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In the Middle East, Hillary Clinton has walked into the familiar buzz-saw of Arab-Israeli politics, and Congress is about to condemn the UN's "Goldstone Report." What's happening to President Obama's "new start" with the Muslim world? Also, President Hamid Karzai takes office in Afghanistan, and some powerful Senators want Christian Science prayer treatments covered by health insurance.  What about the separation of church and state?

Banner image: Secretary Clinton meets with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Jerusalem. Photo: Matty Stern US Embassy Tel Aviv, October 31, 2009

Making News Afghan President Hamid Karzai Takes Office 7 MIN, 35 SEC

Yesterday, President Obama told Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai, now that he's re-elected it's time to build credibility by getting rid of corruption. Speaking to reporters in Kabul today, Karzai acknowledged "the difficulties of our governance." Elsewhere in his statement, Karzai referred to "the stain of corruption." Daniel Markey, a fellow on South Asia for the Council on Foreign Relations, was last in Kabul two weeks ago.

Daniel Markey, Council on Foreign Relations (@MarkeyDaniel)

Main Topic Settlements, War Crimes and Middle East Peace 35 MIN, 47 SEC

President Obama has promised a "new start" with the world's Muslims, but Secretary of State Clinton is finding again that's easier said than done. In Morocco, she told Arab leaders the US will deliver on President Obama's promise of a "new start" with the Muslim world, but first backed away from earlier statements denounced by some of those same leaders as threatening to set back the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by ten years. In the meantime, Congress is about to formally agree with Israel and denounce the UN's "Goldstone Report" about war crimes before and during the invasion of Gaza.  We update US diplomacy in the Middle East and the prospects for getting peace talks started again. 

Howard Schneider, Jerusalem Bureau Chief, Washington Post
Lawrence Wright, author, screenwriter, staff writer New Yorker (@lawrence_wright)
Nadia Hijab, Senior Fellow, Institute for Palestine Studies
Bret Stephens, Foreign Affairs Columnist, Wall Street Journal

Reporter's Notebook The Power of Prayer for the Healthcare Bill 8 MIN, 18 SEC

Christian Science prayer treatments either substitute for medical treatments or supplement them, and can cost as little as $20 a day. Today's Los Angeles Times reports that the Senate's healthcare reform legislation contains a little-noticed provision requiring insurance companies to consider covering Christian Science prayer treatments.  Tom Hamburger and Kim Geiger co-authored the story.

Tom Hamburger, Washington Post (@thamburger)
Kim Geiger, Reporter, Los Angeles Times

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Tom Hamburger

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