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We look at the rapid pace of change in the Middle East and the Muslim world, and the challenges facing President Barack Obama. Also, documents seized in Monday's raid suggest that bin Laden was still planning attacks, and California's status as the leading state in the Union is in big trouble. Can the re-invented, second-time Governor Jerry Brown come to the rescue?

Banner image: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abass (C) and Egyptian Intelligence Chief General Mourad Mouafi (R) attend a reconciliation ceremony between rival administrations Fatah and Hamas on May 4, 2011 that ends a nearly four-year feud but has angered Israel. Photo: Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images

Making News Seized Documents Suggest bin Laden Was Still Planning Attacks 7 MIN, 47 SEC

Osama bin Laden "wasn't just a figurehead" after all, say US officials after their first look at computer files and documents seized at the compound where he was killed less than a week ago. They now believe that he played a direct role in plotting al Qaeda terror acts while he was in hiding. That's according to today's New York Times in a story co-written by national security reporter Scott Shane.

Scott Shane, New York Times (@ScottShaneNYT)

Ruling But Not Governing

Steven A. Cook

Main Topic Massive Change in the Middle East and the Muslim World 36 MIN, 3 SEC

Since the upheaval in Egypt and the beginning of the so-called "Arab Spring," which began in Tunisia, President Obama has faced a changing Middle East and Muslim world, where America's values often conflict with strategic interests. A new generation wants the end of repressive dictatorships. Will that lead to democracy and the defeat of Islamic extremists like bin Laden's al Qaeda? Will it create new opportunities for Iran, since the US long supported those now-failing regimes in the quest for stability and supplies of oil? If Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah are really united, will the peace process with Israel get new life or remain in limbo?

Rami Khouri, syndicated columnist, senior fellow at the Belfer Center and professor of public policy at the American University of Beirut (@RamiKhouri)
Steven A. Cook, Council on Foreign Relations (@stevenacook)
Hussein Ibish, Arab Gulf States Institute / International New York Times (@Ibishblog)
Aaron David Miller, Wilson Center (@aarondmiller2)

The Much Too Promised Land

Aaron David Miller

Reporter's Notebook Jerry Brown's Last Stand 7 MIN, 10 SEC

Jerry Brown was Governor of California from 1974 until 1982. When he ran again last year at age 72, entertainment magnate David Geffen asked him, "Why do you want to put yourself through this much pain at this point of your life?" When he took office in January, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said he was "facing as tough a challenge as any incoming governor; the task before him is ominous." That's according to an article by Adam Nagourney in this coming Sunday's New York Times Magazine.


Adam Nagourney, New York Times (@adamnagourney)

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