Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.
WSAR
WSAR Listen Live
Total Life Conditioning with Dr Ross Thursdays at 1pm on WSAR
The Financial Planning Hour with Richard Bassett Mondays at 1pm
The WSAR Newsroom Weekdays at Noon
Nick Friar on Sports Sunday at 7pm on WSAR; call in at 508 673 1480
Innovation Southcoast In Cooperation with UMass Dartmouth Thursday at 2pm
All About Cars Saturday at 9am on WSAR
Everything Auto Sundays at Noon brought to you by Mike's Auto Body
Tuesday on WSAR Law Talk at 1pm, Crusin with Bill at 2pm
The Hidden Truth with Laura Washington Friday at 2pm on WSAR
The World According to Dr. Mike Monday through Thursday at 9am on WSAR
Wednesday on WSAR Voice of Business at 1pm, C U Wednesdays at 2pm
Voice of Business with Rob Mellion Wednesdays at 1pm
The Third Degree with Chris Carreiro Monday through Thursday at 3pm
Lars Larson Weeknights at 6pm on WSAR
The Sixth Floor Report Friday on WSAR at 9am
The Will Flanagan Show Mon thru Thr at 4, Friday at 3pm on WSAR
Red Sox and Athletics from Oakland on WSAR Friday at 8:50pm
Red Sox and Athletics From Oakland Saturday on WSAR at 3:20pm
Red Sox and Athletics from Oakland Sunday on WSAR at 3:20pm
Fox Sports Radio every weekend on WSAR
Tony From the Right Saturdays at 11am on WSAR
People on Education; A Service of People Inc Friday at 11am on WSAR
Red Sox and Rangers from Fenway Tuesday on WSAR at 6:25pm
Red Sox and Rangers Wednesday from Fenway at 6:25pm on WSAR
The Bishop's Morning Devotional at 4:40am Daily on WSAR
Friday on WSAR Ask Your Pharmacist at 1pm
World
Subscribe To This Feed

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(TEL AVIV, Israel) -- President Donald Trump said on Monday that he "never mentioned" Israel during his controversial Oval Office meeting with Russian officials in which he reportedly disclosed classified information that could have compromised an Israeli intelligence source.

"I never mentioned the word or the name Israel. Never mentioned it during our conversation," Trump said to reporters ahead of his private meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The president was referring to his May 10 meeting at the White House with Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov where he reportedly shared intelligence information from Israel about ISIS.

Trump has since defended his disclosure, arguing he has the right to share such information with Russians.

ABC News reported that Trump's sharing of the information jeopardized exposing an Israeli spy who had provided the intelligence involving an active ISIS plot.

Monday in Israel at the president's brief public appearance with Netanyahu prior to their private meeting, Trump said he did not mention Israel in his meeting with the Russians.

"They're all saying I did," the president said. "So, you had another story wrong."

In fact, there were no allegations that Trump mentioned the source of the intelligence to the Russian officials.

Trump's national security adviser H.R. McMaster, who was at the May 10 meeting, said in a press conference last week, "At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.”

In Monday's public appearance of Trump with Netanyahu, the Israeli leader showed no signs he was upset about Trump's disclosure of intelligence.

"The intelligence cooperation is terrific," Netanyahu said.

Trump's meeting with the prime minister is just one highlight of his busy schedule since arriving in Israel around noon local time on Monday on what is the second stop on his first foreign trip as president.

Trump also made history Monday in becoming the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his daughter Ivanka Trump.

Trump's visit to the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, pleased Israeli officials. But in preparations for the planned visit, a junior U.S. official commented to Israelis that the Jewish holy site is "not your territory. It's part of the West Bank" -- a remark that an Israeli official said was "received with shock."

The president, donning a yarmulke, solemnly placed his hand on the Western Wall and, after taking a few moments, left a note behind.

Before arriving at the Western Wall, Trump and the first lady toured the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City -- one of Christianity’s holiest sites, holding the shrine where Jesus is believed to have been entombed. He delivered remarks alongside Rivlin, repeating what he wrote in the Israeli president's guestbook, saying, "I am honored to be in the great state of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish people."

The president and the first lady were greeted upon their arrival to Israel by Netanyahu, his wife, Sarah Netanyahu, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, and his wife, Nehama Rivlin, for a welcome ceremony.

"On my first trip overseas as president, I have come to the sacred and ancient land to reaffirm the unbreakable bond between the United States and the state of Israel," Trump said Monday morning on the tarmac of Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv.

"We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and to its people, defeating terrorism and creating a future of harmony, prosperity and peace. But we can only get there working together," he added.

On Tuesday, Trump will have a private meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and participate in a wreath laying at the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem.

Trump will not announce during his visit any move of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, according to a senior White House official who cautioned that it's not the right time for such a pronouncement, as the administration is focusing on brokering a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

Moving the embassy had been a campaign promise of Trump's going back to the Republican primary campaign. As early as a March 2016 speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Trump vowed, "We will move the American Embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem."

Most foreign nations' embassies in Israel, including the United States' since 1966, are in Tel Aviv. Any move of the embassy to Jerusalem would likely be viewed as provocative to leaders of the region's Arab nations and to Palestinians, who claim that city as the capital of a future state.

Trump does not expect to convene a joint meeting with Abbas and Netanyahu on this trip, although he hopes that will happen after another round of solo meetings with each of the leaders, the senior White House official said.

"We're not here to force people to do things one way or the other with regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," the official said.

The stop in Israel comes after the president's visit to Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, and will be followed by a trip to the Vatican, where Trump will meet with the pope.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Four climbers from four different countries died near the top of Mount Everest this weekend in what was a tragic few days on the world's highest peak.

Roland Yearwood, a 50-year-old American climber, died as a result of altitude sickness, according to Murari Sharma, managing director of Everest Parivar Treks.

Yearwood was a doctor at the Georgiana Medical Center in Alabama, and according to his bio on the center's website, he is married to another local physician and has two daughters enrolled in college.

The bio also mentions Yearwood's desire to climb Everest.

"During his spare time he likes to sail, dive and fly and is in the process of climbing the tallest summit on the 7 continents and is scheduled to climb Everest next spring,” it reads.

The body of an Indian has been found, and climbers from Slovakia and Australia also died while attempting to summit Everest over the weekend.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(SEOUL, South Korea) -- North Korea confirmed on Monday that it had "successfully" tested a solid-fuel ballistic missile that it claims is capable of reaching Japan and major U.S. military bases, according to state media.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un oversaw the launch from an observation post and ordered it for deployment, according to state-run Korean Central News Agency.

The launch marked the country's second missile test in a little more than a week as the country continues to defy orders for it to reign in its nuclear and missile program.

The test quiets aspirations of peace between North and South Korea. South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it strongly condemns the launch and urged North Korea to immediately stop any actions that violate U.N. Security Council resolutions.

President Donald Trump, currently in the midst of his first foreign trip as president, had no immediate public comment on the test.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called the country’s previous missile launch "disappointing" and "disturbing" in an interview on Sunday.

"The ongoing testing is disappointing, it's disturbing, and we ask that they cease that, because until they cease that testing, clearly they have not changed their view," Tillerson in an interview with FOX News Sunday. “But I think we're early into the game of putting pressure on them. And one could also interpret that perhaps they're just acting out now in response to some of this pressure that I believe they're beginning to feel."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

The White House(TEL AVIV, Israel) -- When President Trump lands in Tel Aviv on Monday, he'll arrive with one goal: kick-starting the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. Trump has called this achievement -- one that has proved elusive for every American president -- "the ultimate deal."

"It's ambitious to say the least," tweeted former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, who served under President Obama. "It's important to avoid any small snafu or distraction that can upend the strategic goals, or give the parties an excuse to hold back."

"A heavy lift for even the most experienced, best-managed White House," Shapiro continued. "The degree of difficulty is even higher for this team."

But before getting down to business when he touches down in Tel Aviv, Trump will first have to answer to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for just one of last week's bombshell revelations: Why he passed on highly sensitive intelligence that originated with Israel, to Russian officials.

The intel snafu

"It certainly casts a pall over the president's upcoming visit to Israel," Shapiro said to ABC News. "He'll still be received as the president of the U.S., which in Israel still counts for a lot, and I'm sure he’ll get a friendly reception, but all Israelis and especially Israelis in the security establishment ... now have to ask the question what kind of partner is this president? Is he someone they can count on, even if his intentions are not ill, to not take actions that could be harmful to Israel’s security?"

Israeli intelligence officials have given no public indication of anger over last week's news. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman only reaffirmed the strength of U.S.-Israeli relations.

"The security relationship between Israel & our greatest ally the United States, is deep, significant and unprecedented in volume," he tweeted. "This is how it has been and how it will continue to be."

Israeli Intel Minister Israel Katz underlined his "complete confidence in the American intelligence community." And Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer also stuck to the script, saying in a statement, "Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States."

"It was certainly a mistake," said Shapiro. But apparently not a fatal one.

"I think they will be very cautious about the information they share, they can't turn off the spigot, they know that the U.S. is their best and sometimes their only partner and they will continue to be that partner," he said. "But they will not put at risk information that is vital to Israel's security, so until their confidence is restored, I expect them to share less and to share it in very, very restricted channels."

Getting both sides to the table

Shapiro has indicated that what Trump wants is a re-launch of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, supported by Sunni Arab states. But for all of Trump's confidence, he's dropped very few hints regarding his approach or his administration’s policy.

"I'm looking at two states and one state, and I like the one both parties like," Trump said at a joint news conference at the White House with Netanyahu in February. "I can live with either one."

But he's refused to delve into the details.

"Throughout my lifetime, I've always heard the toughest deal to make is the deal between Israelis and Palestinians," he said more recently alongside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "Let's see if we can prove them wrong."

Trump will meet with both Netanyahu and Abbas this week.

During their February meeting, Netanyahu followed Trump's lead, sticking to sweeping statements and eschewing firm details.

"Let us seize this moment together," Netanyahu said at the White House. "Let us bolster security. Let us seek new avenues of peace."

For his part, Abbas pitched the same platform Palestinians have presented for years.

"Mr. president," Abbas said, "our strategic option, our strategic choice is to bring about peace based on the vision of the two-state -- a Palestinian state with its capital of East Jerusalem that lives in peace and stability with the state of Israel based on the borders of 1967."

The sticking points

The so-called final-status issues remain the largest stumbling blocks to a peace deal. For as long as the two sides have been negotiating issues including borders, territory, security and the status of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and Palestinian refugees have remained the top issues to be decided upon. The U.S. has maintained that these two matters -- the most important, the thorniest -- must only be decided during direct negotiations between the two parties.

For a president with zero diplomatic experience, this is a potential minefield. As Trump and his team lay the groundwork this week, several issues will likely be on the agenda.

Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem


Trump's visit comes days before the 50th anniversary of Israel's capture of the Old City of Jerusalem during the 1967 Mideast War. And for the last 50 years, the United States has not recognized Israel's sovereignty over the area.

This is why the U.S. Embassy to Israel has been in Tel Aviv since opening its doors some 50 years ago. And also why if an American is born in Jerusalem, their American passport simply lists a birthplace as "Jerusalem," not "Jerusalem, Israel."

As a candidate, Trump promised to move the U.S. Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem -- essentially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. But as president, he's pumped the brakes on this move.

"Right now there are no plans to do anything in that regard," a senior administration official told ABC News last week. "The president said during the campaign that he believes the capital of Israel is where the embassy should be, but because we're having great conversations with everyone right now, we don't think it would be a time to do that so we don't plan to do that on this trip."

Netanyahu has repeatedly voiced support for the move, last week saying it would amend "a historic wrong and by shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem isn't the capital of Israel."

Meanwhile, Chief Palestinian negotiator and Secretary General of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat said this weekend: "We believe that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would mean the end of the peace process." Erekat has previously warned that the move would spark chaos.

For decades, U.S. presidents have waived a U.S. law requiring the embassy be moved to Jerusalem. The waivers expire every six months, and Trump is expected to sign the renewal when it expires on June 1.

Trump and the Western Wall

The flurry of attention surrounding the unchanged, decades-old U.S. policy towards the Western Wall came last week, reportedly with a shouting match when American officials were doing a site survey ahead of Trump's visit.

According to a senior official in Netanyahu's office, the U.S. delegation rejected the Israeli request to have the prime minister accompany Trump on his politically charged visit to the ancient limestone wall in Jerusalem's Old City, claiming it was a "private visit."

According to reports, during the heated conversation, one junior American official told an Israeli official in the prime minister's office that the Western Wall is "not your territory. It's part of the West Bank."

Israeli officials were outraged.

The holy site is the outer wall of the Temple Mount -- as Jews refer to it, a vestige of the holiest site in Judaism.

Muslims refer to the same compound as al-Haram al-Sharif, also home to al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. Jewish worshippers are allowed to visit and pray at the wall, and Muslim worshippers are allowed to visit and pray at the mosque.

It's this tiny piece of land, less than half a square mile, that has has largely thwarted a peace deal for decades.

National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster told reporters Tuesday in regard to Trump’s visit, "He's going to the Western Wall mainly in connection with the theme to connect with three of the world's great religions, and to pay homage to each of these religious sites that he's visiting."

McMaster twice refused to say whether the wall was part of Israel.

"That sounds like a policy decision," he told reporters.

Later that day, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters only that the Western Wall was "clearly in Jerusalem," a fact no one denies, but a question Trump will almost certainly be asked this week.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(TEL AVIV, Israel) -- President Donald Trump was greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he arrived in Tel Aviv Monday morning, the second stop on Trump's first foreign trip.

"We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and to its people, defeating terrorism and creating a future of harmony, prosperity and peace. But we can only get there working together,” Trump said on the tarmac of Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport upon his arrival.

At the top of the president’s agenda will be laying the groundwork for a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. He will meet with both Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, though a senior White House official said the president does not expect to convene a joint meeting between the two leaders on this trip.

One of the biggest sticking points in any deal are Israeli settlements -- communities of Israeli citizens, ethnically Jewish, in the Occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in the Golan Heights.

While the Israeli settlement issue would be just one piece of a two-state solution framework, it is a critical obstacle to peace. Below, ABC News breaks down what you need to know about Israeli settlements:

What are Israeli settlements?

Israeli settlements range from small outposts and villages to cities with tens of thousands of residents.

The territories have been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War -- when Israel, feeling that its security was threatened by its Arab neighbors, captured those areas from Jordan and Syria, respectively, and the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt. (The boundary between Israel and the West Bank is often referred to as the 1967 line and is viewed as a possible border between Israel and a future Palestinian state if the parties pursue a two-state solution.)

Originally, Israeli settlements were in all the captured areas, but Israel evacuated the settlements from the Sinai Peninsula in 1979 after a peace agreement with Egypt and from the Gaza Strip in 2005 after a proposal by Israel’s then–Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that was meant to move forward the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

In December, former Secretary of State John Kerry said there were 130 Israeli settlements east of the 1967 line. One hundred thousand settlers have moved into occupied territory since 2009.

Nearly 90,000 settlers live east of the separation barrier, a wall built by Israel because of security concerns during the second intifada starting in 2000.

At the end of 2015, the Israeli Interior Ministry said nearly 400,000 Jews live in the West Bank, including those beyond the separation barrier but not counting those in East Jerusalem. It is estimated that more than 300,000 Jews live in East Jerusalem, which contains some of the holiest sites for Christians, Jews and Muslims. (In comparison, about 2.75 million Palestinians live under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.)

At the end of last year, Israel announced that it would build 5,600 homes in East Jerusalem.

Why do Israeli settlements cause controversy?

Israelis advocate for and defend settlement construction for various historical, religious, political and security reasons.

But the United Nations considers Israeli settlements illegal under international law, in part because they violate several Security Council resolutions.

Israel argues that settlements are legal because the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, which defines humanitarian protections for civilians in war zones and which Israel signed, does not apply to the territories seized in the 1967 war. However, most international institutions -- such as the International Court of Justice and the U.N. Security Council and General Assembly -- say the Fourth Geneva Convention applies to those territories.

In December, the U.S. abstained from a U.N. vote condemning Israeli settlements. (Traditionally, the U.S. has vetoed Security Council resolutions that condemned settlements.)

Kerry had defended the U.S. decision at the time, saying in a speech at the State Department, “The vote in the United Nations was about preserving the two-state solution. That’s what we were standing up for, Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state.”

“If more and more settlers are moving into the middle of Palestinian areas, it’s going to be that much harder to separate,” Kerry said. “No one thinking seriously about peace can ignore the reality of what the settlements pose to that peace.”

He called the two-state solution “the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.” In the speech, he reiterated a framework for a resolution that would establish borders between Israel and a sovereign state of Palestine based on 1967 territorial lines.

“It is a policy of permanent settlement construction that risks making peace impossible,” he said.

Kerry rejected that a two-state solution would negatively affect Israeli security, though many Israelis argue that a Palestinian state on its border will prove hostile.

Trump has said that he would veto any resolution aimed at an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians proposed by the Security Council and said the entire U.N. is “not a friend of democracy” and “surely is not a friend to Israel.”

In a tweet before Kerry’s speech, then president-elect Trump told Israel to “stay strong” until his inauguration.

How will the Trump administration view settlements?

The U.S., Israel’s oldest and strongest ally, has traditionally seen the settlements as an impediment to a two-state solution. But Trump’s election left some wondering how the new administration could alter U.S. policy toward Israelis settlements.

In an interview with Israel’s Army Radio, Jason Greenblatt, a co-chairman of the Trump campaign’s Israel advisory committee, said, “It is certainly not Mr. Trump’s view that settlement activities should be condemned and that it is an obstacle for peace, because it is not an obstacle for peace.”

Trump’s pick for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is the president of the American Friends of Bet El Institutions, associated with the Jewish settlement of Bet El. Friedman has consistently supported new settlements.

“I think the West Bank was captured from Jordan in a defensive war,” he told ABC News at an October rally for Trump in Israel, referring to the 1967 war. “The Jordanians haven’t sought to repatriate that land, so I think -- I’m a lawyer -- under international law, I don’t think these settlements are illegal.”

He has been pessimistic about the idea of a two-state solution.

But that doesn’t mean a U.S.-brokered agreement is off the table. Trump has called the Israeli-Palestinian solution “the ultimate deal.”

“As a dealmaker, I’d like to do … the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal.

During a February press conference with Netanyahu, President Trump asked the Israeli leader to “hold off on settlements.”

“As far as settlements, I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit,” Trump said. “We’ll work something out. But I would like to see a deal be made. I think a deal will be made. I know that every President would like to.”

“But Bibi and I have known each other a long time -- a smart man, great negotiator,” Trump later added. “And I think we're going to make a deal. It might be a bigger and better deal than people in this room even understand. That's a possibility. So let’s see what we do.”

Netanyahu responded later in that press conference that settlements were “not the core of the conflict,” saying the issue “has to be resolved in the context of peace negotiations.”

“And I think we also are going to speak about it, President Trump and I, so we can arrive at an understanding so we don’t keep on bumping into each other all the time on this issue,” Netanyahu said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(JERUSALEM) -- President Trump's plan to become the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall has been welcomed by Israeli government officials.

Not as pleasing to Israeli leaders, however, were comments by a junior U.S. official in the lead-up to the visit, planned for Monday, that the Western Wall is not in Israeli territory but "is part of the West Bank."

The problem began when American officials were doing a site survey ahead of the president's stop at the holy site.

According to a senior official in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, the U.S. delegation rejected an Israeli request to have the prime minister accompany Trump on his visit to the Western Wall, claiming it was a "private visit."

Israeli media also asked to have access to cover the visit and were told no, according to Israeli Channel 2.

The conversations got more heated from there, according to published reports, with a junior American official telling an Israeli official in the prime minister's office that the Western Wall is "not your territory. It's part of the West Bank."

President Trump later told the Hebrew daily Israel Hayom, a right-wing media outlet aligned with Netanyahu, that the Western Wall’s rabbi, Shmuel Rabinowitz, would join him on his visit, saying that was “more traditional, but that could change.”

But the remark about the Western Wall’s location outraged Israelis.

“The view that the Western Wall is part of the West Bank was received with shock," the Israeli official said.

The official added, “We are convinced that this view is contrary to the policies of President Trump as can be seen by his strong objection to the last U.N. Security Council resolution," referring to a December resolution that called for an end to Israeli settlements which the Obama administration declined to veto.

But is the remark on the wall's being part of the West Bank contrary to Trump's policies?

The Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City is the outer wall of what Jews call the Temple Mount, a remnant of the holiest site in Judaism.

Muslims refer to the same compound as al-Haram al-Sharif, home to al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. Jewish worshipers are allowed to visit and pray at the wall, and Muslim worshipers are allowed to visit and pray at the mosque. Israeli soldiers patrol and secure the Western Wall, or the Kotel, as Jews refer to it, while access to the al-Aqsa compound above the wall is administered by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf.

Sensitivities over this tiny piece of land, less than half a square mile, tie into questions about the future status of Jerusalem which for decades has been one of the sticking points to any Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Trump's visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank will come days before the 50th anniversary of Israel's capture of the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six Day War in 1967. And in the 50 years since, the United States has not recognized Israel's sovereignty over the area.

This is why the U.S. embassy in Israel has since it opened about 50 years ago been in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem. And it's why for any American born in Jerusalem, their U.S. passport lists the birthplace simply as "Jerusalem," not "Jerusalem, Israel."

It has been a complex diplomatic balancing act for every U.S. negotiating team in the Middle East as the status of Jerusalem has long been considered the thorniest of so-called "final status" issues that can be decided only in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The Israeli government claims Jerusalem as its "eternal capital," and the Palestinian government claims East Jerusalem as a capital of its future state.

On Monday, Trump's new ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, landed in Tel Aviv and drove straight to the Western Wall to say a blessing in both English and Hebrew.

“We wanted to come straight to the holiest place in the entire Jewish world, the ‘Kotel Hamaaravi,’ the Western Wall, straight from the airport," Friedman said. “I had the opportunity to say some prayers, prayed for of course the health of my family … I prayed for the president and I wished him success, especially on his upcoming trip."

When Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked the ambassador for his symbolic first stop, Friedman replied: "There was no other place else to go."

But back in Washington, White House officials didn't stray from past U.S. policy on the Western Wall.

White House National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster told reporters Tuesday in regard to Trump’s visit, "He's going to the Western Wall mainly in connection with the theme to connect with three of the world's great religions and to pay homage to each of these religious sites that he's visiting."

McMaster twice refused to say whether the wall was part of Israel. "That sounds like a policy decision," he told reporters. Later that day, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters only that the Western Wall was "clearly in Jerusalem," a fact no one denies.

Also on Tuesday, another U.S. official waded into the fray. In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley said: "I don’t know what the policy of the administration is, but I believe the Western Wall is part of Israel and I think that that is how we’ve always seen it and that’s how we should pursue it … We’ve always thought the Western Wall was part of Israel.”

In fact, the U.S. has never officially recognized the Western Wall as part of Israel. But complicating the issue for the Trump administration is the president's promise during the campaign to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which would be a de facto recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

A senior administration official told ABC News this week that the president will not make any announcement during his trip about any possible move of the embassy.

“Right now there are no plans to do anything in that regard,” the official said. “The president said during the campaign that he believes the capital of Israel is where the embassy should be, but because we’re having great conversations with everyone right now we don’t think it would be a time to do that so we don’t plan to do that on this trip."

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Mandel Ngan/Getty Images(RIYADH, Saudi Arabia) -- In his first high-stakes speech abroad on Sunday, President Donald Trump called on Middle Eastern nations to “drive out” extremists.

“The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their country and, frankly, for their families and for their children,” Trump said to a room of leaders from more than 50 Muslim countries.

“It's a choice between two futures, and it is a choice America cannot make for you. A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists. Drive them out. Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land. And drive them out of this Earth,” he said.

Trump’s speech, delivered at the Arab Islamic American Summit in Ridyadh, Saudi Arabia, before the room of leaders, had a starkly more measured tone on Islam than his harsh rhetoric during the campaign -- when he called for the “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” and said that he thinks “Islam hates us.”

Trump addressed “the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires.”

“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations. This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it,” Trump said. “This is a battle between good and evil.”

He called on Middle Eastern countries to join the U.S. in the fight against radical groups like ISIS.

“But we can only overcome this evil if the forces of good are united and strong – and if everyone in this room does their fair share and fulfills their part of the burden. Terrorism has spread across the world. But the path to peace begins right here, on this ancient soil, in this sacred land,” Trump said.

“America is prepared to stand with you – in pursuit of shared interests and common security. But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children.”

Rather than painting Islam as an apparent enemy of the U.S., as Trump did during the presidential campaign, he depicted the Muslim world as an important partner in combating terrorism.

He noted that terrorism has taken the lives of innocent people in every corner of the world, but Middle Eastern countries “have borne the brunt of the killings and the worst of the destruction in this wave of fanatical violence.”

Trump's trip to the Middle East is a chance to "start a new chapter in the history of the region," a senior administration official told ABC News.

Trump used the phrase “the crisis of Islamist extremism,” rather than "radical Islamic terrorism," a term that has been a hallmark of his rhetoric at domestic events and has faced criticism for being an inflammatory phrase abroad.

“We are not here to lecture,” Trump said. “We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership -- based on shared interests and values -- to pursue a better future for us all.”

"Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith.”

Trump called on religious leaders to take the lead to confronting extremism.

“Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory – piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your soul will be condemned.”

The president worked on the speech during the 12-hour flight on Air Force One from Washington, D.C., to Riyadh with White House advisors including Stephen Miller, who played a key part in writing the president’s travel ban, which is now tied up in courts.

Trump's speech about the fight against extremism comes on the second day of his first trip abroad as president. He met with leaders in Saudi Arabia on Saturday and signed a new $110 billion arms agreement between the two nations.

"That was a tremendous day," Trump told reporters. "Tremendous investments into the United States, and our military community is very happy."

The president will also visit Israel and the Vatican during the trip which is taking place as controversies swirl in the U.S. around the investigation into potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials in the 2016 election, which could take attention away from the overseas diplomatic initiative.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Purestock/Thinkstock(RICHMOND, British Columbia) -- A young girl feeding a sea lion on a dock in Steveston Harbour in British Columbia was yanked into the water by the massive marine mammal.

The the terrifying moments were caught on video that was posted to YouTube.

The girl was with her family on the dock, feeding the sea lion, when it came up and gave a little nip. The girl continued to feed the animal, but then it lunged up and grabbed the girl by her dress and pulled her into the water.

“Thank goodness the young lady wasn’t hurt, but let it be a warning to everybody: do not do this," Bob Baziuk, a spokesman for the Steveston Harbour Authority, told ABC News.

He said that based on the video, it appears the sea lion was about 1,200 pounds.

A man jumped into the water immediately after the girl was pulled in and rescued her. People on the dock helped pulled the two of them back out of the water.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Giuseppe Cacace/Getty Images(RIYADH, Saudi Arabia) -- While President Trump is busy in Saudi Arabia with bilateral meetings and summit events on Sunday, first lady Melania Trump and the president's daughter and adviser, Ivanka, have been engaged in activities of their own.

Ivanka Trump attended a roundtable on women's economic empowerment, while the first lady visited a school and an all-women business center.

Both women have accompanied the president on several of his official activities in Saudi Arabia. And when they have, they have stood out from the crowd as some of the only women in the room.

At events they have gone to on their own, both Ivanka and Melania Trump have engaged with mostly female audiences and have stood out in their western clothing from Saudi counterparts dressed in the traditional Saudi abaya and hijab.

Human rights concerns have so far been absent from the president's official agenda and public discussion in Saudi Arabia, but Ivanka Trump at the roundtable on Sunday applauded their host nation for recent progress in empowering women and said, “There’s still a lot of work to be done.”

“Saudi Arabia’s progress, especially in recent years, is very encouraging, but there’s still a lot of work to be done and freedoms and opportunities to continue to fight for,” she said.

“The stories of Saudi women such as yourselves, catalyzing change, inspire me to believe in the possibility of global women’s empowerment,” she said, noting that the government has taken strides to advance women’s participation in the workforce and politics.

Ivanka Trump’s comments come, however, as Freedom House ranks Saudi Arabia as the 10th worst in the world in political and civil rights.

The president's daughter and adviser referred to herself as a "female leader within the Trump administration" in discussing her work on women's issues in the United States and globally.

She introduced Jim Yong Kim of the World Bank, who announced that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged a combined $100 million to a women’s empowerment fund spearheaded by Ivanka Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Kim said with that funding commitment and other pledges from the U.S. and other countries, the World Bank is set to announce at the G20 Summit in July a $1 billion fund for women’s economic empowerment through the Women’s Entrepreneurship Facility. Kim described this as a first.

“This is really a stunning achievement. I’ve never seen anything come together so quickly, and I really have to say that Ivanka’s leadership has been tremendous,” he said.

Melania Trump, meanwhile, went to the American International School of Riyadh, where she visited classrooms and gave several Dr. Seuss books to a preschool class. A chorus at the school sang the song "Lean on Me” to the first lady, and she clapped along.

I had a wonderful time with the students at the American International School #Riyadh today. #SaudiaArabia pic.twitter.com/AVzVV0W9Dm

— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) May 21, 2017

The first lady also visited an all-women General Electric business center in Riyadh, where she spoke to women there about the center's work and work-life balance in general.

At one point, she was asked how she balances her family responsibilities with her life as first lady, and responded: “You need to balance and find the time.”

She also said to a woman at the center, “I love children. It’s my passion." And in speaking about children and mothers, she said, “They are our future. ... We need to stick together, support each other.”

To one woman at the center, the president's wife said: “I’m very proud of you, very, very proud of you.” And on a wall at the front of the room where visitors write messages, she wrote: “I am so proud of what you are doing! Thank you for hosting me here! Best wishes, Melania Trump.”

On the next stop of the president's foreign trip -- Israel -- Ivanka Trump is expected to go to the Western Wall with the president, given "her personal connection to Judaism,” a White House official said.

In Rome, the first daughter will turn her attention to one of her key issues as an adviser to the president and one of great importance to the pope: human trafficking.

She will participate in a focus-group discussion with the Community of Sant'Egidio, a Vatican-affiliated organization. She will meet privately with a few female victims who have been helped by the group's support program.

Ivanka Trump has previously held meetings on human trafficking in the United States, and the focus of the Rome meetings will be on the global dimensions of the problem, according to the White House.

"Ivanka's meetings in Rome are part of the administration's ongoing commitment to combating human trafficking both domestically and abroad," a White House official said.

The first daughter is slated to remain on the trip through Rome, while the first lady will remain with the president for the entirety of the trip.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- North Korea launched a medium-range ballistic missile Sunday afternoon, a senior Trump administration official has confirmed.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the projectile was fired from an area about 50 miles northeast of Pyongyang.

"We are aware that North Korea launched an MRBM [medium-range ballistic missile]," the U.S. official said in a statement. "This system, last tested in February, has a shorter range than the missiles launched in North Korea's three most recent tests."

Prior to the U.S. official's statement, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement, "North Korea launched an unidentifiable projectile to the East Sea from Bukchang area in South Pyongyang Province at 16:49 today." (The East Sea is also referred to as the Sea of Japan.)

The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff statement continued, "The projectile flew 500 km [310 miles] and ROK and U.S. are now analyzing its detailed [sic]. ROK military is closely monitoring North Korean provocative trends and maintaining highest military readiness."

Commander David Benham, a U.S. Pacific Command spokesman, also addressed the missile launch, saying in a statement, "U.S. Pacific Command detected and tracked what we assess was a North Korean missile launch at 09:59 p.m. Hawaii time May 20. The launch of a medium range ballistic missile occurred near Pukchang. The missile was tracked until it landed in the Sea of Japan."

The statement continued, "We are working with our Interagency partners on a more detailed assessment. We continue to monitor North Korea's actions closely. U.S. Pacific Command stands behind our ironclad commitment to the security of our allies in the Republic of Korea and Japan. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) assessed that the missile launch from North Korea did not pose a threat to North America."

South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the missile launch, saying in a statement, "The repeated provocation of North Korea is a reckless and irresponsible act that puts cold water on the expectations and aspirations of the Korean government and the international community for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and peace settlement, and the government strongly condemns this provocation."

The ministry continued, "The government recently announced a firm commitment to pursue the root resolution of the North Korean nuclear issue through all means including sanctions and dialogue, through dispatching special envoys to major countries such as the US, China, Japan and Russia. While the government is open to possibility of dialogue with North Korea, it will continue to stand firmly in response to provocations, saying that North Korea should immediately stop any provocations that violated UN Security Council resolutions."

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo Sunday, "This launch presented a grave problem from the perspective of ensuring safety of aircraft and vessels. It was also a clear violation of the United Nations' Security Council resolution. Japan cannot accept North Korea's repeated provocation and we have lodged a strong protest against North Korea."

Suga added, "At this point, it is speculated that the area where it fell was not within Japan's Economic Exclusive Zone. There has been so far no report of damage to aircraft or vessels that were passing near the point [where the missile was believed to have fallen.]"

"This launch presented a grave problem from the perspective of ensuring safety of aircraft and vessels. It was also a clear violation of the United Nations' Security Council resolution. Japan cannot accept North Korea's repeated provocation and we have lodged a strong protest against North Korea."

The missile launched Sunday was last tested in February. Called the KN-15, the new solid-fueled missile traveled 310 miles into the Sea of Japan. It was a significant launch, not because of the distance traveled but because of the solid fuel missile technology used in the launch.

Gen. John Hyten, the commander of U.S. Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the February launch marked a significant advancement for North Korea because it was its first successful solid-fueled missile fired from a mobile launcher.

North Korea last weekend launched a midrange missile that landed in the Sea of Japan after being launched from western North Korea. The Russian Ministry of Defense said the missile flew for about 23 minutes before crashing into the sea around 500 km (310 miles) from Russia into the center of the Sea of Japan.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Meghan Markle arrived with Prince Harry as his date to Saturday evening's reception celebrating the wedding of Pippa Middleton and James Matthews.

Earlier Pippa was beaming in a custom-made Giles Deacon wedding gown as she wed her new husband financier James Matthews.

Markle 35, joined Harry, 32, at the private reception at the Bucklebury home of Middleton's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton. The couple, who began dating last summer, joined nearly 300 other guests at the evening reception, including Middleton's sister Princess Kate and Prince William.

The actress joining Prince Harry at such a high profile event has left many wondering whether wedding bells are not too far off, with Markle making her own walk down the aisle soon.

The invitation is also particularly notable because it's the first time Harry has invited Markle to join him at an event with Prince William and Duchess Kate and their two children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Markle did not join Harry, William and Kate at the reception in Englefield House, where guests went following the ceremony at St Mark's Church in Englefield, Berkshire, near the Middletons' Bucklebury home.

Approximately 100 guests were invited to the more intimate and exclusive church service. Middleton reportedly had a "no ring no bring" policy for the intimate ceremony inside St Marks Church. However, Markle's no-show at the church was understood to be a decision driven by a hope that her appearance wouldn't be a distraction at the ceremony and a desire that it remain Pippa's big day. The fact that Harry was invited to the evening reception with his girlfriend is a clear endorsement of just how important Markle is to Prince Harry.

While Pippa stole the show at her sister's wedding in 2011 in a figure-hugging maid of honor dress, many British tabloids speculated that Markle might steal the spotlight from Pippa.

Middleton and Matthews hired international event planning company Fait Accompli to oversee the logistics of their wedding celebration. The reception is catered by Table Talk, a high end firm where Middleton worked before Kate married William in 2011

The Middletons' mansion, dubbed "Bucklebury Manor," boasts seven bedrooms and sits on 18 acres of property with stunning gardens, fish ponds and a tennis court and pool. A large glass tent structure, estimated to cost more than $100,000 was erected on the property for the reception.

Earlier this month, Harry was photographed kissing Markle at a charity polo match at Coworth Park in Ascot, a significant step in the couple's relationship and the first time they attended a public event together as a couple.


Saturday's event is the second wedding that Markle has attended with Harry in as many months. In March she accompanied Prince Harry to Jamaica for the wedding of a childhood pal from Eton, the school he attended as a teenager.

Harry also joined Markle in Toronto, where she films the TV show Suits, for Easter instead of spending the holiday at Windsor with Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family, indicating just how serious the relationship has become.

Harry and Markle met last summer after being introduced by mutual friends. The couple kept their relationship under wraps for several months. They were photographed together for the first time last November attending a play and leaving the private Members Club Soho in February holding hands.

They have been nearly inseparable, with the two jetting back and forth across the Atlantic to spend time together. The couple took a romantic vacation together after the New Year to view the northern lights in Norway.

The couple will be celebrating their one-year anniversary this summer and an engagement is expected shortly thereafter. Kensington Palace recently announced that Harry is embarking on an overseas tour in June to Singapore and then to Sydney, which will host the 2018 Invictus Games, the international sporting competition for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and -women founded by the prince in 2014.

This fall the Invictus Games will be held in Toronto, where Markle lives most of the year. It's expected that Markle will attend the Invictus Games to show support for her boyfriend.

As fifth in line to the throne, Prince Harry would still need to get permission to marry Markle. She is divorced and reportedly practices the Jewish faith. The royal family are Anglican. She would also be the first biracial Princess to join the the Windsor family if Harry were to propose.

However, royal experts don't see this as an impediment to the American getting her fairytale ending. The monarchy has modernized since Edward VIII abdicated the throne for a divorced Wallis Simpson. Prince Charles married longtime love Camilla who was also divorced in 2005. The Queen adores her grandson and wants him happy.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump embarked on his first foreign trip on Friday, jetting off to five countries in Europe and the Middle East over the course of eight jam-packed days.

Trump will shake hands with foreign dignitaries and religious leaders during the trip to “strengthen our old friendships, build new partnerships and unite the civilized world in a fight against terrorism,” he said.

Here’s a look at whom he’ll be meeting.

King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Trump’s first stop is Saudi Arabia, a crucial ally to the U.S. in the fight against ISIS.

The president will have coffee with King Salman, 81, who became Saudi Arabia’s leader in 2015 following the death of his brother King Abdullah.

However, because of King Abdullah’s health issues, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the king’s nephew, and one of his sons, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, have a heavier hand in governing Saudi Arabia.

The crown prince serves as interior minister. Like many in the Saudi royal family, Prince Mohammed was educated in the United States, where he attended the Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Prince Mohammed has survived several assassination attempts and kept a low profile.

Second in line to the throne, Mohammed bin Salman has been compared to Trump’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner in terms of the power he has amassed. At 31, he serves as the country’s defense minister, traveling more frequently on behalf of his government.

Prince Mohammed is considered the face of the war in Yemen, which is being fought by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition. For many, he also represents the political future of the kingdom. Notably, he works with a team of advisers and ministers on Vision 2030, which aims to prepare Saudis for life after oil.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

On Monday, Trump is scheduled to meet privately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who previously met with Trump at the White House in February. At a joint press conference at the time, the pair discussed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Netanyahu expressed confidence in the strength of the U.S.-Israeli relations under Trump.

"Under your leadership, I'm confident that it will get even stronger," he said to the president.

Netanyahu served in the Israeli Defense Forces and as Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., and spent some time working in the U.S. when he was younger, after graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Netanyahu was first elected prime minister in 1996, but lost his bid for re-election in 1999. He returned to office in 2009 and won a clear victory in 2015. He is currently serving his fourth term as prime minister, and upon the completion of his current term, would be Israel's longest serving leader.

President Mahmoud Abbas

Trump is set to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, 82, in Bethlehem, on Tuesday.

Abbas was elected president of the Palestinian Authority in 2005. He is one of the founding members of the party Fatah, the group that eventually dominated the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Abbas was born in what is now part of the Palestinian territories, but as refugees from the Arab-Israeli War of 1948, he and his family fled to Syria. Abbas studied law in Egypt and received his Ph.D. in Moscow.

He is considered one of the architects of the Oslo Accords, the 1990s peace agreements reached between Israel and Palestine. But in 2015, Abbas declared that Palestine is no longer bound by the Oslo Accords and accused Israel of regularly violating the agreements.

Pope Francis

On Wednesday, Trump will have an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Born in Argentina, Pope Francis was elected the Catholic leader in 2013 and has since shaken up the Catholic Church.

The pontiff has advocated for a global effort to combat climate change -- which Trump has called a “hoax.” In his encyclical, titled “Laudato Si,” Pope Francis argues climate change hits those living in poverty the hardest.

In February 2016, Francis was asked whether a “good Catholic” can vote for Trump. The pope, who has spoken out about the plight of the refugee, replied that "a person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian." Trump said for a religious leader to question a person’s faith is "disgraceful."

In a recent interview aboard the papal plane, Francis said he doesn’t want to judge Trump before he’s met with him.

“I look forward to speaking with the pope about how Christian teachings can help put the world on a path to justice, freedom and peace,” Trump said in his weekly address.

President Emmanuel Macron

On May 25, Trump will have a working lunch with Emmanuel Macron, another leader whose views on immigration, refugees and globalization differ greatly from his own.

Macron, 39, is the youngest president in France’s history, and will meet Trump for the first time less than two weeks into his own presidency. Macron defeated far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in a May 7 election, even after his campaign’s emails and documents were hacked and leaked online, a mere 36 hours before the nation voted.

In his campaign, Macron pushed for greater involvement in the European Union and welcoming refugees to France.

One thing Trump and Macron can find common ground on: prioritizing defeating ISIS.

Trump is set to meet with Macron on the same day he heads to the EU headquarters in Brussels to meet with presidents from the EU and the European Council.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Pippa Middleton tied the knot Saturday with her nephew, Prince George, and niece, Princess Charlotte, by her side.

George, who turns 4 in July, served as a pageboy at Middleton's wedding to financier James Matthews, while Charlotte, 2, served as a bridesmaid.

The children's mother, Princess Kate, was seen guiding the bridal party out of a car and into St. Mark’s Church in Englefield, Berkshire. Kate was also seen at points reminding the young children to be quiet.

George and Charlotte joined the other page boys and bridesmaids in wearing custom-made outfits designed by Pepa & Co. Charlotte and her three fellow bridesmaids wore dresses accented by a sash and flower crowns atop their heads.

George and his three fellow page boys wore gold, knee-length trousers and collared shirts.

George and Charlotte’s nanny, Maria Turrion Borrallo, was also photographed at the church with the children.

Middleton, 33, and Matthews, 41, tied the knot at St. Mark’s, located just six miles from Bucklebury, where Middleton was raised. Middleton donned a white gown designed by Giles Deacon and a bespoke veil designed by milliner Stephen Jones that featured tulle and embroidered pearls.

While the American wedding tradition is to include bridesmaids closer in age to the bride, the British tradition varies.

Queen Elizabeth selected women close to her own age as bridesmaids in her 1947 wedding. Princess Diana used school-age girls as bridesmaids, rather than flower girls, at her 1981 wedding to Prince Charles and did not have a maid of honor.

Queen Elizabeth's sister, Princess Margaret, also selected young attendants as bridesmaids at her 1960 wedding as did the queen's daughter-in-law, Sophie Wessex, in 1999. Conversely, Autumn Phillips, the bride of Queen Elizabeth's grandson, Peter Philips, featured bridesmaids close to her age at her 2008 wedding. Kate's 2011 wedding to William included young bridesmaids led by Middleton as maid of honor.

Middleton led the bridal party down the aisle at Westminster Abbey holding the hands of the two youngest bridesmaids, Lady Grace van Cutsem and Lady Eliza Lopes, both then 3.

Kate's four young bridesmaids each wore ballerina-length dresses using the same fabric as Kate's wedding gown, adorned with a pale gold sash made of wild silk.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

Kirsty Wigglesworth - Pool/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Pippa Middleton's wedding was attended by high-profile guests including her older sister, Princess Kate.

Middleton, 33, donned a white gown designed by Giles Deacon at her wedding to James Matthews, a 41-year-old financier, at St. Mark's Church in Englefield, Berkshire.

Middleton's bespoke veil was designed by milliner Stephen Jones and featured tulle and embroidered pearls. The bride wore a tiara handmade by Robinson Pelham and donned ivory satin Manolo Blahnik pumps.

She carried a bouquet of peony, sweet pea, astilbe, freesia, waxflower, green bell and alchemilla mollis.

Kate, 35, dressed in pink, was photographed arranging the train of Middleton's gown as she entered the church.

Middleton’s nephew, Prince George, 3, and niece, Princess Charlotte, 2, joined the wedding celebration as a page boy and bridesmaid, respectively. George and Charlotte were part of a group of eight in the bridal party, all wearing custom-made outfits designed by Pepa & Co.

Other members of the royal family in attendance included Middleton’s brother-in-law, Prince William, and his brother, Prince Harry, and their cousin, Princess Eugenie.

Middleton's parents, Carole and Michael Middleton, her brother, James Middleton, and Matthews' family, including his parents, David and Jane Matthews, and his reality TV star brother, Spencer Matthews, were also in attendance.

St. Mark’s Church is located just six miles from Bucklebury, where Middleton was raised. The church is located on the private Englefield estate, the home of Richard Benyon, one of Britain’s wealthiest members of Parliament with an estimated net worth of $150 million.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



Subscribe To This Feed

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — On Friday, President Trump embarked on his first overseas trip, a historic eight-day journey that includes visits to the holiest sites of three major religions, an unprecedented summit with Muslim leaders and a major meeting of NATO allies.

In any president's first foreign trip, particular symbolic importance is attached to the first country visited, and in that regard Trump will put the spotlight on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which is greeting the U.S. president with a highly choreographed red carpet welcome.

The visit, which includes three major summits and a weekend teeming with events, including a men-only Toby Keith concert, comes despite Trump during the 2016 election campaign having called for a "complete and total shutdown of Muslims," his subsequent executive order travel ban as president on several Muslim-majority countries and his previous comments that Saudi Arabia should shoulder the burden for America's security protection.

Despite possible areas of contention with Trump in the past, the Kingdom is looking forward to the dawn of "a new beginning," according to Riyadh's official website for the summit — a "highly anticipated event, the first of its kind in history."

In Trump, there are hoping for an American president more closely aligned with their priorities, especially after years of perceived neglect under the Obama administration.

Here are four things to look for during Trump's time in Saudi Arabia:

THREE MAJOR SUMMITS FOR THE WORLD TO WATCH


During his two days on the ground in the birthplace of Islam, Trump will take part in three key meetings.

The first is a U.S.-Saudi summit, where the two delegations will discuss the joint challenges they face like ISIS and Iran and their plans for continued cooperation on multiple fronts, including economic and military. It's an important marker to "reinforce the historic partnership" between two countries, according to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, as they "open a new page."

In particular, they will sign "several agreements that will further solidify U.S.-Saudi security and economic cooperation," according to U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Among those is an arms deal package worth at least $100 billion, although some of the agreements were already negotiated under the Obama administration.

With an old and ailing King Salman on the throne, the Saudis are also likely to closely study Trump for how he treats the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, next in line for the thrown, and the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, second in line but allegedly maneuvering to succeed his father, King Salman.

Experts say Trump has to be careful not to tip the scales, but he already seemed to once with an Oval Office meeting with the deputy crown prince in March. And sources tell ABC News that the young Saudi leader has already forged a connection with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, which could have even more weight for the Saudis' dynastic power politics.

After that, the American delegation will meet with the other Gulf Arab countries of the region, known as the Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC. While the meeting will also touch on the threat of terrorism, it is clear these countries are eager to discuss Iran — and given their involvement in the war in Yemen, this may be the only real chance for movement there.

Yemen has been torn apart by civil war for over two years now, with Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies propping up the internationally-recognized government locked in a stalemate against Houthi rebels allied with Iran. The fighting has left nearly 8,000 dead, 7 million internally displaced and 17 million facing a hunger crisis.

The conflict requires U.S. leadership, but Trump has so far leaned away and let the Saudi coalition pursue a military solution, according to Eric Pelofsky, the senior director for North Africa and Yemen on President Obama's National Security Council.

A NEW PARTNERSHIP FOR COUNTERTERRORISM


The final and perhaps most important of these summits is the Arab Islamic-U.S. summit on Sunday, where Trump will be joined by leaders from more than 50 Muslim countries. It's there that Trump will deliver a hotly anticipated speech on Islam and announce a new counterterror partnership.

"We're going to have the president basically saying that this is not a war between the West and Islam, this is a war between good and evil and we all have to come together to try to attack it," a senior administration official told ABC News.

Whether the president, who has himself attacked Islam, can deliver — and how it will be received in the Muslim world — remains to be seen. But the Saudi government, which carries great influence in the Muslim world as the seat of its two holiest cities, seems open to the idea.

The summit will address "building more robust and effective security partnerships to counter and prevent the growing threat of terrorism and violent extremism," according to their website. And after the summit, Trump will participate in the inauguration of their new center to fight radicalism and promote moderate Islam, as well as in a Twitter forum with young people in the region.

"We expect the King to say that the extremism problem is really a Muslim problem, and the Muslims have to step up and do more," the senior administration official added.

More, according to Jubeir, means a new military partnership between the U.S. and the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism, a counterterror alliance started by Saudi Arabia in 2015. The challenge for Trump, however, will be to make those commitments mean something more than a photo op.

"Many of the Gulf governments lack strong institutions. They are better at making announcements than following through," wrote Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "U.S. leadership here means insisting on even tighter bilateral and multilateral ties and better execution of the law enforcement mission."

Before it has begun, however, the summit has already run into problems.

Sunni Saudi Arabia did not invite Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a Shiite, instead inviting the much less powerful Iraqi president Fuad Masum, a Sunni Kurd.

The perceived insult was seen to alienate Abadi, a crucial partner in the international fight against ISIS, and as one former U.S. ambassador told ABC News, it betrays an American administration either too disorganized to notice or too naive to grasp the importance.

A SHARP MESSAGE FOR IRAN


While the White House wants to focus on the counterterror fight and follow through on its main regional foreign policy objective of defeating ISIS, behind the scenes the Saudis and others will be harping on another subject that matters more to them: Iran.

In fact, to some experts, all the ceremony and pageantry of Trump's visit disguises the Kingdom's true intention, to get assurances from the U.S. president that he will take an aggressive line against Tehran. Wounded by President Obama's diplomatic outreach to the Iranians in the form of 2015's multilateral nuclear non-proliferation agreement, Saudi Arabia sees their neighbors across the Gulf as their chief rival and threat.

Getting the U.S. president to take a tough line against Iran may not be so hard. Trump campaigned against the Iranian nuclear agreement and many of his advisers including McMaster and Defense Secretary James Mattis have decried Iranian regional hegemony.

That tough talk was evident again this week even as the administration signed waivers to extend the Iran nuclear deal.

"That line of thinking is the same as the Saudis," said Lori Plotkin Boghardt of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. "Iran is the bigger threat to them, over ISIS."

It's not a position the Saudis have kept very secret.

"We will work with our allies, particularly U.S., to see that Iran is made to act like a normal country," Jubeir told reporters Thursday.

Working together means the U.S. sending new weapons as the Saudis fight off what they see as an existential threat on their southern border — the Houthi rebels in Yemen who are supported by Iran.

While expressing some discomfort about the Saudi war in Yemen, the Obama White House nonetheless actively supported Riyadh militarily during the conflict, with the exception of an arms deal to the Kingdom they cancelled in December of 2016 over mounting concerns about the civilian death toll there.

Trump, who, along with his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, has been criticized by some for neglecting human rights concerns, aims to move full speed ahead with those sales.

Beyond weapons in Yemen, though, it is unclear how else the Arab Gulf states will push Trump to counter Iranian influence.

AN ECONOMIC MESSAGE FOR A DOMESTIC AUDIENCE


Finally, with Trump under a cloud of suspicion back home after an exhausting two weeks of scandals, the White House is hoping for some souvenirs to bring back home.

In particular, they want to wave an economic package for the domestic audience as an example of Trump the deal-maker president helping America domestically.

"That's the press release for folks back home," said a former U.S. official who worked on Middle Eastern policy. "The sales, the jobs, the 'Look at what I can do for our economy.'"

The $100-billion arms sale will be part of that, but so will American investment packages in the Kingdom as it strives toward Saudi Vision 2030, its program to diversify the economy and reduce its dependence on oil.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

0
comments



 

 

 

 

 

 

Organization of the Month

BKs Beacon Tavern

 

 

 

 

 

     Copyright WSAR

LinkedUpRadio Envisionwise Web Services