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?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
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.