The 18 Products a Beauty Editor Can't Travel Without

The 18 Products a Beauty Editor Can’t Travel Without

I don’t know if it’s harder to pack my clothes or my makeup when I go on vacation. Even getting ready for work at the gym in the morning feels like a challenge; I inevitably end up leaving the lip color I want to wear at home. When I travel, I like to go carry-on only, which means my makeup bag can’t be too large or too heavy. Talk about a challenge. After a lot of flights and multiple overstuffed cosmetic cases, these are my picks for on-the-go beauty.

It goes a little something like this. Multipurpose products are your friend; if you can use your blush as eye shadow, that’s one less thing to worry about. Take advantage of travel-size containers because they allow you to take all your favorite beauty products without making your luggage overweight. Plus, never, ever, go anywhere without sunscreen. These 18 products are my nonnegotiables, and I think you’ll love them too. Your suitcase will thank you.

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Leo Varadkar Brexit HELL – Irish leader faces huge political dilemma over backstop

Ireland and the UK are under intense EU scrutiny over the Irish backstop when Brexit is finally concluded. UK Prime Minister hopefuls Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are both in support of weakening the border to make “technological advances” to allow for easier access across the two nations. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s PM show, political commentator Chris Cook claimed the EU wants a “properly policed” border.

Mr Cook says that only seven percent of Irish citizens are in support of backing the UK’s changes in a bid to avoid a no deal Brexit.

Problems have arisen for Mr Varadkar, who is the leader of the government’s biggest pro-UK party Fine Gael.

He faces the dilemma of working to try and retain support by attempting to negotiate changes with the UK on the backstop.

But Mr Cook said: “If you are Mr Varadkar you’re in a confidence and supply arrangement with your main historical opposition, who are more nationalist than Mr Varadkar’s party.

“At a moment’s notice your government can fall if the opposition says so.

“Also it’s a case that seven percent of Irish people support weakening the Irish ask on the backstop to avoid no deal.

“There is complete political consensus about where they stand.

“Now it’s a tightrope act because we could end up barreling into a no deal.”

He added: “There is no way an Irish government survives that gives in on the backstop.

“It’s possible that the experience of no deal would be so horrendous that that might change.

“It’s also the case that if it’s bad for Ireland, it’s even worse for Northern Ireland – which I think a lot of our MPs forget is actually part of our country.”

The UK is due to leave the EU on October 31, with Tory leadership frontrunner issuing a firm commitment to honour that date.

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RCMP speak with Alberta infrastructure minister while investigating UCP leadership race

Alberta’s infrastructure minister is the latest high-profile member of the province’s United Conservative government to speak with RCMP as they investigate allegations of criminal wrongdoing in connection with the 2017 UCP leadership race in which Premier Jason Kenney emerged as the winner.

A spokesperson for the RCMP told Global News on Tuesday that they recently met with Prasad Panda to discuss the allegations of identity fraud playing a factor in the leadership contest. Police did not confirm if Panda himself is the target of any type of criminal investigation.

“Minister Panda spoke briefly with RCMP on this matter,” Panda’s spokesperson, Diane Carter, told Global News in an email.

“They assured him that he is not under investigation.”

Carter said “it would be inappropriate to comment any further while the RCMP’s work continues.”

Watch below: (From April 12, 2019) A Calgary United Conservative Party candidate issued a statement to declare his innocence on Friday night in response to a police raid on his business.

Late last month, the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service announced it was seeking a prosecutor to help advise police as they look into the campaign.

Watch below: (From May 30, 2019) Alberta is seeking a special outside prosecutor to assist the RCMP as they look into whether fraud was committed in the UCP leadership race won by Jason Kenney.

The 2017 leadership race has been tainted by allegations of voter fraud. Alberta’s election commissioner has also levied multiple fines in connection with wrongdoing related to campaign donations made to Jeff Callaway’s leadership campaign.

Callaway’s campaign has been under close scrutiny because of allegations his bid was a “kamikaze campaign” intended to go after Kenney’s primary rival, Brian Jean. Callaway eventually dropped out of the race and threw his support behind Kenney.

Emails obtained by Global News earlier this year show ongoing communication between the Kenney and Callaway campaigns throughout much of the race. They suggest Kenney staffers provided strategic direction, attack ads, speaking notes, speeches and media support to the Callaway campaign.

“There was staff communicating on communications material and stuff like that,” Kenney told Global News Radio in March, while speaking about his campaign staff’s dealings with members of Callaway’s leadership campaign. “This is not the least bit unusual that campaigns will communicate.”

Kenney has also vehemently denied that he helped to finance Callaway’s campaign in any way.

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What happened in Love Island tonight? Recap of episode 20 with all the highlights and gossip

DANNY Williams’ decision to pick Arabella Chi over Yewande Biala in the recoupling showdown left many of the Islanders furious.

And things only worsened when the model from Hull decided to lock lips with his new partner shortly after – but what else occurred?

What happened in tonight’s episode?

Yewande’s shock elimination from the villa caused the girls to turn against Danny and subsequently pressure him with answers as to why he ended up choosing Arabella over the scientist.

“It’s just unfortunate how people can hold a grudge for me doing what’s best for myself,” the model fired back while the only person who seemed to fully stand behind Danny was Anton Danyluk.

The gym owner, who tried to calm the situation, later gushed in the Beach Hut: “I think people need to remember that these decisions aren’t easy to make.

“And we’ve not made them out of nastiness for anyone, we’ve made these decisions which are best for us and people shouldn’t put so much pressure on it.”

Anna Vakili chimed in, referencing how Arabella had only been in the villa for a couple of days but apparently, she had built up a more profound connection, adding that her friend definitely deserved better.

And if the tension wasn’t already at an all-time high, Danny and Arabella left their fellow Islanders stunned after sharing a kiss in the garden – and everybody saw it.

Amber Gill – still frustrated by her friend’s sudden exit – wouldn’t let Danny catch a break from the recoupling showdown, having picked another argument with him over her assumption that the hunk from Hull was talking about her and the girls.

Danny put on a valiant face and stood his ground in the wake of revealing to Amber that he wasn't timid or scared to speak his mind and if he was to have a problem with anyone moving forward, he would address it in a direct manner.

This provoked Amber to hit back, saying: “Your word doesn’t really mean that much at this point does it? You’re giving me your word when your word means f*** all.”

Having remained silent throughout the heated argument, Arabella finally defended Danny by letting it be known that “all of us are going to get tested in here, you do realise that?”

After an intense back-and-forth between Arabella and Amber, the beauty therapist from Newcastle vented in the Beach Hut: “They decided to kiss in front of everybody and then acted like it wasn’t going to be an issue and that doesn’t sit right with me.”

Elsewhere, Maura Higgins and Tom Walker appeared to have patched up their differences after their clash earlier in the week.

Maura told her Love Island partner that she was impressed with the speech he gave before choosing her as the girl he wanted to couple up with.

The two embraced each other with a passionate kiss, as Molly-Mae jokingly declared: “There’s literally a bedroom right there.”

But despite their intimate moment together, which gave the impression that things were looking good for the two, Tom shared his concerns about Maura with Jordan Hames the next day.

“If another girl comes in that makes a beeline for me and she’s fit and she ticks all my boxes,” he said.

“The thing with me and Maura is, between me and you, she doesn’t necessarily tick all my boxes. She’s a bit OTT, she’s a bit too loud and attention seeking and sometimes that’s not me.

"She makes me cringe a little bit. On the other side, I enjoy her banter, I enjoy the energy. So I can’t have it all my own way.”

Meanwhile, Molly-Mae Hague became worried about Tommy Fury potentially telling his male friends about their bedroom antics.

During a conversation with Michael Griffiths, the social media influencer explained: “Because obviously, we’ve been doing bits. I’ve denied, denied it, denied it. And I know that as soon as he cracks a smile, that’s it. And I know what he’s like.”

Apparently, however, Tommy hadn’t said a word to anyone about anything that went on underneath the sheets with the 20-year-old.

Meanwhile, Jordan and Anna’s romance appeared to be on the rocks, with Yewande’s exit having left the pair divided between which side they were on.

When Anna told Danny to go away in the midst of his argument with Amber, Jordan openly told his Love Island partner that she was being childish, consequently prompting the pharmacist to lose her cool in the Beach Hut.

“Jordan’s in the background like ‘you’re pathetic, you’re childish.’ Mate, you’ve only been here for less than a week. Who are you to be saying this to me? You have no idea how I feel inside right now. You don’t know what I’m going through.”

Could this potentially be the end for the two?

What days of the week is Love Island on ITV2?

You can catch Love Island every weekday and on Sundays on ITV2 from 9pm.
Saturday nights sees Love Island: Unseen Bits replace the main show, offering viewers a round-up of all the best moments from the week.

You can also watch Caroline Flack's spin-off show Love Island: Aftersun on Sunday nights from 10pm on ITV2, where she discusses the latest action with famous guests.

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‘My estranged wife drags blokes back for sex – I found three in our kitchen’

She holds parties with unsuitable people and allows losers to smoke, drink and hang out at all hours.

The other week there was an actual fight in my garden, which was genuinely terrifying.

My mates think she’s determined to drive me out, but why should I shift when I’m still paying half of the big mortgage?

And how is begging for peace and quiet unreasonable?

JANE SAYS: Go back to the drawing board and ask your estranged wife for a fresh start, because you have to establish a list of reasonable house rules before you lose your mind.

Make it clear you can’t go on living like this. Your shared property is still your home and she can’t bring in a string of lovers off the street.

Point out that you don’t feel comfortable with strangers trooping up and down the stairs to the bathroom.

Your kitchen isn’t a public café and your garden isn’t a boxing ring. What about her personal security and the safety of your work stuff?

Emphasise that you’re not being bossy or controlling, simply sensible. Insist she meets you halfway by promising to respect your space.

The fact is that this is a delicate and difficult situation for both of you – but it isn’t for ever. Consider going back to your estate agent with a view to adjusting the price.

If the place actually needs tarting up in order to sell, then have a blitz – sort out the rubbish and clean the rooms, then grab a couple of paintbrushes and make it look as good as you can in order to attract a buyer.

Both of you need to fix these problems like adults.

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7 Rejection Texts To Send If You Want To Be Friends After A Date That Lacked Romantic Chemistry

As cliché as it might sound, sometimes you meet someone and you’re better off as "just friends." While it might seem daunting at first, letting someone know that you’d rather just be friends is actually super mature. It means you knew yourself well enough to recognize that the good energy, convos that flowed easily, and shared taste in music would be a perfect foundation for a platonic relationship — but not a romantic one. Good for you! Next step is letting them know where you stand. When it comes to rejection texts to send if (you want to be friends), you’ve got to strike the right balance. You’ll want to be straight-up (so there’s no room for confusion), and civil enough to leave the door open for friendship.

As dating coach Erika Ettin told Elite Daily, "The two keys are tact and honesty when letting someone down. While someone might be disappointed that you don’t want to go out again, [they] can’t really be angry at you for feeling, or not feeling, how you do." Here are seven texts to you can use to reject someone gently after the first date, while still sparking a potential friendship.

Straight to the point

For starters, you can send the other person a text that simply touches on the fact that you’d rather just be friends. If you’re reaching out first, some examples include:

  • "Hi! I had fun last night, but I don’t think we have romantic chemistry. I’d still like to be friends, though!"
  • "Hey, just wanted to follow up about our date. I’m sorry, but I just don’t feel a romantic connection. I am interested in a friendship with you, though."

By mentioning that the connection you felt wasn’t romantic, you can strike up a convo about your platonic chemistry.

If they end up texting you first, you can say something to the effect of:

  • "Last night was great, but I’m not interested in you romantically. However, I do want to keep hanging out with you and doing [insert activity here — whether that’s seeing a movie like you did on your date, going to the same bar for trivia night, etc.] because I really do want to be your friend."
  • "I’m flattered and happy that you had a good time. I’m not interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with you.m but I definitely want to be you friend."

Here, you can acknowledge that you did have a good time and that you’d be looking to have some good times with them in the future — you just want to do that as friends, not lovers.

A little more explanation

If you’re not comfortable with a text so short, you can give them more context to why your date lacked chemistry (although, you don’t owe them anything). You can send them a text like the following:

  • "Hey! I’ve thought about our date a lot and I think we’d be better off as friends for [insert reason here]."
  • "Hey! Thank you for following up on the date! I had a lot of fun, but I’m not interested in continuing our relationship in the romantic sense [because XYZ reasons]. I hope you understand! Do you still want to be friends?"

Tread carefully with this format. Dr. Susan Edelman, a psychiatrist, previously told Elite Daily, "We all know rejection is part of the game, but self-esteem and confidence shouldn’t take a hard hit when you turn someone down." When giving reasons why you’re better off as friends, you should not go in on them! But you can be honest — especially if there’s a specific reason your date lacked chemistry or compatibility that you picked up on.

A little dash of sugar

And lastly, you can take a sweet approach. “If you can include some kind of compliment, it can soften the blow,” Edelman told Elite Daily.

You don’t have to give the other person an explanation, and you absolutely don’t have to make up a nice trait about the other person if you’re not feeling it. That being said, if there is something you like about them that makes you still want to be their friend? It wouldn’t hurt to put that in your text.

  • "I think that you’re a [insert a complimentary adjective here] person that I like for [these particular reasons]. That being said, I just didn’t feel any romantic chemistry between us, so I think we’re better off as friends. Are you open to that?"

In a sense, including what you like about them can confirm for them that yes, you did hit it off — just platonically. It can also remind them that there’s nothing wrong with them, but you two are just not romantically compatible.

The biggest thing to keep in mind when crafting this text is say what you’d want to hear if you were on the receiving end of it. “Ideally, you want to treat others the way you want to be treated," Edelman said. "It’s one way we can all make the world a better place.”

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34 Cute Captions For Fourth Of July Snaps That Are Sweeter Than A Slice Of Watermelon

Before you know it, the Fourth of July will be here again. I’m daydreaming about the aroma of hot dogs, burgers, and fresh potato salad, and I can’t wait to rock my red, white, and blue. If you’re anything like me, your favorite part of the day is the fireworks show at night. I always end up taking way too many videos to post, so for every video and pic you take this year, you’ll want to have some cute captions for Fourth of July ready to use.

Just like all the toppings you want to put on your burger or ice cream sundae, a perfect caption gives your Instagram post a little extra flavor. It’s the difference between a few sparklers in your backyard and an elaborate fireworks show, complete with music and lights. You want your post to get as many likes as it deserves, and a cute caption will take it to the next level.

In addition, as for any holiday post, you want to make sure you’re sharing it the day of. That’s why you need to be prepared ahead of time with a bunch of caption options to choose from. There’s no need to come up with any on your own, because I’ve assembled 34 Fourth of July captions just for you. They’re extra cute, just like all the group selfies you’ll take with your besties.

1. "We’re gonna party like it’s 1776."

2. "Bold stripes, bright stars, brave hearts."

3. "U.S.Slay!"

4. "Hooray for the USA."

5. "I’m gonna be like Miley, and party in the USA."

6. "He makes me melt like a popsicle on the Fourth of July." — The Little Rascals

7. "Cooler than a couple of popsicles."

8. "Hello America, you’re beautiful."

9. "Clearly mermaid for Fourth of July parties on the beach."

10. "Who needs sparklers when you’ve got an outfit this sparkly?"

11. "Spending Fourth of July with you is one in a melon."

12. "With my friends, it’s always a party."

13. "Happy Fork of July. Let’s eat!"

14. "Lettuce ketchup and celebrate the Fourth of July."

15. "We the people like to party."

16. "You’re the apple of my pie."

17. "Oh my stars."

18. "Pie love celebrating the Fourth of July with you berry much."

19. "Feelin’ bae-triotic with you."

20. "I sparkle so much, I should be a firework."

21. "Oh say can you sea."

22. "Sorry if I say ‘whoa’ after every firework."

23. "Keep calm and sparkle on."

24. "Our love was made in the USA." — Demi Lovato, "Made In The USA"

25. "Sweeter than a slice of watermelon."

26. "Now that’s what I call lit."

27. "If it involves fireworks, count me in!"

28. "Melting for you."

29. "Loving this day s’more and s’more."

30. "This Fourth of July was a blast."

31. "Let us seas the day."

32. "Friends, food, fireworks — this is my happy place."

33. "Cue the sparklers."

34. "Surround yourself with people who make you as happy as seeing fireworks in the sky."

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Passengers face hours of delays after jet crashes into boarding gate

Passengers face hours of delays after Kuwait airways jet crashes into boarding gate at Nice airport

  • Kuwait Airways Boeing 777 plane crashed into the boarding gate at Nice airport 
  • Passengers and crew were evacuated and no-one was injured in the incident 
  • Hundreds of fliers were left stranded for several hours following the crash

Bemused passengers filmed the shocking moment a jet crashed into a boarding gate at low speed – causing them hours of delays.

The Kuwait Airways Boeing 777 plane was filmed crashing into a part of the terminal at Nice Airport at around 6pm last night. 

Shortly after the incident, passengers and crew were safely evacuated and there were no injuries.  

But hundreds of fliers were left stranded for several hours as the minor crash caused hours of delays. 

Footage shot on Snapchat shows the wing of the jet resting on a boarding bridge as airport staff hurry around underneath. 

The Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) claimed the crash took place after a member of ground staff ‘committed a mistake in guiding the plane to its parking slot’. 

The airline reportedly cancelled the return leg of its journey and made travel arrangements for the affected passengers. 

But other passengers in the airport soon tweeted their frustration after delays.

Just after 9pm, a Twitter user claimed British Airways customers were also facing delays.

‘There are a hundred passengers waiting for an update with no staff or info at Nice airport,’ one person wrote.

Easy Jet received similar complaints, with another person saying: ‘Horrific service at Nice airport @easyJet hundreds of people and only three staff on the whole check in.

‘Flight two hours and a half delayed already.’ 

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Are Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan Bringing Back The Simple Life?

The Twitterverse let out a collective gasp on Tuesday following some cryptic posts that suggested longtime frenemies Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan are teaming up to revive The Simple Life.

“Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer,” read one tweet from the show’s official account, which was accompanied by a throwback photo of the presumed co-stars (seen above). Another tweet included photos of the women’s old-school bedazzled flip phones, while a third was simply of two female emojis — one blonde and one redhead. (Important note: Though this Simple Life account does not currently appear to be verified, it boasted a checkmark when the aforementioned tweets were posted. Click here for proof.)

The Simple Life, which aired on Fox (2003–2005) and E! (2006–2007) for a combined total of five seasons, followed Hilton and Nicole Richie as they journeyed into America’s heartland to experience (and arguably destroy) the lives of everyday folk. Tuesday’s posts made no mention of Richie, however, leading fans to assume that Lohan would serve as her replacement.

And Lohan is no stranger to reality television. Earlier this year, MTV debuted Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club, which chronicled the management and growth of Lohan Beach Club Mykonos. Unfortunately, the club is now permanently closed, eliminating the need for a second season.

“We have nothing to confirm at this time,” a rep for 20th Television tells TVLine.

Would you watch a Hilton and Lohan-led Simple Life revival? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.

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Explainer: Money talks in Trump's Mideast plan – but can it pave way for peace?

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – More than two years after U.S. President Donald Trump first proposed a plan to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, its first phase was launched on Tuesday at an economic workshop in Bahrain.

The ‘Peace to Prosperity’ economic summit to encourage investment in the Palestinian Territories was billed as the first part of the White House’s broader political plan to end the conflict.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, the plan’s main architect, gave Reuters an exclusive preview of the economic proposals on Saturday. [nL2N23S0V3]

But the White House’s economic prospectus makes no mention of Palestinian statehood. And little has so far been revealed about the later political stage of the plan, which will have to address this and other issues that have defied decades of efforts by previous peacemakers.

These issues include:

-The status of Jerusalem – which includes sites sacred to Judaism, Islam and Christianity

-Establishing mutually agreed borders.

-Finding security arrangements to satisfy Israel’s fears of attacks by Palestinians and hostile neighbors.

-Addressing Palestinians demands for statehood, and an end to Israel’s decades-old occupation of the Palestinian Territories.

-Finding a solution to the plight of millions of Palestinian refugees.

-Arrangements to share scarce natural resources, such as water.

-Palestinian demands that Israel remove settlements in which more than 400,000 Israelis now live among roughly 3 million Palestinians in the West Bank, with another 200,000 settlers in East Jerusalem.

What do we know about the plan?

The ‘Peace to Prosperity’ workshop in Manama takes an “economy first” approach to a political and religious conflict.

This reflects either a refreshingly pragmatic approach, or the business roots of its New York architects, depending on whether you talk to supporters or critics.

It calls for a $50 billion investment fund to boost the Palestinian and neighboring Arab state economies, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.

Among the 179 proposed infrastructure and business projects is a $5 billion transportation corridor to connect the West Bank and Gaza.

More than half of the $50 billion would be spent in the Palestinian territories over 10 years.

The rest would be divided between neighboring Lebanon, Egypt – whose Sinai peninsula adjoins Gaza – and Jordan, the country which has absorbed more Palestinians than any other, and fears anything that might lead to their permanent settlement there.

Who will pay?

The Trump administration hopes that others – principally wealthy Gulf states and private investors – will foot much of the bill.

What are its chances?

Expectations are low – nobody from the Israeli or Palestinian governments is attending a workshop devoted to peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

And the economic revival plan will be implemented only if a political solution to one of the world’s most intractable conflicts is reached.

The last peace talks collapsed in 2014, but hopes were low even then after two Palestinian uprisings in the last three decades, Israeli settlement expansion and the rise to power of Hamas – an armed Islamist movement that remains implacably opposed to Israel’s existence.

What’s new?

Kushner and Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt are seeking a deal that could unlock prosperity for the Palestinians and security for Israel.

But some of the economic proposals have been floated before – such as the transportation corridor linking Gaza and the West Bank – and stalled for lack of underlying political or security agreements. [nL8N23U0VV]

The elephant in the room is whether the Trump administration’s talk of a new approach is code for an abandonment of the two-state solution – the long-standing international formula to bring about peace by creating an independent Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel.

The United Nations and most nations around the world back the two-state solution and it has underpinned every peace plan for decades. But the Trump team has consistently refused to commit to it.

What are the Israelis saying?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would listen to the U.S. plan, but restated his long-held position that his country must retain a presence in the Jordan Valley, the strategic and fertile easternmost strip of the Israeli-occupied West Bank that borders Jordan.

    “We’ll hear the American proposition, hear it fairly and with openness,” Netanyahu said on Sunday.

    “Under any peace agreement our position will be that Israel’s presence should continue here, for Israel’s security and for the security of all,” he said.

   Palestinians argue that the Jordan Valley, nearly 30 per cent of the West Bank, would be a vital part of their future state, as the breadbasket of the West Bank and its external border with Jordan.

What are the Palestinians saying?

President Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization have refused to deal with the Trump administration for 18 months, accusing it of bias toward Israel. They are boycotting Bahrain and on Sunday, Abbas said that solely economic solutions were a non-starter.

    “Money is important. The economy is important. But politics are more important. The political solution is more important,” he said.

“What have the Americans proposed that is original? 50 or 60 billion dollars? We are used to this kind of nonsense. Let’s not lie to each other. We’ll see if anyone lives long enough to see that $50 billion or $60 billion come.”

Ismail Rudwan, a spokesman for Hamas, said: “Palestine isn’t for sale”.

What are others saying?

Nathan Thrall, Director of the Israel/Palestine Project, International Crisis Group:

“It doesn’t stand a chance because the Palestinians won’t even attend, and the Arab states have very limited room for maneuver in terms of how much they can betray the Palestinians on the core issues.

“They are betraying the Palestinians just in the very fact of their growing closeness to Israel, but to betray the Palestinians on something like the Arab position on Jerusalem or on refugees, that is something that, at least in 2019, is still unthinkable.”

Abdulrahman al-Rashed, former general manager of Al Arabiya TV:

“Many will say “It’s NOT the economy, stupid”, those against will demand a political solution based on establishing a Palestinian state. However, I believe economy is important and we were never short of political solutions. Building roads and bridges will bridge political differences.”

Aaron David Miller, former Middle East negotiator for U.S. Republican and Democratic administrations:

“I can’t tell you how many times while working on the Arab-Israeli negotiations over the course of a 20-year period, I’ve had Middle East proposals for Middle East “Marshall plans” cross my desk. The reality is that both in sequence and in scope it’s very problematic to use economic incentives – development, trade, assistance, even institution-building, without first obviously addressing the core political needs and requirements of peoples in conflict.”

Lebanon’s parliament speaker Nabih Berri:

“The only investment that will not find fertile ground in Lebanon is any investment that comes at the expense of the Palestinian cause and the right of return… Mr. Kushner, the Lebanese will not be partners in selling Palestine.”

Jared Kushner, White House senior adviser:

“There’ll be praise from some places, there’ll be criticism from some places, hopefully it will be constructive. I always prefer having people share what they’re for as opposed to what they’re against and if people have constructive criticism, we’ll welcome it and we’ll try and make modifications but the hope is that we can bring all of the different people together from Europe, from Asia, from the Middle East, and agree this would be a good path forward if we’re able to resolve the political issues.”

Is now a good time?

The timing is certainly complicated.

Official U.S.- Israeli relations are at a zenith, with Trump and Netanyahu the closest of allies.

But U.S.-Palestinian relations are close to an all-time nadir after Trump’s 2017 decisions to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Abbas has said Washington could no longer be regarded as an honest broker in any peace talks with Israel.

The Middle East is preoccupied by events in the Gulf, amid fears that tensions between the U.S. and its Sunni Arab allies on one side and Shi’ite Iran on the other could escalate into hostilities likely to threaten oil revenues and regional stability.

And both Trump and Netanyahu face election campaigns – Trump for re-election, and Netanyahu because he failed to put together a governing coalition in an election in April.

Why Bahrain?

With Israel, the West Bank and Gaza out of the question for political and security reasons, the Trump administration needed a safe space somewhere in the region.

Bahrain is a U.S. ally, can host a major event, and is home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

The Four Seasons hotel venue lies on an island connected to the mainland by only one bridge. This allows the authorities to control security in an island state that has seen political unrest for years.

When will the political plan be revealed?

Nobody knows for sure, and the Trump team hasn’t committed to a date.

Greenblatt said it could be delayed until November because Israel is headed for an election in September – its second in six months.

Kushner told Reuters: “Our thought was that it was better to put the economic plan first. It’s less controversial. Let’s let people study it, give feedback.”

While its precise outlines have yet to be revealed, Palestinian and Arab sources who have been briefed on the draft political plan, fear that it seeks to bribe Palestinians into accepting Israeli occupation of the West Bank, a prelude to Israel annexing about half the territory and leaving them with scattered cantons.

Who is attending?

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is the highest-ranking member of the American delegation. Kushner and Greenblatt brought several advisers with them and a team of White House press aides. White House chief economist Kevin Hassett also came.

Jordan and Egypt both said they will attend, but not at a senior level. Each is sending a deputy finance minister. As the only Arab states to have reached peace agreements with Israel, it was important for the Americans to have them present.

A senior Trump administration official said that China had still not confirmed whether it would send a representative, but that Kirill Dmitriev, the head of Russia’s sovereign wealth fund was planning to attend.

The International Monetary Fund, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank said they planned to take part.

Among the speakers and panelists listed on the programme were former British prime minister Tony Blair; Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder of private equity firm Blackstone; Randall Stephenson, Chairman & CEO of AT&T and Dina Powell, Managing Director of Goldman Sachs.

Israeli entrepreneur Shlomi Fogel said he hoped to reach deals with Arab partners while attending the conference.

Other businessmen said they did not want to miss out on potential opportunities down the road.

“Turkish companies can act as a bridge because we understand the business culture,” said Selim Bora, president of Summa, an Istanbul-based construction contractor.

A group of seven Palestinians in the lobby of the Four Seasons estimated that around 15 to 20 would be there. Among those present was Ashraf Jabari, a businessman from the West Bank city of Hebron with close ties to Israeli settler groups.

“Abu Mazen missed a lot when he didn’t come,” said one of the Palestinians, referring to President Abbas.

Most Gulf states have not confirmed who they are sending. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia plan to attend, but assured the Palestinians they would not endorse a plan that fails to meet their main demands.

The Saudi team will include economy minister Mohammed al-Tuwaijri and sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF)governor Yasir al-Rumayyan. The PIF has not been asked to commit any money, according to a source familiar with the plan.

Kuwaiti media have said that Kuwait would be represented on a technical, and not political level, most likely a finance ministry official.

U.S. officials said Morocco will attend, but it has not confirmed.

The United Nations is sending Jamie McGoldrick, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Who isn’t going?

Israel, although the closest American ally in the region, was not invited by the White House. Not least because Palestinian political leaders had made it clear from the outset that they would not attend.

Many Palestinian business leaders also said they had rejected invitations.

Lebanon and Iraq are not attending.

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