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March 23, 2010
Posted: 1722 GMT

We are kicking things off with Nic Robertson in London and the UK's decision to boot an Israeli diplomat out of the country. London is accusing Israel of forging British passports for operatives invovled in the assassination of a Hamas official in Dubai last January.

This is all happening while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with American President Barack Obama in Washington to try to heal the diplomatic rift over the construction of Jewish housing in historically Arab East Jerusalem.

The U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton yesterday reaffirmed that the Israeli-U.S. bond remains strong but that building housing on land (disputed or occupied depending on what side you're on) is not legitimate.

What will Mr. Obama tell the Israeli leader? The meeting is a closed door affair so no cameras will be allowed. Jill Dougherty will report on that story for us.

Speaking of President Obama, today is a day he signed the healthcare reform bill into law. But despite the political victory, Republicans are promising to continue the fight against a law they say is bad for America. We'll bring you that and why what happens next in the Senate is important.

Plus, for anyone who thinks the U.S. housing market will bounce back soon, they should think again: existing home sales in the United States have fallen for a third month in a row. The number may not be as bad as expected but it is an indicator of how little household wealth (perceived or real) has recovered since the start of the recession. If Americans don't feel like they have money, they won't spend money and the economy won't fully recover. We are live on Wall Street.

We will also take you live to Afghanistan. Our Phil Black traveled to Kandahar, widely regarded as the next chapter in the international focres' effort to secure and hold territory in the volatile South. After Marjah a few weeks ago, coalition commanders want to move in and quickly hand over authority of the Kandahar region to the local government.

Will it work? What do locals think of it all?

We'll have those stories and the rest of the day's top headlines, as always!

See you at the IDesk,

Hala

(Photo – Obama today signing healthcare reform bill into law at the White House – Getty Images)

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A. Smith, Oregon   March 23rd, 2010 5:49 pm ET

With wide and rampant corruption in the Afghanistan Police forces, Afghan villagers do not trust them. Forcing a corrupt Govt. President and Police force on the Afghanistan people is not going to work. When America pulls out its troops next year, the Taliban will be welcomed back.

Padma Sethi   March 23rd, 2010 10:31 pm ET

East Jerusalem, perhaps Israel should pay a rent for building new homes and allocate some new homes to moderate Palastinian families or to build orphanage for palastinian children in a mixed race community setting; where they can grow up with common values.
US Property market would remain volatile probably until of 2011-12 as long as unemployment remain high and banks continue off-loading their subprime portfolio. In the last quater of 2009 the slight rise in demand was probably due to QE.
Come Back Kid No. 2, has certainly lived up to his name with 22 faulty pen; tribal leader war would ensue baying for his triumph after some 32M grassroots crossover for a slice of TLC, health takes priority to ideology, sensible for those having to hunt to provide food on the table.
Afghanistan, remember both the Tyrants are still alive, MO-one eye jack and OBL-bin liners; they are natural chameleon reptile and master of disguise and could survive in remote underground passages or world, right under the Warriors feet; they crawl up at night to plant IED to maime and kill by stealth. Time would tell if both Marjah or Kandahar fought with our childrens blood would remain under the corrupt regime of Pashtun Kazai. Maybe we ought to train our backyard foxes or Brown bear as pet dog.

torrey14   March 24th, 2010 1:57 pm ET

THe US has contributed, in direct and military aid, $22,588,000,000 to Israel since 2000. This is a capital expense did not make US citizens healthier, safer or better educated. While I am not an Israeli citizen (and therefore have no basis to critique a sovereign country) I do object to paying taxes that are dutifully passed to an exceptionalist government that violates Geneva codes with such impunity . Perhaps we need to reconsider our priorities as a matter of principle, and not simple military expediency.

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