After two and a half years of stagnation Lebanon elects a new president. A victory for Hizbullah and a setback for Saudi influence, but generally welcomed as good for Lebanon.
Unending wars over fifteen years have created anarchy in the Middle East. Escalation. The US role and the costs.
International search for a ceasefire in Syria destroyed by air strikes. Murderous airstrike in Yemen threatens international support for the Saudi coalition.
Palestine continues to simmer under occupation. Latest Israeli settlement announcement riles Washington. Will Obama do anything after the election?
US law allowing 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia widely criticised at home and abroad. Possible unintended consequences.
When Mosul is taken back from IS the fighting coalition will have conflicting aims. Need for reform and negotiation, not more arms and soldiers.
Two refugee conferences in New York. Pledges fall far short of need. MENA region more than half the world problem. Present global refugee regime not fit for purpose.
Two grave infringements, one by the US-led coalition and the other by the Syrians or Russians, put the Syria truce on life support. Only Washington and Moscow might save it. Doubts about their resolve to do so.
US/Arab relations at risk in the election period. A bill allowing families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in US courts provokes a strong Arab reaction.
The truce in Syria agreed between the US and Russian foreign ministers is a military accord. It has checked the fighting and opened the door to desperately needed aid but to succeed it must be followed by political agreement.