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FROM THIS EPISODE

Revelations about the NSA's massive electronic spying have pitted privacy advocates and opponents of big government against intelligence agent's claims about the needs of national security. President Obama says he'll propose to resolve the conflict on Friday. We look at his options. Also, Congress unveils $1 trillion spending bill, and Pussy Riot, Vladimir Putin and the Sochi Olympics.

Banner image: National Security Agency Director General Keith Alexander testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington December 11, 2013. Photo: Gary Cameron/Reuters

Producers:
Evan George
Sonya Geis
Katie Cooper

Main Topic Crunch Time for Reforming the NSA 34 MIN, 45 SEC

Since Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency tracks every American phone call, President Obama has been under pressure. In a speech Friday, he'll try to balance demands for privacy against the rule that, when it comes to acts of terror, intelligence agencies can't be wrong — even once. But, while the NSA claims its massive collection of "metadata" has made America safer, both a White House panel and independent research are suggesting otherwise. We look at the President's options, including increased oversight by the courts and Congress and limits on the who, when and why of NSA spying.

Guests:
Peter Bergen, CNN (@peterbergencnn)
Adam Schiff, US Congress (D-CA) (@RepAdamSchiff )
Daniel Gallington, George C. Marshall Institute (@Marshall_Instit)
Ryan Lizza, New Yorker magazine (@RyanLizza)

Today's Talking Point Pussy Riot and Protest in Russia's New 'Dark Age' 8 MIN, 33 SEC

book.jpgMasha Gessen's family fled Russia for the United States to escape anti-Semitism in the 1980's. She trained as a journalist and returned to Moscow for 20 years as an editor and reporter. Last year she fled again -- with her partner and their children -- because she felt targeted by the violent campaign against gays and lesbians. An outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, she's had unique access to members of the protest group Pussy Riot, including the two who were imprisoned and just released in advance of the Sochi Winter Olympics. Her latest book is Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot. We talk with her about what's happening now and what might happen after the Games

Guests:
Masha Gessen, Russian-American journalist (@mashagessen)

Making News Congress Unveils $1 Trillion Spending Bill 7 MIN, 50 SEC

Last night, members of Congress produced a $1 trillion spending plan to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year and avoid another shutdown. There's plenty for Republicans and Democrats to dislike, but President Obama is hoping for final passage. Susan Davis, chief congressional correspondent for USA Today, walks us through the bipartisan measure, which is the size of a phone book.

Guests:
Susan Davis, USA Today (@DaviSusan)

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