Week In The News: Iran-U.S. Tensions, Reparations, Trump 2020, EPA Rollbacks
With Meghna Chakrabarti
Tensions ratchet up between Iran and the U.S. Historic hearing on reparations. Trump rallies for a second term. More EPA rollbacks. The roundtable is here.
Olivier Knox, chief Washington correspondent for Sirius XM radio. (@OKnox)
Anita Kumar, White House correspondent and associate editor at Politico. (@anitakumar01)
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)
From The Reading List
New York Times: “Trump Approves Strikes on Iran, but Then Abruptly Pulls Back” — “President Trump approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for downing an American surveillance drone, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night after a day of escalating tensions.
“As late as 7 p.m., military and diplomatic officials were expecting a strike, after intense discussions and debate at the White House among the president’s top national security officials and congressional leaders, according to multiple senior administration officials involved in or briefed on the deliberations.
“Officials said the president had initially approved attacks on a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries.”
Washington Post: “Biden faces backlash over comments about the ‘civility’ of his past work with racist senators” — “Joe Biden faced a growing backlash Wednesday from prominent Democrats — and a bit of second-guessing within his own campaign — over comments in which he proudly described his history of working hand-in-hand in the Senate with avowed racists.
“Biden’s remarks, which came at a fundraiser Tuesday night in which he said one segregationist senator ‘never called me “boy,” he always called me “son,” ‘ seemed intended to highlight a central argument of his presidential candidacy: that he knows how to bring unity to a polarized nation.
“Instead, they prompted another controversy for Biden’s campaign — and the sharpest attacks yet from his rivals on matters of race that are central to his bid and important to black voters who are seen as a crucial force in deciding the Democratic nomination battle.
“Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), whose parents faced racial discrimination when trying to move into a white neighborhood in New Jersey, was explicit that Biden needed to apologize. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) said she was ‘deeply’ concerned by Biden’s remarks, telling reporters at the Capitol, ‘If those men had their way, I wouldn’t be in the United States Senate and on this elevator right now.’ ”
Politico: “Kushner tries to strike bipartisan asylum deal” — “Jared Kushner is working with Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham to try and broker a bipartisan deal on asylum laws, which could be the next step in Congress’ piecemeal approach to immigration reform after passage of a $4.5 billion border spending bill next week.
“Graham, the Senate Judiciary chairman, then delayed a scheduled Thursday committee vote on his own piece of legislation, choosing to take more time to find a centrist approach. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser met with the Democratic whip and Graham on Tuesday to find a bipartisan way forward on asylum changes.
“Graham’s bill would require asylum seekers to make their request in Mexico or their country of origination, and supply hundreds more immigration judges. Durbin said Democrats might be able to cut a deal if the legislation doesn’t affect existing child victim protections for migrants, the ‘Flores’ standards for treatment of unaccompanied minors and the overall definition of asylum is not changed.”
New York Times: “At Historic Hearing, House Panel Explores Reparations” — “Frail but sharp at 88, the Rev. Doris Sherman woke up at 4 a.m. on Wednesday to travel here from Philadelphia for an event that, even after the nation elected its first black president, she never thought she would see: a meeting in the capital of the United States on reparations for African-Americans.
“Dressed all in white, the color of the suffragist movement — it was a coincidence, she said — Ms. Sherman, who is black, reflected on the unfulfilled Civil War-era promise to former slaves of ’40 acres and a mule.’ As a schoolteacher for 30 years before entering the ministry, she recalled so many black parents struggling to provide day care, their children ‘left back and left out.’
“If the government did anything, she said, it should do something for the children. ‘We don’t want that mule now,’ she said. ‘We don’t want that 40 acres. We are asking for remembrance. Remember the struggle. Remember the injustice and remember the now.’
“Ms. Sherman was among hundreds of other mostly black spectators — so many that they filled three overflow rooms — who descended on Capitol Hill for Wednesday’s historic hearing, the first time Congress has considered a bill, H.R. 40, that would create a commission to develop proposals to address the lingering effects of slavery and consider a ‘national apology’ for the harm it has caused.”
Anna Bauman produced this hour for broadcast
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.
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