FROM Jon Donnison
Is Israeli Prisoner Swap with Hamas a Step Toward Peace? Five years after being abducted by Hamas during a cross-border raid, a captured Israeli soldier is back home in Israel. Sergeant First Class Gilad Shalit was taken from the Gaza Strip to Egypt, where he told Egyptian TV he was hopeful that his trade for more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners being released by Israel would "advance peace." Prime Minister Netanyahu said the country was "united in joy and in pain." Buses carrying more than 400 Palestinian prisoners went from Israel to Ramallah, the capital of the West Bank. They were met by Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, although their release was negotiated by leaders of the rival Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Will the trade improve relations between Israel and Hamas? Has the "Arab Spring" made Egypt a different kind of player?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.