FROM Michael Krepon
Barack Obama's nuclear legacy In 1945, the US became the first nation to use a nuclear weapon when it dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since then, no other country has followed suit. But the threat of nuclear catastrophe hangs over the world as others build up their arsenals. In the early months of his first term as President Obama promised, "The United States will take concrete steps towards a world without nuclear weapons. To put an end to Cold War thinking, we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and urge others to do the same." That speech earned him the Nobel Peace Prize. But, in the last days of his second term, he's continuing to modernize America's arsenal — and approving a so-called "smart bomb" — potentially more usable than ever. Isn't it reasonable to ask, why?"
The Iran Nuclear Deal Is Now Up to Congress Last week, the Obama Administration asked the UN Security Council to vote on the Iran nuclear deal. Today it got the unanimous vote it wanted. All 15 members endorsed the agreement to lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for limitations on Iran's development of nuclear technology. Now, Congress with 60 days to approve or reject it. Republicans and some Democrats are furious at the Obama Administration for asking the Security Council to go first . Opponents say the agreement could pave the way for Iran to make a nuclear bomb. Supporters say it's the best thing possible and much better than nothing. They warn that continued division within the US will have dangerous consequences for America's world leadership.
A Nuclear India With support from both parties in Congress, President Bush is about to sign an agreement to sell India nuclear fuel and technology. Under the deal, India's 14 civilian reactors will be open to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agenc y, but eight military reactors will not. Supporters call the democracy, which holds one-fifth of the world's population and has a desperate need for energy, a counterweight to China and a vast potential market for American business. But India refused to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty ; it developed and twice tested its own atom bomb. Opponents warn, this deal could mean the end of efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons. We weigh the pros and cons of a historic agreement. Is India a "responsible" nuclear power? What about Pakistan and China?
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?
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.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
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.