FROM Heather Murdock
Insurgent Leader in Nigeria Says He Will Sell Girls as Slaves In the Nigerian village of Warabe, eight girls, aged 12 to 15, were kidnapped today by the Boko Haram. The Islamist militant group is said to have ties with al Qaeda. On a video released yesterday, its leader, Abubakar Shekau, claims responsibility for kidnapping at least 223 school girls several weeks ago, plus the girls that were seized today. We get an update from Heather Murdock, Africa correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and Voice of America , who's based in Ajuba, and from Bronwyn Bruton, Deputy Director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council .
Should Western Values Be a Condition of Foreign Aid? Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has broad support in Uganda for a new law imposing sentences up to life in prison for homosexual acts. Nigeria and many other sub-Saharan nations also have anti-gay laws. Such harsh anti-gay laws in African countries have the US and other donors threatening to reduce foreign aid. Norway, Denmark and the World Bank have withheld or diverted some $110 million in aid. President Obama says the US is "reviewing ties." Is it right to withhold food and medicine based on acceptance of western values? Will attaching strings to foreign aid make targeted leaders stronger than ever? Will African soldiers continue to protect western interests? Finally, does aid do more harm than good by making nations dependent? Would the money be better spent to help them help themselves?
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.
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?
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?