August 14, 2020

This is VOA news. Reporting by remote, I'm David Byrd.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced Thursday they are establishing full diplomatic relations in a U.S.-brokered deal that required Israel to halt its contentious plan to annex occupied West Bank land sought by the Palestinians.

The historic deal delivered a key foreign policy victory to President Donald Trump as he seeks re-election.

Middle East analyst Uzi Rabi in an AP interview said there will likely be reprecautions to this decision.

"I think that the Palestinians are going to come up with a kind of real fury about that. But the answer of United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and others is that "hey, we just prevent that Israel from annexation."

A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the deal amounts to treason and should be reversed.

The agreement makes the UAE the third Arab country after Egypt and Jordan to have full diplomatic ties with Israel.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday called on all U.S. governors to mandate mask-wearing to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which has killed more than 166,000 people in the United States.

In his second day on the campaign trail with former rival and now running mate Kamala Harris by his side, Biden made the call for a nationwide mandate on masks after a virtual meeting with public health advisers.

"Every governor should mandate, every governor should mandate mandatory mask-wearing ...."

President Donald Trump, the man Biden is trying to unseat in November, long refused to wear a mask in public. That turned masks into a political symbol and sparked squabbles across the country in which other Republican elected officials and some Trump supporters have angrily refused to wear them.

This is VOA news.

Both sides on Capitol Hill are blaming each other with talks on emergency coronavirus relief stalled and Congress largely gone for the summer. AP's Sagar Meghani reports.

In a nearly empty Capitol, top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell said Democrats continue holding up emergency aid.

"... unless they get a flood of demands with no relationship to COVID-19."

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Democrats will stand firm on things like Postal Service funding and rental assistance.

Asked if she should accept a smaller relief package from Republicans to avoid possible gridlock, "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gave a damn."

The stalemate comes with Americans like ??? Neria Gonzales worried about paying the bills with a $600 weekly unemployment benefit expired.

"I don't think I will have a place to live. I'll just probably be homeless, I don't know."

Sagar Meghani, Washington.

The Trump administration is accusing Yale University of discriminating against some applicants. AP's Mike Gracia reports.

A two-year Justice Department investigation has found Yale University illegally discriminates against Asian American and White applicants in violation of federal civil rights law.

The Justice Department detailed its findings in a letter to Yale attorneys Thursday. In a statement, Yale said it categorically denies the allegation.

The investigation was prompted by a 2016 complaint against Yale, Brown and Dartmouth.

The Justice Department had previously filed court papers citing with Asian American groups who had raised similar allegations against Harvard University.

Mike Gracia, Washington.

The mother of slain Louisville EMT Breonna Taylor is hoping to hear soon if the officers in the Kentucky city involved in Taylor's death will be charged. AP's Ed Donahue has more.

Tamika Palmer says she is trying to be patient. "Every day is still March the 13th." That's the day police carrying a warrant burst into Taylor's home and shot her.

Palmer and civil rights attorney Ben Crump met with Kentucky's General Daniel Cameron. She says this is much more than just Breonna Taylor and Black Lives Matter. "It's about bridging the gaps between us and the police."

Palmer says the attorney general told her he doesn't want to rush. "For me, I'm trying to, to accept that and be patient with that, because I definitely want him to come out with the right answer."

I'm Ed Donahue.

A mixed day on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones down .29 percent, the S&P off by .2 percent, but the NASDAQ up by .27 percent.

You can find more on these stories and the rest of the day's news at voanews.com. You can also follow us on the VOA mobile app. Reporting by remote, I'm David Byrd, VOA news.