FROM Jerry Thomas
Putting out Fires at the Fire Department The former president of LA's Fire Commission has told the Los Angeles Times, " The public just doesn't understand what goes on " in the fire department. Chief William Bamattre was hired 11 years ago to get racism, sexism and homophobia under control, but the accusations continued. Bamattre was replaced today—temporarily--by Mayor Villaraigosa. Assistant Chief Douglas Barry is an African American with 31 years of service. The job change comes just days after the Mayor vetoed a $2.7 million settlement the City Council made with black firefighter Tenny Pierce, who claimed racist colleagues caused him to eat dog food. City Controller Laura Chick had called for Bamattre to leave after her office audited the Fire Department. Will a minority veteran succeed where Caucasian predecessors have failed?
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?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
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?