FROM Dalia Dassa Kaye
Flip-flops and confusion from the White House on the Middle East Qatar is a small branch of the Arabian Peninsula. Oil has made its few hundred thousand citizens wealthy, and the US uses its airbase to launch airstrikes against ISIS. But Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other nearby countries have now cut off contact and diplomatic relations — claiming that Qatar has funded terrorism. President Trump agrees, but his Secretary of State calls for calm -- and the US is selling Qatar $12 billion worth of jet fighters.
In Talks with Iran, It's Another Day, Another Delay In Vienna today, negotiators in the Iran nuclear talks have extended their deadline until next Tuesday as they struggle toward a permanent solution. At the same time, the European Union has extended its suspension of economic sanctions for another week. The pressure is growing and, although the Ayatollah Khamenei insists he doesn’t need a deal , Iranians are tired of painful economic sanctions. President Obama sees a "historic opportunity" to limit proliferation, at the same time saying, "No deal is better than a bad deal." Each side has accused the other of backing down on prior agreements . We hear about the potential benefits of success and the consequences of failure.
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.
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.