FROM Laura Blewitt
Tropical Storm Harvey is in a class of its own The rain in Texas continues to set national records. Floodwaters are still rising and rescue efforts may last -- not just for days, but for weeks, into the future. Some 13 million people live in zones either flooded already or under flood watch — with one trillion gallons of water inundating Harris County in just four days. President Trump flew in for a briefing in Corpus Christie as federal agencies join state and local responders along with civilians. We hear how one family waded in chest deep water, pulling an aging relative on a rubber mattress.
Venezuela in a major crisis: Are sanctions going to help? After months of deadly protest over living conditions and human rights abuses, President Nicolas Maduro is accused of running a phony election. Official results from Sunday's voting replaced the previous general assembly with a new one subject to his total control. President Trump has increased individual sanctions against Maduro and other powerful figures — and there's talk of interfering with the vital oil economy. Would that fend off a potential dictatorship — or give Maduro the scapegoat he needs -- possibly leading to civil war?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
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.
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?