FROM Michael Kodas
Wildfires Rage across the West In the suburbs of Colorado Springs, residents are discovering what happens when a forest fire comes to town. Some cars are nothing but charred metal and some homes are burned to the ground, while, in the same neighborhood, other houses have not been touched. President Obama calls the Waldo Fire a "major disaster," while blazes rage in four other states as well. The federal government will pay for most of the fire-fighting. Critics say that’s one reason local governments allow housing developments too close to forests that are increasingly likely to burn.
Forest Fires and Federal Money The worst fire in Colorado history is only halfway contained, and in the suburbs of Colorado Springs, residents and former residents are discovering what happens when a forest fire comes to town. Some cars are nothing but charred metal and some homes are burned to the ground, while, in the same neighborhood, other houses have not been touched. Fires are also raging in Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and South Dakota. Climate change is drying out the forests, creating fuel for fires expected to increase individual property loss, human misery and federal taxes. Studies show that local government agencies allow development near dense forests, knowing that the cost of fire-fighting will be covered by Washington. We update the current outbreaks and ask, is it politics that's preventing prudent planning?
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?
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
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.
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?