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Nikki Haley speaks with Israeli UN representative Danny Danon. Photo: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Israeli foreign ministry officials tell me they are concerned that U.S. withdrawal from the UN human rights council will make it harder to block anti-Israeli initiatives on the council. The officials say that even though they feel the council is extremely biased against Israel, U.S. membership helped to soften or fend off some anti-Israeli steps.

Why it matters: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said in their announcement yesterday that one of the reasons for the U.S. withdrawal was the council's bias against Israel. Yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed the U.S. announcement and called the decision "a courageous decision against the hypocrisy and the lies of the so-called UN Human Rights Council."

Despite Netanyahu's remarks, senior Israeli foreign ministry officials tell me the timing of the U.S. withdrawal is problematic because it comes a few months before current UN human rights commissioner Prince Zaid Bin Raad ends his term. The said they hoped the U.S. would at least stay in the council until after the new commissioner's appointment, in order to ensure the person appointed for the job is more balanced.

The Israeli officials say there are at least two big anti-Israeli initiatives which will be much harder to block or deal with now that the U.S. has left the council:

  • The publication of the database or "blacklist" of Israeli and international companies which operate in the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. A few months ago, U.S. pressure led the U.N. human rights commissioner to postpone the publication of the list.
  • The formation of a commission of inquiry on the violent clashes on the border between Israel and Gaza. The council has decided to form the inquiry, but Israeli officials tell me they are concerned that without the U.S. it will be close to impossible to influence the commission's composition, mandate and conclusions.

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Internal CDC presentation warns: "The war has changed"

Graphic: CDC via The Washington Post

Unpublished research indicates that the Delta variant causes more severe illness and spreads as easily as chickenpox, and that vaccinated people may transmit the strain as easily as those who are unvaccinated, according to an internal CDC presentation obtained by WashPost.

Why it matters: The data played a key role in the CDC's decision to tell vaccinated people to resume masking indoors, with the presentation calling on health officials to "acknowledge the war has changed," The Post reports.

Updated 6 mins ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Women's 5,000 meter heats at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

🎾: Novak Djokovic defeated in Olympic semi-finals

🗓: The Olympic events to watch today

🏊‍♀️: South Africa's Tatjana Schoenmaker breaks world record in 200m breaststroke

🏊: Olympic swimmer Ryan Murphy wins Silver in 200m

🚣‍♀️: Team USA women's eight rowing fails to reach the podium

💻: Japan tests teleporting games and "remote cheering"

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Exclusive: Lawmakers urge probe into DOJ's alleged racial profiling of Asians

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Nearly 100 members of Congress members urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the Justice Department's alleged racial profiling of Asians, according to a letter shared with Axios.

Why it matters: The case of Anming Hu, a scientist who was baselessly targeted in an espionage probe, has renewed scrutiny of the DOJ after an FBI agent admitted to falsely implicating the Chinese Canadian.

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