FROM Terri Lodge
Hopeful Signs Ahead of Talks with Iran The five members of the UN Security Council members and Germany will be in Baghdad tomorrow for talks with Iran. Just yesterday, the new director general (seen at right) of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency told reporters of a possible breakthrough after his first visit to Iran. After sanctions, a threatened oil boycott and possible outright war, Tehran may be ready to make concessions about its nuclear program. We update what diplomats call the "atmospherics" as long-delayed negotiations are about to begin in Baghdad.
Is Iran Ready to Make a Deal? As UN Security Council members plus Germany head for Baghdad to talk with Iran about its nuclear program, is a breakthrough at hand? Just yesterday, Yukiya Amano, Director-General of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency , told reporters that Iran is about to allow inspection of a military site where nuclear triggers might have been tested. The US is doubtful and Israel's talking as tough as ever, but its hawkish defense minister has put a potential concession in writing. Is Iran caving in because of economic sanctions and a threatened embargo of its oil? Is this another example of creating false expectations?
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.
Political appointments and the reshaping of the judiciary President Trump has the chance for a long-term impact -- not just on the US Supreme Court, but on the entire federal court system. And his nominees are likely to get the support of a massive spending campaign by donors who don't have to reveal their names. Can President Trump "pack" the federal court system?
House Republicans release their Obamacare replacement As two House committees take up "repeal and replacement" of "Obamacare," there may be life left in the Affordable Care Act after all. Even Republicans are divided, and proposed changes won't make good on President Trump's promise to provide "health insurance for everybody."