FROM Terry Francke
Child Welfare Records: The Latest LA Confidential Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said yesterday, " The obsession with leaks … exceeds the obsession with child deaths." He was the lone dissenter in a 4-to-1 vote to investigate what was called the "inappropriate disclosure of confidential child welfare information." At issue is a series in the LA Times on the deaths of children in families that are supposed to be under the scrutiny of the County's child welfare officials. Dissenter Zev Yaroslavsky said after the vote, "all the energy that is spent on that is energy that is not spent on trying to figure out what's going wrong in the Department of Children and Family Services." We hear from a Times reporter , Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who voted for the investigation, and an advocate of open government.
Did the Sheriff's Department Illegally Search Reporter's Records? When actor Mel Gibson was arrested in 2006, the LA County Sheriff's Department played it as a routine stop for drunk driving. Then TMZ, the website renowned for celebrity gossip, reported that Gibson had attempted to escape and made statements that were loudly profane and anti-Semitic. Moreover, the arresting officer had been ordered to lie. That all turned out to be accurate and, two weeks ago, The LA Times revealed that the Sheriff's department tried to find the source of the leak by obtaining a search warrant for the telephone records of TMZ founder Harvey Levin. Media law experts and reporters' groups accused the Sheriff of violating state and federal laws protecting journalists and their sources. Levin himself wasn't talking, until last night at a meeting of the Radio & Television News Association.
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.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.