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Abbas speaks at the UN. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told a Democratic congressional delegation today in Ramallah that dialogue with the Trump administration, which has been frozen for more than a year, could possibly be re-opened.

Why it matters: The Palestinians have been boycotting the Trump administration since Trump's Dec. 2017 announcement that the U.S. Embassy would move to Jerusalem. This more friendly rhetoric from Abbas comes ahead of the release of the White House Middle East peace plan, which is expected in the spring.

Abbas told the Democratic delegation, which was brought to Ramallah by progressive U.S. lobbying group J Street, that in order to renew the dialogue with the Palestinians, the Trump administration must announce it is accepting a two-state solution and backing off Trump's declaration that Jerusalem is "off the table" — a statement that was understood by the Palestinians to be a sign that the U.S. doesn't support their aspirations for a capital in East Jerusalem. 

Go deeper

Reports: CIA finds "Havana Syndrome" unlikely caused by foreign campaign

CIA Director William Burns testifies during a Senate hearing on Capitol Hill last April. Photo: Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images

A preliminary CIA report rules out a foreign global campaign as the cause of American and Canadian diplomats affected by a mysterious illness known as "Havana syndrome," per multiple reports.

Why it matters: Some lawmakers had suggested the sometimes debilitating illness was due to directed energy attacks. But CIA officials told the New York Times that most of the 1,000 cases reported to the government could be "explained by environmental causes, undiagnosed medical conditions or stress." This finding has angered some victims, per the NYT.

Jan. 6 panel subpoenas 2 far-right "America First" activists

The House panel investigating the Capitol riot, from left; Reps. Bennie Thompson, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger and Jamie Raskin on Capitol Hill in December. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot issued subpoenas Wednesday for far-right leaders Nick Fuentes and Patrick Casey, who allegedly encouraged followers to go to D.C. and challenge the 2020 election results.

Why it matters: The action underscores the panel's increasing focus on rallies held ahead of the Capitol attack and how extremists were drawn to former President Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, per the New York Times.

Democrats fail to change Senate rules to pass voting rights bill

Senate Majority Leader during a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democrats failed Wednesday night to change Senate filibuster rules to pass the voting rights bill, with Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) voting with Republicans.

The big picture: The failed effort came after Senate Republicans blocked the voting rights measure from coming to a final vote earlier Wednesday.

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