FROM Robert Cruickshank
Jerry Brown: The Budget and Education Public schools, colleges and universities are already reeling after years of multi-billion dollar reductions. But the over-all budget gap will soon be $28 billion. At Jerry Brown's budget forum yesterday at UCLA, the Governor-elect discussed the dilemma with David Sanchez, President of the California Teachers' Association. The CTA President lamented that after all the budget cuts to K-12, "no more meat on this bone to carve, all that is left is amputation." Brown agreed that one wants to close schools, but reminded that no one wants to raise taxes either, and said it falls to him to bring people together to ensure the future of California.
Budget Deficit Grows To $16 Billion One place where news staffs have been reduced is the State Capitol, where the Governor and the Legislature face a deficit of another kind. The Legislative Analyst, Elizabeth Hill who gets paid for impartial analysis, says the gap between spending and revenue is 1.5 billion more than Governor Schwarzenegger thinks it is; closer to 16 billion than 14. But this weekend, the Governor approved cuts and spending shifts supposedly worth 7 billion.
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.
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?
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.
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?