Palestinians claim victory after cease-fire; infrastructure talks at key stage; Cuomos under fire

Today is Friday, May 21, 2021. Let’s get caught up.

These headlines are in the news this morning: Palestinians celebrated after a cease-fire took hold in Gaza, halting the 11-day war with Israel; White House infrastructure negotiations with the GOP reach a critical stage; and the Cuomo brothers are now both under fire.

Read on for these stories, other top headlines, celebrity birthdays and more.


TOP STORIES

Palestinians claim victory as Gaza truce faces early test

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinians rallied by the thousands early Friday after a cease-fire took effect in the latest Gaza war, with many viewing it as costly but clear victory for the Islamic militant group Hamas over a far more powerful Israel.

The 11-day war left more than 200 dead — the vast majority Palestinians — and brought widespread devastation to the already impoverished Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. But the rocket barrages that brought life to a standstill in much of Israel were seen by many Palestinians as a bold response to perceived Israeli abuses in Jerusalem, the emotional heart of the conflict.

The truce faces an early test on Friday, when tens of thousands of Palestinians attend weekly prayers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, a flashpoint holy site revered by Jews and Muslims. Celebratory protests could spark confrontations with Israeli police, setting in motion another cycle of escalation like the one that led to the war.

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White House, GOP infrastructure talks hit crucial stage

WASHINGTON (AP) — Negotiations between the White House and Republican senators over President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan are reaching a crucial stage before more talks Friday after the latest offer from GOP lawmakers left some dismay in the administration that there wasn’t more movement from their initial $568 billion proposal.

Republicans did increase their plan and have worked in good faith with the White House, according to a Republican who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private talks.

But the slog of those negotiations is certain to mean new worries from Democrats that time is slipping to strike a compromise. The president’s team had set a soft Memorial Day deadline to determine whether a deal was within reach.

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Report: Chris Cuomo advised brother on sex harassment claims

NEW YORK (AP) — CNN said Thursday it was “inappropriate” for anchor Chris Cuomo to have been involved in phone calls with the staff of his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, where strategies on how the governor should respond to sexual harassment allegations were allegedly discussed.

The network was responding to a story in The Washington Post that said Chris Cuomo had joined a series of conference calls with aides and advisers.

The host of CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” encouraged his brother to take a defiant position and not resign, the Post said, quoting two people present on one of the calls that the newspaper did not identify.

Click on the links below for full versions of these stories and scroll further for a look at today in history and celebrity birthdays.

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