FROM Sarah Birke
Is the Desert Kingdom Ready for Change? Saudi Arabia wants to end its dependence on oil — at the same time it's increasing production. What sounds like a contradiction is the work of Mohammed bin Salman, a 30-year-old deputy crown prince in a country accustomed to rule by kings who serve into their 80's. But a restless new generation has elders worried about an "Arab Spring," at the same time Iran's influence is on the rise. In the US, there's criticism of repressive rule and alleged links to terror -- as well as warnings that weakening the alliance could open the way for China.
Iraqi Military Attempts to Retake Tikrit from the Islamic State Some 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and volunteer militia began an offensive today designed to expel ISIS, the so-called Islamic State from the city of Tikrit. It's seen as a key test in advance of a much larger campaign to re-take the city of Mosul. The Pentagon has talked about the upcoming offensive in Mosul, but says it has nothing to do with today's assault on Tikrit.
Trump, the GOP and the rule of law Conservatives — and some Republicans — are criticizing the President for "the mess he made" in firing FBI Director James Comey. We hear about a potential successor, the possibility of "obstruction of justice" and the constitutional separation of powers.
Will the GOP weather the storm with Trump or jump ship? Breitbart news claims that the GOP "establishment" has it's knives out" for President Trump, but Republicans in Congress are mostly supportive… at least in public. We look at whether that's likely to last.
Healthcare debate now shifts to the Senate Both parties are celebrating yesterday's House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. House Republicans are cheering because they were able to pass it. Democrats are happy because they think it's so bad. We look at the details… and the politics.