FROM Dwight Stenbakken
Cable TV, Competition and Community Service Twenty years ago, cable companies promised to wire libraries, schools and hospitals as part of their public service. Community groups would be connected to local government, senior citizens could talk directly to city hall and politicians would be called to account on programs focusing on politics and government--all in exchange for monopoly franchise agreements with local cities and counties. Although most of those promises have not been kept, many of the franchise agreements remain. Now, even the public service programming may be at risk. In Sacramento, it's a bill to promote "competition" that's racing through the Legislature. Locally, it's Time-Warner , which is taking over from Adelphia and Comcast to become the biggest cable operator in LA and Orange Counties. We hear about the fate of public service on cable TV from local and state officials, and a former cable TV host.
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?
The US gets deeper into Middle East wars. What's the endgame? President Trump welcomed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House today… just one of the changes in America's approach to the Middle East since Barack Obama left office. We hear about that and the escalation of warfare as well as civilian casualties.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.