FROM Terry Francke
Child Welfare Records: The Latest LA Confidential Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said yesterday, " The obsession with leaks … exceeds the obsession with child deaths." He was the lone dissenter in a 4-to-1 vote to investigate what was called the "inappropriate disclosure of confidential child welfare information." At issue is a series in the LA Times on the deaths of children in families that are supposed to be under the scrutiny of the County's child welfare officials. Dissenter Zev Yaroslavsky said after the vote, "all the energy that is spent on that is energy that is not spent on trying to figure out what's going wrong in the Department of Children and Family Services." We hear from a Times reporter , Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who voted for the investigation, and an advocate of open government.
Did the Sheriff's Department Illegally Search Reporter's Records? When actor Mel Gibson was arrested in 2006, the LA County Sheriff's Department played it as a routine stop for drunk driving. Then TMZ, the website renowned for celebrity gossip, reported that Gibson had attempted to escape and made statements that were loudly profane and anti-Semitic. Moreover, the arresting officer had been ordered to lie. That all turned out to be accurate and, two weeks ago, The LA Times revealed that the Sheriff's department tried to find the source of the leak by obtaining a search warrant for the telephone records of TMZ founder Harvey Levin. Media law experts and reporters' groups accused the Sheriff of violating state and federal laws protecting journalists and their sources. Levin himself wasn't talking, until last night at a meeting of the Radio & Television News Association.
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 plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
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?
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.