FROM Brooks Barnes
Is a Culture Captivated by Guns Ready for Change The National Rifle Association today broke the silence it's maintained since last week's elementary-school massacre in Connecticut. The NRA's top spokesman said, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," demanding that Congress pay for armed guards in every schoolyard. Much of Wayne LaPierre's lengthy statement today played on the fear that mass killers are planning more attacks on American children. He was defensive about attacks on his organization and what he characterized as the media's predisposition to be against guns. Earlier this morning, President Obama released a videotape urging public support for renewing the assault-weapons ban and other new regulations. Can a culture captivated by guns ready for change?
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.
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?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
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?