FROM Mike Wessells
Child Soldiers Baby brigades, little bees, small boys units …t he names may change, but the reality doesn't. More than a quarter of a million children around the world are fighting adults' wars, serving in rebel militias, national armies, and paramilitary groups. At The Hague this week, where the trial began for the former president of Liberia, one of charges facing Charles Taylor is solicitation of child soldiers. Why does the US give military aid to countries that use child soldiers? What impact will recent trials have on punishing children in arms or the adults who recruit them? What price do the children pay? What kind of rehabilitation is possible for children who have killed?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
"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."