FROM Jon Swaine
Law Enforcement: Some Unanswered Questions How many Americans are killed by police every year? Who are they? Are the incidents justified? Nobody knows the answers to those questions. Some 18,000 law enforcement agencies are asked to report to the FBI, but it’s voluntary. They don’t have to if they don’t want to, and different agencies use different standards to measure performance. Two US senators are proposing new rules for accountability , but there’s dispute about whether that’s a good idea. After a flood of stories about police killings, the Washington Post and the Guardian US have compiled statistics of their own — with results that are very different from those of the FBI. Would an accurate national database help to improve law enforcement or generate unwarranted federal power over local police?
Divided Baltimore — Is It America? Yesterday, Baltimore saw protesters, cleanup crews and even dance troops — a far cry from Monday night's rioting. The National Guard is still on the streets. Last night there were some violations of the 10pm curfew and the police used tear gas to clear a major intersection. Baltimore is trying to recover from its worst civil disturbance since 1968, when the city erupted over Martin Luther King's assassination. The public schools are open again, the Symphony will hold a free concert — but the Orioles will play baseball in an empty stadium closed to the public . Nobody has yet explained the death 10 days ago of Freddie Gray, a young, black man in police custody. State and federal prosecutors are investigating. Yesterday, President Obama took time during his press conference with Japan's Prime Minister Abe, to denounced rioters as "thugs" and "criminals." He called violence in the divided city is another wake-up call for a nation plagued by police abuse and discrimination by race and class.
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?
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?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
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.