FROM Natan Sachs
The Pope, the Palestinians and Middle-East Peace Pope Francis has recognized a Palestinian State , but it's not clear if he means Hamas in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank or both. And he may or may not have called PA President Mahmoud Abbas "an angel of peace." Vatican diplomacy is full of uncertainties. One hundred thirty-five members of the United Nations have recognized a Palestinian State, but the US and Europe say there can't be one until Israel and the Palestinians settle their differences. Israel is not happy about it — or the prospects that Europe may be following suit. Nevertheless, with the US-backed "peace process" dead in the water, some Palestinians call the Pope's action "a flicker of light in a sea of darkness."
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?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.