The Speaker of the Lebanese parliament has put off for the 17th time,
according to the Associated Press, a legislative session at which
elections for president were supposed to occur. According to the Lebanese
practice over half a century, the president must be a Maronite Christian,
the prime minister a Sunni, and the speaker a Shi'a. The head of the
census bureau is also a Maronite Christian so that the population count be
"correct," that is, there be a Maronite Christian "majority" to sustain the
sect's hold on the presidency.

And now to the Palestinian nation:

On Saturday, according to both the Jerusalem Post and Ha'artez,
the foreign minister of Yemen announced that he had gotten representatives
of Fatah and Hamas to agree on a plan to form a single government. The
contract was signed for Fatah by Azzam al-Ahmed, a former prime minister of
Palestine, such as it was imagined.

Now, on Monday, as reported in both newspapers, Ahmed Quireia, the head of
the Palestinian negotiating time with Israel, said that Ahmed was too hasty
in signing the pact with Hamas and that, in fact, it was now null and void.

How did this come about?  Apparently, President Abbas was too busy
entertaining Vice President Cheney to speak with his representative to
Hamas. So he made a mistake. There was no agreement.