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Kushner at the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. Photo: Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty Images

Manama, Bahrain — The U.S.-led conference to launch the economic part of the Trump administration's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan will begin today in Bahrain amid an ever-growing crisis between the White House and Palestinian leadership.

Why it matters: The White House and the Palestinian Authority are both hoping Palestinian public opinion will favor their narrative around the plan.

The latest: The White House released an overview of the economic plan on Saturday, and hopes to use the Bahrain conference to generate debate about it in the international community and especially within Palestinian society.

  • Jared Kushner, who leads the White House "peace team," will give the opening speech.

The Palestinian leadership sees the Trump administration as hostile and anti-Palestinian.

  • Palestinian President Abbas and other officials are pushing hard against the U.S. plan.
  • They claim it is a conspiracy to turn a political issue into a humanitarian or economic one, to legitimize Israeli occupation and to wipe out any possibility for the Palestinians to fulfill their national aspirations for an independent state.

The Trump administration, on the other hand, tries to differentiate between the Palestinian leadership and the Palestinian people.

  • U.S. officials claim Abbas and other Palestinian leaders aren't looking out for the best interests of their people. They claim ordinary Palestinians are much more pragmatic than their leaders, and want most of all to improve their living conditions.

The Palestinian Authority and the White House have been fighting for several weeks over attendance at the Bahrain conference.

  • The U.S. managed to get all the Gulf states plus Egypt, Jordan and Morocco to send delegations.
  • The White House also managed to get Russia and China to send representatives even after both countries said they'd boycott.

On the other hand, Palestinian pressure led all the Arab attendees and even many Western countries to send only low or mid-level officials, and stress they're in listening mode and won't support any plan the Palestinians reject.

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who will lead the U.S. delegation, hoped to see upwards of 10 of his counterparts. In the end, very few if any finance ministers will attend.
  • Palestinian pressure also led Egypt, Jordan and other Arab states to ask the White House to refrain from inviting Israel's minister of finance and other government officials. In the end, the only Israeli attendees will be businesspeople.

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3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.

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Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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  2. Vaccines: Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker