FROM Eugene Rumer
Putin Beefs Up Nuclear Arsenal and Condemns US Aggression Reported US plans to station tanks and heavy weapons in NATO nations on Russia's border are being denounced by Russian officials as the most aggressive act by Washington since the Cold War. Today President Vladimir Putin said he will respond by adding 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to his nuclear arsenal. Eugene Rumer directs the Russia and Eurasia programs at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace .
Russia Makes Threatening Moves in Crimea Russian state media have issued threatening warnings today, which have subsequently been contested by the country's diplomatic officials. But Vladimir Putin has had nothing public to say, and officials of the new government in Ukraine are warning about the prospect of an invasion. If Russia does intend to forcefully take control of Crimea, it would violate international laws on territorial integrity. Already, the western powers have threatened various ways to isolate Russia diplomatically and economically. Does Vladimir Putin care?
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.
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.
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.