Dec 6, 2017

Recognizing Jerusalem dims hopes for peace

President Trump today officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, arguing that doing so reflects reality and that decisions by his predecessors to hold back failed to advance the cause of Middle East peace. True as that is, expecting such restraint to do so was misguided.  The reason peace talks have stalled is persistent divisions within the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships and between them.

American recognition of Jerusalem will not ripen diplomatic prospects; to the contrary, it is likely to diminish what little opportunity for progress exists, as this unilateral U.S. action demands nothing of the Israeli government and gives nothing to the Palestinians in Jerusalem or anywhere else.

Why it matters: Jerusalem has been relatively calm amid an unraveling Middle East. The danger is that Trump's announcement could trigger violence in that city and beyond, further impeding cooperation between the United States and Arab and Muslim governments around the world.

Go deeper

The pandemic shows why we're never ready for the big one

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As the confirmed number of COVID-19 cases passed 1 million on Friday, two words sum up the U.S. response to the coronavirus: not enough. Not enough hospital beds, not enough ventilators, not enough protective equipment. Not enough preparation.

Why it matters: COVID-19 has demonstrated our normal defenses aren't enough in the face of a low-probability, but high-consequence catastrophe.

U.S. coronavirus updates: New York reports record 630 deaths in 24 hours

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York reported 630 new deaths in 24 hours, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday — an "all-time increase" that beat the previous day's record of 562 deaths in a single day.

The big picture: As expected, COVID-19 death tolls are rising in the U.S., killing more than 7,100 people in total, and over 1,000 in 24 hours alone. The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread, marking a significant change in messaging from the Trump administration.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 13 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates: Spain tracks more cases than Italy

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Spain overtook Italy in its number of coronavirus cases on Saturday, as the global death toll surpassed 60,000, per Johns Hopkins data.

The latest: About half the planet's population is on lockdown amid the coronavirus crisis. Fatalities are exponentially increasing across Europe, with roughly half of deaths worldwide located in Italy and Spain.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 16 mins ago - Health