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Fortnite for Android has also been kicked off the Google Play Store – The Verge

August 13th, 2020

Illinois COVID 19: Face mask guidance for children released by American Academy of Pediatrics – WLS-TV

August 13th, 2020
CHICAGO (WLS) — All children who are 2 and older, including the vast majority of kids with underlying health conditions, can safely wear masks, according to new guidance just released by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“Masks are safe for children to wear and we recommend them,” said Dr. Alison Tothy, spokesperson with the AAP. “They are going to keep your kids safe from infections, especially when they are around other kids.”

In fact, dozens of children have been safely attending classes at El Valor’s early childhood program. El Valor serves 2,000 children in the Chicago area at four different sites, including the Carlos Cantu Children & Family Center in Little Village.

The kids have been wearing face coverings for about eight weeks, said Nina Dueñas, El Valor’s Senior Vice President of Children Services.

“It’s our new way of living, and I think they have adjusted really well,” Dueñas said.

The American Academy of Pediatrics is emphasizing that not only do masks protect your child, they reduce the spread of COVID-19. Kids, they said, get used to them.

“I have not seen children pulling on it or trying to take them off. We probably saw that the first week, but a lot of constant reminding, and here we are eight weeks later and they’re wearing their masks,” Dueñas said.

At El Valor, kids can take off their masks off when they are outside and social distancing in the playground or eating lunch. Some of the children are at the program up to 10 hours and wearing their face coverings.

“Kids, like adults, can wear the mask as long as they need to,” Dr. Tothy said.

Along with providing guidance, the AAP is also busting mask myths. They have addressed several questions over the past few months.

“Will it make it harder for my child to breathe? Can it interfere with my child’s lung development? Will they not pay attention as much in school? All of those are not true,” Dr. Tothy said.

Instead, Dr. Tothy said, children will mirror what their parents do, including whether or not they wear masks.

“This is just like putting on a helmet when you’re bike riding, or putting on a seatbelt when you get your kid in a car seat. These are things that kids can absolutely get used to,” she said.

At El Valor, children have adapted, but so have their teachers, parents, and fellow classmates, including those who are just 2 years old.

“If the parents are doing it, the teachers are doing it,” Dueñas said, “the children will follow.”

Copyright © 2020 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.


CDC Director Robert Redfield says ‘we don’t want to pressure anybody’ as schools weigh reopening – NBC News

August 13th, 2020

As President Donald Trump insists that schools across America reopen, even as new data shows a startling surge of the coronavirus among children and teenagers, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that returning students to the classroom shouldn’t be done hastily.

“We’re going to need to do it safely. We’re going to need to do it sensibly. And we’re going to have to do it based on the unique circumstances, the kinetics of the epidemic and in the areas that the schools are beginning to try to wrestle with this reopening,” CDC Director and virologist Robert Redfield told “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt.

Watch this interview tonight on “NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt” at 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT and on the NBC News special series “Coronavirus and the Classroom” at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT

Redfield added that in communities where the virus continues to be transmitted at high rates, districts shouldn’t feel pressure from the CDC or the White House to welcome students back without measures in place.

“We don’t want to pressure anybody,” he said. “Our guidance is there to help them begin to open, as I said, safely and sensibly. The timing of that is going to have to be decided one school at a time.”

Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield, speaks during a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the Department of Education, in Washington on July 8, 2020.Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Redfield’s remarks come after he warned Wednesday that this fall could be one of the worst in the United States from a public health perspective because of the return of the flu season. He said the extent of how severe the coronavirus outbreak will become all depends on how Americans abide by CDC guidelines that advise the use of masks, social distancing and hand washing as well as limiting large gatherings.

Trump on Wednesday said he would furnish 125 million reusable masks to school districts, while continuing to push for in-person classes after previously threatening to slash federal funding for those districts that fail to reopen.

He drew criticism last week for saying in an interview that children should return to school because they are “almost immune” or “virtually immune” to the disease. While children make up about 9.1 percent of COVID-19 cases nationwide, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, they can still transmit the disease to others, and some children have also died from it.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

“We got to open up,” Trump said during a White House briefing. “We got to open up our schools and open up our businesses. And a lot of it has been opened. But we can do better.”

Some states remain cautious about blanket reopenings.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, announced last month that all schools — both public and private — in counties that are on the list for rising coronavirus cases cannot resume face-to-face learning when school restarts, for some districts later this month, and they would have to meet strict criteria before reopening.

A group of parents have since sued Newsom and other officials, demanding that he allow schools to open because their children are “suffering by being deprived” of in-person learning and some are being harmed by a digital divide.

Newsom did not immediately respond to the suit, but has previously said that “students, staff and parents all prefer in-classroom instruction, but only if it can be done safely.”

During this crisis, more than 5.2 million people in the U.S. have been infected with the coronavirus, with 167,000 dying from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Worldwide, cases have topped 20 million, with roughly a quarter of deaths occurring in America, NBC News figures show.

The White House on Wednesday released general recommendations for school districts to follow when reopening and to protect “high-risk” teachers, such as “frequent hand washing,” minimizing large indoor group gatherings and encouraging the use of masks when social distancing isn’t possible.

“We got to do this safely. We got to do this smartly. We got to be flexible,” Redfield said. “But I do think it’s important that our best interest of society is to work towards getting face to face, you know, learning safely and sensitively based on the unique circumstances of each community.”

Download the NBC News app for full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Redfield also said parents should “embrace the flu vaccine with confidence” against a looming flu season that will be exacerbated by the highly contagious coronavirus.

“If we choose not to get vaccinated, not to embrace these mitigation strategies, it could be a very difficult time,” he added.

Redfield, however, remains hopeful that potential vaccines that have shown promise in early trials will become available by the late fall or early winter.

Moderna Therapeutics, a biotech company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said last month that it had begun the first phase 3 trial of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate in the United States. The company is partnering with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, for its vaccine research.

“I would have never said this back in April or May,” Redfield said, “but now I’m cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine that will be available before the first of the year.”


Should you ditch your gaiter as a face mask? Not so fast, scientists say – Live Science

August 13th, 2020

Face masks play a critical role in helping to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, and could save tens of thousands of lives in the U.S. if everyone wore them in public, experts have said.

Yes, some face masks are more protective than others. But that doesn’t mean wearing neck gaiters — stretchy pieces of fabric that people, especially runners, pull up to cover their nose and mouth — is worse than wearing no masks at all, as some recent news articles have suggested.

These news articles were based on a study published Aug. 7 in the journal Science Advances, in which researchers tested a novel method for evaluating the effectiveness of face masks. In other words, it was a study conducted to test a methodology. However, the researchers did explore some mask effectiveness in a “proof-of-principle” test, to evaluate whether they could use this particular method to measure mask effectiveness. To do that, they had a handful of participants try out multiple types of masks.

Related: Coronavirus live updates

“The mask tests performed here … should serve only as a demonstration,” the authors wrote in the paper. “Inter-subject variations are to be expected, for example due to difference in physiology, mask fit, head position, speech pattern, and such.” 

In this setup, a person wears a face mask and speaks in the direction of a laser beam set up inside a box that’s expanded to be a sheet of light — and the droplets that come out of their mouths and through the masks scatter light, which is detected using a cellphone camera. A simple computer algorithm counts the droplets in the recorded video. The researchers demonstrated their method with 15 different face masks and face coverings; one participant tried out all the masks and four tried a subset of the masks. During each trial, the researchers had the participants say “stay healthy, people,” five times, and measured the number of droplets they emitted.

The authors found that the number of droplets that escaped through the masks varied greatly. They did not see “any appreciable droplet” emission from the N95 respirator, for example, though those should typically be reserved for health care workers, co-author Martin Fischer, a chemist and physicist at Duke University in North Carolina, said at a news briefing today (Aug. 13). The Duke team also tested a range of cotton masks and found that they blocked about 80% of the droplets coming out of the mouth, Fischer said. 

However, in this proof-of-principle setup, some masks seemed to allow more droplets through than others. The gaiter mask produced 10% more droplets than when the person did not wear a mask, according to the study. The researchers hypothesize that this could be because the gaiter mask split the large droplets from the person’s mouth into smaller droplets, which increased their count. That is “somewhat concerning,” as little droplets can hover in the air for longer and be easily carried away by air currents, Fischer said.

“Absolutely not” evidence

That being said, the gaiter was only tested on a single person, making it likely that differences between individual speakers would overwhelm any difference between masks that they noted. What’s more, the researchers tested a single neck gaiter (one that was very thin and made up of a mix of 8% spandex and 92% polyester).

The public should “absolutely not” use this as evidence that neck gaiters are worse than wearing no mask at all, Fischer said. “We tested one mask because we just had that mask lying around … there are plenty of other gaiters out there,” some that could be more protective, he said. Even the way people wear them can change how protective they are, he added.

Related: 20 of the worst epidemics and pandemics in history

Some experts aren’t convinced that this particular neck gaiter created more particles in the first place.

“It’s unclear to me whether they actually measured respiratory droplets,” said William Ristenpart, a professor of chemical engineering at the University of California, Davis who was not part of the study. Instead, the Duke team may have measured dustlike particles of fabric that came from the masks.  “Research from my group in peer review right now indicates that some fabrics shed substantial numbers of particulates that confound mask efficacy measurements,” Ristenpart told Live Science.

There’s still much we don’t know about face mask efficiency, and more tests are needed to pin that down, said study senior author Dr. Eric Westman, an associate professor of medicine at Duke University. Though this study doesn’t prove anything about face masks such as gaiters, people should take a “pause” if they are using flimsy face coverings, such as a “one-layer, spandex, polyester stretchy fabric that you can easily breathe through and blow out a candle through,” Westman told Live Science. Those types of masks will likely not be very protective, while a double-layered mask, for example, might be better, he noted.

Another study, published June 30 in the journal Physics of Fluids used a different method to evaluate the effectiveness of non-medical masks: a masked or unmasked mannequin connected to a fog machined. This team found that without a mask, droplets could travel up to 12 feet (3.7 meters) from the mannequin, but with a mask that distance dropped significantly,  according to a previous Live Science report

These researchers found that a stitched cotton mask that fit snugly and had multiple layers reduced the spread the most, but a cone-style mask also worked well. A single-layer bandana (made from an elastic T-shirt material) and a folded handkerchief were not as effective. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated their guidance to warn against using masks with exhalation valves, which might protect the wearer of the mask, but not others, according to another Live Science report.

There are still more questions than answers, but one of the major takeaways from this new study highlights that, “just speaking can potentially spread this [virus] to other people, I don’t have to yell, I don’t have to sneeze or cough,” Westman said. 

Originally published on Live Science.


Why fans think Chrissy Teigen is pregnant with baby No. 3 – Page Six

August 13th, 2020

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend appear to be expecting their third child together.

The model revealed what looks like a baby bump at the end of the singer’s new music video for “Wild,” released on Thursday.

Amid the speculation, Teigen simply tweeted a smiling-heart emoji.

[embedded content]

Legend, 41, and Teigen, 34, married in 2013 after meeting on the set of his music video for “Stereo” in 2007. They share two children, Luna, 4, and Miles, 2.

Their scene came as a shock to fans, as Teigen shared on social media in June that she was going under the knife for a breast implant removal surgery.

She also revealed in 2018 that the couple only had one embryo left at the time — and that the embryo later became Miles.

Reps for Teigen and Legend didn’t immediately get back to us.


Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live vs. Apple’s AirPods Pro – MacRumors

August 13th, 2020

House Democrats to investigate scientist leading “Operation Warp Speed” – Axios

August 13th, 2020

House Democrats on the committee charged with overseeing the federal government’s response to the coronavirus announced an investigation Thursday into “Operation Warp Speed,” the Trump administration’s efforts to accelerate the development and distribution of a vaccine.

Why it matters: In an effort to quickly distribute a vaccine, the Trump administration has bought initial batches from a handful of pharmaceutical companies before knowing whether they are safe and effective, Axios’ Bob Herman reports.

What they’re saying: The committee is concerned that Moncef Slaoui, a former Moderna executive and the scientist leading the administration’s vaccine effort, has financial interests that could undermine the ethics and public trust of a vaccine rollout, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) wrote in a letter to HHS.

  • Clyburn also said he was worried that vaccine candidates chosen under Operation Warp Speed excluded experts and lacked transparency.

The other side: FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn addressed concerns about the integrity of a coronavirus vaccine in the medical journal JAMA last week, saying that “there is a line separating” the government’s resources and funding from the FDA’s review processes.

  • An HHS spokesperson pointed out that in early May, Slaoui divested his equity holdings in Moderna before joining Operation Warp Speed. The chief advisor to HHS Secretary Alex Azar for the vaccine project has also “left all advisory boards and boards of directors of companies with even the appearance of conflict,” the spokesperson said.
  • Operation Warp Speed selects candidates based on how well they meet criteria on safety, efficacy and large-scale distribution requirements, the spokesperson said.

Background: Slaoui has kept his status as a government contractor while leading the administration’s race to distribute a vaccine, which allows him to keep investments in pharmaceutical companies and avoid ethics disclosures, the New York Times reports.

  • The HHS inspector general said in July that it would not require Slaoui to adhere to the ethics rules that federal employees are bound to, citing his unusual role, per the Times.

Go deeper: How the U.S. might distribute a coronavirus vaccine

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comment from the HHS.


WHO says people should keep putting off routine dental visits during pandemic –

August 13th, 2020

— The World Health Organization recently suggested that people delay routine dental appointments, at least until nations have a better handle on the spread of coronavirus.

So what should people due for a six-month cleaning do?

“It’s a personal choice, but I say absolutely [go],” said Dr. Jessica Lee of UNC Health.

“We really need to keep up the check-ups to make sure our mouths are healthy,” Lee said. “If there is something that is being neglected, if you couldn’t get to a dentist in the past three months, any dental illness will get worse if not detected early.”

Current safety standards will keep dental workers and patients safe, she said.

Dr. Tasha Hinton, for example, said she works in full protective gear to ensure both she and her patients are safe during the pandemic.

“I can’t afford to get this thing, no matter how mild or not it might be,” Hinton said of COVID-19.

Dentist using drill

The WHO said the close proximity of dentists and hygienists to people’s open mouths increases the risk of the respiratory droplets that carry coronavirus spread from one person to another.

“However, urgent or emergency oral health care interventions that are vital for preserving a person’s oral functioning, managing severe pain or securing quality of life should be provided,” the organization said.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also updated its guidance for dentists, calling for eye protection, masks and N95 respirators.

“It’s really a tweak of what we’ve been doing,” Lee said.

“It’s a mess,” Hinton said of changing rules during the pandemic, noting different groups are seen as more or less susceptible to coronavirus from one month to the next.

“We read it, we take it in,” she said of the guidance. “But I feel like everything I’m doing is above and beyond, so I don’t stress so much.”

The CDC also updated the definition of fever when screening people for symptoms related to COVID-19, lowering it to 100 degrees.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had to turn one or two people away,” Hinton said. “They had a temperature, and thankfully, it kept my people protected as well.”


Coronavirus pandemic leading to depression and drinking, CDC says | TheHill – The Hill

August 13th, 2020

Americans are struggling to cope with the coronavirus pandemic after months of harsh lockdowns, widespread disease and economic suffering that has fallen disproportionately on the young, minorities and those who are most vulnerable to financial shocks.

A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds the number of Americans reporting adverse mental health or behavioral changes — like drinking or drug use — on a perilous rise in recent months.

About a quarter of Americans reported symptoms of an anxiety disorder, three times higher than what a similar survey found a year ago. Those reporting depression has quadrupled, to nearly a quarter.


About 13 percent of Americans said they were drinking or using drugs more because of the stress of the pandemic. And almost 11 percent said they had seriously considered suicide in the last month, including more than a quarter of those between 18 and 24 years old.

In total, 41 percent of Americans said they were suffering from one or more symptoms of serious mental health problems. The CDC said treating those conditions was an essential part of the response to the pandemic.

“Markedly elevated prevalences of reported adverse mental and behavioral health conditions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the broad impact of the pandemic and the need to prevent and treat these conditions,” the authors wrote. “Addressing mental health disparities and preparing support systems to mitigate mental health consequences as the pandemic evolves will continue to be needed urgently.”

The CDC survey found younger people, Hispanics and African Americans are more likely to suffer from mental health conditions caused by the pandemic in addition to essential workers and unpaid caregivers for adults. Most at risk are those who are already undergoing treatment for a previously diagnosed mental health condition.

More than 21 percent of essential workers had considered suicide in the last month, and a quarter of those workers said they were using substances more now than they had before the pandemic.

About one in five Americans say they know someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus, while 8 percent say they know one of the approximately 160,000 people who have died in the United States.

The CDC survey included responses from 5,412 American adults between June 24-30.


UAE, Israel normalise ties: All the latest updates – Al Jazeera English

August 13th, 2020
  • Israel and the United Arab Emirates have reached a historic deal that will lead to a full normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern nations.
  • The deal came after a phone call between US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
  • The White House says the agreement will see Israel suspend its plans to annex Palestinian areas of the occupied West Bank.

Here are the latest updates:

20:02 GMT – Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas ‘rejects and denounces’ UAE-Israel deal 

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced Israel’s accord with the United Arab Emirates in a statement issued by his spokesman.

“The Palestinian leadership rejects and denounces the UAE, Israeli and US trilateral, surprising, announcement,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a senior adviser to Abbas.

Abu Rudeineh, reading from a statement outside Abbas’ headquarters in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, said the deal was a “betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian cause.”

The statement urged the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to assemble to “reject” the deal, adding “neither the UAE nor any other party has the right to speak in the name of the Palestinian people.”

20:00 GMT – Kushner: Israel deal on annexation will take a while to take effect. 

White House adviser Jared Kushner has said that a deal would take time to be implemented, when asked how long Israel had agreed to suspend its West Bank annexation plans as part of its normalisation deal with the UAE.

19:30 GMT – Israel-UAE deal will not stop Netanyahu’s annexation plans: Analyst 

Mustafa Barghouti, secretary general and co-founder of the Ramallah-based Palestinian National Initiative, said the deal between Israel and the UAE will not stop Netanyahu’s annexation plans. 

“The Israelis and Emirates had relations already, there was never a struggle between them so I don’t know why they need to call it a peace agreement,” Barghouti told Al Jazeera. 

“The reality is that the problem is with the Palestinian people, with the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land, the problem is with the Israeli plan of annexation of Palestinian land which Netanyahu has confirmed one more time today that he is proceeding with.”

“The problem is with the system of racism and apartheid that Israel excises against the Palestinian people.”

19:25 GMT – Iran official says UAE-Israel deal will not secure regional peace 

The agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates will not secure peace in the region, tweeted a special adviser on international affairs to the speaker of Iran’s parliament. 

“UAE’s new approach for normalizing ties w/fake, criminal #Israel doesn’t maintain peace & security, but serves ongoing Zionists’ crimes,” tweeted Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, also a former deputy foreign minister.

“Abu Dhabi’s behavior has no justification, turning back on the Palestine cause. W/ that strategic mistake, #UAE will be engulfed in Zionism fire.”

19:15 GMT – ‘Nothing historic’ about Israel-UAE agreement 

Omar Baddar, a US-based analyst, said there was “nothing historic” or “groundbreaking” about Thursday’s deal between the UAE and Israel. 

“Israel didn’t ‘halt’ the annexation for the West Bank (annexation is ALREADY a de facto reality on the ground). Israel merely ‘suspended’ its announcement of a reality it has already illegally imposed on Palestinians. It is FALSE to say Israel suspended it at the UAE’s request,” Baddar wrote on Twitter. 

19:05 GMT – How the world reacted to the UAE-Israel normalising diplomatic ties 

The United Arab Emirates has become the first Gulf Arab country to reach a deal on normalising relations with Israel, capping years of discreet contacts between the two countries in commerce and technology.

The so-called “Abraham Agreement”, announced by US President Donald Trump on Thursday, secures an Israeli commitment to halt further annexation of Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank.

However, addressing reporters later in Tel Aviv, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he agreed to “delay” the annexation as part of the deal with the UAE, but the plans remain “on the table”.

Read more here

18:55 GMT – Brahrain says UAE-Israel deal strengthens chances of peace 

Bahrain has welcomed the accord between the UAE and Israel, saying the “historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region”.

The small island state also praised the US for its efforts towards securing the deal. 

Hamas: Israel-UAE deal a ‘stab in back of Palestinians’ (13:21)

18:05 GMT – US presidential candidate Biden says Israel-UAE deal ‘brave and badly needed’

US Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden hailed the Israel-UAE deal as an historic step toward a more stable Middle East, warning he would not support Israel’s annexation of Jewish settlements if he wins the White House in November.

“The UAE’s offer to publicly recognize the State of Israel is a welcome, brave, and badly-needed act of statesmanship,” the former Vice President said in a statement. “Annexation would be a body blow to the cause of peace, which is why I oppose it now and would oppose it as president.”

17:50 GMT – Netanyahu: UAE deal start of a ‘new era’ for Israel and Arab world   

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hailed the US-brokered deal to normalise ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, saying the agreement signaled the beginning of a new era with the Arab world. 

“Today a new era began in the relations between Israel and the Arab world,” he said at a televised press conference.

Netanyahu said the “full and official peace” with the UAE would lead to cooperation in many spheres between the countries and a “wonderful future” for citizens of both countries.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces a peace agreement to establish diplomatic ties, between Israel and the United Arab Emirates

Netanyahu said the deal would lead to a ‘wonderful future’ for citizens of both countries [Abir Sultan /Pool via Reuters]

17:45 GMT – UK’s Johnson welcomes Israel-UAE normalisation deal 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has welcomed the agreement between Israel and the UAE that will lead to a full normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two states.

“The UAE and Israel’s decision to normalise relations is hugely good news,” Johnson said on Twitter.

“It was my profound hope that annexation did not go ahead in the West Bank and today’s agreement to suspend those plans is a welcome step on the road to a more peaceful Middle East.” 

17:10 GMT – Israel’s president invites UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed to visit Jerusalem

President Reuven Rivlin has extended an invitation to UAE Crown Price Mohammed bin Zayed to visit Jerusalem, hours after the announcement that the two countries were establishing full diplomatic ties.

“I invite the crown prince to visit Jerusalem,” he wrote on Twitter, adding a greeting in Arabic.

Rivlin, whose post is ceremonial, said the agreement was “an important and strategic milestone” that could jumpstart agreements with other countries in the region.

Reuven Rivlin

Rivlin, whose role is largely ceremonial, hailed the agreement as ‘an important and strategic milestone’ [File: Mick Tsikas/AFP]

16:55 GMT – UN chief welcomes ‘any initiative’ on Middle East peace, security: Spokesman 

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomes “any initiative that can promote peace and security in the Middle East region,” a UN spokesman said after Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced a deal on bilateral ties.

16:30 GMT – Hamas: Israel-UAE agreement is ‘a reward for the Israeli occupation’s crimes’

Hamas has accused the United Arab Emirates of stabbing Palestinians in the back by agreeing to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel.

“This announcement is a reward for the Israeli occupation’s crimes,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum. “The normalisation is a stabbing in the back of our people.”

Israel and UAE agree to normalise diplomatic relations (7:17)

16:15 GMT – Israeli legislators welcome normalisation deal with UAE 

Israeli lawmakers have welcoming the establishment of full diplomatic relations with the UAE, with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz – who is also Israel’s “alternate” prime minister under a power sharing deal – saying the agreement expressed an “alliance” between countries in the region who aim for stability and prosperity.

He said the deal will have “many positive implications” on the region and called on other Arab states to pursue peace deals with Israel. He also thanked President Trump, calling him a “true friend of Israel.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, part of Gantz’ Blue and White party, said he welcomed Israel’s backing down from “unilateral annexation” of the West Bank, saying Trump’s Middle East plan would be discussed in consultation with countries in the region.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid said “negotiations and agreements, not unilateral steps like annexation” were key to Israel’s diplomatic relations.

16:12 GMT – UAE says deal was done to manage annexation threat 

The United Arab Emirates has said its agreement with Israel was done to deal with the threat that further annexation of Palestinian territories posed to the two-state solution.

The UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, urged the Palestinians and Israelis to return to the negotiating table. 

16:10 GMT – Egypt’s Sisi welcomes UAE-Israel deal, halt to annexation 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has welcomed the normalisation of ties between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, saying he valued efforts that will “achieve prosperity and stability for the region”.

“I followed with interest and appreciation the joint statement between the United States, United Arab Emirates and Israel to halt the Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands and taking steps to bring peace in the Middle East,” Sisi said on Twitter.

“I value the efforts of those in charge of the deal to achieve prosperity and stability for our region.” 

16:05 GMT – UAE, Israel to sign bilateral deals on areas including tourism, direct flights

Delegations from the United Arab Emirates and Israel will meet during the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements on areas including energy, tourism, direct flights, investment, security, communication and technology, the UAE foreign ministry said.

15:50 GMT – UAE-Israel deal is a ‘win’ for diplomacy, the region – UAE embassy to US

The United Arab Emirates embassy to the United States said an agreement to fully normalise relations between Israel and the UAE was a win for diplomacy and for the region that lowers tensions.

Ambassador Youssef Al Otaiba said the agreement maintained the viability of a two state solution and the UAE remained a strong supporter of the Palestinian people, in a statement on Twitter. 

Benjamin Netanyahu and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed

Youssef Al Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to the United States said his country remained a strong supporter of the Palestinian people [Reuters]

15:48 GMT – UAE official says Israeli annexation would have ended peace hopes

UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash said on Thursday any further Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory would have ended hopes for peace in the region.

In an interview with Sky News Arabia after the announcement that the UAE had agreed to a deal to normalise relations with Israel, Gargash said the UAE had dismantled a ticking time bomb that was threatening the two state solution.  

15:45 GMT – Palestinian official accuses UAE of ‘normalisation’ with Israel

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi accused The United Arab Emirates of “normalisation” with Israel after Thursday’s announcement of a historic peace deal.

Ashrawi, a veteran Palestinian negotiator and member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said on Twitter: “The UAE has come out in the open on its secret dealings/normalization with Israel. Please don’t do us a favor. We are nobody’s fig leaf!”  

Does Trump support Israel’s annexation move? (1:57)

15:40 GMT – Pompeo says Israel-UAE agreement is enormous step forward

An agreement on normalising relations reached between Israel and the United Arab Emirates on Thursday is an “enormous” step forward on the “right path”, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters with him on a trip to central European countries.

Pompeo made his remarks shortly before taking off from Slovenia for Austria’s capital Vienna.

The agreement, which US President Donald Trump helped broker, will lead to the full normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern nations. 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks with the Emirati Ambassador to the US Yousef Al Otaiba at the NYU Abu Dhabi campus in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates January 13, 2019. Andrew Caballero-Reyno

The agreement will lead to the full normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two Middle Eastern nations [File: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool via Reuters]

15:40 GMT – Israel hails ‘great day for peace’ after deal with UAE announced

Israel hailed a US-brokered peace deal with the United Arab Emirates as a “great day for peace” and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to hold a news conference at 1600 GMT to comment further.

Saying he had to deal with a matter of great national interest, Netanyahu abruptly left a cabinet discussion on the coronavirus crisis about an hour before US President Donald Trump announced the agreement to normalise relations between Israel and the Gulf Arab country.

On Twitter, Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador in Washington, wrote: “A great day for peace! Israel commends the courage of MBZ (de facto UAE leader Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan) for the historic decision of the UAE to join Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994) in making peace with Israel. Israel deeply appreciates all … Trump has done to make this breakthrough possible.”

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