Jun 1, 2017

Trump delays moving Israel embassy to Jerusalem

Trump escorts Netanyahu into the White House / AP's Evan Vucci

The White House formally announced today that it will delay for six months the decision on whether to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. This is a backtrack on President Trump's promise.

  • Why the waiver?: Presidents have done this every six months since 1995, when Congress passed a law requiring the move.
  • Why the delay?: As a source who has been in the process for multiple presidents told Axios, this is Trump defaulting to the status quo. Bureaucrats brief a new president, show them the doomsday forecast of riots, broken peace deals, new security requirements and other issues, and presidents back off. etc.

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Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.

American society is teetering on the edge

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The COVID-19 pandemic, record unemployment and escalating social unrest are all pushing American society close to the breaking point.

The big picture: Civilizations don't last forever, and when they collapse, the cause is almost always internal failure. Even in the midst of one of our darkest years, the U.S. still has many factors in its favor, but the fate of past societies holds frightening lessons for what may lie ahead.