FROM Mark Silva
Justice Department Drops Charges against Alaska Senator Ted Stevens Last October, Senator Ted Stevens was convicted on seven counts of making false statements to hide gifts and home renovations. A week later, the 85-year-old who had served in the Senate longer than any other Republican, lost his bid for reelection. Today, Attorney General Eric Holder asked the judge in the case to throw out the conviction . Mark Silva is Washington correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times .
McClellan Responds to White House Criticism of His Memoir Former White House Secretary Scott McClellan was on the defensive today, replying to attacks on his new book which claims that the Bush Administration deceived the American public about the war in Iraq. On NBC's Today Show he was asked if there was deception, why he did not speak up then. Mark Silva is White House reporter for the Chicago Tribune .
Bush Speech Caps Week of Iraq Testimony President Bush today accepted the recommendations of General David Petraeus. The draw-down of troops from Iraq will stop when the "surge" ends in July. Democratic leaders of Congress said, "He's just dragging this out, leaving a failed war and a failed economy on the doorstep of the next president." Because of strains on the troops, Mr. Bush also reduced tours of duty from 15 months to 12, but that won't start until August. We talk with soldiers about the state of morale after six years of war. What do multiple tours on the front lines mean for their families? What about recruitment, retention and readiness to meet future contingencies?
President Bush Arrives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia After a stop in the United Arab Emirates, President Bush has arrived in Riyadh , Saudi Arabia with his multiple messages for Middle Eastern nations. He'll stay at the palace of an old family friend, King Abdullah. Mark Silva is traveling with the President for the Chicago Tribune .
Bush Packs His Bags for First Trip to Israel as President President Bush will set off tomorrow for eight days in the Middle East, starting in Jerusalem and Ramallah. He has a vision of "two states living side-by-side in peace and security." But he's already being asked how a week of personal diplomacy can make up for seven years of arms-length detachment. Mark Silva, White House correspondent for the Chicago Tribune , has just arrived in Jerusalem ahead of the President.
President Bush Expected to Announce Troop Drawdown For three days, Americans heard from General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Tonight, President Bush will deliver his latest prime time speech from the White House on what's next for Iraq. Mark Silva covers the President for the Chicago Tribune .
Bush's Sub-Prime Mortgage Plan, Snow's Resignation On Karl Rove's last day in the White House, President Bush announced today that Press Secretary Tony Snow is resigning, too. Bush himself offered a plan to help troubled sub-prime borrowers to keep their homes. The President wants Congress to reform the Federal Housing Authority , change the tax code and crack down on lending fraud. Mark Silva covers the White House for the Chicago Tribune .
Rumsfeld Deflects the Tillman Controversy on Capitol Hill Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was back on Capitol Hill today for the first time since President Bush replaced him with Robert Gates . Democrats accuse him of being part of a cover-up when former NFL star Pat Tillman was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. Mark Silva is covering the story for the Chicago Tribune .
What's Next for the 'Special Relationship?' Britain's new Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been portrayed as a big change from Tony Blair, especially on Iraq and the war on terror. But today at Camp David, Brown and President Bush filled the air with compliments . Each called the other his country's most important ally. We hear their public comments about the "historic partnership," and look at what their real differences might be. Can Brown get his troops out of Iraq soon enough to suit British voters? Has he softened his rhetoric to appeal to a Muslim constituency threatened by terms like "war on terror?"
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?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
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.