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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was admitted to a hospital in Ramallah today after undergoing surgery last week, marking the third time Abbas has been treated in a hospital over the past few days.

Why it matters: Abbas is 82 years old and has no agreed-upon successor from within his Fatah Party, the Palestinian Authority, or the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The details: Last week, Abbas had ear surgery, which his doctors reported was successful. Yesterday, he was admitted to a hospital in Ramallah, which Palestinian officials said involved routine check-ups after the surgery. Today, Abbas has been readmitted to the same hospital. 

There are contradictory reports about Abbas' health:

  • The official Palestinian news agency WAFA published a statement from the director of the hospital saying Abbas had another check-up after his surgery and that the results were good.
  • But Palestinian officials and Western diplomats had another version. They said Abbas was taken to the hospital after he suffered from a fever, had difficulty breathing, and could barely walk. They added that doctors at the hospital found that he had pneumonia with lung inflammation.

But, but, but: The PLO's executive committee secretary-general Saeb Erekat said he saw Abbas in person and stressed he is "in good condition". Erekat also said Abbas will leave the hospital today or tomorrow.

Go deeper

Media giants back Bannon's bid to release Jan. 6 documents

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon at the FBI Washington Field Office in Washington, DC., in November. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

A coalition of news outlets including the Washington Post is supporting Stephen Bannon's campaign for the release of documents related to his contempt of Congress charges, WashPost confirmed Wednesday.

Why it matters: WashPost, the New York Times, CNN, NBC, the Wall Street Journal's parent company and others filed a motion arguing that a proposed protective order seeking to prevent the documents from being released violates the First Amendment, per the Daily Mail, which first reported on the news.

Symone Sanders leaving VP's office

Vice President Kamala Harris and her press secretary Symone Sanders. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Symone Sanders, senior advisor and chief spokesperson to Vice President Kamala Harris, is leaving the VP’s office by the end of this year, three White House officials told Axios on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The VP has faced an onslaught of criticism in her first year centered on her leadership and staff, adding to the suggestion, she’s not the Democratic Party’s preferred nominee for 2024.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Updated 3 hours ago - Health

Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The travel bans and border closures prompted by the Omicron variant likely won't fully prevent its spread, but that won't stop countries from leaning on the measures.

Why it matters: The rapid speed at which countries turned to travel bans with the emergence of Omicron indicates border controls will increasingly become a weapon against infectious disease — whether or not public health experts agree they are effective.