FROM Bassam Haddad
Is It Time to Intervene in Syria? Syria's Bashar al-Assad has called for elections, even as his army continues to bombard residential neighborhoods the Assad government calls "havens for terrorists" inspired by foreign enemies. Army defectors and others are fighting back as best they can. Some 25,000 civilians have managed to flee to destinations including Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. We hear the stories of refugees, get reports on anti-government forces and update international calls for humanitarian intervention.
Syria's Civil War Syria's civilian death toll is now estimated at 6000 people, as tanks and machine guns continue to bombard residential neighborhoods the Assad government calls "havens for terrorists" inspired by foreign enemies. Army defectors and others are fighting back as best they can. Some 25,000 civilians have managed to flee to destinations including Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. Refugees say they're bribing soldiers to help them get out of cities where food, water and medical care are in short supply. Meantime, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has announced a referendum in ten days to amend the constitution, limit his term in office and set up elections. France wants the UN to protect "corridors" for humanitarian relief, but Russia says that might "legitimize regime change."
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?
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.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
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?