The Deal of the Century
US President Donald Trump presented a plan to “resolve” the decades long Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which his administration has been developing for about three years.
According to the plan, Jerusalem will be the indivisible capital of the Jewish state, with a Palestinian capital being created in East Jerusalem. In addition, Israel would have power over the Jordan Valley and the Gaza Strip would be demilitarized. Palestine has already rejected the initiative.
The deal is essentially dead on arrival, as the Palestinian side will never agree to such conditions. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh, the political leader of Hamas, discussed the deal by phone, including joint steps to counter Trump’s plan. Far from bringing peace, the deal will only provoke a new regional escalation.
Brexit, at long last
At midnight on February 1, Britain officially left the European Union after three years of negotiations and dispute. The British are finally packing their bags, while citizens of EU countries currently residing in the UK are preparing to redefine their relations with the country.
After the Conservative Party led by Boris Johnson won the absolute majority of seats in the early parliamentary elections on December 12, the new parliament quickly and without unnecessary disputes approved the terms of the divorce from the EU. On January 24, Boris Johnson met with the heads of the European Council and the European Commission and signed an agreement on Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
No big changes will occur straight away on February 1, as the transition period in British-EU relations will be ongoing until the end of 2020.
The referendum on Brexit in 2016 was perceived by many analysts as one of the signs of growing populism in the Western world along with Donald Trump’s coming to power in the US and growing Euroscepticism in Europe. One of the main motives for the move was broad opposition to the globalist and cosmopolitan establishment.
The process, however, proved to be extremely complex. Part of the British political establishment has tried to use Brexit as a tool to strengthen their positions, while others parties tried to override the decision completely. Read more on UWI.
An American plane crashed in Afghanistan. The media reported that the radical Taliban movement had claimed responsibility for the plane crash. However, the Taliban did not explicitly say that the plane was actually shot down by their militants, which aroused a great deal of suspicion. The Taliban themselves seem unsure what to make of the crash.
According to the WHO, 14,557 people have been infected by the coronavirus (including 14,411 in China). Outside China, there have been 146 confirmed cases in more than 20 countries.
The National Health Commission of China reported 17,205 confirmed cases of illness.
At least 361 people died as a result. The first death outside China occured in the Philippines, when a man who had recently come from Wuhan died.
China is taking serious measures to contain the disease and save the population: people have been quarantined in their homes and provided with food. Meanwhile, specialized hospitals were built in a matter of days. The western media, however, have focused on the Chinese government’s alleged “authoritarianism” and continue to criticize Beijing’s every move, using the situation as an excuse to push their anti-Chinese agenda.