Published on: 2/1/2020

5 Massive Things That Happened This Week That Aren't Coronavirus Or Brexit

User Image Web Editor Last updated on: 2/1/2020

There’s absolutely no doubt coronavirus is big news – at least 170 dead, nearly 8,000 reported cases and two of those in the UK.

And then there’s Brexit, which is so big and talked about we’re just going to skip right ahead. It is therefore our sad duty to inform you that while everyone was concentrating on these two things, lots of other very important and possibly depressing things happened this week. So before we get to that and to remind you the world can still be a good place, here’s a beaver racing home with a haul of carrots.

The Israel-Palestine deal

This week Donald Trump unveiled his long-awaited plan to bring some peace to the Middle East, specifically between Israel and Palestine.

But the fact he presented it to a pro-Israel audience at the White House with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu by his side was a bit of a giveaway. 
 

Trump declared it a “win-win” opportunity for both Israel and the Palestinians but it is mostly Israel that wins.

It was branded “insulting”, “shameful” and “a disgrace” by Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, PA Media reports.

At refugee camps across the country, Palestinians staged strikes, protests and sit-ins a day after Trump revealed the long-awaited details of the plan.

It was denounced as ridiculously lopsided, with Palestinians saying it gives them no rights.

It calls for the eventual creation of a Palestinian state, but falls far short of minimal Palestinian demands and would leave sizeable chunks of the occupied West Bank in Israeli hands. 

Sawsan Warde, a middle-aged Palestinian woman at the crowded Bourj al-Barajneh camp in the Lebanese capital Beirut, said: “Trump’s words mean nothing to us.

“This isn’t his land for him to bargain or sell or give to someone else,.

“He can give the Jewish people or Netanyahu a part of his land but Palestine is for us. It was, it is and will always be ours.”

The impeachment and the king

Donald Trump is not a king – this much is fact. But an argument put forward by his lawyer during impeachment hearings this week has been accused of making him just that.

To briefly refresh your memory, Trump was impeached last month on charges that he abused his power by withholding military aid to Ukraine until they investigated his political rival, Joe Biden.

Republicans and Democrats are currently arguing over whether or not this alleged “quid pro quo” – although not an actual crime – is an abuse of power worthy of being stripped of office.

Famed legal mind Alan Dershowitz said in his defence on Wednesday: “If a president did something that he believes will help him get elected, in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”

Taken to its logical conclusion, this argument essentially means a president can do absolutely anything that they personally decide is in the public interest.

And seeing as we’re talking a president who once floated the idea of building a moat and filling it with alligators to keep migrants out of the US, this is a rather worrying thought to say the least.

Another wildfire in Australia

The Australian capital region has declared a state of emergency because of an out-of-control forest fire burning erratically to its south.

It is the first fire emergency for the Australian Capital Territory since 2003 when wildfires killed four people and destroyed almost 500 homes in a day.
 

The threat is posed by a blaze on Canberra’s southern fringe that has razed more than 53,000 acres since it was sparked by heat from a military helicopter landing light on Monday, the Emergency Services Agency said.

The humanitarian crisis in Idlib

An assault on rebel-held northwest Syria by government forces has pushed some 700,000 people to flee toward the Turkish border and raised the spectre of an international crisis, US special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey said on Thursday.

Backed by Russian air power, government forces have advanced on Idlib at a rapid clip since last week, taking back dozens of towns and upending a region where millions have taken refuge since the start of Syria’s nearly nine-year war.
 

The campaign has ratcheted up tensions between Moscow and Ankara. Turkey fears a fresh wave of migrants piling across its border and has a dozen observation posts in Idlib, part of a de-escalation agreement it says Russia is now violating.

And to finish...

No, it’s not another otter but a rather baffling tweet from a police force in the United States. See if you can spot the problem...
 


2/1/2020 | 272 | Permalink