FROM Hassan Fattah
Dozens Slain as Lebanese Army Fights Islamic Militants Lebanese troops and tanks have surrounded a Palestinian refugee camp just south of Tripoli, and continued the artillery shelling that killed 50 people yesterday. Some 30,000 people live in the Nahr al-Bared camp, but the troops are after a group called Fatah Islam, whose leader says he was inspired by Osama bin Laden. Our guest Hassan Fattah is in Tripoli for the New York Times.
Speaker Pelosi Conducts Her Own Diplomacy in Syria Despite President Bush's objections, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met today in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Afterward, Pelosi told reporters she "expressed concern" about Syria's support of Hamas and Hezbollah. She also carried the message from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Omert that he is ready for peace talks. Describing the meeting, Syrian cabinet minister Bouthaina Shaaban said praised Pelosi for sending the right message to the Arab people and for coming to the region to "solve problems rather than to launch wars." The meeting--which Syrian officials are calling a "victory"--is being carefully watched in Lebanon. Is Pelosi's international diplomacy in Syria undermining President Bush or is it time for a breakthrough? We hear from journalists in the US and Middle East, historians and policy experts.
Iran's Ahmadinejad Announces Release of British Captives Iran today abruptly announced the release of 14 men and one woman captured in disputed waters a week and a half ago. Britain did not concede they trespassed on Iranian waters. Tony Blair said the release was accomplished without confrontation or negotiation. Was there a deal or did Iran provide a surprise "gift" to the British people, as its president claimed? Was the US involved in a swap for Iranians held in Iraq?
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?
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.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.