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?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
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.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.