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FROM THIS EPISODE

Osama bin Laden's been heard from again, sounding weak and unhealthy after four years on the run and the loss of top-level supporters, but students of al Qaeda say word that he's still alive could inspire other terrorists to carry out threats he can't make good on himself. After meeting yesterday with Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, President Bush said he'll visit Pakistan in March. Bush has said nothing in public about the recent air strikes that killed 13 Pakistani civilians, but not their intended target, the number two man in al Qaeda. Meantime, Pakistan has failed to find bin Laden or stop the Taliban from creating mayhem next door in Afghanistan, and US relations with both those countries are under a strain. How long can bin Laden hold out? We update an unstable region that's been overshadowed by the war in Iraq.
  • Making News: Palestinians Vote
    In the first Palestinian parliamentary elections in a decade, early exit polls show that Hamas may be getting 30% of the vote to 40% for Fatah. That could lead to a coalition that's not acceptable to Israel or the United States. Greg Myre, who reports from Jerusalem for the New York Times, assesses the success of today's democratic election and weighs American and Israeli reaction.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Is the Bush White House Stalling a Katrina Probe?
    The Hartford Courant has reported that 48 hours before Katrina struck New Orleans the White House received predictions that proved to be all too accurate. The White House has admitted displeasure at the government's subsequent failures but won't release internal documents or witnesses. The Courant's David Lightman updates charges of Bush White House stonewalling Congressional investigations into FEMA's lackluster response to Hurricane Katrina.

Myre's article on Palestinian elections

President Bush welcomes Pakistani President Aziz to White House

Senator Lieberman on White House's advanced notice of Katrina disaster predictions

Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

Lightman's article on alleged White House stifling of Katrina-response probe

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