FROM James Heft
Pope Francis and Catholic Culture Shock The first modern Pope from outside Europe is much more than the world celebrity he's become since arriving in Rome from Argentina in 2013. One biographer says he's not just a man, but a movement leader -- focused on shifting the cutting edge of Roman Catholic power. He's chosen new cardinals from Myanmar, Cape Verde and Tonga — not Milan, Madrid or Los Angeles — and he's publicly scolded the Vatican establishment . His focus on poverty has Rush Limbaugh labeling him a "Communist." What will it mean for Catholics in Europe, the US, and the developing world?
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.
The US gets deeper into Middle East wars. What's the endgame? President Trump welcomed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House today… just one of the changes in America's approach to the Middle East since Barack Obama left office. We hear about that and the escalation of warfare as well as civilian casualties.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.