FROM Husam Zomlot
Barack Obama Back at the United Nations President Obama told the UN General Assembly today, this "has been a remarkable year." He also said he's been "frustrated." Despite some positive developments around the world and the Arab democracy movement, last year's hope for a Palestinian state has not been realized. The President indicated US opposition to the plan by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to bypass negotiations and ask the UN for statehood now. To a General Assembly thought to favor the Palestinians, the President said, "each side [must] learn to stand in each other's shoes. And, once again, he's caught between Palestinian aspirations and US support for Israel, with Republicans proclaiming that he's letting Israel down. Can he avoid a veto at the Security Council that would antagonize Arab public opinion? What's at state for next year's re-election campaign?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Does 'hire American' mean fire a foreigner? US companies are allowed to hire employees from other countries with highly developed skills that can't be found here. President Trump says it's being abused as a way to find cheap foreign labor. We hear about the benefits—and the risks—of changing the H-1B program.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.