Photo: Oliver Weiken/picture alliance via Getty Images

Less than two months after his biggest-ever electoral victory, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has failed in a desperate bid to form a new government. The Knesset has now voted to hold a new election on Sept. 17.

Why it matters: This is a huge political defeat for Netanyahu. It's the first time since the founding of Israel that a prime minister has missed the deadline to form a coalition after winning an election. Netanyahu opted for new elections before Israel's president offered one of Netanyahu's political rivals an opportunity to form a government.

Context: New elections will prevent Netanyahu from passing laws giving himself immunity from three pending indictments for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

  • Netanyahu's plans to pass legislation allowing politicians to override Supreme Court rulings will also be hampered.

What to watch: The new elections in Israel will also further complicate the Trump administration's plans to launch its long-awaited Middle East peace plan. The White House hoped to have a new Israeli government in place before rolling out the first phase of the plan next month in Bahrain.

  • Jared Kushner, who is leading the White House peace team, arrived earlier this evening in Jerusalem with special envoy Jason Greenblatt and the State Department's Iran envoy, Brian Hook. They met tonight with Israeli ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer and are scheduled to meet Netanyahu tomorrow.

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Trump announces historic normalization of ties between Israel and UAE

Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu, Trump and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed. Photo: Artur Widak/NurPhoto; Samuel Corum; Odd Andersen/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump announced a "historic" deal Thursday which will see Israel and the UAE open full diplomatic relations and Israel suspend its annexation plans in the West Bank.

Why it matters: This is a major breakthrough for Israel, which does not have diplomatic recognition in many Middle Eastern countries but has been steadily improving relations in the Gulf, largely due to mutual antipathy toward Iran. Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab countries that have active diplomatic ties with Israel, and the UAE is the first of the Gulf Arab states to normalize relations.

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Trump vows to block stimulus funding for mail-in voting and USPS

President Trump on Thursday told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo that Democratic demands to fund mail-in voting and the U.S. Postal Service in ongoing coronavirus stimulus negotiations were a non-starter.

Why it matters: Trump directly linked Democrats' desired $3.6 billion for mail-in voting and $25 billion for the USPS to his continued baseless claims that increased mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud.

Wind and solar power hit record global market shares in first half of 2020

Reproduced from Ember; Chart: Axios Visuals

A steep decline in coal-fired power combined with rising wind and solar output drove the carbon-free sources to record global market share in the first half of 2020, per a new analysis from the environmental think tank Ember.

Why it matters: The report shows how the coronavirus pandemic is speeding the ongoing shakeup of the global power mix — but also how it's occurring too slowly to reach international climate goals.