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?
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.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
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?