Palestinians seek $2.8bn for rebuilding Gaza
The rival Palestinian governments, US-backed moderates in the West Bank and the Islamic militants of Hamas in Gaza, has presented competing plans for rebuilding war-ravaged Gaza, each seeking roughly $2.8 billion in foreign aid.
The moderates, led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, believe they can raise the full amount at an international pledging conference for Gaza in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheik next week. Saudi Arabia has already promised USD 1 billion and the US is expected to contribute about USD 900 million.
However, Gaza would need open borders and an internationally accepted government for reconstruction to move forward smoothly. At the moment, it has neither.
Hamas is widely shunned as a terror group, and Israel and Egypt have kept Gaza cut off from the world since the militants seized the territory in June 2007, leaving Abbas only in control of the West Bank.
In one scenario, Hamas and Abbas would reconcile, form a joint government and bring about an end to the blockade. Representatives of Hamas and Abbas' Fatah movement launched a new round of reconciliation talks Tuesday, but chances for success are seen as slim because of deep distrust between the two sides.
A judge is holding a hearing Tuesday to consider a lawsuit filed by Mississippi's only abortion clinic, which is trying to remain open by blocking a law that would ban most abortions in the state. The Jackson Women's Health Organization sought a temporary restraining order that would allow it to remain open, at least while the lawsuit remains in court. It does not have an exception for pregnancies caused by incest.
China has started permitting international flights after a two-year ban due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but there is no word yet on the resumption of air services to India even after Beijing lifted a visa ban for Indian professionals and their families last month. China is also processing the list of hundreds of Indian students wanting to return to the country to re-join their colleges. Beijing is reportedly reviewing the Indian student lists.
Chinese vice-premier Liu He had a “constructive” dialogue with US Treasury secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday with both sides agreeing to strengthen “macro-policy communication” and coordination, according to a statement from China. Liu expressed concern over the additional tariffs that the US had imposed on Chinese goods during the video conversation, the official Chinese statement, released by state news agency Xinhua said. The exchange was “pragmatic and frank”, the Chinese statement said.
The European Parliament on Tuesday ratified landmark laws that will more closely regulate Big Tech and curb illegal content online, as the EU seeks to bring order to the internet "Wild West". "With the legislative package, the European Parliament has ushered in a new era of tech regulation," said a key backer of the laws, German MEP Andreas Schwab.
Oil prices slipped on Tuesday, reversing earlier gains, as concerns of a possible global recession curtailing fuel demand outweighed supply disruption fears, highlighted by an expected production cut in Norway. US West Texas Intermediate crude fell 15 cents, or 0.1%, to $108.28 a barrel, from Friday's close. There was no settlement for WTI on Monday because of the Independence Day public holiday in the United States. Supply concerns still loomed.