FROM Ernesto Londoño
The Armed Forces and Gender Identity "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was repealed four years ago. This Tuesday, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter extended the full range of discrimination protections to gays and lesbians . It's been a long time coming. But some 15,000 transgender troops are not included, often despite years of distinguished service — including combat. Many are recognized for who they are by their comrades and their commanders, but officially they are not "fit to serve." We hear about a historic moment—and who's being left behind.
'Call Me Caitlyn' Even before it hits the newsstands, the upcoming cover of Vanity Fair is making a splash with photographer Annie Leibovitz's provocative image of the Olympic champion formerly known as Bruce Jenner in lingerie. On a video, posted to the magazine's website, Caitlyn Jenner spoke about her new-found freedom after coming out. We hear more about the issues facing transgender people. Ernesto Londoño is a member of the New York Times' editorial board and a contributor to the paper's series, " Transgender Today ." Zackary Drucker is a transgender woman, an artist and co-producer of the Amazon series, Transparent . Special thanks to Sarah Sweeney for production assistance.
Is the US Arming Syrian Rebels? As the negotiations get under way in Geneva, the Washington Post reports that CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay after promises from the Obama Administration. But in Syria, a skeptical General Salim Idriss, commander of the Supreme Military Council, told NPR's Morning Edition that although they were in contact with the US, "Til now honestly and frankly, there is no military support." Ernesto Londoño reports on the Pentagon.
Egypt Launches Military Strike on Sinai to Root out Militants Egypt has launched airstrikes into the Sinai—against Islamist militants who’ve been attempting to attack Israel. It’s the first such action since the 1970’s, and appears to have Israel’s blessing.
Taliban Strikes a Deal with Qatar to Open Peace Office The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until the US-led NATO campaign of 2001, but it's been fighting back ever since. It says it won't negotiate with the Karzai Administration until foreign troops have withdrawn. But today it announced the opening of an office in Qatar, specifically to begin talks with the United States. Ernesto Londoño is based in Kabul for the Washington Post .
Afghan Expatriates Take Stock after Ten Years of War Ten years ago today, just a month after September 11, US military planes began bombing Taliban training camps in Afghanistan. Now, after $338 billion has been spent and 1780 American lives have been lost, one former US commander says the US and its NATO allies are "a little better than halfway" to achieving their goals. When Afghanistan's Taliban government fell to America's military power, many expatriates here in America flooded home, for various different reasons. For the Washington Post , Ernest Londoño has been reporting on how they feel now.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
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.
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.