FROM Ian Lesser
Turkey, the West and the Muslim Middle East The 700-year-old Ottoman Empire became the Republic of Turkey in 1923. Though a Muslim country, at the insistence of the founder, Mustafah Kemel Ataturk--government institutions are strictly secular, a tradition backed by the military. Now that might be changing. This week parliament elected Abdullah Gül as President. Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan are both from the Justice and Development Party -- or AKP. Islamic in orientation, it will be more responsive to public opinion, which is increasingly religious and anti-American. We look at the possible impact on US interests in the Muslim world. Will Turkey still be a "bridge" to the West? Does it share America's goals in Iraq? What about Turkey's increasingly close ties with Iran?
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 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.
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.