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.
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.
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.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.