Middle East peace; Democratic candidates...

Behind The News
May 21, 2008 1:40:57 PM PDT
At a time when peace in the Middle East seems as elusive as ever, tonight a small glimmer of hope. Israel and Syria are talking to each other, for the first time. Turkish mediators are sitting between then, but, hey, talk about progress. "A comprehensive peace" is the stated goal of the two long-time enemies, whose governments issued statements minutes apart.

The two countries have tried before to achieve peaceful coexistence, most recently in 2000. They've fought three wars, and have had skirmishes in Lebanon. For there to be peace, most experts say Israel would have to withdraw from the Golan Heights - an important piece of land captured by Israel in the 1967 war. About 18,000 Israelis live there now, as do about the same number of Druse Arabs, who see themselves as Syrian nationals. U.N. peacekeepers separate the two populations.

The settlers would object to giving up the land, but it may be a lynchpin to peace.

Fingers crossed.

We'll have the latest from the Middle East, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, our investigative reporter Jim Hoffer with a disturbing story about overworked and understaffed air traffic controllers. There is apparently a severe shortage of controllers in New York and New Jersey, and the union that represents them claims they can no longer safely handle the volume of aircraft on the busiest days.

Charming.

We'll also cover the Presidential race tonight, including a disturbing picture and article in a Roswell, Georgia newspaper that shows Barack Obama in a rifle's cross hairs. The headline reads, "Local law enforcement braces for Obama backlash."

The article was apparently a legit effort by a veteran reporter to see how law enforcement agencies were handling an increasing number of threats against the Illinois Senator by white supremacist groups. But the graphic illustration was offensive enough to trigger a flood of complaints to the paper.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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