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Week In The News: Unions In Michigan, North Korea, Fiscal Cliff

A North Korean missile goes long range. Union defeat in Michigan. Will it be a fiscal cliff Christmas? Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

President Barack Obama walks out of Blair House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, before crossing Pennsylvania Avenue and returning to the White House after attending a holiday party for the National Security Council. (AP)

President Barack Obama walks out of Blair House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, before crossing Pennsylvania Avenue and returning to the White House after attending a holiday party for the National Security Council. (AP)President Barack Obama walks out of Blair House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012, before crossing Pennsylvania Avenue and returning to the White House after attending a holiday party for the National Security Council. (AP)

Who’s serious about the fiscal cliff?  Who’s not?  There’s the debate in Washington this week as negotiations to avert big tax hikes and spending cuts appear to go… nowhere.  Stay tuned.  At the State Department, it will not be Secretary Susan Rice when Hillary Clinton steps down.  The president’s great ally has withdrawn.

Over the Pacific, North Korea successfully tests a long range rocket.  Michigan, cradle of American unions, goes ‘right to work.’  And the stars come out for Hurricane Sandy relief.

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

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Jake Tapper, senior White House correspondent for ABC News. Author of “The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor.”

Susan Davis, chief congressional correspondent for USA Today.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “The bleak appraisals — particularly from Russia, a steadfast strategic Syrian ally — amounted to a new level of pressure on the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, who has been resorting to increasingly desperate military measures, including the use of Scud ballistic missiles, to contain an armed insurgency that has encroached on the capital, Damascus.”

Politico “Biden’s new role is a product of President Barack Obama’s decision to streamline fiscal cliff negotiations between himself and House Speaker John Boehner, the two sides’ clear sticking points and Obama’s increased post-election political clout.”

The GuardianCIA agents tortured a German citizen, sodomising, shackling, and beating him, as Macedonian state police looked on, the European court of human rights said in a historic judgment released on Thursday.”

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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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Cosby Accuser Beverly Johnson: ‘He's A Black Man. I Had To Separate The Trayvon Martins, The Michael Browns From What Happened To Me’
Tuesday, Dec 16, 2014

Beverly Johnson accused comedian Bill Cosby of drugging her in a high-profile Vanity Fair column. She tells us why she waited so long to share her story, and why it was even harder to share now.

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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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