FROM Bonnie Lowenthal
The 'Big Five' Make a Deal: A Painful Budget in Sacramento The Governor and four legislative leaders have reached agreement on how to make up California's $26 billion shortfall. The deal calls for $15 billion in cuts, taking almost $4 billion from local governments and speeding up tax collections. Now legislators of both parties have to decide whether to support or oppose it. Democrats have the majority in both houses, but not enough to provide the necessary two-thirds for passage, so Republican votes will be required.
Freshman Legislators Meet Gridlock in Sacramento In Sacramento yesterday, California's top four finance officials — appointed and elected — addressed a special session of the Assembly and Senate. They were unanimous: act now or the state will run out of money. Legislators listened, but did they get the message? We hear from Sacramento Bee syndicated columnist Dan Walters and ask freshman legislators from both parties what they'll do to end the gridlock.
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.