FROM Michaela Dodge
The US is preparing for nuclear war As a candidate, President Trump asked, "If we don't use nuclear weapons, why do we have them?" "Modernization" began with Barack Obama. Now, it's more intense than at any time since the Cold War, which ended when Ronald Reagan and Michael Gorbachev agreed to downsize their arsenals. India, Pakistan — even North Korea — have programs for nuclear weapons, the US is buying new ones — and B-52s may go back on 24-hour alert. We hear about the benefits of the new strategy and the risks. Is it required by new realities, or a return to "nuclear madness?"
Thinking about the "Unthinkable": the Prospect of Nuclear War It's been 70 years since the US became the first nation to drop an atomic bomb. So far, it's the only one. But how long will that last? Today there are some 16,000 nuclear weapons in nine countries, and they're many times more powerful than those used against Japan. Despite arms reduction agreements, the US and Russia still have massive arsenals, and now both countries are “modernizing” their stockpiles — ostensibly for defensive purposes. But each side suspects the other of thinking offense -- as memories the more than 100,000 people who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki fade into the past.
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?
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.