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Abbas, Jordanian king agree to fight against US embassy relocation to Jerusalem

Jordan’s monarch met with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday in Amman and discussed the relocation of the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

According to the official Palestinian Authority news service Wafa, King Abdullah II and Abbas also “discussed ways to develop bilateral relations between Palestine and Jordan as well as the latest developments in the region.”

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Abbas said that the embassy relocation, a stated intention of new American President Donald Trump, “is an important matter for the king and an important matter for us. There will be no alternative to coordinating and articulating action points with one another to fight any steps that, if acted upon, would have severe ramifications.”

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The two emphasized the importance of coordination with the Trump administration and US Congress during their meeting. They held it to be important to explain to them that decisions that damage the status quo in Jerusalem would have ramifications on regional peace and security. Jordan has yet to send its congratulations to Trump on his assuming office.

Dr. Hayel Dawood, Jordan’s Minister of Religious Endowments and Islamic Affairs, gave an interview to Arab media after the meeting. He said that Trump’s stated intention to relocate the embassy was “a dangerous development that requires an offensive position against it.” He added that the relocation “constitutes a death blow to Washington’s role as a fair mediator in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and disregard for international resolutions that consider Jerusalem occupied territory.”

Dawood said that Arab and Muslim and Islamic countries needed to seriously oppose the proposed move to convince the US that carrying it out would endanger their interests. He also warned that other countries were likely to follow America’s example and move their own embassies to Jerusalem.

White House: ‘beginning stages’ of talks to move US embassy to Jerusalem

The Trump administration has begun deliberations over whether to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on Sunday.
“We are the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject,” Spicer said in a statement.
One adviser to US President Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway, has said it is a top priority for the new administration, which took office just three days ago.
Conway said that Middle East peace would be a topic of conversation in Trump’s first phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, taking place this hour.
Any decision to break with the status quo is likely to prompt protests from US allies in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt. Washington relies on those countries for help in fighting ISIS terrorists, which the new US president has said is a priority.

The US Congress passed a law in 1995 describing Jerusalem as capital of Israel and saying it should not be divided, but successive Republican and Democratic presidents have used their foreign policy powers to maintain the US Embassy in Tel Aviv and to back negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on the status of Jerusalem.

In early December, then-President Barack Obama renewed the presidential waiver until the beginning of June. It is unclear whether Trump would be able to legally override that waiver and go ahead with relocation of the embassy.

US diplomats say that, despite the US legislation, Washington’s foreign policy is in practice broadly aligned with that of the United Nations and other major powers, which do not view Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and do not recognize Israel’s annexation of  East Jerusalem after its capture in the 1967 war.

Israel approved building permits on Sunday for hundreds of Israeli homes in East Jerusalem in expectation that Trump will row back on the previous administration’s criticism of such projects.

Police arrest hundreds of masked Trump haters as rioters smash stores and cars

Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Washington D.C. for Donald Trump’s inauguration but not everyone in attendance was there to celebrate.

Rioters used the day to protest and running battles broke out on the streets of Washington D.C. as President Trump was sworn in on Friday.

More than 95 people have been arrested in regards to the riots and police in riot gear used tear gas to break up a group of anti-Trump, while some demonstrators smashed store and car windows in Washington and ran amok.

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Police blasted them with tear gas and stun grenades and several women claimed they had been maced as they struggled with tears seeping from their eyes.

Riot police chased the group, some openly promoting anarchy, down 10th and E streets, about a mile from the Mall.

More than 500 people, many wearing masks and handkerchiefs over their faces, marched through the center of DC.

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They attacked cars and shop windows, smashing glass panes at a Bank of America branch, a McDonald’s outlet and a Starbucks shop.

Protesters chanted anti-racist chants aimed at the new President.

Police managed to funnel the rioters away, but security was stepped up for this afternoon’s Presidential parade.

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FBI arrests wife of Orlando nightclub ISIS terrorist

Wife of the Pulse nightclub terrorist Omar Mateen was arrested and charged with obstruction of justice.

The FBI concluded Noor Salman was not telling the truth about her husband’s plans for the June 2016 terror attack.

Mateen declared allegiance to ISIS during the terror attack in which 49 people were killed and 53 injured at the Orlando, Florida gay nightclub.

“I just want people to know that I am human. I am a mother,” Salman told the New York Times in November, speaking to the media for the first time after the attack. “I was unaware of everything,” she said. “I don’t condone what he has done. I am very sorry for what has happened. He has hurt a lot of people. How can someone be capable of that?

According to the investigators, however, Salman drove with her husband to Pulse on at least one occasion, and accompanied him to the St. Lucie Shooting Center, where he purchased the handgun and rifle used in the attack.

Salman was arrested in San Francisco on Monday. She had moved several times since the shooting, citing hostility from the public.

Salman and Mateen met on an internet dating site in 2011, and have a 3-year-old son together. Mateen’s ex-wife, Sitora Yusufiy, said he had physically abused her during their brief four-month marriage in 2009.

Terrorism victims’ families sue Twitter, claiming it helped ISIS spread

The family members of three Americans killed in attacks by ISIS have taken Twitter to court, accusing the company of aiding the terrorist group by turning a blind eye to its tweets.

The lawsuit, titled Cain v. Twitter, Inc., has been brought forward by Anne Cameron Cain, whose husband Alex Pinczowski and his sister Sascha were killed in the 2016 Brussels Airport bombing, as well as Beatriz Gonzalez, the mother of Nohemi Gonzalez who was killed in the November 2015 Paris attack.

The claimants, who filed their case through the Israeli legal center Shurat Hadin, allege that Twitter bears some responsibility for their loved one’s deaths by allowing terrorists to use the platform to spread their ideology and recruit new members. The families are seeking compensation, the exact amount of which will be determined in court.

“This is the first lawsuit that details how Twitter has played a key role in making Islamic State the most formidable terrorist organization in the world today, and how Islamic State uniquely used Twitter in the context of two of the most serious attacks to take place in Europe recently,” Shurat Hadin attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner said on Monday.

“Twitter is unique in that it has adamantly refused to block terrorists from using its services, citing ‘freedom of tweeting,’ even if this directly spells mass murder.”

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The lawsuit details several ways in which ISIS terrorists have used Twitter to pursue their goals. These include making threats such as one in October 2014, in which an IS-linked account shared a message calling for the murder of civilians in France and other countries. Then a mere three days before the November 2015 attacks, ISIS-linked accounts posted images of guns, the Eiffel Tower and prayers for blessings on what they called their “mission.” During the attacks themselves, IS tweeted using the hashtags #paris_ignites, #parisinflames, and #franceisonfire before publicly taking responsibility for the carnage. They repeated this pattern with the 2016 Brussels attack.

By failing to take sufficient action against the accounts of ISIS and their supporters, the plaintiffs say Twitter has violated anti-terrorism laws by providing material support to the extremist group. Twitter, along with Facebook and Google, is facing a similar lawsuit from the families of victims killed in the June 2016 massacre in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Twitter has been accused of being overly lenient with ISIS accounts spreading jihadist propaganda. In May 2016, it stopped US intelligence agencies from using special technology to monitor terrorist activity, and when users from the hacktivist group Anonymous started reporting IS accounts on the platform, it penalized them for “harassment.”

Since the summer of 2015, Twitter has been more vigilant towards ISIS-linked accounts, with a total of 350,000 users being blocked or suspended by August 2016. Nevertheless, the lawsuit alleges that as of January 2017, Twitter “continued to provide these resources and services to ISIS and its affiliates, refusing to actively identify ISIS Twitter accounts, and only reviewing accounts reported by other Twitter users,” as cited by Business Insider.

Previously, Shurat Hadin have successfully won their claimants over a billion dollars, including 655 million from the Palestinian Authority and PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) in 2015 for their culpability in terrorist attacks. However, an earlier case against Twitter by the family of an American contractor killed in Jordan was thrown out by a California District Court on the grounds of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which protects online outlets from taking responsibility for content published on those outlets.

Abbas calls on Trump not to move embassy to Jerusalem

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter to US President-elect Donald Trump, calling on the latter not to move the American embassy to Jerusalem, Arab media reported Monday.

According to Israel Radio, Abbas listed the risks of such a move and warned the move would have a “disastrous impact on the peace process, on the two-state solution and on the stability and security of the entire region.”

Trump has said he plans to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Israel supports the move and has encouraged previous presidents to take similar steps to no avail.

Abbas also sent letters to other world powers including Russia, China and the European Union, calling on them to “spare no effort” to prevent the United States from making the move, Wafa said.

The Palestinian Authority regards Jerusalem as the capital of their future imaginary state, while Israel proclaims the entire city as its undivided and eternal capital.

The United States and most UN member states do not recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the city’s status is one of the thorniest issues of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian Authority conflict.

Trump spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway last month told a US radio channel moving the embassy was a “very big priority” for the president-elect.

Trump has also nominated David Friedman, a supporter of Israeli Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, as his ambassador to the Jewish state.

In a Trump transition team statement last month, Friedman said he wanted to work for peace and looked forward to “doing this from the US embassy in Israel’s eternal capital, Jerusalem”.

Palestinian Authority to Trump: moving embassy to Jerusalem equals declaration of war

The Palestinian Authority has stepped up its combative rhetoric against US President-elect Donald Trump’s stated mission to transfer the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which was repeated by one of his top aides.

The threat was expressed by Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas’s close advisor Mahmoud al-Habash, who on Friday called it “a declaration of war on Muslims.” The description was significant not only for its content, but also for the fact that it echoed a similar sentiment voiced by former Jerusalem Mufti Achrama Sabri, whose extreme views are normally not shared by the PA.

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“Everything can collapse if the embassy will be moved to Jerusalem,” said al-Habash. “It can open a wide door to possibilities that no one wants.” He added that they will not be able to sit idly by if such a move occurs.

Another official in the Palestinian Fatah party stated that if the embassy will be moved to Jerusalem, the PA will demand that that Arab and Muslim countries remove their embassies from Washington. The officials stressed that is not merely a Palestinian issue, but an Arab and Muslim one as well.

Abbas himself also commented on the possible scenario of the US Embassy moving to the Israeli capital. Abbas took a less terrorist tone, voicing his hope that Trump will not seek to implement his past statements, as it would cause irrevocable damage to the peace process.

“We heard a lot of statements relating to moving the US embassy, which we hope are not correct and will not be implemented, but if implemented then the peace process in the Middle East, and even peace in the world, will be in a crisis we will not be able to come out from,” stated Abbas.

The Palestinian Authority campaign against transferring the US embassy to Jerusalem comes less than two weeks before Trump’s inauguration and days before the international peace conference that is set to be held next week in Paris.

Terrorist kills 5 wounds 9 at Florida airport

Police are investigating whether the terrorist who opened fire at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport in Florida was mentally disturbed or if he had any links to ISIS after he executed five people in the baggage claim hall with a gun he had checked in his luggage.

Gunman terrorist Esteban Santiago – an Iraq war veteran – was taken into custody after he opened fire in the lower level baggage claim area in Terminal 2 on Friday about 1pm.

Santiago flew into the airport from Anchorage, Alaska (with a layover in Minneapolis, St. Paul) on Delta flight 2182 with a firearm as his only piece of checked luggage. The 26-year-old, who was dressed in a Star Wars t-shirt, claimed his bag, went to the bathroom to load his handgun and then started shooting people dead.

Law enforcement are now investigating why the terrorist was in Florida as they try to determine a motive for the shooting spree. FBI officials said late Friday they had not ruled out terrorism and were investigating all angles.

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Santiago’s relatives said the 26-year-old had a history of mental health issues – some of which followed his military service in Iraq several years ago.

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Authorities said Santiago walked into an FBI office in Anchorage in November last year claiming the government was trying to control his mind and he was being forced to watch ISIS videos. After that incident, Santiago started getting treatment for his mental health issues.

He was previously pictured giving a one-fingered salute, which is commonly used by ISIS jihadists often before they embark on a suicide bombing.

Santiago was also contacted by the FBI after an employer back in Alaska raised concerns about certain things he had said.

Santiago served from 2007 to 2016 in the Puerto Rico National Guard and Alaska National Guard including a deployment to Iraq from 2010 to 2011.

A private first class and combat engineer, he received half a dozen medals before receiving a general discharge for unsatisfactory performance in August last year.

His aunt Maria Ruiz told NorthJersey.com that Santiago had returned from Iraq acting strangely but had seemed happy after the birth of his child in September last year.

But she said something happened to him about a month ago and he was hospitalized for two weeks. She did not have details of his condition.

‘Like a month ago, it was like he lost his mind. He said he saw things,’ she said.

Santiago’s brother Bryan Santiago said he could have suffered a ‘flashback’ from his time in Iraq, despite never being diagnosed with PTSD.

The motive for the shooting is still not known, but Florida Senator Marco Rubio told CNN that Santiago may have gotten into an altercation on his flight earlier that morning.

‘I know that was mentioned as a potential cause and they wanted to kind of look into that a little further and get to that point,’ Rubio said.

Santiago’s brother said he had been fighting with people back in Alaska, including his girlfriend who he was having relationship issues with.

He said Santiago, who was ‘was pro-America’, has not spoken to his family for several weeks.

‘We have not talked for the past three weeks,’ Bryan told the Associated Press. ‘That’s a bit unusual… I’m in shock. He was a serious person… He was a normal person.’

The gunman was born in New Jersey but moved to Puerto Rico where his mother and brother still live. He came back to Puerto Rico after serving in Iraq, before moving to Alaska. He lived there from 2014 to 2016 and his girlfriend and child are still there. His most recent address was in Naples, Florida.

Other details about the shooter reveal he had a minor criminal record for traffic violations, according to court records. He was also evicted by his landlord for failing to pay rent in February 2015.

Santiago was charged with fourth-degree assault and damage of property in January 2016, stemming from a domestic violence incident.

In March, Santiago settled the charges by agreeing to complete unknown requirements demanded by prosecutors in exchange for dismissing the case.

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Mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale Airport in Florida

The deadly shooting at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport is not over yet.

There is another shooter in the parking garage.

Five people were killed and another six injured in the earlier 1pm shooting at the Terminal 2 baggage claim.

The shooter in that incident was taken into custody and has been identified as 26-year-old Esteban Santiago, of New Jersey.

The airport turned chaotic again around 2:30pm, when more gunshots were heard in Terminal 1, Terminal 4 and the parking garage. Police officers were seen rushing into the parking lot with their guns out as bystanders sought shelter behind vehicles.

The TSA confirmed that there was another active shooter situation and issued an order to shelter in place.

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Witnesses told NBC Miami that the shooter was silent and didn’t appear to be targeting anyone in particular – ‘popping off bullets at random’.

Mark Lea, a 53-year-old financian adviser from Minneapolis, says he was in baggage claim when the shooting started.

‘I was dodging bullets and trying to help people get out of the way,’ Lea said.

‘At first we thought it was firecrackers,’ he said. ‘Everyone started screaming and running. The shooter made his way down through baggage claim. He had what looked like a 9mm and emptied his entire clip. People were trying to run.’

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Video from the airport Friday afternoon showed hundreds of passengers corralled together on the tarmac with emergency vehicles parked outside the terminal with lights flashing.

Around 1:45pm, law enforcemeent started the crowds off the tarmac, by bus and on foot.

Former White House press secretary to President George W. Bush, Ari Fleischer, was at the airport at the time of the shooting and tweeted about the chaos.

Just after 1pm, he wrote that ‘shots have been fired. Everyone is running’.

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Minutes later, he said police told him there was just one shooter. By 1:30pm, the scene had settled.

‘All seems calm now but the police aren’t letting anyone out of the airport – at least not the area where I am,’ Fleischer wrote.

The airport is one of the top 25 busiest airports in the nation, and is located about 25 miles north of Miami.

There has been some confusion about whether the airport is up and running. The FAA said that there would be ‘minimal’ delays, but airport officials said activity has been halted. Planes have continued to take off and land on at least one of the runways

Travelers have been advised to contact their airlines if they have a flight at the airport.

Gov. Rick Scott is traveling to Ft. Lauderdale to be briefed on the situation.

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