Aug 30, 2019

Netanyahu to Macron: "Not the time" for Trump-Rouhani meeting

Netanyahu greets Macron in Paris in June 2018. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call Friday that "Iran is expending its aggression in the region and this is not the time" to arrange a summit between President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, according to a statement by Netanyahu's office.

Why it matters: Netanyahu is very concerned about Macron's initiative. The statement from Netanyahu's office was his first public reaction on the Iran developments at the G7 meeting in France last Sunday. 

The backstory: Yesterday, Axios' Jonathan Swan and I reported on Netanyahu's attempts to reach Trump while he was at the G7 summit. Netanyahu was worried Macron would arrange a meeting between Trump and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, and tried to get Trump on the phone to convince him not to take the meeting. 

According to Netanyahu's statement, Macron was the one who initiated today's phone call. Netanyahu and Macron discussed the situation in Lebanon after last Saturday's drone attack against Hezbollah's precision missile production site in Beirut.

  • Netanyahu told Macron that Israel will continue to act to prevent its enemies from arming themselves with weapons to destroy Israel, and that whoever gives cover for aggression against Israel — such as the Lebanese government — will not be off limits.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,643,499 — Total deaths: 97,722 — Total recoveries: 366,736 — Total tested: 14,163,915Map.
  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
  4. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks headed into Memorial Day weekend Report finds "little evidence" coronavirus under control in most statesHurricanes, wildfires, the flu could strain COVID-19 response
  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
  6. Federal government: Trump attacks a Columbia University study that suggests earlier lockdown could have saved 36,000 American lives.
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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to fewer than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.