Sep 10, 2018

State Department announces closure of Palestine Liberation Organization D.C. office

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

The State Department has formally announced that the Palestine Liberation Organization's office in Washington, D.C. will be closed due to Palestinian leadership's refusal to engage with the White House on its Middle East peace plan. 

Why it matters: This move further escalates the wave of sanctions imposed by the Trump administration against the Palestinians over the last few months — after the Palestinians chose to cut ties after President Trump's decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. This move is extremely severe because it wipes out any symbols of Palestinian sovereignty in Washington.

  • The State Department said the decision to close down the PLO office came because the PLO "has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.  To the contrary, PLO leadership has condemned a U.S. peace plan they have not yet seen and refused to engage with the U.S. government with respect to peace efforts and otherwise."
  • Their statement also said the decision was made due "Administration and Congressional concerns with Palestinian attempts to prompt an investigation of Israel by the International Criminal Court."
  • Despite the harsh move, the State Department said that the U.S. "continues to believe that direct negotiations between the two parties are the only way forward" and that it is not retreating from the efforts to get an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

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Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 721,584 — Total deaths: 33,958 — Total recoveries: 149,122.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 142,106 — Total deaths: 2,479 — Total recoveries: 2,686.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump says his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.
  4. Public health updates: Fauci says 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from virus.
  5. State updates: Louisiana governor says state is on track to exceed ventilator capacity by end of this week — Cuomo says Trump's mandatory quarantine comments "panicked" some people into fleeing New York
  6. World updates: Italy on Sunday reports 756 new deaths, bringing its total 10,779. Spain reports almost 840 dead, another new daily record that bring its total to over 6,500.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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World coronavirus updates: Cases surge past 720,000

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

There are now more than 720,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The virus has now killed more than 33,000 people — with Italy alone reporting over 10,000 deaths.

The big picture: Governments around the world have stepped up public health and economic measures to stop the spread of the virus and soften the financial impact. In the U.S., now the site of the largest outbreak in the world, President Trump said Sunday that his administration will extend its "15 Days to Slow the Spread" guidelines until April 30.

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Trump says peak coronavirus deaths in 2 weeks, extends shutdown

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump is extending his administration's "15 days to slow the spread" shutdown guidelines for an additional month in the face of mounting coronavirus infections and deaths and pressure from public health officials and governors.

Driving the news: With the original 15-day period that was announced March 16 about to end, officials around the country had been bracing for a premature call to return to normalcy from a president who's been venting lately that the prescription for containing the virus could be worse than the impacts of the virus itself.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - Health