Syrian Residents, Rebels Evacuate from Besieged Towns
Civilians and rebels in four besieged Syrian towns have begun a coordinated evacuation in a deal struck by rebels and the Syrian government.
Dozens of buses in the opposition-controlled towns Maday and Zabadani, near Damascus, were filled with fleeing passengers Friday.
Thousands of residents, meanwhile, in the pro-government towns of Fuaa and Kafraya are expected to board buses heading to government-held Aleppo.
More than 30,000 people are expected to be evacuated under the deal.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has confirmed the beginning of the evacuation.
Trump Flip-Flops Show Evolution toward Moderation
On the campaign trail, candidate Donald Trump called NATO "obsolete." This week, with the NATO secretary general standing next to him at a White House news conference, President Trump did a complete 180 degree reversal, saying, "It's no longer obsolete."
Candidate Trump regularly denounced China as a currency manipulator. But days after his summit meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Trump said the exact opposite. "They're not currency manipulators," he told The Wall Street Journal.
These and other presidential policy zigzags are the talk of Washington's political elites. The Washington Post recently declared Trump "the king of flip flops." There is almost daily commentary arguing that the first weeks of his presidency have revealed a leader with a weak understanding of geopolitics, struggling with critical issues such as the workings of the NATO alliance. "He's been mugged by reality," one commentator said.
In an article published Thursday, however, the Post noted that the president appears to be flip-flopping with more moderation as he gains experience.
On issue after issue in the past 12 weeks, Trump's views have evolved away from campaign rhetoric to more nuanced positions that reflect the responsibilities of office, according to Dan Mahaffee, senior vice president and director of policy at Washington's Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress. "Many presidents would say campaigning is one art and governing is another," he told VOA.