Wednesday Headlines

Netanyahu Cancels US Visit, While Biden Travels To Israel
Relations between the United States and Israel are coming under increasing strain after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cancelled a planned visit to Washington. While the Obama administration scolded Netanyahu and asserted they were surprised by the decision, the Israelis disputed their interpretation of events.

Ned Price, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council, said the administration was “surprised to first learn via media reports that the prime minister, rather than accept our invitation, opted to cancel his visit.”

But Israel’s ambassador insisted that they contacted the administration directly to inform them that Netanyahu would not be travelling to address an annual convention of AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobbying group.

Netanyahu, who will be meeting with Vice President Joe Biden today in Israel, had expressed some concern about visiting the United States in the middle of a heated campaign season.

Biden’s visit to Israel came on a day when an American was one of 14 people killed during a rash of terror attacks on Tuesday. The meeting between the vice president and prime minister were not expected to include a discussion of new peace initiatives.

Trade Figures From China Send Chill Through Global Economy Weaker-than expected trade figures from China was one of the primary reasons the International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued a warning about the state of the global economy.

IMF Deputy Director David Lipton warned that the world’s economies were headed toward “derailment,” while calling for urgent steps to boost global demand.

“The IMF’s latest reading of the global economy shows once again a weakening baseline. Moreover, risks have increased further, with volatile financial markets and low commodity prices creating fresh concerns about the health of the global economy,” Lipton said in a speech to the National Association for Business Economics in Washington on Tuesday.

“We are clearly at a delicate juncture,” he added.

Despite the claims by American politicians of both parties, the Chinese economy is not the behemoth many voters believe, says David Harsanyi in an article in The Federalist.

He notes that even after “nearly eight years of progressive economics creeping into U.S. policy has degraded economic freedom, the World Economic Forum still ranks the U.S. economy as the third most competitive in the world,” compared with China that sits at 28 on the list.

“Certainly, we have many genuine economic problems. But China’s economic supremacy is a myth. Perception is everything in politics,” reminds Harsanyi.

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