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Trump to recognise Jerusalem as Israel capital

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WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump plans to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday and set in motion the relocation of the US Embassy to the ancient city, senior US officials said, a decision that upends decades of US policy and risks fuelling violence in the Middle East.

Senior administration officials called Trump’s expected recognition of Jerusalem an affirmation of ‘reality’ — both historical and current, pointing out that the city is already home to Israel’s parliament, supreme court and other government sites.

Palestinians, however, also claim Jerusalem as their capital, and Trump’s anticipated announcement has touched off an uproar in the Arab world.

Trump, in a landmark speech, will announce he has ordered the State Department to begin developing a plan to move the embassy from Tel Aviv in what is expected to be a process that takes three to four years, the officials said.

Trump will sign a national security waiver that authorises him to delay the embassy relocation for now, since the US diplomats do not yet have a building in Jerusalem to move into, security arrangements or housing for diplomats, the officials said.

Trump’s endorsement of Israel’s claim to all of Jerusalem as its capital would reverse long-standing US policy that the city’s status must be decided in negotiations with the Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

The international community does not recognise Israeli sovereignty over the entire city, home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions.

The officials, who briefed reporters ahead of Trump’s speech at 1 pm EST (1800 GMT) on Wednesday, insisted that Trump’s decision, intended to fulfill a key campaign promise, was not meant to pre-judge the outcome of eventual talks on the final status of Jerusalem or other major disputes between the two sides.

Instead, one of the officials contended that Trump’s announcements reflected the “historic reality” of Jerusalem as the center of Jewish faith and the “modern reality” that it is the seat of Israeli government.

Such arguments are not likely to sway the Palestinians and the broader Arab world.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordan’s King Abdullah, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, who all received telephone calls from Trump on Tuesday, joined a mounting chorus of voices warning that unilateral US steps on Jerusalem would derail a fledgling US-led peace effort that has stymied previous US administrations and unleash turmoil in the region.

The White House said Trump had also spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close US ally and longtime proponent of a US embassy move to Jerusalem.

Netanyahu was the only leader whose office did not release a statement following the call. A senior Israeli minister welcomed Trump’s decision while vowing that Israel would be prepared for any outbreak of violence.

Reuters/GNN

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Drinking water shortage hits life at Yasok in Panchthar

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PACHTHAR — A shortage of drinking water at Yasok Bazar, the center of Kummayak Rural Municipality, has thrown the normal life of the locals out of gear.

The problem arose after the local market management committee removed water pipes installed in the bazaar area. Per household here was getting 50 liters of drinking water once in two days before this.

Water scarcity here is not a new occurrence at Yasok which normally remains dry, but the complete disruption in the supply of taps water has paralysed the life, according to local hotelier Keshab Thapa.

There is no natural or artificial water source nearby the area and locals are forced to dependent on the supply by the local government through tractors in a very limited quantity.

The rural municipality has started fetching water from the local Chhorunga stream and distributing it to the locals. Tractors are used to transport stream water to the area.

Earlier, the 650 households at Yasok were using drinking water supplied by the Yasok Deurali Drinking Water Project. Regular supply (once in two days) was too less to meet demand. There is a demand for some 250,000 liters of water at Yasok per day.

According to Yasok Market Management Consumers Committee secretary Mahendra Bahadur Khadka, water pipes were removed (without any alternative arrangements) in course of market management efforts and it will take some more days to restore them and water scarcity is to go for more few days

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