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FROM THIS EPISODE

Pope Francis helped renew diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba. Now he's visiting both countries, with a lot to say about their different ideologies, economies and treatment of those Jesus called "the least among us."

Also, why defection stories could battle ISIS propaganda. On today's Talking Point, the best-known drug for a rare disease has been sold for $13.50. Suddenly it costs $750. Can the health system sustain that and other gigantic increases?

Pope Francis climbs the steps to the altar upon arriving to give the first mass of his visit to Cuba in Havana's Revolution Square, September 20, 2015. Across from the square is a portrait of Che Guevara on the front of the Interior Ministry building. (Tony Gentile/Reuters)

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Evan George
Gideon Brower

Why Defection Stories Could Battle ISIS Propaganda 6 MIN, 30 SEC

By the deft use of social media, the Islamic State has projected an image of unity and determination that's helped to recruit new members. Now, there's a report that 58 ISIS defectors are speaking out about why they've left. It comes from the International Center for the Study of Radicalization in London. Aki Peritz is a terrorism analyst, formerly with the CIA now a fellow at the George Washington Center for Cyber and Homeland Security.

Guests:
Aki Peritz, Fellow at the George Washington Center for Cyber and Homeland Security (@akiperitz)

Find, Fix, Finish

Aki Peritz

Will Pope Francis Be an Agent of Change? 34 MIN, 53 SEC

Yesterday, Pope Francis met with Cuban President Raúl Castro and former President Fidel. He said Mass in Havana's Revolution Square. He also delivered what's being called a "gentle" critique of Communist ideology and Cuba's suppression of dissenters. Later this week, he'll be in Washington, where some Catholic Republicans are already angry about his very un-gentle critique of free enterprise Capitalism. He'll address a joint meeting of Congress — and also visit with homeless people, laborers, immigrant children and prisoners.

Cuba's Castro Brothers were educated and raised as Catholics, but their Communist revolution in 1959 made Cuba an atheist state. More recently, they have reached out to the Church, and Francis is the third Pope to visit the island since 1998.

Guests:
Inés San Martín, Crux (@inesanma)
Carlos Alzugaray, former Cuban diplomat and political analyst (@zuky43)
Marc Frank, Reuters / Financial Times (@msfcuba1)
Brian Porter-Szücs, University of Michigan (@UMich)
Jim Wallis, Sojourners (@JimWallis)

More:
San Martín on Pope Francis' message to Cubans
San Martín on Pope Francis' message to President Raúl Castro
Reuters on the Pope's visit to Cuba and the US
Porter-Szücs' 'Faith and Fatherland: Catholicism, Modernity, and Poland'
Wallis' 'The (Un)Common Good: How the Gospel Brings Hope to a World Divided'
Frank on the Pope's diplomatic test on Cuba trip
Wallis on how the Pope's visit to America will change the conversation
George Will on the Pope Francis' 'fact-free flamboyance'

Cuban Revelations

Marc Frank

When Drug Prices Skyrocket Overnight 8 MIN, 39 SEC

Specialists who treat rare diseases are protesting gigantic increases in the prices of old and familiar drugs. The cost of one medicine jumped 5000 percent -- overnight. The headline in today's New York Times is, "Drug Goes From $13.50 To $750 Overnight." The story explains that it's not because of a sudden shortage, but the business strategy of a former hedge-fund manager -- and he's not alone. Times' reporter Andrew Pollack covers the science and business of biotechnology.

Guests:
Andrew Pollack, New York Times

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