Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

The Jewish settlement of Givat Zeev, near the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Ramallah. Photo: Ahmad Gharbali/Getty Images

The Trump administration thinks that discussions about Israel's possible annexation of the West Bank "should take place as part of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians on the Trump peace plan," State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told a group of Israeli reporters in a conference call on Friday.

Why it matters: The comments follow a series of public messages from the Trump administration in what looks like an attempt to signal to the new Israeli government that the U.S. does not support moving forward with annexation at the this time.

The state of play:

  • Last Friday, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs David Schenker gave a briefing to reporters about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Israel and did not mention annexation, but emphasized the need for direct talks between Israelis and Palestinians.
  • One day before Pompeo landed in Israel, senior U.S. officials told me that the Trump administration does not view the new Israeli government's July 1 deadline to begin the process of annexing parts of the West Bank as a "do or die" date, and that the Trump administration is still preoccupied with the coronavirus crisis.
  • During Pompeo's visit, he was noncommittal in public remarks about a U.S. green light for annexation.
  • State Department officials who briefed the traveling press during Pompeo's trip back to the U.S. said he "didn't travel halfway across the world to discuss annexation."

What they're saying: Ortagus spoke about King Abdullah of Jordan and his warnings regarding annexation, and said the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty is very important to the U.S. She added that the King's comments show why it is critical for all parties to go back to the negotiating table to discuss the Trump plan.

"We are going to push in order to make this happen," Ortagus said.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Aug 22, 2020 - World

Pompeo to visit Israel and the UAE on Monday

Mike Pompeo. Photo: MIKE SEGAR / Contributor

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Jerusalem on Monday, Israeli officials tell me, noting he will travel to the United Arab Emirates thereafter.

Why it matters: Israeli officials say the focus of the trip will be the U.S.-brokered normalization agreement between Israel and the UAE, and the U.S. efforts with the United Nations to renew international sanctions on Iran.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

The bomb cyclone and atmospheric river seen via satellite on Sunday. The center of the storm is at the middle of the comma shape, due west of Washington State. (CIRA/RAMMB)

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

Mike Allen, author of AM
6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.