FROM Sarah Birke
Is the Desert Kingdom Ready for Change? Saudi Arabia wants to end its dependence on oil — at the same time it's increasing production. What sounds like a contradiction is the work of Mohammed bin Salman, a 30-year-old deputy crown prince in a country accustomed to rule by kings who serve into their 80's. But a restless new generation has elders worried about an "Arab Spring," at the same time Iran's influence is on the rise. In the US, there's criticism of repressive rule and alleged links to terror -- as well as warnings that weakening the alliance could open the way for China.
Iraqi Military Attempts to Retake Tikrit from the Islamic State Some 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and volunteer militia began an offensive today designed to expel ISIS, the so-called Islamic State from the city of Tikrit. It's seen as a key test in advance of a much larger campaign to re-take the city of Mosul. The Pentagon has talked about the upcoming offensive in Mosul, but says it has nothing to do with today's assault on Tikrit.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
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.