FROM Sari Horwitz
Jeff Sessions: New sheriff in town Violent crime's at an all-time low, and President Trump's Attorney General says he wants to keep it that way — by removing federal limits on local police. Critics fear Jeff Sessions is going back to the "tough on crime" days and mass incarceration of non-violent drug offenders in American jails and prisons. But federal law-breakers are just 10% of the nation's criminals — and even Red States are cutting costs by reducing incarceration without increasing crime. Other, states have legalized recreational marijuana. Is America facing a cultural crisis over another "war on drugs?"
DOJ Outlines New Clemency Plan for Non-violent Prison Inmates The Justice Department today announced guidelines for what could be a large-scale grant of clemency for non-violent drug offenders in federal prisons. On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder gave a hint of what was to come. "There are still too many people in federal prison who were sentenced under the old regime – and who, as a result, will have to spend far more time in prison than they would if sentenced today for exactly the same crime. This is simply not right." Sari Horwitz covers the Justice Department for the Washington Post .
Boston Marathon Bombings and Muslim Americans Three weeks after the Boston Marathon bombings, some members of Congress are calling for more surveillance of American Muslims. Some Muslims are calling for self-policing of their community and more cooperation with law enforcement. Others warn against accepting collective punishment for bloody violence as abhorrent to Muslims as to other Americans of different faiths. At today's Congressional hearing on the bombings , Republican committee chair Michael McCaul of Texas said the nation had been attacked by "radical Islamist terrorists." New York Republican Peter King echoed that sentiment. We hear a debate about how to increase security without either religious discrimination or an excess of political correctness.
US-made Spying Technology Used in Syria and Iran Eavesdropping has gone from peeking in windows to a $5 billion business. Western companies make sophisticated technology for what they call "lawful intercept." Is it also used for human rights abuses overseas and invasions of privacy at home? Thirty-five US government agencies and 43 countries attended the latest US trade fare for high-tech surveillance, one of five events held annually across the world and called "The Wiretappers' Ball." That's according to Sari Horwitz, investigative reporter for the Washington Post .
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?
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.