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U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook (C) with the foreign ministers of Israel (L) and Bahrain (R).

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz had a short and rare public encounter yesterday with Bahrain's foreign minister, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, at a State Department reception.

Why it matters: There has been a flurry of meetings between Israeli officials and their counterparts from the Gulf states recently, but the meetings are typically not made public by either party. That's why the joint photo of both ministers is even more significant than the meeting itself. Israel and Bahrain don't have diplomatic relations but are in a steady process of warming ties.

Both ministers were in Washington for a gathering on religious freedom organized by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. They spoke for a few minutes, shook hands and took a joint photo.

  • The ministers were encouraged to meet by the U.S. special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, who joined them for the photo.
  • This is another sign of the Trump administration’s success in moving Israel and the Gulf states closer together against their shared adversary, Iran.
  • It comes several weeks after the conference in Bahrain on the economic part of the Trump administration's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. Bahrain agreed to let Israeli businessmen and journalists attend.

Jason Greenblatt, the White House special envoy for Middle East peace, welcomed the short meeting in a tweet and wrote: "Terrific progress in Washington this week for Israel, Bahrain & the region."

Go deeper: Bahrain foreign minister's first interview with an Israeli journalist.

Go deeper

Biden's Day 1 challenges: The immigration reset

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President-elect Biden has an aggressive Day One immigration agenda that relies heavily on executive actions to undo President Trump's crackdown.

Why it matters: It's not that easy. Trump issued more than 400 executive actions on immigration. Advocates are fired up. The Supreme Court could threaten the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and experts warn there could be another surge at the border.

Broncos and 49ers the latest NFL teams impacted by coronavirus crisis

From left, Denver Broncos quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Jeff Driskel during an August training session at UCHealth Training Center in Englewood, Colorado. Photo: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the NFL season into chaos, with all Denver Broncos quarterbacks sidelined, the San Francisco 49ers left without a home or practice ground and much of the Baltimore Ravens team unavailable, per AP.

Driving the news: The Broncos confirmed in a statement Saturday night that quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles were identified as "high-risk COVID-19 close contacts" and will follow the NFL's mandatory five-day quarantine, making them ineligible for Sunday's game against New Orleans.

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

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