FROM Lisa Roberts
Mass incarceration in middle America Prison reform is reducing inmate populations from big America cities — but, in many suburbs and rural communities, it's just the reverse. The same crimes that call for probation or just months in jail in Cincinnati, Ohio, are leading to years in prison in nearby Dearborn County, Indiana. The new convicts are not Latinos and African Americans, imprisoned disproportionately for so many years. They're part of the white middle class. One reason is the addiction to prescription drugs that's created a new market for cheap heroin and the crime that goes with it. It's also due to the punitive use of discretion by prosecutors and judges -- raising new questions about equal treatment under the law.
Opioid and Heroin Addictions in America Two epidemics of drug addiction in Middle America have victimized people who suffer from pain. "Fatal heroin overdoses in America have almost tripled in three years. More than 8,250 people a year now die from heroin. At the same time, roughly double that number are dying from prescription opioid painkillers, which are molecularly similar." That's from a recent piece in the New York Times by Sam Quinones, based on his new book, Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic . Portsmouth, Ohio is the unlikely "Ground Zero" for parallel epidemics of drug addiction that have spread nationwide. Expensive, but legal, painkillers have been over-hyped by Big Pharma, creating a market for a cheaper form of relief: "black tar Heroin" from Mexico. Congress is beginning to pay attention. Photo: Elizabeth Roy
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.
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?