Jan 6, 2019

U.S. ambassador to Israel confirms peace plan delayed by "several months"

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman gives a speech last year. Photo: Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said that the Trump administration's long-awaited Middle East peace plan would be delayed "for several months" on Sunday, per the Jerusalem Post.

Background: Friedman's comments confirm Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement last week that the U.S. had decided to delay the peace plan's release until after Israel's early elections on April 9. The Trump administration has long been coy on when the plan — which President Trump previously said he wanted published by February — will finally be released publicly with Friedman stating in November that it would come at the "appropriate time."

Go deeper: Trump, top advisers to meet about launch of Middle East peace plan

Go deeper

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.