FROM Demetri Sevastopulo
VIP treatment for China's President Xi at Mar-a-Lago Donald Trump's campaign was full of tough talk about China. As President, he's talking tougher than ever -- especially about North Korea, which fired another missile yesterday. Tomorrow, at Mar-a-Lago, the President will give China's President Xi Jinping the full VIP treatment. Veteran diplomats say this week's summit is premature. By failing to demand any concessions from President Xi in advance of the meeting, did Trump give up an important advantage?
American Ship Captain Rescued from Pirates The Captain of the Maersk Alabama is safe after Navy Seal sharp-shooters picked off three pirates who were holding him in the Indian Ocean. Richard Phillips had given himself up to the pirates to save his crew. Friday night, President Obama authorized Navy marksmen to shoot to kill if Phillips' life was in danger. Vice Admiral William Gortney, Head of the US Naval Command, said the decision to abandon negotiations was made only after the on-scene commander observed one of the pirates point an AK-47 at the captain's back. At left: Capt. Richard Phillips (R), stands alongside Cmdr. Frank Castellano, commanding officer of USS Bainbridge, after being rescued by US Naval Forces off the coast of Somalia. Official US Navy photo
US General Says Iraq Needs More Time US military leaders in Iraq have long warned that President Obama's promise to withdraw in 16 months may be optimistic. A recent interview with London's Financial Times may be the beginning of a public campaign, as Demetri Sevastopulo reports from the Pentagon.
Who's Watching the Nuclear Arsenal? The Bush Administration is demanding that other countries tighten up on proliferation of nuclear materials and technology. But at the same time, the US is doing a poor job of maintaining its own arsenal of nuclear weapons. Six nuclear missiles were flown across the continental United States by mistake. Nuclear missile nose-cones were mistakenly shipped to Taiwan. After those incidents, the Secretary of the Air Force and its top civilian official were fired by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Now another embarrassment has surfaced: hundreds, perhaps thousands, of nuclear missile components have turned up missing.
Bush Upbeat on Iraq, Which May Mean Fewer US Troops President Bush flew to Iraq yesterday to assess for himself progress in quelling the insurgency. Next week, the top military commander will report on the success of the surge. It will be a pivotal moment for the Bush presidency, the 2008 election and the entire nation. What will General Petraeus say and how will Bush balance politics and national security? Demetri Sevastopulo, who covers the Pentagon for the Financial Times , is traveling with the President and Defense Secretary Gates .
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
The US gets deeper into Middle East wars. What's the endgame? President Trump welcomed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House today… just one of the changes in America's approach to the Middle East since Barack Obama left office. We hear about that and the escalation of warfare as well as civilian casualties.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.