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On Friday morning—only a few hours before Donald Trump was sworn in as president—Congress received notification that President Obama sent $221 million in humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Authority. The money from the U.S. Agency for International Development is set to go to help the people living in the West Bank and Gaza and to, according to the AP, “help prepare for good governance and the rule of law in a future Palestinian state.”

The money has been a controversial issue in Washington, and the move was a last minute surprise for a reason.

Years ago, Congress approved the aid package (twice, in fact, in 2015 and 2016), but two Republican lawmakers placed a hold on it, preventing it from being released. They said that they took issue with the Palestinian Authority attempting to become official members of some international organizations. However, the “holds” aren’t legally binding. So, in order to prevent any additional hang-ups with lawmakers, the Obama administration made the move just before Trump was sworn in.

The Trump administration has not supported a two-state solution, and Trump is a vocal supporter of the administration of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Discuss

Today, President Trump signed an executive order, reinstating the controversial “Mexico City Policy.” The order says that no U.S. funding can go to NGOs around the world that provide abortions or even give referrals for women seeking abortions. The rule does not effect abortions in cases of incest, rape or when the mother’s life may be in danger.

USAID currently gives about $600 million aid to organizations in countries around the world that provide health and reproductive services to women and families, with the ultimate goal of reducing mortality rates for infants and mothers.

The move isn’t a major surprise. The policy was first created by the Reagan administration, was tossed out by President Clinton, revived by President Bush and once again removed by President Obama—who, like Trump, signed the order in the days after he took office. Discuss

Scientists reported that the Earth's temperature in 2016 is the highest on record. The second highest? 2015, which beat 2014's record.

This is the first time that three consecutive years are the warmest ones on record, adding to concern among scientists and some of the general population about how rising global temperatures will affect the way people exist on the planet.

This finding comes right before President-elect Trump takes office. He has previously promised to give global warming and climate change less weight, even having a climate change denier head his EPA transition team.

Scientists say the fact that the years are all consecutive points to the bigger problem.

“A single warm year is something of a curiosity,” said Deke Arndt, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief of global climate monitoring told the Times. “It’s really the trend, and the fact that we’re punching at the ceiling every year now, that is the real indicator that we’re undergoing big changes.

The biggest effects of the warming can be seen in places like the Arctic, where temperatures were 20 to 30 degrees higher than normal in several places and ice has been visibly melting. And on the other end of the spectrum, India experienced its hottest day in its recorded history in May: 123.8 degrees.

According to NASA, the planet's temperature increased by more than half a degree between 2013 and 2016, which may sound innocuous, but is drastic and the largest change in NASA's recorded history. Discuss

Jeremy Courtney of the organization Preemptive Love Coalition posted a powerful video on Facebook this weekend, explaining how a Muslim man in Iraq built a cross for his Christian neighbors after their church was destroyed by ISIS.

The city of Mosul is being liberated from ISIS, who destroyed churches and persecuted the population while in control of the area. But, as Jeremy Courtney explains, these kinds of stories—of Muslims coming alongside of Christians—aren’t the kinds we’re used to hearing about, even though they happen all of the time in Iraq.

Marwan is a Muslim. But when Marwan came into this church, he couldn’t accept the fact that these other guys who claimed to be Muslims were rampaging through this place, destroying the signs and icons of his Christian friends, his Christian compatriots, his Christian neighbors. And so, our Muslim friend Marwan helps fashion this cross together.

The Preemptive Love Coalition works in Iraq to deliver life-saving aid and provide medical services to communities in need. Discuss

A new report from Oxfam demonstrates just how large the global wealth gap has gotten. Currently, eight of the richest individuals in the world have as much combined wealth than half the world’s entire population. Their latest report found that 1 in 10 people living right now survive on less than $2 a day.

Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International explained to the AP, "Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy.”

The 8 include tech moguls Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, American business leaders Michael Bloomberg and Warren Buffett, Spanish entrepreneur Amancio Ortega and Mexican telecom owner Carlos Slim Helu.

The group will be presenting their latest findings to leaders gathered at The World Economic Forum. Discuss

The news camerawoman who caused an international outrage in 2015 when she was filmed tripping refugees near the Hungarian border has been sentenced. A judge in the case did not accept Petra Laszlo’s explanation that she was somehow reacting in self-defense. However, she was not charged with a hate crime associated with acts committed because of racial motivations. Another cameraperson even filmed her tripping a man carrying a small child.

Laszlo will not serve an jail time in the case. Last year she was fired from her job, apologizing for the incident, but then said she planned on suing Abdul Mohsen, the Syrian father who she tripped in the video.

Discuss