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High-profile events of this week have put hot-button issues back on the nation's agenda, but action on one is much more likely than it is on the other. Have the Democrats given up on gun control?  Will the Republicans shoot themselves in the foot by pushing too hard on abortion? Also, Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid calls the war in Iraq "lost" and, on Reporter's Notebook, the case of Luis Posada, a 79-year old accused of terrorism by Cuba and Venezuela, and released on bail by a US Court of Appeals.

Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images

Making News Leading Democrat Says Iraq War Is 'Lost' 6 MIN, 5 SEC

The Senate's Democratic Majority leader--Harry Reid of Nevada—described the current course of the war in Iraq in stark terms today.  "As as long as we follow the President's path in Iraq, the war is lost."  Reid's comments came this morning after last night's House debate on the Iraq spending bill.  Jeff Zeleny is covering a hard-fought battle for the New York Times.

Jeff Zeleny, New York Times (@jeffzeleny)

Main Topic Guns, Abortion and Political Realities 34 MIN, 49 SEC

This week's tragedy at Virginia Tech and a decision by the US Supreme Court have revived debate on the right to bear arms and a woman's right to abortion.  Based on public opinion, it ought to be easier to enact new gun controls than to limit abortion but, in fact, it's not.  Majorities of Americans support both--with restrictions, but conservative minorities are dominating the debates on policy.  Why are Democrats backing away from an issue that matters to their liberal base?  Will Republicans end up hurting their cause by pushing too hard to please conservatives? Has framing both issues in absolute terms made compromise unattainable?

Jacob Weisberg, Slate Group (@jacobwe)
J. David Woodard, Clemson University (@ClemsonNews)
Dane Strother, Democratic consultant with Strother Duffy Strother
Ann Stone, Trump campaign / Republicans for Choice (@aews)

Reporter's Notebook Luis Posada Free on Bail Pending Immigration Trial 8 MIN, 6 SEC

Luis Posada has been released on bail by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, despite his being wanted in both Cuba and Venezuela. They call him a terrorist. Cuban exiles in Miami call him a freedom fighter.  A Bay of Pigs veteran who served time for trying to kill Fidel Castro, the 79-year former CIA operative has boasted of deadly bombings in Havana hotels and allegedly masterminded the bombing of a Cuban airplane that killed 73 people.  American Customs and the Justice Department wanted him held for immigration violations.  Oscar Corral reports for the Miami Herald.

Oscar Corral, Reporter, Miami Herald

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