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The Ukrainian government claims two of its helicopters were shot down today and separatist forces agree, but nobody knows exactly what happened. President Obama and German Chancellor Merkel have issued a new warning to President Putin: don't allow disruption of Ukraine's election on May 25. We hear what they might do next to isolate Russia and get a report from Eastern Ukraine. Also, gun violence is on the rise again, but Congress has blocked federal research into the cause and effect. Could that help prevent what's being labeled an "epidemic" or is it gun control advocacy in disguise?

Banner image: Michael Glasgow

Violence, Propaganda, Diplomacy and Eastern Ukraine 23 MIN, 59 SEC

Amid reports that two Ukrainian helicopters were shot down today, President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met at the White House. They warned Russia not to allow disruption of Ukraine's election, planned for May 25, and threatened further sanctions. The President heaped scorn on what he called Russian propaganda about the source of the violence. "The notion that this is some spontaneous uprising in Eastern Ukraine is belied by the fact the evidence, of a well-organized trained militia that have the surface to arm missiles or whatever it takes to shoot down helicopters, tragically." 

Michael Crowley, Politico (@MichaelCrowley)
Christopher J. Miller, Radio Free Europe (@ChristopherJM)
Matthew Rojansky, Wilson Center (@MatthewRojansky)

Kennan Institute on crisis in Ukraine
Kyiv Post's live updates on fighting in Ukraine
NATO's Breedlove discusses the crisis in Ukraine on NPR
Time on increased fighting in Ukraine after rebels shoot down helicopters
Time on likelihood that sanctions will increase after Ukrainian election

Can Gun Violence Research Keep Us Safe? 27 MIN, 21 SEC

In the 1980's, gun violence was declared a public health issue, but Congress blocked research into prevention by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health. In 2012, after the Sandy Hook massacre, President Obama proposed to resume that effort, and some Republicans agreed. What's happened since? Since the first of this year 5,823 people have been injured by guns and 3,479 have been killed. That's according to the Gun Violence Archive. Is there an "epidemic?" Could efforts to stop it stop short of gun control?

Lois Beckett, ProPublica (@loisbeckett)
Mark Rosenberg, Task Force for Global Health (@TFGHer)
Philip Watson, Second Amendment Foundation (@2AFDN)
Cliff Schecter, Daily Beast (@cliffschecter)

Beckett on Republicans saying no to CDC gun violence research
Rosenberg on the need to look into the causes of gun violence

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