FROM Louis Charbonneau
Low Expectations for Current Round of Iran Nuclear Talks Despite predictions of failure from leaders on both sides, six world powers began talks with Iran today. The goal is a final settlement on Tehran's contested nuclear program. Vienna is the location of the first round of high-level negotiations since an interim deal was reached in November. United Nations Bureau Chief Louis Charbonneau is there for Reuters News Service .
Will a Historic Agreement Be a Historic Mistake? For the first time since the Islamic revolution 34 years ago, the US and Iran have signed an agreement. Six other nations have also agreed that economic sanctions will be suspended for six months in exchange for a temporary freeze on Iran's nuclear program. Congress and America's allies are sharply divided. Although both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry lauded the deal, there's trouble with both political parties in the US Senate, from South Carolina Republican Lindsay Graham, who wants to get tougher, to New York Democrat Charles Schumer, one of Israel's most vigorous supporters on Capitol Hill. We hear the arguments from Washington and the Middle East.
UN Weapons Inspectors Present Their Report on Syria For the first time, an internationally recognized team of experts has confirmed the use of chemical weapons. A United Nations team reports " clear and convincing evidence " that rockets containing the nerve agent Sarin were used against civilians, including children, in Damascus on August 21. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon briefed the UN Security Council today. Louis Charbonneau is UN Bureau Chief for Reuters .
Diplomatic Pressure Mounts on Syrian President Assad at UN At least 17 more deaths were reported today in the suburbs of Damascus as Hillary Clinton prepared to confront Russia in the UN Security Council. The issue is the Arab League plan calling for Bashar al-Assad to step down as President of Syria. Louis Charbonneau reports from the United Nations for Reuters.
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?
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.
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?
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.