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Expert Voices

Recognizing Jerusalem dims hopes for peace

Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall in Jerusalem

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.

Steve LeVine 10 hours ago
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Self-driving lab head urges freeze after "nightmare" fatality

Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty

Carmakers and technology companies should freeze their race to field autonomous vehicles because "clearly the technology is not where it needs to be," said Raj Rajkumar, head of Carnegie Mellon University's leading self-driving laboratory.

What he said: Speaking a few hours after a self-driven vehicle ran over and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, Rajkumar said, "This isn't like a bug with your phone. People can get killed. Companies need to take a deep breath. The technology is not there yet. We need to keep people in the loop."

David McCabe 7 hours ago
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Senate committee probes Facebook, Cambridge Analytica

Mark Zuckerberg walks in front of trees
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Senate Commerce Committee is sending written questions to Cambridge Analytica's parent company and Facebook about the revelation that the data consulting firm improperly gathered user data from the social giant.

Why it matters: This is the most aggressive action by Republicans yet to investigate the reports about the Trump-linked analytics firm.

Quote“They’ve got responsibility to make sure that that information is used in an appropriate way, so we want to find out how it was gotten, how it was used, and we want Facebook obviously to be transparent about that.”
— Sen. John Thune