Jan 14, 2018

Palestinian president slams Trump over Jerusalem move

Abbas speaks last month. Photo: ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas gave a belligerent Anti-Trump speech tonight in a special session of the PLO central council which was organized to take formal decisions against Trump's Jerusalem announcement.

Why it matters: Abbas said in his speech that after the Jerusalem announcement the U.S. cannot and will not be the mediator between Israel and the Palestinians: "We will not take orders from anyone…we told Trump we will never accept your plan. The deal of the century is the slap of the century and we will not accept it."

The Palestinian president even referred to Trump's tweet which contained a threat to cut U.S. aid to Palestinians and said: "I saw a tweet — 'we will not give aid to the Palestinians because they refuse to re-launch negotiations'…May your house collapse…When did you offer me this? On the phone? On television?".

Abbas's speech further shows how deep the crisis between the U.S. and the Palestinians is. With Abbas attacking Trump so fiercely it is hard to see how the president and his peace team will be able to get the "ultimate deal" between Israel and the Palestinians.

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South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,446 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

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Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

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Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

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Heat wave melts 20% of snow cover from Antarctic island in days

The effects of February's record heat wave on Eagle Island in Antarctica. Photo: NASA

Antarctica's Eagle Island now has a side that's almost ice-free following this month's searing heat wave in the region, images released by NASA show.

Why it maters: "The warm spell caused widespread melting on nearby glaciers," NASA said in its report. It's the third major melt event of the 2019-2020 Southern Hemisphere summer, following warm spells in January and last November, according to the United Nation's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).