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Week In The News: Santorum Surges, China Visit, Iran Tensions

With Anthony Brooks in for Tom Ashbrook.

Santorum surges. Iran, and Israel – tit for tat. China comes calling. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

People walk past, a large image of Whitney Houston displayed on the side of the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. (AP)

People walk past, a large image of Whitney Houston displayed on the side of the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. (AP)

In politics this week it was all about a Santorum surge and more doubts about Romney’s ability to excite the party faithful.  And speaking of surges, President Obama’s poll numbers are up as he pushed to raise taxes on the wealthy — again, which Republicans dismissed — again.

Overseas — new signs that Iran is feeling the squeeze of western sanctions.  Syrian cities remained under fire; Greece remained gripped by a debt crisis.  And we lost Pulitzer Price winning journalist Anthony Shadid.

This hour, On Point: our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

-Anthony Brooks

Guests

Trudy Rubin, “Worldview” columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Reid Wilson, editor-in-chief of National Journal Hotline

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From The Reading List

Detroit Free Press “Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he wouldn’t have let General Motors and Chrysler be liquidated during the financial meltdown of 2008-09, but he also said by intervening in the bankruptcy proceedings, the Obama administration made the solution a political, rather than a legal process.”

Foreign Policy “With Hu’s reign coming to an end, the Chinese people have realized that after Mao Zedong, no Chinese leader has been as hostile to the West as President Hu. Instead of launching political reforms, he tried to use the Chinese model of “crony capitalism” to compete with the Western democratic system. And the state of human rights in China took a huge step backward.”

The New York Times “A string of aggressive gestures by Iran this week — assassination attempts on Israelis living abroad that were attributed to Tehran, renewed posturing over its nuclear program and fresh threats of economic retaliation — suggest that Iranian leaders are responding frantically, and with increasing unpredictability, to the tightening of sanctions by the West. “

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
Soledad, and from left, Nina Pastori, and Lila Downs perform on stage at the Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Tribute honoring Joan Manuel Serrat at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP)

From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

RECENT
SHOWS
Dec 18, 2014
A poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP)

A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: December 19, 2014
Friday, Dec 19, 2014

Rage, shortlinks and things you people seem to be into, we guess. Also, Putin.

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Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

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Our Week In The Web: December 12, 2014
Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

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