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Bruce Johnson

Telecommunications policy is not exactly a great topic of conversation for a party. But it is really important for every user. We are used to having a fair amount of choice when it comes to who we get our internet from, how much we pay, and what kind of internet we are getting.

But as broadband and wireless internet service providers merge more with the companies that make the stuff we want to get online, the choices we make as users matter even more. And telecom policy has a huge impact on all of this. 

Emboldened by Donald Trump's win and inauguration, several of Europe's top populist leaders gathered in Germany this weekend to strategize on how they might help each other in their upcoming national elections.

Marine Le Pen, who heads France's far-right National Front, proved especially popular with the largely German crowd that packed a convention hall yesterday in the historic western city of Koblenz, nestled between the scenic Rhine and Mosel Rivers.

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President Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the phone Sunday, in what was one of Trump's first conversations with a foreign leader since taking office.

The discussion was "very nice," Trump said after a ceremony to swear in senior White House staff. The White House later put out a statement saying the president invited Netanyahu to visit in February.

Gambia's defeated leader Yahya Jammeh has departed the country, after a weeks-long standoff as he tried to maintain his grip on power which culminated in West African troops crossing Gambia's borders.

Now, the country is awaiting the arrival of new president Adama Barrow. He fled to Senegal for his own protection and was sworn in at Gambia's embassy in Dakar last week.

Right up until he absolutely had to leave, 24-year-old nurse Abu Hussam was determined to stay in Aleppo. Months of airstrikes and assaults couldn't dissuade him — his community needed him.

When forces supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad moved in to take control of the city last month, Abu Hussam was among the last of the civilians evacuated from the city. He couldn't stay, because the Syrian government has persecuted medical staff and their families for treating rebels.

Updated 4:30 a.m. ET Monday:

In southern Georgia, near the border with Florida, severe weather turned deadly in the early hours of Sunday morning. At least 18 people were killed as the area was racked with storms, according to local officials.

Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for seven counties in the state.

'The Bear And The Nightingale' Is A Rich Winter's Tale

Jan 22, 2017

I read this book of winter nights and northern forests at the turn of the year; snow swirled, ice glazed the trees and bent bare branches low. I'm writing the review now in the kind of unseasonable thaw that makes one want to grab climate change denial by the ear and rub its face in the slush. But I'm only the more grateful for The Bear and the Nightingale in consequence: I love winter with all my December-born Canadian heart, and I love stories that make me feel the full mythic majesty of it even when the weather's wounded and limping into spring.

A passenger train leapt the tracks overnight in southeast India, killing at least 39 people and injuring more than 60. The derailment, which occurred near Kuneru station in the state of Andhra Pradesh, is the latest in a string of deadly wrecks to rack the Indian railway system.

The derailment threw several coaches of the Hirakhand Express train off its own tracks and onto an adjacent goods train.

On-air challenge: Today I've brought a game of categories based on the word COMBS. You probably know how this works. I'm going to give you a series of categories. For each one, name something in it starting with each of the letters C-O-M-B-S.

For example, if the category were "Three-Syllable Boys' Names," you might say Christopher, Oliver, Mathias, Benjamin and Sebastian. Any answer that works is fine, and you can give the answers in any order.

1. Musical instruments

2. Cities in Florida

3. Wild mammals in America

Author Julia Alekseyeva's great-grandmother Lola lived to be 100 years old, long enough to see the birth, and eventual collapse, of the USSR. In 1992, she and her family — including young Julia — moved from Kiev to Chicago.

Unbeknownst to her family, Lola began to write her memoirs, recording the stories of her life as a Jew in the Soviet Union, filled with vivid details and enlivened by a strong, independent spirit. Upon Lola's death, Julia discovered her great-grandmother's memoirs, and has now transformed them into her debut graphic novel, Soviet Daughter.

Children's book doyenne Margaret Wise Brown is having a big week.

Republicans plan to turn control of Medicaid over to the states as part of their replacement for the Affordable Care Act, according to an adviser to President Donald Trump.

A Couple Faces Collapse In Dark 'Futures'

Jan 22, 2017

Psychological research tells us that a surefire path to personal happiness is to make other people happy. In light of this, then Julia, the protagonist of The Futures, is doomed. With Julia and her boyfriend, Evan, debut novelist Anna Pitoniak has created a dark look at recent college graduates who embark on building a life for themselves in New York City. Julia makes a series of grievous mistakes that send her into solipsistic despair; Evan is trapped in a bubble of his own misery. Making anyone happy is beyond them.

With no shortage of material to work with, Saturday Night Live satirized a packed week in American politics, reiterating themes imparted by critics for months.

The episode kicked off by lampooning Russia's role in influencing the U.S. election.

Dear Sugar Radio is a weekly podcast from member station WBUR. Hosts Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed offer "radical empathy" and advice on everything from relationships and parenthood to dealing with drug problems or anxiety.

It's not fair to compare the 2004 film Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events to the new Netflix series A Series of Unfortunate Events.

But let's do it anyway.

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Bryan Woolston/Reuters

Organizers of the DC March on Washington expected a couple hundred thousand people would turn out for the women's rights, anti-Donald Trump protest the day after his inauguration. Instead, they got 500,000.

The story was the same across the country. 250,000 people in Chicago. 175,000 in Boston. 750,000 in Los Angeles. 100,000 in the Twin Cities. All told, some two million people took to the streets to advance the cause of women — equality, opportunity and inclusion.

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Caitlin Abber

The day after Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, women and their allies gathered in cities all over the world to protest his words, actions, and the potential consequences of his leadership.

Early estimates suggest more than a million people, easily, turned out in the US, with hundreds of thousands more in cities around the world  

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After weeks of uncertainty and political tension, the longtime ruler of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, has boarded a plane to fly into exile.

On his first full day in the White House, President Trump went to the CIA presumably to try and offer an olive branch to members of the intelligence community he often maligned over their conclusions that Russia had conspired to influence the U.S. elections.

Instead, he falsely denied that he had ever criticized the agency, falsely inflated the crowd size at his inauguration on Friday, attacked the media and told intelligence officers gathered to, "Trust me. I'm like a smart person."

My sons remember the bitter cold. And they remember the warmth.

They felt it on the toasty subway car jammed to the doorsills with people at 5 a.m., smiling a knowing smile at strangers riding with us from Columbia Heights to the National Mall and Barack Obama's second presidential inauguration.

Making good on his promise to get started on "Day 1," President Trump and his administration got right to work on Friday, taking steps to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and announcing the reversal of their predecessors' plans to reduce mortgage insurance premiums on federally insured home loans.

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