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With Tim Johnson Critically Ill, What Next for the Senate?

Unexpected brain surgery has focused attention on the delicate balance of power in the US Senate.  Is the Democrat's one-vote margin in jeopardy?  We hear about politics and advancements in medical treatment. Plus, friction increases between rival factions after an assassination attempt on the Palestinian Prime Minister, and televised soccer unifies Iraq, if only for a single moment.

Making News

Assassination Attempt Pushes Palestinians Closer to the Brink ()

On the nineteenth anniversary of its organization, Hamas, which leads the Palestinian government, has accused the rival Fatah faction of trying to assassinate Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh. This following yesterday's seven-hour stand-off during which Israel refused to let the Prime Minister return to the Gaza Strip from Egypt after discovery of millions of dollars in cash which could be used for terrorist attacks.

  • Greg Myre: Jerusalem Correspondent for the New York Times

Main Topic

Will Medical Illness Mean Political Change? ()

While the rest of the country copes with the weather and makes holiday plans, Washington's "political class" is buzzing about brain surgery. South Dakota Democrat Tim Johnson is in stable condition after surprise brain surgery Wednesday night.  Nevada's Harry Reid has been visiting George Washington University hospital every day and says Senator Johnson looks "really good" to him. But the same may not be true of the one-seat Democratic majority that Reid is expected to lead as Johnson's sudden ailment could alter Democrats' one-vote balance of power in the US Senate. Or could it?  The Senate is bound by tradition and, back in the 40's, one member served four years without ever attending a session. In these polarized times, will the Upper House maintain its historic gentility or give way to the partisan demands of the moment?


Reporter's Notebook

Iraqi Soccer Team Wins Silver at the Asian Games ()

On a fluke play in Qatar today, Iraq lost the Gold Medal in soccer at the Asian Games.  Despite the defeat, the team's unexpected success had the surprising impact of unifying Iraq, if only for a single moment. The only Arab team ever to win the Gold Medal in soccer at the Asian Games, back in 1982, in today's championship match with host country Qatar, the Iraqi goalie hit back a shot which struck the side of a Qatar player's head and bounced into the net for a 1-to-0 victory.  How did the defeat go down in Baghdad?


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