FROM Edmund Ghareeb
Christmas Returns to a Hopeful Baghdad In 1987 an Iraqi census counted one million Christians. Now there might be half a million or so in a country of 25 million. What's it like for them at Christmas time? Last year, an inflatable Santa Claus—or Father Christmas—stayed in a box during the Christmas season. This year, he's back on the street in front of a juice shop in central Baghdad, "one arm outstretched in a welcoming wave." That's according to Deborah Haynes, who writes for the Times of London . We also get perspective from historian Edmund Ghareeb, co-author of The Historical Dictionary of Iraq .
Saddam's Execution Raises Questions Saddam Hussein's execution was supposed to be a formal and solemn affair, but guards charged with keeping order chanted Shiite slogans and exchanged insults with the former head of state. Today, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered an investigation into the taunting of Hussein before his execution as well as into how videotape was released to the world. We hear more about the reaction to those sounds and images.
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?
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?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.