FROM Fiona Hill
Scotland Poised to Vote on Independence It’s been 307 years since Scotland and England became the United Kingdom, but generations of Scots have never lost their yearning for independence. In 1997, they established their own Parliament but, for many, that isn’t enough. In less than two weeks, all residents 16 and over will have a chance to create a separate county. Just one vote could make the difference. We’ll hear what that means for Britain’s identity crisis, and for independence movements in Spain, Italy and other countries in the European Union.
US Winter Olympics Delegation a Statement to Russia President Obama waited a long time before announcing America's delegation to the Winter Olympics in Russia. First Lady Michelle Obama led the US delegation to the Summer Olympics in London, but there's no member of the President's family in the delegation to Sochi. It does include tennis legend Billie Jean King, figure skater Brian Boitano and other openly gay athletes — an apparent slap at President Vladimir Putin's highly publicized anti-gay laws and widespread anti-gay propaganda. Fiona Hill is Director of the Center on the US and Europe at the Brookings Institution.
Has the 'Arab Spring' Come to the Russian Winter? Russian authorities did not clamp down on massive protests in all that country's nine time zones over the weekend, despite repeated shouts of Vladimir "Putin is a thief" and "Russia without Putin." Today, the billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov announced he'll challenge Putin in next year's presidential elections; the former finance minister Aleksei Kudrin said he'll form a new party to push for liberal reforms; and the Russian Orthodox Church called for election reform. We hear about Saturday's mass protest and political challenges from the left, the right and even the Orthodox Church. Is Putin really at risk of losing his power?
Has the 'Arab Spring' Come to the Russian Winter? Russian authorities did not clamp down on massive protests across Russia's nine time zones over the weekend as tens of thousands turned out to denounce Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and last week's allegedly rigged elections. Today, billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov challenged Putin for President; former finance minister Aleksei Kudrin said he'll form a new party to push for liberal reforms, and the Russian Orthodox Church called for change. Dissenters include the new middle class, Communists and a nationalist blogger with ties to skinheads. Can they get together? Will they be repressed? With Putin blaming Hillary Clinton for stirring up trouble, what will it mean for President Obama's "reset" in relations?
Trump fires FBI Director James Comey Vice President Mike Pence took the Administration's lead today in explaining why the President fired the Head of the FBI, saying, "The president made the right decision at the right time." Trump's action is being compared to the so-called "Saturday Night Massacre" that led to President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1973.
The free-flowing leaks in the Trump White House President Obama tried to clamp down on leakers, but the Trump Administration is besieged almost as never before. Are the "anonymous sources" partisans or worried professionals? Are they endangering the republic or performing a public service?
Healthcare debate now shifts to the Senate Both parties are celebrating yesterday's House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. House Republicans are cheering because they were able to pass it. Democrats are happy because they think it's so bad. We look at the details… and the politics.