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The Middle East is changing fast as Israel faces the loss of crucial allies and Turkey moves to exert leadership of the Muslim world. What's in store for American interests in the region and at the United Nations? Also, are Democratic losses a reflection on President Obama? On Reporter's Notebook, all but publicly rebuking President Ahmadinejad, Iranian judges say the release of two American hikers he predicted yesterday "is denied."

Banner image: Egyptians walk past graffiti reading 'Down with Israel' near the Israeli embassy in Cairo on August 21, 2011. Egypt's cabinet said that an Israeli statement expressing regret for the border deaths of five policemen was not enough, but stopped short of saying if it would recall its Tel Aviv envoy. Photo by Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images.

Making News Are Democratic Losses a Reflection on President Obama? 7 MIN, 38 SEC

Republicans are celebrating two wins last night in special elections, which they call referenda on President Obama. In New York City, Bob Turner became the first Republican elected by the Burroughs of Brooklyn and Queens in more than 80 years. After his victory last night the newly elected congressman told supporters, "We've been asked by the people of this district to send a message to Washington, and I hope they hear it loud and clear." Chris Cillizza reports on politics and writes "The Fix" blog for the Washington Post.

Chris Cillizza, Washington Post (@thefix)

Main Topic The 'Arab Spring' and Diplomacy in the Middle East 36 MIN, 45 SEC

Next week, the UN General Assembly may be asked to recognize a Palestinian state, with the potential for isolating both Israel and the United States. Meantime, Israel is in trouble with its only regional allies. In Egypt Friday, mobs attacked the Israeli embassy, sending a message to the shaky military regime. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan is visiting Cairo with harsh words for Israel's attack on the Gaza flotilla and support for Palestinian statehood. In an address to the Arab League, he said recognizing Palestinian statehood is "not a choice but an obligation." We hear why Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu sees a "political earthquake" he compares to "a new world order."

David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times (@ddknyt)
Ilter Turan, Bilgi University
Shlomo Avineri, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera English (@marwanbishara)
Eric Trager, Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Reporter's Notebook Will Iran Free the Two American Hikers? 6 MIN, 22 SEC

Just yesterday, Iran's President Ahmadinejad told NBC's Today show that two American hikers detained on charges of espionage would be released on bail. Today, his country's conservative judiciary said, no deal. The Iranian judges referred to Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal as convicted spies. Their release, which the judges said was "mentioned by some media," was "denied." Iranian-American human rights activist Mariam Memarsadeghi, founder of the Tavaana E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society, says that's not the end of the story.

Mariam Memarsadeghi, Tavaana E-learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society

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