FROM Joshua Mitnick
Robert Gates and George Mitchell in the Middle East Special envoy George Mitchell is shuttling around the Middle East this week with visits to Syria, Egypt and Israel. Today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was in Israel to talk about Iran. Josh Mitnick is a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor in Tel Aviv.
Despite New Violence in Gaza, Bethlehem Is Crowded with Tourists After six months of relative calm, Hamas unleashed new attacks from Gaza into Israel last Friday, and with both sides in the midst of their own domestic struggles, they're exchanging threats. In a protest against the Israeli blockade, the head of Gaza's 300-member Roman Catholic community canceled Midnight Mass this Christmas Eve. But in the city where Christ was born, it's a different story. Joshua Mitnick is based in Tel Aviv for the Christian Science Monitor .
Hamas Takes Over Gaza as Hamas-Fatah Coalition Crumbles There's been more bloody fighting today in the Gaza strip. Hamas fighters have overrun two of the Fatah faction's most important command centers in the Gaza Strip. There are reports that Fatah gunmen were dragged into the street and shot to death execution style. The European Union has suspended humanitarian aid and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has dismissed the unity government. Joshua Mitnick has covered the fighting for the Christian Science Monitor .
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?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
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.