Woman missing after falling from Carnival cruise ship

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A woman has fallen overboard from a cruise ship into the Gulf of Mexico while sailing from New Orleans.

Carnival Cruise Line spokesman Vance Gulliken told news outlets that a 44-year-old woman fell from the Carnival Triumph on Sunday night. The company says rescue efforts for the missing woman have been under way.

The ship was on the second day of a five-day cruise, headed toward Cozumel, Mexico.

The name of the woman was not released.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News

Vice President Pence says U.S. Embassy to make Jerusalem move next year on faster timetable

JERUSALEM – The United States will open its embassy in Jerusalem next year, Vice President Mike Pence said Monday, accelerating plans after the Trump administration’s controversial decision to recognize the city as Israel’s capital.

Pence made the announcement to the Israeli parliament where he voiced wholehearted support for Israel, looking notably more at ease than during earlier meetings in Egypt and Jordan during his Middle East trip.

The decision to speed up the embassy move is likely to stir more denunciations across the Muslim world and further rankle Palestinians, who consider parts of Jerusalem as the capital of a possible future state.

“In the weeks ahead, our administration will advance its plan to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem – and the embassy will open next year,” he said, and was met with a standing ovation.

When President Donald Trump announced the decision in December, U.S. officials indicated that it may take three or four years to move the embassy.

“Our president made his decision in the best interests of the United States – but he also made it clear that we believe this decision is in the best interests of peace,” Pence said.

“By finally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the United States has chosen fact over fiction – and fact is the only true foundation for a just and lasting peace.”

But it was difficult Monday to see how it could stir progress between the two sides. Israeli Arab lawmakers staged a walk out at the beginning of Pence’s speech, resulting in a small scuffle, while Palestinian officials also snubbed Pence’s visit.

Instead of meeting with Pence, President Mahmoud Abbas flew to Brussels for talks with European foreign ministers to press for recognition of a Palestinian state. Abbas also hopes that Europe could take an expanded role in the peace process.

Hanan Ashrawi, one of the longtime Palestinian negotiators, said that billing Pence’s visit to the region as being in support of the peace process was “ridiculous.”

“The American side cannot talk about the peace process after it undermined it by declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Ashrawi told the official Voice of Palestine radio station Monday.

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Source:: The Denver Post – News