FROM Matt Zapotosky
Reviving the war on drugs Barack Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder, ordered federal prosecutors not to bring charges against minor drug offenders that could lead to lifelong penalties. Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said those days are over. "Going forward I have empowered our prosecutors to charge and pursue the most serious offense as I believe the law requires, most seriously readily available offense." Matt Zapotosky of the Washington Post says the new policy will likely lead to more federal prosecutions as well as an increase in the federal prison population.
Private prisons: justice and profits Incarcerating criminal convicts is part of the justice system, which is run by government. So, why do we have private prisons? It goes back to the Reagan Administration, the War on Drugs and the crackdown on crime, which led federal prisons to be overcrowded. But the government refused to build new ones. Privatization was said to be cheaper and more efficient — and a new, very profitable, industry was born. Now, the Obama Administration says private prisons are unsafe, unhealthy and too expensive. As it ends the practice , will states and the Immigration Service go along?
FBI Won’t Recommend Criminal Charges in Clinton Email Investigation FBI Director James Comey announced today that the agency does not recommend bringing criminal charges against Hillary Clinton in the case involving her handling of classified information as secretary of state. Comey did, however, denounce Clinton and her colleagues for the way they handled the private email server. Matt Zapotosky is covering the story for the Washington Post.
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?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
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.
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.