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?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
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.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?