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?
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.