FROM Graham Bowley
The Power Brokers of Art Basel The rich and their representatives are descending on Basel, Switzerland this week for Art Basel, the world’s most prestigious art fair. It opens to the public tomorrow. For three days, billions of dollars will be spent on the work of famous and about-to-be famous artists. Three New York art auctions set records last month, setting the stage for record sales in Basel. Millions have already changed hands in today’s private pre-fair sales. And only six powerful people determine who gets to show at the fair. Who are they and why do they have so much power?
US Generals Meet on Afghan Attacks The chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, is in Kabul for private talks about NATO's mission in Afghanistan. In the past two weeks, ten American service members have been killed by Afghans they were supposed to be training. That raises disturbing questions about the American strategy for withdrawal. Graham Bowley is in Afghanistan for the New York Times .
Afghan Hostility to US Presence Endangers Mission Green berets reportedly are talking to Afghan villagers after the alleged killings of at least 16 people, including nine children, by an American soldier. The Taliban has threatened reprisals, and tensions are very high, with President Karzai calling the incident "unforgiveable." In the US, a recent poll shows 60 percent find the war no longer worth fighting, but political leaders are divided. We hear from Kabul and Washington. Can trust be restored? Is the withdrawal strategy likely to change?
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?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
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?