Obama Briefs World Leaders on Afghanistan Policy Before Speech

NewsHour interviews the New York Times’ Eric Schmitt on the lead up tothe roll-out of President Obama’s new Afghanistan policy. As Schmitt pointsout, the Obama administration has already started to discuss the planwith insiders, though the president is expected to outline his policypublicly tomorrow night.

Hondurans Vote Conservative?

NewsHour’s Margaret Warner reports on the much anticipated presidential election in Honduras. Though the votes are in and seemingly in favor of conservative rancher Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo, ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is calling the election illegitimate.

A United Front Against Iran

The IAEA has censured Iran and is demanding Tehran freeze nuclear operations at asecret facility. The stern move by the agency is a victory for theObama administration says Iran expert Ervand Abhrahamian. WorldFocus’Martin Savidge talks with the history professor about what thecensure could mean for United States global positioning among powerssuch as Russia and China.

The New Afghanistan Policy

President Barack Obama has decided on a strategy for Afghanistan.NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff talks to presidential historian and authorMichael Beschloss, Andrew Kohut, president and director of the PewResearch Center for the People and the Press, and Josh Gerstein, WhiteHouse reporter for Politico to get some insight into public opinion ofthe war, parallels in history and how this policy will play out formembers of Congress with their constituents.

Hamas and Israel Come Closer to Prisoner Exchange

Though no official deal has been signed between Hamas and Israel, thereis growing speculation that the two sides are nearing a deal to releaseIsraeli soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for hundreds of Palestinianprisoners. Though there has been a media blackout on negotiations forthe soldier’s return, spectators say movement in recent days could meana decision is coming.

What Will the Surge Do?

White House officials have announced that President Barack Obama hasfinished gathering information about the situation in Afghanistan. Heis expected to address the country on Dec. 1, telling the nation of hisplans for a troop surge. In light of the news, WorldFocus speaks withJuan Carlos Zarate, a senior adviser for the Center for Strategic andInternational Studies in Washington. Zarate says additional troops willbe used to confront the Taliban in new areas such as the East and Southand enable forces to not only secure the territories, but to keep themfrom returning to Taliban rule.

India’s Economy Is Going Strong

Bilateral economic ties are sure to be at the top of the agenda forIndian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit with President BarackObama in Washington this week. India, though still home to a staggering800 million people living on $2 a day, has an economy that is booming.The New York Times’ Vikas Bajaj tells Fred de Sam Lazar of NewsHourthat it was most likely the Indian perception of undeveloped financialinstitutions that saved their economy from the toxic assets that led tothe financial crisis.

Pakistani Army Boasts Success in South Waziristan

The Pakistani army says they have made progress in South Waziristan inthe first five weeks of their campaign. Faster than expected, the armyhas driven Taliban leaders out of the region — they’ve “melted away”as one analyst put it. Army officials say their strategy has been tocut off Taliban supply lines and to go after forests and caves. Thoughthe campaign has been instrumental in changing public opinion of theTaliban, analysts say it is unlikely that the army will launch asimilar campaign in the North. Voice of America’s Meredith Buelreports.

Obama Welcomes Singh

President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speakat the official arrival ceremony for Singh. The ceremony is the firstof its kind since Obama has been in office. “It is fitting that you andIndia be so recognized,” Obama told Singh. The following days willpresent India and the United States with opportunities to discuss keyissues such as enhancing bilateral trade and the war in Afghanistan.

Armenia’s Struggle With an Open Border

As Armenia and Turkey come closer to opening the border between the twofeuding countries, Armenians both home and abroad grapple with whatthis will mean for the Armenian economy and cultural identity. Whilethe Armenian diaspora champion the effort to stop the agreement frommoving forward, those at home struggle with the isolation the feud hascaused.

Iran: The Deal is Not the Problem

Since forward-moving talks in Geneva four weeks ago, nuclear talks withIran have seriously deteriorated. WorldFocus interviews U.S.-Iranrelations expert Trita Parsi who says that changing dynamics in Tehranare to blame for the current situation and that there is little outsidefactors will be able to contribute to quell the issue. Parsi says it isnot the deal itself that is the problem, it is the fissures in Iranthat are impeding progress.

Hope for Human Rights in China

Jim Lehrer interviews Winston Lord, former U.S. ambassador to China andXiao Qiang, Chinese human rights activist and professor of journalism.Qiang says that one of the big differences in the human rightsdiscussion now, versus twenty years ago, is that the average Chinesecitizen is much more aware of human rights violations and what freedomsthey should expect. Though still heavily censored, AmbassadorLord says he believes it is the Internet that will have one of thegreatest impacts on the future of human rights in China.

Tariq al-Hashemi Defends His Election Law Veto

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemitalks about his decision to veto a key law that would enable electionsin Iraq to move forward. He contends that his decision will onlybriefly delay the impending election. Al-Hashemi’s veto was spurred bya stipulation in the election law that he felt would misrepresentexiled Iraqis.

Maoist Standoff Continues in Nepal

Al Jazeera’s Tony Birtley reports on the fragile peace process takingplace in Nepal. Negotiations have been stalled as Maoists come toterms with the fact that operating as a legitimate unit within thegovernment may be their only feasible option for moving forward.Meanwhile, the coalition government is standing firm, refusing to makeconcessions to the Maoist opposition.

Kissinger Says Progress Will Continue for U.S. and Russia

Russia Today interviews former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.Kissinger says that since the Obama administration has taken office,great gains have already been made in the Russia-U.S. relationship. Hefurther explains that common interests such as curbing armsproliferation in Iran will bring the two powers even closer. OnAfghanistan, Kissinger says that after deliberations are over he thinksthere will certainly be a troop surge and that he is confident thiswill be the right decision.

Obama Holds Town Hall Meeting With Shanghai’s Students

President Barack Obama held a town hall meeting with Chinese students in Shanghai on his much anticipated trip to China. Though the conditions of the meeting were dictated byBeijing — students’ questions were pre-approved and the audience was a carefully selected batch of China’s finest,most obedient,youth — Obama managed to infuse some of his own message into the interaction. Throughout the exchangehe carefully broached subjects such as uncensored Internet access, freedom of religion and political participation. However, it was clear that any remarks the Obama administration had prepared for this encounter were calculated todiscuss sensitive topics without oversteppingclearly markedboundaries.

China Will Remain a ‘Frenemy’

The NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer speaks with a panel of China experts in light ofPresident Barack Obama’svisit to the nation. Lehrer’spanelistsinclude the Atlantic magazine’s James Fallows, professor ofgovernment and China analyst Minxin Pei, and author and historian NiallFerguson. The panelists discuss the ways in which China can be apartner — albeit a limited one — as well as a contender for theUnited States. In summing up the complexrelationship with China thatspans economic, ethical and military dimensions, Ferguson refers to thedeveloping nation as a “frenemy.”

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