Week In The News: Syria, Fiscal Cliff, Egypt

The White House threatens to go over the fiscal cliff. Tough chemical warfare warnings for Syria. Big bank layoffs. A royal baby bump. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

In this Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 photo, residents walk past damaged buildings due to heavy fighting between Free Syrian Army fighters and government forces in Aleppo, Syria.  (AP)

In this Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 photo, residents walk past damaged buildings due to heavy fighting between Free Syrian Army fighters and government forces in Aleppo, Syria. (AP)

Fiscal cliff talk all over this week, and a growing sense that we may just go over it.  Or not.  And that either way there’s another monster right on the other side – the debt ceiling. The fiscal chasm.  Heaven help us.

In Washington, Tea Party titan Jim DeMint announces he will leave the US Senate.  Will take his megaphone to a big think tank.  In the Middle East, uproar in Egypt, warnings to Syria on chemical weapons, and Israel announces more settlements.  In Michigan, unions up in arms.

This hour, On Point:  Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

-Tom Ashbrook


Susan Glasser, editor in chief of Foreign Policy magazine.

Nancy Cordes, congressional correspondent, CBS News.

Jack BeattyOn Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

al Jazeera “At least five tanks were deployed outside the Egyptian presidential palace in a street where supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi had been clashing into the early hours of the morning, witnesses said. The state news agency said the military deployment on Thursday around the palace was to “secure” the building. Nine armoured troop carriers were also reported on the street outside the palace.”

Washington Post “DeMint’s departure comes during a critical moment for the conservative movement and leaves uncertainty among its ranks in the Senate. After the tea party movement left a deep impact on the 2010 midterm elections, its influence faded in 2012. Meanwhile, the debate over the “fiscal cliff” is raging in Congress, with Democrats pressing Republicans to join them in supporting tax increases for the wealthy, a proposal conservatives have decried.”

New York Times “A new round of diplomacy on the conflict in Syria will begin on Thursday afternoon when Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations special envoy, hosts an unusual three-way meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov.”


Here is Alan Simpson doing “Gangnam Style.” Really.

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Oct 9, 2015
A manhole begins to spill over with floodwaters as high tide approaches at Dorchester Road at Sawmill Branch Canal in Summerville, S.C., Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015.  (AP)

Russia goes big in Syria. The US hits a hospital in Kunduz. Hillary flips on the TPP. An epic flood in South Carolina. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 9, 2015
In this Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015, photo, Devlin D'Zmura, a tending news manager at DraftKings, a daily fantasy sports company, works on his laptop at the company's offices in Boston. (AP)

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US singer Patti Smith performs during the Way Out West music festival in Gothenburg, Sweden, Saturday, Aug.15, 2015.  (AP)

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In this Aug. 2, 2012 file photo, local newspapers show stories about the controversial strategy to bail the government out of a financial hole, at a restaurant along Seven Mile Beach on the outskirts of George Town on the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Islands have lost some of their allure by abruptly proposing what amounts to an income tax on expatriate workers who have helped build the territory into one of the most famous or, for some people, notorious offshore banking centers that have tax advantages for foreign investment operations. (AP)

Trillions of dollars are now stashed in protected tax havens around the world, leaving societies’ bills to those at home. We’ll dig in.

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