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Pence with Netanyahu. Photo: Pool/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence personally asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to target Israel's newly announced coronavirus quarantine at only visitors from the U.S., but to "go global," senior Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: On Monday, Netanyahu announced a new policy of self-quarantine for a period of 14 days for anyone who enters Israel regardless of their country of origin — thus implementing Pence's request, made during a call on Sunday. Israeli officials say Pence's request significantly influenced Netanyahu's decision.

Behind the scenes: Pence stressed to Netanyahu that he understands Israel's concerns about a coronavirus outbreak, but said the Trump administration would not look favorably on a policy that only affected the U.S. and several European countries, like Italy.

  • If the policy included the entire world, though, Pence said the U.S. would raise no objections, the Israeli officials say.

Netanyahu's office didn't deny this account but said Pence stressed to Netanyahu that Israel is free to make its own decisions and praised the Israeli policy toward the crisis.

  • Marc Short, Pence's chief of staff, told Axios he listened in on the call and disputed this characterization, though he would not clarify what was said.

Go deeper

How the Delta variant ups the stakes in the war against COVID

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The dominant Delta variant's ability to efficiently infect people and rapidly grow inside a person is enabling the coronavirus to regain its footing in the United States.

Why it matters: "The solution is right in front of us — get everybody vaccinated and we wouldn't even be talking about this," NIAID director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.

Apple debuts plan to detect images of child sexual abuse

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Apple announced new iPhone features Thursday that it said would enable the detection and reporting of illegal images of child sexual abuse while preserving users' privacy.

Driving the news: One new system will use cryptographic hashes to identify illegal images that users are uploading to Apple's iCloud without Apple directly snooping in users' troves of photos, which can be encrypted.

California wildfire explodes in size, destroys historic town

Battalion Chief Sergio Mora looks on as the Dixie fire burns through downtown Greenville, Calif. on Aug. 4, 2021. Photo: Josh EdelsonAFP via Getty Images

The small Sierra town of Greenville, Calif., was heavily damaged on Wednesday night into early Thursday as the Dixie Fire surged northward amid high winds, extremely dry air and hot temperatures.

The big picture: The Dixie Fire, California's biggest blaze and the sixth-largest wildfire in state history, razed houses and businesses as it ripped through Greenville and surrounding areas in Plumas County.