FROM Hazem Abu Shanab
War or Peace in the Middle East? Condoleezza Rice is back in the Middle East , where continuing rocket fire has Israel threatening more attacks on Gaza. In Ramallah today, the Secretary of State asked Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to re-open peace talks he cancelled because of Israel's military incursion into Gaza. Although Israel has pulled out, Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen, refused Rice's request, saying he first wants to mediate a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. But Israel and the US are opposed. Can Secretary Rice get the Annapolis peace process back on track?
Bush Calls for New Summit after Olmert-Abbas Meeting in Jerusalem After a summit meeting today between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, President Bush called for a regional conference , chaired by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice , to resume the peace process. He offered US support to the new government in the West Bank with further efforts to isolate Hamas, which now controls Gaza. What about the divided authority between the West Bank and Gaza? Can there be peace with just part of the Palestinian Territories? Do Israelis still believe that peace is a realistic objective? We hear from Washington, Jerusalem and Gaza.
Two Palestines? After a week of fighting that killed at least 100 people, an "uneasy calm" is reported today in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has appointed a new prime minister, but Ismail Haniyeh says he still holds that office. In any case, Haniyeh's Hamas faction now has total control in Gaza, with Abbas' authority now limited to the West Bank.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
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?