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FROM THIS EPISODE

The many Republican and Democratic candidates for president are finally about to be subject to the views of prospective voters, not just public opinion polls. The Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary could be crucial in shaping this year's campaign for the White House. 

Later on the program, armed protesters challenge federal law enforcement in Southeast Oregon. 

Photo: Buttons for visitors at the Greater Des Moines Partnership Iowa Caucus Consortium candidate forum, October 8, 2015. (Scott Morgan/Reuters)

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Evan George
Christine Detz

Saudi Executions Mark a Dangerous Start to the New Year 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Three more Sunni Muslim countries have joined Saudi Arabia in curtailing diplomatic ties with Iran. It's the latest fallout from Saturday's execution of 47 people — including a Shiite cleric — by the Saudis. Barbara Slavin is with the Atlantic Council and Al-Monitor. She's also author of Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies, about the US and Iran.

Guests:
Barbara Slavin, Atlantic Council / Al-Monitor (@barbaraslavin1)

The 2016 Presidential Campaign Is Finally about to Get Real 33 MIN, 41 SEC

After months of political hype based on meaningless national polls, the actual state-by-state process of choosing candidates is about to get underway. In less than a month, it's Iowa, and a week later, New Hampshire. By that time, the political battlefield could be littered with bodies. In the meantime, every Republican and Democratic candidate — from Trump to O'Malley — is already fighting to stay alive. We talk to veteran observers about last-minute changes in strategy, substance — and personnel -- that could turn out to be crucial.

Guests:
Reid Wilson, The Hill (@PoliticsReid)
David Yepsen, Southern Illinois University (@DavidYepsen)
Walter Shapiro, Roll Call / Yale University (@MrWalterShapiro)
Bill Whalen, Hoover Institution (@hooverwhalen)

Anti-Government Militia Continues Oregon Occupation 9 MIN, 41 SEC

For three days, armed protesters have been occupying a building on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Oregon. They've set up a roadblock and stationed armed guards in a tower used to spot wildfires on the federal preserve. The local sheriff says he doesn't plan to take action. The FBI is "monitoring" the situation. We hear about what's turning into a crisis for law enforcement from John Sepulvado, who is covering the story for Oregon Public Broadcasting, and Heidi Beirick, intelligence project director at the Southern Poverty Law Center.


Ammon Bundy, 2014
Photo by Gage Skidmore

Guests:
John Sepulvado, Oregon Public Broadcasting (@JohnLGC)
Heidi Beirich, Southern Poverty Law Center (@Hatewatch)

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