FROM Matt Bradley
Iraqi Forces Declare Victory over ISIS in Ramadi Iraqi government forces retook central parts of Ramadi today from the Islamic State, although pockets of resistance remain. Recovering control over that key city of would allow Iraq to cut off supply lines to Fallujah and potentially recover that city as well. Matt Bradley, Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal , joins us from Baghdad with an update.
ISIS and the Rise of Social Media Terrorism The video of reporter James Foley’s beheading is the latest evidence that the ultra-extreme Islamic State has mastered social media. High-quality propaganda, well designed for intended audiences, went viral—matching the most sophisticated campaigns of multinational corporations. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube will be hard-pressed to block such messages in the future—however grotesque they might be. We look at the impact of this technological expertise, how it serves the Islamic State and how it might be combatted.
Kurds Not Sold on Iraq Unity On the last day of his trip to Iraq, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stopped in the relatively stable Kurdish region. His mission: to press Kurdish leaders not to abandon the increasingly sectarian Iraqi government in the fight against Islamist militants. The president of the Kurdish Regional Government said the country was facing a “new reality.” This comes as ISIS militants strike closer and closer to Baghdad. Matt Bradley is in Baghdad for the Wall Street Journal.
Iraq Votes amid Intensified Sectarian Violence Iraqi voters headed to the polls today in the country's first parliamentary elections since the US troop withdrawal. Voters are choosing from among more than 9,000 candidates vying for just 328 seats. The election comes amid escalating sectarian violence. More than 3,000 people have died in Iraq this year alone. Matt Bradley, Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal , joins us from Baghdad.
Iraq Sees Uptick in Sectarian Violence Fighting continues in Iraq today as government forces try to wrest control of two key towns from Sunni militants linked to Al Qaeda. The violence takes place in western Anbar province, near Syria. Militant troops have reportedly taken over police stations and jails. Government troops are responding with air strikes, tanks and mortars. Matt Bradley is the Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal .
Tallying a Weekend of Violence in Egypt Egypt's ruling generals have admitted that 36 Islamists were killed while in custody in the past few days. The government has justified detaining and killing leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood by calling them "terrorists." There have, in fact, been attacks on Coptic Christian churches. A court has reportedly acquitted former President Hosni Mubarak of corruption charges and ordered that he be set free. After a week of violence that killed almost 1000 people, what's it like on the streets of Cairo? Mike Giglio is Middle East correspondent for Newsweek and the Daily Beast . Matt Bradley is Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal .
Mass Rally Held against Egypt's Morsi Egypt's first elected President, Mohammed Morsi, has been trying to contain the fallout from last week's seizure of virtually absolute power. Last night he met with angry judges, but today tens of thousands of protesters converged in Cairo's Tahrir Square accusing him and the Muslim Brotherhood of betraying last year's revolution. Matt Bradley is Cairo correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Business Wires.
Democracy, Islam and Egypt's Economy The Muslim Brotherhood and ultra-conservative Salafists won 60 percent of the vote in Egypt's recent elections. What will that mean for the ruling military, relations with the US and for democracy? Are those issues distractions from the economic concerns of the mass of Egyptians?
Democracy, Islam and Egypt's Economy In Egypt's recent elections, the Muslim Brotherhood won 37 percent of the vote and the ultra-conservative Salafists got 24 percent. More secular parties got just 13 percent. It may take as much as a year to determine how strong a parliament will be formed. Should Israel and Western countries be concerned? Will the religious factions unite and stand up to the current military rulers when 90 percent of Egyptians support the Army now that Mubarak is gone? With almost half the country living on $2 a day, the main concern of most people is economics, with politics low on the list. We look at the many options available to the most important country so far to have experienced the "Arab Spring."
Is Israeli Prisoner Swap with Hamas a Step Toward Peace? Five years after being abducted by Hamas during a cross-border raid, a captured Israeli soldier is back home in Israel. Sergeant First Class Gilad Shalit was taken from the Gaza Strip to Egypt, where he told Egyptian TV he was hopeful that his trade for more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners being released by Israel would "advance peace." Prime Minister Netanyahu said the country was "united in joy and in pain." Buses carrying more than 400 Palestinian prisoners went from Israel to Ramallah, the capital of the West Bank. They were met by Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, although their release was negotiated by leaders of the rival Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Will the trade improve relations between Israel and Hamas? Has the "Arab Spring" made Egypt a different kind of player?
Egypt, the Internet and Political Change The government of Egypt has promised reforms, but protesters are still saying that Mubarak has to go. Today's crowd in Cairo was one of the biggest so far. We speak with a reporter on the ground in Cairo as well as observers in the US and in Egypt.
Egyptians Take to the Street Since Tunisia's so-called Jasmine revolution , the world has been watching for similar protests elsewhere in the Middle East. Today's violent "day of rage" against a newly appointed Lebanese prime minister was part of an ongoing story. More surprising was today's demonstration in Cairo, where political dissenters have been repressed during three decades of rule by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Though not all of the 80,000 who signed up on Facebook turned out for the rally, thousands did, only to be met by 20,000 police who swung batons and sprayed tear gas. Matt Bradley is Cairo correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones news wires.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
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?