FROM Jeremy Shapiro
The US and Europe Put Pressure on Russia Today, Barack Obama made his first visit as President to Brussels, headquarters of both the European Union and the NATO alliance. In a speech to 2000 young people, he delivered his harshest words yet for Russia’s Vladimir Putin, calling him a "menace" to the international system built by the United States and Europe since World War II. He said, if Putin thought he could drive a wedge between the US and Europe, he "clearly miscalculated," and warned that Russia’s "isolation will deepen." We hear about his first visit as President to the headquarters of the European Alliance and NATO. Is he right that Russia is only a "regional power?" Who's showing the most strength — or weakness, the President or Vladimir Putin?
A War of Words about Peace in Syria In Montreaux Switzerland today, Syrian peace talks got under way, preliminary to the so-called Geneva II process scheduled for Friday. Nobody thinks the conference will lead to peace. Even optimists call it a "possible first step" to ending three years of appalling civil war. President al Assad has gained strength by giving up chemical weapons and fighting extremists, despite charges that he's a war criminal. Will the US have no choice but to deal with him, rather than ending his rule-if only to gain a temporary ceasefire for humanitarian reasons? We look at today's angry start of a process that might — or might not — lead to changing unacceptable conditions on the ground.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.