FROM Jessica Lewis
ISIS Gains Momentum as the US Re-Engages In Iraq Today, Iraq’s parliament convened and then quickly collapsed. Lawmakers met ostensibly to begin selecting a new government to replace Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, their speaker and President, but could not agree even on the most basic order of business. Meanwhile over the weekend the Sunni insurgent group ISIS declared a wide swath of their territory spanning Iraq and Syria a new Islamic caliphate. Meanwhile Iraqi security forces are mounting a counterattack on ISIS in an effort to win back control of the northern city of Tikrit. And yesterday the Pentagon announced it was sending hundreds more troops to assist those 300 advisers the President deployed last week, while Russia has stepped in with a fleet of military jets. Can the Iraqi army fend ISIS off? Is the insurgency capable of not just taking territory but governing?
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.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
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.
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?