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Week In The News: Campaign Barbs, Killer Drought, Syria Blast

Romney’s tax storm. Killer drought deepens. Syria “spinning out of control.” Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

People walk past longnose gars and a catfish on a sand bar at the Platte River near the Louisville state recreation area in Neb., Tuesday, July 17, 2012. Low water flow due to lack of precipitation has exposed large areas of the river bed. (AP)

People walk past longnose gars and a catfish on a sand bar at the Platte River near the Louisville state recreation area in Neb., Tuesday, July 17, 2012. Low water flow due to lack of precipitation has exposed large areas of the river bed. (AP)

Batman and death last night in Colorado.  A dozen dead, fifty wounded in the cinema shooting spree.  A ghoulish, terrible opening night.  In Damascus this week, blows to the heart of the Assad regime.  Fighting goes on.  Across the Midwest and beyond, punishing drought.  Crops hit.  We will pay.

In politics, Mitt Romney says no, no, no to releasing more than two years’ tax returns.  But the pressure’s still on.  Romney’s surrogate says President Obama needs to “learn to be an American.”  The campaigns debate what that means.

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

-Tom Ashbrook

 

Guests

John Harwood, chief Washington correspondent for CNBC and a columnist at the New York Times.

Diane Brady, senior editor for Bloomberg/Businessweek.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

National Review ” If he releases more returns, Romney will be in a better position to resist the inevitable demands for even more disclosures. More important, he will be in a better position to pivot his campaign to what should be its focus — telling a story, through a series of detailed, substantive speeches, about where he wants to take the country.”

 The Washington Post “The attack seemed to mark a pivotal moment in the revolt, the first time that the regime’s tightly controlled and fiercely loyal inner circle has been punctured since Syrians first took to the streets to demand reforms in March 2011 and, later, took up arms. ”

Reuters “As the drought, rated the worst since 1956, expands to the northern and western Midwest, areas that had previously been spared, analysts were slashing corn yield estimates by the hour. Some were also starting to cut their forecasts on the number of acres that will be harvested as farmers opt to plow under some of their parched fields to claim insurance.”

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 7, 2015
Supporters of the No vote celebrate after the results of the referendum in the northern Greek port city of Thessaloniki, Sunday, July 5, 2015. Greeks overwhelmingly rejected creditors’ demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans in a critical referendum Sunday, backing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who insisted the vote would give him a stronger hand to reach a better deal.  (AP)

Greeks spoke and said no to the European ultimatum. Folly or bravery, these are uncharted waters for Europe and Greece.

Jul 7, 2015
Freddy Osborne, left, and teammate Nikolai Darken, second left, both from Fairfield, Conn., play a word against teammates Yanni Raymond, right, and Knox Daniel, second right, both from Charlottesville, Va., during the first round at the 2015 North American School SCRABBLE Championship at Hasbro headquarters in Pawtucket, R.I., Saturday, May 16, 2015.  (AP)

From the living room to world championships, Scrabble is fun—and fiercely competitive. We’ll dig in.

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Jul 6, 2015
A still from the upcoming documentary film, "Tough Love." (Courtesy PBS / The Filmmakers)

An intimate look at the foster care system from the perspective of two families struggling to reunite with their children.

 
Jul 6, 2015
President Barack Obama speaks during services honoring the life of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Friday, June 26, 2015, in Charleston, S.C., at the College of Charleston TD Arena. Pinckney was one of the nine people killed in the shooting at Emanuel AME Church last week in Charleston.  (AP)

How should we talk about faith and God in these uncertain times? We put that tough question—and more—to a roundtable of religious thinkers.

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