FROM Stephen Farrell
The Story behind the News from Syria America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could be covered from news bureaus established in Baghdad or Kabul. Syria's civil war is a different story in more ways than one. After three years and 100,000 casualties, the war is so complicated by religious, tribal -- even international -- rivalries that it's hard to know just who's fighting the government, let alone why. Western promises to "arm the rebels" are compromised by all the uncertainty. It's a major challenge as well to the reporters we all rely on to bring us the news. Reporters without any base of support are targets for the Assad regime — and rebel forces as well. Those who can speak the language still have to disguise themselves to blend in, without knowing if their protectors can really be trusted. We ask veteran combat reporters about the challenges of getting the story and, most important of all, are they getting it right?
Suicide Bombing in Iraq as US Presence Winds Down In Baghdad today, a suicide bomber killed dozens of people at an army recruiting office and injured many more. It’s the first major attack during Ramadan, with US forces scheduled to withdraw from combat at the end of this month. Stephen Farrell is there for the New York Times .
Iraqi Soccer Association Suspended Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish players overcame social odds to form the Iraqi national soccer team. Then they won an unlikely victory at the Asian Cup. But today their coach says they are "crushed" psychologically because they might not be allowed to compete in the Beijing Olympics in August or for the World Cup in 2010. The government of Iraq has disbanded its Olympic Committee, so the world governing body of soccer, in turn, has suspended Iraq's soccer team. We hear more from Stephen Farrell of the New York Times and Jamie Trecker of FoxSports.com .
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
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?
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?
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?