FROM Fiona Hill
Scotland Poised to Vote on Independence It’s been 307 years since Scotland and England became the United Kingdom, but generations of Scots have never lost their yearning for independence. In 1997, they established their own Parliament but, for many, that isn’t enough. In less than two weeks, all residents 16 and over will have a chance to create a separate county. Just one vote could make the difference. We’ll hear what that means for Britain’s identity crisis, and for independence movements in Spain, Italy and other countries in the European Union.
US Winter Olympics Delegation a Statement to Russia President Obama waited a long time before announcing America's delegation to the Winter Olympics in Russia. First Lady Michelle Obama led the US delegation to the Summer Olympics in London, but there's no member of the President's family in the delegation to Sochi. It does include tennis legend Billie Jean King, figure skater Brian Boitano and other openly gay athletes — an apparent slap at President Vladimir Putin's highly publicized anti-gay laws and widespread anti-gay propaganda. Fiona Hill is Director of the Center on the US and Europe at the Brookings Institution.
Has the 'Arab Spring' Come to the Russian Winter? Russian authorities did not clamp down on massive protests in all that country's nine time zones over the weekend, despite repeated shouts of Vladimir "Putin is a thief" and "Russia without Putin." Today, the billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov announced he'll challenge Putin in next year's presidential elections; the former finance minister Aleksei Kudrin said he'll form a new party to push for liberal reforms; and the Russian Orthodox Church called for election reform. We hear about Saturday's mass protest and political challenges from the left, the right and even the Orthodox Church. Is Putin really at risk of losing his power?
Has the 'Arab Spring' Come to the Russian Winter? Russian authorities did not clamp down on massive protests across Russia's nine time zones over the weekend as tens of thousands turned out to denounce Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and last week's allegedly rigged elections. Today, billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov challenged Putin for President; former finance minister Aleksei Kudrin said he'll form a new party to push for liberal reforms, and the Russian Orthodox Church called for change. Dissenters include the new middle class, Communists and a nationalist blogger with ties to skinheads. Can they get together? Will they be repressed? With Putin blaming Hillary Clinton for stirring up trouble, what will it mean for President Obama's "reset" in relations?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
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.