FROM Carne Ross
Palestinians Seize the World Stage To a standing ovation from the General Assembly, PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas applied for full Palestinian membership in the United Nations today. On the streets of Ramallah, rapturous crowds waved flags and cheered a speech that attacked Israel as an occupying power defiant of UN resolutions. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu , in turn, attacked "militant Islam" and said peace will not be achieved by UN resolutions but only by negotiations between the parties. Will today's actions renew the peace process? What are the implications for American diplomacy in the Middle East?
New Faces, Old Issues at the UN President Bush and Iran's President Ahmadinejad were both in the General Assembly chamber this morning as the UN began its 62 nd session . Ahmadinejad will speak later today. President Bush told the General Assembly that the US will increase sanctions against the repressive military government of Myanmar—or Burma. He said nothing about the Iraq war and barely mentioned Iran, but he also said he'd consider enlarging the UN Security Council, possibly to make Japan a permanent member. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of South Korea opened today's session , his first as the UN leader. As the world body meets for the 62 nd time, will new leaders from Europe and a new Secretary General make a difference? Is the UN living up to its founding expectations?
Getting answers on phone taps, Russia and leaking The Directors of the FBI and the NSA testified on Capitol Hill today there's no evidence for President Trump's claim he was wire-tapped by former President Obama. We'll hear about that and the investigation into Russian tampering with last year's presidential campaign.
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."
Cover-up or witch hunt?: The latest on the WH ties to Russia Less than two months into his Presidency, Donald Trump is struggling to get his agenda under way, making it harder himself with tweets that dominate public attention. Meanwhile, important questions are going unanswered: why have staff members and the Attorney General lied about contacts with Russian officials?