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Why is the US shuttering the PLO mission in DC? | The Stream

PLO shut down

On Monday, the government of US President Donald Trump announced the closure of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) mission in Washington DC, saying that the Palestinians had “not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel”.

A PA spokesman described the move as a “declaration of war” and PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat called it “yet another affirmation of the Trump administration’s policy to collectively punish the Palestinian people, including by cutting financial support for humanitarian services including health and education.”

The decision is the latest in a series of steps taken by Trump against the Palestinian leadership. Late last year the US recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. And, earlier this month, it announced it would stop funding UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees that provides aid to more than five million people.

We’ll take a look at the continuing fallout.

China’s Uighers jailed

A new report by Human Rights Watch has found that the Turkic, mostly Muslim, Uighur minority in China’s northwestern Xinjiang region are facing arbitrary detentions, daily restrictions on religious practices and “forced political indoctrination” in a mass crackdown. The report “Eradicating Ideological Viruses’: China’s Campaign of Repression Against Xinjiang’s Muslims,” presents new evidence of the Chinese government’s mass arbitrary detention, torture and mistreatment, and increasingly pervasive controls on daily life.

The report also found that, throughout the region, the Turkic Muslim population of 13 million is subject to forced political indoctrination, collective punishment, restrictions on movement and communications, heightened religious restrictions, and mass surveillance. HRW says an extraordinary one million people are being held in prison camps, with no access to legal counsel or due process.

We’ll speak to HRW’s China director Sophie Richardson about their latest findings.

Storm threatens US

Hurricane Florence is surging towards the United States, and is expected to strengthen to a Category 5 storm by Thursday. According to the US National Hurricane Center, it is carrying sustained winds of 130mph and is expected to grow to be the size of the state of North Carolina, just one of the states in its path. Florence will produce total rainfall accumulations of 15 to 20 inches in some areas and, possibly, 30 inches in isolated locations along its path.

Several coastal areas have issued mandatory evacuation orders and declared states of emergency. We’ll check in on preparations.

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