FROM Andrew Rosati
Are Venezuela's troubles the legacy of populism? Twenty years ago, the late Hugo Chavez promised to save democracy in Venezuela. Today, Venezuela is moving toward a dictatorship, with the opposition divided against authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro. Late last year there were massive street protests, and this weekend the Supreme Court stripped the legislature of its power. When the rest of the world took notice, that ruling was mostly reversed -- but economic depression continues, and the government refuses food or medical aid. We hear what life is like in the nation with the world’s largest oil reserves -- and hear a debate about how it got that way.
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
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?