World breaking news today (December 13): Israel and Bhutan establish diplomatic relations
|Israel established relations on Saturday with Bhutan (Photo: Times of Isareal)|
Israel and Bhutan establish diplomatic relations
Israel established relations on Saturday with Bhutan, a majority-Buddhist nation neighbouring India, as it looks to continue to expand its diplomatic links internationally.
Israel’s accord with the Himalayan country did not appear to be related to its budding ties under U.S.-sponsored accords with Arab and Muslim countries, though Israeli officials sought to portray it as evidence of its growing acceptance abroad, according to Reuters.
The agreement follows several years of secret contacts between Israel and Bhutan with the aim of establishing relations, Israel’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
Bhutan relied on India for guidance on its foreign and defence policy until a friendship treaty was revised in 2007. It maintains diplomatic relations with around 53 countries.
A signing ceremony was held between the Israeli and Bhutanese ambassadors to India on Saturday at the Israeli embassy in New Delhi, a joint press release posted on the Bhutanese foreign ministry’s website said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the agreement, adding there had been contacts with other countries which wanted to establish relations.
Israel and Morocco on Thursday agreed to normalise ties in a deal brokered with U.S. help, making it the fourth Arab country after the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan to set aside hostilities with Israel in the past four months.
Trump helicopter buzzes supporters rallying in Washington
Thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump returned to Washington on Saturday for rallies to back his desperate efforts to subvert the election that he lost to Joe Biden, AP reported.
They cheered as Trump flew overhead on the Marine One helicopter on his way out of town for the Army-Navy football game in West Point, New York.
The gatherings of mostly unmasked Trump loyalists were intended as a show of force just two days before the Electoral College meets to formally elect Biden as the 46th president. Trump, whose term will end Jan. 20, refuses to concede, while clinging to baseless claims of fraud that have been rejected by state and federal courts, and Friday by the Supreme Court.
|The gatherings of mostly unmasked Trump loyalists (Photo: CTV News)|
Trump left the White House around midday for the trip to the U.S. Military Academy, and as Marine One passed over a rally on the National Mall, cheers went up.
At a pro-Trump demonstration in Washington a month ago, Trump thrilled supporters when he passed by in his motorcade en route to his Virginia golf club.
On Saturday, police took more steps to keep the two sides apart, closing a wide swath of downtown to traffic and sealing off Black Lives Matter Plaza.
The US will start getting COVID-19 vaccine
The nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine will begin arriving in states Monday morning, U.S. officials said Saturday, after the government gave the final go-ahead to the shots needed to end an outbreak that has killed nearly 300,000 Americans.
Trucks will roll out Sunday morning as shipping companies UPS and FedEx begin delivering Pfizer’s vaccine to nearly 150 distribution centers across the states, said Army Gen. Gustave Perna of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s vaccine development program. An additional 425 sites will get shipments Tuesday, and the remaining 66 on Wednesday, AP said.
Initially, about 3 million doses were expected to be shipped nationwide. It was unclear exactly who would receive the first shots, though health care workers and nursing home residents were the priority. Perna said health authorities would decide.
A similar number of shots will be held back for those recipients’ second dose, which is needed for full protection from COVID-19.
|(Photo: US News and World Report)|
The announcement Saturday kicks off a massive logistical operation involving the federal and state governments, private companies and health care workers to quickly distribute limited vaccine supplies throughout the U.S. It offers hope in a country grappling with surging COVID-19 infections and deaths, which are overwhelming hospitals and raising fears that things will only get worse as people gather over the holidays.
Protests Erupt as South Korea’s Most Notorious Rapist Walks Free
Cho Doo-soon served 12 years in prison for raping an 8-year-old girl. His case has led the national legislature to create new rules for sex offenders released from prison.
As reported by NY Times, protesters gathered outside a prison in southern Seoul on Saturday, shouting “Send him to hell!” and “Castrate him!,” as the rapist, Cho Doo-soon, was released.
Mr. Cho was arrested in 2008 and later convicted of raping an 8-year-old girl, and his name has since become synonymous with the soft-glove treatment sex offenders are said to receive in the country’s courts.
When Mr. Cho, now 68, was released at dawn on Saturday, people were still enraged.
“What kind of country is this, protecting such a rapist?” protesters shouted as Mr. Cho was driven out in a gray government van under heavy police protection.
|Some protesters lay on the pavement, holding signs and shouting slogans (Photo: NY Times)|
Some protesters lay on the pavement, holding signs and shouting slogans, in an attempt to prevent Mr. Cho from leaving. Police officers removed them and built barricades to allow the van carrying Mr. Cho to pass.
Protesters kicked at the van and hurled eggs and insults at the vehicle. Anonymous death treats were issued against Mr. Cho online, forcing the authorities to add more police officers and surveillance cameras around his home.
Gold prices prediction: Prices rise closing the week unchange following weak PPI
Gold prices edged higher on Friday, as the dollar moved higher and US yields edged lower. The labor department reported US Producer Price came in at the lowest reading since April, and softer than expected. For the week gold prices were nearly unchanged after rallying 3% in the prior week.
Gold prices rebounded on Friday and finished the week unchanged. Prices made a higher high and a higher low but were unable to push through resistance. Prices are testing support near the 10-day moving average at 1,835. Resistance is seen near the 50-day moving average at 1,875. Short-term momentum has turned negative as the fast stochastic generated a crossover sell signal. The current reading on the fast stochastic is 66, down from 73. Medium-term momentum is positive but is decelerating as the MACD (moving average convergence divergence) histogram prints in the black with a decelerating trajectory, which points to consolidation.
|(Photo: Business Standard)|
According to the Labor Department, the producer price index up 0.1% in Novembere after increasing 0.3% in October. That was the smallest gain since April. In the 12 months through November, the PPI advanced 0.8% after increasing 0.5% in October. Expectatinos had been for PPI to grain 0.2% in November and rising 0.8% on a year-on-year basis. Excluding food, energy and trade services components, producer prices inched up 0.1%. The core PPI climbed 0.2% in October. In the 12 months through November, the core PPI gained 0.9% after rising 0.8% in October, FX Empire reported.
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