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Trump formally recognizes Jerusalem as capital of Israel

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WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump has officially announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel amid warnings of potential unrest in the Middle East, and plans to relocate the American embassy.

In a speech at the White House, Trump said his administration would begin a process of moving the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which is expected to take years.

“Today, we finally acknowledge the obvious — that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality,” Trump said in a pre-scheduled speech at the White House.

The US President admitted the move will cause dissent, but says it could help resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The status of Jerusalem — home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions — is one of the thorniest obstacles to reaching a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said adding: “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”

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Israel considers the city its eternal and indivisible capital and wants all embassies based there while Palestinians want the capital of an independent Palestinian state to be in the city’s eastern sector, which Israel captured in a 1967.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Trump’s announcement as a ‘historic landmark’ and urged other countries to move their embassies in Israel to Jerusalem.

But,the Palestinians have said Trump’s move would mean the ‘kiss of death’ to the two-state solution, envisaging a Palestinian state in territory — the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem — that Israel took in 1967.

Ahead of Trump’s announcement, Washington’s allies in the region warned of dangerous consenquences.

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Groom killed, bride injured in India’s Odisha as wedding gift explodes

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BHUBANESWOR — A newly married Idian man his 85-year-old grandmother in Odisha’s Balangir district were killed and his wife was critically injured when a gift that they had received for their wedding reception exploded on Friday, just five days after their wedding, police said.

Soumya Sekhar Sahu of Patnagarh and his grandmother Jemamani Sahu succumbed to injuries in a local hospital. His wife Reema Sahu has been admitted in a critical condition in a government medical college in Sambalpur district, local media reported.

The couple got married on February 18.

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According to Sahu’s nephew Dipak Sahu, the parcel, which did not have the sender’s name, exploded as soon as it was unwrapped, seriously injuring the couple and the Sahus’ grandmother.

Preliminary police investigations on Saturday revealed that the parcel,which weighed nearly 2.10 kg, was dispatched from Raipur in Chhattisgarh through the SkyKing courier service. The forensic and bomb squads during investigations found that the bomb was highly sophisticated and was an electronic explosive.

Sources said that such types of explosives are usually used by the Army or by terror outfits. Reportedly, such a type of bomb had been used in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

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