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.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.