FROM Leila Fadel
One Year Later, Egypt's Revolution Is a Work in Progress It's been a year since the start of a revolution that may still be in process. Cairo's Tahrir Square was full of people today, some celebrated while others mourned. Thirty years of Hosni Mubarak's one-man rule in Egypt have come to an end, but many died, and the military is still in charge. We get a progress report and perspectives from Leila Fadel, Cairo Bureau Chief for the Washington Post , and Dalia Mogahed, Director of the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center.
Egyptian Military Promises Faster Transition to Civilian Rule In Egypt, the country's military leadership has promised to hand over power earlier than expected, no later than July 1, 2012. The announcement comes as protesters continued a renewed revolt across the country. Leila Fadel is Cairo Bureau Chief for the Washington Post .
Egypt's President Goes on Trial Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak was last seen in public when he appeared on television in February, vowing not to step down after three decades in power. Today, during another televised proceeding, he was wheeled on a gurney into a Cairo courtroom, healthy enough to firmly deny charges that could lead to his execution. Egyptians are said to be awestruck by the televised spectacle. Leila Fadel is Cairo Bureau chief for the Washington Post .
Peaceful Protests Turn Violent in Egypt After nine days of peaceful protest in Cairo, Tahrir Square erupted in violence today, just hours after President Hosni Mubarak said he would not run for re-election. At 2 in the afternoon, pro-Mubarak forces attacked anti-government demonstrators in Tahrir Square. We hear about the developing scene in Egypt and about repercussions in other Middle Eastern countries. (Listen to today's full To the Point discussion about the situation in Egypt.)
Peaceful Protests Turn Violent in Egypt After President Mubarak declared he would not run for-re-election last night, President Obama went on TV with his assessment of the ongoing protests in Egypt. At today's White House briefing , press secretary Robert Gibbs would not elaborate on whether the President was calling on Mubarak to step down immediately, rather than serving out his term, which ends in September. Meanwhile, after nine days of peaceful protest, Tahrir Square erupted in violence today as Mubarak loyalists arrived on the scene. Men on horses and camels beat anti-government protesters. Thugs attacked reporters and TV crews. As darkness descended, Molotov cocktails started fires in crowds of men, women and children, and there was the sound of gunfire. But, despite the presence of tanks and armored personnel carriers, there was no indication that the military was trying to restore order. It's now evening in Cairo. We hear from reporters and others about the developing scene, see how the Obama Administration is reacting, and talk to observers about repercussions in other Middle Eastern countries.
The Iraqi People Have Voted Again: What's Next? Nineteen million people were eligible to vote for 6200 candidates nationwide with 325 parliamentary seats at stake. Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission says 62% turned out nationwide in yesterday’s election -- 61% in the Sunni province of Anbar and 80% of the Kurds. In Baghda, though, only 51% went to the polls.
The Iraqi People Have Voted Again: What's Next? Nineteen million people were eligible to vote yesterday for 6200 candidates nationwide with 325 parliamentary seats at stake. Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission says 62% turned out nationwide, despite rocket and mortar attacks that killed 38 people in Baghdad: 61% in the Sunni province of Anbar and 80% of the Kurds. It'll be days until the results are in and probably months until a new government can formed. But already there's talk of the impact on US withdrawal. Will a new leader be able to maintain democracy? Will there be a dictatorship or an attempted coup? Will Iran gain even more influence as the US pulls away?
Executions, Bombs and Political Turmoil in Baghdad Within minutes of each other, three bombs went off in Baghdad today, striking three hotels full of international news services, nonprofits and business organizations. A least 36 people were killed and 71 injured, including three Iraqis employed by the Washington Post. We get an update from the Post 's Leila Fadel and from Liz Sly of the Los Angeles Times .
Obama's Unscheduled Visit to Iraq President Obama went to Iraq today, where he was wildly cheered by American troops when he said it's time for Iraqis to "take responsibility for their country." He praised the soldiers for what he called the "extraordinary achievement" of giving Iraq "the opportunity to stand on its own as a democratic country." The President is being covered by a pool reporter. Leila Fadel is Baghdad Bureau Chief for the McClatchy newspapers.
US and Iraq Can't Agree on Details of a Continued US Presence The US has issued a warning to the government of Iraq. If there is not a new agreement on the status of American forces or a renewed mandate from the UN the US will shut down military operations and other vital services on January 1. That's according to Leila Fadel, winner of the George Polk Award for her reporting as Bureau Chief in Baghdad for the McClatchy newspapers.
Rice and Maliki Meet to Try to Finalize US Troop Agreement US and Iraqi officials have agreed that timetables should be set for American troop withdrawal. On a surprise trip to Baghdad, Secretary of State Rice said there's no final deal yet, but that "negotiators have taken this very, very far." The security deal outlining the withdrawal has been in the works for many months, and there was some indication that Rice might stay in Iraq to finalize it.
The Iraqi Ceasefire: Winners and Losers Baghdad and Basra are calmer now that Muqtada al-Sadr has told his Mahdi Army to stop fighting government forces, but government politicians went to Iran to make the deal. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's surprise offensive has revealed more weakness than strength. The shaky ceasefire occurred after US forces took sides in a struggle between two groups of Shiites. What’s next for Sunnis, Kurds and other factions? What’s the role of Iran, now and in the future? Will US troop withdrawal depend on local players and events it has no way to control?
Fighting in Iraq Threatens Truce Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has issued a deadline for Shiite militias in Basra: lay down your weapons in 72 hours or face "the most severe penalties." We get an update from a reporter in Baghdad and two perspectives on the situation in Iraq.
Blackwater Resumes Security Work Despite Iraqi Ban The government of Iraq says Blackwater USA guards were "100% guilty" of sparking the incident that killed Iraqi civilians on Sunday. But Condoleezza Rice has begun her own State Department investigation, and has resumed diplomatic convoys outside the Green Zone with Blackwater guards. Leila Fadel, Baghdad Bureau Chief for McClatchy newspapers , has an update.
Iraq Wants Blackwater Security Guards Out All US diplomats are banned from leaving the Green Zone by land as Iraq's Prime Nouri al-Maliki Minister tells the State Department to fire Blackwater USA security guards. Iraq says ten civilians were killed on Sunday when Blackwater guards fired indiscriminately into a crowd. Blackwater says they shot at "armed enemies." It's the latest in a long series of incidents that have infuriated Iraqis from the streets to the corridors of power. Why is the State Department so dependent on private guards? Has it failed to exercise appropriate oversight?
Holy Shiite Shrine in Samarra Bombed Again Sixteen months ago, destruction of the golden dome of the al-Askari Mosque in Samarra touched off sectarian violence that is still causing bloodshed in Iraq. Today, the two minarets of that same Shiite shrine were blown up--apparently by insiders. Leila Fadel, Baghdad Bureau Chief for McClatchy Newspapers , says both civil and religious authorities are urging calm and trying to avert sectarian retaliation.
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?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
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?