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The issue

The United States has long advocated for a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

The facts

The creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel has been the official policy of the United States through successive Republican and Democratic presidential administrations. Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, the division of Jerusalem, and the security of both states have made this a difficult goal to achieve.

President Trump has indicated he may make sweeping pro-Israel changes to U.S. foreign policy. Most significantly, his pick for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, supports moving the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and the continued expansion of Israeli settlements on occupied land — two moves that may drastically inflame tensions in the region.

Why it matters

On February 14, ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to the United States, a senior Trump official said that Middle East peace is the goal but indicated that it might not come in the form of a two-state solution.

That's significant because Trump administration has presented a muddled view of its Middle East policy in recent weeks, previously signaling its support for a two-state solution, pushing back on Israel over settlements, and demurring on its pledge to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Anything other a two-state solution would be a radical change to decades of U.S. — and indeed, international — policy.

Go deeper

California governor declares drought emergency for entire state

California Gov. Gavin Newsom speakinng to reporters in Los Angeles in September. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) extended a drought emergency declaration to cover the entire state on Tuesday.

Why it matters: "California is experiencing its worst drought since the late 1800s, as measured by both lack of precipitation and high temperatures," per a statement from the governor's office. This past August was the driest and hottest one on record, "and the water year that ended last month was the second driest on record," the statement added.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Reports: Brazil leader to be accused of crimes against humanity over COVID

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate panel will recommend President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with "crimes against humanity," alleging his COVID-19 pandemic response led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, per the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The latest: The lawmakers initially said Bolsonaro should be charged with mass homicide and genocide, but lawmakers updated the report to replace these recommendations with the new charge, its lead author, Sen. Renan Calheiros, told the NYT.

Updated 6 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.