FROM Terri Lodge
Hopeful Signs Ahead of Talks with Iran The five members of the UN Security Council members and Germany will be in Baghdad tomorrow for talks with Iran. Just yesterday, the new director general (seen at right) of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency told reporters of a possible breakthrough after his first visit to Iran. After sanctions, a threatened oil boycott and possible outright war, Tehran may be ready to make concessions about its nuclear program. We update what diplomats call the "atmospherics" as long-delayed negotiations are about to begin in Baghdad.
Is Iran Ready to Make a Deal? As UN Security Council members plus Germany head for Baghdad to talk with Iran about its nuclear program, is a breakthrough at hand? Just yesterday, Yukiya Amano, Director-General of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency , told reporters that Iran is about to allow inspection of a military site where nuclear triggers might have been tested. The US is doubtful and Israel's talking as tough as ever, but its hawkish defense minister has put a potential concession in writing. Is Iran caving in because of economic sanctions and a threatened embargo of its oil? Is this another example of creating false expectations?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.