FROM Andrew Wood
Fast Moving Events in Ukraine In the Ukrainian province of Crimea, Russian supporters seized a government building today. Russia will grant protection to ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and Russian troops are conducting exercises on the Ukrainian border. After a meeting of NATO ministers in Brussels today, US Defense Secretary Hagel issued a warning . "I expect Russia to be transparent about these activities, and I urge them not to take any steps that could be misinterpreted, or lead to miscalculation during a … time with great tension." Andrew Wood is Associate Fellow with the Russia and Eurasia Program at Chatham House in London. He was British Ambassador to Moscow from 1995 until 2000.
Ukraine: More Dangerously Divided than Ever Riot police used clubs, shields and tear gas to attack lines of hand-holding demonstrators early this morning in Kiev, Ukraine's capital city. Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed " disgust " at the use of force against a peaceful protest. It started almost three weeks ago when President Viktor Yanukovych spurned a deal with the European Union, apparently under pressure from Russia. Now it's about civil rights and demands for him to step down. We update today's action, the role of billionaire oligarchs and the international fallout.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.