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Egypt's ruling generals have thumbed their noses at the US; there's been almost no American help to rebels in Syria. And Iran's new President is getting the cold shoulder despite evidence that he wants to talk. Is President Obama conducting a "passive foreign policy" or being realistic about this country's influence in the Middle East? Also, tallying a weekend of violence in Egypt, and sexual harassment and politics in San Diego.

Banner image; Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L) walks with Egyptian Minister of Defense Abdel Fatah Saeed Al-Sisi in Cairo, on April 24, 2013. DoD photo by Erin Kirk-Cuomo

The Dictator's Learning Curve

William J. Dobson

Making News Tallying a Weekend of Violence in Egypt 7 MIN, 49 SEC

Egypt's ruling generals have admitted that 36 Islamists were killed while in custody in the past few days. The government has justified detaining and killing leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood by calling them "terrorists." There have, in fact, been attacks on Coptic Christian churches. A court has reportedly acquitted former President Hosni Mubarak of corruption charges and ordered that he be set free. After a week of violence that killed almost 1000 people, what's it like on the streets of Cairo? Mike Giglio is Middle East correspondent for Newsweek and the Daily Beast. Matt Bradley is Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

Mike Giglio, BuzzFeed (@mike_giglio)
Matt Bradley, Wall Street Journal (@MattMcBradley)

Main Topic Is President Obama Too 'Passive' in Foreign Affairs? 35 MIN, 21 SEC

President Obama is accused of standing by as Egypt's generals deposed an elected government and killed almost 1000 opponents both in the streets and in custody. Promised aid to Syrian rebels has not materialized, months after Obama's demand that President al-Assad step down. Iran's new president reportedly wants direct negotiations, but the US failed even to congratulate him on his recent election. Is it too late for the US to have an impact on crises in the Middle East? Have opportunities been missed, or did they really exist in the first place? 

Mike Giglio, BuzzFeed (@mike_giglio)
William Dobson, Slate.com (@WilliamJDobson)
Kori Schake, Hoover Institution (@KoriSchake)
Barbara Slavin, Atlantic Council / Al-Monitor (@barbaraslavin1)

Today's Talking Point San Diego Mayor Bob Filner Not Leaving Anytime Soon 7 MIN, 53 SEC

"Bob is stubborn and he likes to fight." That's what one political consultant says about San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. He's been accused by 16 women of unwelcome sexual advances; one has sued him in court. A unanimous City Council has demanded that he resign and a recall campaign is underway. But Filner promised to return to his office today after two weeks of therapy, ready to be "the best mayor I can be." Steven Erie is Professor of Political Science at the University of California at San Diego.

Steve Erie, University of California at San Diego

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