FROM Paul Sonne
Sochi, One Year Later A year ago, we took our seats for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The Russian government reportedly spent $50 billion to turn a relatively unknown ski resort near the Black Sea into a world-class sporting venue. And aside from some hiccups, like broken toilets and buildings without lobbies, it was a success. But Russia hasn’t been as successful in convincing the world’s winterati to come back to Sochi for a ski vacation. What’s the scene on the ground, one year after the Olympics?
US Considers “Lethal Aid” to Ukraine Forces With Russian-backed separatists advancing in Ukraine, there’s pressure on the Obama Administration to provide the government with weapons sophisticated enough to strike back effectively. Is that the best answer to provocations by Vladimir Putin—or could it lead to a wider war? Secretary of State John Kerry will be in Kiev tomorrow, amid reports that the Obama Administration may change course and provide the Ukrainian army with high-tech weaponry for use against separatists backed by Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Two Ukrainian Warplanes Shot Down Near Jetliner Crash Site Two Ukrainian warplanes were shot down today, and pro-Russian separatist leaders claim they did it with shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missiles. But Ukraine says the anti-aircraft fire came from across the border—in Russia. Paul Sonne is in Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine for the Wall Street Journal.
WikiLeaks Suspends Operations Due to Bank Blockade The last time WikiLeaks made a splash was in April, when it released a trove of US government documents about prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Today in London, Julian Assange said a financial blockade poses an existential threat to the organization, which has specialized in revealing classified information since it was launched in 2006. Today WikiLeaks suspended all publication and said it might go out of business by the end of this year. Paul Sonne reports from London for the Wall Street Journal .
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.
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?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.