FROM Brooks Barnes
Is a Culture Captivated by Guns Ready for Change The National Rifle Association today broke the silence it's maintained since last week's elementary-school massacre in Connecticut. The NRA's top spokesman said, "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," demanding that Congress pay for armed guards in every schoolyard. Much of Wayne LaPierre's lengthy statement today played on the fear that mass killers are planning more attacks on American children. He was defensive about attacks on his organization and what he characterized as the media's predisposition to be against guns. Earlier this morning, President Obama released a videotape urging public support for renewing the assault-weapons ban and other new regulations. Can a culture captivated by guns ready for change?
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?
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.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.