FROM Barbara Demick
Tensions rise between North Korea and the U.S. North Korea’s foreign minister called comments from President Trump a declaration of war. He also said North Korea has the right to shoot down American jets, even if they’re not in North Korean airspace. So what will the president do?
North Korea's game-changer nuclear test North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance with Ri Hong Sop (2nd L) and Hong Sung Mu (2nd R) on a nuclear weapons program in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang September 3, 2017. North Korea has stepped up its nuclear arsenal. Its latest nuclear test produced a yield of more than 100 kilotons of TNT. That's orders of magnitude greater than the Atom Bombs this country dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II. America's Ambassador to the UN says Kim Jung Un is "begging for war." South Korea is reportedly less worried about the North than it is about tough talk by the US that could produce dangerous miscalculations. Can the US count on China to intervene?
What's next for US relations with Turkey and North Korea? Early Tuesday morning, North Korea tested another intercontinental ballistic missile. It blew up shortly after take-off. But North Korea keeps working on a nuclear missile that could reach the U.S. Also, in Turkey, a close vote has given sweeping new powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Turkey is an important Western ally in the region, but its leader is becoming increasingly authoritarian.
Tibet at a Crossroads Today is the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday - in this lifetime. The spiritual leader of Tibet is in Anaheim as part of a three day visit to the Global Compassion Summit. Journalist Barbara Demick explored the topic of Tibet at a crossroads in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday. Tibetans are spiritually tied to the exiled leader - but are anxious about the future with an ascendant China.
Chinese Dissident Leaves Embassy The US says China guaranteed humane treatment for the blind dissident Chen Guangcheng, and he was released from diplomatic refuge to a hospital in Beijing. But activists are telling overseas human rights groups a different story. Barbara Demick is Beijing correspondent for the Los Angeles Times .
A Glimpse at North Korea: The Hermit Kingdom North Korea is the world's most militarized nation and one of the poorest; the government does whatever it can to prevent information from seeping across the borders. In the 1990's, famine killed between one and two million people, and the economy continues to struggle under US and UN sanctions due to the country's pursuit of nuclear weapons. So there's a bit of a change. A tiny crack has been opened to tourists in the hope that investors might see opportunity, but it's tourism of a very limited kind. We hear about the first visit, how defectors describe what life is really like and what the current prospects might be for reunification with South Korea.
Is China Really a Melting Pot? Last week, Prime Minister Hu Jintao rushed home from the G-8 summit to deal with massive unrest and deadly violence in what's called the Shin-jung Uighur Autonomous Region in China's far west. For the first time, the government announced that paramilitary police opened fire, killing two Uighurs and injuring a third.
Is China Really a Melting Pot? Last week, Prime Minister Hu Jintao rushed home from the G-8 summit to deal with massive unrest and deadly violence in what's called the Shin-jung Uighur Autonomous Region in China's far west. For the first time, the government announced that paramilitary police opened fire, killing two Uighurs and injuring a third. That violence has been followed up by a security crackdown, a scenario much like that in Tibet before the Olympics. Muslim Uighurs once were the majority in a province the size of Texas. Now they're being squeezed by a government-sponsored migration of Han Chinese. But Tibetans and Uighurs are by no means alone among 56 ethnic groups whose cultural and linguistic differences are exaggerated by economic inequality. As the government prepares to celebrate what it calls 60 years of “harmony,” we hear about potential threats to central authority.
Secretary of State Clinton Makes Her First Trip to China Hillary Clinton's first trip as Secretary of State took her to China , where the government is comfortable with Republicans. Instead of making demands about human rights and currency manipulation, she urged Beijing to continue buying American bonds. Worries about the world economy shared the agenda with global warming, energy and national security, including North Korea's nuclear weapons. Clinton told the Chinese, “We are truly going to rise and fall together.” We get several assessments of her visit and what lies ahead.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
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.