World: Political Housekeeping

On all sides in the Middle East, the 90-day cease-fire that ended earlier this month became a time of military reinforcement. Now, with a second 90-day truce under way and their armories in order, the Middle East governments seem to be turning inward, taking advantage of the respite to settle long-smoldering political problems. Last week, from Syria to Egypt, a frenzy of internal housekeeping was in progress.

» In Syria, Lieut. General Hafez Assad completed his swift takeover of the government—Damascus' 21st coup in 21 years. Assad selected a little-known schoolteacher, Ahmed Khatib, 40,...

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