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
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
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?
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.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.