FROM Mitch Osborne
Getting Rid of America's Chemical Weapons VX is one of the most toxic substances ever made; as little as 200 micrograms are said to be fatal. The nerve agent is part of the arsenal of chemical weapons the US has agreed to destroy by 2012. More than 40% has been hydrolyzed, so diluted with water and other chemicals that the Army says it's effectively neutral. But that has created millions of gallons of waste to be disposed of. After officials in New Jersey and Ohio rejected plans to dump the waste in their rivers, it's being trucked out of Indiana 1000 miles through six other states to Port Arthur, Texas, where the toxic residue will be incinerated. What are the risks to public health? Why did other states turn down the money and jobs a government contract will bring? Was Port Arthur's largely black and Hispanic community notified in advance? How did September 11 accelerate the disposal process?
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
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.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
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.