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The US, the EU and Israel are more determined than ever to bolster Fatah at the expense of Hamas in the Palestinian Territories.  We look at the benefits and the risks of further dividing the Palestinian people.  Also, North Korea makes some concessions on the nuclear front and, on Reporter's Notebook, the ability to predict the paths and intensities of hurricanes could be diminished by the loss of a satellite that’s already outlived its predicted lifespan. 

Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images

Main Topic In the Middle East, New Strategies or More of the Same?

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced today that the US today will lift the embargo placed on the Palestinian Authority when Hamas won parliamentary elections 18 months ago.  Also today, the European Union said it will resume direct aid to the Palestinian Authority now that Hamas is out of the government.  Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who will meet tomorrow in Washington with President Bush, has indicated that Israel might turn over tax money it's been withholding.  It's all about bolstering the secular Fatah faction in the West Bank and isolating Islamic Hamas after last week's military takeover of Gaza. Since Hamas took control of Gaza, Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has formed a new government, excluding the radical Islamic group.  What are the benefits and risks of further dividing the Palestinian people? What are the strengths and weaknesses of Hamas and Fatah, and what's at stake for the region as a whole? 

Avi Issacharoff, Ha'aretz (@issacharoff)
Mustafa Barghouthi, Member, Palestinian Legislature
Dennis Ross, Washington Institute for Near East Policy (@washinstitute)
Geoffrey Aronson, Foundation for Middle East Peace
Rami Khouri, syndicated columnist, senior fellow at the Belfer Center and professor of public policy at the American University of Beirut (@RamiKhouri)

Making News Release of Funds Moves North Korea on Nuclear Shutdown 6 MIN, 7 SEC

Some $25 million is on its way from New York to Russia and finally to North Korea, which has refused to begin decommissioning its Yongbyon nuclear reactor until it gets the money. Does that mean the crisis over nuclear weapons is about to be resolved?  Daniel Pinkston is Director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Daniel Pinkston, Korea specialist at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies

Reporter's Notebook Aging but Crucial Hurricane Satellite May Not Be Replaced 6 MIN, 53 SEC

The QuickSCAT weather satellite has already outlived its predicted lifespan by three years.  If it fails, the accuracy of predicting the paths and intensities of hurricanes could be reduced by 16%. Replacement plans have been pushed back to 2016.  Jim Kossin, an atmospheric research scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison tells us what that could mean with hurricane season already upon us.

Jim Kossin, Atmospheric research scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies

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