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Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital, vows to move embassy

Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital as Palestinians protest by burning representations of the American and Israeli flags. Photos: AP

President Trump announced Wednesday that he will officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the U.S. embassy to the city.

"My announcement today marks the beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians," he said.

Trump signed a directive for the State Department to prepare for an embassy move to Jerusalem. This will include hiring architects to begin designing the structure as "a magnificent tribute to peace," he said. Senior administration officials said the process of relocating the embassy and its close to 1,000 employees will take at least three years.

The White House's take:

  • A senior administration official said the White House understands there will be some "noise" in the region in response to what the administration sees as a "historic, bold, courageous," but that the president has made his commitment to the peace-process clear. "We'll just roll up our sleeves and say, 'Let's get past this,'" the official said.
  • A second senior administration official: "We understand there may be a disruption in the short run, but it'll be helpful in the long run. It shows the president's credibility and that he means what he says, and will ultimately be helpful. We have done a lot of … listening and learning and building trust. Now, we're putting together our plan" for release some time next year.

Go deeper: White House lays out its plan to move U.S. embassy despite warnings from around the globe, and why the White House thinks this move won't kill Middle East peace talks.

Jonathan Swan 9 hours ago
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Trump's two-front war

Photo: Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump is ending the week with a flop — nowhere close to the border wall funding he wanted in the DACA-less spending bill that congressional leaders released last evening. But he's fulfilling one of his most aggressive campaign promises with his anti-China trade action.

The big picture: Trump's expected announcement today of tariffs on Chinese imports is a big deal, and analysts fear it could provoke a trade war — and it comes as Trump has been battling his own party here at home over the government spending bill.

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The worst flu season in eight years

Note: Activity levels are based on outpatient visits in a state compared to the average number of visits that occur during weeks with little or no flu virus circulation; Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

This year's flu season caught many experts off guard with both its sustained prevalence and its virulence. At its peak, there was a higher level of flu-like illnesses reported than any other year during the past eight years. Watch in the visual as it hits its peak around Week 18.

Why it matters: Public health officials try to capture this data when developing the next year's vaccines. And, of course, they want to find better ways to prevent severe flu seasons. There's a "Strategic Plan" to develop a universal vaccine to protect against a wider range of influenza viruses, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tells Axios.