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?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.