JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel says it has opened its embassy in the United Arab Emirates. The move follows last year’s U.S.-brokered agreement to establish full diplomatic ties with the Gulf country. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the embassy would be in a temporary office while a permanent location is prepared. Eitan Na’eh, a veteran Israeli diplomat, will serve as the head of mission. The UAE was the first of four Arab countries to establish or renew ties with Israel under a series of agreements brokered by the Trump administration.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is moving forward with a power-sharing agreement in the evenly-split chamber after Republican leader Mitch McConnell backed off his demand that Senate Democrats preserve the procedural tool known as the filibuster. The stand-off between McConnell and new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had all but ground the Senate to a halt in the early days of the Democratic majority and threatened President Joe Biden’s agenda. Schumer refused to meet McConnell’s demands. But the debate over the filibuster is far from over. McConnell warned Tuesday of all the ways the Senate business could still be tied in knots if Democrats try to press on with plans to pursue changes to the filibuster.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has paused or put under review a wide swath of Trump-era foreign policies as America’s new top diplomat takes the helm of the State Department. The administration is placing at least temporarily holds on several big-ticket arms sales to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, new Secretary of State Antony Blinken says he is looking urgently at a terrorism designation against Yemen’s Houthi rebels that his predecessor enacted shortly before leaving office. On his first full day on the job Blinken also said the administration has initiated a comprehensive review of the U.S. relationship with Russia and is examining details of a U.S.-Taliban peace deal signed nearly a year ago.
BEIJING (AP) — Two surveys show China’s manufacturing growth weakened in January, suggesting its rebound from the coronavirus pandemic is leveling off. A purchasing managers’ index released by business magazine Caixin declined to 51.5 from December’s 53 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity expanding. A separate index by the national statistics agency and an official industry group, the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing, retreated to 51.3 from the previous month’s 51.9. Chinese manufacturing benefited from the country’s relatively early reopening from a shutdown to fight the virus and demand for masks and other exports.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The influential anti-Donald Trump group Lincoln Project is denouncing one of its co-founders after multiple reports that over several years he sexually harassed young men looking to break into politics. The Lincoln Project in a statement on Sunday called co-founder John Weaver, 61, “a predator, a liar, and an abuser” following reports that he repeatedly sent unsolicited and sexually charged messages online to young men, often while suggesting he could help them get work in politics. The group throughout the 2020 election cycle produced some of the most eviscerating broadsides against Trump, questioning the president and his aides’ morality and leadership.