Wednesday, February 22, 2017
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Israeli PM blasts UN 'hypocrisy'; Turnbull opposes 'one-sided resolutions'Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull (R) during a business luncheon in Sydney on February 22, 2017. AFP

Israeli PM blasts UN 'hypocrisy'; Turnbull opposes 'one-sided resolutions'

22 Feb 2017 | 11:59 AM

SYDNEY: Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull offered a staunch defence of Israel on Wednesday, criticising the United Nations and vowing never to support “one-sided resolutions” calling for an end to Israeli settlement building on occupied land.

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Sydney, February 22

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull offered a staunch defence of Israel on Wednesday, criticising the United Nations and vowing never to support “one-sided resolutions” calling for an end to Israeli settlement building on occupied land.

Turnbull welcomed Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday as the first Israeli Prime Minister to visit Australia and reiterated Australia’s support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

However, he also made it clear Australia would not support any resolutions such as the one approved by the United Nations Security Council in December calling for an end to Israeli settlement building on land occupied by Palestinians.

“My government will not support one-sided resolutions criticising Israel of the kind recently adopted by the UN Security Council and we deplore the boycott campaigns designed to delegitimise the Jewish state,” Turnbull wrote in an editorial in The Australian newspaper.

The UN resolution was approved in the final weeks of Barack Obama’s administration, which broke with a long tradition of shielding Israel diplomatically and chose not to wield its veto power.

“Australia has been courageously willing to puncture UN hypocrisy more than once,” Netanyahu said.

“The UN is capable of many absurdities and I think it’s important that you have straightforward and clear-eyed countries like Australia that often bring it back to earth,” he said after meeting Turnbull.

Israel has long pursued a policy of constructing Jewish settlements on territory it captured in a 1967 war with its Arab neighbours including the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

Most countries view such activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal and an obstacle to peace but Israel disagrees, citing a biblical connection to the land.

Washington’s ambassador to the United Nations has said the United States still supports a two-state solution to the conflict, although new US President Donald Trump has also said he is open to new ways to achieve peace.

The two-state solution has long been the bedrock of the international community’s policy for a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians but Trump’s apparent loosening of that main tenet, at a joint news conference with Netanyahu last week, stunned the international community.

“We support an outcome which has two states where Israelis, the Israeli people, the Palestinian people live side-by-side as a result of direct negotiations between them,” Turnbull told reporters in Sydney.

Netanyahu said any solution would need Palestine to recognise Israel, which would also have security control of the territories.

While in Australia, Netanyahu is scheduled to sign agreements fostering closer economic and defence cooperation. — Reuters

Islamic court legalises ‘test tube babies’ in Pakistan

Islamic court legalises ‘test tube babies’ in Pakistan

22 Feb 2017 | 6:29 PM

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top Shariat court has validated the option of using ‘test tube baby’ method for conceiving for the married couples having some medical complications.

Shooting scare at Houston hospital turns out to be hoax

22 Feb 2017 | 1:07 PM

HOUSTON: Panic gripped a hospital in the US state of Texas following a false alarm of gunfire, leading to evacuation of patients.

Trump to spare US 'dreamer' immigrants from crackdown

Trump to spare US 'dreamer' immigrants from crackdown

22 Feb 2017 | 3:33 PM

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump's administration plans to consider almost all illegal immigrants subject to deportation, but will leave protections in place for immigrants known as "dreamers" who entered the US illegally as children.

Malaysia identifies N Korean embassy official among suspects

Malaysia identifies N Korean embassy official among suspects

22 Feb 2017 | 4:51 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian police identified a senior official in the North Korean embassy on Wednesday as a suspect in the murder of Kim Jong Nam, and said another was linked to North Korea’s state airline.

Will not halt illegal border crossing despite opposition: Canadian PM

Will not halt illegal border crossing despite opposition: Canadian PM

22 Feb 2017 | 9:36 AM

OTTAWA: Canada will continue to accept asylum seekers crossing illegally from the United States but will ensure security measures are taken to keep Canadians safe, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.

Italy rescues 630 migrants drifting off Libya

Italy rescues 630 migrants drifting off Libya

22 Feb 2017 | 10:39 AM

ROME: Italy’s coast guard has rescued about 630 migrants off the coast of Libya who were trying to cross the Mediterranean.

Trump’s poisonous rhetoric makes world a darker place: Amnesty

Trump’s poisonous rhetoric makes world a darker place: Amnesty

22 Feb 2017 | 11:00 AM

PARIS: Amnesty International said on Wednesday US President Donald Trump’s “poisonous” rhetoric on his way to winning the White House led a global trend towards increasingly divisive politics in 2016 that had made the world a “darker” place.

Guantanamo Bay prison healthy for national security: White House

Guantanamo Bay prison healthy for national security: White House

22 Feb 2017 | 11:30 AM

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump believes that the Guantanamo Bay prison is serving a healthy purpose towards the national security, the White House has said, indicating that its closure is unlikely.

Ex-Hong Kong leader gets 20 months in jail for misconduct

Ex-Hong Kong leader gets 20 months in jail for misconduct

22 Feb 2017 | 10:46 AM

HONG KONG: A former leader of Hong Kong was sentenced today to 20 months in prison for misconduct after failing to disclose plans to rent a luxury apartment for his retirement from a businessman applying for a broadcasting license.

US, China discuss measures to counter North Korea threat

US, China discuss measures to counter North Korea threat

22 Feb 2017 | 10:34 AM

WASHINGTON: The US and China have agreed on a constructive bilateral relationship to address the threat posed by North Korea due to its repeated ballistic missile tests despite a UN ban.

Outspoken Gen is Trump’s NSA

Outspoken Gen is Trump’s NSA

22 Feb 2017 | 1:42 AM

FLORIDA:President Donald Trump has named Lieutenant General Herbert Raymond McMaster as his new national security adviser, choosing a military officer known for speaking his mind and challenging his superiors.

5 die as aircraft smashes into shopping complex in Australia

5 die as aircraft smashes into shopping complex in Australia

22 Feb 2017 | 12:29 AM

MELBOURNE:Four Americans and an Australian pilot were killed today when a light aircraft crashed into a shopping centre here after a “catastrophic engine failure”.

Russia’s UN envoy Churkin dies at 64

Russia’s UN envoy Churkin dies at 64

22 Feb 2017 | 12:29 AM

MOSCOW:Russia’s combative ambassador to the United Nations, Vitaly Churkin, died suddenly in New York on Monday after being taken ill at work, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

As he turns 93, Mugabe junks graft charges

As he turns 93, Mugabe junks graft charges

22 Feb 2017 | 12:29 AM

HARARE:As he celebrated his 93rd birthday on Tuesday, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe brushed aside persistent allegations of corruption against senior officials, saying rumour-mongers were merely targeting “big fish” in his administration.

UK gurdwara to remove screens separating wheelchair users

UK gurdwara to remove screens separating wheelchair users

22 Feb 2017 | 12:29 AM

LONDON:A gurdwara in the UK which had put screens to separate differently abled people and other worshippers has agreed to remove the partition, in a first of its kind case that could impact practices at gurdwaras across the country.

Seven killed in Taliban attack on Pak court

22 Feb 2017 | 12:29 AM

PESHAWAR:Seven persons, including a lawyer, were killed and 21 others injured today when heavily armed Taliban suicide bombers stormed a court in Pakistan’s restive Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the latest terror attack in the country.

Briefly

Slippery bottle solves ketchup problem

22 Feb 2017 | 12:29 AM

Boston: An Indian-origin scientist at MIT has found a novel way to get every last of ketchup, shampoo and glue out of the bottle by developing a coating that makes container interiors super slippery.

Missouri man charged with trying to plan terrorist attack

22 Feb 2017 | 11:44 AM

KANSAS CITY: A Missouri native who said he wanted to participate in a terrorist attack that would cause many deaths and injuries is charged with helping plan a Presidents Day attack on buses, trains and a train station in Kansas City, federal officials have said.

British IS bomber was ex-Guantanamo Bay detainee: Report

22 Feb 2017 | 11:41 AM

LONDON: A suicide bomber from the Islamic State group was a British citizen detained at Guantanamo Bay, a family member told The Times newspaper on Wednesday.

China defends deportation of Taiwan citizens

22 Feb 2017 | 11:07 AM

BEIJING: China on Wednesday defended the deportation of Taiwan citizens involved in overseas telecom fraud cases to China as having won widespread international approval, after Taiwan protested against Spain’s decision to deport around 200.

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