FROM Borzou Daragahi
Turkey's president claims vast new powers President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan barely eked out a victory, but yesterday's election has given him vast new powers -- despite challenges from the opposition and international election observers. Borzou Daragahi, Middle East correspondent for Buzzfeed News in Istanbul, expands on election results as well as irregularities on Election Day.
Agreement reached on new Syrian ceasefire Today Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Russia had helped broker a ceasefire agreement between the Syrian regime and some opposition rebels in the long-running civil war. Russia and Turkey will oversee the ceasefire, which is due to take place across most of Syria starting at midnight tonight. Borzou Daragahi, Middle East correspondent for Buzzfeed , says Russia's involvement is increasing its influence in the region.
Aleppo ceasefire a total failure and the killing resumes The latest ceasefire in Eastern Aleppo has been broken by artillery fire, delaying once more the evacuation of medical staff and civilians, including children. At yesterday’s Security Council meeting, the US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, publicly called out Syria, Russia and Iran by name. Borzou Daragahi, Middle East correspondent for Buzzfeed News , joins us from Istanbul with an update.
Russia talks of 'humanitarian pause' while battle in Aleppo rages The UN's special envoy for Iraq says there's evidence that Syria has committed a war crime by attacking a rebel-held district with chlorine gas. Meantime, forces dividing Aleppo, Syria's largest city, have cut off each other's supply lines, leaving some two million residents trapped without food, water or medicine. Russia's effort to bring about a "humanitarian pause" in the fighting hasn't worked out so far. Borzou Daragahi is reporting on the action for BuzzFeed…
Better Off Without Saddam? An Iraq Update Following a scathing report on Britain’s involvement in Iraq, former Prime Minister Tony Blair maintained that Iraq is better off now without Saddam Hussein. But five years after the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, the country is still at war. More than 250 people were killed in Baghdad Sunday in a suicide bombing. ISIS claimed responsibility. What’s going on inside Iraq and what is the current U.S. policy there?
Over 40 Dead After a Terrorist Attack at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport Turkish investigators are pouring over video footage and witness statements today after three attacker fired shots and then set off bombs at Istanbul’s main airport, killing 41 people and wounding 239. This is just the latest in a series of escalating attacks on Istanbul and throughout Turkey, which is embroiled in conflicts on a number of fronts throughout the region. Borzou Daragahi, Middle East Correspondent with Buzzfeed, joins us from Istanbul.
A Portrait of Life -- and Survival -- in Syria After five years, this week the civil war in Syria reached new levels of violence despite talk of an international commitment to a ceasefire. This week, Aleppo. Syria's largest city and a longtime rebel stronghold, became a new and bloody battlefield. At least 50 people died when bombs hit four separate medical facilities and schools in the province airstrikes that US officials have blamed on Russia and the Assad government. All of this despite a United Nationsbrokered ceasefire agreement, which is supposed to go into effect tomorrow. What is life like in a country strafed by bombs, looted by war profiteers, in cities subject to siege and families divided by politics? We talk to reporters and aid workers about the unique toll terrorism, civil strife and violence take on Syrians who cannot, or will not leave their country.
Russia Strikes Syrian Targets from the Sea Russia has stepped up its military presence inside Syria and, for the first time has fired missiles on Syrian targets from ships in the Caspian Sea. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said today that’s the wrong strategy. Borzou Daragahi reports on the Middle East for BuzzFeed News and joins us from Istanbul.
Are Russian Airstrikes in Syria a Challenge to the United States? Russia reportedly gave the US less than an hour's notice of airstrikes today near the city of Homs in Western Syria. They appear designed to shore up the government of Bashar al-Assad. Secretary of State John Kerry told the UN Security Council that US will continue its bombing to the Islamic State. Will Russian airstrikes pose a challenge to the US?
Arab Intervention in Yemen and US Airstrikes in Iraq Saudi Arabia has begun a bombing campaign against the Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen, backed by all but one of the other Gulf States and with logistical and intelligence support from the United States. The US has bombed ISIS forces near the Iraqi city of Tikrit . In the aftermath of the so-called "Arab Spring," instability is producing more violence in a troubled region. We hear from a reporter in the region and security analysts in the US.
Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the U.S. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah died yesterday at age 90. His brother, Prince Salman, who is 79 years old, has taken over the throne. In a country where human rights are sharply curtailed by conservative Islamic law, King Abdullah was sometimes described as a cautious reformer during his some 20 years in power. Saudi women got the right to vote during his rule, but did not make good on his promise to allow them to drive. We take a look at his legacy and the larger upheaval happening in the region.
Egyptian Court Reverses Hosni Mubarak's Last Conviction Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak oversaw the brutal murder of his own people on the streets of Cairo, but he may soon be freed from the military hospital where he's been held on various charges. The only remaining accusations against him have now been dismissed. Borzou Daragahi, Middle East and North Africa correspondent for the Financial Times , joins us from Cairo for an update.
The Islamic State Is Making Advances Despite Air Strikes Airstrikes by the US and other countries have not yet slowed advances by the so-called Islamic State–ISIS or ISIL. One place threatened by the brutal extremists is Kobane, a Kurdish town in Syria near the border with Turkey. We’ll hear reports and analysis of how the warfare is going.
The US Leads an Arab War on Terror; How Committed Are They? President Obama has assembled a coalition against the Islamic State that includes 5 Arab countries—which could face internal backlash from sympathizers with extremist jihadists. You can’t bomb an ideology, and, there’s already support on social media for jihadist groups—including ISIL, the so-called Islamic State. Is “soft power” more important than bombing--especially to win the hearts and minds of young Muslims worldwide?
ISIS Gains Momentum as the US Re-Engages In Iraq Today, Iraq’s parliament convened and then quickly collapsed. Lawmakers met ostensibly to begin selecting a new government to replace Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, their speaker and President, but could not agree even on the most basic order of business. Meanwhile over the weekend the Sunni insurgent group ISIS declared a wide swath of their territory spanning Iraq and Syria a new Islamic caliphate. Meanwhile Iraqi security forces are mounting a counterattack on ISIS in an effort to win back control of the northern city of Tikrit. And yesterday the Pentagon announced it was sending hundreds more troops to assist those 300 advisers the President deployed last week, while Russia has stepped in with a fleet of military jets. Can the Iraqi army fend ISIS off? Is the insurgency capable of not just taking territory but governing?
Another Militant Uprising in the Middle East Islamist insurgents today seized Tikrit, the hometown of former leader Saddam Hussein and a provincial capital in Iraq, adding it to Fallujah, areas near Kirkuk and the oil-exporting city of Mosul. US trained Iraqi solders have thrown off their uniforms and fled along with a half-million civilian refugees. The so-called "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant," an offshoot of al-Qaeda, could be a game-changer for Syria, Turkey and US interests in the Middle East.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.