FROM Michael Wahid Hanna
Obama Condemns Egypt Violence as Death Toll Climbs The United States has cancelled a bi-annual joint military exercise with Egypt in light of yesterday's deadly crackdown by Egypt's interim government on protesters and the new State of Emergency. More than 500 people were killed and 3000 injured. But the US has still not threatened to freeze $1.3 billion in American aid. In recent weeks, the US has been demonized by both Egypt's interim government and supporters of ousted President Morsi. Today, taking time off from his vacation on Martha's Vineyard, President Obama denounced yesterday's violent attack , saying, "We don't take sides with any particular party or political figure." We hear from the President and from the streets of Cairo. Is violence becoming a fact of daily life?
Israel, Hezbollah and a New Phase in Syria's Civil War The ongoing crisis in Syria continues to raise thorny issues about US intervention in the civil war there. That war began as part of the Arab Spring in 2011 but has developed into the most intractable conflict of the revolutionary movement. More than 70 thousand people have been killed. Now, Hezbollah is stepping up its engagement, helping government forces battle a crucial rebel-held town. That means Iran is also deepening its involvement. US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian President Vladimir Putin today in Moscow in an effort to find common cause in the Syrian civil war. Is that conflict entering a new phase? Will Israel's military strikes near Damascus push the US to take action?
Will Democracy Turn to Chaos in Egypt? After the so-called "Arab Spring" led to the downfall of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt lived through months of military dictatorship until voters chose Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood to be their President. Now the country is facing economic collapse, violent religious confrontations and serious questions about free speech and democracy. With the new government failing to forge a political consensus, authoritarianism may not be a thing of the past. Can the US prevent the Middle East's most influential country from dashing hopes for democracy and stability in the region?
Egypt Descends into a Deeper Political Crisis After the worst street violence in 60 years, Egypt's newly elected President is surrounded by tanks, troops and barbed wire. Key allies have resigned, but Mohammed Morsi says outsiders are organizing the opposition--a favorite claim of the ousted Hosni Mubarak. President Obama has talked with Morsi by phone, but is the US less concerned about Egypt’s internal troubles than their impact on Israel? We update the growing protest, the role of the Army and the prospects for a peaceful resolution. President Mohammed Morsi's first televised address to the nation of Egypt has increased protest that’s already shown the capacity to generate violence. Opponents accuse him of adopting the same tactics as his deposed predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. Is the first elected president turning the country into an Islamic dictatorship? How legitimate is the secular opposition?
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?
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.
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?
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.