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Palestinians Give Cool Reception to US-Led, Economy Focused Peace Conference

Shtayyeh stressed the need for a political deal with Israel that resolves a number of longstanding issues

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Palestinians, US, Economy- Focused
FILE - Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh italks during an interview with The Associated Press, at his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Apr. 16, 2019. VOA
 Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh cast doubt Monday on a U.S.-led conference set to be held in Bahrain next month focusing on what the White House says would be economic benefits for Palestinians if a peace deal can be reached with Israel.

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting, Shtayyeh stressed the need for a political deal with Israel that resolves a number of longstanding issues, including borders, none of which are on the agenda for the economic conference in Manama.

He said the current financial crisis Palestinians are dealing with is the result of what he called a “financial war” being waged against them, and that they will not give in to blackmail or trade their rights for money.

The White House has pledged to unveil a new Mideast peace plan in the coming weeks.

Palestinians, US, Economy- Focused
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh cast doubt Monday on a U.S.-led conference. Flickr

A senior White House official said Sunday the plan calls for substantial investments in the Gaza economy, but that investments there will require a “stable” cease-fire agreement to remain in place.

“There’s a tremendous amount of opportunity, the world is willing to step up and work on this,” the official said. “But that only happens if we can resolve some of the political issues. The two things go hand in hand. There is a real future that can be very exciting, but we have to work on these hard issues.”

Government, civil society and business leaders at the conference are expected to discuss potential economic investments in the region if a peace agreement is achieved.

In a statement, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the conference would “offer Palestinians exciting new opportunities to realize their full potential.”

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Bahrain Finance Minister Shaikh Salman bin Khalifa al-Khalifa said the conference underscored close ties with the United States and the two countries’ “strong and shared interest in creating thriving economic opportunities that benefit the region.” (VOA)

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Tech Giant Apple Expands its Retail Presence in US

There are over 1,800 third-party Apple authorized service providers across the US

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Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

Expanding its repair services across the US, Apple has partnered consumer electronics retailer Best Buy with the company’s nearly 1,000 stores that would provide expert service and repairs for Apple products.

“We’re always looking at how we can reliably expand our network of trained technicians and we’re excited to partner with every Best Buy store so it’s even easier for our customers to find an authorized repair location near them,” said Tara Bunch, Vice President of AppleCare, said in a blog post on Wednesday.

According to the iPhone-maker, Best Buy has nearly 7,600 newly Apple-certified technicians who are always ready to make same-day iPhone repairs or to service other Apple products.

Apple, women
The Apple logo is shown outside the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. VOA

The company asserts that every repair at an authorized service provider was not only performed by trained experts but also backed by Apple.

There are over 1,800 third-party Apple authorized service providers across the US.

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“This is three times as many locations as three years ago, meaning eight out of 10 Apple customers would be within 20 minutes of an authorized service provider,” the post added. (IANS)