Jun 8, 2019

U.S. ambassador: Israel can annex part of West Bank

Buildings under construction in Gilo, a Jewish settlement in the mainly Palestinian eastern sector of Jerusalem with the West Bank land of Beit Jala in the background, June 6. Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. Ambassador David Friedman told the New York Times on Saturday that Israel has the right to annex some, but "unlikely all" of the Palestinian West Bank.

Why it matters: Friedman's proclamation comes less than a month from when White House adviser Jared Kushner is expected to reveal the economic details of his Middle East peace plan in Bahrain.

The big picture: If Israel begins to annex land from the West Bank, the country would be in violation of international law, per the Times. It's not likely the Trump administration would oppose the move.

Yes, but:

  • A State Department official told Axios that "no plan for unilateral annexation by Israel of any portion of the West Bank has been presented by Israel to the U.S. nor is it under discussion."
  • An official from the U.S. Embassy in Israel also confirmed there has been no change regarding the U.S.' policy toward annexation of the West Bank.

Go deeper: Kushner: "I'm not here to be trusted" by Palestinian leaders

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Biden bets it all on South Carolina

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Most Joe Biden admirers Axios interviewed in South Carolina, where he's vowed to win today's primary, said they're unfazed by his embarrassing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Why it matters: Biden has bet it all on South Carolina to position himself as the best alternative to Bernie Sanders — his "good buddy," he tells voters before skewering Sanders' record and ideas.

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

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.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 12 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 12 hours ago - Health