FROM Martin Savidge
The World Embraces President Obama Barack Obama’s inaugural address was not an event witnessed by Americans alone. On his first day in office, President Obama has been calling leaders in the Middle East. Opposition to the war in Iraq was a major factor in Barack Obama’s campaign and his election. And despite the friendship between George Bush and Britain’s Tony Blair, US relations with Western Europe took a dive during the past 8 years. Barack Obama is an African-American, but he’s not the descendent of slaves. His father was a highly educated civic leader in Kenya who came to the US for higher education. There was no reference to Latin America—not even to Mexico, where President Obama will be faced with increasingly rampant drug and gun smuggling, and where the economic crisis could drive more immigrants northward.
G7 Finance Ministers to Gather to Discuss Global Financial Crisis Treasury Secretary Paulson said yesterday that governments around the world need to coordinate their actions so "the action of one country does not come at the expense of others or the stability of the system as a whole." Finance ministers from the industrialized West as well as China, Brazil and Saudi Arabia are coming to Washington in the next few days. They'll talk about interest rates, tax cuts, spending increases and the possibility of coordinating their efforts to restore confidence in the worldwide economy. But different countries face different problems, and they compete, especially with the US, which has been economically dominant for so long. We talk about hopes, as opposed to realities, as well as the decline of mutual trust and how it might be restored.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
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?
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.