FROM Daniel Gallington
How Much Surveillance Will Americans Tolerate? Section 215 of the Patriot Act expires at the end of next month. It authorizes the bulk collection of American telephone records by the National Security Agency — part of what was revealed by Edward Snowden two years ago. President Obama says it's not really needed to keep America safe and that he's willing to let it expire . But Congress is divided. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants it renewed , a House Committee wants it amended to require the NSA to take court action before collecting some information. With time for action running short, do most Americans understand what's at stake for their privacy? Do they really care?
Crunch Time for Reforming the NSA Since Edward Snowden revealed that the National Security Agency tracks every American phone call, President Obama has been under pressure. In a speech Friday, he'll try to balance demands for privacy against the rule that, when it comes to acts of terror, intelligence agencies can't be wrong — even once. But, while the NSA claims its massive collection of "metadata" has made America safer, both a White House panel and independent research are suggesting otherwise. We look at the President's options, including increased oversight by the courts and Congress and limits on the who, when and why of NSA spying.
Is America turning its back on the world? President Trump has made no secret of his contempt for the United Nations — and he's not alone. But, will proposed cuts in US contributions be counterproductive to America's role in the world and to national security?
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.
East Asia: President Trump's first foreign policy test Starting with North Korea's latest test of nuclear missiles, a chain of events is causing instability in Asia. Could it turn into the first real foreign policy crisis of the Trump Administration?
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."