FROM David Shlapak
America's foreign policy: Now you see it…now you don't… The founder of Communist China, Mao Tse Tung, was famous for unpredictability -- keeping the world off balance with unexpected contradictions. In less than 100 days, President Trump has set a new standard for American leaders, flip-flopping on Syria, NATO, China — and Vladimir Putin's Russia. Inexperience requires reliance on his advisors, so White House office politics may be more important than ever. But what does the inconsistency mean for America's strengths and weaknesses in Europe, Asia and other parts of the world?
In Eastern Europe, saber rattling — or risky escalation? You'd never know it from this year's campaign, but Russia and NATO are engaged in the biggest military buildup since the Cold War. In addition to Syria and Ukraine, the next US president might be faced with Russian aggression in the Baltic States and puppets of the former Soviet Union. Vladimir Putin has deployed forces and talked about using nuclear weapons. Comparisons are being made to the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. NATO has changed the name for its military buildup in the region from "reassurance" to "deterrence" and is responding with tanks and troops -- at a time when the European Union is weakened and American leadership is fraught with uncertainty.
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.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
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.