FROM Daniel Kurtzer
Egyptians Vote in Historic Election For the first time in Egyptian history, voters are choosing a national leader, even though a constitution that spells out the powers of the office has yet to be enacted. We look at the candidates and the role of religion, the military -- and the prospects for real democracy.
Democracy in the Land of the Pharaohs For the first time in Egyptian history, voters are choosing a national leader, even though a constitution that spells out the powers of the office has yet to be enacted. The military says the election will be "free and fair," but will it cede power to the revolutionaries who overthrew Hosni Mubarak just 15 months ago? With conservative and moderate Muslims on the ballot, what will be the role of religion? Are most Egyptians concerned with who can put food on the table? As the voting continues today and tomorrow, we look at the candidates and what the first election in any Arab country could mean for the outcome of the so-called "Arab Spring."
Do the Middle East Peace Talks Have a Future? President Obama said renewing direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians might produce peace in a year. But just three months later, they aren't talking at all and it's back to shuttle diplomacy. Last Friday, Hillary Clinton said the US would continue peace efforts, even after Israel turned down a controversial American offer of billions in high-tech fighter planes in exchange for a three-month freeze on settlement-building in the West Bank.
Do the Middle East Peace Talks Have a Future? Just three months after President Obama took credit for renewing direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, they're not talking at all. Palestinians demanded a freeze on Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, but even America's offer of billions in fighter jets could not get Israel to agree. Hillary Clinton says it's time to talk about "core issues," and George Mitchell is back in the region, but US policy is not entirely clear. Was pushing for the settlement freeze a blunder? Has Israeli intransigence further isolated it from the rest of the world?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.