FROM Erica Grieder
Ted Cruz Throws His Hat in the 2016 Ring Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced in a speech this morning that he’s making a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. That makes him the first to enter the race for his party’s pick. Cruz is a favorite among Tea Party conservatives and evangelicals -- but he doesn’t have the broad appeal needed to make him a likely contender in the next presidential race. That said, four years ago he was an unlikely Senate candidate. So, what does his 2016 bid say about him and today’s political climate?
The Texas Wildfires and Political Issues They Raise A summer of drought has led to one of the most devastating wildfires in the history of Texas. Some 170 fires have erupted during the past week. The worst is in Bastrop County near Austin, where almost 800 homes have been destroyed, thousands have been evacuated and at least four people have died. The White House says seven federal grants have been approved to help with the outbreaks. Erica Grieder, Austin-based correspondent for The Economist , updates the situation and discusses the political consequences for Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry .
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?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.