Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

U.S. and Palestinians re-engage after 3-year freeze

The Biden administration has now had more official contacts with Palestinian officials in its first two weeks than the Trump administration did in its final three years.

Why it matters: The State Department's deputy assistant secretary for Israel-Palestine, Hady Amr, spoke by phone with multiple Palestinian officials on Monday. Those were the first publicly announced interactions between the sides as the Biden administration moves to renew ties that had been effectively severed since Donald Trump announced in December 2017 that he was moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

What they're saying: “We discussed bilateral relations, the latest current developments and politics. It was a positive conversation. It was agreed to continue communication," the Palestinian minister for civilian affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, tweeted after speaking with Amr.

The big picture: The Biden administration is planning to roll back many of Trump’s policies on Israel-Palestine.

  • According to Biden administration officials, the U.S. will resume aid to the Palestinians and reopen the Palestinian Liberation Organization office in Washington as well as the consulate in Jerusalem.
  • The Biden administration will oppose annexation, settlement building and the demolition of Palestinian homes by Israel.

Worth noting: Amr will be one of the key players shaping the administration's policies on Israel-Palestine. He is highly respected by Palestinian officials, who see him as a balanced actor.

  • The Biden administration is not planning to appoint a special envoy for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and the issue will be handled mostly by the State Department.

The latest: Palestinian news website Amad reported on Saturday that Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and director of Palestinian Intelligence Majed Faraj also spoke on the phone with Amr.

  • Shtayyeh confirmed that they discussed the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and reopening of the PLO office in Washington, along with the renewal of U.S. financial aid to the Palestinian Authority and to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

4 ffp

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories