What We’re Following
Gun Violence: American citizens and institutions are once again reeling in the wake of the shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people. After the shooter was identified as a 19-year-old who had been expelled from the school for behavioral reasons, President Trump called for community members to watch for warning signs of violence—but such vigilance is unlikely to solve the problem. Congress is also far from reaching an agreement on gun control, and the stalemate isn’t helped by a 1996 bill that’s limited the ability of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research the public-health impact of firearms.
Executive Power: In response to Trump’s frequent outbursts, liberals and conservatives alike have called on the public to pay more attention to the substance of his policies—yet the president’s language is reshaping American politics, writes Derek Thompson. Meanwhile, as the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election continues, Trump has the power to classify or declassify relevant documents, creating a potential conflict of interest.
The Situation in Syria: The country’s seven-year-long civil war has entered a new, international phase, with Iran, Israel, Turkey, Russia, and the United States confronting each other over what one analyst calls “irreconcilable positions.” Right now Russia, which entered the conflict on the side of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is achieving its goal of exercising geopolitical power, but it’s on a risky mission, Mark Galeotti writes.