World this week

Thursday, December 21st, 2017


US vetoes UN call for withdrawing Trump’s Jerusalem declaration

The United States on December 18 vetoed a draft UN resolution rejecting President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, after all 14 other Security Council members backed the measure. The veto cast by US Ambassador Nikki Haley highlighted Washington’s isolation over Trump’s announcement that the US embassy will be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, effectively ignoring Palestinian claims on the city. The policy shift by the Republican president, announced earlier this month, broke with international consensus, triggering protests and strong condemnation.


CIA intel helped stop Russia terror attack

The Kremlin on December 18 praised the “exemplary cooperation” between US and Russian security services after the CIA helped thwart a terror attack on a landmark Orthodox cathedral in Saint Petersburg. In a phone call with US President Donald Trump on Sunday, Kremlin strongman Vladimir Putin expressed his gratitude for intelligence which allowed Russia’s FSB security service to prevent attacks on the Kazan Cathedral, one of the best known symbols of Saint Petersburg, and other places. Russia’s FSB security service said last week it had arrested seven members of the Islamic State group who had been planning terror attacks in crowded areas of Russia’s former Imperial capital.


Around the world in 42 days

Frenchman Francois Gabart smashed the world record for the fastest non-stop solo navigation of the globe on December 17, completing the mammoth feat in 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds. The 34-year-old sailor crossed a virtual finish line drawn between the island of Ushant off France’s northwest tip and Lizard Point in southwest England at 0145 GMT, comfortably beating the previous record set by compatriot Thomas Coville last year by six days and 10 hours. The race time was announced by an observer from the World Sailing Speed Council but will be subject to checks of the boat’s black box and its GPS data before final confirmation.


Turkey to establish embassy in East Jerusalem

Turkey intends to open an embassy in East Jerusalem, President Tayyip Erdogan said on December 17, days after leading calls at a summit of Muslim leaders for the world to recognise it as the capital of Palestine. It was not clear how he would carry out the move, as Israel controls all of Jerusalem and calls the city its indivisible capital. Palestinians want the capital of a future state they seek to be in East Jerusalem, which Israel took in a 1967 war and later annexed in a move not recognised internationally. The Muslim nation summit was a response to US President Donald Trump’s Dec 6 decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. His move broke with decades of US policy and international consensus that the city’s status must be left to Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

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