FROM Bassam Rifai
Mixed messages from America's new hard line on Syria Last week, President Trump stunned the world by striking Syria with 59 Tomahawk missiles in retaliation for Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his own people. Since then, American diplomats have made contradictory statements in the aftermath of the attack. Was it a "one-off" or is regime change the goal? And why has President Trump retaliated against Syria's use of chemical weapons — but not conventional weapons, which are just as deadly? America's G-7 allies are meeting in Italy to find a consensus for dealing with Syria -- and with Russia — the next stop for America's Secretary of State. Is it too soon for the "political solution" all sides claim to prefer, or will force be used in attempting to remove the Assad regime from power?
Trump's Russia ties intensify with Comey firing Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe contradicted the Trump White House today, insisting the Bureau had not lost faith in former Director James Comey. He promised to notify the committee of any interference into investigation of the Trump campaign's contacts with Vladimir Putin's Russia. What do we know about those contacts… and how they relate to Trump's business interests and those of his family?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
A New York Times op-ed on climate change sparks uproar The New York Times is embroiled in a public furor over a new columnist, who wrote that scientific uncertainty is reason for debate about climate change. Many conservatives are delighted. Is America's leading liberal newspaper fostering climate denial? This is the latest in our series, "The Emotional States of America."