FROM Demetri Sevastopulo
VIP treatment for China's President Xi at Mar-a-Lago Donald Trump's campaign was full of tough talk about China. As President, he's talking tougher than ever -- especially about North Korea, which fired another missile yesterday. Tomorrow, at Mar-a-Lago, the President will give China's President Xi Jinping the full VIP treatment. Veteran diplomats say this week's summit is premature. By failing to demand any concessions from President Xi in advance of the meeting, did Trump give up an important advantage?
American Ship Captain Rescued from Pirates The Captain of the Maersk Alabama is safe after Navy Seal sharp-shooters picked off three pirates who were holding him in the Indian Ocean. Richard Phillips had given himself up to the pirates to save his crew. Friday night, President Obama authorized Navy marksmen to shoot to kill if Phillips' life was in danger. Vice Admiral William Gortney, Head of the US Naval Command, said the decision to abandon negotiations was made only after the on-scene commander observed one of the pirates point an AK-47 at the captain's back. At left: Capt. Richard Phillips (R), stands alongside Cmdr. Frank Castellano, commanding officer of USS Bainbridge, after being rescued by US Naval Forces off the coast of Somalia. Official US Navy photo
US General Says Iraq Needs More Time US military leaders in Iraq have long warned that President Obama's promise to withdraw in 16 months may be optimistic. A recent interview with London's Financial Times may be the beginning of a public campaign, as Demetri Sevastopulo reports from the Pentagon.
Who's Watching the Nuclear Arsenal? The Bush Administration is demanding that other countries tighten up on proliferation of nuclear materials and technology. But at the same time, the US is doing a poor job of maintaining its own arsenal of nuclear weapons. Six nuclear missiles were flown across the continental United States by mistake. Nuclear missile nose-cones were mistakenly shipped to Taiwan. After those incidents, the Secretary of the Air Force and its top civilian official were fired by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Now another embarrassment has surfaced: hundreds, perhaps thousands, of nuclear missile components have turned up missing.
Bush Upbeat on Iraq, Which May Mean Fewer US Troops President Bush flew to Iraq yesterday to assess for himself progress in quelling the insurgency. Next week, the top military commander will report on the success of the surge. It will be a pivotal moment for the Bush presidency, the 2008 election and the entire nation. What will General Petraeus say and how will Bush balance politics and national security? Demetri Sevastopulo, who covers the Pentagon for the Financial Times , is traveling with the President and Defense Secretary Gates .
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.
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.
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.