- Making News: Hamas Makes Large Gains in Gaza Elections
There was voting yesterday in the Gaza Strip, and the big winner was the militant group Hamas. Out of 118 local council seats, Hamas won 77 to just 26 for Fatah, the faction led by Mahmoud Abbas. Sayed Abu Shammala, a Palestinian journalist in Gaza for the BBC's Arabic Service, evaluates the electoral turn-out and Hamas' political success.
- Reporter's Notebook: President Bush Bypasses World Economic Forum
British Prime Minister Tony Blair said yesterday, "What people want is not for America to concede, but for America to engage." He was addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where President Bush has not just failed to engage, but failed to turn up at all. Sebastian Rotella is covering the forum for the Los Angeles Times.
The Pending Election in Iraq
President Bush says Sunday's Iraqi election will help spread democracy in the Middle East. Iraqis around the world have already started voting, while Iraq itself is reportedly locked down in preparation for Sunday's election. The interim government claims high-level arrests of suspected terrorists, but threats of massive election-day violence have potential voters stocking up on basic supplies and hunkering down at home. In the Shiite South, there's been the kind of campaigning Americans might recognize, but elsewhere, only a few of some 9000 candidates have dared to reveal their names. We get updates on election preparations with reporters in Iraq, and debate the possible outcomes with experts in international law, human rights advocates and Iraqis living in the US.