FROM Michael Wahid Hanna
Obama Condemns Egypt Violence as Death Toll Climbs The United States has cancelled a bi-annual joint military exercise with Egypt in light of yesterday's deadly crackdown by Egypt's interim government on protesters and the new State of Emergency. More than 500 people were killed and 3000 injured. But the US has still not threatened to freeze $1.3 billion in American aid. In recent weeks, the US has been demonized by both Egypt's interim government and supporters of ousted President Morsi. Today, taking time off from his vacation on Martha's Vineyard, President Obama denounced yesterday's violent attack , saying, "We don't take sides with any particular party or political figure." We hear from the President and from the streets of Cairo. Is violence becoming a fact of daily life?
Israel, Hezbollah and a New Phase in Syria's Civil War The ongoing crisis in Syria continues to raise thorny issues about US intervention in the civil war there. That war began as part of the Arab Spring in 2011 but has developed into the most intractable conflict of the revolutionary movement. More than 70 thousand people have been killed. Now, Hezbollah is stepping up its engagement, helping government forces battle a crucial rebel-held town. That means Iran is also deepening its involvement. US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian President Vladimir Putin today in Moscow in an effort to find common cause in the Syrian civil war. Is that conflict entering a new phase? Will Israel's military strikes near Damascus push the US to take action?
Will Democracy Turn to Chaos in Egypt? After the so-called "Arab Spring" led to the downfall of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt lived through months of military dictatorship until voters chose Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood to be their President. Now the country is facing economic collapse, violent religious confrontations and serious questions about free speech and democracy. With the new government failing to forge a political consensus, authoritarianism may not be a thing of the past. Can the US prevent the Middle East's most influential country from dashing hopes for democracy and stability in the region?
Egypt Descends into a Deeper Political Crisis After the worst street violence in 60 years, Egypt's newly elected President is surrounded by tanks, troops and barbed wire. Key allies have resigned, but Mohammed Morsi says outsiders are organizing the opposition--a favorite claim of the ousted Hosni Mubarak. President Obama has talked with Morsi by phone, but is the US less concerned about Egypt’s internal troubles than their impact on Israel? We update the growing protest, the role of the Army and the prospects for a peaceful resolution. President Mohammed Morsi's first televised address to the nation of Egypt has increased protest that’s already shown the capacity to generate violence. Opponents accuse him of adopting the same tactics as his deposed predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. Is the first elected president turning the country into an Islamic dictatorship? How legitimate is the secular opposition?
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.
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?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.