FROM Husam Zomlot
Barack Obama Back at the United Nations President Obama told the UN General Assembly today, this "has been a remarkable year." He also said he's been "frustrated." Despite some positive developments around the world and the Arab democracy movement, last year's hope for a Palestinian state has not been realized. The President indicated US opposition to the plan by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to bypass negotiations and ask the UN for statehood now. To a General Assembly thought to favor the Palestinians, the President said, "each side [must] learn to stand in each other's shoes. And, once again, he's caught between Palestinian aspirations and US support for Israel, with Republicans proclaiming that he's letting Israel down. Can he avoid a veto at the Security Council that would antagonize Arab public opinion? What's at state for next year's re-election campaign?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
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?