FROM George Ciccariello-Maher
Amid Nationwide Protest, Can Venezuelan Chavismo Survive? Venezuela, with the world's largest oil reserves, is in chaos after weeks of increasingly bloody violence on city streets and in middle-class neighborhoods. Protests that began three weeks ago in the city of San Cristobal have spread to Caracas and other parts of the country. Opponents blame the Socialist government for destroying the economy, creating a new elite and distracting attention by cracking down on legitimate protest. At least 14 people have been killed with 150 or more injured. President Nicolás Maduro, heir to the late Hugo Chávez, says "fascists" supported by the US are intent on staging a coup. Now, Maduro is calling for a "peace conference" tomorrow — hoping to be joined by Henrique Capriles, the state Governor he defeated in last year's elections. How did the current violence begin? Does the US really want "regime change?" Will energy supplies be affected worldwide?
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.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
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.