Palestine Appoints New Minister Of Rubble And Urban Development

Top Headlines


Goals Of The Paris Climate Talks

Over 150 world leaders are meeting in Paris this week to address the global effects of climate change in the hopes that a unified international effort can avert grave future consequences for the planet. Here are the major goals of the Paris climate talks

How Refugees Are Admitted Into The U.S.

The United States’ effort to accept Syrian refugees seeking asylum has been the subject of much controversy over security concerns and the rigor of the vetting process. Here are the steps involved in a refugee’s arrival in America

Strategies To Defeat ISIS

Following last week’s deadly Paris attacks and numerous other violent incidents perpetrated by the terror group ISIS, many governments and populations worldwide are wondering how we can eliminate this threat. Here are some strategies to defeat the Islamic State:

Obama Returns From Trade Summit With 5 Stout Ships Full Of Cardamom, Silk, And Indigo

WASHINGTON— Exhausted, berimed with salt, and haggard from his long sea journey, but nevertheless triumphant as he guided his fleet to port following the completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, President Barack Obama is said to have made harbor in Washington, D.C.’s anchorage Monday, his five sturdy galleons choked to the very gunwales with the finest silks, casks of redolent cardamom, and great cakes of vivid dye-of-indigo retrieved from the far Orient.

Goals Of The U.N. General Assembly

The 70th United Nations General Assembly takes place this week, with member countries focusing on plans to address global sustainability, economic growth, and the Syrian refugee crisis, among other major topics. Here are the main goals of this year’s assembly:

Pope Francis’ U.S. Itinerary

Pope Francis is making his first visit to the U.S. this week, with stops in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia as he speaks to government officials and conducts large-scale masses. Here is a full itinerary of the pope’s visit

A Primer On Pope Francis’ Views

Pope Francis has garnered much international attention in the first two and a half years of his papacy, taking a more liberal approach to women’s issues, the family unit, and the environment than his predecessors. Here is a primer on prominent global issues and the pope’s views on them:

Shoddy Chinese-Made Stock Market Collapses

SHANGHAI—Proving to be just as flimsy and precarious as many observers had previously warned, the Chinese-made Shanghai Composite index completely collapsed Monday, sources confirmed.

Why Westerners Join ISIS

With more than 150 Americans accused of attempting to fight alongside ISIS in Syria and countless young Europeans allegedly joining or supporting the terrorist group, many are left wondering what a population of extremists has to offer Westerners a world away. Here are some reasons these people might want to ally with ISIS

Nicaraguan Diplomat Drops Deadly Spider Onto John Kerry’s Blanket

ISLA GRANDE DEL MAÍZ, NICARAGUA—Creeping stealthily into the bungalow where John Kerry lay sleeping after a trade summit Thursday, Nicaraguan Minister of Foreign Affairs Samuel Santos López, illuminated only by a sliver of moon, reportedly slid open the lid of a small pine box and released a deadly Brazilian wandering spider onto the blanket of his American counterpart.

What’s Next For U.S.-Cuban Relations

After 54 years of closure, the U.S. embassy in Havana and the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C. each began flying their flags once more this week, a symbol of the restored diplomatic ties between the two nations. Here is what we can expect from the relationship going forward

U.S. Soothes Upset Netanyahu With Shipment Of Ballistic Missiles

WASHINGTON—Following Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s heated objections to the nuclear deal struck between the United States and Iran, American officials announced Tuesday that they were calming the upset head of government by treating him to a nice, big shipment of ballistic missiles.

World Begins Another Day At Mercy Of 19-Year-Old Estonian Hacker

TALLINN, ESTONIA—With the private data of national governments and entire global industries at his fingertips, sources confirmed this morning that yet another day had begun with the whole world helplessly at the mercy of 19-year-old Estonian computer hacker Jüri Pevkur.

FIFA Frantically Announces 2015 Summer World Cup In United States

Global Soccer Tournament To Kick Off In America Later This Afternoon

ZURICH—After the Justice Department indicted numerous executives from world soccer’s governing body on charges of corruption and bribery, frantic and visibly nervous officials from FIFA held an impromptu press conference Wednesday to announce that the United States has been selected to host this summer’s 2015 World Cup.

Items Found In Bin Laden’s Compound

On Wednesday, the U.S. government declassified more than 400 documents and other material seized from Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout during the 2011 raid that resulted in his death. Here are some of the items found in the former al-Qaeda leader’s compound

U.S. Worried About Living Up To Netanyahu Campaign Promises

WASHINGTON—Saying the Likud Party leader had set Israeli citizens’ expectations extremely high in the run up to his reelection Tuesday, top-level sources expressed their worry Wednesday about whether the United States would actually be able to...

A Timeline Of U.S.-Israel Relations

A congressional visit from Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that has reportedly rankled President Obama is the latest issue in what have often been strained diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Mankind Tired Of Having To Remind Itself Of Good In World

PARIS—In the wake of this week’s terrorist attacks on French newspaper Charlie Hebdo and two ensuing armed standoffs that together left over a dozen innocent civilians dead, humankind admitted Friday that it is sick and tired of having ...

Schlubs From U.S., China Meet In Lowest-Level Talks

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA—In an effort to strengthen diplomatic ties between the global superpowers’ most oafish representatives, sources confirmed Thursday that schlubs from the United States and China met in Australia this week for a series of low...

Iranian Team Openly Working On Bomb In Negotiating Room

VIENNA—Asserting the Middle Eastern nation’s right to a safe, peaceful energy program, members of the Iranian diplomatic team attempted to seek more favorable terms of a deal with the P5+1 global powers while openly assembling a nuclear weapon...

Where Is Kim Jong-Un?

North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un has not been seen in public since September 3. Here is the latest speculation on his whereabouts

How China Stifles Dissent

Recent clashes with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have refocused international scrutiny on the Chinese government’s efforts to quell social unrest and silence demonstrators.

Nation Admits It Could Probably Be Talked Into Another War

WASHINGTON—While they acknowledged that getting behind such a plan might take a little convincing, the American populace admitted this week that they could, in all likelihood, be talked into another war. Citizens across the nation told reporters tha...

Ugly Custody Battle Over Ian McKellen Narrowly Avoided

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND—Following Scotland’s referendum Thursday rejecting independence from the United Kingdom, sources confirmed that a protracted and ugly custody battle over celebrated actor Sir Ian McKellen had been narrowly avoided.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage


Local Household Announces Plans To Overdo Halloween Again

HIGHLAND PARK, IL—Having hauled over a dozen boxes of lights and plastic decorations as well as a large black-cat-shaped lawn inflatable from storage, members of the Hutchcroft family announced to neighbors from their front yard Thursday their plan to completely overdo Halloween again this year.


  • How Theaters Are Trying To Win Back Moviegoers

    The number of Americans who went to the movies hit a 20-year low in 2014, leaving theaters scrambling to find ways to incentivize the public to see new releases on the big screen rather than watch films at home or on the internet. Here are some methods theaters are using to win back audiences and increase box office sales:

Palestine Appoints New Minister Of Rubble And Urban Development

RAMALLAH, WEST BANK—After weeks of political infighting, Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia announced the appointment of Hassan Al-Katif as the region's new Minister of Rubble and Urban Development Tuesday.

Arafat congratulates Al-Katif amid a prime patch of rubble.

"It is a great honor for me to name a man as experienced as Mr. Al-Katif to this post," Qureia said at a press conference held on top of a pile of rocks that was formerly a local mosque. "Palestine is in need of a strong leader to spark growth in urban areas and manage our burgeoning rubble sector, which is the fastest growing in the world."

The appointment came after several weeks of discord between Qureia and Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat over who should replace the region's 30-day emergency rubble minister. Al-Katif was strongly backed by Arafat.

"Having worked in the private sector as a rubble developer and organizer, Mr. Al-Katif understands Palestine's rubble situation," Arafat said. "He has a strong plan that charts a path to capitalization on our vast and ever-increasing supply of rock fragments and crumbled masonry."

Continued Arafat: "Palestinians need a man of Mr. Al-Katif's unequaled vision. In the coming years, he will oversee the construction of many wonderful new schools, courthouses, banks, and monuments. He will then truck away the remains of those buildings and monuments when they're reduced to gravel and dust."

Arafat said Al-Katif has great plans for "the West Bank's most abundant resource."

"We have chosen a man who not only accepts the reality of continued rubble creation for the foreseeable future, but also embraces it," Arafat said. "I see the Palestinian people forever rich in rubble. We must utilize our extensive rubble resources to rebuild and re-rebuild Palestine."

Al-Katif took the podium and briefly outlined his plans for the region.

The Ministry of Rubble and Urban Development, located in a bustling rubble district in Ramallah.

"The ministry will provide universal access to potable water, electric and sewage-treatment facilities, and adequate housing," Al-Katif said. "We will also move many huge piles of brick, garbage, dirt, and broken glass."

Al-Katif then took a moment to memorialize Amir Al-Lozari, the former RUD Minister. Al-Lozari was killed in what Israeli occupation forces characterized as an "accidental burst of gunfire," while surveying a new rubble development on the former site of the 1,400-year-old Abu Al-Sharim library.

"Amir was more than a boss to me—he was a friend," Al-Katif said. "He was a visionary, an important contributor to rubble theory, and a brilliant pragmatist when it came to the urban development of Palestinian lands. We will miss Amir, but we will remember him by continuing the great work he started."

Al-Katif responded to a reporter who suggested that his plan focused more on rubble than on urban development.

"These are two sides of the same coin," Al-Katif said. "Today's development is tomorrow's pile of rubble, and today's pile of rubble is tomorrow's makeshift shelter for a displaced family. It is all part of the same cycle."

Some have expressed reservations about Al-Katif's appointment, citing his early career as a building owner and landlord as a possible conflict of interest.

"Hassan Al-Katif owns, or has a financial interest in, more than 20 separate piles of rubble," said community organizer Saadiqa Muhammad. "Can we expect him to make impartial judgments about zoning and public-rubble works, given that he has a personal stake in rubble sites all over the region?"

Al-Katif insisted that his interests lie with the people.

"For too long, rubble has been viewed as the sole property of the government," Al-Katif said. "RUD needs to make affordable rubble available to all, and to provide the economic incentive for personal and private development of Palestine's many massive piles of rocks and debris. The opportunity is there, if someone takes the initiative and stacks the rubble neatly."

One of Al-Katif's first initiatives will be aimed at a segment of the population often ignored by RUD: the youth.

"In spite of tough economic times, more and more young people are becoming rubble-owners. Take, for example, 16-year-old Dinuk Wijurnai, who recently returned to his neighborhood and found himself sole owner of the pile of rubble that was once his family home," Al-Katif said. "The future of this country is in the hands, and under the feet, of children like Dinuk."