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After Trump denial, Netanyahu clarifies remarks on timeframe for U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took a step back on Thursday from comments, challenged by U.S. President Donald Trump, that envisioned a one-year timeframe for the planned relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

An official in Netanyahu’s office said the prime minister recognized that construction of a new embassy will take years but believes Washington is considering “interim measures that could result in an embassy opening much faster”.

The official, who declined to be named, did not define those steps or mention any dates for a Jerusalem embassy to begin operating. In the past, Israeli media have speculated that, before a building is ready, the U.S. ambassador would operate part of the time out of a temporary location in Jerusalem.

Reversing decades of U.S. policy, Trump in early December recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and set in motion the process of moving the embassy from Tel Aviv, imperiling Middle East peace efforts and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies alike.

Netanyahu, according to Israeli reporters traveling with him on a trip to India, said on Wednesday: “My solid assessment is that it will go much faster than you think – within a year from now.”

Asked about Netanyahu’s comment, Trump report in an interview that was not the case. “By the end of the year? We’re talking about different scenarios – I mean obviously that would be on a temporary basis. We’re not really looking at that. That’s no.”

The Israeli official, responding to Trump’s remarks, said: “The president and the prime minister are not saying anything different”.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said last month the embassy move was “probably no earlier than three years out, and that’s pretty ambitious”, a timeframe that administration officials have attributed to the logistics of finding and securing a site as well as arranging housing for diplomats.

Jerusalem is home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed in a move not recognized internationally, as the capital of their future state.

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Facebook’s WhatsApp limits text forwards to five user to restrain false news

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Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp (FB.O) messenger service company executives has stated their desire in globally limiting the number of times a user can farward a message to five, in a bid to fight “misinformation and rumors”.



Victoria Grand, vice president for policy and communications at WhatsApp, said at an event in the Indonesian capital, “We’re imposing a limit of five messages all over the world as of today.”

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Previously, a WhatsApp user could forward a message to 20 individuals or groups. The five-recipient limit expands globally a measure WhatsApp put into place in India in July after the spread of rumors on social media led to killings and lynching attempts.

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WhatsApp, which has around 1.5 billion users, has been trying to find ways to stop misuse of the app, following global concern that the platform was being used to spread fake news, manipulated photos, videos without context, and audio hoaxes, with no way to monitor their origin or full reach.

The app’s end-to-end encryption allows groups of hundreds of users to exchange texts, photos and video beyond the purview of independent fact checkers or even the platform itself.

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Credit to Reuters for confirming the development through WhatsApp’s head of communications Carl Woog, stating that WhatsApp will roll out an update to activate the new forward limit starting Monday. adding that Android users will receive the update first, followed by users of Apple’s iOS.

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R.Kelly cut off by Sony music over alleged acts of sexual abuse

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Chicago-born singer, R. Kelly has parted ways with Sony Music and its subsidiary label, RCA Records, amid controversies surrounding his alleged acts of sexual abuse.




The controversial singer, who is facing different allegations of abduction, sexual abuse and exploitation, was dropped by the record label on Friday.

R. Kelly was removed from the RCA Records website, whose parent company is Sony Music.

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This new development comes in the wake of calls and petitions from members of the #MuteRKelly movement, who have been pestering the record company to part ways with him.

The calls intensified in the wake of the documentary ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ in which multiple women accused him of sexual assault.

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This month has seen previous collaborators like Lady Gaga, Chance the Rapper, and Phoenix, all condemn R. Kelly and remove their collaborative songs from streaming services.

The documentary ‘Surviving R.Kelly’ is in six parts and gives detailed explanation into the history of allegations against the 52-year-old superstar.

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