FROM Mahdi Abdul Hadi
The Pope: Religion and Politics in the Middle East As Pope Benedict XVI continues his " pilgrimage " to the Middle East, different groups are pursuing different agendas. They include the Vatican, the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority -- not to mention local Catholic clergy, the chief Rabbinate and Islamic leaders.
The Papal Visit: Religion and Politics in the Middle East Pope Benedict the XVI threaded his way through the Middle East today as he continued his “ pilgrimage ” in Israel. He met the Palestinians' senior cleric, the Grand Mufti, at the Dome of the Rock, then left a prayer in a niche in the Western Wall, one of Judaism's holiest sites. Rabbis and politicians have criticized his speeches, and the Vatican denied that he'd ever belonged to Hitler Youth — contradicting the Pope himself. Will his visit help reinvigorate the peace process? Will it be a boon for the diminishing number of Christians who still live in the Holy Land?
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?
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?
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.
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.