FROM Jacques deLisle
The Challenge of Getting the Truth about China During Vice President Joe Biden's recent visit to China, he complained to the highest officials about the treatment of western reporters. After weeks of anxiety for some two-dozen western reporters, the Chinese government is renewing some press passes. Yesterday, Bloomberg News said its reporters' finally had been granted the annual renewal of their press cards. The New York Times says the same for some, but not all, of its staff in China. Visas will probably follow. But one veteran of 18 years may never return to the country, and others have now been warned. We hear what they've gone through. When stories about human rights and income inequality leak to Chinese audiences, they threaten the power of Communist Party leaders. Will western news agencies now censor themselves? Will the crackdown make it harder than ever to learn about the world's second-most powerful nation?
Is China's Communist Party Putting Itself on Trial? China's trial of the century is not following the political script that was widely predicted. On Day One, former Communist Party honcho Bo Xilai vigorously defended himself, and claimed his bribery confessions had been coerced. It's a crucial event for new Party Chief, Xi Jinping, against a background of public outrage over corruption and demands to restore the era of Mao Tse Dung. Will a trial that dramatizes graft and economic inequality lead to reform? Will it make any difference in China's relations with the US and the rest of the world?
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.
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.
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.