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As Condoleezza Rice tours the Middle East, Egypt says it supports the President's New Way Forward. Saudi Arabia is decidedly lukewarm. We get a progress report on a delicate selling job.  How worried are Arab governments about Iran's rising influence and their own people?  Plus, jury selection begins the "Scooter" Libby trial, and California's cold snap means oranges will be more expensive--as soon as next week.

Making News All-Star Trial of Lewis "Scooter" Libby Begins 6 MIN, 1 SEC

Jury selection has begun in what could be one of America's juiciest political trials in decades. Vice President Cheney is expected to be a key witness in defense of his former top aide, Lewis Libby, widely known as "Scooter."  Josh Gerstein has been reporting the story for the New York Sun.

Josh Gerstein, Politico (@joshgerstein)

Main Topic A Shaky Start for the New Way Forward 34 MIN, 47 SEC

Another hanging has gone awry, the civilian death toll is higher than anyone thought before and Iraq’s government may not be on board.  All this as Secretary of State Rice visits Iraq's Arab neighbors, trying to sell the President's plan for more troops to avoid total chaos. Meantime, the New York Times quotes a US official in Iraq as saying, "We are implementing a strategy to embolden a government that is actually part of the problem," adding, "we are being played like a pawn." Does America's war in Iraq make for tension between the Arab governments and their own people? How worried are the regimes about the rising influence of Iran? Will talks between Israel and the Palestinians make a difference? We get perspective from journalists in Iraq and Europe, experts on international security and Middle East policy.

John Burns, New York Times
Mustafa Alani, Gulf Research Center (@gulf_research?lang=en)
Steven A. Cook, Council on Foreign Relations (@stevenacook)
Mary Dejevsky, The Independent (@marydejevsky)

Reporter's Notebook California's Frost Freezes Nation's Trade in Oranges 8 MIN, 15 SEC

This week's record cold-snap in California has reached areas that are usually immune to freezing. That's bad news for leafy greens, strawberries, blueberries and avocados.  But the crop hardest hit appears to be oranges, and that will mean increased prices very soon. Oranges are a $1.1 billion industry in California, and this week's cold wave comes at a crucial moment, as only 30% of the current crop has been picked.  John Nelsen is President of California Citrus Mutual, an association of growers.

Joel Nelsen, president of California Citrus Mutual

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