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FROM THIS EPISODE

With new violence compounding more than decade of instability, the Obama Administration is struggling to keep up with the volatile Middle East. When past US involvement helped to create the current chaos, are there any new politics available to contain it?

Also, backlash over the religious freedom bill in Indiana, and Barney Frank and "the anguish of life in the closet."

Photo: Hashid Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) forces allied with Iraqi forces chant slogans against the Islamic State in Tikrit March 30, 2015. (Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters)

Producers:
Benjamin Gottlieb
Jenny Hamel
Sasa Woodruff

Backlash over the Religious Freedom Act in Indiana 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Republican leaders in Indiana said today they'll work to cope with issues raised by their new Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It was passed Thursday and immediately signed into law by Governor Mike Pence. Pence himself failed to clarify the thrust of the measure under questioning yesterday by George Stephanopoulos on ABC's This Week. Stephanie Wang is a staff writer at the Indianapolis Star.

Guests:
Stephanie Wang, Indianapolis Star (@stephaniewang)

Multiple Crises in the Middle East as US Influence Declines 31 MIN, 50 SEC

With increased violence in Iraq and Yemen, and continuing chaos in Libya and Syria, the Obama Administration is accused of lacking a "coherent policy." In one fight, it shares an enemy with Iran; in another fight, it's the other way around — with a deadline for nuclear talks looming tomorrow. Now the Arab League, led by American allies, is taking what could be a historic step: forming its own military command.  Does the US have any choice -- other than trying to keep up with unpredictable changes in the world's most volatile region?

Guests:
Michael Crowley, Politico (@MichaelCrowley)
Juan Cole, University of Michigan (@jricole)
Faisal Al Yafai, The National (@FaisalAlYafai)
Barbara Slavin, Atlantic Council / Al-Monitor (@barbaraslavin1)

More:
Crowley on Obama's Middle East 'free fall'
Cole on Washington's two air wars
Cole's 'The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East'
Al Yafai on an absent America, the worst of all possible worlds
Slavin on the Yemen meltdown

Barney Frank on Coming Out in Congress 11 MIN, 30 SEC

Barney Frank has retired from Congress, but he's still a powerful voice for the rights of LGBT people. We talk with him about why he was in the closet — and how he came out. (Part II of this two-part conversation airs tomorrow.)

Photo: Gari Askew

Guests:
Barney Frank, former Congressman (D-MA) (@BarneyFrank)

Frank

Barney Frank

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