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Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

As Jared Kushner walked into his most consequential meeting yet, in his Middle East peace mission, the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas said: "We know that things are difficult and complicated, but nothing is impossible in the face of good efforts."

Sounds nice. But a conga line of diplomatic grandees have tried this for decades before Kushner came onto the scene. All failed, and the gulf between the Israelis and Palestinians only widened through the Obama years. American efforts were poisoned, among other factors, by unmanageable levels of toxicity between Obama and Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu.

  • Trump offers a fresh start, and has deputized the task to unconventional aides. Kushner is a New York real estate mogul, and Jason Greenblatt, a pragmatic lawyer at the Trump Organization. Neither man is an ideologue, and nor are they under any illusions about the diplomatic mountains before them.
  • An administration source tells us this trip is the beginning of substantive peace talks, brokered by the U.S.
  • Kushner met earlier today with Netanyahu, and over the course of two previous days met with key Arab leaders, who are invested in Israel and the Palestinians making a deal.
  • Greenblatt has spent months taking the temperature of each side. He's invested a lot of time in understanding what the Palestinians need — to the extent that some conservative pro-Israel activists in the U.S. have expressed displeasure at the respect he and Trump have shown to Abbas.
  • Readout from the White House: "The Palestinian Authority and the U.S. delegation had a productive meeting focused on how to begin substantive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Both sides agreed to continue with the U.S.-led conversations as the best way to reach a comprehensive peace deal."

Go deeper on this consequential trip, with the NYT's Declan Walsh and Peter Baker.

Go deeper

Food delivery "ghost kitchens" face major obstacles

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The growing popularity of food delivery has given rise to startups that open "ghost kitchens" — kitchens in warehouses or trailers that prepare food solely for delivery and have no option to dine in.

  • But they can come with a whole host of problems.

The big picture: The concept of "ghost kitchens" has been dubbed the next big thing in the future of services, with high profile backers like Uber founder Travis Kalanick. But these kitchens can be hard to run or unsafe.

3 hours ago - Health

Federal judge blocks Biden vaccine mandate for health workers

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant at the White House on Nov. 29. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally funded facilities nationwide.

The big picture: The order comes one day after a federal judge in Missouri halted the mandate, which has a Jan. 4 deadline, in 10 states.

CNN suspends Chris Cuomo indefinitely

Chris Cuomo in 2019. Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for THR

CNN announced Tuesday evening that it has suspended anchor Chris Cuomo indefinitely following new revelations about his involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Driving the news: New documents released Monday showed that Cuomo used his contacts to garner information about the women accusing his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of sexual harassment, as well as of emerging media coverage relating to the scandal.