FROM David Gombas
Are America's Vegetables as Safe as They Should Be? The latest count in the E.coli outbreak is one dead and 146 suffering from cramps, diarrhea and kidney trouble. The "smoking gun" is a bag of contaminated spinach found in the refrigerator of a sick patient in New Mexico. It came from somewhere in California's Salinas Valley, where three-quarters of America's spinach and lettuce are grown. But officials may never know from which farm or how the contamination occurred. They do know that this is the ninth time in 11 years that a dangerous strain of E. coli has been traced to Salinas Valley spinach or lettuce. Who's in charge of protecting consumers from poisoned food? How stringently are standards enforced? Is it time to change the way food is grown and distributed?
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?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.