FROM Kaveh Afrasiabi
Hopeful Signs Ahead of Talks with Iran The five members of the UN Security Council members and Germany will be in Baghdad tomorrow for talks with Iran. Just yesterday, the new director general (seen at right) of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency told reporters of a possible breakthrough after his first visit to Iran. After sanctions, a threatened oil boycott and possible outright war, Tehran may be ready to make concessions about its nuclear program. We update what diplomats call the "atmospherics" as long-delayed negotiations are about to begin in Baghdad.
Is Iran Ready to Make a Deal? As UN Security Council members plus Germany head for Baghdad to talk with Iran about its nuclear program, is a breakthrough at hand? Just yesterday, Yukiya Amano, Director-General of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency , told reporters that Iran is about to allow inspection of a military site where nuclear triggers might have been tested. The US is doubtful and Israel's talking as tough as ever, but its hawkish defense minister has put a potential concession in writing. Is Iran caving in because of economic sanctions and a threatened embargo of its oil? Is this another example of creating false expectations?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
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?
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.
Trump's Russia ties intensify with Comey firing Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe contradicted the Trump White House today, insisting the Bureau had not lost faith in former Director James Comey. He promised to notify the committee of any interference into investigation of the Trump campaign's contacts with Vladimir Putin's Russia. What do we know about those contacts… and how they relate to Trump's business interests and those of his family?