FROM Michael Hammond
Is Gun Control an Answer to Homegrown Terror? Investigators report that the female killer in San Bernardino pledged allegiance to ISIS on Facebook on the day the mass shooting occurred. It's not clear if the couple was directed by ISIS or only inspired, but it's more evidence that homegrown terrorism in the United States is a reality. The FBI and other agencies are monitoring hundreds of people in the hope of preventing similar crimes. Will all this increase the pressure for gun control, or will more Americans arm themselves in preparation for their worst nightmares?
Could Risk Assessment Have Prevented Virginia Tech Tragedy? The gunman who killed 32 students yesterday at Virginia Tech has been identified as Cho Seung-Hui, a resident-alien student originally from South Korea. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the 23-year old showed signs of aberrant behavior before yesterday's violent shooting rampage. President Bush has ordered American flags flown at half-staff , and he's in Blacksburg, Virginia with the First Lady for a campus convocation. Republican Senator John McCain says the incident at Virginia Tech does not change his view that Americans have a constitutional right to carry firearms, except "to make sure that these kinds of weapons don't fall into the hands of bad people." We hear about a note reportedly left by the killer. Were there indications that he might turn violent? What about gun control?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.