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FROM THIS EPISODE

Condoleezza Rice had little to say today after a much-awaited meeting with leaders of Israel and the Palestinians. Why were no issues resolved? Is Middle East peace any closer?  What does Saudi Arabia have to do with it?  Also, suicide bombers defy a security crackdown that Iraqi leaders claimed was working.  On Reporter's Notebook, how did reverence for past presidents turn into a stampede for bargains on Presidents Day?

Producers:
Dan Konecky
Katie Cooper
Karen Radziner

Main Topic Another Roadblock to Peace in the Middle East 35 MIN, 12 SEC

Two weeks ago in Mecca, Saudi Arabia brokered a "unity government" deal between the Palestinian factions, Islamist Hamas and secular Fattah. That was good news for Palestinians exhausted by bloody fighting between the two, but bad news for peace between the Palestinians and Israel--and for Condoleezza Rice, who left a three-way summit today empty handed. Is peace among the Palestinians killing hopes for peace between the Palestinians and Israel? Did Secretary Rice jump too soon in hopes of a much-needed diplomatic breakthrough?

Guests:
Neil King, Wall Street Journal (@NKingofDC)
Yossi Alpher, Co-Editor, BitterLemons.org
Ghassan Khatib, Jerusalem Media and Communications Center
Clayton Swisher, Director of Programs at the Middle East Institute
Bernard Haykel, Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University

Making News Suicide Bombers Attack US Base North of Baghdad 6 MIN, 11 SEC

In Baghdad yesterday, two suicide bombers killed at least 62 people in the first major violence since a security crackdown Iraqi leaders claimed was working.  Today, 11 were killed in a Shiite neighborhood.  North of the city, three suicide bombers struck an American combat post, killing two Americans and wounding 17.  Bobby Ghosh is Baghdad Bureau Chief for Time magazine.

Guests:
Bobby Ghosh, Time Magazine (@ghoshworld)

Reporter's Notebook The Evolution and Relevance of Presidents' Day 7 MIN, 16 SEC

President Bush honored the birthday of George Washington today, comparing the first president's struggle for American liberty to the current war on global terrorism. Despite that effort to make this holiday seem relevant, everyone knows that what's now called "Presidents Day" is observed more by one-day sales with zero-percent financing than by reverence toward America's present or former heads of state. How did it get that way?  Historian Matthew Dennis is author of, Red, White and Blue Letter Days: An American Calendar.

Guests:
Matthew Dennis, Professor of History at the University of Oregon

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