FROM Anne Gearan
A sonic attack in Cuba? Two Cuban diplomats have been expelled from the US — in response to unexplained physical symptoms suffered by Americans who live in Havana. They reside in compounds owned by the Cuban government. The State Department won't confirm the AP's report that they were subject to a "covert sonic weapon." Ann Gearan is reporting the story for the Washington Post .
A nasty campaign for the White House is almost over The last few days may seem like forever, with candidates, surrogates and new TV and Internet commercials almost impossible to avoid. Donald Trump is telling himself to "stay on point," which means claiming, untruthfully, that Hillary Clinton is under a "criminal investigation." He’s trying to lower the turnout in urban centers, while Clinton is trying to increase it -- claiming that Trump is biased against blacks and Latinos. Do early voting and last minute polls mean the dynamic is really changing with so little time left to go?
The Democrats in Philadelphia: Looking for Brotherly Love Bernie Sanders will address the convention tonight, along with Michelle Obama and Elizabeth Warren. But even before tonight's opening session, the Democratic Convention has seen its first casualty. National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz took the fall for some 20,000 leaked emails showing some staff members favored Hillary Clinton and wanted to sabotage Bernie Sanders.
No Charges for Clinton, But Can the Political Damage Be Undone? The email scandal may be over, but Hillary Clinton’s email problems could dog her right up to election day in November. Polls have found that the majority of the public doesn’t trust her, though polls also show that a majority of voters believe she’s more prepared to become president than her opponent Donald Trump. But why does the trust issue keep coming up with Hillary Clinton?
The Orlando Nightclub Massacre: America's Deadliest Mass Shooting Forty-nine people are dead, along with the shooter, and an additional five are in grave condition, as the White House, the FBI and all Americans try to understand Sunday's events in Orlando.
Will Party Concessions Put Out "The Bern?" Hillary Clinton calls Donald Trump "a divider, not a uniter." But it's Bernie Sanders who's dividing her own Party. Hoping to make peace, the Democrats have given him a big voice in the party platform…only to have him promise to make the process "messy." His appointees include a supporter of Palestinian rights and one of President Obama's harshest African-American critics. So, as the campaign heats up in California, the battle continues — despite Clinton supporters who warn that it's making life easier for Donald Trump.
Clinton and Sanders Look Ahead to Key Michigan Primary Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders had their sharpest exchange yet last night in Flint, Michigan — one day before that state holds its presidential primaries. Anne Gearan is covering the Democratic contest for the Washington Post .
Hillary Clinton Hands Over Email Server to FBI Did Hillary Clinton's private e-mail system really put government secrets at risk when she was Secretary of State? That's plagued her campaign, and she has now agreed to provide the FBI with the private server that housed her account. She'll also turn over the thumb drive that contains thousands of e-mails. Anne Gearan, national political correspondent for the Washington Post , has ore on the story.
Kerry Rallies Arab Support to Fight ISIS In his speech last night, the president promised renewed diplomatic efforts by Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry was in Saudi Arabia today, an Arab state that’s seen as crucial to Obama’s efforts to marshal international Middle East support against ISIS. Anne Gearan is diplomatic correspondent at the Washington Post. She’s traveling with Secretary Kerry.
Malaysian Airlines FL MH17 The United States believes pro-Russian separatists shot down the Malaysian Airlines flight with an anti-aircraft missile. But it’s not clear yet exactly who launched the missile, or why. Russia, the separatists, and the Ukrainian government have all denied responsibility. Meanwhile, the crash site remains a gruesome scene. All two hundred and ninety-eight people on board the plane died, including 80 children.
NSA Spying on Allies Becoming a Diplomatic Problem French and German delegations in Washington are urging changes in American intelligence operations overseas. Now the newspaper El Mundo reports that 60 million phone calls were tracked in Spain in just a single month. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney acknowledged, "We are mindful that some of these disclosures have created tension in our relationships. We deal with those issues through diplomatic channels and we are in direct communications with a number of countries on these matters." Anne Gearan is diplomacy correspondent for the Washington Post .
US, UN and Middle East Weigh Syria Strikes The Obama Administration claims that there is undeniable evidence that Syria used chemical weapons against its own people. The next step to military action is an international coalition. British Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking to the BBC, said of Syria's use of chemical weapons , "their use is wrong and the world shouldn't stand idly by." Anne Gearan is diplomacy correspondent at the Washington Post .
John Kerry Says Assad Will Be Held Accountable Secretary of State John Kerry said this afternoon that the US has no doubt that Syria has used chemical weapons against its own people. Kerry said that nations of civilized world — even those who agree on little else — agree that such weapons should never be used. He added that President Obama would make an "informed informed decision about how to respond to this indiscriminate use of chemical weapons." Anne Gearan is diplomacy correspondent for the Washington Post .
Kerry Announces New Round of Formal Mid East Peace Talks President Obama and Vice President Biden met today with negotiators for Israel and the Palestinians. Secretary of State John Kerry said they’ve agreed to tackle all the so-called “final status” issues.
US to Arm Syrian Rebels Last night, the Obama White House announced that the US would provide direct military aid to some of the Syrian rebels, because the al-Assad government crossed that "Red Line" by using chemical weapons. There won't be boots on the ground. So far, it's small arms and ammunition. Is a wider war possible? Is it too late for diplomacy? We hear about the available options and possible outcomes, including spillover into the rest of the Middle East.
Will Increasing Tensions with North Korea Get Out of Control? As North Korea has escalated its threats to attack the US and its neighbors, the US has responded with its own plan of action: military exercises with South Korea; B-2 bombers from Missouri dropping dummy bombs in the Yellow Sea. Now US warships with guided missiles are part of the picture—and today’s Wall Street Journal says the Obama White House is concerned about “unintended consequences.”
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.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.