Saudi-Qatar Standoff Pushes Gaza Toward Uneasy Reconciliation

Longstanding rivalries between Gulf powers are pushing the Palestinian Authority to tighten Israel’s closure of the Gaza Strip, even as Egypt takes unexpected steps to ease it. Meanwhile, Gaza’s Hamas movement is seeking reconciliation with a faction of Fatah, its longstanding rival.
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The post Saudi-Qatar Standoff Pushes Gaza Toward Uneasy Reconciliation appeared first on MintPress News.

Husband under investigation in Delray Beach woman’s disappearance moves to UK

The husband of a Delray Beach woman who disappeared during a sailing trip near the Bahamas has moved with his daughter to the United Kingdom.

Lewis Bennett is under investigation by federal authorities in his wife’s disappearance.

Bennett told the U.S. Coast Guard that he and his wife, Isabella Hellmann, were on their 37-foot catamaran, “Surf into Summer,” on Mother’s Day when it struck an unknown object, causing it to take on water. He told the Coast Guard that he abandoned the catamaran and couldn’t find his wife.

He was rescued the next day from a life raft about 30 miles west of Cay Sal, Bahamas. The catamaran was later found overturned in the Florida Straits.

Bennett announced in a June 28 Facebook post that he and the couple’s baby girl moved to England “to seek the comfort of my friends and family.” The post has since been removed.

Hellmann’s family has started a social media campaign to bring the baby back to the United States.

According to a Boca Raton police report, Bennett called police May 28 while trying to retrieve a computer, an iPad, an engagement ring and other belongings from Hellmann’s sister’s home.

Bennett claimed that his sister-in-law, Dayana Rodriguez, had taken the items from his home, the report said. Rodriguez denied the accusation, but Bennett said he “had the security cameras to prove it,” the report said.

Another sister-in-law, Elizabeth Rodriguez, yelled at Bennett to get out and “repeatedly stated that Lewis killed her sister,” the report said.

The police officer who was called to the home decided that it was best for Bennett to leave, and he did, the report said.

An investigator with the U.S. Marshals Service told police that Lewis is under investigation in his wife’s disappearance, the report said.

Hellmann was a real estate agent at Signature International Real Estate in Delray Beach.

Postal worker admits she took bribes to deliver drug parcels

A former U.S. Postal Service worker has admitted to taking cash bribes in exchange for delivering packages that contained drugs.

Evelyn Ramona Price, 53, pleaded guilty Friday to bribery of a public official.

Price told investigators she met a man named “Steve” in 2016 and agreed to provide him with addresses on her route where packages could be sent. They would then meet to exchange the packages. She was paid $50 per package.

Authorities later seized four packages, which they said contained more than 20 pounds of marijuana. The packages bore return addresses in Florida or New York, but were postmarked from California.

Price will be sentenced in September. She could receive a maximum punishment of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Trump’s list of disagreements with G20 nations

U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies and statements have ruffled the feathers of many world leaders since he took office.

On Friday, leaders from the world’s biggest economies will meet at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, where many of those public spats could be rekindled.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she wants the summit to focus on key international issues such as climate change, free trade and an unfettered press — issues that push up against Trump’s positions and populist rhetoric.

Here’s a look at some key issues that may be discussed at the summit — and how Trump and G20 leaders have clashed over them.


All but three countries have signed the Paris Agreement, a landmark deal that asks every country to reduce their greenhouse emissions. In June, Trump pulled out of the agreement and joined Syria and Nicaragua in the small club of countries that have rejected the deal.

In a speech last week, Merkel spoke to Trump’s worldview without directly naming him. She said, “We cannot wait until every last person on Earth has been convinced of the scientific proof.”

Other G20 leaders haven’t been shy to voice their discontent with his decision, including France’s President Emmanuel Macron, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who called Trump’s withdrawal “disappointing but not at all surprising.”


Trump has forged ahead with his tough-on-trade campaign promises.

He has shown clear disdain for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), saying the trade deal has unfairly robbed Americans of jobs.

In April, Trump announced he would stay in the deal but would negotiate its terms after speaking with his counterparts in Canada and Mexico.

Trump also fulfilled a promise to pull out of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a 12-nation deal negotiated under Barack Obama. The TPP would have slashed tariffs for American imports and exports with those countries in exchange for attractive labor, environmental and intellectual-property protections for large businesses.

Following the decision, Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country would “remain committed to promoting free trade and investment through opening up and say no to protectionism.”

Trump has criticized steel suppliers for cheating on steel prices. Experts fear a trade war could arise if Trump follows through with tariffs on those countries, which include, Canada, Mexico, Brazil the EU, Japan, and China.


Trump has repeatedly called the organization obsolete and has railed against members of the alliance for not spending the recommended 2% of gross domestic product on defense.

But he seemed to back away from disregarding the alliance in June by formally reiterating the U.S.’ commitment to the principle that an attack on one member is an attack on them all.


Trump’s move to block entry into the U.S. of people from predominantly Muslim countries, which finally went forward last week, drew condemnation from many G20 leaders.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May called the ban “divisive and wrong.”

Trump has also doubled down on his promise to build a Mexican border wall, since vowing that Mexico will pay for it. Mexico says it won’t.


Trump once told Bloomberg News, that if it would be appropriate, he’d be “honored” to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. However, as tensions between Washington and Pyongyang escalated over Korea’s nuclear ambitions and the detainment and death of an American student, Trump has gotten increasingly frustrated.

Trump has said that China isn’t doing enough to pressure the regime.

Washington and Beijing have also clashed over the plan to deploy an anti-missile system in South Korea, something Russia also opposes.


The U.S. and Russia say their forces are in Syria to fight ISIS, with Russia allied alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and the US working with groups that oppose both Assad and ISIS.

Tensions between Moscow and Washington have risen since the U.S. launched an air strike in Syria after Assad’s forces staged a deadly chemical attack.

Last month the U.S. shot down a Syrian warplane, prompting Russia to shut down a communication channel between the two countries.

Laptop ban lifted for Emirates and Turkish Airlines

Passengers flying to the U.S. from Dubai and Istanbul no longer have to pack laptops and tablets in their luggage.

Emirates and Turkish Airlines both confirmed that a U.S. ban on electronics devices larger than a smartphone in cabins was lifted on Wednesday.

“Emirates has been working hard in coordination with various aviation stakeholders and the local authorities to implement heightened security measures and protocols that meet the requirements of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s new security guidelines for all U.S. bound flights,” the Dubai-based airline said in a statement.

Turkish Airlines tweeted: “#WelcomeOnBoard to our U.S.-bound flight. Please fasten your seatbelts and enjoy your own electronic devices.”

A separate electronics ban on flights from Turkey to the U.K. is still in place.

Last week, the Department for Homeland Security lifted the ban for Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways because it had put additional security measures in place.

The ban, which was introduced by the U.S. in March over concerns that devices could be used to smuggle explosives on board, still applies to U.S.-bound flights from seven other airports in the Middle East and North Africa. It will continue to affect six airlines.

One of them is the national carrier of Saudi Arabia.

Saudia said Tuesday it was working to implement the DHS measures and aims to have the ban lifted by July 19.

India’s top tech firms lose appeal for engineering students

India’s top tech companies are becoming less appealing for the millions of engineers the country produces every year.

Three of the country’s top outsourcing firms all dropped in the latest annual ranking of the most attractive employers for Indian engineering students by research firm Universum. The top 10 was dominated by American tech giants like Google and Microsoft.

“The growing presence of multinational [companies] in the last few years has seen them replace domestic ones” among the top choices, said Daniel Ng, Universum’s head of research for Asia. Companies such as Facebook and Apple are perceived as offering a more “creative and dynamic work environment” than their Indian rivals, he added.

In the survey, IT firm Infosys fell out of the top 10 for the first time, slipping to 13th from 9th last year. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the country’s biggest outsourcing company, slid from 14th to 18th. Bangalore-based Wipro sank from 17th to 25th.

In fact, only two Indian companies — infrastructure firm Larsen & Toubro and government-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) — made it into the top 10.

It doesn’t help that Indian students remain obsessed with working abroad. While most millennials around the world put “work/life balance” as their top career goal, young Indians’ main objective is to work outside their own country, Universum said.

Out of the 29,000 Indian students surveyed, 43% said they wanted “to have an international career,” the research firm added. It seems to be getting tougher for firms like Infosys and Wipro to offer them that opportunity.

More than 60% of the Indian tech industry’s revenue comes from the U.S., where President Trump is pushing his “America First” agenda.

Trump has demanded a comprehensive review of the H-1B work visa program, saying it is unfairly used to replace Americans with cheaper foreign workers. Infosys, TCS and Wipro are among the top recipients of H-1B visas, 70% of which go to Indians.

Infosys recently said it will hire 10,000 American workers over the next two years, while TCS has cut its H-1B visa applications by two-thirds.

Other popular destinations for Indian tech workers like the U.K. and Australia have also enacted policies that make it harder for them to move there.

Ng said it is “certainly possible” that the opposition to work visas has contributed to India’s tech firms being deemed less attractive as employers.

But it’s not just big outsourcing companies that Indian engineers don’t want to work for. They’re also losing interest in high-flying startups at home in favor of global competitors.

Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart is also becoming a place where fewer engineers want to work, according to Universum. It ranked 33rd in this year’s survey, a sharp drop from 18th a year ago.

Amazon, which is challenging Flipkart in India, broke into the top 10 for the first time, rising to 8th place from 13th.

U.S. tech firms also top the list for Indian business students, accounting for three of the top five choices.

Indian students’ preferences contrast with those of their counterparts in China, where a Universum survey last month showed students increasingly favoring homegrown companies over international ones.

The Cheyenne River Youth Project will be Featured on OWN’s “The Hero Effect” on Saturday – July 8

Published July 5, 2017 EAGLE BUTTE, SOUTH DAKOTA — When “The Hero Effect” returns to the Oprah Winfrey Network this Saturday, it will travel to South Dakota’s remote, 2.8-million-acre Cheyenne River Lakota reservation and shine a spotlight on the nonprofit Cheyenne River Youth Project. The episode is scheduled to air at 10 a.m. Eastern / […]

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