Lebanon’s parliament failed, for the 27th consecutive time, to elect a president. One consequence of failure is that Lebanese citizens are not receiving essential goods and services. For example, lack of garbage pickup has caused an environmental and health crises in Beirut. The stalemate has many observers concerned that the fragile peace between Christians and Muslims could be in jeopardy. In Syria, a tentative cease-fire fell apart between opposition forces and president Bashar al-Assad’s government. While some EU leaders and President Obama still call for regime change, there are reported rumors of back-channel talks between al-Assad and the West that could leave him in power. We’ll get updates on Lebanon and Syria with Joe Kechichian, a Gulf States scholar and senior writer for the Dubai-based Gulf News. He’s written numerous books on the Gulf region, including his latest, Legal and Political Reforms in Saudi Arabia.
(Photo: Flickr/James Gallagher)