FROM Julian Hattem
Down to the Wire on the Patriot Act The Senate meets this week in rare recess negotiations about whether to extend controversial provisions of the Patriot Act, including the NSA's bulk phone records collection program. That program, launched after 9/11, is due to expire June 1 if the Senate doesn't come to a consensus on how much and what kind of surveillance best serves the nation. Earlier this month the House voted overwhelmingly in favor of legislation which would reauthorize the Patriot Act while at the same time ending the NSA's bulk collection of phone records. The House also approved certain reforms intended to make the agency's programs more transparent. Will Congress go the way of a recent federal court ruling that called NSA surveillance overly broad and in violation of American's rights to privacy? If the NSA's broad surveillance programs lapse, will the nation be less secure?
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.