FROM Stephen Farrell
The Story behind the News from Syria America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could be covered from news bureaus established in Baghdad or Kabul. Syria's civil war is a different story in more ways than one. After three years and 100,000 casualties, the war is so complicated by religious, tribal -- even international -- rivalries that it's hard to know just who's fighting the government, let alone why. Western promises to "arm the rebels" are compromised by all the uncertainty. It's a major challenge as well to the reporters we all rely on to bring us the news. Reporters without any base of support are targets for the Assad regime — and rebel forces as well. Those who can speak the language still have to disguise themselves to blend in, without knowing if their protectors can really be trusted. We ask veteran combat reporters about the challenges of getting the story and, most important of all, are they getting it right?
Suicide Bombing in Iraq as US Presence Winds Down In Baghdad today, a suicide bomber killed dozens of people at an army recruiting office and injured many more. It’s the first major attack during Ramadan, with US forces scheduled to withdraw from combat at the end of this month. Stephen Farrell is there for the New York Times .
Iraqi Soccer Association Suspended Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish players overcame social odds to form the Iraqi national soccer team. Then they won an unlikely victory at the Asian Cup. But today their coach says they are "crushed" psychologically because they might not be allowed to compete in the Beijing Olympics in August or for the World Cup in 2010. The government of Iraq has disbanded its Olympic Committee, so the world governing body of soccer, in turn, has suspended Iraq's soccer team. We hear more from Stephen Farrell of the New York Times and Jamie Trecker of FoxSports.com .
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.
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.