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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Beyond the Headlines: Fallout from US Jerusalem move, Syria peace talks and UAE astronauts

Laura Mackenzie is joined by Ben Lynfield in Jerusalem, who has been covering the Palestinian and Israeli response to the US's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, and Mina Aldroubi who has been following the UN-brokered peace talks in Geneva. Meanwhile, James Langton talks all things astronauts with Salem Al Marri, assistant director general of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai

Palestinians clash with Israeli troops following a protest against US president Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the West Bank city of Nablus on December 12, 2017. Majdi Mohammed / AP
Palestinians clash with Israeli troops following a protest against US president Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the West Bank city of Nablus on December 12, 2017. Majdi Mohammed / AP

The United States is now the only country in the world that recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Since president Donald Trump announced the move in a speech last week, protests have continued to rumble across the West Bank and Gaza and Washington has been condemned by both regional leaders and politicians across the world. But although demonstrations by Palestinians against the decision have been relatively muted so far, the ramifications of the US announcement are sure to be felt for years to come. Ben Lynfield, who has been covering the Palestinian and Israeli response from Jerusalem for The National, talks to us about what the atmosphere has been like on the ground and where this leaves the two sides. Read more of our coverage here

In the Swiss city of Geneva, meanwhile, UN-brokered peace talks on Syria are ongoing. But so far no progress has been made and there is little hope that any agreements between the opposition and regime delegations will be reached before discussions wrap up on December 15. The National's Mina Al Droubi, who was in Geneva for the start of the talks, updates us on where the two sides currently stand and where things are likely to go from here. Read more of our coverage here

Lastly, we hear from Salem Al Marri, assistant director general of the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre in Dubai. Mr Al Marri, who is managing the UAE’s astronaut programme, speaks to our reporter James Langton about the recruitment process for the country’s first ever astronauts and what the Emirates’ space ambitions look like.

Listen to last week's podcast here

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