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Jared Kushner. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Jared Kushner, who is leading President Trump's Middle East "peace team," said on Thursday night at a dinner hosted by the Washington Institute that the upcoming peace plan will address "Palestinian political aspirations," and propose ideas for how to solve issues like borders and Jerusalem.

Why it matters: Kushner didn't offer any details in the 45-minute interview, but emphasized again and again that the Palestinians and those criticizing the administration in the U.S. and around the world should not reject the plan out of hand. Kushner even said "people would be surprised" by the plan when they see it.

Details: Kushner said Trump was a driving force behind the renewed effort to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has been "pushing" the peace team.

  • According to Kushner, Trump told his advisers that fixing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not fix the Middle East entirely, "but without solving it you won't be able to fix the region."
  • Kushner described the peace place as an "in-depth operational document." He said the president has been briefed throughout the process, but hasn't read the latest draft yet.
  • Kushner said the plan would be "a good starting point for the political issues" between Israel and the Palestinians, and would boost the Palestinian economy.
  • He said solving the conflict with the Palestinians is in Israel's long-term interest, and that Israel would have to make compromises — but not any that would compromise security.

Go deeper

Omicron cases confirmed in 4 U.S. states

A healthcare worker inserts a Covid-19 rapid test into a machine in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Daniel Brenner/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Five cases of the newly-discovered Omicron variant were detected in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday, making New York the fourth state with confirmed cases.

The latest: In addition to New York, the variant has been confirmed in California, Colorado and Minnesota.

Early winter heat shatters records in U.S., Canada

Temperature departures from average on Dec. 2, 2021, as depicted by the GFS computer model. (Weatherbell.com)

A widespread and intense heatwave is roasting large portions of the U.S. and Canada, shattering daily and monthly temperature records.

Why it matters: Winter is the fastest-warming season across the U.S., and the lingering warmth is shortening the snow season in places like Colorado and Montana, where mountain snowpack is a critical source of water during the summer months.

5 hours ago - Science

COVID time warp

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The start of the COVID-19 pandemic seems like a lifetime ago to some, and just yesterday to others. Scientists are beginning to unpack the way people processed the passage of time amidst the stress, uncertainty and isolation of the 1 year, 8 months and 21 days since WHO declared a pandemic.

Why it matters: The pandemic's global effects on how people experience time could provide new insights into the brain's ability to perceive and predict time — a fundamental feature of life.

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