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After bitter Iran row, Netanyahu gets White House invite

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to visit the White House in early November, a US spokesman said Friday, the first time he’s been invited since a fierce row over the Iranian nuclear deal.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said there was an “ongoing effort” to find an exact date for the meeting, but that it would be a chance to deepen cooperation.

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“Despite our well known differences on even some key issues, the bond between the United States and Israel when it comes to our security relationship is unshakable,” he said.

US-Israeli relations are at one of their lowest points in decades, fueled by animosity between Obama and Netanyahu.

After years of frosty relations, Netanyahu stridently opposed a deal championed by Obama as the best way of preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

The Israeli prime minister described the accord, an important piece of Obama’s foreign policy legacy, as a “stunning, historic mistake.”

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The White House regarded Netanyahu’s appearance before a joint session of Congress in April to call directly on US lawmakers to scupper the deal, as an affront.

Obama pointedly refused to meet Netanyahu when he was in Washington to make the address.

The two men clashed again during Netanyahu’s re-election campaign, when he rejected a two-state solution.

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In the midst of a bitter and sometimes personal dispute, Netanyahu insisted his opposition is “not about me and it is not about President Obama, it’s about the deal.”

But with the deal now safely through Congress, Obama appears ready to smooth over relations.

Netanyahu is also under pressure to mend ties with Israel’s chief security guarantor and closest ally.

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President Reuven Rivlin accused Netanyahu this week of missing several chances to repair ties with Washington.

Rivlin said he and the prime minister “exhausted the subject of differences of opinion” on relations with the outside world and were now meeting less frequently.

The White House has floated the idea of a deeper security compact with Israel, but has said the offer has not yet been taken up.

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“The president has indicated on a number of occasions his desire to begin consultations with our Israeli allies about how to further deepen that cooperation,” Earnest said.

“We’re looking forward to doing that.”


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2020 Election

GOP’s cancellation of presidential primaries could blow up in Trump’s face — here’s why

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In recent weeks, Republican state party committees have been moving to cancel presidential primaries to prevent Never-Trump conservatives, like former Reps. Joe Walsh (R-IL) and Mark Sanford (R-SC) and former Gov. Bill Weld (R-MA), from challenging the president from the right. So far, Republicans in Arizona, Kansas, Nevada, and South Carolina have all announced they will scrap the voting process for 2020.

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Mike Pence should be investigated for his part in Ukraine negotiations and ‘we need some answers’: Ex-prosecutor

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On MSNBC's "AM Joy" Saturday, former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance agreed with host Joy Reid that Vice President Mike Pence could be involved in the Ukraine whistleblower cover-up — and that Congress needs to act to learn the truth for the American people.

"Let me go to you on this very quickly, Joyce, because here's the question for Mike Pence," said Reid. "Mike Pence has been sort of severed from all of the other questions that are relating to potential impeachment for Donald Trump, that the House is wrestling with right now, but if Pence ... went in knowing why the aid was being held up, went in and spoke to the leader of Ukraine knowing what stick the administration had over them, and in that way was drawn in to this idea of using that stick to try to get what they wanted from Ukraine, does he then face the jeopardy of perhaps also being drawn into the questions of impeachment?"

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‘We’re not through’: After biggest climate protest in history draws 4 million worldwide, campaigners prepare for week of action

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"September 20th was a demonstration of intent, of 4 million people who took time off from work or school to say that they are ready to move on and make the changes we need."

As organizers behind Friday's Global Climate Strike reported that four million children and adults attended marches and rallies all over the world—making it the biggest climate protest ever—they assured leaders who have been reticent to take bold climate action that the campaigners' work is far from over.

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