FROM Bonnie Lowenthal
The 'Big Five' Make a Deal: A Painful Budget in Sacramento The Governor and four legislative leaders have reached agreement on how to make up California's $26 billion shortfall. The deal calls for $15 billion in cuts, taking almost $4 billion from local governments and speeding up tax collections. Now legislators of both parties have to decide whether to support or oppose it. Democrats have the majority in both houses, but not enough to provide the necessary two-thirds for passage, so Republican votes will be required.
Freshman Legislators Meet Gridlock in Sacramento In Sacramento yesterday, California's top four finance officials — appointed and elected — addressed a special session of the Assembly and Senate. They were unanimous: act now or the state will run out of money. Legislators listened, but did they get the message? We hear from Sacramento Bee syndicated columnist Dan Walters and ask freshman legislators from both parties what they'll do to end the gridlock.
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?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.