FROM Connie Mackey
A Subdued Republican Convention Kicks Off Opening day is a shadow of what the Republicans planned for their National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota. George Bush and Dick Cheney won't be coming as scheduled. Hurricane Gustav has forced them to make other plans. John McCain has suspended political hoopla, at least for today, and the convention will conduct the minimum of official business. We get the latest from Louisiana and try to assess what it will mean for the legacy of President Bush and McCain's political future. We also hear Republicans debate the choice of Sarah Palin and a conservative platform that fails to mention McCain.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
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.