FROM John Micklethwait
The America presidential nominee and the Russian strongman Donald Trump admires Vladimir Putin for what he calls "strong leadership" — especially compared to Barack Obama. The President says "strong leadership" means cronyism, corruption and censorship, while healthcare, education and the economy are in decline. But polls show many Republicans, once warned by Ronald Reagan about an "evil empire," now look more kindly on Russia under Putin’s iron-fisted control. W e talk with a reporter who interviewed Putin for two hours. What did he say about Donald Trump? What about trying to manipulate American voters? As Trump sings praises for Russia's leader, how strong is the appeal of Putin's authoritarian style to American voters?
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?
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.
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?