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After two decades of opposition, America's auto-makers have bought into new mileage standards for cars, trucks and SUV's. Gasoline prices and climate change are creating political pressures. But can a comprehensive energy bill survive special interests and partisanship? Also, the holy Shiite Shrine in Samarra is bombed again and, on Reporter's Notebook, in a time of increased violence in the Middle East, can American statecraft make a difference?

Photo: Jeff Haynes/AFP/Getty Images

Reporter's Notebook The Art of Statecraft 5 MIN, 59 SEC

After more incidents of deadly violence today, the governments of Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories are in more trouble than ever.  In addition to today's bombing of a Shiite mosque in Samarra, Iraq, a politician was killed by a massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon, and Palestinian President Abu Mazen says the fight between Fatah and Hamas has his government on the verge of collapse. What are the chances for US diplomacy?  We get some answers from former Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, whose new book is Statecraft: And How to Restore America's Standing in the World.

Main Topic First Immigration, Now Energy 35 MIN, 38 SEC

The energy bills now being debated in the House and the Senate are at least as politically challenging as immigration reform.  An extraordinary collection of powerful special interests could be effected by efforts to deal with skyrocketing gasoline prices, cut dependence on Middle East oil and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.  One target is mileage standards for cars, trucks and SUV’s, which haven't been lowered in more two decades, largely because of opposition from America's auto industry.  Does comprehensive energy policy have a chance against a vast range of special interests and political partisanship?

David Shepardson, Reuters (@davidshepardson)
Joan Claybrook, President of Public Citizen
Jonathan H. Adler, Case Western Reserve University (@jadler1969)
Anna Auriolio, Legislative Director of the US Public Interest Research Group
Julian Zelizer, Princeton University (@julianzelizer)

Making News Holy Shiite Shrine in Samarra Bombed Again 6 MIN, 59 SEC

Sixteen months ago, destruction of the golden dome of the al-Askari Mosque in Samarra touched off sectarian violence that is still causing bloodshed in Iraq. Today, the two minarets of that same Shiite shrine were blown up--apparently by insiders. Leila Fadel, Baghdad Bureau Chief for McClatchy Newspapers, says both civil and religious authorities are urging calm and trying to avert sectarian retaliation.

Leila Fadel, Washington Post (@LeilaFadel)

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