FROM Jon Gertner
Fires, Drought and Our Role in the Destruction They Cause After a year with almost no rain in Southern California, almost a million people have been forced from their homes in just four days. The National Climate Data Center has reported that 43% of the country is in condition of moderate to extreme drought. Although California's wildfires and evacuations have dominated this week's news, on the other side of the country, there's a kind of slow-motion disaster that has Georgia, Alabama and Florida competing for a dwindling supply of water. It's also hotter and drier than usual in Minnesota, the North East and the Mid-Atlantic. Is it a spell of strange weather or long-term climate change? Is it caused by global warming? Will industry, agriculture and residential development have to change to ward off future disaster?
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.
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.
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?
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?