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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

  • Bomber Strikes Syrian Regime in Damascus, Killing Assad’s Defense Minister, Brother-in-Law

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    A suicide bomber has struck a meeting of top Syrian officials in Damascus, killing Syria’s defense minister and the brother-in-law of President Bashar-al-Assad and dealing a major blow to the Assad regime. The defense minister, General Daoud Rajha, is the most senior government official to be killed since the Syrian uprising began 17 months ago. The bombing comes as the United Nations Security Council is set to vote today on a new measure responding to the crisis in Syria. We’re joined by Patrick Seale, a leading British writer on the Middle East. [includes rush transcript]

  • As Senate GOP Blocks DISCLOSE Act, Top Donor Sheldon Adelson Probed for Bribery and Mob Ties

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    As Senate Republicans block the DISCLOSE Act, legislation that would unmask anonymous campaign donors, we look at Sheldon Adelson, a major donor behind Republican campaigns. Adelson has pledged to donate $100 million to defeat President Obama but is now coming under new scrutiny for possible violations of federal anti-bribery law and ties to Chinese organized crime stemming from efforts to build casinos and other projects in Macau. An investigation by ProPublica, PBS "Frontline" and the Investigative Reporting Program at the University of California found Adelson may have violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act when he instructed a top executive to give $700,000 to a Macau legislator who aided his company’s efforts there. We’re joined by Stephen Engelberg, managing editor of ProPublica, and by Peter Stone, a journalist who has spent two decades covering money and politics and has been reporting on Adelson since 2008. "I think it [the report] comes at an embarrassing time, potentially embarrassing time, for Adelson and for a number of Republican groups who have received incredibly large donations from him in this cycle," says Stone. "He is now backing Romney. His overriding concern is to defeat President Obama." [includes rush transcript]

  • Romney Dogged by Questions on Bain Tenure, Tax Returns as Obama Deems Him "Outsourcer-in-Chief"

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    Records revealed last week show Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney remained at the helm of the private equity firm Bain Capital three years longer than he had previously disclosed. Romney maintained he left Bain in 1999 to run the Winter Olympics in Utah. But the Boston Globe reported last week that Romney retained control of Bain and earned a salary through 2002. The three-year period in question saw Bain shuttering a number of U.S. companies, leading to layoffs and the outsourcing of American jobs. We’re joined by Chris Rowland, Washington bureau chief for the Boston Globe. [includes rush transcript]