FROM Jonathan Freedland
Riots in London and Next Year's Olympic Games In London this week, the worst civil unrest since race riots in the 1980's has raised questions about the Conservative government, ethnic tensions, popular culture and disaffected young people. Today, Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament the London police could have nipped it in the bud.
Riots in London and Next Year's Olympic Games Prime Minister David Cameron says the delayed response by London police helped lead to Britain's worst riots in decades. With 16,000 officers on the streets today, London was quiet, but other parts of the country saw looting and violence, and ethnic tensions are rising. There's debate about root causes. One target is Cameron's " austerity measures ," which are cutting both social services and budgets for the police. There's worry about the future, and Cameron is talking with US police, who have experience with criminal gangs. And, while London has already finished the venues for next year's Olympic Games , will it be safe enough for visitors from all over the world?
A Royal Wedding in an Age of Austerity With two billion people watching around the world, Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today. Among very few surprises were two kisses instead of one a white dress on the bride's sister and the Prime Minister's wife attending without a hat. Some British leftists are refusing to celebrate the marriage of the future King and Queen Consort. There's even a button with the image of a small crown and the slogan, "Stuff the wedding, fight the cuts." What's the attraction of an event with only symbolic importance? With record austerity measures just setting in, was it worth some $80 million? We hear from supporters and skeptics about the British monarchy and the echoes of empire in the modern world.
Tony Blair's Memoirs: Was He a Closet Conservative? He was Prime Minister longer than any other head of the Labour Party, but his colleagues forced him from office early and he was succeeded by Gordon Brown, who led the party to recent defeat. Tony Blair 's memoir has appeared just as Labour is about to elect a new leader. A Journey: My Political Life was released in the US and UK simultaneously. The Los Angeles Times calls it " unique ," the New York Times "chatty" and "inscrutable." How is it being received in England? John Freedland is a columnist for The Guardian .
Expense Scandal Rocks British Parliament Michael Martin has been a Member of Britain's House of Commons from Glasgow for 30 years and Speaker for nine. Public outrage at Parliament has reached such a pitch that the Martin has been forced to resign — the first time that's happened in 300 years. It's all about expense accounts and reimbursements for lavish excesses, reports of which were leaked to the press. Jonathan Freedland is a columnist at the Guardian newspaper.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
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.
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.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.