FROM Nathan Crooks
Amid Nationwide Protest, Can Venezuelan Chavismo Survive? Venezuela, with the world's largest oil reserves, is in chaos after weeks of increasingly bloody violence on city streets and in middle-class neighborhoods. Protests that began three weeks ago in the city of San Cristobal have spread to Caracas and other parts of the country. Opponents blame the Socialist government for destroying the economy, creating a new elite and distracting attention by cracking down on legitimate protest. At least 14 people have been killed with 150 or more injured. President Nicolás Maduro, heir to the late Hugo Chávez, says "fascists" supported by the US are intent on staging a coup. Now, Maduro is calling for a "peace conference" tomorrow — hoping to be joined by Henrique Capriles, the state Governor he defeated in last year's elections. How did the current violence begin? Does the US really want "regime change?" Will energy supplies be affected worldwide?
Venezuela Mourns Chavez Venezuela's vice president has declared seven days of mourning for Hugo Chavez, who died yesterday in Caracas. The leaders of other Latin American countries are arriving already to pay their respects. During surgery and chemotherapy treatments in Cuba, Chavez hadn't been seen in public for months, and the nature of his cancer has not been revealed. Nathan Crooks is Caracas Bureau Chief for Bloomberg News .
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.
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.
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.