Congress is back in session this week, and Syria is at the top of the agenda. That means other business like immigration reform and the debt ceiling moves to the back burner. Why can’t Congress do two things at once? Marcie Sillman and Ross Reynolds talk with Andrea Seabrook of DecodeDC.
Congress returned to Washington, D.C., today with Syria at the forefront of its agenda. Lawmakers will debate a resolution on military intervention against Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons.
To take a step back, Ross Reynolds talks with Dr. Raymond Zilinskas, director of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program at the Monterey Institute of International Studies about chemical weapons — what they are and why they are considered a different class than conventional weapons.
Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 4:48 pm
Marijuana-based businesses in Washington will be able to pay their taxes in cash. That’s the word from the state’s Department of Revenue.
The agency is gearing up for more cash filers in its field offices.
Most banks are unwilling to open accounts for marijuana businesses because of the federal prohibition on pot. That means Washington’s new, legal recreational marijuana market could be a largely cash-based enterprise.
Reports from the New York Times, the Guardian and ProPublica cast light on how spy agencies are obtaining private data. The news organizations say the US National Security Agency is using covert partnerships with technology companies to weaken encryption software.
A unanimous opinion from the Washington Supreme Court has ruled that a death penalty case in the so-called Christmas Eve murders can proceed. The ruling finds that King County prosecutors handled the case correctly.
President Obama arrived in St. Petersburg, Russia, today for the G-20 summit. He’s expected to make his case for launching a military strike on Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is publicly opposed to military action in Syria – a longtime Russian ally. Yesterday, Putin accused Secretary of State John Kerry of lying to the US Congress about Al Qaeda’s presence in Syria.
Relations between the two countries have been increasingly tense recently. Just last month Obama canceled a one-on-one meeting with Putin, after Russia granted NSA leaker Edward Snowden temporary asylum.
What other factors are pushing the two countries apart? And how will tensions influence the discussions between the United States and Russia over a potential military strike in Syria? Dr. Stephen F. Cohen is professor emeritus of Russian history and politics at New York University and Princeton University. He talked with David Hyde.
Tuesday afternoon, activists led by The Stranger's Dan Savage will protest in front of the Russian Consul General's house in Madison Park. The protest is in response to a Russian law passed in June that outlaws "propagandizing non-traditional sexual relations among minors."
Russian authorities have interpreted that language broadly and as a result, people seen as "promoting gay values" have been arrested and subject to violence from police or other Russians.
"When the American people find out how their government has secretly interpreted the Patriot Act, they are going to be stunned, and they are going to be angry," said Oregon Senator Ron Wyden on the Senate floor in May, 2011. He was referencing the National Security Agency’s secret surveillance program.
Seattle’s Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance is a year old this week. The law requires employers with more than four workers to provide paid time off for illness or a safety issue. But not all employers are on board with it.
Former pro basketball player Dennis Rodman has returned to North Korea for another so-called “basketball diplomacy” tour. Yet just last week, North Korea canceled the visit of US envoy Robert King, who was attempting to secure the release of Lynnwood resident Kenneth Bae.
In the past, North Korea has attempted to use detentions of Americans to win diplomatic concessions. Why did they cancel King’s trip? And what does North Korea gain by inviting Dennis Rodman back? David Hyde spoke with Charles Armstrong, professor of history at Columbia University, to find out.
Dennis Rodman: Kim Jong Un is "awesome."
Does Rodman's attitude toward the North Korean leader help legitimize his regime? North Korean media has been playing up the unlikely duo's relationship, but Armstrong had this to say about Rodman's testimony: