Dec 31, 2018

Netanyahu: White House won't present peace plan before Israel's elections

President Trump and Jared Kushner speak with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year. Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a press conference in Rio de Janeiro on Monday that the Trump administration doesn't want to present its Middle East peace plan before Israel's early elections on April 9.

Why it matters: After Netanyahu announced the snap elections last week, a White House official said the administration would consider them as it deliberated on the timing of the plan's launch. But Netanyahu has now publicly stated that the White House will postpone the publication of the plan, saying, "It is their calculation — and I am not sure they are wrong — that allowing a discussion about the peace plan after the elections in Israel is better than having such a discussion before an election when the whole debate will be totally different."

Go deeper: Trump, top advisers to meet about launch of Middle East peace plan

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Stocks fall 4% as sell-off worsens

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks fell more than 4% on Thursday, extending the market’s worst week since the financial crisis in 2008 following a spike in coronavirus cases around the world.

The big picture: All three indices closed in correction territory on Thursday, down over 10% from their recent record-highs amid a global market rout.

Coronavirus updates: California monitors 8,400 potential cases

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.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Watchdog opens probe into VA secretary over handling of sexual assault claim

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie on Fox Business Network’s "The Evening Edit" on Jan. 7. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

The Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Michael Missal said Thursday he had opened an investigation into VA Secretary Robert Wilkie after lawmakers demanded an inquiry into his handling of a sexual misconduct report, the Washington Post reports.

Context: Wilkie allegedly "worked to discredit" the credibility of Democratic aide and veteran Andrea Goldstein after she reported last fall "that a man groped and propositioned her in the main lobby of the agency's D.C. Medical Center," a senior VA official told the Post.