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Biden sits with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before a dinner at the prime minister's residence in 2010, in Jerusalem, Israel. Photo: Pool/Getty Images

President Joe Biden spoke on the phone today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, one month after taking office.

Why it matters: In recent weeks, the White House faced questions over Biden’s decision to call the leaders of a dozen allies and world powers before calling Netanyahu. 

The White House denied that Biden was snubbing Netanyahu and said Biden hadn’t called as many leaders as he would have liked because of other pressing issues.

  • On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Netanyahu would be the first Middle Eastern leader to get a call from Biden.
  • Netanyahu has faced many questions himself on the delayed call and attempted to downplay the issue. 

Driving the news: Netanyahu’s office said the leaders spoke for an hour and had a friendly and warm conversation. 

Go deeper

No plans for Biden to address a joint session of Congress this month, White House says

Jen Psaki in the briefing room on Feb. 16. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

There are no current plans for President Joe Biden to address a joint session of Congress this month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Reporters pointed out that Biden said last month that his "first appearance before a joint session" would be held in February and would address his national coronavirus recovery plan. Psaki had said it "was never planned to be in February."

Updated Feb 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden on schools: "The goal will be 5 days a week"

President Biden participates in a CNN town hall at the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Tuesday night. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

President Biden on Tuesday sought to clarify what his administration means by promising to open schools in the first 100 days of his presidency, insisting that "the goal will be five days a week."

The big picture: Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that Biden’s definition for open schools was in-classroom instruction by a teacher “at least one day a week.”

Toyota to build $1.3 billion U.S. battery plant in North Carolina

The all-electric Toyota bZ4X, the company's first battery-electric vehicle, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on Nov. 17. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Toyota announced Monday it's investing $1.3 billion to construct an electric vehicle battery "megasite" near Greensboro, North Carolina, set to open in 2025.

Why it matters: Toyota's Prius hybrid won environmental plaudits when it launched in 1997, but it has since lost ground to electric vehicle world leader Tesla, per Axios' Joann Muller. This battery plant will be the first to produce automotive batteries for Toyota in North America.