'Dawn of a new Middle East': Trump presides over historic peace deal
(See translation in Arabic section)
Middle East Times Int'l: US President Donald Trump has declared the "dawn of a new Middle East" as he facilitated the official signing of an historic Middle-Eastern peace compact between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Leaders signed the declarations during a ceremony at the White House with the UAE and Bahrain the first Arab nations to sign diplomatic accords in almost three decades.
"This is peace in the Middle East without blood all over the sand," President Trump said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "the blessings of the peace" would be enormous, calling on people to "set aside all cynicism".
Mass protests were held in the West Bank and Gaza where Palestinians set fire to images of Trump and Netanyahu and other Gulf leaders.
The Abraham Accords is intended to formalise the normalisation of relations between Israel and the two Gulf nations.
The agreements do not address the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Bold Trump strategy may usher in a new Middle East peace roadmap
Washington: The Trump administration's bold strategy of uniting Sunni Arab states against Iran could be a new, viable roadmap towards peace in the Middle East, according to media news contributor Michael Ware.
Overnight, the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain have signed historic diplomatic normalisation deals with Israel at a ceremony at the White House.
The UAE, and then Bahrain, agreed to normalise relations and recognise Israel after the Israeli prime minister pledged to suspend plans to annex parts of the Palestinian West Bank.
The Palestinian leadership has condemned the deal, however, officials from the UAE and Bahrain have assured them that they support their push for statehood in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. President Trump told Fox News this week he believes other Arab nations will sign onto the agreement to normalise relations with Israel, which has been dubbed The Abraham Accords.
Mr Ware media news the accords "challenges the premise" that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the "beating heart of instability of the Middle East."
"This certainly is the emergence of a new road map towards peace in the Middle East, it's a roadmap that isolates the Palestinians from these Arab states that have been sponsoring them in the hope it forces the Palestinians to the negotiation table," Mr Ware said.
"This has been called the outside-in approach, where you align all these Sunni Arab states with Washington and with Tel Aviv, united to their opposition to Iran, which they hope will in effect bring the Palestinians back to the negotiation table.
"This approach is new, it is one that challenges the premise that the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the beating heart of instability within the Middle East.
"But when you look at the economic collapse of Lebanon, the rise and fall of ISIS, the war in Syria, even the civil war in Libya, the falling oil prices and these Arab states needing to diversify their economies and seek technology like the ones Israel has, none of these factors have anything to do with the Palestinians.
"This is a brand new approach, it's bold, I think it has legs, let's see how it goes."
Careful what you say’: Business leader warns Australia on China diplomacy
Canberra: Australia should speak its mind “in private” with China as it flexes its muscles and fills the superpower vacuum left by the decline of the US, a global business leader has warned.
Andrew Liveris, the former chief executive of The Dow Chemical Company, made the comments at Canberra’s National Press Club on Wednesday after months if not years of rising tensions between Australia and its largest trading partner.
The political spat has seen China slap tariffs on Australian barley and beef and anti-dumping measures on Australian wine this year.
Many have blamed the Morrison Government backing international calls for an inquiry into the origins and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Chinese technology giant Huawei says the rot started in 2018 when the Turnbull administration banned the company from Australia’s 5G rollout.
Mr Liveris, a Hong Kong resident of 13 years, suggested to reporters Australia needed to tread carefully in its relationship with the Asian giant.
“The acceleration of China’s march up the economic ladder, relying less on exports to other nations and more on its own goods that are produced and that it consumes itself, is irreversible,” he said.
Study suggests Australia may have had more than 70,000 COVID-19 cases
Melbourne: A government-funded study of around 3,000 people has led health experts to believe there may have been many more cases of coronavirus in Australia than originally thought.
Researchers suggested the number of people exposed to the virus back in July could have been as high as 71,400 - before Victoria's second wave.
The study tested for antibodies in people's blood, searching for traces of the virus.
NSW, Victoria borders: Gladys Berejiklian announces new border rules
Sydney: “Travelling to Sydney yesterday (Tuesday) my first port of call today was to contact the Premier to stress the importance of the border restrictions being eased in line with changes to the Victorian regions,” the post read.
“I’m pleased that the Premier spoke to this later this morning, saying she will make an announcement tomorrow regarding changes to coronavirus restrictions for border communities.”
The announcement comes as regional Victorian communities will be able to move more freely from Thursday as the state begins to see a decrease in COVID-19 case numbers.
NSW closed its border with Victoria on July 8 at a time when the state was recorded daily COVID-19 cases over 100.
Federal Government’s proposed income tax cuts benefit rich blokes and leave women behind
Canberra: The Federal Government’s proposed income tax cuts will favour wealthy men and leave their female counterparts in the lurch despite women being hardest hit in terms of lost employment due to the coronavirus crisis.
New modelling from The Australia Institute suggests employment during March and April fell 3.9 per cent for men and 5.3 per cent for women.
Men had their hours reduced by 7.5 per cent, while a woman’s working hours dropped by 11.5 per cent on average.
“Despite women facing a bigger impact from the COVID-19 recession, government stimulus has focused heavily on male-dominated industries such as construction,” The Australia Institute senior economist Matt Grudnoff said.
Calls for daylight saving to be scrapped over health risks
Melbourne: There are growing calls from health professionals around the world to scrap daylight saving, with warnings turning clocks forward for half the year can have significant health impacts.
An Australian professor has spoken out about some of the health risks associated with changing the clocks, warning the health risks could be amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professor of diabetes at Monash University, Paul Zimmet, told 3AW the Victorian Health Department needed to consider the negative impacts of the upcoming change to daylight.
Aussie Dollar rises as US budget deficit blows out
Sydney: Peter Switzer says history has shown the bigger the United States budget deficit gets the more its currency value falls, resulting in a stronger Australian Dollar.
The US budget deficit soared past $3 trillion due to the government’s spending on coronavirus relief.
“After the GFC, the budget deficit in the US blew out because of the recession,” Mr Switzer told media.
“The Aussie Dollar got to about USD$1.10 over that period of time.
“I don’t think that will happen this time, but certainly the Aussie Dollar is on the way up.”
The Australian Dollar currently buys 73 US cents.
Nominate now for the City of Parramatta Australia Day Awards
Sydney: Nominations are open for the 2021 City of Parramatta Australia Day Awards, which honour local heroes who make outstanding contributions to the community.
“Australia Day is a wonderful opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate the unsung heroes who have gone above and beyond for our community, particularly during this difficult year,” City of Parramatta Lord Mayor Cr Bob Dwyer said.
“I encourage you to nominate a person or organisation that you believe has helped make our City a better place, whether through the arts, education, welfare, volunteering, sports, or an act of kindness.”
Nomination categories this year include:
Citizen of the Year
Individuals who have made a noteworthy contribution to the City of Parramatta, by age group:
• Junior Citizen of the Year in honour of David Shakespeare OAM: 19 years and under
• Young Adult Citizen of the Year: 20 – 39 years old
• Adult Citizen of the Year: 40 – 59 years old
• Senior Citizen of the Year: 60 years and over
Community Group Award
A local group or organisation that has provided an outstanding contribution to the City of Parramatta community, including projects and events.
Nominations close at 5pm on Wednesday 18 November.
Council will host the 2021 City of Parramatta Australia Day Awards on Thursday 21 January 2021 at Rosehill Gardens.
For more information and to submit a nomination visit: cityofparramatta.nsw.gov.au/ausdayawards
High-res images as well as an awards video are available here.