FROM Harold Trinkunas
Amid Nationwide Protest, Can Venezuelan Chavismo Survive? Venezuela, with the world's largest oil reserves, is in chaos after weeks of increasingly bloody violence on city streets and in middle-class neighborhoods. Protests that began three weeks ago in the city of San Cristobal have spread to Caracas and other parts of the country. Opponents blame the Socialist government for destroying the economy, creating a new elite and distracting attention by cracking down on legitimate protest. At least 14 people have been killed with 150 or more injured. President Nicolás Maduro, heir to the late Hugo Chávez, says "fascists" supported by the US are intent on staging a coup. Now, Maduro is calling for a "peace conference" tomorrow — hoping to be joined by Henrique Capriles, the state Governor he defeated in last year's elections. How did the current violence begin? Does the US really want "regime change?" Will energy supplies be affected worldwide?
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?
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.