FROM Allison Riggs
Ballot box battles as the race comes down to the wire In many states, Republican claims of widespread "voter fraud" have led to photo ID laws and other restrictions that Democrats call "voter suppression." Donald Trump, who's gained political traction with the claim that next week's election is "rigged" against him, takes it a step further by calling on his supporters to try to prevent it. "Go down to certain areas and watch and study and make sure other people don't come in and vote five times. Democrats call that code for "intimidation" — especially in black and Latino neighborhoods important to the Clinton campaign. They've already filed suit against "Ballot Security Task Forces" organized by Trump supporters in several states. We hear what could be in store at polling places during early voting — and on Election Day.
Where Should Democracy Draw the Line? The Constitution requires that the boundaries of congressional districts be re-drawn every 10 years, according to the latest census. In 2010, Republicans won control of legislatures all over the country—and those GOP lawmakers then collectively increased their Party’s power in Congress. When President Obama re-visited the Illinois Capitol in Springfield this week, he said it’s time for a change. The President’s talking about what’s called Gerrymandering, a practice as old as the nation itself.
Another Split Decision, Another Political Firestorm The President says he is "deeply disappointed" with today's decision by a divided US Supreme Court, this time over the voting rights of blacks and other minority citizens. Writing for a 5-to-4 majority of the court, Chief Justice John Roberts declared that Section 4 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act -- a major achievement of the civil rights movement -- is out of date and therefore, unconstitutional. Roberts said federal guidelines for oversight of minority voting don't reflect present reality. Nine mostly Southern states and parts of others will no longer have to ask Washington to approve changes in their voting laws. Is voting discrimination against blacks and other minorities a thing of the past? We hear the dispute that's already raging.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
A New York Times op-ed on climate change sparks uproar The New York Times is embroiled in a public furor over a new columnist, who wrote that scientific uncertainty is reason for debate about climate change. Many conservatives are delighted. Is America's leading liberal newspaper fostering climate denial? This is the latest in our series, "The Emotional States of America."
Future of the Palestinians as Trump welcomes Abbas President Trump says there's "no reason there can't be peace" between Israel and the Palestinians… but the first step will have to be unity between the West Bank and Gaza. Are the Palestinian Authority and Hamas any closer to speaking with one voice?
Should we 'hack the climate' to fight global warming? The Paris Agreements won't be enough to reverse global warming, whether President Trump pulls the US out or not. Is it time to try altering the atmosphere by what's called "geoengineering?" We hear about unintended consequences, international relations… and ethics.