historic move, Trump announces

The United Arab Emirates and Israel have formally normalised relations, Donald Trump has announced, in a major diplomatic step.

Joining Egypt and Jordan in recognising Israel, the UAE will “immediately expand and accelerate cooperation” with Israel, Trump tweeted on Thursday.

Here’s the latest:

Biden campaign says Trump ‘sabotaging’ postal service

A spokesman for Joe Biden’s campaign on Thursday accused president Donald Trump of carrying-out “an assault on our democracy and economy,” after he admitted to blocking funding to the US postal service to stop mail-in voting taking place on 3 November.

“The President of the United States is sabotaging a basic service that hundreds of millions of people rely upon,” said Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates, to Axios.

“[He is] cutting a critical lifeline for rural economies and for delivery of medicines, because he wants to deprive Americans of their fundamental right to vote safely during the most catastrophic public health crisis in over 100 years.”

“This is an assault on our democracy and economy by a desperate man who’s terrified that the American people will force him to confront what he’s done everything in his power to escape for months — responsibility for his own actions.”