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Photo: US Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) fires a tomahawk land attack missile in Mediterranean Sea which US Defense Department said was a part of cruise missile strike against Syria on April 7, 2017. (Robert S. Price/Courtesy US Navy/Reuters)

The attack on Syria: Risky, illegal... or about time? 39 MIN, 54 SEC

At dinner last night at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump told China's Xi Jinping that he'd ordered a Tomahawk missile strike against Syria. A bit later, Mr. Trump made a public statement, explaining that he'd retaliated against Bashar al-Assad for Monday's chemical attack that killed at least 80 fellow Syrians, including women and children.

Last night's surprise missile attack on a Syrian airbase was President Trump's reaction to the reported use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad. Is it a limited message about a new Red Line, or an overnight policy change that reverses Trump's long time promise of "America First?" Both parties in Congress are mostly supportive, while demanding clarification — and a role in future decisions. Russia says it's a "significant blow" to relations. Despite past isolationist rhetoric, the President himself says his views have changed toward his presidency and his role in the world.

Mark Landler, New York Times (@MarkLandler)
Michael McFaul, Stanford University, author of “From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia” (@McFaul)
P.J. Crowley, George Washington University (@PJCrowley)
Leo Shane, III, Military Times (@leoshane)
Thanassis Cambanis, Century Foundation (@tcambanis)

Ambassador Haley on US air strikes, the situation in Syria
Landler on Trump acting on instinct, upending his own foreign policy
Shane on the Tomahawk as a key tool in the Defense Department's arsenal
Cambanis on Assad and the international taboo against chemical weapons
UN on US military action in Syria, call for restraint

Red Line

P. J. Crowley

The future of consent decrees under a new DOJ 9 MIN, 53 SEC

A new look at federal consent decrees to encourage police reform.

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Attorney General Jeff Sessions went to court this week to delay a consent decree to overhaul Baltimore's police department. It was denied. But Sessions has ordered a review of some two dozen similar efforts to impose constitutional guidelines on local police. Ron Davis spent 30 years in law enforcement. A former director of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services at the Department of Justice, he's now a member of Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration.

Ron Davis, Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration (@lawleadgroup)

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