FROM Reed Johnson
The Arts as Victims of the Economic Recession Opera Pacific performed for decades in Orange County, up until last November. During intermission on the final night of The Barber of Seville, the musicians were told it was all over. They played the last act anyway, but there’s no more opera, and the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa is now short $400,000 in revenue. The 81-year-old Orchestras of Pasadena laid off half their staff last year and stayed afloat on checks written by board members. The economic decline is devastating the arts in Southern California. We look at the crisis facing arts institutions with arts writers, producers and advocates.
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
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?
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?