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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