FROM Ze'ev Schiff
The Politics of Peacekeeping As the United Nations wrangles over the peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, the big question is whether there will be enough troops to enforce the ceasefire before it collapses. Europe is the obvious place for the soldiers to come from, and today it appears that Italy would take over for France as the leader. But the European Union won't even meet until Wednesday and the UN wants the first contingent in the country by early next week. Meantime, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has accused Israel of violating the ceasefire resolution after Israeli commandos were dropped into Lebanon's Bekaa Valley Saturday morning, in what might have been an anti-arms-smuggling mission or an attempt to rescue two kidnapped soldiers. We get perspectives from Paris, Beirut and Jerusalem. (An extended version of this discussion originally aired earlier today on To the Point.)
The Politics of Peacekeeping France is not the only nation in Europe with cold feet about sending troops to southern Lebanon. Italy, Spain and Finland want to know if the rules of engagement will require their soldiers to make the peace or just keep it. Will they have to disarm Hezbollah? Meantime, Israeli commandos engaged Hezbollah 60 miles inside the Lebanese border. Israel says they were trying to stop arms smuggling prohibited by the UN resolution, but Secretary General Kofi Annan says they violated the cease-fire . There are rumors that they were trying to rescue two kidnapped soldiers. We get perspectives from Paris, Beirut and Jerusalem, and hear about a new UN resolution proposed by the US.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
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.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
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.