FROM Keith Richburg
China and Cyberwarfare: Public and Private China's daily assault on US computers has resulted in "the greatest transfer of wealth in history." Not to mention military secrets and systems controlling gas pipelines. That's according to General Keith Alexander, who heads the US Cyber Command and the National Security Agency. China's widespread computer hacking includes corporate espionage, but the government denies the charge. In response, it brings up reports that the US disabled Iran's nuclear program with the infamous Stuxnet virus. Still, it has agreed to ease tensions with a regular schedule of bilateral meetings. The subject is also on the agenda for Friday's summit in Rancho Mirage, California, between President Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.
A Blind Man, International Diplomacy and China's Political Struggles As we begin this program, there are more questions than answers about the blind Chinese dissident who escaped house arrest in Shandong Province and was smuggled into the US Embassy in Beijing. Chen Guangcheng says he's grateful to the US, but that China reneged on agreements that led him to leave the embassy after six days. Is he being treated well at a Chinese hospital? Will he, his wife, two children and relatives back home be subject to retaliation? Will Chen be allowed to come to the US, where he has reportedly been offered a fellowship? As she wrapped up two days of high-level trade and security talks, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was cautiously optimistic. But likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney called reports of the embassy's mishandling of the case, a "day of shame" for the Obama Administration. We hear from a reporter who's talked to Chen and get the latest on the Obama Administration's handling of the affair.
A Glimpse at North Korea: The Hermit Kingdom North Korea is the world's most militarized nation and one of the poorest; the government does whatever it can to prevent information from seeping across the borders. In the 1990's, famine killed between one and two million people, and the economy continues to struggle under US and UN sanctions due to the country's pursuit of nuclear weapons. So there's a bit of a change. A tiny crack has been opened to tourists in the hope that investors might see opportunity, but it's tourism of a very limited kind. We hear about the first visit, how defectors describe what life is really like and what the current prospects might be for reunification with South Korea.
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.
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.
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.
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.