FROM Graham Bowley
The Power Brokers of Art Basel The rich and their representatives are descending on Basel, Switzerland this week for Art Basel, the world’s most prestigious art fair. It opens to the public tomorrow. For three days, billions of dollars will be spent on the work of famous and about-to-be famous artists. Three New York art auctions set records last month, setting the stage for record sales in Basel. Millions have already changed hands in today’s private pre-fair sales. And only six powerful people determine who gets to show at the fair. Who are they and why do they have so much power?
US Generals Meet on Afghan Attacks The chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, is in Kabul for private talks about NATO's mission in Afghanistan. In the past two weeks, ten American service members have been killed by Afghans they were supposed to be training. That raises disturbing questions about the American strategy for withdrawal. Graham Bowley is in Afghanistan for the New York Times .
Afghan Hostility to US Presence Endangers Mission Green berets reportedly are talking to Afghan villagers after the alleged killings of at least 16 people, including nine children, by an American soldier. The Taliban has threatened reprisals, and tensions are very high, with President Karzai calling the incident "unforgiveable." In the US, a recent poll shows 60 percent find the war no longer worth fighting, but political leaders are divided. We hear from Kabul and Washington. Can trust be restored? Is the withdrawal strategy likely to change?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
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.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.